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    Published on 03-27-2013 10:58 AM

    Bloggings on Deportation and Removal

    by Matthew Kolken

    300 people in immigration detention are held in solitary confinement at any given time

    The New York Times reports that at any given time in the Nation's 50 largest immigration detention facilities there are at least 300 immigrants held in solitary confinement.  The isolation typically lasts for at least two weeks, the time where an individual is at risk to psychological trauma. The article further reports that there are approximately 35 detainees held in isolation in excess of 75 days.

    Examples of individuals put in solitary confinement included an individual that was fasting because he was observing Ramadan, and a gay immigrant held in solitary for four months for his own protection.

    As for the conditions in solitary:

    While the conditions of confinement vary, detainees in solitary are routinely kept alone for 22 to 23 hours per day, sometimes ...

    Published on 03-27-2013 10:51 AM

    Bloggings on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

    Chris Musillo


    by Chris Musillo

    A little self-indulgence today.  I'm taking a brief time-out from the usual updates on healthcare immigration to note that this blog is seven years old.  The first blog post was on March 27, 2006 with my prior law firm.  At that time, few immigration law blogs existed.  The idea of a blog with such a narrow focus seemed a little naive, but thanks to a regular readership, the blog has thrived.  

    In November 2007, Sam at ILW.com asked if I would like to syndicate my blog through ILW.com, which I immediately agreed to do. 
    Readership immediately doubled. ILW.com has been a leader in immigration law information and a great supporter.  ILW.com now houses about a dozen blogs.  This one was the second.

    Between www.musillo.com and the ILW site, the blog regularly attracts 10,000 monthly page views, sometimes doubling or tripling that number.  The current iteration of the blog (since 2009) has attracted about a half million page views, which is a number that I never would have thought was possible in March 2006.  

    The best part about the blog has been the people that have connected with me through the blog.  I've been in Senate staff meetings and had Senior staff tell me that were regular readers.  AILA's Annual Conference is always a fun time because there are always a few AILA members who read my name tag and tell me that they are regular readers.  Readers, who are the blog's lifeblood, ...

    Published on 03-27-2013 10:15 AM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Leahy Warns Sessions Not to Obstruct Immigration Bill

    Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is an old school anti-immigration politician who is hardline on immigration enforcement and also against illegal immigration. And he's going to do everything he can to kill an immigration reform bill. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has just told Senator Sessions - "It's ON!".


    Bi-National Couples Pin Hopes on Tomorrow's Supreme Court Argument

    The news media is talking about the Supreme Court arguments today on California's same sex marriage law. But the pro-immigration community is closely watching tomorrow's arguments more. That's because the Defense of Marriage Act is being challenged. That act has two parts. One expressly allows states to not have to recognize same sex marriages from other states. The other part of DOMA says not federal agency can recognize a same sex marriage for federal benefits even if the marriage is recognized in the state where the couple lives. 

    It's the second issue that has an immigration impact. USCIS will not allow spouses to file green cards or other visa applications in same sex unions. And ICE has been destroying families by pursuing the deportations of people who would be eligible for green cards if DOMA were not the law. And it is this part of DOMA that pundits believe actually stands a better chance of being found unconstitutional by the Court.

    We probably won't know until June how the Court will rule, but best of luck to the anti-DOMA lawyers in their arguments tomorrow.


    Congress' Anti-Immigration Caucus Has Shrunk By A Third in Last Year

    The Immigration Reform Caucus in Congress was founded in 1999 by anti-immigrant then Congressman Tom Tancredo and has been the forum of choice for restrictionists in Congress. It grew over the years to 92 members five years ago. But now the group is down to just 58 and some of the members have been moving to the center on immigration (including, for example, Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte). Clearly, we're in a new day.

    The group claimed to have 93 members at the beginning of 2012. I haven't been able to verify that list, but I did find a link to its 2007 membership of 92 members, so that seems plausible. But today the group is down to just 58. 79 of the 93 returned to Congress this year and presumably they weren't all replaced by pro-immigration advocates.

    There are other signs that the group is largely defunct. It's Facebook page hasn't been updated in two years. It's current chair Ted Poe mentions on his web page that he's the new chair, but there is no link to anything about the group anymore as there was with past chairs. And even the reference to its 58 current members lacks a link so there is no way to actually see who they are.

    I was able to find the IRC web site after some hunting around. The site is barely active. Much of it is composed of dead or empty links and the membership roster is no longer found on the site. There are a handful of press releases that were posted up until a couple of weeks ago so someone seems to be putting a little time in to it. But the state of the site seems to indicate what has happened to the anti-immigration caucus in Congress.


    Study: Immigration Reform Could Boost Economy by $1.3 Trillion over Ten Years

    The Center for American Progress has a report showing projections of economic growth related to reform based on various legislative scenarios. The numbers get better the faster people move along the path to citizenship. But even if there is no citizenship in the end, the country would see a tremendous economic gain if reform becomes law.


    NYT: ICE Regularly Using Solitary Confinement in Detention Centers

    The Times ran a stunning investigative piece this weekend on the regular use of solitary confinement in immigration detention centers around the country. A couple of points -

    1. These are civil cases, not criminal ones.

    2. The confinement often lasts for months on end.

    3. The UN says anything more than 15 days absent extreme circumstances is tantamount to torture.

    ICE used the oldest excuse in the book when it declined to comment to the Times - they are just protecting the privacy of the detainees. ...

