Immigration Newsletter

Thursday, December 30, 2010

USCIS: USCIS dit Haïtiens pour inscrire Statut de Protection Temporaire

USCIS: USCIS dit Haïtiens pour inscrire Statut de Protection Temporaire

from the website

WASHINGTON—US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) vle ferre tout haïtiens cône la date limite inscription pour Statut de Protection Temporaire (TPS) l’ap 18 janvier 2011.
Haïtiens qui issi sans interruption dans les États-Unis depuis le 12 janvier 2010, avec ou répondent avec lotre conditions admissibilité TPS, déposer leurs demandes de TPS avant 18 janvier 2011. Désignation TPS pour Haïti bon jusqu'au 22 Juillet 2011.
USCIS gain conseille pour haïtiens de revoir leurs dossiers de demande TPS attentivement. Détails et procédures pour demande TPS sont fournis sur le site USCIS et dans le Federal Register un avis annonçant TPS pour Haïti.
Tout formes pour TPS ou capab juien en site USCIS ou en téléphonant au 1-800-870-3676 sans frais. Pour plus d'information contacter le National USCIS au 1-800-375-5283.
Pour plus information sur la réponse de l'USCIS au tremblement en Haïti, visite Les candidats demandant une dispense des frais doivent être conformes aux exigences indiquées sur l'USCIS exemption des frais de page Web d'orientation.
Pour plus information, visite

Friday, December 3, 2010

2 in Vt. car held for immigration violations

2 in Vt. car held for immigration violations: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

This just goes to show that State immigration laws like Arizona's "papers please" are unnecessary and constitute political grandstanding. It appears that in this case - a driver was speeding - on the highway and the police questioned the two passengers and held them for immigration. They were apparently from NY and had missed their immigration court hearing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR

Prison Economics Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law : NPR: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

"NPR spent the past several months analyzing hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports, lobbying documents and corporate records. What they show is a quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.
The law could send hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to prison in a way never done before. And it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to private prison companies responsible for housing them.
...Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce says the bill was his idea. He says it's not about prisons. It's about what's best for the country.
...It was last December at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. Inside, there was a meeting of a secretive group called the American Legislative Exchange Council. Insiders call it ALEC.
It's a membership organization of state legislators and powerful corporations and associations, such as the tobacco company Reynolds American Inc., ExxonMobil and the National Rifle Association. Another member is the billion-dollar Corrections Corporation of America — the largest private prison company in the country.
It was there that Pearce's idea took shape.
...Pearce and the Corrections Corporation of America have been coming to these meetings for years. Both have seats on one of several of ALEC's boards.
And this bill was an important one for the company. According to Corrections Corporation of America reports reviewed by NPR, executives believe immigrant detention is their next big market. Last year, they wrote that they expect to bring in "a significant portion of our revenues" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that detains illegal immigrants.
...Four months later, that model legislation became, almost word for word, Arizona's immigration law.
...By April, the bill was on Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.
Brewer has her own connections to private prison companies. State lobbying records show two of her top advisers — her spokesman Paul Senseman and her campaign manager Chuck Coughlin — are former lobbyists for private prison companies. Brewer signed the bill — with the name of the legislation Pearce, the Corrections Corporation of America and the others in the Hyatt conference room came up with — in four days."
RAD~ The best government money can buy is clearly not the best government. I wonder who will be the next "threat to our society" that will need to be detained to boost corporate profits? The smart money is on Muslims who apparently dress up in order to scare people like Fox News "Opinioneer" Juan Williams.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Senators lay down marker with detailed immigration overhaul bill (9/30/10) --

Senators lay down marker with detailed immigration overhaul bill (9/30/10) -- "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

From a publication I have not read before called "government executive" worth a look.

Two key Democratic senators have introduced comprehensive legislation that would overhaul the nation's immigration laws, giving Latino voters and immigration advocates a parting gift heading into November's midterm elections.

The bill, introduced late Wednesday by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., as the Senate prepared to begin its pre-election recess, is largely viewed as a marker to help spur consideration of an overhaul of immigration laws and policy when the new Congress convenes in January.

Lawmakers and aides privately concede it is highly unlikely that Congress would take up immigration reform in the post-election lame-duck session.

But the Menendez-Leahy bill makes good on campaign promises by congressional Democrats to try to advance changes in immigration laws.

The bill covers the three main areas that immigration advocates say must be part of any comprehensive package: beefed-up enforcement of the nation's immigration laws; a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country; and a system for bringing temporary workers into the country to meet the needs of employers.

It essentially puts legislative language to an immigration overhaul blueprint laid out by Senate Democratic leaders earlier this year. The bill would create a process under which an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country could obtain their citizenship.

But it would require that increased border security measures and provisions to better enforce the nation's immigration laws are met before illegal immigrants can apply for legal status. And the bill specifies that illegal immigrants cannot jump ahead of those who have been waiting in line for their citizenship.

The bill would also create an independent commission to determine quotas for employment-based work visa programs. The idea of creating a commission is controversial, as business groups fear the panel would favor labor interests over the needs of employers.

The bill also includes the so-called AgJobs provision, which would overhaul the work visa system for agriculture workers, and the so-called DREAM Act, which would enable certain young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as minors to obtain their green cards.

Friday, September 17, 2010

News Analysis - Immigration Path for Students Pushed in Senate -

News Analysis - Immigration Path for Students Pushed in Senate - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

The DREAM ACT may be attached to a military spending bill coming up for a vote this fall. This NYT article by Julia Preston gives the impression that this is a purely political move by Harry Reid and that nobody believes that it will actually become law.

The DREAM ACT is a measure that would allow high school students who do not have legal status (because their parents either brought them to the US illegally or they overstayed their visas) to become legal residents if they have received good grades and have been accepted to college or military service.

The measure has received a decent amount of support in the past - perhaps because children generally do not choose to violate the law by coming here illegally with their parents, and because it would encourage students to work harder at school and to stay out of gangs and other trouble.

I hope this turns out to be more than just a meaningless gesture...time will tell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Immigration in the NH Republican Primary

I don't mind if Bill Binnie or Bob Clegg wants to call for tougher immigration enforcement (or Kelly Ayotte for that matter) that is their right. However, I object to using the term "illegals" in this advertisement.

Human beings should not be objectified and reduced to a pejorative term based on one characteristic they may have. It is insidious to do this and the politicians who wish to be our leaders know better. This is the sort of thing that is done - not in civil society - but rather in war to make it easier to perform what must be the very psychologically difficult job of killing the enemy in battle. We can have debates about immigration policy in the United States without resorting to the kind of rhetoric that sums up a person's entire being in a derogatory epithet.

Can you imagine a politician going on television in this day and age and accusing their opponent of being soft on "blanks" or "blanks" or even "blanks"? -- (I was going to put a short list of current and historical nasty names for different groups in our society, but I'll let you imagine the ones that are most offensive to you).

