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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

QUICK AND DIRTY SUMMARY OF THE 26 ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

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Here is the memo I have prepared for clients at my firm. I'm working on a separate memo summarizing the no match rule and hope to have that out shortly.



To: Siskind Susser Bland Clients



From: Greg Siskind





Re: DHS policy initiatives announcement>



The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of
Commerce held a joint press conference this morning to announce a number of
steps the Bush Administration is taking that the White House believes will
result in improved border and interior immigration enforcement, streamlined
guest worker programs, improved overall immigration processing and more
assimilation of new immigrants. Critics believe that many of the changes -
particularly the social security no match rule - could have a profoundly
negative effect on the US economy and create social chaos across the country. The most important change for
businesses is likely the social security no match letter which will be covered
in more detail in  separate memorandum to file. Here is a quick overview of
the announced changes.





>>
Border Security>>





The White House announced the following border security
benchmarks to be achieved by the end of 2008:





- 18,300 Border Patrol Agents (with an additional 1,700
to be added in 2009)



- 370 miles of fencing



- 300 miles of vehicle barriers



- 105 camera and radar towers



- Three additional unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol the
borders with an additional one to be added in 2009





All illegal border crossers from countries other than Mexico will be returned to the border and removed from the country (continuing the
policy of no "catch and release" of such intending immigrants).





Funding for detention bed space will increase in order to
allow for holding 31,500 illegally present immigrants. The White House also
said it will continue to work with "recalcitrant" countries to repatriate
citizens of those countries.





DHS will expand the list of dangerous organized gangs from
other countries whose members are barred from entering the US.





DHS will implement exit tracking under the US-VISIT program
at all airports and seaports by the end of 2008. And DHS will establish a new
pilot-basis land-border exit system for guest workers.





A phased-in requirement that passports be used for travel in
to Canada and other countries in the region will be retained and starting
January 31, 2008, DHS will phase in a requirement for passports to be used at
all sea and land ports of entry. Passports have been required at airports since
January 2007 (though backlogs in passport processing have resulted in some
exceptions being permitted).





Beginning this autumn, the Homeland Security Secretary will
deliver a "State of the Border" annual report advising on efforts to secure the
border.





>



Interior Enforcement>>





The White House is training hundreds of state and local law
enforcement officers to assist in immigration enforcement under Section 287(g)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act.





By the fall, USICE expects to have increased by five times
the number of ICE enforcement teams devoted to removing fugitive aliens.





The Justice Department will issue a rule holding that aliens
in voluntary departure status who file motions to reopen their cases will have
their voluntary departure status terminated and make the alien subject to the
order of removal and subject to a new $3000 civil penalty for failing to comply
with a voluntary departure agreement.





>



Worksite Enforcement >>





ICE is releasing the long awaited "no-match" regulation (see
separate summary on this new rule). Employers will have 90 days to resolve no
match letters involving mismatched social security numbers and worker names.





DHS will publish a new rule in the coming months that will
cut down the number of acceptable documents for I-9 purposes.





Civil fines for knowingly hiring illegally present
immigrants will be increased by 25%. The number of criminal investigations will
be increased as well. The White House noted that the number of prosecutions
have increased from 24 in 1999 to 716 in the most recent fiscal year.





DHS will begin a rulemaking process to require federal
contractors to participate in the Basic Pilot electronic verification system. DHS
will also help states that are now requiring the use of the system for their
states' employers. Data sources used in the system will be expanded to fight
identity theft and DHS will seek to partner with states that volunteer to share
photographs in their department of motor vehicle databases.





>



Guest Worker Program
Changes>>





The White House has directed DHS to look at the H-2A
agricultural worker program to find ways to provide farmers with an "orderly
and timely flow of legal workers, while protecting the rights of laborers."





The H-2B program will be converted to an attestation system
akin to the PERM program for green cards. This is expected to dramatically speed up processing
on H-2B cases.





TN visas for Canadians and Mexicans will now be granted in
three year increments, the same as for H-1Bs.





DHS and DOL are being directed to study and report on
further administrative reforms to visa programs for highly skilled workers.





