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Showing posts from February, 2010

Cross National Representation in the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Vancouver Games has been a showcase of cross national representation. Many athletes such as ski crosser Chris Del Bosco have had a choice in deciding which country to represent. Although Chris was born March 30, 1982 in Colorado Springs, CO, he skis for Canada. His father is a Canadian citizen which gave him dual citizenship allowing him to ski for either team.Yuko Kavaguti, a figure skater, is Japanese but skates for Russia. She was born in Aichi, Japan on November 20, 1981 and currently resides in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since 2003, Kavaguti has lived and trained in Russia and was awarded her Russian citizenship in 2009. Unlike Chris she has no family ties to Russia. In fact she has to apply for a visa when she goes home to visit her family. She says that “People who follow sports understand that I’m not a traitor. I still consider myself Japanese. I chose to compete for Russia because I didn’t have a [good] partner in Japan.” Yuko also shared that she has always wanted to compe…

BIA on Application of the Modified Categorical Approach to Conviction Assessment

Another bad decision issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals, February 19, 2010 — more often in recent months the Department of Homeland Security is trying (successfully sometimes) to go behind a state court’s conviction records to sustain removability charges against an individual in immigration proceedings. Obviously the line between federal and state is becoming very blurred, and it seems as though regardless of the conviction issued by a state court, federal court judges have free will to re-define the actual meaning of a conviction!! It is difficult enough when the immigration laws treat certain misdemeanor convictions as felonies, but the added burden of having to argue against the admission of facts, evidence, police reports, etc., is ridiculous!! Why not just combine state court and immigration court proceedings, and make life that much easier for the government?! This is absurd and immigration judges should not have discretion to re-try a case which has already been decide…

10 Americans Arrested in Haiti

In the days after the Haitian earthquake, Laura Silsby made a series of calls around the country to mobilize a trip to rescue orphaned children from the disaster. She enlisted members of her Baptist church and told them she had all the necessary paperwork. A few days later she was arrested along with nine other Americans while trying to bus 33 children into the Dominican Republic. She now claims to be a misguided good Samaritan but what the do-gooders allegedly did was not just misguided. It could be criminal, and Haitian authorities are right to hold them accountable.It doesn’t help matters that we are learning that Ms. Silsby is in a significant amount of debt- trafficked children are a hot commodity, each one could fetch thousands and thousands of dollars in the illegal adoption market and goodness knows how much in more sordid markets. Clearly, complying with the law was not first and foremost on Ms. Silsby’s list of priorities. These children could never have been adopted by US c…

An Update–The Line? What Line? The More Tragic Truth Emerges About Legal Immigration

In October 2009, I wrote a blog talking about the disastrously long waiting lines for legal immigration to the United States. InGet In The Line? What Line? The Tragic Tale of Employment Based Immigrant Visa Delays, I stated that:This delay in legal, employment based immigration is a crisis for America. If you are an intending immigrant, and your immigration option is employment based, do you have the patience the wait 15 years for your green card? Can you do better in Australia, Canada, or even back home in our home country? What is the cost to our future competitiveness of a broken legal immigration system? What is the cost to U.S. innovation?The Department of State just released its annual numbers for cases received by the National Visa Center, awaiting issuance of an immigrant visa at a consulate. The report says this:The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on November 3, 2009, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the …