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  • Articles RSS Feed

    Published on 05-28-2013 03:38 PM

    OCAHO Dismisses Employee's National Origin and Citizenship Discimination and Retaliation; by Bruce Buchanan

    Bruce Buchanan

    OCAHO Dismisses Employee's National Origin and Citizenship Discimination and Retaliation; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    Jose Pablo Martinez, a U.S. citizen, filed a Complaint under the Immigration Reform and Control Act alleging Superior Linen (Superior) fired him because of his citizenship status and national origin and in retaliation for complaints he made about the company preferring unauthorized workers.

    Martinez’s allegations ...

    Published on 05-28-2013 02:43 PM

    Bloggings on Political Asylum

    by Jason Dzubow

    First Muslim Lesbian Couple to Wed in UK Seeks Asylum

    The*Daily Mail*reports that a “pair of Pakistani women have made history as the first Muslim lesbian couple to get married” in the United Kingdom:

    *

    The couple could not find an Imam to marry them or, apparently, a decent wedding photographer (focus!).

    The couple could not find an Imam to marry them or, apparently, a decent wedding photographer (focus!).

    Rehana Kausar, 34, and Sobia Kamar, 29, made history when they tied the knot in a register office civil ceremony, then immediately*applied for political asylum after they were wed, claiming their lives would be in danger if they*returned to their native country.

    The pair, from the Lahore and Mirpur regions of Pakistan, said they had received death threats from opponents in Pakistan – where homosexual acts are illegal ...

    Published on 05-28-2013 02:39 PM

    Bloggings on Deportation and Removal

    by Matthew Kolken

    REPORT: ICE takes 1,500 Immigrants into Custody Each Day

    Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration's latest report found that ICE takes*1,500 immigrants into custody in a typical work day, and of those taken into custody roughly 1,000 are ultimately deported. Only about 1/4 (360 immigrants)*of all individuals taken into custody are released by ICE, and a very small percentage (20 immigrants) are released under electronic ...

    Published on 05-28-2013 02:23 PM

    Bloggings On Dysfunctional Government

    by Angelo Paparelli

    The Immigration Scandal at DHS -- Just as Bad as at IRS

    Man with files.jpgImmigration law and tax law, although at first glance strikingly different, share much in common.  Each rivals the other in complexity.  Each permeates every nook and cranny of human behavior -- from commerce and criminality to love and divorce, from mental illness to extraordinary brilliance, from birth to death and everything in between. Though each is a distinct legal discipline, they are but variant species within the general fields of administrative law, litigation and appellate law, public and private international law, family law, estates and trusts, criminal law, and of course constitutional law.  The sting of taxes -- forever coupled with death as life’s two unavoidable realities -- likewise is yoked to our all-pervasive immigration laws in ways both subtle and obvious.

    Yet Americans are outraged when tax laws and revenue agents bite them, but seem scantly or not at all troubled when our immigration laws and their bureaucratic enforcers devour people and property rights.  No doubt this disparity of concern proves the maxim that it all depends on whether your own or your neighbor’s ox is gored.

    Thus, amnesty generates nary a peep if granted to tax cheats, but stands as an outrageous transgression against the rule of law if leniency and pragmatism are offered to aspiring Americans who lack legal status.  So too with the terabytes of digital ink spilled over the recent revelation that IRS agents in Cincinnati probed more searchingly applicants for non-profit designation of the Tea Party persuasion than supplicants on the left. 

    A scandal to be sure, but why is the public not similarly incensed when immigration agents cross the line and behave not as neutral technocrats but as political actors?

    Consider the recent action of the federal union representing the officers of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) who announced in a press release that it had signed on to a 

    Published on 05-28-2013 02:18 PM

    Bloggings on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

    Chris Musillo

    NEXT STEPS ON CIR


    Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, or what is generally called Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).* While this was a significant step, we are still a long way from actually having CIR as law.

    S.744 does many things.* This post will not talk discuss the specifics of the law but will focus on the next procedural steps that must happen if CIR is to become law.

    From here, the bill moves to the full Senate. *The conventional wisdom is that in June the full Senate will pass the bill.* *After the Senate acts is where it gets interesting.