I don't care if politicians don't use whatever the most politically correct term is these days; I'm not even sure what that would be - "undocumented workers" - perhaps. Just don't go down this road of cheapening the political public discourse in NH by using language that is clearly meant as invective rather than descriptive.

More Immigration History


The above link is to a paper at the Immigration Policy Center, written by Peter Schrag. It is drawn from a larger book available at University of California Press as well as Amazon. --------->

It just goes to show that as a country - we have been having arguments about immigration practically since the founding of the Nation (if not before actually). The fears raised have always been remarkably the same - crime, disease, education, lack of English, protection of Native workers, etc...

We call ourselves a Nation of Immigrants (although you don't hear that as much these days). It doesn't seem like we have always lived up to our national aspirations on that front however. The same kind of dehumanizing and hateful rhetoric used against people today - has been used by Nativists throughout the country's history. If all the complaints about immigrants were true - we would have long ago been consumed by the invasion of "Papists hordes" from Ireland and Southern/Eastern Europe or by the "inferior" races of "the Orient" in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Of course those fears and prejudices were proven exaggerated and wrong then and they are wrong today. This country became the world power it is today largely because of our openness to immigration - despite the naysayers.

Fear, hate, and mistrust of "the other" and "the outsider" are all the rage today it seems...I hope some people will take the time to examine this book and others that can remind us that we have dealt with these fears before and overcome them to the benefit of all Americans.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Immigration Debate Steps Into the Kitchen -

Immigration Debate Steps Into the Kitchen - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

here is a link to an interesting article by: Sarah Kershaw of the NYT

Click on the link above to read the article -- my comment starts here:

Undocumented workers are not just found in the fields harvesting crops; many businesses and even entire industries have a segment of their employee pool that consists of immigrant workers - and not all of them are in the country legally. They were here when the unemployment rate was in the 4% range and many still remain.

You may have heard or read recently that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has dropped substantially over the past two years. The Department of Homeland Security does deport quite a number of people every year ( I have heard estimates in the area of 350 thousand). However, in the past, that has been more than offset by the number of new people either coming illegally or coming legally and then overstaying their visas. What has changed? The economy of course -- construction, for example, is one of the big employment categories where immigrant workers find jobs. Now that construction has slowed to a snail's pace some undocumented workers (mostly non-Mexicans as I read it) have left and fewer are making the journey to the United States.

My job as an immigration lawyer is to find ways for workers and employers here in New Hampshire and the rest of New England to comply with the always changing immigration laws. It is important for our economy that workers are here legally; it helps protect the workers themselves from exploitation, it helps ensure fair competition for labor so that US citizen workers are not put at an unfair disadvantage, it helps with the proper collection of employment related taxes, and it makes for a more stable and productive economic environment.

In years past - immigration law enforcement against business has been pretty spotty at best. Politicians and government agencies weren't interested in hearing flak from business and industry groups and chambers of commerce about stifling the economy with immigration enforcement. Businesses who have not been careful about their compliance activities with the immigration laws need to take notice because that policy is changing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Immigration backlog stirs move to release some U.S. detainees

Immigration backlog stirs move to release some U.S. detainees: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

from Shankar Vedentam at the Washington Post:

"The Obama administration is moving to release thousands of illegal immigrants detained at facilities across the country if the immigrants have a potential path to legal residency.
The move could affect as many as 17,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It comes amid a push by ICE to focus on illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, rather than seek to deport all illegal immigrants. Officials say that the shift is needed to reduce massive clogs in the nation's immigration courts - where detainees wait for months or years before their cases are decided - and to use deportation as a tool for public safety."
This is a modest proposal that should not be getting the anti-immigrant crowd into a lather at all. Every year the immigration courts get more and more backlogged. Part of the reason is that Homeland Security chooses to put people into deportation even though they have an application pending with USCIS that could grant them legal status. Alternatively, many people find themselves in deportation proceedings and then decide they need an attorney - the attorney then files the proper applications for their status.

The immigration judges can decide many of these applications - but so can USCIS (administratively) - without clogging up the courts. If the government attorneys (working for Immigration & Customs Enforcement "ICE") decide to terminate deportation proceedings - then the case can go back before USCIS to be finished. This also allows for the potential immigrant to be let out of custody (otherwise known as jail).

The ICE attorneys are not going to be terminating the cases of persons with criminal records or prior deportations. If it turns out that the person is not approved for legal status...they go back into is not like a criminal trial that can subject to "double jeopardy" issues.

The only parties who should be moaning about this policy change are the municipalities and private corrections companies who make their money off holding non-criminal immigration detainees. I'm not about to shed any tears for them.

Immigrants on Trains Near Northern Border Detained -

Immigrants on Trains Near Northern Border Detained - "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

This NYT article by Nina Bernstein should be a comfort to those who still think that enforcement of immigration laws has not been a priority over the past decade. Most of the media attention is focused on the Southern border...and not without reason. The Not So Great Wall of America is being built there, and National Guard troops start arriving in AZ this week.

However, it should be noted that the Northern border is seeing increased enforcement as well. Even traveling on public transportation entirely within the United States can bring you into contact with the "Papers Please" Police. I am always a little surprised that Conservatives are not put off by the enormous level of spending that has gone into Homeland Security in general and immigration enforcement in particular. I guess being in favor of small government really all depends on what you think government should spend tax payer money on rather than the total amount of money being spent.

It might be surprising to some readers (considering that I am an immigration lawyer) but I do support having a large force of Customs and Border Patrol Agents as long as they have enough work to do at the border. The borders are long and, even though I am sympathetic to the reasons that many people have for trying to come here illegally, - those borders must be respected. I am not a fan, however, of having police performing intrusive searches on passengers on domestic rail and bus lines - I think Homeland Security gets into US citizens' business quite enough at the airport already.

There are border patrol checkpoints set up from time to time on the interstates in Northern New Hampshire and Vermont. I remember being stopped at one and being questioned a few years ago. I suppose I wouldn't have minded so much if the CBP agent didn't give me a hard time about my New England Patriots T-Shirt (obviously a Giants fan from Swanton Sector - oh the indignity!). Of course I am sure it went a lot easier for me than it would have for anyone who didn't have an I.D. on them or who might have spoken with a foreign accent.

I favor changing the immigration laws to make it easier and faster for people to come here legally. I think that increasing enforcement at the border to prevent illegal immigration is a logical part of such a policy. Unfortunately, from my perspective at least, it has been all enforcement and no improvement in the legal immigration process for the past decade or more.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Helping to build peace and prosperity in Rwanda by supporting education

Several months ago I joined the Board of Directors of a charity established here in New Hampshire called "Rest for the Nations Ministries".

Rest for the Nations raises money through charitable donations to pursue the vision of Pastor Manassee Ngendahayo. Pastor Mansassee grew up in the Eastern Congo region of Kivu on the Rwandan border. After the 1994 Rwanda Genocide he ministered to the Rwandan survivors who had lost loved ones and sometimes entire families to the violence. 

