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  • Articles RSS Feed

    Published on 07-08-2013 10:53 AM

    Bloggings on Dysfunctional Government

    by Angelo Paparelli

    USCIS, America's Immigration Cutcherry, Adopts New Procedures as the Boss Readies for a Move Upstairs

    Raj 2.JPGOver the 4th of July weekend, I devoured a fascinating book and, in the course of it, learned a new synonym for "bureaucracy"  -- "cutcherry" -- taken from Hindi and apparently originating with the British East-India Company's bureau office in what is now Chennai.

    The book, The Professor and the Madman ~ A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester, describes the unusual literary collaboration between Professor James Murray, who led most of the 70-year effort to compile the Oxford English Dictionary, and an American, Dr. William Chester Minor, acquitted of murder by reason of insanity and held for decades in a British asylum for the mentally ill. Dr. Minor was among the most prolific and insightful contributors to the OED, as this passage shows:  

    And yet as came the madness, so came the words. Many of those that fascinated him were Anglo -Indian, reflecting his birthplace: There were bhang, brinjal, catamaran, cholera, chunnam, and cutcherry. He liked brick-tea. By the time of the middle 1890s he became very active working on the letter D, and though there are some Hindustani words like dubash, dubba, and dhobi, he was interested also in what were regarded as the core words of the dictionary— and contributions of quotations are in the Oxford archives for such words as delicately, directly, dirt, disquiet, drink, duty, and dye. He was able more often than not to supply the quotation for the first use of a word— always an occasion for celebration.

    For years Prof. Murray and his staff were astounded at the time and energy their contributor, Dr. Minor, devoted to the OED.  They assumed that he was retired and did not know that his abundance of effort was a daytime remedy to keep at bay the psychological demons who assailed him at night.

    Often it seems that our own immigration cutcherry, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), labors with the energy and effort of a Dr. Minor and the vast army of co-contributors who helped Prof. Murray compile the OED.  Public outreach and engagements, both nationally and locally, are announced with great frequency, not just in English, but also in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Spanish.  

    The frequency and quality of these engagements are a testament to the man who introduced them, Alejandro Mayorkas, the USCIS Director the past four years.  Director Mayorkas, himself an immigrant from Cuba, has made great strides in transforming the world's largest immigration agency, a cutcherry ...

    Published on 07-08-2013 09:48 AM

    Immigration Law Blogs on ILW.COM

    by Roger Algase

    Bloggings: George W. Bush Boosts Immigration Reform, While House Republicans Continue to Tear it Down: Mission Not Yet Accomplished by Roger Algase

    George W. Bush, who tried but was unable to bring about immigration reform as president because of opposition in his own party, is now boosting CIR once again.

    According to the Huffington Post: George W. Bush: Immigration Reform Making Progress In Congress, July 7, Bush told ABC's "This Week" that lawmakers are making "some progress" in fixing a "broken system". 

    The former president also said: "Good policy yields good politics as far as I'm concerned."


    However, just as in 2007, anti-immigrant Republicans are determined to do everything possible to sabotage reform. Despite the Senate's having passed a CIR bill (S.744) which would throw an additional $30 billion and 20,000 more border patrol agents at the Mexican border, this is not enough for House Republicans such as Raul Labrador (Idaho) and Mike McCaul (Texas), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

    See, Politico: Labrador: Do immigration security before legalization, July 7, and McCaul: Senate bill throws 'candy' at border, July 7.

    The links are:


    Published on 07-08-2013 09:29 AM

    Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Carl Shusterman

    Unlawful Deportations of U.S. Citizens

    Today, I read an obituary in the Los Angeles Times entitled "He documented 1930s deportations". As an immigration attorney, and a former INS prosecutor, I wondered "What deportations?".

    The obituary was about Raymond Rodriguez (1926-2013), a historian from Long Beach, California who died on June 24. When Raymond was 10-years-old, his father, who had immigrated to the United States in 1918, was deported, never to see his family again.