    Published on 03-26-2013 01:27 PM

    USCIS and Why You Need an Immigration Attorney

    by Charles Kuck

    Being an immigration attorney is a joy.  I absolutely love what I do.  Helping people navigate the nightmare that is our current immigration system, deal with an entrenched bureaucracy, and advocate for my client's legal and human rights are all part of a day's work.  Being part of changing people's lives for the better and helping make the American Dream begin is the ultimate reward.   But, not everyone likes what an immigration attorney does.  In fact, it appears that the USCIS is at the forefront of not liking immigration attorneys very much!

    As the result of recent litigation by the American Immigration Council, seeking through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) copies of USCIS training materials, a little gem was produced which goes a long way toward explaining USCIS hostility toward ...

    Published on 03-26-2013 01:19 PM

    Bloggings on Deportation and Removal

    by Matthew Kolken

    ICE Agent’s Union Warns Against "Rush to Push Through Massive Immigration Bill"

    The following statement was issued today by Chris Crane, National ICE Council President:

    From ICEUnion.org:

    As an ICE officer, and as the union representative for 7,000 ICE agents, officers and support staff, I applaud the Senators who authored the letter to Chairman ...

    Published on 03-26-2013 10:34 AM

    Will There Be A Marriage Between Immigration Reform and Equality for Same Sex Couples?

    by Roger Algase

    The last 10 days of September, 1996 were not good ones for tolerance, equality or human rights in America. On September 21, 1996, President Clinton signed DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies immigration rights, along with a host of other federal benefits, to same sex married couples.

    And on ...

    Published on 03-26-2013 09:14 AM

    Brown Around Town: The Blind Men and the Elephant

    by Jan H. Brown

    About The Author

    Jan H. Brown is ...

    Published on 03-25-2013 02:45 PM


    by Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta

    March 24, 2013

    "Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.” Rene Descartes
    Now is the time to change the way America counts green card numbers.  Congress is presently debating comprehensive immigration reform and grand events are likely to reshape the legal landscape. Yet, at such a seminal moment we ought not lose sight of the value of technical modifications that can have enormous consequences.  Most Americans, including virtually all policy makers, would be surprised to learn that the majority of green cards awarded each fiscal year go not to the principal aliens themselves but to dependent family members, thus reducing even further permanent migration to the United States. In fact, as the waiting lines over the past decade have grown ever longer, this pattern has become more pronounced.  A quick overview of green card distribution during the first decade of the 21st century quickly makes this evident.  Let us take employment based migration in the employment-based first preference (EB-1) category as our data sample. In 2000, there were 5,631 new arrivals under the EB-1, 2,241 went to the principal vs. 3,390 to family members. This means that family members accounted for 58.67% of EB-1.  In 2012, there were 1,517 new arrivals under the EB-1. 516 went to the principal & 1001 to family members. This means that family members accounted for 65.98% under the EB-1. Things are getting worse.

    It need not be that way. Neither the law nor logic commend or require such a result. Without creating a single new immigrant visa, Congress can eliminate quota backlogs and restore relevance to a green card system that is sorely in need of such restoration. The solution is simple but elegant: Count all members of a family together as one unit rather than as separate and distinct individuals. Do that and systemic visa retrogression will quickly become a thing of the past. Nor is this merely ...
    Published on 03-25-2013 02:31 PM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Danielle Beach-Oswald

    Bloggings: New I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form Implemented, by: Danielle L. C. Beach-Oswald

    Starting March 8, 2013, the new I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form went into effect.  We would like to remind all employers that earlier versions of the form are now invalid.  As of the 8th of March, employers who fail to use the newly revised form are subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a.  However the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does recognize that additional ...

    Published on 03-25-2013 02:17 PM

    Bloggings On EB-5

    by EB5Investors Staff

    Many Real Estate Developers Look to Using EB-5 Funds

    Today’s real estate world has begun to bounce back and development around the United States is increasing. Builders are on the move for more creative sources of funding and firms want to find different ways of raising money, other than the popular forms of tax credit lending and the use of mezzanine funding.

    Published on 03-25-2013 02:05 PM

    Bloggings on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

    Chris Musillo


    The American Health Care Association (AHCA) outlined its core principles for immigration reform in a March 12, 2013 Press Release. 

    The AHCA recommends that these principles shape immigration reform:

    1.       Let business and industry play a leading role. The long term and post-acute care profession is one of the largest job creators in the country and is willing and able to help drive solutions with Congress. Members of the long term care community employ immigrants and boost the economy. Any visa program must give employers, not the government, the primary say in which workers they need to staff their businesses. In addition, the labor market should also have the primary say in how many workers enter the country annually in a legal program.

    2.       Create a viable guest worker program that would accommodate the needs of U.S. healthcare providers. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects that, absent aggressive intervention, the supply of nurses in America will fall 36 percent ...
    Published on 03-22-2013 10:00 AM

    Supporting STEM Education Where It’s Most Needed?

    by Paul McDaniel

    Supporting STEM Education Where It’s Most Needed

    shutterstock_108612080Geography is a topic often lost in national-level immigration policy and the ensuing conversations around comprehensive reform. We frequently hear statistics cited at the national level. However, all too often, data at the metropolitan and local level – where the challenges and opportunities of immigration policy play out – are overlooked in policy debates.

    A new Brookings report released last week builds upon the issue of  H-1B demand for high-skilled workers at the metropolitan level, which they addressed in a 2012 report, by looking at the geographic component, or lack thereof, of the distribution ...

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