In the early part of this decade Pastor Manassee came to the United States. After establishing a home for his family here in New Hampshire and finding a church where he could continue his ministry, he looked for a means to help rebuild those broken families back in Rwanda (a country that had been torn apart by ethnic tensions and civil war).

Rest for the Nations has worked on many projects in the past few years - but this year a special focus has been placed on providing tuition assistance as well as assistance with school uniforms and supplies to school children in Rwanda.

Education is the key to promoting understanding, reconciliation and progress among the different ethnic groups in Rwanda. Only through educating the next generation to the fullest extent possible can the people of Rwanda unlearn the prejudices of the past and avoid repeating the mistakes that have lead to tragic violence more than once in the country's past. Rest for the Nations believes that promoting education for boys and girls in Rwanda is perhaps the best way to help the country to heal and move toward a future of greater cooperation and economic growth that will benefit all of the people of the country and the region.

If you are interested in learning more about the mission of Rest for the Nations Ministries - you can learn more by visiting their web site...I have provided a link below:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sheriff tells US to move detainees - The Boston Globe

Sheriff tells US to move detainees - The Boston Globe

By Maria Sacchetti
Globe Staff / August 20, 2010

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has ordered US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove all immigrant detainees from a Boston jail by Oct. 12, accusing the agency of a “staggering lack of communication and respect,’’ in a letter sent last week.
The letter accused ICE of failing to provide the sheriff’s office with audit reports, information about detainees’ complaints, and a report on a detainee’s death last year before it was released to the news media. Pedro Tavarez, a Dominican national facing deportation, died at age 49, and the federal investigation last month faulted Suffolk officials for waiting too long to take him to the hospital.
Suffolk’s letter also complained that ICE had failed to grant the jail’s request for an increase in the amount the agency reimburses it for housing federal detainees.

(click on the link above to read the rest of the article)
This is not encouraging news in any respect really or particularly surprising; the Suffolk Co. HOC wants more money per detainee, and ICE is apparently not responsive in cooperating or providing information to other persons or agencies. No shocking revelations there. Up here in New Hampshire - the state's largest County Correctional Facility in Manchester, NH doesn't hold immigration detainees either (and it is practically within walking distance of the ICE office). I have no opinion of who is at fault for these "failures to communicate" that result in local corrections not housing immigration detainees. I do, however, think it is a problem that persons who live in New England get shipped to for profit prisons in the southwest to wait for their cases to be heard.
Many people who are required to be detained by immigration law are not a danger to the community...the only reason to hold them in custody is to prevent them from running away. That can be a legitimate concern in some cases to be sure, but in this day and age there are alternatives to detention that could certainly save the government money and not place the entire breadth of the land mass of the United States as well as prison walls between non-citizens and their citizen family members.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Colbert Report on "Anchor Babies"

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Citizenship Down - Akhil Amar
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Satire can often be funny - the fact that some of the most informed television news shows are to be found on Comedy Central and the like - is no laughing matter.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Attitude toward 'anchor babies' pulls anti-immigration crowd down to a new low: Connie Schultz |

Attitude toward 'anchor babies' pulls anti-immigration crowd down to a new low: Connie Schultz | "They call them 'anchor babies.'

Not 'God's children,' you understand. There'll be no celebrating these infants as the joyful proof that each was 'a baby, not a choice.' These precious little faces will not be smiling from a Right-to-Life billboard any time soon.

- Sent using Google Toolbar" photo by
Read Connie Schultz' commentary at the link above. I think she comes as close to anyone in print to capturing my utter disdain for the opportunistic hypocrisy, and downright un-American, mean spirited, racially-charged, baseness of the right-wing, gutter-politics on this issue.  (Not that I have any strong feelings about this)

Amend the Constitution to take rights away from the people - that's a wonderful Libertarian/Conservative idea!?! Maybe you read my previous posts about the economic and demographic necessity of increasing legal immigration and legalizing the undocumented who are already here and working. Now in addition to condemning us to a generation of an under-producing economy - the anti-immigrationistas think we should send our social compact back to the days before Reconstruction.

How about a little historical perspective:

The Republican Party was essentially founded in New Hampshire - primarily as an anti-slavery party. It was the Republican Party who was largely responsible for the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution that ensured that all persons born in the United States were citizens (so that African Americans could not be considered non-citizens because of their parents' previous status as slaves or because of their African ancestry).

But today it is more than OK for Republicans to promote withholding citizenship from babies born in the United States because of their parents' status as undocumented immigrants and their Latino ancestry? To see the Republican Party turned on its head to become the party of restricting individual liberties and rights based on parentage and race is so frustrating and outrageous that I have reached a point that I really have difficulty discussing these issues rationally.

Here is thorough review of the law on Birthright Citizenship for those with a keen interest to know more:

In my view, there is nothing left of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Amos Tuck. The Political movement (perhaps begun here in NH) that once was the champion for the individual rights of the least powerful among us is a corpse that went cold many years ago. This call for a repeal of the 14th Amendment is just one more act of desecrating that venerable corpse.

I hope that someday, somebody will come along and lead the GOP back to its roots - because it has lost its way...until then I guess it is as Connie Schultz describes it "another round of Hate the Immigrant". 

As you can see I am tired of being "nice" or "politically correct" about this issue. If you believe the nonsense being put out there on repealing the 14th Amendment by so called Conservative commentators and the lick-spittle politicians who hang on their every word, then you are ignorant and need to educate yourself. Every time the majority takes a liberty or right away from someone in our society it becomes easier to take it away for any of us. This campaign is destructive, hateful, purely self-serving on the part of politicians and it cheapens our democracy. Say what you will in response - but do some research first.



Friday, July 30, 2010

New CNN poll is as contradictary as the opinions of the American people

I suppose the headline should be "81 Percent of people surveyed approved of Comprehensive Immigration Reform" or as some like to mistakenly call it "Amnesty" (that's what the tag line was on Bender's Imm. Bulletin) .

When the question isn't loaded down with buzzwords and racist/paranoid jargon people apparently support what amounts to "Amnesty" in overwhelming numbers (and have consistently for a number of years).

What this polling data really shows is that even if Americans' opinions aren't all that consistent (or frankly, coherent) on many issues - race still matters in America - more than most people would like to admit. Read the numbers in this poll and then try to argue that it is just correlation and not causation with race - go ahead and try.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Federal judge blocks part of Arizona immigration law -

Federal judge blocks part of Arizona immigration law - "Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) -- A federal judge has blocked one of the most controversial sections of a tough Arizona immigration law, granting a preliminary injunction Wednesday that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Click the link to read the story

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where are they now?

Since moving to my new office last month I have gained a new appreciation for how many people I have met and worked with over the years. Part of that appreciation came from lugging so many boxes of files up the stairs! It occurs to me though, that there are many people that I haven't heard from in many years. Many of those people needed political asylum from the persecution they faced in their home country, or were people who feared they would be deported from the United States and be separated from their family, they were people who wanted to petition for their family members or their fiancee to come to live in the US and of course those immigrants who wanted so much to become Naturalized citizens.

