Immigration Law News NH and beyond

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Immigration Newsletter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Over 100 Democrats Push Obama on Immigration Reform - NAM

Over 100 Democrats Push Obama on Immigration Reform - NAM

A report from New American Media on Congressional Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

New report on demographic changes in Hillsborough County NH

A new report from the Carsey Institute at UNH discusses the changing demographics of the residents of New Hampshire' most populous region.  It discusses characteristics like age, income & poverty, urban/suburban growth and most interestingly to me immigration.  For instance...

"The Manchester–Nashua area has long been a point of entry for immigrants. Contemporary immigration levels certainly do not compare to historical levels, but immigrants remain an important source of growth for the region. An estimated 8,700 immigrants moved to the metropolitan area between 2000 and 2007. They represent more than one-third of the area’s population gain during the period.


Most of these immigrants settled in the cities of Nashua and Manchester, but a modest number settled
in the suburbs as well. Approximately 9 percent of the metropolitan area’s population is foreign-born, a far cry from the near majority at the turn of the last century, but certainly enough to underscore the continuing importance of immigrants to the region’s future."
 
To see the full report click on the headline or go to : http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/

Monday, October 26, 2009

Special Army program grants 5 soldiers U.S. Citizenship - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Special Army program grants 5 soldiers U.S. Citizenship - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -


Here is a news report that more closely follows the story line of immigrants building this country and making it as great as it is. That is the history I was raised with, not todays scapegoating that immigrants are all poor, lazy& living off the government (while somehow miraculously also stealing all of our jobs). I think many would-be immigrants would like the opportunity serve this country in the military if it would prove that they should be granted citizenship.

ImmigrationProf Blog: Sacramento Police Chief: It's time to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants who are productive, law-abiding citizens - the public's safety depends on it

ImmigrationProf Blog: Sacramento Police Chief: It's time to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants who are productive, law-abiding citizens - the public's safety depends on it

Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel has joined other chiefs in the nation in calling for an immigration overhaul that considers legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants.


Braziel said Congress must take a two-pronged approach: tighter borders and a way to allow undocumented immigrants who are productive to stay in the U.S. legally. Now, many are afraid to assist in criminal investigations, Braziel said.

"We need to remember that there are at least 12 million people out there who are unauthorized to be in this country, and they're our neighbors," Braziel said during a telephone press conference Thursday with police officials from Iowa and Texas.

"They're the ones that live down the street, participate in our communities, send children to our schools."

Their fear of deportation is putting the general public at risk, Braziel said. He told the story of a couple rear-ended by a drunk driver. "Prior to the police showing up, all of the witnesses left," Braziel said, "And the reason they left is because none of them had legal status in this country."

To read the rest you can check out the Immprof blog or go straight to the Sacramento Bee
http://www.sacbee.com/government/story/2275917.html

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Senate Approves Measure to End ‘Widow Penalty’ - NYTimes.com

Senate Approves Measure to End ‘Widow Penalty’ - NYTimes.com

The Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would end what has become known as the “widow penalty” — the government’s practice of annulling foreigners’ applications for permanent residency when their American spouses die before the marriage is two years old.

The measure, which passed 79-19, was contained in a conference report that accompanied an appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The House of Representatives passed the conference report last week. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

While the foreign spouse of a United States citizen may be eligible for residency under American law, the government has argued that the spouse’s death before the two-year mark ends the marriage, canceling the foreigner’s right to be considered for residency and opening the door to deportation.

The new provision does not directly address the government’s definition of marriage, but it allows foreigners married to Americans for less than two years to submit their own petition for residency within two years of the spouse’s death, as long as they have not

Latinos may be 'future' of U.S. Catholic Church - CNN.com

Latino immigrant Catholic church

Latinos may be 'future' of U.S. Catholic Church - CNN.com

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) -- "I'll take two chili, uh..." a hungry customer stammers at the front of a two-hour-long line. "Chile rellenos," the money-handler trills back in perfect Spanish. This is not a trendy Tex-Mex restaurant; and it's more than 1,000 miles from the Mexican border. The stuffed pepper causing the stutter is the hottest menu item at St. Cecilia's Lenten fish fry in St. Louis, Missouri. Chile rellenos, a traditional Mexican dish, have replaced fish as the main draw for Catholics giving up meat on Fridays. This century-old parish founded by German immigrants has turned 85 percent Hispanic. St. Cecilia's nearly closed. After it was designated the parish home for Latinos, the congregation quadrupled.