    In 1995, he co-authored a book with university professor Francisco Balderrama entitled "Decade of Betrayal" which focuses on the unlawful deportation of over one million persons to Mexico in the 1930s. To my astonishment, it is estimated that 60% of the people deported to Mexico were U.S. citizens. According to the article, this program was an effort to free up jobs for white Americans during the Great Depression. "Americans, reeling from the economic disorientation of the depression, sought a convenient scapegoat. They found it in the Mexican community," as stated in the "Decade of Betrayal".

    How could I, as an immigration attorney for almost ...

    Published on 07-05-2013 10:43 AM

    Gotta Have Good Faith: Applying Good Faith Defenses Against I-9 Violations

    by Giselle Carson

    I-9, I-9 Audits, OCAHO, Penalty Cases

    [Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Giselle Carson, Attorney at Marks Gray, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida.]

    Employers often assert good faith compliance to mitigate charges and fines for alleged employment verification violations and/or charges of having knowingly hired an unauthorized worker.  However, in many instances this defense fails because the employer has not taken the proactive steps required for the defense to succeed.  What are effective ways to make the best use of the good faith defense? Read on to learn more.


    When Can Employers Benefit from the “Good Faith” Defense?

    1. When asserting an affirmative defense for good faith compliance with the hiring, recruiting, or referral for employment of an alien in the U.S.;
    2. When limiting liability for having complied with the employment verification requirement; and
    3. When assessing the appropriateness of civil monetary penalties imposed on employers.

    Good Faith Defense Applied to Form I-9 Technical/Procedural Violations

    This defense affords employers 10 days after notice to correct certain technical or procedural errors committed ...

    Published on 07-05-2013 09:08 AM

    Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    CBO: Senate Bill Would Dramatically Cut Illegal Immigration...But at a Cost

    The Congressional Budget Office released a report today analyzing the fiscal impact of the changes to the immigration bill made by the Hoeven-Corker Amendment. The bill would cost $38 billion more than it cost without the new security provisions, but it also would double the estimated reduction in illegal immigration. The price tag for the ...
    Published on 07-05-2013 08:56 AM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Roger Algase

    Bloggings: What Does it Really Mean to be an American in a Sharply Divided Nation? An Immigration Perspective. By Roger Algase

    As we celebrate the July 4th holiday weekend in the middle of an historic battle over immigration reform that may determine the face of America for a generation. it is worth thinking about what it means to be an American. Eric Liu, Bill Clinton's former speechwriter and policy advisor, whose parents were immigrants from China, has some ideas on this topic that deserve consideration.

    According to a July 4 Huffington Post article: Eric Liu: Asians Could Be Templates For Seeing Nuances Of Race, Citizenship 


    Liu states:

    "I reject the idea that to become American is to quote become white...There's got to be a way to be American that's just about being yourself, claiming this country but not trying to whitewash yourself...

    After all, when I look at some of the selfish, fear-mongering, divisive, anti-immigrant activists seeking to end birthright citizenship, I see living proof that being born here doesn't necessarily make you a good citizen. And I know many non-citizens in America who, in the ...

    Published on 07-03-2013 02:05 PM

    DOMA- Green Card- USCIS Issues Guidance!

    by Tahmina Watson

    This morning, The Department of Homeland Security issued much anticipated guidance on filing of same-sex marriage-based green card petitions.  Below is a copy of the text from the DHS website.  Here is a link to the website for ease of reference. As you may recall from our previous post, Director Mayorkas stated last week at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) conference he was awaiting guidance.  Here it is!  Watson Immigration Law is preparing to file cases.  If you have any questions, you can contact our office.

    Implementation of the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

    Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:

    Published on 07-03-2013 01:21 PM

    Bloggings on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

    Chris Musillo


    The House Judiciary Committee has passed the Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visa Act (SKILLS Act).  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) sponsored the SKILLS Act.  He has 20 co-sponsors. 

    The SKILLS Act would nearly triple the H-1B cap and also increase employment-based green card numbers.  Notably, Sec. 110 of the Act sets aside 4,000 immigrant visas for healthcare occupations, including nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other allied healthcare workers who work in rural or undeserved areas.  These immigrant visas are immediately available and not subject to retrogression.  

