Immigration Law News NH and beyond

Loading...

Immigration Newsletter

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 www.uscis.gov 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 www.uscis.gov.

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 www.uscis.gov 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.

WELL HOW ABOUT A LITTLE MORE NOTICE THAN THE SAME DAY YOU MAKE THE CHANGE? THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE LIKELY TO HAVE APPLICATIONS DELAYED BECAUSE THEY SEND THEM TO THE WRONG ADDRESS.

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 www.uscis.gov or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.


thanks ILW.com

Shakira on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (that's right, I said Shakira)

From Foreign Policy online by way of Benders Immigration Daily...

Shakira
Lebanese-Colombian singer and activist Shakira got the red-carpet treatment in Washington today, meeting with President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden at the White House and then joining World Bank President Robert Zoellick to announce a new $300 million initiative for early childhood development...

And Shakira isn't confining her advocacy to education; she also wants Obama to push forward on immigration reform. White House officials told Shakira that they hope to reach an agreement this year with the Republican Party to legalize undocumented immigrants, her representative said.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our overloaded immigration courts - latimes.com

Our overloaded immigration courts - latimes.com

A recent report by the American Bar Assn. calls for making the court system independent of the Justice Department to reduce "public skepticism" and increase respect, and paints a harrowing picture in which final decisions are rushed, haphazard and inconsistent. At times the outcome of removal proceedings depends less on the facts of an immigrant's case than on which judge hears the case, the report says. It calls for hiring 100 additional immigration judges as soon as possible, adding new training and requiring more written, reasoned decisions from judges.


RAD~At least I am not alone in noticing this. We'll take one in Manchester please!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Koch Foods Pays Immigration Fine - Cincinnati breaking news, weather radar, traffic from 9News | Channel 9 WCPO.com

Koch Foods Pays Immigration Fine - Cincinnati breaking news, weather radar, traffic from 9News Channel 9 WCPO.com

Koch foods the poultry processing company in Cincinnati was fined over half a million dollars resulting from an immigration raid conducted in 2007 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

RAD ~ As I have said before, the quickest way to get comprehensive immigration reform is to create pain for the many industries that utilize immigrant workers. They are the ones who have the political clout and the economic resources to make changes happen. Immigrant workers are essential in a number of industries (if you work in these industries you know this, but it really should not surprise anyone). So doesn't it make sense for the government to find a way to allow these workers to come in legally instead of playing games.

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's character Colonel Jessup from A Few Good Men:

You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that poultry plant, you need me in that poultry plant.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Department of Homeland Security Estimate of Unauthorized Immigrants

OK this might not be the easiest thing in the world to read...to see the full report click the link.

Visa Bulletin Department of State

OK one last link for now to promote...

The Department of State issues a Visa Bulletin every month.  This publication explains how visas are allocated for different classes of family-based and employment-based immigrants and what the waiting times are.  These waiting times are based on "priority dates", that is when the case was accepted by the government for processing and placed in the immigration queue.

See the link in the right hand sidebar to go to the DOS Visa Bulletin page...

Immigration Case Status Check

While we are on the subject of useful links... you may want to check the status of your immigration case with USCIS.

If you have your receipt number you can check your case online with USCIS by clicking the link in our useful links section in the right hand sidebar.

USCIS InfoPass appointment maker

Looking to make an appoinment with the immigration service (USCIS)? You can schedule one with the infopass system at USCIS.gov

If you scroll down the right hand sidebar of this page you will find a quick link to the Info Pass System.

Lawyers Back Creating New Immigration Courts - NYTimes.com

Lawyers Back Creating New Immigration Courts - NYTimes.com

By JULIA PRESTON


Published: February 8, 2010

Responding to pleas from immigration judges and lawyers who say the nation’s immigration courts are faltering under a crushing caseload, the American Bar Association called Monday for Congress to scrap the current system and create a new, independent court for immigration cases.



RAD ~ This is probably a good idea...whatever they decide please locate a judge in NH! It makes no sense for the people of ME, NH, VT to fight Boston traffic to go to court (or even worse have to go all the way to Hartford, CT as some Vermonters do)! 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » New Study Confirms Positive Impact of Immigration on Wages of Native-Born Workers

Immigration Impact » Blog Archive » New Study Confirms Positive Impact of Immigration on Wages of Native-Born Workers
 From EPI's Press Release -

“Americans are right to worry about the declining quality of jobs over the last few decades, but this report shows that, for native workers at all levels of education, immigration had very little to do with it,” said EPI economist Heidi Shierholz, author of the report. “Other factors, like employers’ aggressive anti-union tactics, the declining purchasing power of the minimum wage, and unbalanced foreign trade are the real culprits behind broad-based declines in wages and job quality.”


Nevertheless, said Shierholz, immigration could have a much more beneficial impact on the U.S. economy – and its impact on foreign-born workers already here could be mitigated – if the immigration system were given a comprehensive overhaul. “This report suggests that we have little to fear, and much to gain, from developing a fairer, more rational immigration system,” she said.
 
To see the executive summary click this link:
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp255/

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Indonesia's Anti-Pornography Law Raises Fears for Minorities, Liberals | News | English


Indonesia's Anti-Pornography Law Raises Fears for Minorities, Liberals | News | English
from Voice of America (VOAnews.com)
The recent arrest of six people in Indonesia over a nightclub show is raising concerns among minority groups and secularists about a new anti-pornography law.

In late 2008, Indonesia's parliament passed a broad law aimed at stamping out what many politicians saw as an epidemic of pornography. Pushed by Islamic conservatives, the law outlawed anything - from books to paintings to some bodily movements - considered capable of raising feelings of lust.

Liberals and non-Muslims opposed the law, saying it is too harsh and too broad. But there was little action - until the arrest last month of four women for dancing in their underwear at a nightclub in Bandung.

