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    Published on 03-28-2013 10:33 AM

    Bloggings On Political Asylum

    by Jason Dzubow

    Pity the Persecutors

    Passover is the holiday where we remember the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. As we all know, it didn’t end well for the Egyptians, what with the 10 plagues (including death of the first born – oy vey!), and then the business about drowning in the Red Sea.

    The Passover Seder is the meal where we re-tell the story of the Exodus. At the Seder, we dip our finger (or a spoon for the germ-o-phobes among us) into  our wine 10 times, and remove one drop each time. This reminds us that the joy of our liberation is diminished by the suffering of the Egyptians.

    Don't you Jews eat any other part of the Matzah?

    Don’t you Jews eat any other part of the Matzah?

    I often think about how the source countries for my clients are affected by my clients’ departure. Many of my clients are well educated and talented people. They are exactly the type of people the source countries need in order to improve. The only problem is that such people are often targeted by fascist regimes (like the Syrian government) or extremists movements (like the Taliban).

    Some would argue that people like my clients should stay in their countries and work (or fight) for change. That is easy to say for people who do not live in such places, and who do not face threats to themselves and their family members. Many of my clients did, in fact, work for change in their countries before they left. For example, I am about to file the case of an Afghan man who worked for various NGOs helping children and women. After receiving many threats, he was brutally attacked with a knife (necessitating numerous surgeries), and finally fled for his life. His case is in some ways typical of my clients. They continue their good work in the face of death threats, but at some point, ...

    Published on 03-28-2013 10:27 AM

    Bloggings on Deportation and Removal

    by Matthew Kolken

    300% Drop in Number of DACA Applications

    The Texas Tribune reports that there has been a 300% drop in the number of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications.  Last September there were more than 5,700 DACA applications submitted to USCIS each day.  The number of application has dropped to 1,680 applications per day.

    There have been 453,600 DACA applications filed, 73,260 of which originated from ...

    Published on 03-28-2013 10:16 AM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    How Many Will Die if the AFL-CIO Can Scrap the Guest Worker Program?

    Earlier today, Ana Avendańo of the AFL-CIO said a guest worker program wasn't an important part of immigration reform. And as I've pointed out in several posts in recent days, the AFL-CIO has been doing everything it can to ensure a guest worker program is as small as possible and so difficult to use that it wil largely be non-existent.

    But maybe she should remember the more than 5,500 people who have died crossing the border over the last fifteen years as enforcement has tightened. Just this past year, the death rate accelerated by 27%. So many people are dying because we don't have a guest worker program and people take their chances out of sheer desperation to work. The AFL-CIO talks about preventing workers from being exploited, but not having a legal way for companies to hire workers is a far worse alternative.

    The recent National Foundation for American Policy report on this subject says it all:

    In 2007, Congress debated and failed to pass an immigration reform bill. “Poison pill” restrictions on a new temporary visa program favored by businesses have been cited as a key reason for the bill’s failure. Since the failure of Congress to pass immigration reform legislation in 2007, more than 2,000 people have died near theSouthwest border. If another 5 years goes by without Congress approving new legal temporary visas for workersit is predictable that an additional 2,000 people will die simply because they wanted to work in America.

    I'll say it again. The AFL-CIO is supporting legalizing workers already here because they know that train has left the station and they don't want to be perceived as being anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant. They know they will continue their downward membership spiral unless they appeal to the millions who will be legalized. But they also are kowtowing to their existing member unions who want to keep out future immigrants by whatever means possible. And they're trying to deflect attention from this fact by saying that ...

    Published on 03-27-2013 02:02 PM

    Immigration Reform is an LGBT Issue

    by Victoria Neilson

    Immigration Reform is an LGBT Issue

    image (3)

    By Victoria Neilson, Legal Director, Immigration Equality

    This week the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in two cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, that will forever change the course of the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality.  While we are hopeful that the Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) thereby clearing the way for the federal government, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State, to honor our marriages, no one can predict with any certainty what the Court will do.  

    Our ...

    Published on 03-27-2013 11:07 AM

    Bloggings on I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

    Bruce Buchanan

    Office of Special Counsel Settles with Georgia Company over Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices, within the Department of Justice, has reached ...

    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

    THE BLOG IS SEVEN

    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 ...


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