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Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Settlement opens up amnesty for tens of thousands of immigrants

  1. #1
    For two decades, Anaheim businessman Erkan Aydin has taken on a task unimaginable for most immigrants like himself: trying to convince the U.S. government that he was here illegally.

    Aydin, 50, arrived in the United States from his native Turkey with a valid student visa in 1981, but fell out of legal status when he failed to enroll in school, he said.

    The customer service representative has a powerful reason why he wants to be considered an illegal immigrant. It would make him eligible for the amnesty offered to 2.7 million illegal immigrants under the 1986 immigration reform law.


    Thanks to a recent legal settlement, the chance to apply for amnesty is finally open to Aydin and tens of thousands of others who entered the country on a valid visa but fell out of legal status between 1982 and 1988. The settlement, approved this fall by a U.S. district court in Washington state, stems from a class-action lawsuit filed by attorney Peter Schey originally on behalf of an immigrant assistance program of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

    "I have been born again, like a new baby," Aydin said last week in his Anaheim car dealership office. "I will start a beautiful life in this beautiful country."


    The landmark reform law offered a one-time amnesty to immigrants who were in the United States unlawfully from before 1982 to about 1988.

    But Congress was concerned that those who entered the country with a valid visa would argue that they fell out of legal status during that time simply to qualify for amnesty. As a result, Schey said, Congress created a rule requiring immigrants to show that their shift from legal to illegal status was "known to the government."

    That rule, however, created a new problem: How to prove that the government knew about their violations?


    Nigeria native Olaniyi Sofuluke, for instance, came to the United States in 1981 on a student visa to study banking and finance at Troy State University (now Troy University) in Alabama. But, lacking funds, he soon dropped out to work as a dishwasher in two Atlanta restaurants until he could earn enough for his tuition and living expenses.


    That violated his visa conditions and threw him into illegal status. The university was required to send a notice to the U.S. government that Sofuluke had dropped out but was not able to provide him with a copy when he requested one five years later. So immigration officials rejected his amnesty application, saying his violations were not known to the government.

    Schey, however, successfully argued that because schools were legally required to send the notices, it should be presumed that the government received them and therefore knew about the violations.


    He also successfully argued that the government knew many immigrants had violated their status another way: by failing to furnish an address report every three months. The government's failure to produce the address reports showed that the immigrants had not filed them, violating the terms of their visa, he argued.

    U.S. immigration officials accepted both arguments in the settlement. They have announced that immigrants whose cases involve violations known to the government may apply for amnesty between Feb. 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010.


    Although the settlement was announced in September, many immigrants are just learning about it. Sofuluke, now a Maryland administrator, just found out about it last week.

    "I couldn't even eat dinner, I was so full of joy," he said. "I've been in the twilight zone all of this time."

    As a banker in Nigeria, he said his colleagues would return from studying in the United States and regale him with stories about the land of opportunity.

    He devoured news about the United States in Time and Newsweek, he said, and finally got his chance to study here in 1981.


    He eventually earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA, started a dry cleaning business that employed 16 people, bought his own home and began doing volunteer work with the disabled. (He was given a work permit while his amnesty application was pending.)

    "You can find the greatest opportunities here," he said in a phone interview. "That's why we call America 'the golden egg.' "

    The settlement marks Schey's third and final class-action lawsuit over the 1986 amnesty law. The previous lawsuits, both settled in 2003, resulted in more than 150,000 immigrants being allowed to apply for amnesty.


    In the first lawsuit, Schey successfully challenged U.S. policy that effectively barred from amnesty applicants who traveled outside the United States roughly between 1986 and 1988. Although Congress specifically allowed a "brief, innocent and casual absence" during that period for, say, holiday visits, immigration authorities at the time essentially declared that anyone who left and reentered illegally was not "innocent" and therefore became ineligible for amnesty.


    In the second lawsuit, Schey argued against the rejection of amnesty applicants who had returned home and reentered with a valid visa. Immigration officials at the time held that the reentry was legal, breaking the continued illegal residency required for amnesty. Schey argued, however, that the reentry was illegal because the immigrants would have to have lied about themselves when they applied for the visa to return.

    Schey said that amnesty will allow countless immigrants to report crime without fear of deportation, to visit ailing parents back home and to leave exploitative jobs.


