Immigration Newsletter

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is The Border Secure Enough To Tackle The Immigration System? : NPR

Is The Border Secure Enough To Tackle The Immigration System? : NPR

Check out this story from NPR. After a decade of doubling and redoubling enforcement it is time to get people into a legal status.

~ My comment is

The American economy can only grow if there are workers/consumers here to make it happen. The total number of working age persons (20-64) is supposed to grow by 18 million people from 2010 to 2030. The total number of people 65+ is projected to grow by 32 million. Who is going to fill the extra 14 million jobs these retirees leave behind? Who is going to pay into social security and medicare to help cover them? The current answer -- nobody!

The US Economy will shrink (that means more recession) unless we bring working age people here to fill jobs, start businesses, buy houses, cars, insurance, furniture, i-pads, etc... Of course if you'd rather migrant workers went elsewhere to make their living that can be arranged. The USA will cease to be the world's largest economy and our national standard of living will likely continue to drop.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Immigration violation: Henry County Sheriff unhappy about charges against deputy | al.com

Immigration violation: Henry County Sheriff unhappy about charges against deputy | al.com


ABBEVILLE, Alabama — A Canadian man who served as a reserve deputy for 25 years in southeast Alabama is facing charges of being in the United States illegally, and the sheriff he worked for isn't happy about it.
Kevin Dwight Venhuis, 46, of Abbeville is charged with being an illegal immigrant and possessing firearms without proper U.S. citizenship, federal court records say.
Henry County Sheriff William Maddox said Venhuis volunteered for the department for years, and the fact he was Canadian was never an issue because he was married to an American woman.
But Maddox told the Dothan Eagle that Venhuis' citizenship became an issue because he got a divorce, and he was arrested Monday at a traffic stop.
A sworn statement by a Department of Homeland Security officer said Alabama authorities received a complaint that Venhuis was working as a deputy even though he wasn't a U.S. citizen.
Aside from the immigration violation, Venhuis also was charged with being an illegal resident in possession for firearms.
"He donates all of that, and he don't charge the sheriff's office one dime," Maddox said. "He's a computer genius is what he is. This don't set well with me after 25 years."
Brian Cox, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Orleans, said the investigation was continuing Thursday and declined further comment.
Federal court records show the government denied Venhuis' application for an alien relative status in June 2009, based on his divorce from the U.S. citizen two years earlier after almost three years of marriage.
Maddox said he has been working with Venhuis for some time to help him get his immigration issues straightened out. He said Venhuis had already hired an immigration attorney. The sheriff said he and a former Henry County judge went to the immigration office in Atlanta in an effort to help Venhuis, but they had heard nothing from immigration officials.
'We all understood his lawyer had his paperwork, and it was just a matter of getting all the paperwork straightened out," Maddox said. "Why has it taken so long to get a yes or no answer from immigration about whether he can live in the United States or not? He's been paying taxes all these years too. If he's a tax paying citizen why in the world can't he become a U.S. citizen?"
Court records show a federal agent, with help from an Alabama state trooper, stopped Venhuis in Abbeville while driving a 2003 Hummer. The trooper saw a sheriff's badge attached to the sun visor of the vehicle.
Records show agents questioned Venhuis about whether he possessed any guns, and he said he had five weapons and ammunition at his Abbeville home. After Venhuis agreed to a search of his home, officers found three handguns, a rifle and a shotgun in a locked closet under the stairs. Agents also found three Henry County Sheriff's badges inside the residence.
Maddox questioned why federal agents didn't come to him since they had an issue with one of his reserve deputies.
"I just think it was handled wrong. I'm upset the federal government didn't let me know they were coming. They want locals to work them, but undoubtedly they don't want to work with locals," he said.
================================================================
Translation: We love immigrants as long as they are our friends. Everyone else can take a hike.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Trillion-Dollar Stimulus? It's Immigration Reform - The Atlantic

The Next Trillion-Dollar Stimulus? It's Immigration Reform - The Atlantic

This story in the Atlantic magazine makes me happy...a lot of stories are now being printed about the improving chances for immigration law reform. Times of economic growth coincide with times of high immigration. You might think that the jobs create the demand for immigration (and that is true) but it is also the case that increased immigration can also boost economic growth. That is the kind of thing we need to get our own economy moving and to help kick start the global economy as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Obama: I'll get immigration reform done next year - CBS News

