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Letters of the Week: Apr 16 - Apr 20

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  1. David D. Murray, Esq.'s Avatar
    Kudos for Ken Rinzler for revealing AILA's dasterly deeds. I stopped my membership in AILA about 5 years ago, after 20 years of membership. In my opinion they are not a "Immigration Lawyer's Association" . . . . they are an immigrant's rights lobbying organization that only uses lawyers as their income stream to promote whatever it is they want to promote. They will never again have me as a member, and the sheep of the flock that belives AILA benefits immigration lawyers should rethink their position. David D. Murray, Esq.
  2. Baesler, Charles 's Avatar
    I am really disappointed and dismayed at Mr. Rinzler's attack on AILA, including his efforts to have AILA's tax-exempt status investigated and revoked by the IRS. It would be a terrible development and detrimental to the interests of AILA lawyers nationwide (and worldwide). I am not taking issue with his insistence that AILA, like any organization, be governed effectively and ethically. But an attack on the organization's tax-exempt status is not the way to go.

    AILA is a trade organization but it is in the interest of AILA's attorneys, and of our clients, to have immigration reform that is beneficial to the interests of immigrants and companies that employ them. I cannot think of a position taken by AILA in many years that does not advance the legal interests of AILA attorneys' constituents. To be sure, we can all disagree on priorities. And a genuine debate on our priorities is healthy. But I don't blame, and indeed I support, AILA in its efforts to assist the efforts of advocacy groups like AIC.

    As for AILA's payment for Mr. Buffenstein's book - - let me say that I have no financial dealings with or other business connection to Mr. Buffenstein. However, we have been in need of a high-quality employment-based immigration treatise for some time now. His new book is an excellent and much needed contribution. It is reasonable for Mr. Buffenstein to seek payment for the book. In turn, AILA has every reason, on behalf of its members, to have it disseminated and to collect a fee for doing so.
  3. Robert Gard 's Avatar
    Editor:

    I just wanted to say THANKS to Kenneth Rinzler for staying on top of this issue. Our local (Chicago) Chapter has never sought charitable or tax exempt status, and they file no tax returns at all, so they can get no interest on their deposits of dues/conference income. They also make huge yearly contributions of chapter dues to AIC (over $10,000/year to AIC alone) and to a variety of not for profits and NGOs that allegedly refer clients to some of the members pushing for the contributions. Whenever I or anyone else objects, we are the lonely one or two vote "skunks at the garden party". My point is that if I make a contribution to AIC, I may get a tax deduction for same, but when the Chicago Chapter uses my dues for this purpose, they get no deduction at all. The sweetheart deals, "free" rooms at local and national conferences should be general knowledge of the membership and fully disclosed, but that would be inconsistent with the meme that they pay for their own expenses. Thank you for keeping the heat on.
  4. Jim Norman 's Avatar
    the mitt Romney is another hitler ,be very careful ,because he and his special interest want to put the world in another big fire, be careful your children's and love ons'e . don't vote another stupid bush and hitler.
  5. Michael Gibson's Avatar
    Well done for publishing this
  6. David Murray 's Avatar
    I am in favor of the DREAM Act because it seeks fairness for children who did not willingly violate US immigration laws. As victims of happenstance, there would appear to be no harm to the United States to legalize these people upon the showing of good moral character and scholastic achievement. However, DREAM is not yet law. The dilemma is, are we a nation of laws, or of men? Mr.. Godinez-Samperio, the "undocumented, unapologetic and unafraid," undocumented alien seems to think law is unimportant and that the will and wants of the individual supersede the law. I wonder which laws of the land he believes can be broken and which laws must be followed? Surely as an aspiring lawyer he must have thought about this. He will earn his JD degree and nobody can take that away from him. Should he be issued a Bar Card? Sure, why not. Should he be allowed to practice law in the United States? Unfortunately, no, because he is not employment authorized. While that may be a "Catch 22" situation it remains a fact. The law should not discriminate. So give him a Bar Card . . . but don't allow him to practice law, at least not until the DREAM Act becomes a reality. Strange, isn't it, how law and compassion often seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum? David D. Murray, Esq.., Newport Beach, CA

  7. R. Yang's Avatar
    Many minors who were brought by their parents here illegally have pursued higher education, graduated with honors and they can show to the society that they can support themselves without asking for public welfare by opening businesses or practicing and applying their skills as professional lawyers, doctors, trade persons etc. I don't really see the purpose and any sane reason of deporting them. We should be more than happy to give them at least an opportunity and let them to be productive and contributing members of our society. At the other side many of our own children born here and enjoy the privilege and benefits as Americans by birth don't appreciate their "luck" and got addicted to drugs and many take things for granted and become spoiled brats. DREAM Act is a common sense policy to give young good people with talents, skills and dreams to achieve their better selves and contribute to our great nation. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida would not be as he is today without the "amnesty" of his illegal parents from Cuba in the past. The "laws of the land" are not the laws of physics and universe that can't be changed unless there is a miracle to make that happened. Many laws have changed for better or worse, the DREAM Act is the good one and for the better for these wonderful kids, our society and nation as whole.
  8. Joe Whalen's Avatar
    The case at this link denies the challenge to the sentence of a guy who pretended to be an Immigration Officer and defrauded and threatened illegal aliens.