    "It will make an immeasurable difference in the lives of thousands of people," Schey said. "For many of them, it will be the first time since they entered the country 30 years ago that they will be able to move forward and end their underground existence."

    For Aydin, the settlement will give him the chance to fulfill a long-held dream of serving his adopted country in law enforcement or the military.

    Once he has his green card, he said, he plans to pursue a master's degree in criminal justice administration with an eye toward joining the Navy, Secret Service, FBI or CIA.


    "For many years, I wanted to serve this country, but I haven't had the opportunity," Aydin said. "Now I'm happy I'll finally have the chance."

  2. #2
    For two decades, Anaheim businessman Erkan Aydin has taken on a task unimaginable for most immigrants like himself: trying to convince the U.S. government that he was here illegally.

    Aydin, 50, arrived in the United States from his native Turkey with a valid student visa in 1981, but fell out of legal status when he failed to enroll in school, he said.

    The customer service representative has a powerful reason why he wants to be considered an illegal immigrant. It would make him eligible for the amnesty offered to 2.7 million illegal immigrants under the 1986 immigration reform law.


    Thanks to a recent legal settlement, the chance to apply for amnesty is finally open to Aydin and tens of thousands of others who entered the country on a valid visa but fell out of legal status between 1982 and 1988. The settlement, approved this fall by a U.S. district court in Washington state, stems from a class-action lawsuit filed by attorney Peter Schey originally on behalf of an immigrant assistance program of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

    "I have been born again, like a new baby," Aydin said last week in his Anaheim car dealership office. "I will start a beautiful life in this beautiful country."


    The landmark reform law offered a one-time amnesty to immigrants who were in the United States unlawfully from before 1982 to about 1988.

    But Congress was concerned that those who entered the country with a valid visa would argue that they fell out of legal status during that time simply to qualify for amnesty. As a result, Schey said, Congress created a rule requiring immigrants to show that their shift from legal to illegal status was "known to the government."

    That rule, however, created a new problem: How to prove that the government knew about their violations?


    Nigeria native Olaniyi Sofuluke, for instance, came to the United States in 1981 on a student visa to study banking and finance at Troy State University (now Troy University) in Alabama. But, lacking funds, he soon dropped out to work as a dishwasher in two Atlanta restaurants until he could earn enough for his tuition and living expenses.


    That violated his visa conditions and threw him into illegal status. The university was required to send a notice to the U.S. government that Sofuluke had dropped out but was not able to provide him with a copy when he requested one five years later. So immigration officials rejected his amnesty application, saying his violations were not known to the government.

    Schey, however, successfully argued that because schools were legally required to send the notices, it should be presumed that the government received them and therefore knew about the violations.


    He also successfully argued that the government knew many immigrants had violated their status another way: by failing to furnish an address report every three months. The government's failure to produce the address reports showed that the immigrants had not filed them, violating the terms of their visa, he argued.

    U.S. immigration officials accepted both arguments in the settlement. They have announced that immigrants whose cases involve violations known to the government may apply for amnesty between Feb. 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010.


    Although the settlement was announced in September, many immigrants are just learning about it. Sofuluke, now a Maryland administrator, just found out about it last week.

    "I couldn't even eat dinner, I was so full of joy," he said. "I've been in the twilight zone all of this time."

    As a banker in Nigeria, he said his colleagues would return from studying in the United States and regale him with stories about the land of opportunity.

    He devoured news about the United States in Time and Newsweek, he said, and finally got his chance to study here in 1981.


    He eventually earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and an MBA, started a dry cleaning business that employed 16 people, bought his own home and began doing volunteer work with the disabled. (He was given a work permit while his amnesty application was pending.)

    "You can find the greatest opportunities here," he said in a phone interview. "That's why we call America 'the golden egg.' "

    The settlement marks Schey's third and final class-action lawsuit over the 1986 amnesty law. The previous lawsuits, both settled in 2003, resulted in more than 150,000 immigrants being allowed to apply for amnesty.


