Immigration Newsletter

Friday, January 29, 2010

USCIS: Change of Filing Location for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility

USCIS: Change of Filing Location for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced revisions to Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility.

As of January 4, 2010, infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is no longer a ground of inadmissibility. If you have the HIV infection, you are no longer inadmissible to the United States, and are no longer required to file Form I-601 because of your HIV infection. As part of the revisions to Form I-601, any reference to HIV infection in the form and the instructions were removed.

In addition, USCIS today announced that there are revised filing instructions and addresses for applicants filing Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. The change of filing location is part of an overall effort to transition the intake of benefit forms from USCIS local offices and Service Centers to USCIS Lockbox facilities. By centralizing form and fee intake to a Lockbox environment, USCIS can provide customers with more efficient and effective initial processing of applications and fees.

RAD~There's more information if you click on the link, but it largely refers to other information that you will not likely have in front of you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Immigrants More Likely to Have Jobs Than Native Born: Report | NBC Los Angeles

Immigrants More Likely to Have Jobs Than Native Born: Report | NBC Los Angeles

Foreign-born residents are more likely to have jobs than native-born citizens, according to the report from the California Immigrant Policy Center. Also, immigrants put more into the economy than they take out of it, the Daily Breeze reported.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office criticized the report for making no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants in the report.

USCIS: Naturalization Test: Civics (History and Government) Questions with MP3 Audio

USCIS: Naturalization Test: Civics (History and Government) Questions with MP3 Audio

If you are thinking about becoming a US Citizen check this link to see the study guide...

If you are a Native born citizen why don't you check out the test as well and see how you do. After practicing in this field for the past twelve years I have met many citizens who would struggle to pass this relatively simple test (the one they used a few years ago was even easier - still many people just don't seem to know these basic ideas about American government and civics).

Construction Update Bedford USCIS

USCIS Bedford immigration

Here is the latest photograph of the progress on the new USCIS building in Bedford, NH. I like this one especially because the building is shrouded and opaque much like the service itself.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Immigration Reform is essential to bringing back the economy

From "":

"Maybe we simply can't increase the number of high-growth firms," says Dane Stangler, a senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation and co-author of the report. "But if there are ways to increase it, it's clearly not by what we've done in the past."
"So what would spur entrepreneurial growth in the U.S.? "We always come back to immigration," says Stangler, who says loosening visa restrictions would increase the number of small businesses and boost the economy."

Click the link to read the article.

Interesting LA Times Article on "Paper Sons" and the Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act was one of America's most bigotted, but least remembered (here on the East Coast at least) moments of poor immigration policy. Bad laws set the stage for bad acts of course (think of prohibition for example) and the Chinese Exclusion Act is no exception to that rule.

When Asian people could find no legal avenue to come to America - they found illegal ways to do so...generations later their decendants (surprisingly to some perhaps) are no different than any other families in the neighborhood and they have not even destroyed America. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Temporary Protected Status Granted for Haitian Nationals

OK, now we're getting on the title to go to the press release from DHS. Haitians already in the United States as of January 12, 2010 (and not one day later) may register for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). People of Haiti seeking refuge are still not treated as well as people from Cuba coming to the United States (but then who is?). Here is a quote from the press release which typifies the limits of our compassion for Haitians who wish to come to the U.S.

"It is important to note that TPS will apply only to those individuals who were in the United States as of January 12, 2010. Those who attempt to travel to the United States after January 12, 2010 will not be eligible for TPS and will be repatriated."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake - trouble continues

Haiti Earthquake
From CS Monitor Online:

Haiti earthquake relief workers say they are hampered by quake's devastation. All three of Medecins sans Frontieres' (MSF) centers in Haiti were crushed. Workers couldn't drive around because Haitians were sleeping on the roads. But the international airport is now open for aid flights.

If you are reading this from New Hampshire you can contact your Congressperson or Senator at the following links to ask them to urge President Obama and Secretary Napolitano to implement Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians currently in the US.