"It's the browning of the Catholic Church in the United States," says Pedro Moreno Garcia, who until last month led the Hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Moreno Garcia points to St. Cecilia's Spanish-dominant Mass schedule as a sign of the times.

"Hispanics are the present and Hispanics are the future of the Catholic Church in the United States," says Moreno Garcia.

Editorial Comment on Immigration Reform

Two reasons why pragmatism must trump passion on immigration reform

Think the health care reform debate got ugly? Well maybe so, but you may also have noticed that illegal immigration already made some cameo appearances in the health care debate. The August town hall debacle was perhaps just a glimpse of what awaits in this upcoming winter of our Congressional discontent.

Having practiced immigration law in New Hampshire for over a decade now, I can attest that our national immigration system is in dire need of an overhaul. With the lingering effects of recession pumping the brakes on both legal and illegal immigration – it is a good time to tackle the problem so that we can enjoy a glorious summer of economic recovery in 2010.

The Amnesty issue

Entering the United States without admission or inspection is a crime. To be precise, it is a class B misdemeanor under federal law – or what is called a “petty offense”. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can read U.S. v. Sanchez, 258 F.Supp.2d 650 (S.D.Tex., 2003).

In this part of the country, a good percentage of the persons who are here unlawfully actually entered the United States legally but then failed to leave when they were supposed to – this does not constitute an actual criminal offense. Most of the time, however, these matters are not handled in criminal courts at all but rather as civil matters in administrative immigration courts set up within the Department of Justice. These administrative hearings are called Removal proceedings or more commonly known as Deportation.

Everyday we as a country deport non-citizens (some of whom have lived and worked here for decades) who are married to United States citizens and who have children born and raised here. In most cases these people cannot legally return to the United States for at least ten years. This country has the right to deport non-citizens who violate the law; however, that does not mean it is always in our best interests to do so. I personally don’t believe deportation should be the only government response to a petty criminal immigration offense or a civil immigration law violation.

Other options, such as legalization after paying a fine, have been proposed – but lately these have been shouted down as an amnesty. It should be noted that there are many people who would not qualify for such an “amnesty” due to a criminal record, other previous immigration violations, obtaining government benefits through fraud, lack of a qualifying relative or lack of prospective employment, etc. Such a plan is hardly a true amnesty if there is a fine assessed for the criminal behavior, unless one considers paying a speeding ticket an act of amnesty. Rather, it is a practical way to penalize people who have violated the law but then legalize the status of those whose removal from this country would do more harm than good.


The Demographic issue

The baby boom generation is beginning to reach retirement age. The US Census Bureau estimates that in 2010 there are five people of working age (18-64) to every person of retirement age (65+). Over the next twenty years that ratio is expected to drop to three to one.

From 2010 to 2030 the total number of persons of working age is expected to grow at an average rate of less than one million persons per year. This trend does not portend well for a growth economy or for public programs dependent on payroll taxes for funding – such as Medicare and Social Security.

The United States’ current immigration policies discourage foreign students from staying in this country to work once they have graduated from U.S. colleges and universities. The number of visas made available for skilled workers has also been curtailed over the past decade. It is all the more difficult to rebound from a recession if we attract and retain an ever shrinking number of the world’s best and brightest young workers, entrepreneurs and inventors. Perhaps you noticed that a majority of the American Nobel Prize winners this year were originally from somewhere else. [insert tasteless President Obama joke here]

Given the demographic trends, however, we may have a difficult time as a country producing enough homegrown labor for even semi-skilled or unskilled jobs. Just to maintain the current ratio of workers to retirees the country would need to increase immigration and guest worker levels to approximately seven million persons per year for the next twenty years. Even if we assume that greater numbers of people will continue working past age 65 due to increased longevity and decreased 401(k) balances – the US workforce will still have to be supplemented by a far greater numbers of foreign born workers than are present today if we are to avoid escalating payroll taxes and/or ever increasing budget deficits to cover entitlement programs.