Obama: I'll get immigration reform done next year - CBS News


President Obama says he is "confident" that, if reelected, he will oversee passage of immigration reform next year, in part because Republicans will have an interest in reaching out to a growing Latino voting bloc they have "alienated" in recent years.
Mr. Obama made the comment in an off-the-record phone conversation with the publisher and editor of the Des Moines Register days ahead of that newspaper's scheduled announcement of an endorsement in the presidential race. After the Register's editor publicly argued that the 30-minute conversation should be available to all voters, the Obama campaign released the transcript.  
"The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform," Mr. Obama told the newspaper. "And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they're going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it's the right thing to do and I've cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why Grover Norquist Wants Immigration Reform - ABC News

Why Grover Norquist Wants Immigration Reform - ABC News


"It's the most important thing to focus on if you're concerned about the future of the country both as an economic power and as a serious leader of the world, or simply as a successful society," Norquist said in the address. "It's not only good policy to have more immigrants in the United States -- dramatically more immigrants than we do today, to having a path forward for those people who are here. It's not only a good idea, but it's good politics."
Republican candidates who champion restrictionist immigration policies are betting on a losing horse, Norquist argued in his address.

=============================
I don't agree with G.N. very often so I thought it was worth noting. RAD

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 ITIN Review Frequently Asked Questions

2012 ITIN Review Frequently Asked Questions
(click on the link to see the IRS page)
What are the interim changes to the ITIN application requirements?
The IRS is revising its procedures for issuing new Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) as part of a comprehensive review of the ITIN processing procedures. Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, submitted during the interim period beginning June 22, 2012 through the end of the year must include original documentation such as passports and birth certificates, or copies of these documents certified by the issuing agency. During this interim period, notarized copies of documentation will not be accepted.
Are there any applicants who are exempt from these new requirements?
Some categories of applicants are not impacted by these interim changes, including spouses and dependents of U.S. military personnel who need ITINs. People who should follow the current procedures outlined in the Form W-7 instructions include:
  • Military spouses and dependents without an SSN who need an ITIN (Military spouses use box "e" on Form W-7 and military dependents use box "d"). Exceptions to the new interim document standards will be made for military family members satisfying the documentation requirements by providing a copy of the spouse or parent's U.S. military identification, or applying from an overseas APO/FPO address.
  • Nonresident aliens applying for ITINs for the purpose of claiming tax treaty benefits (use boxes "a" and "h" on Form W-7). Non-resident alien applicants generally need ITINs for reasons besides filing a U.S. tax return. This is necessary for nonresident aliens who may be subject to third-party withholding for various income, such as certain gambling winnings or pension income, or need an ITIN for information reporting purposes. While existing documentation standards will be maintained only for these applicants, scrutiny of the documents will be heightened. ITIN applications of this category that are accompanied by a U.S. tax return will be subject to the new interim document standards.
What is the difference between a "certified" and a "notarized" document?
A certified document is one that the original issuing agency provides and certifies as an exact copy of the original document and contains an official stamped seal from the Agency. These documents will be accepted. A notarized document is one that the taxpayer provides to a public notary who bears witness to the signing of the official document and affixes a seal assuring that the document is legitimate. These documents will not be accepted for ITIN applications. Note there are some applicants who are exempt from this change. This exemption is described in a previous question.
Why is IRS changing the ITIN program procedures?
The IRS is instituting these interim changes while conducting a review of the program designed to strengthen and protect the integrity of the ITIN process.
Is this a temporary change to the program? If so, how long will it be in effect?
These are interim changes that have been put in place during a comprehensive review of ITIN processing procedures. Any permanent changes will be issued before the start of the 2013 filing season when most requests for ITINs come in.
When will the interim changes be effective?
These changes will be effective for all new applications submitted on or after June 22, 2012 and will remain in effect until the final rules are issued later this year.
If a taxpayer had a pending application on file with IRS before June 22, 2012, will processing continue with the notarized copies already submitted?
Yes, the IRS is analyzing the existing inventory of ITIN applications. Some taxpayers who have already filed applications may be required to furnish additional documentation directly to the IRS. However, no additional action is required for people who have already filed ITIN requests unless they are contacted by the IRS.
If a taxpayer had a pending application on file with IRS before June 22, 2012, that included original or certified documents, will the taxpayer need to take any additional action?
No. IRS will continue to process pending applications that include original or certified documentation.
Will Publications 1915, 4520 or 4327, or tax forms and instructions change to reflect this new requirement? If so, when will they change and when will they be available to the public?
Since these are interim changes, publications, forms and instructions will not change. Once IRS has determined the appropriate changes, these and other appropriate instructions will be updated to reflect the new policy.
Will taxpayers be able to submit Form W-7 applications (with original documents) at IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers?
During this interim period, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers will accept original documentation or copies of these documents certified by the issuing agency and forward the documents to the Austin Submission Processing Center. 
Which documents are acceptable?
See the instructions for Form W-7. These instructions list 13 acceptable documents.
Will the IRS return my original documents to me? How long will it take to get them back?
The IRS currently receives original documents with some applications and we have a process in place to ensure that documents are returned to applicants.  The original and certified documents will be returned to applicants using the mailing address on the application via postage paid standard U.S. mail within 60 days of receipt and processing of the Form W-7.
Whom should I contact if I do not receive the documents within the allotted period?
If you do not receive your original documents within 65 days of mailing to the IRS, allowing 5 days for postal mail receipt, you may call 1-800-908-9982 (U.S. only) or for international, call 1-267-941-1000 (this is not a toll free number).
Are there any alternative options for me if I cannot get the original documents I need?
Unless you are one of the exempt applicants described above, this change requires the submission of original or certified copies of documentation from the issuing agency in order to obtain an ITIN. You may be able to request a certified copy of your passport or similar international identification (e.g., Matricula Card) at your local consulate's office.
If I cannot get the documents I need to apply for an ITIN, can I apply for a Social Security number instead?
If you qualify for a social security number, you should not be applying for an ITIN.
Can my consulate or embassy certify my documents?You may be able to request a certified copy of documents at an embassy or consulate.  However, services may vary between countries, so we recommend that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for specific information.
My consulate or embassy wants to know why I need a certified copy of my passport.  What should I provided them as proof of requirement?We recommend that you refer the consulate or embassy to the information on www.IRS.gov or that you download and copy that information and provide it to them.
Will the IRS accept an apostille document?During this interim period, the IRS is only accepting original documentation or copies of documents certified by the issuing country or agency.  An apostille does not meet these requirements since it is similar to the U.S. Notary, which we are currently not accepting.  You may be able to request a certified copy of identification documents at the applicant’s embassy or consulate. However, services may vary between countries so we recommend that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy for that information.  
As a reminder, some categories of applicants are exempt from the requirement to provide original or certified copies including U.S. Military spouses (box “e” on Form W-7), U.S. Military dependents (box “d” on Form W-7), and non-resident aliens applying for ITINs to claim tax treaty benefits (box “a” and ”h” on Form W-7).