I still have regular contact with many of these folks who have been a big part of my life for more than a decade now. But many more have gone on to bigger and better things or moved away or maybe just have no desire to talk with a lawyer if they don't need to (insert lawyer joke here). So I wonder sometimes, Where are they now?

If you were ever a client of mine at Law Offices of Mona T. Movafaghi, PC in Nashua or Merrimack or at Wiggin & Nourie in Manchester, NH - I hope you will send me a note about where you are now, what you are doing and how life is going. I would recommend that you use the "Contact Us" form on my business website (here's the link)

You can feel free to post a comment here on the blog if you wish - but keep in mind that your status as a client or former client is confidential and anything you post here is open to the public. I hope many of you will let me hear your success stories and maybe even your struggles since we last wrangled with US Immigration together and I look forward to reconnecting.

Randall Drew

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sides square off in immigration case | Concord Monitor

Sides square off in immigration case | Concord Monitor

RAD ~ This is an old story (2005) that I happened to find an article about while I was looking for something else. I thought I would repost a link to it though because the new Arizona sensation that is SB 1070 really isn't anything new. The ditto heads here in New Hampshire attempted the same type of thing on the back of the criminal trespass law five years ago. Wow where did those five years go - it seems like just yesterday?

Here's an excerpt from the story:

JAFFREY - L. Phillip Runyon III, a local lawyer and part-time district court judge here, seemed reluctant to assume the additional role of border agent.
"Am I supposed to determine this person's immigration status?"Runyon asked incredulously. "Isn't that what the federal immigration process is all about?" ...
Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain          charged Ramirez with trespassing after federal immigration officials said they were too busy to take custody of Ramirez. ...
"I have to wonder whether old white ladies like me would be asked to prove their status, while people with dark skin would get pulled over," said Claire Ebel, executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. "This is profiling, aimed at people who don't look like overwhelmingly white New Hampshire." ...
Ramirez's lawyers asked Runyon to dismiss the trespassing charge yesterday, since immigration is already handled by federal courts.
"The decision of who's allowed to stay in the United States is a decision made by the United States, not by individual states, towns or local police chiefs," said attorney Randall Drew....

RAD ~ I know how it turned out in NH - we haven't had any more of these cases since 2005. We will have to see if President Obama and Attorney General Holder can get the same result out of Arizona.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New office is open!

Well, the new "Drew Law Office, pllc" is open for business at 82 Palomino Ln. Suite 602 in Bedford, NH. While I eagerly await the opening of the new US Citizenship and Immigration Services office across the street (scheduled for July 6) I have a lot of work to do. I know that I have stated elsewhere that I would post pictures once I was in the new location. But things are in no state to be photographed just yet. Unpacking of boxes and rearranging furniture will be the order of the day for several days to come. Come back soon - however - and the reports will start appearing with more frequency as things settle in here at the new location.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

USCIS - USCIS Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Adjust Fees for Immigration Benefits: Fact Sheet

USCIS - USCIS Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Adjust Fees for Immigration Benefits: Fact Sheet

Current and Proposed Immigration Fees

Application/Petition Description

Current Fees Proposed Fees

I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $290 $365
I-102 Application for Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document $320 $330
I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker $320 $325
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance(e) $455 $340
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $355 $420
I-131 Application for Travel Document $305 $360
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $475 $580
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $585 $630
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant $375 $405
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $930 $985
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $1,435 $1,500
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $300 $290
I-600/600A Orphan Petitions $670 $720
I-687 Application for Status as a Temporary Resident $710 $1,130
I-690 Application for Waiver on Grounds of Inadmissibility $185 $200
I-694 Notice of Appeal of Decision $545 $755
I-698 Application to Adjust Status From Temporary Resident $1,370 $1,020
I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence $465 $505
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $340 $380
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $440 $435
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $340 $405
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions $2,850 $3,750
Civil Surgeon Designation $0 $615
I-924 Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program $0 $6,230
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $235 $250
N-336 Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $605 $650
N-400 Application for Naturalization $595 $595
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $305 $330
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $380 $345
N-600/N-600K Naturalization Certificate Applications $460 $600
Waiver Forms (I-191, I-192, I-193, I-212, I-601, I-612) $545 $585
Immigrant Visa $0 $165
Biometric Services $80 $85

USCIS is looking to raise fees again! You can comment online - follow the link above to see the USCIS press release. You can also go here

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Could you pass the latest citizenship test? - Immigration: A Nation Divided-

Could you pass the latest citizenship test? - Immigration: A Nation Divided-

Click the link to take the test.

Here are a couple sample questions:

16. If both the President and Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

Secretary of State

Secretary of Defense

The Speaker of the House

President Pro Tempore of the Senate

17. Who was president during World War I?

Theodore Roosevelt

Warren G. Harding

Franklin Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

18. How many justices are there on the U.S. Supreme Court?





Come back and comment on what questions you thought were the trickiest.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Generation Gap Over Immigration -

A Generation Gap Over Immigration -

RAD~ Here are some excerpts from a really interesting article in the NYT....I often find it fascinating to try to understand what influences me to think the way I do about things and why others see things differently.

Demographically, younger and older Americans grew up in vastly different worlds. Those born after the civil rights era lived in a country of high rates of legal and illegal immigration. In their neighborhoods and schools, the presence of immigrants was as hard to miss as a Starbucks today.

In contrast, baby boomers and older Americans — even those who fought for integration — came of age in one of the most homogenous moments in the country’s history.

Immigration, which census figures show declined sharply from the Depression through the 1960s, reached a historic low point the year after Woodstock. From 1860 through 1920, 13 percent to 15 percent of the country was foreign born — a rate similar to today’s, when immigrants make up about 12.5 percent of the country.

But in 1970, only 4.7 percent of the country was foreign born, and most of those immigrants were older Europeans, often unnoticed by the boomer generation born from 1946 to 1964.

Boomers and their parents also spent their formative years away from the cities, where newer immigrants tended to gather — unlike today’s young people who have become more involved with immigrants, through college, or by moving to urban areas.
Nicole Vespia, 18, of Selden, N.Y., said older people who were worried about immigrants stealing jobs were giving up on an American ideal: capitalist meritocracy.

“If someone works better than I do, they deserve to get the job,” Ms. Vespia said. “I work in a stockroom, and my best workers are people who don’t really speak English. It’s cool to get to know them.”

Her parents’ generation, she added, just needs to adapt.

“My stepdad says, ‘Why do I have to press 1 for English?’ I think that’s ridiculous,” Ms. Vespia said, referring to the common instruction on customer-service lines. “It’s not that big of a deal. Quit crying about it. Press the button.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paterson Move May Help Immigrants Facing Deportation -

Paterson Move May Help Immigrants Facing Deportation -

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson announced on Monday that the state would accelerate consideration and granting of pardons to legal immigrants for old or minor criminal convictions, in an effort to prevent them from being deported.