It may be difficult to picture in these times when there already more people out of work than jobs to fill – but the numbers are looming out there for anyone who cares to look. The United States must get its immigration policy back on the track of welcoming the immigrants who have always been one of the great engines of our economic growth. More (not less) new immigrants, the businesses they start, the inventions they create and the work that they perform will make or break the middle-class of this country over the next twenty years.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/projections/files/nation/summary/np2008-t2.xls

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

At Immigration Court Boston

Today I am at the immigration court in Boston all day. The court is located on the third floor of the JFK Federal building right next to Boston City Hall. For those readers who might need to go there - the government center or Haymarket T stops are close by. If you are driving give yourself plenty of time for morning traffic. (Today was 2 hrs 15 min from Concord NH to the courtroom). On street parking is limited but garages are available (prepare to pay $30 or more for the pleasure however).

It pays to arrive early to the JFK because there is security to go through when entering the building (don't wear a lot of metal jewelry or bring a keychain knife or scissors, etc.)

Also, today I am here for what are called master hearings. Master hearings require that you sign up on the sign in sheet in the clerk's office (room 320). The earlier you arrive and sign in the quicker your case will be heard. This saves you and your attorney time - and when your attorney saves time you save money. To sign in make sure you write your attorney's name and your A number on the sign in sheet. The A # can be found on the hearing notice if you don't know it. I have to turn off the blackberry now for court.Hopefully this information will prove useful.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Principal Legal Advisor for ICE

Peter S. Vincent - ICE/PLA

I copied this story directly from the Immprof web page.  My comment is this:
I want to like the new ICE PLA because he is like me a member of the two first names club.  He is obviously trying to look tough in the picture (being a lead prosecutor and all) but even with the shaved head I can't help thinking that most of the takes of this photo probably had to be discarded because he couldn't keep that straight - faced stern expression. 


New ICE Principal Legal Advisor: Peter S. Vincent


I believe that this news has been out there for a while but ICE has announced that Peter S. Vincent is the new principal legal advisor for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Vincent graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

AgJobs 2009 Bill

If you follow this link to the AgJobs 2009 Bill -- you might be seeing a part of the upcoming Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that Sen. Schumer of NY was expecting to finish by Labor Day (so much for that plan, maybe Groundhog Day).

This bill would allow the legalization of Farm workers, who meet the days worked criteria and who have no disqualifying criminal history, by giving them a "BlueCard" status.  This would give them the right to enter the US everyday as a commuter worker or to remain and work in the United States like a permanent resident or "GreenCard" holder.  However, there is no direct path to US citizenship.  After 3-5 years in BlueCard a worker and the family could apply for GreenCard status.  After five years of GreenCard status (LPR) then they could apply for citizenship.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Collateral Consequences” for Immigrants in Criminal Cases

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Collateral Consequences” for Immigrants in Criminal Cases

Will the Supreme Court decide that an attorney giving a client the wrong advice on the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction is grounds for withdrawing a guilty plea?  That is what is at stake in the Padilla v. Kentucky case.

Here in New Hampshire -- I have had pretty good luck over the years in getting cases reopend when the client misunderstood the immigration consequences of his/her plea.  Unlike other New England States, NH has no statutory requirement or court rule that a defendant be warned of the possible immigration consequences of a conviction. 

However, a guilty plea does have to be made knowingly and voluntarily.  A New Hampshire lawyer (or judge for that mater) has no duty to inform a defendant about immigration consequences.  However, if the defendant convinces the judge that he/she only agreed to plead guilty to an offense because the attorney affirmatively told them that it would not result in deportation  - that may be grounds for vacating the conviction.

God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (9781416575733): Joseph Sebarenzi, Laura Mullane: Books

God Sleeps in Rwanda
God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (9781416575733): Joseph Sebarenzi, Laura Mullane: Books

Following up my recent post about Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. I just started reading this book and so far it is a great read. It is written from a personal perspective by a man (Sebarenzi) who lost several members of his family in the Rwandan genocide. He later became the Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament -- but even from that position of political power he was forced to flee for his life.

