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Showing posts from April, 2010

The Arizona Law and Immigration Reform

Much has been written and said about the new Arizona Law pertaining to immigrants (it pertains to everyone actually, and certainly is not limited to undocumented immigrants). From Eugene Robinson and Richard Cohen at the Washington Post, to John Stewart on The Daily Show, and even Tom Tancredo, everyone is up in arms about this law. We have heard from Megan McCain(John McCain’s daughter), President Obama, and even from Governor Jan “Show Me Your Papers” Brewer, all opine about the law and WHY the Arizona Legislature had to act on “illegal” immigration.The conventional wisdom now is that Congress will be “forced” to act on immigration reform. The caution to understand here, from pundits and politiciansalike is that the prospect of immigration reform based upon a knee jerk reaction to an unconstitutional law does not change the inherent political dynamics in Congress. Immigration reform needs 60 votes to pass the Senate. The lone Republican who was supporting reform, Senator Lindsey Gra…

Perception is Reality

One of my favorite movie lines is from “The Princess Bride.” Vizzini, the mastermind behind the kidnapping of Princess Buttercup, upon seeing the Man in Black pursuing them keeps repeating the word “inconceivable.” Finally, Inigo Montoya, one of of Vizzini’s then assistants says: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”That simple statement applies to so much in the immigration law world that it is hard to even define situations where it does not apply. Much of what we deal with is really about our perception of what the law is, not about what the law actually says. This is true for legislation and for court decisions. Today, this statement seemed more true than ever. I received an email from the Center for Immigration Studies, the anti-immigration “think tank,” promoting a new web program it is hosting on “Local Law Enforcement Authority to Check Immigration Status.” This email comes with this teaser: This program . . . “discusses a recent court dec…

Immigration By The Numbers

Yesterday the USCIS released its FY 2009 immigrant visa numbers. More than a million people legally immigrated to the United States in FY 2009. Almost 60% of those folks did so through the adjustment of status process, meaning they were already in the U.S. when their place in line was reached. While not disclosed by USCIS, the supposition is that a number of those folks were actually out of status or, even undocumented, and were able to adjust status using INA 245(i), the penalty law still available to anyone who was a direct or derivative beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition or labor certification filed before April 30, 2001.The most telling part of this report was the tiny portion used by employment based immigrants. The top three employer-based preferences in terms of green cards issued to the “principal” immigrant (not including their family members) remained the same in 2009 as the prior year—professionals with advanced degrees and aliens of exceptional ability (22,098), ski…

Return to Sender- Russian Adoption Case

The case of a 7-year-old Russian boy who was returned to Moscow by his adoptive U.S. mother has highlighted the challenges families face when an international adoption goes wrong.
For those of you that don’t know, an American woman, Tori Hansen, adopted a little boy in Russia. He had been removed from his alcoholic biological mother’s care a few years ago and put in an institution. He came to the United States, resided in the home of Ms. Hansen as her adopted son for several months and then last week, she put him on a plane back to Russia with a note pinned inside his jacket that read “I no longer wish to parent this child.” Apparently the child had emotional difficulties, was violent and difficult to control. That Hansen wasn’t aware of his potential problems prior to the adoption is hard to believe. A quick internet search of “Russia” and “older children” and “adoption” yields a host of potential challenges, including attachment disorders, behavioral problems and psychological issues…