RAD~ Read the article before you decide whether this makes sense. There shouldn't be a need for this policy - but because of intransigence at the federal government level there is.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New "Green Card" is here and it is high tech and green

USCIS To Issue Redesigned Green Card
Fact Sheet


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card¿commonly known as the "Green Card" to incorporate several major new security features. State-of-the-art technology prevents counterfeiting, obstructs tampering, and facilitates quick and accurate authentication of the card. Beginning today, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format.

Card Features

RAD~ Wow, such fancy the police in AZ can find a reasonable suspicion just by scanning someone for an RFID chip don't even have to know you are being searched. Identity thieves should have fun with these as well. At least now they are actually GREEN

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Senator Robert Menedez (D.NJ) Asks MLB to Move the All Star Game out of AZ

Given the large numbers of Latino players in baseball (including the minor leagues) it is not surprising that MLB is being called on to use its influence to convince AZ to repeal the new racial profiling law. MLB has a lot of money at stake, however, as half of the Spring training facilities and much of the minor league play involve the state of Arizona.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ICE Online Detainee Locator System (Coming Soon)

ICE/DRO is announcing their new Online Detainee Locator System will be available in June 2010. (See below)

ODLS is scheduled to deploy in June 2010, and will be accessible by visiting ICE's public Web site ( Persons using ODLS do not need to set up an account or get special permission to use the system. ODLS provides two ways to search for a detainee: (1) Perform a query using an Alien Registration Number (A-Number) and country of birth; or (2) perform a query using a full name and country of birth. After receiving the query entered by the user, ODLS searches for a match among current ICE detainees and detainees who have been booked out of ICE custody (regardless of the reason) within the last 60 days. All records that match the user's query are returned to the user in a list of one or
more search results.
ODLS only performs exact-match searches. This means that the search
query entered by the user (specifically, the name or A-Number) must
exactly match the information in a detention record in order for the
record to be identified as a match and included in the ODLS search
results. For example, a search for ``Robert Smith'' will not return a
detention record for ``Robert Smyth'' or ``Bob Smith.'' When conducting
an A-Number search, ODLS users will see a maximum of one record in the
results because A-Numbers are assigned to individuals uniquely. When
conducting a name-based search, however, ODLS users may see multiple
records in the results if several detainees share the same name and
country of birth. Users may use the year of birth provided in the
results to distinguish among detainees with the same name.
ODLS only contains information about individuals who are currently
in ICE custody or were previously detained by ICE within the past 60

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!?!?

Want to learn a little about the history of Cinco de Mayo? Above is a link to a very informative article by a very grouchy Gustavo Arellano in the OC Weekly.

I however am still going to enjoy my Gringo Corona and Nachos!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Democrats Revive Immigration Push -

Democrats Revive Immigration Push -

excerpts from the WSJ click the link to see the full article

Democratic leaders in Congress have agreed to try to pass immigration legislation this year, placing the explosive issue ahead of an energy bill on their agenda and upending conventional wisdom that it was dead for now....

Passing a bill would require Republican support in the Senate. So far, Sen. Graham is the only Republican working on the issue. He has said he wouldn't introduce it without at least one other Republican on board. None has come forth.

Last month, Mr. Obama promised Sens. Graham and Schumer that he would try to recruit another GOP sponsor. This week, he called at least five Senate Republicans seeking their support.

Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.), who spoke Tuesday with the president, said he promised to read the bill but made no commitments about supporting it.

"I told him I have an open mind," Mr. Brown said in an interview. "I will read anything."

Mr. Obama also pitched Republican Sens. George LeMieux of Florida, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Lugar of Indiana....

RAD~ If you were interested enough to read this blog then you should be interested enough to call Judd Gregg and ask him to help reform our immigration laws before he leaves office at the end of this year.

DC Address: The Honorable Judd Gregg
United States Senate
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2903
DC Phone: 202-224-3324
DC Fax: 202-224-4952
Email Address:
WWW Homepage:
Twitter: No Known Twitter Account

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tell USCIS what you think - new immigration survey open until April 29

Have a suggestion on what US Citizenship & Immigration Services could improve? I know I did. It takes five's even easier than the Census.

Click on the title or this link:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tough immigration bill OK'd by Arizona House

Tough immigration bill OK'd by Arizona House

Nice waste of taxpayer resources - on a law that will be preempted by the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. The United States is in charge of deciding who gets to enter and remain in the United States (not each individual state). That way you help to set uniform national policy and avoid a patchwork of more or less discriminatory and arbitrary laws. Otherwise you can end up with a situation where it would be legal to be present in Illinois and Iowa but not in Texas and Arizona. Reading the bill it looks as much like a revenue enhancement bill as anything else.

From what I have read the "legal" programs that allow local police to enforce federal immigration law [287(g) programs] are failing badly enough. It is not wise to then try to create state by state immigration laws and make things even more confused - nevermind the fact that the laws are an unconstitutional infringement on the power of Congress to regulate immigration.

The law is also internally inconsistent...the part that interests me most "Trespassing" (see my earlier posts on this)... applies to violaters of 8USC1304(e) that is the section that requires Lawful Permanent Residents to carry there resident card with them at all times. So you are going to arrest people who are here legally for trespassing because they don't have their ID on them? Well maybe not because the proposed AZ law also exempts people who maintain authorization from the federal government to remain in the United States.

So what is the purpose of a law that allows for the arrest of people who the law doesn't apply to? Harassment? Profiling?
Well yes, but its more clever than that. If approached by an AZ police officer for "appearing to be an illegal alien trespasser" (what would probable cause look like in such a case I wonder?) I suppose a person could claim to be a legal resident who left there resident card at home. I suppose this law would allow them to arrest the person first and ask questions later. Clever? - yes. Legal? -only if you work for the US Department of Homeland Security. At least in my view.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Immigration: Could it solve Social Security, Medicare woes? / The Christian Science Monitor -

Immigration: Could it solve Social Security, Medicare woes? / The Christian Science Monitor -

I'm glad somebody figured this out! - Immigration is the best way out of the demographic conundrum of the babyboom retirement. Of course Robert Reich could have just read my posting: Two reasons why pragmatism must trump passion on immigration reform (from last October)

...but late is better than never. Kudos also to the CSM (after I just finished sending them a "sternly worded" email for seeming to have only negative coverage of immigration) I happily stand corrected.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NHBA Immigration Law Seminar

I will be presenting at this seminar for members of the NH Bar Association along with attorney Movafaghi and many other capable immigration law practitioners including Immigration Judge Paul Gagnon and Mark Furtado of the Department of Homeland Security (ICE division).

Here is the information presented by the NHBA:

Immigration Law, including the legal status, rights, and obligations of non-citizens, is a current political “hot potato,” and affects more areas of U.S. society than most people realize. This program for attorneys with a variety of practice concentrations features a faculty panel of experienced New Hampshire practitioners, and Federal government officials.