    http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/unpub/11/11-50457.0.wpd.pdf

    "The court noted that the offense occurred over two years
    and that Castillo caused his victims great fear. In addition, the court stated that the sentence should promote respect for the law and "encourage those who are committing this offense to desist.""
  9. Matthew U.'s Avatar
    I too would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Rinzler for his work in bringing to light AILA's questionable dealings, and for his latest article suggesting ways in which AILA can improve. His 4th point caught my eye:
    -//-
    4. Eliminate all overseas meetings and conferences. There is no reason whatsoever why our hard-earned dues monies are being spent for meetings in places like Mexico, Costa Rica, or wherever. AILA's travel budget is ridiculous, especially when we are paying for an expensive headquarters building, and there are tax and perception implications as well. These mid-winter conferences in the tropics have got to go.
    -//-

    I couldn't agree more that these meetings are a shameful waste of membership dues.

    No BOG meetings (expect the one in-person meeting at the annual conference) should occur outside of AILA's HQ building, let alone outside of the USA. International travel is more expensive than domestic travel and holding BOG meetings in Costa Rica, Mexico, Montreal, Aruba, Hawaii, etc. comes off feeling like the membership is being fleeced to pay for a "vacation perk" bestowed upon a select few.

    The bylaws should be changed to 1) eliminate the "in-person" attendance requirement [but keep the requirement that BOG members must participate in a minimum number of "virtual" meetings streamed over the net], 2) require all future BOG meetings (with the exception of the one in-person meeting held at the annual conference) be held at AILA HQ so all senior staff can be present [without the need to pay for their expenses associated with travel multiple times each year], and 3) do away with the option for BOG members to seek "reimbursement" for travel to attend these brief meetings. Modern technology has eliminated the need for "in-person" attendance and will eliminate the burden placed upon dues paying members who must pay for the travel expenses of BOG members and top AILA staff to fly around the world to attend these brief BOG meetings.

    If you look at the BOG minutes from the meeting recently held in Costa Rica; staff in attendance were: Greg Chen, Robert Deasy, Tatia Gordon-Troy, Ben Johnson, Paul Leahy, Jennifer English Lynch, Susan Quarles, Reid Trautz, George Tzamaras, Theresa Waters and Grace Woods.

    It seems that AILA's elected officers did most of the talking and gave most of the presentations during the BOG meeting, but with that said... of all the "staff" that were required to fly to Costa Rica, a grand total of 3 of them actually had anything to say at the meeting.

    Ben Johnson (The Executive Director of AIC... that makes him AILA staff?) basically put on a presentation to justify even more of our hard earned dues be funneled from AILA to AIC.

    Susan Quarles, the association's Deputy Executive Director, presented a resolution regarding the allocation of 2011 net revenues. Did we really need to fly Crystal William's deputy to Costa Rica to do this when we were already paying for Ms. William's ticket to be there? Or couldn't we have just had Victor Nieblas Pradis do this as he presented the resolution "with" Susan Quarles? Did it really take two airline tickets to Costa Rica to accomplish this task?

    Requiring "virtual" BOG meetings and saving the membership these costs is a good way to help keep membership dues as low as possible, will eliminate the "need" for transparency when it comes to accounting for this type of expense, will foster a more green AILA environment, will take the sting out of paying for someone else's vacation, and will make participation in the BOG a viable option for more AILA members who would like to get involved but who cannot afford to do so.

    The effectiveness of BOG teleconferences was brought up at the teleconference on 02/16/06. From that teleconference: "Deborah J. Notkin, President called the second Board of Governors teleconference to order at 4:00 pm. It was noted that the teleconference meeting format has thus far been successful in keeping the Board updated and engaged on the issues presented."

    Also of interest is a blurb from the minutes of the BOG meeting on 01/19/08 held in Hawaii. "Some members of the Board felt locations such as Hawaii were inappropriate, others believe that as a national organization, it is important to visit remote locations where there is a local Chapter. Further, some Board members expressed an appreciation for having an opportunity to serve and travel, and visit new places and other parts of the world. While some dislike the 'resort' environment, others prefer the chance to combine business and leisure, and welcome interactive downtime."

    With virtual meetings and teleconferences, international travel to far-flung parts of the world is no longer needed in order to attend BOG meetings and this shameful waste of AILA resources should be discontinued immediately.
  10. Edmund Amartey 's Avatar
    This is simply a political gimmick, that satisfies no one ! To hell with lying politicians !