Additional Information For Certifying Acceptance Agents (CAAs) and Acceptance Agents (AAs)

Can CAAs and AAs still submit Forms W-7 to the IRS for taxpayers?
Yes, CAAs and AAs can still submit Forms W-7 on behalf of their clients but must provide the original documents or certified copies from the issuing agency along with Form 14194, Certificate of Accuracy, unless the applicant is exempt as described above. If the applicant is exempt, CAAs and AAs must still provide identification documents along with the Form 14194, however, notarized copies of those documents will be accepted.
As a CAA or AA, is there anything I need to do differently when submitting my client's W-7 application for an ITIN?
As a CAA or AA you will be required to include original documentation or certified copies from the issuing agency along with your client's Form W-7 application. While using Form 14194, Certificate of Accuracy, in lieu of original documents is no longer appropriate, the IRS still requires that you submit it with the applications and necessary documents. IRS will make the determination of whether applicants qualify for an ITIN based on the documentation submitted. Note the exempt applicants described above.
Will IRS continue to process applications to become an AA or CAA?
IRS will not process any applications during this interim review period but those interested in being an AA or CAA should still submit their applications during the open season that runs through August 31, 2012.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 2012-09-14

Friday, August 31, 2012

Deportation Nation - NYTimes.com

Deportation Nation - NYTimes.com
from the article by Daniel Kanstrom: click the link to read the full article


IT would have taken a hard heart not to be moved this month as tens of thousands of “Dreamers” — young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children — emerged from the shadows to apply for temporary work permits and deportation deferrals under a new policy by the Obama administration that has delighted immigrant advocates and enraged conservatives.
Though generous and humane, the policy represents only one side of the deportation story. Barack Obama has presided over a record increase in the number of removals, in many cases on legal grounds that offend our basic notions of fairness. These injustices predate him; they started in 1996, when immigration policy was changed in a draconian fashion so that noncitizens — including permanent legal residents — became vulnerable to deportation even for minor crimes committed years ago, with little regard for procedural rights or judicial discretion.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Customs & Border Protection looking to eliminate the form I-94

www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=40897&utm_source=AILA+Mailing&utm_campaign=dbd3912dfc-AILA8_8_14_12&utm_medium=email

How could this possibly go wrong? I am generally in favor of less paperwork and streamlining administrative procedures. Getting rid of the I-94 card is a good idea (at least in theory) but it is a complicated issue to implement in real-life situations.