Topics will include:
• Employment based permanent residence
• Employment based non-immigrant visas
• Family based permanent residence
• Violence Against Women Act
• Immigration consequences of criminal convictions
• Access of the undocumented to the U.S. justice system
• Consular processing and visa waivers
• Work site enforcement of Immigration Laws, including obligations of employers and employer sanctions
• Introduction to Department of Homeland Security, and specifically
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency

6.0 Total NH MCLE, 1.0 of which may be applied toward NH Ethics
NHBA Seminar Room, Course No. OT147L

2 Pillsbury Street, Concord, NH 03301
Thu, 9:00A 4:30P May 13, 2010

Hope to see you there...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Americans in the Granite State | Immigration Policy Center

New Americans in the Granite State Immigration Policy Center

From the Immigration Policy Center (IPC)

Washington D.C. -The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an important part of New Hampshire and Vermont's economies, labor force, and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, Latinos, Asians and immigrants will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of the Granite and Green Mountain States.

Highlights from New Hampshire include:

Immigrants made up 5.1% of Granite Staters (or 67,735 people) in 2007.

The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $902.4 million and Asian buying power totaled nearly $963.2 million in New Hampshire in 2009.

If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from New Hampshire, the state could lose $893.2 million in economic activity and $396.7 million in gross state product.

click the title to see more from IPC

Court Requires Warning About Deportation Risk -

Court Requires Warning About Deportation Risk -

RAD ~ Padilla v. Kentucky sets an important precedent (especially in states like NH that don't have a mandatory non-citizen warning statute or court rule like the other New England States)
Published: March 31, 2010

“It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant — whether a citizen or not — is left to the mercies of incompetent counsel,” Justice Stevens wrote.

The vote was 7 to 2, though two justices in the majority would have required only that criminal defense lawyers not say anything false and tell their clients to consult an immigration lawyer if they had questions.

The question in the case, Padilla v. Kentucky, No. 08-651, was whether bad legal advice about a collateral consequence of a guilty plea could amount to ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment.

Justice Stevens said the answer was yes. Where the relevant immigration law is “succinct and straightforward,” he said, the defense lawyer must explain the consequences of a guilty plea. Otherwise, the lawyer “need do no more than advise a noncitizen client that pending criminal charges may carry a risk of adverse immigration consequences.”

“The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important,” he wrote. “Deportation is an integral part — indeed, sometimes the most important part — of the penalty that may be imposed on noncitizen defendants who plead guilty to specified crimes.”

Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Justice Stevens’s opinion.

Click on the title to see the whole article at

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

USCIS: Change of Filing Location for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

USCIS: Change of Filing Location for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

RAD~ Are you confused yet? All this changing of filing this leading to something?

Change of Filing Location for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131). The change of filing location is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of some USCIS forms from USCIS local offices and Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. By Centralizing form and fee intake to a Lockbox environment, the agency can provide customers with more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.

Beginning March 19, 2010 applicants will file their applications at the USCIS Vermont Service Center or at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities. Detailed guidance can be found in updated Form I-131 instructions page at

The USCIS Service Centers will forward incorrectly filed Form I-131 applications to the USCIS Lockbox facilities for 30 days, until Monday, April 19, 2010. After April 19, 2010, incorrectly filed applications will be returned to the applicant, with a note to send the application to the correct location.

If you are currently in removal proceedings or have been previously removed from the United States, submit your request to the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of International Affairs, Attn: Section Chief, Law Enforcement Parole Branch, 800 N. Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20536.

When filing Form I-131 at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities, you may elect to receive an email and/or text message notifying you that your application has been accepted. You must complete an
E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Form G-1145), and attach it to the first page of your application.

For more information on USCIS programs, visit or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recent restaurant raids show immigration agency's new strategy - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Recent restaurant raids show immigration agency's new strategy - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

This article from Springfield, IL discusses the new enforcement strategy for immigration. That is to audit the I-9 files of employers all over the country and to fine the employers and putting the undocumented workers in deportation. This is what restrictionists say they want (although I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to praise the Obama administration). But it also has to be what reformers want because even though it is painful...change is not going to come until more powerful economic interests start to be affected by our antiquated immigration policy.

When popular restaurant chain names start appearing in articles like this with big fines next to their names - that is when you know reform is on the way.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to find a Doctor "Civil Surgeon" to perform the Immigration Medical Exam for USCIS

Here is a link to the USCIS Civil Surgeon locator. It works by entering your zip code - if you live close to a state line you might want to try the zip code of a nearby town in your neighboring state. For example their is only one recognized civil surgeon in Southern New Hampshire and sometimes it is hard to get an appointment with her office. There are a few doctors in Northern Massachusetts however and they can also perform the immigration medical exam and physical.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Associated Press: Vermont dairy farmer talks about immigration probe

The Associated Press: Vermont dairy farmer talks about immigration probe

This AP story describes what generally happens during an I-9 audit when ICE comes to visit. Sounds like they are being a little kinder & gentler these days. If you are a business owner who gets audited don't count on it going this smoothly.

excerpt from the story...

He would like to be able to hire foreign farmworkers on temporary visas for several years at a time. Because their business is year-round, dairy farms aren't eligible for workers under the H2A temporary visa worker programs used by crop farmers.

With 950 cows that need to be milked three times a day, Gervais said he's struggled to find reliable workers. Many apply only when they can't find work elsewhere. They often have drug or alcohol problems or troubles at home, he said. He pays his staff $10 to $12 an hour, but said milking can be monotonous and not everyone enjoys it or is good working with animals.

"There's not enough people that want to do it. That's the real, true issue," Gervais said. "I mean there's good Americans that can milk, but there's not enough of them that can and want to."

He was irked that dairy farms — having endured a year of the lowest milk prices in memory — were targeted by investigators.

"With the situation the dairy industry is in, we really don't need this right now," he said. "We're got plenty going on just making a living."

But it could have been worse, he said.

Instead of rounding up workers, the inspector came to the milking barn looking for Gervais. She told him she was doing a random audit and asked for the paperwork. Immigration officials later went through the forms with a fine-tooth comb and found errors, which were largely clerical, Gervais said. They asked for the payroll a second time and eventually told him three workers were illegal. Gervais had talked to several lawyers and didn't know what to expect.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why don't they just come here legally like my great-grandparents did?

Why? 1. Because it used to be a lot easier to come here "legally"; 2. Because it once was easier to legalize yourself even if you came here illegally; 3. Because it used to be easy to come back legally even if you had been here illegally in the past.