    Mr Terrific
  11. Leena Shenvi 's Avatar
    Hi, It is true the citizenship of such children should be revoked and
    denied. Also the parents should be deported to their country or else it will
    encourage others to stay illegally. This is a serious matter and should be
    considered. There is no harm if their whole family returns back to their
    country.
  12. John J. Brannigan 's Avatar
    I really think you should read the whole artical or at least understand it before you give such a bias revue. He will at least do more for young illegals then the Obama admin. to date. Quite frankly it is this kind of reporting and comments that give our media such unreliable information. Your wonderful president has promised everything and has done very little on the comprehensive reform he promised to get elected. Now in Columbia he is on another campaign with promises he will never keep. Someone needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
    This is just one reason I choose to live in Guatemala, with my wife and Guatemalan children.
  13. Mostafa Chtaini 's Avatar
    The Dream Act is great as is and does not require being watered down in the
    mean-spirited, typically Republican manner, thanks anyway Rubio.

    If anything, it should be expanded.
  14. David H. Nachman, Esq.'s Avatar
    Dear Editor:

    Am I an excellent Immigration Attorney or am I an excellent Immigration
    Lawyer?

    Larry Bodine writes (in his recent article in ILW.COM) that the word
    "ATTORNEY" is used more then the word "LAWYER".

    Rightfully so . . .

    This is probably because a "LAWYER" is only one who is "learned in the law".
    This could be anyone. It may even include an "agent" or a "notario"
    or even a "foreign legal consultant".

    However, an "ATTORNEY" is one who is "properly licensed before the Bar or by
    another appropriate and designated governmental licensing authority".

    Certainly make sense to us . . . Thanks Larry.

    Very truly yours,
  15. Gary M Ferman's Avatar
    As a recent Florida resident, and a US immigration lawyer who practiced in the UK for 30 years before, I think it is unfair to say that Rubio's stance is a political ploy or simply an effort to propel him to the VP Republican nominee race.

    It should be remembered that for his first two years in office President Obama had a Democratic majority in the House as well as the Senate. Hence it would be inaccurate to lay the blame for failure to pass the DREAM Act legislation solely on the anti-immigrationists in the Republican party.

    The current case pending before the Florida Supreme Court concerning an undocumented alien of Hispanic parentage seeking Florida Bar admission illustrates how important the DREAM Act or some variation of same is as a matter of fairness and enlightened immigration policy.
  16. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Is the GOP DREAM Act Counter a political ploy or a real attempt at reform? I think it should be supported regardless. If the Republicans drop the ball, the Dems should pick it up and run with it. The full Dream Act hasn't been enacted and it may never be enacted. Certainly, it isn't going anywhere with a Republican majority in the House. Why shouldn't the Dems support a compromise that could help tens of thousands of students to gain lawful status? An all or nothing strategy on the DREAM Act has not been any more successful than the all or nothing strategy towards legalization has been. The all or nothing DREAM Act strategy has deprived tens of thousands of students of an opportunity to gain lawful status. And the all or nothing legalization strategy has prevented reforms that were feasible before we had a Republican majority in the House, such as IIRIRA fixes, which would have saved American families from being broken apart by the draconian measures in IIRIRA.
  17. Rosa E. Kasse's Avatar
    I personally do not believe that Senator Rubio is drafting a Dream Act for the goodness of his heart. He has never supported anything related to legalization or to help Young people to legalize their status and to serve this county.

    Senator Rubio is very far away for the reality of being a Hispanic descendant and that his parents came from Cuba.

    We believe that anything he may do in regards to immigration is toward the dream of been choose as Vice President running mate of the Republican Candidate.

    We, the other Hispanics in Florida are not expecting anything good for immigrants from Senator Rubio since he has expressed his personal opinion already regarding to that matter. Hope God can change his heart toward our people.
  18. Aaron Cabrera's Avatar
    Does Rubio plan to change the current immigration laws? Even if the DREAMERS are granted noimmigrant status, they could potentially become permanent residents and eventually apply for US citizenship. This is just a ploy to dupe the US latino voters. The Republicans are getting desperate.
  19. gerit991's Avatar
    Did he pay for his own education or was he on government freebie education?
  20. Vitas J. Lukas's Avatar
    So, as I understand his proposal, they will only be able to get non-immigrant status, possibly with employment authorization, then may later be able to apply for permanent residence, but never for naturalization? We would be creating a second-class permanent resident. It is ridiculous and xenophobic! These are kids who, for the most part, never did anything wrong and had no say in wherther or not they would accompany their parents, as infants or toddlers, to the U. S. To punish kids for the transgressions of their parents smacks of resurgent fascism to me.

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