And yet through all of that, he seems to be able to maintain a positive attitude as he works to promote peace for the region. Amazon.com will let you take a quick look at some of the book -- but it is certainly worth the price to pick up a copy or a Kindle. 
(image courtesy of http://www.lauramullane.com/)

Amazon.com: God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (9781416575733): Joseph Sebarenzi, Laura Mullane: Books

Amazon.com: God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation (9781416575733): Joseph Sebarenzi, Laura Mullane: Books

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aid groups are little match for Congo brutality, doctors say - CNN.com

Aid groups are little match for Congo brutality, doctors say - CNN.com

Everywhere in the Great Lakes Region of Africa there seems to be violence, lawlessness and/or government corruption.  Many of my immigration clients have come from this region. DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.  Humanitarian aid groups don't appear to have the manpower or the resources to turn the situation around.  An area so rich in natural resources...it is tragic that for whatever reasons foreign or domestic so many people in these countries have to suffer so desperately.

Now violence has sprung up again on the other side of the continent in Guinea and it was not that long ago that violence raged there regularly and in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  Of course violence is ever present in the Horn as well between Ethiopia/Eritrea, and Somalia is still lawless.  Sudan's North/South conflict may have quieted but there is still the Darfur issue ongoing.  I hope that this new century we have begun will see Africa's promise come to fruition.  But on a day like today -- it still seems a long way off.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bar Journal Article -- Affidavit of Support

Bar Journal Article

Imagine a spouse who can sue his or her former spouse for support every year until either dies. Imagine the suing spouse bringing an action in state court and, if unhappy with the outcome, moving to federal court for a new law suit for support, and then going back to state court to sue, yet again, for the following year’s support. An impossible scenario? Not any longer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Migration - Brookings Institution

Migration - Brookings Institution

National Immigration Project Report "Playing Politics at the Bench"

You can also find a link to the report at Bender's Immigration Daily...

Here are some of the actual interview questions asked of prospective Immigration Judges during the Bush years...

1. ―Tell us your political philosophy. There are different groups of conservatives by way
        of example: Social Conservative, Fiscal Conservative, Law & Order Republican.‖

2. ―What is it about Bush that makes you want to serve him?‖

3. ―Aside from the President, give us an example of someone currently or recently in
        public service who you admire?‖
 
...good stuff no? 
 It's as funny as that line from the Blues Brothers movie -- Claire: [When asked what music is played at Bob's Country Bunker] Oh we got both kinds. We got Country and Western.

Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says - CNN.com


Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says - CNN.com

Interestingly the report from the Pew Forum says that most of the world's Muslims do not live in the Middle East. Rather the two countries with the highest numbers of Muslim residents are Indonesia and India.

Census survey show state immigrant population rising despite slight drop in US - The Boston Globe

Census survey show state immigrant population rising despite slight drop in US - The Boston Globe


Massachusetts’ immigrant population rose last year in the middle of the recession, bucking a national trend that showed a decline in foreign-born residents for the first time in decades.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ICE Memo on Worksite Enforcement Strategy

Here is an excerpt from the new ICE for Worksite Enforcement Strategy (from ILW.com)

II. Criminal Prosecution of Employers

The criminal prosecution of employers is a priority of ICE'S worksite enforcement (WSE) program and interior enforcement strategy. ICE is committed to targeting employers, owners, corporate managers, supervisors, and others in the management structure of a company for criminal prosecution through the use of carefully planned criminal investigations.

ICE offices should utilize the full range of reasonably available investigative methods and techniques, including but not limited to: use of confidential sources and cooperating witnesses, introduction of undercover agents, consensual and nonconsensual intercepts and Form I-9 audits.

ICE offices should consider the wide variety of criminal offenses that may be present in a worksite case. ICE offices should look for evidence of the mistreatment of workers, along with evidence of trafficking, smuggling, harboring, visa fraud, identification document fraud, money laundering, and other such criminal conduct.

Absent exigent circumstances, ICE offices should obtain indictments, criminal arrest or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) to prosecute the targeted employer before arresting employees for civil immigration violations at a worksite. In the absence of a timely commitment from a USAO, ICE offices should obtain guidance from ICE Headquarters prior to proceeding with a worksite enforcement operation.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Rwanda queen-killing suspect held

BBC NEWS | Africa | Rwanda queen-killing suspect held

One of the most wanted suspects in Rwanda's 1994 genocide has been arrested in Uganda.