>



Improving Existing
Immigration>>





The White House will reform and expedite the background
check process by investing substantial new funds to address the backlog and to
work on new projects to streamline the system to reduce waiting times without
sacrificing security.





DHS and the Social Security Administration will study ways
to prevent workers from getting credit in social security for money paid in
while out of status.









Assimilation









According to DHS, USCIS will begin using a new citizenship
test starting next month that emphasizes "fundamental concepts in American
democracy, basic US history and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship." The test will be
standardized in order to deal with perceived disparities in the quality of
testing between district offices.





USCIS' Office of Citizenship will begin offering a web-based
training program to help people prepare for the naturalization process. USCIS
will also convene eight regional conferences aimed at training citizenship
instructors and volunteers preparing people for the new examination and online
training materials for instructors will also be provided.





Web-based English language training will also be available
for the general public.



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Comments

  1. sam's Avatar
    This is actually good news! Now that we have enforcement and they start feeling the negative economic impact, maybe another go at CIR is in order.
  2. Another voice's Avatar
    Definetly business will feel preasure, hopefullly their voices will be heard through the political process and lobby groups. In the mean time people will feel the pain unless its just a publicity meassure to shore up Bush's numbers at the polls.
  3. INSpector's Avatar
    Hello to all

    I think is too early to predict an outcome, some how the majority of people working with fake SSN is not in big corporations; they are with small contractors, they have been living like that for many years, so I still dont see a big impact in the short time. (by the way I'm a legal immigrant from Mexico).

    Regarding border security. sorry but I still dont get it. If you walk in some cities in Mexico at the border, Nvo Laredo for example, you can see Coyotes (smooglers) offering different services to cross to the US, for example they are offering take you by plane to Toronto and then cross the north border paying only $6000 ..... so, no matter how much they spend, they will need a big sphere to wrap all borders in the US, to me they are looking so inocents....

    ON the other hand the note on Immproving the current Immigration system, I really hope they can do some thing increasing the quota for green cards, or at least implement a roll over way to use the unused numbers from previous years....

    Thanks and good luck to all
  4. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    INSpector, exactly, I have heard, for a few thousand dollars they just gets you through the border by bribing the officer... Americans are so naive sometimes. They think, they will build a fense, and the problem goes away. No it won't. If someone has a loved one across the border, they will cross at any price, period, and the more people like that, themore money to coyotes, the more oportunities to cross, the more deeply this lawlessness will go.

    Well, anyway, hopefully, this will put some pressure on employers to act. I actually already heard of a small size employer in Midwest who have to close doors because most of their workforce were illegal. They tried to recruit, but it is not going well, and this is Midwest, not California or New York.
  5. Jun's Avatar
    The US economy is facing recession and they are blaming it onto the illegal immigrants. What they don't realize is that tracking down illegal immigrants contribute to the looming recession.

    Most immigrants are now liquidating their assets so that they can trasfer location anytime. This action affects the economy. Money freezes in the vaults inside the house, not in the banks.

  6. Another Voice's Avatar
    Greg I heard that SS office can not share information on the outcome of the no match letter with ICE unless it is in respect to an ongoing investigation. Do you know more details in this regard how will this no match letter be enforced then if that is the case?
  7. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    That's no longer the case per this rule.
  8. 's Avatar
    AP story on how the no match could affect employers:

    http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Aug10/0,4670,ImmigrationEnforcement,00.html
  9. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    They better hurry up with streamlining the guest worker program before the enforcement kicks in.
  10. binc65's Avatar
    What of illegal immigrants who have been paying into Social Security through a Treasury ID number, which is legal and valid? If those funds are seized, it seems to be a violation of due process.

    I also have reports of illegal famiies clearing out bank accouts, stopping payments to their families at home, and otherwise going deeper underground in preparation for moving. The fear seems all too like that described in THE DAIRY OF ANNE FRANK.

    The music coordinator at the local Catholic church had his cer seized due to no driver's license, which he could not get in California. He was returning from a church music director's conference.

    Meanwhile, the DOD is arguing for the DREAM ACT as a means to fill the Army's ranks. This all would be funny if it were not so sad.
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