Gregg, Judd - (R - NH) Class III
(202) 224-3324

Web Form:

Shaheen, Jeanne - (D - NH) Class II
(202) 224-2841

Web Form:

Carol Shea Porter (1st CD)
Paul Hodes (2nd CD)

DHS: Statement by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

DHS: Statement by HomRelease Date: January 13, 2010

Release Date: January 13, 2010
For Immediate ReleaseOffice of the Press SecretaryContact: 202-282-8010
"The entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extends its sympathy for the devastation and loss of life in Haiti following last night's earthquake--a disaster that has called the world to action in response. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are leading DHS actions to support the larger assistance effort. Several Coast Guard cutters and aircraft have mobilized and are on the ground to assist the humanitarian effort as needed. FEMA has been in close contact with the State Department and USAID, the lead U.S. federal response agencies, and stands ready to provide assistance as requested. I am being kept closely apprised of the developing situation, and the Department will continue to support the people of Haiti and others affected by this tragedy. I encourage the American people to donate what funds they can afford to disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross to allow these voluntary groups to provide goods and services to disaster survivors as quickly as possible."
On background:
The Coast Guard Cutter Forward arrived off Port Au Prince this morning and was the first U.S. asset on the scene. The cutter is equipped with a helicopter flight deck, satellite communications equipment, and the ability to provide coordination to military aircraft in the area. The Coast Guard cutter Mohawk is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. Two Coast Guard C-130 airplanes are flying the coast of Western Haiti this morning doing damage assessments and searching for people in need of assistance. Two Coast Guard helicopters are also forward deployed in the area to provide rescue or other assistance.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association Leadership Blog has this to say about responding to the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Haiti -

"The reality is that failure to move forward with TPS Designation for Haiti now will be considered by many to be racist. Honduras has had TPS for YEARS since the one Hurricane which devastated that country. El Salvador has enjoyed such designation for numerous years as well since the earthquakes in that country. Yet, Haiti, which appears to be at the center of Mother Nature's wrath for the last 18 months, remains forsaken, its nationals abandoned. "

I would point out that the United States never granted TPS to Indonesian Nationals while they have been experiencing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and other natural disasters as well as other issues that deserved consideration.... Indonesia, however, is a much larger country than Haiti with more resources and a greater population to mount efforts to aid its people and rebuild. Haiti does not have the ability to recover from this on its own, so the notion that the USA will provide humanitarian and logistical assistance is a good one. However, we as a country - apparently are going to be content to deport individuals and families back to this nightmare scenario while pledging how concerned we are for their welfare!

Send an Email to President Obama on this issue:

Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals in the USA

Haiti DestructionHaiti has suffered enormous damage from hurricanes in 2008 and has now been devastated by a large earthquake that may have left hundreds of thousands of people without shelter.  The United States cannot in good conscience return Haitian Nationals to their country in its current state of emergency.

Please call your Congressperson and ask them to request that Secretary of DHS Janet Napolitano designate Haitian Nationals for TPS. You can also visit this page to see the contact information for the Department of Homeland Security:

Do it today it won't take long...but it could save lives

Monday, January 11, 2010

Economic study of the benefits of legalization getting good press

I think it is a good sign that the study I highlighted friday on the "blawg" got good press not only from major newspapers like the LA Times but also from industry publications like Lawn & Landscape Magazine. Here is an exerpt:

"If we are going to create a solid recovery with good wages, we have to fix this hole that we have at the bottom of the labor market," said the author, Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, an associate professor with the UCLA Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. "This is not about bringing in a lot of workers. This is about your neighbors and if we are better off where everybody in the economy has the ability to fight for their families and to contribute more to the economy rather than staying in the shadows."

RAD~Meaning no disrespect to the publishers of the Lawn & Landscape -- but upon seeing the title of their magazine I was immediately reminded of "Horse & Hound" the magazine that Hugh Grant feigned to be reporting for at a press junket for a science fiction movie that Julia Roberts' character was starring in in the movie "Notting Hill". 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Raising the Floor for American Workers

From the Immigration Policy Institute Web Page:

According to a new study by UCLA’s Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, legalizing undocumented workers through comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over a ten year period, generate billions in additional tax revenue and consumer spending and support hundreds of thousands of jobs. The report, which runs several different economic scenarios, finds that enacting a comprehensive immigration reform plan which creates a legalization process for undocumented workers and sets a flexible visa program dependent on U.S. labor demands not only raises the floor for all American workers, but is an economic necessity.

RAD~Readers need to understand that Nativists' irrational fear of "the other" is not only morally objectionable -- it is costing this country a great deal of money!

