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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

STATE DEPARTMENT PULLS THE RUG OUT FROM UNDER GREEN CARD APPLICANTS

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I promised I wouldn't blog today, but there's very distressing breaking news that needs to be disseminated.



The State Department has informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association that it is going back on its word and will issue a new Visa Bulletin on Monday or Tuesday that retrogresses all green card categories it made current in the July Visa Bulletin released earlier this month. The numbers may actually be worse or even be listed as unavailable.



According to AILA, USCIS has been feverishly working through green card applications to use up the 2007 quota numbers. DOS apparently made the numbers current because it wanted to force USCIS to work more cases and not leave substantial green card numbers left over at the end of the year, something it has done over and over again in the past.



This is horribly unfair and potentially illegal. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of people have been working frenetically over the last few weeks to get their adjustment of status applications ready to file in July. That means money spent on medical exams (with many people flying out of town to find physicians able to accommodate them), money spent on lawyers, money  spent getting documents translated on an expedited basis, etc. And then what about the emotional roller coaster people have been forced to bear.



A number of disturbing questions need to be asked:



- Did DOS plan on doing this all along? Were they trying to send a message to USCIS when they made the numbers current and once the message was apparently received, DOS would back down on its "threat"?



- Did USCIS speed up processing to try and ensure that all of the would be July applicants would have to file under the substantially increased filing fees that go in to effect in late July?



- If USCIS is capable of processing 40,000 cases so fast, what do they do the rest of the year? Why do they need big fee increases if they can move cases this quickly? If they can process 20,000 cases a week, why do we hear incessant whining from the agency on their ability to timely adjudicate applications and their need for more staff.



- What kind of message does this send future American citizens about transparency and fair dealing by our government?



- Is DOS even legally permitted to take such an action? Immigration regulations would seem to suggest otherwise.



If you're outraged, then you're paying attention. Let your Congressman and Senator know what you think.

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  1. Disappointed by the system AGAIN's Avatar
    Our attorney is NOT sending in our I-140 and I-485 today (to get there Monday) as she originally planned. I wonder if anyone else is in the same boat? She thinks it would be a disaster if the I-140 was accepted but the I-485 rejected (due to the newly announced retrogression), as we could potential become out of status and be forced to leave the country immediately and wait for a green card for many years outside the country. Sounds pretty certain that retrogression will continue in July now. I guess we will know more next week.

    It was really nice of them to let our attorney know Friday afternoon. We are out about $3000 in doctors and legal fees. My employer has forked over a lot also and I doubt they will be too happy about this. Man this *****.

    Another question to add to your list. When will the retrogressed EB categories likely come out of retrogression now? At least it sounds like unused numbers won't get wasted this year. I don't know if this will help lift retrogression at some point in the next few months. But who will take those a**holes seriously now in the future? They have lost all credibility! Is this a common occurrence? If not, why is this happening now?

  2. Alpha_Beta's Avatar
    To Disappointed. If your I-140 is approved and your I-485 is rejected or somehow not processed because of retrogression, how does that affect your status? I am no attorney but my understanding is that approval of the I-140 does not change your status, only the I-485, aka adjustment of status, does that. In my view you should be in the same status you were before. Isn't it a fact that lots of people file I-140 but cannot file I-485 until their dates are current?

    Still, your attorney went to law school so she may be correct, it just does not sound right to me.
  3. GCDreamer's Avatar
    Its another testimony why USA needs to fix the immigration system immediately .The actions if comes true , certainly make USICS looks untrustable which is already famous for the lengthy delays.

    Its intresting too see when the revised Visa Bulletien will be issued and how they want to treat the application received on Monday which are technically received when the dates are Current
  4. Disappointed's Avatar
    Alpha_Beta,

    I got the info second hand from my spouse who had talked to the attorney today.