    This is the first step toward a House CIR bill.  The House is expected to spend the summer debating, proposing  and amending a variety of provisions.  Together these provisions will become the House CIR bill.  

    The House may administratively decide to have several smaller bills, rather than one large CIR bill, as has been done in the Senate.  It remains to ...
    Published on 07-03-2013 09:09 AM

    Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

    by Jason Dzubow

    Remembering the Evian Conference, 75 Years Later

    Next week marks the 75th anniversary of the Evian Conference, held from July 6-15, 1938. The purpose of the meeting was to find a solution to the problem of Jewish refugees fleeing from Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, the conference was an utter failure.

    First, a bit of background: Adolph Hitler came to power in 1933, in the midst of a world wide depression. At the same time, tight immigration quotas limited the number of people permitted to come to the United States, and given the dire economic situation, there was little political will or public interest in lifting restrictions to assist refugees. Meanwhile, the noose was tightening around German Jewry. As early as 1933, laws were enacted to restrict Jewish rights. In 1935, the Nazi government passed the Nuremburg Laws, which deprived Jews of their German citizenship. German Jews began to flee the country in increasing numbers. 

    Published on 07-03-2013 09:04 AM

    Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Section by Section Summary of the House High Skilled Worker Bill (With Amendments)

    Here's the marked up version of the Issa bill that passed in the House Judiciary Committee late last week.


    Issa bill with HJC amendments
    Published on 07-02-2013 02:16 PM

    Are We at the Dawn of the Golden Era of EB-5?

    by H. Ronald Klasko

    Having recently returned from the IIUSA Conference in Las Vegas, I was struck by the unprecedented confluence of events that together provide a rational basis for believing that the golden age of EB-5 may well be at our doorsteps. Although there are clouds that could overshadow this sunny outlook – processing delays, quota backlogs, another fraudulent project, among others – I would like to share some of the reasons for my optimism:

    The May 30, 2013 “binding” CIS EB-5 Policy Memorandum. This has been a long time coming. As I indicated in my last two blogs, it was worth the wait. Even if the substance of the Memorandum hadn’t been nearly as positive, it would still be a favorable development to finally have written and binding USCIS policy rather than trying to discern USCIS policy through a plethora of RFEs. However, the policies set forth in the Memorandum are in most cases policies that will enable the EB-5 program – and especially the regional center EB-5 program – to flourish. Regional centers are no longer limited to sponsoring projects in any particular industry and now have a streamlined mechanism of expanding their geographical boundaries. EB-5 money can be used to replace any form of ...

    Published on 07-02-2013 09:33 AM

    Immigration Law Blogs on ILW.COM

    by Roger Algase

    Bloggings: Jeb Bush Tries to Talk Ethnic Sense About Immigration Reform to the Republicans. Will They Listen? By Roger Algase

    in a June 30 Wall Street Journal oped: A Republican Case for immigration Reform, Jeb Bush (along with co-oped author Clint Bolick) tries to talk reason and reality about CIR to his fellow Republicans. Here is the link:


    Bush begins:

    "No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform - and leave in place a system that does all of those things."

    He continues:

    "The Senate immigration reform addresses most of the flaws of the current system. It reduces family preferences, increases the number of high-skilled visas, expands guest worker programs and creates a merit-based immigration system for people who want to pursue the American dream. It also offers a path to citizenship for those who were brought here illegally as children, and dramatically increases resources and tools for border security."

    Bush also argues that the Senate bill (S.744) does not provide amnesty, but only 13 year probation for those who came here illegally.

    What's not to like about Bush's description of the Senate bill, especially if one is a Republican who wants to keep legal Latino immigrants out by reducing family preferences, and illegal ones out by doubling the Border Patrol and throwing a $30 billion windfall at the big defense contractors to make up for lost profits from Iraq and Afghanistan?

    On this last point, see July 1, Washington Post: ...

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