Here is some history of immigration law from the USCIS itself:

Act of March 3, 1875 (18 Statutes-at-Large 477)

Established the policy of direct federal regulation of immigration by prohibiting for the first time entry to undesirable immigrants. Provisions:

a. Excluded criminals and prostitutes from admission.

b. Prohibited the bringing of any Oriental persons without their free and voluntary consent; declared the contracting to supply “coolie” labor a felony.

c. Entrusted the inspection of immigrants to collectors of the ports.
Immigration Act of August 3, 1882 (22 Statutes-at-Large 214)

First general immigration law, established a system of central control of immigration through State Boards under the Secretary of the Treasury. Provisions:

a. Broadened restrictions on immigration by adding to the classes of inadmissible aliens, including persons likely to become a public charge.

b. Introduced a tax of 50 cents on each passenger brought to the United States.
Immigration Act of March 3, 1903 (32 Statutes-at-Large 1213)

An extensive codification of existing immigration law. Provisions:

a. Added to the list of inadmissible immigrants.

b. First measure to provide for the exclusion of aliens on the grounds of proscribed opinions by excluding “anarchists, or persons who believe in, or advocate, the overthrow by force or violence the government of the United States, or of all government, or of all forms of law, or the assassination of public officials.”

c. Extended to three years after entry the period during which an alien who was inadmissible at the time of entry could be deported.

d. Provided for the deportation of aliens who became public charges within two years after entry from causes existing prior to their landing.

e. Reaffirmed the contract labor law (see the 1885 act).

Immigration Act of May 26, 1924 (43 Statutes-at-Large 153)

The first permanent limitation on immigration, established the “national origins quota system.” In conjunction with the Immigration Act of 1917, governed American immigration policy until 1952 (see the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952).


a. Contained two quota provisions:

1. In effect until June 30, 1927—set the annual quota of any quota nationality at two percent of the number of foreign-born persons of such nationality resident in the continental United States in 1890 (total quota - 164,667).

2. From July 1, 1927 (later postponed to July 1, 1929) to December 31, 1952—used the national origins quota system: the annual quota for any country or nationality had the same relation to 150,000 as the number of inhabitants in the continental United States in 1920 having that national origin had to the total number of inhabitants in the continental United States in 1920.

Preference quota status was established for: unmarried children under 21; parents; spouses of U.S. citizens aged 21 and over; and for quota immigrants aged 21 and over who are skilled in agriculture, together with their wives and dependent children under age 16.

b. Nonquota status was accorded to: wives and unmarried children under 18 of U.S. citizens; natives of Western Hemisphere countries, with their families; nonimmigrants; and certain others. Subsequent amendments eliminated certain elements of this law’s inherent discrimination against women but comprehensive elimination was not achieved until 1952 (see the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952) 
c. Established the “consular control system” of immigration by mandating that no alien may be permitted entrance to the United States without an unexpired immigration visa issued by an American consular officer abroad. Thus, the State Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service shared control of immigration.

d. Introduced the provision that, as a rule, no alien ineligible to become a citizen shall be admitted to the United States as an immigrant. This was aimed primarily at Japanese aliens.

e. Imposed fines on transportation companies who landed aliens in violation of U.S. Immigration laws.

f. Defined the term “immigrant” and designated all other alien entries into the United States as “nonimmigrant” (temporary visitor). Established classes of admission for nonimmigrant entries.
So in the old days if you showed up and you weren't a criminal or a prostitute (or sadly, Asian) you got in "legally". The US didn't even use visas until after the 1924 law. Similarly, if you were inadmissible but managed to get in you could stay anyway after the three year statute of limitations ran out.
In those days there were no real numerical limits on immigrants - when you decided to come to the US - you came to the US. You simply needed to be able to afford the trip and convince the inspector you would be able to support yourself.
Now there are seven million people waiting in line for less than 400K available visas. The waiting times are multiple decades for some categories. This doesn't even take into account the ten to twelve million people here already without legal status. Why does it surprise anyone that this system doesn't work and that some people try to go around the law? If your spouse was living in the United States legally and filed paperwork for you and the children to come live legally in the USA in six years - how would that sound? (click the title above to see the report from the National Visa Center in Portsmouth - courtesy of
In the 1990s the law changed so that people who were in the United States for one year out of status would be barred from returning legally for 10 years even if they qualified for a visa. After 2001, no new "adjustment of status" paperwork can be filed for people here in the US who entered illegally even if they have approved visa petitions from US citizen relatives and are willing to pay a $1,000.00 penalty fee.
So they can't stay and get legal and they can't leave to try to come back legally either. Where does that leave us as a country? With people who have no chance of getting here legally any time soon either waiting at home for years separated from their loved ones or finding an "extralegal" method of getting here and remaining here out of legal status.
In doing research on immigration and geneaology, I have noticed that immigrants in the 1790s - 1920s often would come here alone and spend a year or even two working and making a home before sending for the rest of the family. That was a necessary hardship that many families undertook - I cannot remember ever seeing people waiting 5 or 10 years to bring their families to the USA nevermind the 23 years currently forecast for Philippines 4th preference petitions. 
So the fact of the matter is...most of our immigrant ancestors would be turned away if they tried to get in here today. This system is not working and needs to be reformed. I believe immigration has historically contributed to the strength and vitality to this country. There do have to be reasonable controls on immigration - but our current system is anything but reasonable.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ICE serves 180 audit notices to businesses in 5 states

ICE serves 180 audit notices to businesses in 5 states

NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 180 businesses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee. The notices alert business owners that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether or not they are complying with employment eligibility verification laws and regulations.

Inspections are one of the most powerful tools the federal government has to enforce employment and immigration laws. This new initiative is part of ICE's increased focus on holding employers accountable for their hiring practices and efforts to ensure a legal workforce.

"ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program to promote compliance with the law. This effort is a first step in ICE's long-term strategy to address and deter illegal employment," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr. acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans.

Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual's identity document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual.

Due to the ongoing, law enforcement sensitive nature of these audits, the names and locations of the businesses will not be released at this time.

In 2009, ICE implemented a new, comprehensive strategy to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce. Under this strategy, ICE is focusing its resources on the auditing and investigation of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by knowingly employing illegal workers. The initiative being launched today is a direct result of this new strategy.

-- ICE --

RAD~So it's the South East that is getting heavy audits right now...New England could be next I suppose.

Another Reason to Open an Immigration Court in Manchester, NH

If driving hours just to end up in Boston traffic and paying $35.00 for parking weren't reasons enough to hope for a Northern New England immigration court in Manchester -- here's another reason from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice. The Boston Immigration court received 8,527 matters in FY 2009 but was only able to complete 7,595 matters. At this rate (about 1,000 per year) they are likely to become hopelessly backlogged in just a very short time.

Northern New England cases account for more than half of that excess (about 650 cases in FY 2009) if cases from Lowell, MA or Lawrence, MA were included on the Manchester docket (as they are just as accessible to Manchester as they are to Boston) that would likely solve the backlog problem.

click the title above to go to the EOIR Statistical Yearbook

The Associated Press: AZ may criminalize presence of illegal immigrants

The Associated Press: AZ may criminalize presence of illegal immigrants

PHOENIX — Over the past several years, immigration hard-liners at the Arizona Legislature persuaded their colleagues to criminalize the presence of illegal border-crossers in the state and ban soft immigration policies in police agencies — only to be thwarted by vetoes from a Democratic governor.