    FWIW, my understanding is if you file an I-485 with your I-140, you get a work authorization card and a travel document, meaning that you can re-enter the country and that you are basically "in status" (legally allowed to live and work in the U.S.). These can be renewed indefinitely while you wait for your green card. By filing an i-485, it means you already have some kind of status, like TN, H visa or student visa for example, and that you are changing to permanent resident status.

    The problem is that if you have an I-140 pending and cannot apply for an adjustment of status (I-485) because of retrogression, your non-immigrant status becomes invalid and you would not have status to live and work in the U.S. until you get your green card (usually takes years) and you would have to wait in your home country. Kiss your job, house, etc., in the U.S. goodbye until you actually get your green card (don't hold your breath waiting of course).

    I could have it all wrong. Check with your attorney if you think this situation could be a problem for you.

  5. Disappointed 's Avatar
    Interesting post (see below) on another immigration attorney's blog (from an anonymous poster). I wonder if it is legit? I hope it is. I have heard that being personally involved in litigation is VERY stressful, but hopefully some brave people hurt by this outrageous behavior will step forward and help make things better for immigrants that follow us. Maybe the law isn't so bad, it's the way the law is being implemented.

    "The AILF is an affiliate of the AILA and its litigation arm. They are seeking the victims who would participate as plaintiffs in the lawsuit by the organization against the government agencies relating to the outrageous and lawlessness of the agencies involving the management of immigrant visa numbers and implementing the visa bulletin in compliance with the law. Please contact your attorneys if you are willing to participate in the lawsuit"

    Maybe Mr. Siskind could (after his relaxing weekend celebrating his birthday) verify if this is really legit.
  6. What the!'s Avatar
    Ok, first the CIR bill fails because our coward senators fell for the racist chatter on talk radio, and now the DOS wants to make sure they crash the hopes of millions of immigrants who followed the law? What is wrong with this country? And this too they are planning to announce on July 3rd, the day before independence day? When are we going to get our independence from this never ending process they call legal immigration?
    I wonder what these radio talk show hosts who claim to be FOR legal immigration have to say about this?

    The writing is on the wall, we immigrants just don't want to wake up and smell the coffee.........this country is getting racist and anti-immigrant by the second, and nothing will ever be done about that because white America has decided to stomp all over immigrants, because they are scared out of their pants that they will be taken over. Only God help us now.
  7. N S's Avatar
    Making the dates current for all categories and countries was ludacris. DOS and USCIS knows how many I 140's they have approved in the last 2 years while most categories were retrogressed. They know how many applications were backlogged in DOL's BEC. Knowing all these numbers, they did this to applicants,lawyers,HR and every one involved in the chain. Lawyers offices have been working over night to do their best and this is what happens at the end of the week. Greg has raised a question about 20,000 approvals. Actually, those cases were completed previously, long time back. Given that the visa number was not available, they were just awaiting visa number availability.

    DOS has a choice. The choice is to make numbers available on per quarter basis instead of giving an excel spread sheet showing 10K visas going wasted. We are not living in stone age. Are we? Its just a shame that the databases available are not used effectively. If you read, ombudsman report he pointed this out clearly. The main stream media does not want to talk about this as it is difficult to understand. How worse can it get?
  8. dazed and confused's Avatar
    After going through the rush to get everything ready to file the I-140 and I-485 concurrently (to get there monday) I'm totally dazed and confused.

    Is it really possible that if they announce retrogression on Monday, my priority date will be set back further than it was before? Fortunately I still have O1 visa that can carry me through. I'm ready to deal with the disappointment of retrogression yet again, but I find it hard to believe that my date will get set back worse than it was before. Is that a real risk?