The women arrested at the Belair Café and Music Lounge are likely to be the first people tried under the law and could face up to 10 years in prison. Their agent and a club manager could be jailed for 15 years.

Rights activists say the use of the law is the first step of a crusade they fear will spread beyond the fight against smut, and become a campaign against regional traditions and religious minorities. The concern is that everything from traditional dances to Hindu temple carvings could fall afoul of the law.

Ellin Rozana, the director of the Indonesian women's rights group Institut Perempuan, says the anti-pornography law is part of a project by some Islamic parties to push Indonesia toward adopting aspects of sharia, or Islamic law.


RAD ~ I currently have a case pending at the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit involving whether an ethnic Chinese Christian has reason to seek political asylum from Indonesia on account of religious persecution by Fundamentalist Muslims. The Court has been very resistant to the idea in the past. Stories like this one cause me to worry that Indonesia may be heading in the wrong direction regarding tolerance of religious and ethnic minorities.


Indonesia has the highest Muslim population of any country and most of the Muslims in Indonesia are peaceful, moderate and tolerant of religious and ethnic minorities most of the time. However, there were horrifying riots in May of 1998 in which many Chinese and Christians were murdered, raped and beaten. Many businesses and homes were burned and looted and law and order was not restored for days. The the forced closing and even bombing of churches (though not widespread) has taken place regularly in Indonesia over the past decade and other acts of terrible ethnic and religious violence (such as beheadings) have taken place during that span as well.

The federal courts rely heavily on the advice of the US State Department to determine what risk there is in returning foreign nationals who make a claim for political asylum. To my mind this is problematic (even if understandable)because the Secretary of State is first and foremost a diplomat. No good diplomat is going to want to embarrass the government of the largest Muslim state in the world while we are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Lately the State Department has (in my view at least) taken a slightly more critical view of religious freedom and tolerance in Indonesia. Here is an excerpt from the DOS 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom:

"The Constitution provides for freedom of religion. The Government officially recognized only six religions, and legal restrictions continued on certain types of religious activity.

The Government generally respected religious freedom in practice; however, ongoing government restrictions, particularly among unrecognized religions and sects of the recognized religions considered "deviant" were significant exceptions to respect for religious freedom. Since the previous reporting period the Government convicted and sentenced the leaders of a hardline Muslim organization to 18 months in prison, including time served, for their role in organized violence against a peaceful demonstration in support of religious freedom. The Government also prosecuted terrorists responsible for religiously tinged violence in Sulawesi and the Malukus. In some cases, however, the Government tolerated discrimination against and the abuse of religious groups by private actors and failed to punish perpetrators, although the Government prevented several vigilante actions during Ramadan. Aceh remained the only province authorized to implement Islamic law (Shari'a), although non-Muslims in the province are exempted from Shari'a. Many local governments outside of Aceh maintained laws with elements of Shari'a that abrogated certain rights of women and religious minorities; however, no new laws based on Shari'a were known to have passed during the reporting period. Even though the central Government holds authority over religious matters, it did not try to overturn any local laws that restricted rights guaranteed in the Constitution. Members of minority religious groups continued to experience some official discrimination in the form of administrative difficulties, often in the context of civil registration of marriages and births or the issuance of identity cards.

There were a number of reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice. Some groups used violence and intimidation to forcibly shut at least nine churches and 12 Ahmadiyya mosques. Some of the churches remained closed and one Ahmadiyya mosque in Riau that was completely destroyed had not been rebuilt. Other mosques were reopened. Many perpetrators of past abuse against religious minorities were not brought to justice.

The U.S. Government discusses religious freedom with government and civil society leaders as part of its overall policy to promote human rights. The Embassy promoted religious freedom and tolerance through exchanges and civil society development."

President Obama Aunt Zeituni Onyango Fights Deportation - ABC News

President Obama's Aunt Zeituni Onyango
President Obama Aunt Zeituni Onyango Fights Deportation - ABC News

Risky case to take if you're her lawyer - how are you going to look if she loses? Kenyan asylum cases are not always easy. I have won a good number of them but not all of them. I don't remember having any Kenyan asylum cases before judge Shapiro. He is a fair-minded judge but he's no pushover. If she doesn't have the case she won't be granted. As a civil service employee he isn't going to be fired for not going along (even the Bush administration wouldn't have tried to pull that - I think?!?) Even if higher-ups in the Justice Department tried to lean on him - Judge Shapiro can retire any time he wants to - there's no leverage. If she's granted asylum it'll be because she makes the case.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Slain veteran’s family leaves U.S. as wife’s visa is set to expire | Stars and Stripes

Slain veteran’s family leaves U.S. as wife’s visa is set to expire Stars and Stripes
from Stripes.com -

The Ferschkes
Hotaru Ferschke said it was her husband’s wish that the child be raised as an American, but the State Department refuses to recognize the couple’s July 2008 marriage because it was never consummated.


Michael Ferschke, 22, a team leader with the Okinawa-based 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, married his wife by telephone during a deployment to Iraq and was killed a month later while conducting house-to-house searches.

His wife and son moved from Okinawa in February to live with Ferschke’s family in Maryville. But without recognition of a legal marriage, they faced deportation when her one-year visa expired.

The Ferschke family had been holding out hope on two bills introduced in Congress last year.

Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., sponsored a House bill to give permanent residency status to Hotaru Ferschke. A similar bill was sponsored in the Senate by Jim Webb, D-Va., Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Mark Udall, D-Colo.

As of Friday, the bill was still in committee in both the House and Senate.

RAD ~ This is another aspect of our enforcement happy immigration policy in the US of A. If you take a look at how these Senators and Congressmen voted on various immigration reform bills in the past how do you suppose it would jibe with their efforts on behalf of this family?