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Letters of the Week: Jul 16 - Jul 20

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  1. McTyier, Jay 's Avatar
    The tension between federal immigration policy and state practice toward the undocumented immigrants in their midst comes from the reality that federal law exists in an idealized world that strives for a uniform policy across all fifty states. And perhaps we could all live in that idealized world, if the only way would-be immigrants could come into the country was through a tunnel that lead directly to the front door of DHS headquarters on Murray Drive SW in Washington, DC. In the real world, however, would-be immigrants enter where and how they can and gravitate to where they can blend--which tends to be in communities already established by other immigrants from their homelands. Along the way, they impact the communities they pass through and settle in, communities far away from the locus of decision and policy making in Washington. Make all the statistics-based arguments you want about how immigrants do not burden social services any more than any other minority group, but that is likely to ring hollow to a South Texas, California, of Florida school teacher who faces a classroom of 45 first graders, two-thirds of whom cannot understand her. Her colleague in Bozeman, Montana simply does not have to contend with such a quandary, safely sequestered in the remote, chillier, interior of the country.

    It would be easier to maintain the view that immigration is solely a federal matter if immigrants would spread themselves evenly across the country. It's a big country: we have extra, underutilized space, which could absorb 11 million people pretty easily, as long as a hefty size of that population would agree to move away and stay away from Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami and similar cities. But the reality is, that under current scheme, topography is destiny, and those cities close to entry points feel the burden of the federal failure to control undocumented immigration more keenly than others. The Supreme Court has shown a sensitivity to the reality that a local situation which involves immigration may require local legislation to mitigate the undesired effect in allowing parts of Arizona's law to stay, something it recognized way back in 1837, in Mayor of New York vs. Miln, (36 U.S. 102). As other municipalities study the Arizona case, they will likely seek to enact legislation that fits into this local-sensitivity window--and create, or re-create a landscape where some locales are good for would-be immigrants, and some not so good. Does that comport with a uniform federal policy? No, not really. But until federal law recognizes differing local impact--or they build the proposed secure tunnel to Murray Drive referenced above--it's what we live with.
  2. Don Miller's Avatar
    Re. Roger Algase's blog comments today, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that, given his reasoning and comprehension of the subjects on which he pontificates, that he is a Harvard Law grad or, indeed, a credible immigration lawyer.
    Of course visa officers presume that all applicants are intending immigrants...the FAM on visa adjudication clearly says so! It is not, Mr. Algase, a question of "guilt", it is a matter of being qualified, according to US immigration law, to enter the United States with the visa being applied for.
    I wouldn't presume to comment intelligently on the cited case, which seems pretty good to me, but I will say that certain countries, India among them, known in the trade as "visa mills", are known for huge numbers of impoverished citizens trying, often very agressively, to get into the US and further, for equally vast networks of providers of fraudulent documents, phony background stories, even instant appearance-changes, in many cases right outside the Visa Section's entrance (see Mexico City)! As the immigration fraud investigator in several of such countries, I am well aware of this total corruption and I applaud those visa officers who do take the time to scrutinize all applicants closely. That is their job, and take my word, it is a miserable one.
    Many applicants in those countries, and apparently Mr. Algase as well, ignore the fact that the United States, like every other country, has the sovereign right to determine who does and does not enter into the country. Indeed, in some countries to our immediate south, there exists the widespread contention that the US does not have the right to exclude citizens of those countries under any circumstances and many a young visa officer has been viciously berated for daring to deny visas to some totally unqualified peasant "family" wanting only to go to "Disney" for a month or so!
    There is no question that errors are made during hectic days on the visa line, but overall it is my observation that the overwhelming majority of visa denials are exactly correct and in the best interest of the United States. Mr. Algase does himself no credit by constantly injecting his racist diatribes into these discussions. Most visa officers are, in my experience, well to the left of center, "kumbaya singers" and inclined to give worthy applicants a break where possible. They cannot be asked to, and they don't, violate the laws they have sworn to uphold. To accuse them of "racism" as the obviously white-hating Algase frequently does, is scurrilous!
    Donald Miller
  3. David D. Murray, Esq.'s Avatar
    Regarding Ed Poll's Article: "When Is A Flat Fee Refundable?" In routine relative petitions and nonimmigrant visa petitions, I resolve any confusion in my fee agreements that the flat fee is fully earned upon the attorney analyzing the case and issuing a legal opinion and advice as to how to proceed. After all, it is the legal advice the client is seeking. Any secretary can fill out the forms, but the lawyer must design worksheets to obtain relevant information so as to comply with the law and regulations. Therefore, as soon as the client has received our firm's legal analysis and opinion, fees are earned. We provide the secretarial services at no further cost. If we do not file a case because the client withdraws from our services we refund only the filing fees. Of course in a matter such as an EB-5, this may not work. Each type of case would be different. I was a Bar Association Fee Arbitrator for 15 years. My experience is that most lawyer's Fee Agreements could use a LOT of work.
  4. Scott Cooper's Avatar
    RE: Dan Kinzler's blog about Crystal Williams salary:

    BLS wage data for a Director in the DC area is as follows:

    Chief Executives/Directors for Washington DC area from OES:

    FLC Wage Results New Quick Search New Search Wizard

    You selected the All Industries database for 7/2012 - 6/2013.
    Your search returned the following: Print Format Area Code:47894 Area Title:Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division OES/SOC Code:11-1011 OES/SOC Title:Chief Executives
    Level 1 Wage:$53.10 hour - $110,448 year Level 2 Wage:$74.56 hour - $155,085 year Level 3 Wage:$96.02 hour - $199,722 year Level 4 Wage:$117.48 hour -
    $244,358 year Mean Wage (H-2B):$96.02 hour - $199,722 year

    This wage applies to the following O*Net occupations:
    11-1011.00 Chief Executives
    Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
    O*Net JobZone: 5
    Education & Training Code: No Level Set

    Add to it that Crystal is an attorney and perhaps $276,000 isn't that far off. It could be that AILA has been bringing her to prevailing wage for her type of position in the DC area.
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