This year, their prospects have improved. A proposal to draw local police deeper into the fight against illegal immigration has momentum, and even opponents expect the new Republican governor to sign off on the changes.

The proposal would make Arizona the only state to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants through an expansion of its trespassing law. It also would require police to try to determine people's immigration status when there's reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally.

RAD~ I worked on cases like this in New Hampshire back in 2005. The local police chiefs in Hudson and New Ipswich decided to arrest people who could not prove their lawful immigration status for trespassing. I believe this is a bad policy - it is also unlawful because the admission, registration and control of aliens in the United States is an area of legal responsibility reserved to the federal government. The legal doctrine of preemption, therefore, applies to actions by states and municipalities who attempt to create and enforce their own individual laws on immigration. I am born and raised in NH and don't like to think of my state this way but clearly it is more than a coincidence that the only two states that have tried to criminalize undocumented immigrants as trespassers (New Hampshire and Arizona)were also among the very last states to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

President Bachelet: Earthquake Unparalleled in Chilean History | News | English

President Bachelet: Earthquake Unparalleled in Chilean History News English
President Bachelet Surveying Damage

Another tremendous earthquake - this time in Chile! Although Chile has far greater internal resources (economically and politically) to deal with this catastrophe than Haiti did little more than a month ago... they will still need assistance from the international community to recover from what appears to be one of the strongest earthquakes in decades as well as an earthquake induced Tsunami!

see the Voice of America story by clicking on the link.

Or click on this link to see the BBC news photo story on the devastation:

Chile Devastation

Thursday, February 25, 2010

USCIS - Revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Revised Filing Locations

USCIS - Revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Revised Filing Locations

Revised Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Revised Filing Locations

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has posted a revised Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. In addition to a revised form, there are new filing locations. The changes are part of an overall effort to transition the intake of USCIS benefit forms from Service Centers to Lockbox facilities. Centralizing form and fee intake allows USCIS to provide the public more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.

Beginning February 25, 2010, most applicants must submit Form I-485 to a USCIS Lockbox facility, depending on the eligibility category under which they are filing, as provided in the form instructions. USCIS Service Centers will forward all Form I-485 applications to the appropriate Lockbox facility until March 29, 2010. USCIS will accept previous versions of Form I-485 for until March 29, 2010. After March 29, 2010, USCIS will only accept the Form I-485 dated “12/03/09.”Any previous versions of the the form that are submitted will be rejected. After the transitional period, the Service Centers will return any incorrectly filed Form I-485 with instructions to send the application to the correct location.

At this time, applicants should not concurrently file Form I-485 with an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) at a USCIS Lockbox facility. Refer to the Form I-140 filing Instructions for information on how to file forms concurrently.

When filing Form I-485 at a Lockbox facility, you may elect to receive an email and/or text message notifying you that USCIS has accepted your application. To receive notification, you must complete an E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Form G-1145), and attach it to the first page of your application.

For more information on USCIS programs, visit or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

RAD~See my comments on the I-765 change of filing location.

USCIS - Change of Filing Location for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

USCIS - Change of Filing Location for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Change of Filing Location for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). The change of filing location is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of some benefit forms from Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. Centralizing form and fee intake allows USCIS to provide the public more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.

Beginning February 24, 2010 applicants must now submit Form I-765 to one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities or the USCIS Vermont Service Center, based on the classification under which they are filing. Detailed guidance can be found in updated Form I-765 instructions as well as at

The Service Centers will forward incorrectly filed applications to the USCIS Phoenix and Dallas Lockbox facilities for the first 30 days, until March 26, 2010. After March 26, 2010, applications incorrectly filed at USCIS Service Centers will be returned to the applicant, with a note to send the application to the correct location.

When filing Form I-765 at one of the USCIS Lockbox facilities, you may elect to receive an email and/or text message notifying you that your application has been accepted. You must complete an E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Form G-1145), and attach it to the first page of your application.

Form I-765 may be electronically filed (e-filed) with USCIS when submitted under certain categories. View our Web site for a list of who is eligible to e-file Form I-765.

For more information on USCIS programs, visit or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

RAD~ IS USCIS JUST TRYING TO MAKE LIFE DIFFICULT? No, they would tell you they are streamlining their processes - to improve service.


French Leader in Rwanda for 1st Time Since 1994 Genocide | News | English

French Leader in Rwanda for 1st Time Since 1994 Genocide News English

From Voice of America Online

Sarkosy in Rwanda
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has acknowledged that France and the rest of the world made mistakes in failing to prevent Rwanda's 1994 genocide, but he stopped short of apologizing.

Mr. Sarkozy told reporters in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, Thursday that France and other nations were "blinded" in their failure to see the genocidal aspect of the government that orchestrated the killings.

The French president spoke after holding talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and visiting the genocide museum and memorial, where he paid homage to the victims.

His one-day visit is the first by a French leader since Rwanda's 1994 genocide. The two nations are trying to repair diplomatic ties after a three-year breakdown.

RAD~ In 1994 I was a student at Boston University School of Law. I don't remember hearing much about the genocide in Rwanda at the time - I think the American media was mostly involved with the death of singer/songwriter Kurt Cobain. Now all of these years later I have met a number of survivors of the Genocide and have heard and read about many of the harrowing stories of that time. I am now a member of the Board of Directors of "Rest for the Nations Ministries" which was established to assist in educating children in Rwanda in the hope that the opportunities an education can provide the next generation will help to prevent future ethnic violence.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ILW.COM - immigration news: USCIS On New I-102 Filing Location

ILW.COM - immigration news: USCIS On New I-102 Filing Location

On a far less entertaining note than the previous post but perhaps of more immeditate usefulness here is information on the change in filing location for obtaining replacement I-94 cards -

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing an Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document (Form I-102). The new form is dated 1/13/10. This is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of benefit forms from Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. Centralizing form and fee intake to a Lockbox environment allows USCIS to provide customers with more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.

Beginning February 22, 2010, applicants submitting Form I-102 by itself must mail their application to the USCIS Phoenix or Dallas Lockbox facility, based on where they are located. Detailed guidance can be found in the updated Form I-102 instructions, which can be accessed through the Form I-102 link to the right. Applicants submitting their Form I-102 with another form should submit both forms according to the filing instructions for the other form.

NATO and Partnership for Peace under SOFA Military Members seeking an initial Form I-94 should submit their application through their foreign commander or designee, to NATO/Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation at NATO/HQ SACT, 7857 Blandy Road, Suite 100, ATTN: Legal Affairs, Norfolk, VA 23551-2490.

The Service Centers will forward mail to the USCIS Phoenix and Dallas Lockbox facilities for 30 days until March 24, 2010. After March 24, 2010, applications incorrectly filed at the Service Centers will be returned to the applicant, with a note to send the application to the correct location.

Applicants filing a Form I-102 at a USCIS Lockbox facility, may elect to receive an email and/or text message notifying them that their application has been accepted. They must complete an E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Form G-1145), and attach it to the first page of their application.

For more information on USCIS programs, visit or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.