The I-94 form is often the best evidence a foreign national has to show that they are in the country legally and/or that they have permission to accept employment. The form I-94 is widely integrated into other government functions -- so it requires care in retiring it.

Illegal Immigrants Line Up for Deportation Deferrals - NYTimes.com

Illegal Immigrants Line Up for Deportation Deferrals - NYTimes.com

Click on the link above to see the NYT story on the first day of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) around the United States.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Immigration activists gear up for Aug. 15 opening of 2-year work permit process

Immigration activists gear up for Aug. 15 opening of 2-year work permit process

I haven't seen any published procedures for applying yet. DHS has listed the criteria for qualifying but not the mechanics of applying. There will likely be a form and a fee for this (in addition to the employment authorization document application and fee).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Associated Press: DHS: Deportation proposal could cost $585 million

The Associated Press: DHS: Deportation proposal could cost $585 million

The costs of the Obama deferred action plan for DREAMers (What I call the DayDream Act)...will largely be paid in the form of fees paid by the applicants themselves. Such is the way with immigration -- it is a user fee business. As little taxpayer money as possible goes towards it -- the deportation side is where all the taxpayer money goes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Immigration Court Cases Closed Based on Prosecutorial Discretion, as of March 28, 2012

So will the new administrative DayDream Act (that's what I am calling it because it is a "lite" version of what would be the DREAM ACT if Congress ever got around to passing it) actually help anyone? Here are some local statistics from the last administrative attempt to hold off on deporting low priority cases. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion turned out to be just that -- an exercise. Less than one percent of the 9000+ backlogged cases in Boston have been closed or terminated by the government. Opponents thought it would be an amnesty and a free-for-all. It was hardly even noticeable -- doesn't surprise me. Time will tell if DayDream ever has any affect on reality.


Immigration Court Cases Closed Based on Prosecutorial Discretion, as of March 28, 2012


TRAC Reports Menu
Immigration Court Cases Closed Based on Prosecutorial Discretion
as of May 31, 2012
Screen entries by specifying an immigration court:
Immigration Court: 
[Active Districts] [All Districts - Activity relative to Backlog]

Order entries by clicking on the column header

Immigration Court ▾Hearing LocationCase Backlog (as of September 2011)Cases Closed Based on Prosecutorial DiscretionClosures as a Percent of Backlog
BostonBoston Detained18142.2
BostonBoston, Massachusetts9,046670.7
BostonMassachusetts Department of Corrections1700.0
BostonNew Hampshire Department of Corrections100.0
BostonPlymouth County Corretional Facility100.0

Friday, June 15, 2012

Obama Administration does its own DREAM ACT


Secretary Napolitano Announces Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Low Enforcement Priorities

Release Date: June 15, 2012
WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:
  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Hampshire Legislators Pass Ban On In-State Tuition Rates For Undocumented Immigrants

New Hampshire Legislators Pass Ban On In-State Tuition Rates For Undocumented Immigrants

Making it harder for NH students to pursue higher education. Another pro-growth GOP policy. How long before this Legislature sends out "hot-dots" to show they are pro-education. Warning: if you know what "hot-dots" are without "googling"  -- you may be getting close to what once was known as retirement age.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NH Immigration Lawyer Blog: USCIS Launches Online Immigration System, USCIS E...

NH Immigration Lawyer Blog:
USCIS Launches Online Immigration System, USCIS E...
: USCIS Launches Online Immigration System, USCIS ELIS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent this bulletin at 05/22/2012 10:42 A...

