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  1. BREAKING: Alabama Law Temporarily Enjoined

    by , 08-29-2011 at 12:16 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    From the ACLU:

    A federal court announced today that HB 56, the Alabama immigration law, has been temporarily placed on hold. The law was scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1. The temporary hold was ordered to give the court sufficient time to issue a decision on motions filed in three consolidated lawsuits to block the law, pending a ruling on the motions.  The court's temporary order does not reflect any view about the substance of the motions.
    The hold will remain in place until Sept. 29 at the latest, and the court is expected to publish its decision on the three pending motions by then.  The motions were filed by a coalition of civil rights groups, the United States of America, and bishops of the Episcopal, Catholic and Methodist churches in Alabama.

    by , 08-29-2011 at 08:11 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) usually is the first step in the processing of an employment-based green card. This is a necessary beginning step for most occupations, including IT and healthcare occupations. The PWD is filed with the US Department of Labor (DOL).

    In July, the DOL ceased processing PWDs as the direct result of a lawsuit affecting their H-2B applications. As a result of that lawsuit the entire PERM and Schedule A green card system has been disrupted.
    Until the DOL re-commences the processing of PWDs, PERM and Schedule A green card cases may be delayed. It does appear that the resolution is forthcoming. There are reports that the first PWDs in several weeks have been received by the immigration community. If you have any questions on this, please do not hesitate to contact Musillo Unkenholt.

    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or
  3. Obama's "Uncle Omar" Faces Deportation

    by , 08-29-2011 at 05:42 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The Daily Mail of London has reported that Barack Obama's 'Uncle Omar' is being held in police custody allegedly after narrowly avoiding crashing into a police car.  Uncle Omar was allegedly driving under the influence.  Apparently, there is an outstanding order for Uncle Omar's arrest due to the fact that he had already been ordered deported by an immigration judge.  Sounds like another one of those serious offenders that this President has been so adamant to deport.

    What I find most curious about this story is that there is barely a mention of it in the U.S. press. So far I've only seen it reported in Australia and the United Kingdom.  Very curious indeed.
    I have to wonder if Uncle Omar is a candidate for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion?
    Click here to read the full story.
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  4. Refugee Terror Plot or Over-Enthusiastic Airport Screeners?

    Arizona Central reports that two Eritrean refugees and another man have been held without bond after they were arrested by the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.* According to a TSA spokesman, Luwiza Daman tried to bring a suspicious device onto an airplane: "a box containing a paste-like substance with a cell phone taped to it."* TSA officers spotted the package and arrested the refugees.* The "paste-like substance" turned out to be halva, a common Middle Eastern dessert, which supposedly "resemble[s] explosive material on an X-ray machine, particularly when combined with a cellphone, which is frequently used as a remote detonating device."

    This is a deadly explosive.

    After receiving so much criticism over its screening techniques, TSA is quite proud of having discovered this "fake bomb."
    I suppose it's possible that this was-as TSA claims-a "dry run" for a terrorist bombing, but based on the publicly available information, the government's evidence appears weak at best.
    First of all, it seems bizarre to claim that halva resembles explosive material.* It's a common food in many parts of the world-friends visiting from overseas have brought me halva as a gift.* I wonder if TSA would have made these arrests if the substance had been something more familiar, like peanut butter.
    To be fair, the fact that a cell phone was taped to the container of halva made the TSA agents suspicious.* This reminds me of a case from last year where two men from Yemen were arrested carrying packages with cell phones taped to them.* No charges were filed in their cases, and officials determined that the men had no connection to terrorists.* In fact, it is common for people traveling back and forth from their home countries to carry packages for others.* Often mail service in these countries is unreliable (or non-existent), so people ask their countrymen to deliver packages to their families.* In this case, one of the refugees was supposedly carrying the phone and the halva to Iowa to deliver to the brother of another suspect.* Since they often carry packages for multiple individuals, it is not uncommon for them put each person's items together in a bag or tape them together.

    This is a delicious snack.

    When TSA agents questioned the suspects separately, their statements were inconsistent.* However, according to Arizona Central, the agents used an Amharic interpreter.* The principle language of Eritrea is Tigrinya and the suspects' first language is Kunama.* It's unclear why the agents did not find an interpreter for a language the suspects spoke (interpreters for most languages are available by telephone).* Therefore, any inconsistencies, indeed, any statements made by the suspects are of little value.
    In denying bond, the judge noted that the case presents the court with two possibilities:
    "One, a significant injustice to individuals lawfully present in the United States as refugees because they allegedly misunderstood English," he said. "Or a knowing and intentional attempt by someone ... to attempt a dry run."
    Given the stakes involved, it's hard to blame the TSA for arresting the refugees, but considering the scanty evidence, this looks more like a case of the TSA getting ahead of itself than a case of terrorists on a practice run.
    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
  5. A New Spin on INA 340 ‚Äď Charges against naturalized Burundian Man Dropped; By Danielle Beach-Oswald

    INA 340 allows federal prosecutors of the Justice Department to begin proceedings of a revocation of citizenship against any naturalized US Citizen who may have obtained immigration or naturalization benefits through fraud or misrepresentation.
    Three months ago, jurors in Kansas found that a naturalized United States Citizen, Lazare Kobagaya, lied on immigration documents regarding his whereabouts during the 1994 Rwandan genocide that left an estimated 800,000 Rwandans dead. The jury was unsure as to whether Kobagaya actually participated in the atrocities. The jury was deadlocked on the second issue of whether Kobagaya lied during his naturalization proceedings, and therefore federal prosecutors decided to re-try the case.
    Although the government spent an estimated $1 million trying to convict Kobagaya, federal prosecutors on Thursday asked the federal judge to dismiss the conviction of visa fraud and dismiss the charge of misrepresenting himself during his naturalization proceedings. After federal prosecutors failed to disclose important information to Kobagaya's counsel regarding information from a consular official in Kenya who told federal prosecutors that she would not have inquired about Kobagaya's whereabouts during the 1994 Rwandan genocide because of his Burundian citizenship, federal prosecutors had no choice but to drop the case. This information from the Consular Official would have been particularly important to Kobagaya's counsel as part of their case rested on how Kobagaya's location during the Rwandan genocide would not have led to keeping him out of the United States by being denied a visa from the Consular Official in Kenya.
    Many believe that the government's decision to drop the case came from a letter that Kobagaya's Attorney wrote to the Justice Department expressing her desire for sanctions against federal prosecutors for failing to disclose the information from the Consular Official.
    Kobagaya's involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide remains an issue of uncertainty. His family believes that all accusations against him stemmed from him testifying in a war crimes trial in Finland.
    Given that the Justice Department spent $1 million on this case, with even one juror claiming that it was a waste of money, it shows the necessity for better transparency between government officials and private attorneys in all issues regarding immigration. This has not only led to unnecessary embarrassment for the government, but has shown that attorneys working on important immigration matters should have more comprehensive access to important government records that may not be available from a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request.
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