    In the first lawsuit, Schey successfully challenged U.S. policy that effectively barred from amnesty applicants who traveled outside the United States roughly between 1986 and 1988. Although Congress specifically allowed a "brief, innocent and casual absence" during that period for, say, holiday visits, immigration authorities at the time essentially declared that anyone who left and reentered illegally was not "innocent" and therefore became ineligible for amnesty.


    In the second lawsuit, Schey argued against the rejection of amnesty applicants who had returned home and reentered with a valid visa. Immigration officials at the time held that the reentry was legal, breaking the continued illegal residency required for amnesty. Schey argued, however, that the reentry was illegal because the immigrants would have to have lied about themselves when they applied for the visa to return.

    Schey said that amnesty will allow countless immigrants to report crime without fear of deportation, to visit ailing parents back home and to leave exploitative jobs.


    "It will make an immeasurable difference in the lives of thousands of people," Schey said. "For many of them, it will be the first time since they entered the country 30 years ago that they will be able to move forward and end their underground existence."

    For Aydin, the settlement will give him the chance to fulfill a long-held dream of serving his adopted country in law enforcement or the military.

    Once he has his green card, he said, he plans to pursue a master's degree in criminal justice administration with an eye toward joining the Navy, Secret Service, FBI or CIA.


    "For many years, I wanted to serve this country, but I haven't had the opportunity," Aydin said. "Now I'm happy I'll finally have the chance."

  3. #3
    The amnesty that was passed by the Congress of 1986, then signed into law by the President:

    (1) It was designed to legalize illegal immigrants who entered USA, before 1982 and on the last day of 1981 they were here illegally.

    (2) Congress makes the laws and the Courts translate the meaning of the law for the people to understand.

    (3) The issue here is what happened September 9, 2008? What did the Court say about the people who can apply?

    (4) The Court and lawyers who quickly attended the hearings overlooked details too important for you to ignore.

    (5) Congress never said that a new section of the law created for only those who entered with a visa prior to January 1, 1982.

    (6) Congress never gave the Court the right to design a new law - the Court could only translate laws, but not create a special group of foreign students who entered with the F-1 or other classes of people. This can only lead to more problems with the illegal immigrants.

    (7) You cannot apply or refuse to apply for benefits under this new rule created for the few - this would be called DISCRIMINATION.

    (8) Any person who entered the USA and falls under the definition section 245A can apply for benefits under this new rule. Simply because the Court completely disregarded section 245A and created a law or rule that is not even closely related to the law passed and signed in 1986.

    (9) If you ask me, this can only be a away to find more F-1s or people who could be a problem to this country !

  4. #4
    I agree with Hard Rock. The court ruling was illegal.

    I'd like to add another aspect to the illegal ruling. Here's what happens after you apply. Remember, section 245A applicants are far more vulnerable to foul play than say a family based applicant, here's why. The USCIS is basically run similar to the Mexico City Police Department. They have a basic protocol, and some set rules. But their own rules are not enforced and their officers are not supervised. To add much more fuel to the fire, after 911 the INS was given super powers over the aliens, and reemerged as the new and much more evil USCIS. How's that?? Well.....they did away with judicial intervention. Imagine how it would be if this was inflicted onto the general US population?? ( The police accuse you of something.. anything? Then convict and sentence you. No trial, No Judge, No Justice, and No Repercussions if their Wrong) Therefore encouraging and already obstinate, arrogant, and constipated department to cross that fine line into flat out corruption while maintaining their proverbial constipation. Beautiful, thanks Mr. Bush.

    Applying for legalization in America under section 245A is now like volunteering yourself to the Spanish Inquisition. Some immigration officer just might not like the way your left front tooth sits in your head, and call you a witch. Bang! Your Dead.

  5. #5
    Hi Unique, you are right
    Do you still suggest to apply with this new settlement?

    Figaro

  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Do you still suggest to apply with this new settlement? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Good question Figaro1d,

    If you were denied via CSS/Newman/LULAC I don't see how or why the USCIS would ever approve you under this new deal? Remember the function if the USCIS is to keep foreigners out of America. If they have already denied you, why would they overturn their own decision for virtually the same case? The answer is.... they won't.

    Some might think that this will buy them time. Remember we are all getting older, this new thing could allow you to stay in the US for another 3 or 4 years. Then what? Now you're 3 or 4 years older when you have to leave, and restart your life elsewhere.

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