    What the House will do is a wide-open question.** Some think that if the Senate passes the bill with a healthy majority, then the House will fall in line. *While the House will have its own bill, it may look a lot like S.744, if S.744 passes the full Senate with wide support.* For example, a 70/30 pass rate means that a lot of Republicans and Democrats have voted for it, which means strong bipartisan support.*

    If this happens we would expect to see House action before their recess in early August. *Pres. Obama will certainly sign the bill; there is zero chance that he will veto it. *So the next key date is mid/late June to see what the full Senate will do.

    On the other hand if the Senate cannot get to the “magic 70 number” then the House may craft a dramatically different bill, and predictions become muddy. *If the House starts from scratch with its own bill this could drag on for a ...
    Published on 05-28-2013 02:01 PM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Roger Algase

    Bloggings: Immigration Reform Advances in the Senate. But Will it Die in the House? By Roger Algase

    The conflict between the two chambers of Congress over immigration reform was summarized in two newspaper articles which appeared over the Memorial Day weekend. A May 27 Washington Post article, Conservatives stymied in attempts to weaken immigration reform law, describes the failure of intense efforts by long time immigration opponents such as Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to use poison pill amendments and scare tactics over border security and alleged costs of reform in order stop CIR.

    It is hard to avoid smiling over the consternation of politicians such as Sessions and the anti-immigration groups he represents over the unity shown by the Democratic and Republican Senate Gang of Eight members in turning back attempt after attempt to derail CIR in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The Washington Post article describes the Alabama Senator's reaction to the Committee's vote to send CIR to the Senate floor as follows:

    "'They announced flat out at the beginning of the process that they would rally around and defeat any amendment that would alter their agreement,' Sessions lamented of the group of four Democrats and four Republicans, known as the Gang of Eight. 'The core has held, and the bill is coming forward to the floor of the Senate with not a lot of changes.'"

    And another long time immigration opponent, Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, compared the reform efforts this year with those in 2007 as follows, according to the same ...

    Published on 05-28-2013 01:25 PM

    Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Section by Section Summary of the SKILLS Visa Bill (the Republican House Judiciary Committee Skilled Worker Bill)

    Daryll Issa was given the task of producing a high skilled worker bill for the series of piecemeal immigration measures being considered by the House Judiciary Committee. It's a mixed bag - stingy when it comes to green card numbers and less onerous when it comes to H-1B employer restrictions. It deals with some problems ignored in the Senate bill (such as giving E-2 nonimmigrants a green card path and including nurses and doctors in the STEM definitions). Overall, if you could swap the S.744 H-1B section for this one, keep the Senate's green card cap provisions and then blend the rest of the bills together, you would have a pretty good high skilled worker system.  

    ...

    Published on 05-24-2013 04:40 PM

    ICE Goes After Three Restaurants with Little Success at OCAHO

    Bruce Buchanan

    [Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is authored by Bruce E. Buchanan, an Attorney at the Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C.]

    Although most of the headlines talk about immigration reform, it’s business –as-usual at the Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), which issued three decisions involving restaurants in March 2013 severely reduced ICE’s proposed penalties.

    Black & Blue Steak & Crab – Fine reduced from $44,165 to $32,850

    Black & Blue Steak & Crab, a restaurant located in Williamsville, New York, was served with a Notice of Inspection by Immigration & Customs Enforcement ...

    Published on 05-24-2013 04:14 PM

    An Immigration Attorney's Response To Statement Of USCIS Union President Opposing Senate Immigration Bill, S. 744

    by Cyrus D. Mehta

    Kenneth Palinkas, President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, the union representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudications officers and staff, issued a statement joining a vocal minority of other government union bosses, most notably Chris Crane of the ICE employee union, opposing the Senate immigration bill, S. 744.

    Mr. Palinkas’ statement funnily reminds me of a Request for Evidence (RFE) that the USCIS routinely issues after it receives an application for an immigration benefit. An RFE typically lists the many real and phantom concerns that the USCIS may have about an application, which this statement does too.  I will attempt to respond to Mr. Palinkas’ statement like one would respond to an RFE, first repeating the concerns of the USCIS in bold followed by my response:

    USCIS adjudications officers are pressured to rubber stamp applications instead of conducting diligent case review and investigation. The culture at USCIS encourages all applications to be approved, discouraging proper investigation into red flags and discouraging the denial of applications. USCIS has been turned into an “approval machine.” 