Idelphonse Nizeyimana was an intelligence chief at the time of the genocide, in which about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

He has been extradited to Tanzania face trial at a UN-backed tribunal, accused of organising the killing of thousands - including the former Tutsi queen.

Rwanda's government welcomed the arrest but said he should be tried in Rwanda.

BBC NEWS | Americas | US 'to cut immigrant detention'

BBC NEWS Americas US 'to cut immigrant detention'


US officials are expected to announce plans that would allow illegal immigrants not considered a threat to be taken out of jails, reports say.

The new policy would list immigrants according to the risk they may pose, the Wall Street Journal reports.
US 'to cut immigrant detention'


Officials are hoping to cut the costs of detaining immigrants
US officials are expected to announce plans that would allow
illegal immigrants not considered a threat to be taken out of jails,
reports say. The new policy would list immigrants according to
the risk they may pose, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Changing Faces of New Hampshire: Recent Demographic Trends in the Granite State

Here is a link to a 2007 report on the demographic changes taking place in New Hampshire from 200-2006.  It is from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Kenneth M. Johnson authored the study. I understand that he is collaborating on another study regarding the demographic changes along the Nashua/Manchester Metro area to be released on the 26th of this month at UNH Manchester.

This is important information to know if you are into market research or politics and it is interesting to be aware of even if you don't absolutely need to know. Click on the itle to see the study.  To learn more about the Carsey Institute at UNH click this:

http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/index.html

Fence in the South - Gates in the North

Towns at Vermont-Quebec Border Installing Security Gates


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: October 3, 2009

DERBY LINE, Vt. (AP) —

For decades, Derby Line, Vt., and Stanstead, Quebec, have functioned as one community.
They share a sewer system, emergency services, snowplowing duties and the border-straddling Haskell Free Library and Opera House, where a skinny black line across the hardwood floor of the reading room marks the international border.

But work began on Thursday to erect a pair of five-foot-tall steel gates across two previously unguarded residential streets — a project that will divide the towns physically but has united them in displeasure.

for more read at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/us/04border.html

Did U.S. immigration policy cost Chicago the 2016 Olympics?

Greg Siskind makes an excellent point on his immigration blog today: 

"Perhaps the Pakistani IOC official who grilled President Obama on why Olympic officials should not trust the President's promise of a friendly welcome actually did this country a favor. Most Americans are not even aware of just how unfriendly US immigration officials are to people who want to spend billions of dollars in our country and spread the word in their home countries regarding how wonderful a country the US is."

Well, there's nothing wrong with having the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 (I'm sure it will be memorable because Brazil has never held an Olympics before). Still, we don't want to become a country that others don't want to come to for fear of being hassled and insulted.

Intelligence Analyst Looks At Conflicts And Progress In The Next 100 Years


New Book by George Friedman says industrialized countries will fight to get more immigrant labor in the next hundred years.  from VOA news

"In the century ahead, there will be wars fought from space, between nations that are friendly with each other today. Populations will decline and industrialized nations will compete for immigrant labor. Poland, Turkey, Mexico and Japan will emerge as great powers. These are just some of the startling predictions made by George Friedman, founder and chief executive officer of Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based global intelligence company."
 
(Nothing in the article about flying cars or sharks with laser beams attached to their heads) RAD

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Death toll rising after Indonesia earthquake


I have had the privilege of representing many Indonesian clients over
the years.  I certainly hope that none have lost any family or friends in the recent earthquake off the coast of Sumatra.

Here is a link to a story from the Voice of America news service.

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-01-voa27.cfm

Health Insurance for Immigrants -- even "Illegal" Immigrants?

I can promise my readers that I will jump into the icy waters of the mighty Merrimack river in the dead of winter in a penguin costume if the Congress of the United States ever votes to allow "illegal" immigrants to purchase government subsidized health insurance. Nevermind these studies from the Immigration Policy Center that show we would probably save tax payer money by doing so and would certainly have a healthier, more productive workforce.

Here's the link
http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/