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Showing posts from September, 2009

RFE Hell and Increased USCIS Filing Fees

Dear Director Mayorkas:
Last week in a speech you broached the subject of the possible need to increase filing fees because of a decrease in the number of applications received by USCIS this fiscal year. You also noted that there was over $100 million shortfall in your budget because of these decreased filings. I have some suggestions to meet your budget.First, look at your budget projections from this last year. Last October, who didn’t see the recession? Why weren’t reductions in force made at that time? On April 1 when only 33% of the H-1B applications were filed as compared to the year before, why didn’t USCIS staff get pared down? A monumental increase in naturalization applications occurred before the Presidential elections (as they do every 4 years), who did not not see a decrease in naturalization applications for 2009! My heck, every business in America was laying off employees, but not USCIS!Second, have a heart to heart talk with anyone who issues an RFE that requires more t…

Due Process Restoration Now!

There has been a lot of talk recently about what might be included in an immigration reform bill. Will there be a legalization/amnesty/forgiveness of “lawbreakers” rule? Will there be an expansion of employment based and family based immigrant visa numbers to solve the economically devastating backlogs we currently deal with? Will there be a mandatory E-Verify component? Will there be an interior enforcement focus? Will there be even more fences?The topic that seems to be lost in all this speculation is something I consider to be the overriding component of reform–the Key to holding a reform package together. I am speaking, of course, of Due Process Restoration. Anyone who deals with immigrants for any length of time is intimately familiar with the disaster that is our immigration enforcement system. It is not just that previous administrations have done a horrific job at the enforcement that should have been taking place, but rather, the missing component to that enforcement. When is…

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Jose Hernandez

The joys of social networking: anyone can say anything about anything and put it up for the entire world to read, whether they’re an average Joe making a passing comment about their favorite sports team, or an above-average Jose musing on comprehensive immigration reform from the international space station literally a million miles away – which is exactly what happened last week.U.S. Astronaut Jose Hernandez officially became NASA’s first astronaut to “tweet” in Spanish, causing his popularity among Mexicans in the U.S. and in Mexico to skyrocket (pun intended), and giving him a platform from which to discuss his views on immigration reform.Hernandez’s space travel was followed closely by Mexicans both on Spanish-language television and on Twitter, where his posts (both in English and in Spanish) covered everything from space travel to reviewing Mexico’s most recent World Cup Qualifier matches. Now that he is back on Earth, his “fans” are following him on a more serious topic – immig…

Raids Relations – The Changing Face of the American Workforce

A few weeks ago, Steven Camarota of the Washington-based think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) presented a new report entitled “Jobs Americans Won’t Do? A Detailed Look at Immigrant Employment by Occupation”. The report, which was profiled in a front-page article in the USA Today on September 14, 2009, speaks to a couple of underlying truths which have yet to be addressed by this new administration: 1) The presence of immigrant workers in the American workforce is still a sore spot, and 2) To what extent will these workers be needed again when the economy turns around?In the report, CIS examines the “before-and-after” scenarios of some of the meatpacking plants across the country that experienced work site raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The report claims that despite staggering numbers of employees arrested at these plants during the raids, the plants were back up and running within a few months, thanks to the number of American-born or legal immigrant w…

“LIAR:” What The Healthcare Debate Means for Immigration Reform

During President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Congressman Joe Wilson (R. SC), shouted “LIAR!” when President Obama stated that the proposed health care plan would not cover “illegal aliens.” Now, Joe Wilson said he should know this because he once was an immigration lawyer. Whether that meant immigration from or to South Carolina, I am not sure, but one thing is for sure, no one I know ever knew Joe Wilson the immigration lawyer. If by “immigration lawyer” Mr. Wilson meant that he once helped an immigrant get deported, I am not sure that really counts. But if “Joe the Immigration Lawyer” is like “Joe the Plumber,” then maybe he thinks he really was one.After all, an immigration lawyer would likely be able to understand what exactly the law means when it says that only citizens and permanent residents are covered under the Obama plan. What has caused Joe Wilson to react like this, besides a serious lack of self control, is the provision in the proposed leg…

DHS Wants Your Comments On Immigration!

Right now, the DHS is in the middle of its Quadrennial review, where, apparently all areas that DHS works on are subject to public comment and discussion. If you go to this page you can comment directly on a variety of DHS, including immigration issues. We understand that these comments are given directly to those in the highest levels of office at DHS.Very few folks have been aware of this opportunity. Probably most important is the way this administration has phrased the debate: “Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws – Ideas.”I invite everyone interested in immigration needs to be part of this public debate. Click on the above links, make your comment and demand real immigration reform, not twisted and ill-directed “enforcement” whose only purpose is to convince congressman who will still never vote for positive immigration reform to actually do so.