  9. Raju's Avatar
    I have my I140 approved and have sent the 485 forms to my lawyer. He will file asap. Will I be out of status if my 485 gets rejected. I have a valid H1B till 2010.
  10. Disappointed 's Avatar
    I sure hope you won't be out be out of status, but check with your lawyer. I think mine is being VERY cautious because of the bad things that can happen with this crazy system. I read somewhere else (posted by an immigration attorney) that if they decide that your category is retrogressed, they will just send your whole application back unprocessed to avoid the potentially disastrous situation I mentioned. It sounds like the DOS and USCIS have no clue what they are up to, and just don't care how their decisions affect us. No one is holding them accountable for their actions, so I just do not trust them at all.
  11. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    I wonder if the July "progression" (opposite of retrogression) was carried out to show the legislators ahead of CIR vote that the immigration system is in a good shape and does not need changing? Seriously, it is much easier to argue that the system is doomed when Master's degree holders in essential professions need to wait for five years to apply for a greencard - on top of all other things they have to endure.

    Now, there is apparently no need to keep up appearances.

    P.S. I believe, I mentioned in my posts that if the anti-immigrationists win, we all are going to get screwed. Kind of scary, how fast it came into fruition.
  12. rosh's Avatar
    "She thinks it would be a disaster if the I-140 was accepted but the I-485 rejected (due to the newly announced retrogression), as we could potential become out of status and be forced to leave the country immediately"

    What are you talking about? "Rejected" in this instances means you "stay in the queue" - to get an approval. You do not have to leave the country.

    Given the high level 485 applications, USCIS shall reject as in "stop accepting" further 485's. I do not believe this rejection means rejection in it's actual sense. In this instance, if your applicaiton is sent back, you'll go back into the queue and apply again when visa numbers are current. At which time you may perhaps have to re-perform some of the 485 steps, such as a more current photograph and medical results.
  13. Disappointed 's Avatar
    Rosh,

    Based on the fact that Greg Siskind is recommending that his clients submit their I-140's and I-485's next week while we wait for the dust to settle, I am going to check with the lawyer again. My lawyer works for both me and my employer, so is being very cautious about things. As Greg S. points out, "the law is an ***", so I want to avoid getting screwed by the system.

    If my EB category IS retrogressed for July, then the I-485 will definitely be rejected. I just don't see how I would be able to cross into the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa (that expires next Feb) or renew my visa if I have a pending I-140. The system is confusing to me, so I will have to trust why my (respected) lawyer says.

    I hope things work out for you. Let us all know what happens.
  14. Disappointed's Avatar
    Rosh,

    Talked to the attorney and now everything makes sense. It seems that if you have an H-1, filing an I-140 while your category is retrogressed is OK as your status remains, and you can renew your H1 even while your I-140 is pending. For me, bad idea to file an I-140, and very happy my attorney didn't as I don't have an H1, but a different kind of non-immigrant status that would likely not be renewable if I had an I-140 pending.
  15. Judex's Avatar
    hi to all,

    I will have my interview on tuesday(July 9) in Embassy Manila, Follow To Join. I'll post whatever will happen to that interview, or if i get a visa in a few days.

    I believe all those who has an interview appointment has already a visa allocated for them. No way can the 40,000 visas be used in just 1 month or few days...

    XEDUJ
  16. john's Avatar
    Does any body know when and how will one know if I 485 file was rejected or accepted who has already mailed the application to be reached by July 2.

    When will law suit be filed by ALIF against USCIS and DOS?

    If at all law suit is filed against DOS and USCIS what will be the time frame to get the decision.

    What are the chances of favorable decision! Has ever lawsuit filed against these agencies and has anybody got decision in favor?





  17. Chat's Avatar
    Thank You !
  18. Chat's Avatar
    I'd be interested in an updated GoogleAnalytics chart (may be two with about six weeks coverage), just to see if the effect did wear off after a while and also, did others link to your new name with the same link-text (allinurl:...). I hope you will publish a follow up.
  19. sohbet's Avatar
    very good topic. Is it really possible that if they announce retrogression on Monday, my priority date will be set back further than it was before? Fortunately I still have O1 visa that can carry me through. I'm ready to deal with the disappointment of retrogression yet again, but I find it hard to believe that my date will get set back worse than it was before. Is that a real risk?

  20. porno izle's Avatar
    thanks for all admin
    owe you gratitude..
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