Monday, January 4, 2010

USCIS: 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan (USCIS Update)

USCIS: 18-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan (USCIS Update)

Nationals of Sudan who are in the USA pursuant to Temporary Protected Status should look into the procedure for re-registering. Here is a link to the USCIS information page (and for information in Arabic --

Recession Fuels Spike In Foreign Investor Visas : NPR

Recession Fuels Spike In Foreign Investor Visas : NPR

News of job creation programs has been widely reported lately, but there's one program that many people have never heard about: Under U.S. immigration law, foreigners can invest in an American business and, in exchange, receive a green card.

This has long been a small, obscure program, but as domestic sources of financing have dried up, the number of EB-5 visas issued this way has tripled in the past year.
(click the link to see the rest of the article)

RAD ~ Restrictionist groups often claim to oppose only "illegal immigration"; then when crop pickers are allowed in legally, they only support "skilled immigration"; then when H-1B visas allow technical professionals with advanced degrees to immigrate, they only support "immigration that creates jobs for Americans". Finally, when you get to a program like this you see the Restrictionist's true colors...they just don't like immigrants period. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies should be thanked for making that perfectly clear in his quotes in this article.

Senator Chuck Schumer to lead new effort at immigration reform | Irish News | IrishCentral

Senator Chuck Schumer to lead new effort at immigration reform Irish News IrishCentral
Sen. Schumer

A major effort to swing at least five key Republican senators behind immigration reform will be the key task of Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who is leading the effort in the senate to create new legislation.
Tens of thousands of Irish undocumented are among those anxiously awaiting new efforts this year to bring about reform. The last effort to create a bill, called the Kennedy/McCain immigration bill failed when Republicans refused to support it.
However, the new bill, which Senator Schumer and aides to President Obama are working on, will have strong enforcement measures in it in addition to a plan to legalize those here illegally.
President Obama has given a commitment to take up the issue soon after his health care reform bill passes, as is generally expected.
Schumer is counting on Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, who has indicated that he will support a new bill that has strong enforcement measures and ensures that illegal immigration will be much harder after the bill passes.
"Schumer wants to show that legalizing the undocumented is actually good national security policy, as well as making it clear that it will become much harder for new illegals to work here if the new bill is passed" said a source.
Hispanic groups who have major clout with this White House are concerned that the proposed bill leans too far in the enforcement direction.
Among other senators on the Republican side that Schumer hopes will be reachable are Senators Olympia Snow and Susan Collins in Maine, Senator George Voinovich in Ohio and Senator John McCain of Arizona, who sponsored legislation before.
A House bill has already been introduced by Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, a close supporter of President Obama.

RAD~An update on CIR, and a reminder that immigration policy is not only about the border with Mexico.

Report: Number of immigration cases at record levels in US courts in 2009 -

Report: Number of immigration cases at record levels in US courts in 2009 -

MARK SHERMAN Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigration prosecutions rose to record levels in 2009 as the Obama administration kept up aggressive enforcement that began under President George W. Bush.Nearly 27,000 people faced serious federal charges relating to immigration in 2009, according to Chief Justice John Roberts' annual year-end report on the judiciary. More than three-fourths were accused of illegally re-entering the United States after having been sent home before.Immigration cases increased by about a fifth over the previous year and made up a third of all new criminal filings in U.S. district courts in the government spending year that ended Sept. 30. The statistics were compiled by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.Wendy Sefsaf, spokeswoman for the pro-immigrant Immigration Policy Center, said she expects the number of prosecutions to remain high until Congress passes a law that gives the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants a way to remain in the United States legally."Can we really afford to be spending this kind of time and money locking up people who essentially have come here to work?" Sefsaf said.Roberts's brief report, with no commentary on the numbers, broke with a nearly 40-year tradition of chief justices highlighting the needs of the federal judiciary. Instead, Roberts said the courts "are operating soundly" and tacked on a summary of their caseloads.He also noted that increases in fraud, marijuana trafficking and sex crimes cases helped push the number of criminal cases to the highest level since 1932, the year before the repeal of Prohibition.The number of cases excludes less serious crimes that are handled by federal magistrate judges. In 2008, there were nearly 80,000 immigration cases in all, including those dealt with by magistrate judges, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a private group at Syracuse University.

RAD~Is anyone really surprised that many people return after being deported even if they face likely prosecution? You shouldn't be, often their home, job, spouse and children still remain in the United States? It is fitting that the author mentions prosecutions are now at prohibition levels. When upwards of twelve million people living in the U.S. are in violation of the law and cannot get right with the law except by giving up everything they value - it is a recipe for political and social failure on the scale of prohibition.