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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Michael Maggio, one of America's top immigration lawyers, died yesterday of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 60. Maggio rose to prominence in the 1970s when he worked in Washington to oppose the Chilean dictatorship. Over the years, Michael worked with several refugee and human rights organizations and won numerous court victories in the field. Michael was a leading scholar on immigration law and wrote numerous articles on cutting edge topics in the field and was a leading expert on a variety of topics including the immigration of physicians and artists, legal ethics and deportation issues. Michael was also instrumental in lobbying efforts over the years. He recently worked to create Immigrants List, the bipartisan political action committee dedicated to achieving meaningful immigration reform. 

Michael's friend Peter Schey, the President for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, had this to say:

Michael worked with the National Immigration Project of the NLG and other human
rights and social justice groups on many domestic and international causes close
to his heart. We will never forget what Michael stood for -- justice, equality,
peace and love. We now say goodbye to an amazing man and close friend whose
heart was filled with an abundance of love for life and for the friends,
colleagues, and clients he met along his life's journey.

Though I knew about Michael's work since becoming an immigration lawyer 18 years ago, I only had the honor of meeting him last year. I was thrilled to meet a legend in the field.

Michael, you will be missed.

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  1. Immigrant of the week's Avatar
    Here is this weeks immigrant of the week!

    Ex-Boeing Worker, U.S. Employee Charged in Spy Cases (Update2)

    By Robert Schmidt

    Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- A former Boeing Co. engineer and a U.S. Defense Department analyst were charged in separate cases of stealing military secrets that were passed on to China.

    Former Boeing engineer Dongfan ``Greg'' Chung, 72, was indicted in California on economic espionage charges for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to the space shuttle and other aerospace programs for the Chinese government.

    In Virginia, Defense Department employee Gregg William Bergersen, 51, was charged today with providing classified documents to a businessman who ultimately gave them to China. The businessman and a Chinese citizen involved in the alleged plan were also charged. Much of the data were projections of U.S. military sales to Taiwan, prosecutors said.

    ``There are a number of countries that have proven themselves particularly adept and particularly determined and methodical in their espionage efforts,'' said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein at a press conference in Washington. ``The People's Republic of China is one of those countries.''

    Chung was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California. In the case, unsealed today, he is accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for China and stealing trade secrets relating to the space shuttle program, the C-17 military transport aircraft and the Delta IV rocket.

    `Cannot Be Great'

    The Chinese ``utilize their entire presence here in the U.S. to obtain the technology they need, whether it be in the government, the workplace or academia,'' said Rudy Guerin, a China expert who retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2006. ``Obviously, it cannot be great for U.S.-China relations.''

    In court papers in Chung's case, prosecutors said the alleged thefts dated back almost 30 years. They quoted letters from Chinese officials asking for specific technology and praising Chung's ``patriotism.'' In letters back to his handlers, Chung discussed wanting to aid the ``motherland'' and contribute to the ``modernization'' of China, prosecutors said.

    Chung was born in China and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, the U.S. said. He retired from Boeing in 2002 and returned the next year as a contractor, working until September 2006.

    ``Boeing is not a target of this investigation, and we've been cooperating with the government throughout the investigation,'' said Boeing spokesman Dan Beck.

    Conspiracy Charges

    In the Virginia case, prosecutors charged Tai Shen Kuo, a 58-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, and Chinese national Yu Xin Kang, 33, with conspiring to disclose national defense information to a foreign government. The U.S. said the spying took place between January 2006 and February 2008.

    Kuo operates a furniture business in New Orleans, prosecutors said. Kang acted as a conduit for information between an unidentified Chinese government official and Kuo, who met with Bergersen, according to court papers. Kang and Kuo would face up to life in prison if convicted.

    Bergersen, who works for the Arlington, Virginia-based Defense Security Cooperation Agency, part of the Defense Department, could receive up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He received payments for the information, prosecutors said, though he wasn't accused of knowing the documents were to be provided to the Chinese government.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at .

    Last Updated: February 11, 2008 16:50 EST
  2. USC's Avatar
    "Immigrant of the week"

    You need to change that to "Loser of the Century." It is a better description for you.

  3. USC's Avatar

    Tom Lantos, an immigrant, passed away today.
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Thanks USC - I wanted to blog on Congressman Lantos this morning, but was away from my computer all day. Some folks may remember I made Congressman Lantos my immigrant of the day a few months back. Certainly, it's a loss for the nation.
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