    Really! We attorneys always thought that there was a “Culture of No” at the USCIS. I scratch my eyes with disbelief when you say that USCIS has been turned into an “approval machine.” How I wish there was some resemblance to what you say and what we actually experience in our day to day practice.  

    But seriously, what about all the H-1B and L-1 petitions that are filed, which receive an RFE of several pages, asking for the kitchen sink, even when the occupation is readily a specialty occupation or the position is managerial? Even after we respond with  triple or quadruple the number of pages contained in the RFE (and much longer than the instant response), your officers often deny the petition with a cursory denial. What “approval machine,” Mr. Palinkas, are you talking about?

    Actually, whether you like it or not, Congress did indeed make USICS an “approval machine.”  Your mandate is to grant the benefit whenever the eligibility requirements are met through a preponderance of the evidence standard. Congress created certain visas and green card categories because it believed that they would benefit the country. So a culturally unique folk singer should be granted the P-3 visa if she qualifies for it and the manager of a new startup office could also be granted the L-1A visa.  Please do not have any qualms in approving an application if it is deserved under the law, without factoring your own biases in the decision process such as the sluggishness in the economy or the national origin of the beneficiary. That is not your job. In fact, USCIS examiners should look to approving applications after carefully examining the evidence within the legal framework, which many of them do. It is they who are doing a good job!

    USCIS has created an almost insurmountable bureaucracy which often prevents USCIS adjudications officers from contacting and coordinating with ICE agents and officers in cases that should have their involvement. USICS officers are pressured to approve visa applications for many individuals ICE agents have determined should be placed into deportation proceedings.

    Mr. Palinkas, you may not be aware of this interesting paradox in our nation’s immigration laws. One may still be authorized to remain in the United States even though technically deportable.

    Published on 05-24-2013 04:09 PM

    Top 10 Most Common Form I-9 Questions

    by Ann Cun

    Top 10 Most Common Form I-9 Questions

    Although Congress is busying itself with hearings on E-Verify, the most pressing issues from our readers appear to be I-9 related.  I’ve compiled the top 10 questions most often asked by our webinar attendees and blog readers. This is a great starting place for many who are new to Form I-9 compliance and a good refresher for more seasoned readers to test your knowledge.  Read on to learn more:

    1.     For the new, revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/18/13 N), can we provide only the two-page form to the employee or must we provide all of the nine pages to the employee?

    Employees need access to the actual instructions (pages 1-6) as well as the List of Acceptable Documents (page 9).  Read here for more details.

    2.     What do I do if the employee does not have a social security number but I need it to initiate a case in E-Verify?

    You’ll have to allow the employee an opportunity to obtain a social security number if he/she does not already possess one.  Read more details here.  (Don’t forget to read the comments in the article for more details.)

    3.     How do I complete I-9 verification for employees who are not physically in the office?  Can I use notaries for these remote employees?  If so, how?

    For a long time, this question was asked repeatedly and in many different ways.  We finally dedicated one entire blog article to answer this question.  You can read it here.

    4.     Who is the issuing authority for the Social Security cards?

    Contrary to popular belief, the Social Security Administration is not the only government authority that issued social security cards. Inspect the card that is provided to you in order to find the issuing authority.  Can ...

    Published on 05-24-2013 12:42 PM

    Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Boehner: House Will Do Immigration Their Way

    Things are going swimmingly over in the Senate while the House doesn't seem to be able to figure out what it's going to do on immigration.

    The LA Times reports on a couple of interesting developments today:

    Differences over whether immigrants should be deported for failing to have health insurance or pay their healthcare billshave stalled a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, who blew past a self-imposed Thursday deadline as they pressed forward on a sweeping immigration overhaul.

    Negotiators emerged upbeat from a closed-door meeting in the Capitol and said they remained on track to produce a bill by June. That, in itself, was significant, after the group of eight was on the verge of breakup.

    “We were all positive that we can move ...

    Published on 05-24-2013 12:36 PM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Roger Algase

    Congress Debates CIR - While the Deportations Go On

    As CIR moves through the Senate through a minefield of anti-immigrant amendments, heading on a possible collision course with what could turn out to be an even more "enforcement" oriented House bill (if there is one), with more and more people thrown under the bus in a desperate effort to reach a compromise with right wing ...


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