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Showing posts from January, 2010

What Happens When USCIS Breaks The Law?

Perhaps it has been too long since USCIS has truly been held accountable for its actions that it has become desensitized to the legal constraints under which it is permitted to operate. The USCIS is not given carte blanche to make whatever changes or interpretations it wants to long-standing immigration law, without first complying with the Administrative Procedure Act (”APA”). Yet, twice in the last two months the USCIS has issued “memos” that so dramatically change the framework under which these key programs operate, that it has clearly violated the APA.USCIS has taken ignoring Federal Law to a new level with its recent actions. Of course we all know that the USCIS has been illegally changing the rules as they apply to individual cases for the last several years by engaging in “rulemaking by RFE;” making ridiculous requests for evidence, not based on any legal requirement, but rather, based upon someone’s bizarre notion of what they think the law should be, not what it really is. N…

Important Information on Haiti Adoptions

I’ve been receiving lots of inquiries about how we can help the children who were orphaned by last week’s earthquake in Haiti. The answer is - it depends.Just like any foreign adoption, an inter-country adoption from Haiti is a complicated process requiring us to prove that the child in question is an orphan and obtain an adoption decree which complies with the laws of the child’s home country- in this case Haiti.Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State (DOS), announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that they receive the care they need.Children who have been identified as orphans eligible for adoption and who have been legally adopted in a Haitian Court or who were about to be adopted in a Haitian Court and who had established a relationship with the American prospective adoptive parents will be allowed …

Aid Groups Call for a Halt of New Adoptions in Haiti

Save the Children, World Vision and a unit of the British Red Cross have called for a halt for new adoptions in Haiti. The focus must be on tracing any family members that children may still have and reuniting them.“Any hasty new adoptions would risk permanently breaking up families, causing long-term damage to already vulnerable children, and could distract from aid efforts in Haiti,” the agencies said in a joint statement.Stories of Haitian orphanages struggling after the quake and the plight of the children there also has led many kind hearts to ask about adopting children.After reading a CNN report on Haitian orphans, CNN.com reader Dana Fanning wrote, “It broke my heart. My husband and our 4 children want to know if and how we could adopt [any] of the children orphaned by the earthquake.”Save the Children Chief Executive Jasmine Whitbread said the “vast majority” of children on their own in Haiti are not orphans, but were simply separated from their families in the chaos.Their fa…

Rep. Steve King–The New Ebenezer Scrooge

Sometimes, there are no words to describe someone’s insensitivity. You just have to let them express it themselves. So, I give you the words of Reprsentative Steve King (R. Iowa), explaining why TPS for Haitians is not necessary:Illegal immigrants from Haiti have no reason to fear deportation, but if they
are deported, Haiti is in great need of relief workers and many of them could be
a big help to their fellow Haitians.Rep. King’s statement is reminiscent of Scrooge’s statement from “The Christmas Carol:”First Collector: At this festive time of year, Mr. Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?
First Collector: Plenty of prisons.
Ebenezer: And the union workhouses – are they still in operation?
First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.
Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I’m very glad to…

“Mikey Hicks, 8, Can’t Get Off U.S. Terror Watch List”

Okay, so I completely understand and fully support the need for a watch list to protect the safety of all of those who fly, and for protecting the United States in general. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t pat down the Nigerian underwear bomber to the same degree that they have been patting down this eight year old U.S. citizen from New Jersey since he was two years old? Apparently, the name Mikey Hicks is on the second tier watch list which requires high level security screening. The poor kid has gone through intense scrutiny every single time he and his family have flown into and out of the United States. The question I have then is, which list was the Nigerian listed on? Was he on the second tier list, or the first tier? My argument is not that they failed in discovering the powder in his underwear – what I learned in watching the reports is that powder substances are nearly undetectable, but what I want to know is, what type of screening was he subject to? Anything beyon…

It is Time for TPS Designation for Haitians

Haiti, the poorest nation in our hemisphere, and the one of poorest nations in the world, was hit by yet another natural disaster–a 7.0 earthquake. This after a Haiti has endured four major storms in 2008, from which it has yet to recover. Tropical Storm Fay and hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike – pounded Haiti in August and September 2008, killing a total of 793 people and leaving more than 300 others missing, according to government figures. The country was also gripped by a tense political standoff in April 2008 amid riots over skyrocketing food prices. UN troops are a regular sight throughout much of the country. Frankly, I cannot imagine a worse situation in a country. Certainly, if ever there were the need for a country and a people to be given a helping hand, this is the time, and this is the country. Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano, Please grant Temporary Protected Status (”TPS”) to Haitians currently in the United States. Temporarily stop deportations to Haiti. Gi…

Immigration and the Economy–We Need CIR Now!

Today the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council, along with the Center for American Progress issued a report confirming what many people of rationale mind (including the vast majority of Americans) already knew–It would be an economic disaster to deport 12 million people. The loss of this vital economic element would cause a loss to the U.S. Economy of over 2 TRILLION dollars over the next 10 years. Hey, I think that is real money!Raising The Floor For American Workers, written by UCLA Professor Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, highlights the economic reality of the the undocumented population in the United States, how tied in they are to the economic engine of the United States, and what an economic nightmare we, as Americans, would deal with if we followed the failed deportation-only policies advocated by immigration restrictionists.More importantly, Dr. Hinojosa-Ojeda found that not only is a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws (involving BOTH a legalizatio…

The IRS, Tax Preparers, and the Danger of Notarios

Any immigration lawyer who handles immigration court cases, particularly those involving claims for cancellation of removal, knows the problems caused by badly, and at times fraudulently, prepared tax returns. Most immigrants want to “pay” their taxes. They go to the local notario who instructs them to do things such as claiming “Head of Household,” when in fact they are married and not eligible for this benefit, or has them claim their cousins in Outer Whatzitstan as dependents.
Most times, from my experience, these tax returns are filed in ignorance by the immigrant, but with full knowledge by the preparer that the return is fraudulent. But it is the immigrant who pays the price for the fraud in front of the immigration judge. It seems the IRS has finally decided that enough is enough. The IRS announced yesterday that it will begin to regulate all preparers of tax returns. As many as a million of them! Now ask yourself. If the IRS can do this, why is the USCIS NOT doing this? As attor…

The Foundling

I saw an interesting article in the Dallas Daily News today about a man called Robin Whiteley. In 1974, a midwife in El Paso, Texas, placed a day-old baby in the arms of Lora and Royce Whiteley of Fort Worth. Six years later, they officially adopted Robin. Neither the United States nor Mexico has a record of his birth. He grew up, went to school and eventually got married and started a family of his own. Unfortunately, Whiteley, who doesn’t speak Spanish, was recently deported to Mexico on the assumption that it was his country of origin. Although Mr. Whiteley’s parents followed the advice given to them by immigration officials and tried repeatedly to help their son, they were never able to regularize his status. It’s a shame that the immigration officials didn’t understand the laws they supposedly enforce and were not able to advise them correctly. Children who are found in the United States are presumed to be US citizens absent evidence to the contrary. Alternatively, they could sim…