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Thread: Continuum of DOL L/C - USCIS 140/485 - Visa Number (Priority Dates)

  1. #1
    Source: The Oh Law Firm

    In the immigration proceedings, three agencies (Department of Labor, USCIS, and State Department) are closely interrelated and the workloads of each agency are affected by the policies and practices of the other related sister/brother agencies. It is like a stream of water flowing down in the valley. As more labor certification applications are approved in a shorter period of time, the increased volumes of I-140 petitions and I-485 applications will be dumped to the USCIS. Additionally, depending on the processing speed of I-140 petition or I-485 applications by the USCIS, it will add the workloads to the visa posts for immigrant visa applications, and eventually add pressures on the available immigrant visa numbers due to the current immigrant quota system. It thus appears that it is critically important that these three agencies work closely together and coordinate their policies and practice such that one agency would not create a mess with the related agency down the stream. For instance, both the DOL and USCIS initiated the reengineering of their systems and adjudication processes: DOL devised the backlog reduction plan and PERM program and the USCIS initiated electronic processing system and other changes including concurrent filing and concurrent adjudications as being tested in the form of so-called PILOT Programs.

    Imagine the opening of flood gate if the DOL launched backlog reduction (300,000 cases) and PERM Program (21-day adjudication of labor certification applications) as scheduled under the DOL's 5-Year Strategic Plan of 1998. Had there not been 9/11 and its aftermath, the immigration agency probably could have met the challenge coming from this sister/brother agency's strategic plan for backlog reduction, even though we do not have any solid evidence that there was such coordination of policies between the Legacy INS and the U.S. Department of Labor. The 9/11 event changed everything. Unlike the labor certification proceedings, the USCIS' immigration proceedings are constrained by the priority task and mission of homeland security and the adjudication of I-485 applications can not be accomplished in such a rapid pace because of the political pressure for immigration "enforcement" and "security" assurance. The 9/11 has already created mountains of backlogs for the USCIS and things have been moving in a snail pace because of the political environment. Is the USCIS ready to deal with the flood of water flowing down from the U.S. Department of Labor, when it could not even handle its own existing backlog problems? Consumers may want to know what kind of efforts these two agencies are undertaking to coordinate their policies and practices.

    President promised 5-year reduction program within five years. It is an open question how this could be achieved when the homeland security work within the Administration is probably completed less than a half to meet the mandate under the Homeland Security Act. Immigration proceedings are perceived by the population and the politics in this country as the focal point for protection of homeland security, and the speed of adjudications as affected by the security protection needs is expected to remain with the immigration system for a while. Granted, however, that the five-year plan is achievable and indeed achieve in 2006. It will indeed dry up the immigrant visa numbers accross the board including family-based as well as employment-based categories. The quota system is going to be so clogged that this country's immigration system may collapse. On top of this, the government has been talking about so-called Temporary Guest Worker Program.

    Probably this country needs an entity at the higher level to review and coordinate the immigration policies and issues. The entity can be a part of the White House or legislative branch. This country lacks clearly vision and direction when it comes to the immigration. Everybody is kicking around "immigration" soccer ball sporatically towards all directions without a long-term national plan. Maybe, the year 2005 should be set aside and marked as a year for national forum for discussion and concensus for this country's direction for immigration without being tainted by election politics and party politics and agenda.

  2. #2
    Source: The Oh Law Firm

    In the immigration proceedings, three agencies (Department of Labor, USCIS, and State Department) are closely interrelated and the workloads of each agency are affected by the policies and practices of the other related sister/brother agencies. It is like a stream of water flowing down in the valley. As more labor certification applications are approved in a shorter period of time, the increased volumes of I-140 petitions and I-485 applications will be dumped to the USCIS. Additionally, depending on the processing speed of I-140 petition or I-485 applications by the USCIS, it will add the workloads to the visa posts for immigrant visa applications, and eventually add pressures on the available immigrant visa numbers due to the current immigrant quota system. It thus appears that it is critically important that these three agencies work closely together and coordinate their policies and practice such that one agency would not create a mess with the related agency down the stream. For instance, both the DOL and USCIS initiated the reengineering of their systems and adjudication processes: DOL devised the backlog reduction plan and PERM program and the USCIS initiated electronic processing system and other changes including concurrent filing and concurrent adjudications as being tested in the form of so-called PILOT Programs.

    Imagine the opening of flood gate if the DOL launched backlog reduction (300,000 cases) and PERM Program (21-day adjudication of labor certification applications) as scheduled under the DOL's 5-Year Strategic Plan of 1998. Had there not been 9/11 and its aftermath, the immigration agency probably could have met the challenge coming from this sister/brother agency's strategic plan for backlog reduction, even though we do not have any solid evidence that there was such coordination of policies between the Legacy INS and the U.S. Department of Labor. The 9/11 event changed everything. Unlike the labor certification proceedings, the USCIS' immigration proceedings are constrained by the priority task and mission of homeland security and the adjudication of I-485 applications can not be accomplished in such a rapid pace because of the political pressure for immigration "enforcement" and "security" assurance. The 9/11 has already created mountains of backlogs for the USCIS and things have been moving in a snail pace because of the political environment. Is the USCIS ready to deal with the flood of water flowing down from the U.S. Department of Labor, when it could not even handle its own existing backlog problems? Consumers may want to know what kind of efforts these two agencies are undertaking to coordinate their policies and practices.

    President promised 5-year reduction program within five years. It is an open question how this could be achieved when the homeland security work within the Administration is probably completed less than a half to meet the mandate under the Homeland Security Act. Immigration proceedings are perceived by the population and the politics in this country as the focal point for protection of homeland security, and the speed of adjudications as affected by the security protection needs is expected to remain with the immigration system for a while. Granted, however, that the five-year plan is achievable and indeed achieve in 2006. It will indeed dry up the immigrant visa numbers accross the board including family-based as well as employment-based categories. The quota system is going to be so clogged that this country's immigration system may collapse. On top of this, the government has been talking about so-called Temporary Guest Worker Program.

    Probably this country needs an entity at the higher level to review and coordinate the immigration policies and issues. The entity can be a part of the White House or legislative branch. This country lacks clearly vision and direction when it comes to the immigration. Everybody is kicking around "immigration" soccer ball sporatically towards all directions without a long-term national plan. Maybe, the year 2005 should be set aside and marked as a year for national forum for discussion and concensus for this country's direction for immigration without being tainted by election politics and party politics and agenda.

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