Saturday, April 28, 2012



Here is something I have been talking about for a long time.  Laura Knoy of NHPR please watch this before the next appearance by Mark Krikorian on "The Exchange"

Traffic Violations Won’t Earn Illegal Immigrants Deportation - NYTimes.com

Traffic Violations Won’t Earn Illegal Immigrants Deportation - NYTimes.com

I'll believe it when I don't see it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Marco Rubio Urges Republicans to Accept Compromise on Dream Act - NYTimes.com

Marco Rubio Urges Republicans to Accept Compromise on Dream Act - NYTimes.com


WASHINGTON — With Republicans increasingly concerned about losing Hispanic voters this November, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida on Thursday pressed his party to embrace a compromise measure allowing young illegal immigrants a pathway to legal status...
(later in the same article)
Many Republicans are likely to stand in Mr. Rubio’s way. Representative Steve King of Iowa, one of the party’s strongest voices against illegal immigration, said Congress must first “re-establish the rule of law” with illegal immigrants before offering any of them legal status. Mr. Rubio’s proposal would simply do the Democrats’ political bidding, Mr. King said.
Democrats “see people in this country illegally as undocumented Democrats,” Mr. King said Thursday. “Do Republicans engage in that?”
-------------------
That is what is known as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Republicans also see undocumented immigrants as potential Democrats...which is, in part, why they hate on them so much. That legislative attitude and record then leads to immigrants who do become citizens voting how?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blesch et al v. Holder et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings

Blesch et al v. Holder et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings

FROM JUSTIA.COM

Five binational gay and lesbian married couples sue the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security over the Defense of Marriage Act ('DOMA'), arguing that, under DOMA, denying green cards for spouses of gay and lesbian Americans violates the Equal Protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution.
Case Number:1:2012cv01578
Filed:April 3, 2012
Court:New York Eastern District Court
Office:Brooklyn Office
Presiding Judge:Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon
Nature of Suit:Other - Other Immigration Actions

Immigration Officials Arrest More Than 3,100 - NYTimes.com

Immigration Officials Arrest More Than 3,100 - NYTimes.com

To those who think that ICE is getting too soft under the Obama administration ... you are mistaken. They have been fighting about quotas which cause them to put people in deportation who would not otherwise be a priority (in order to keep their numbers up). After three years of increasing the numbers of deportations to make sure that President Obama has a record of looking tough on enforcement -- perhaps now they will be allowed to do what the administration has been claiming to want to do (focus on foreign nationals who are dangerous criminals and threats to national security). When that is the focus, it may mean more time and resources spent on tracking down individuals that are harder to find ... and that may mean that some folks who have done nothing more than have a headlight out (but are easy to pick up and process)  might get put at the bottom of the pile.

More discriminating enforcement (in the best sense of the term) and smarter enforcement is what is needed. Not simply more (and therefore more expensive) enforcement.

Monday, April 2, 2012

When It Comes to Immigration, Privatization Can Kill - NYTimes.com

When It Comes to Immigration, Privatization Can Kill - NYTimes.com

I am going to keep on reposting these stories because this really is a travesty of our times. One hundred years from now historians will look back on this practice with shame. Click the link to see the NYT article.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Detention Is No Holiday - NYTimes.com

Detention Is No Holiday - NYTimes.com
click the link to see more of the article by Edwidge Danticat

LAMAR SMITH, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is presiding over a hearing Wednesday on new guidelines for immigration detention that were issued last month and are now beginning to go into effect. The official (and facetious) title of the hearing is “Holiday on ICE,” in reference to the more humane treatment undocumented immigrants should now receive after being picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
...
The flippant title of the hearing shows a blatant disregard for the more than 110 people who have died in immigration custody since 2003. One of them was my uncle Joseph, an 81-year-old throat cancer survivor who spoke with an artificial voice box. He arrived in Miami in October 2004 after fleeing an uprising in Haiti. He had a valid passport and visa, but when he requested political asylum, he was arrested and taken to the Krome detention center in Miami. His medications for high blood pressure and an inflamed prostate were taken away, and when he fell ill during a hearing, a Krome nurse accused him of faking his illness. When he was finally transported, in leg chains, to the prison ward of a nearby hospital, it was already too late. He died the next day.


------
Elected Officials like Lamar Smith do not even attempt to conceal their hatred of and disdain for human beings who are not like himself. Therefore, I won't bother to hide my contempt for Legislators of his ilk. Good reporting; I will remember the name Edwidge Danticat -- if I had a new wave band in the 80s that would have been strongly in the running for the name.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Syria TPS

Secretary Napolitano announced today the designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), based on deteriorating security conditions in Syria. The effective dates for the designation, as well as dates and procedures for the TPS registration process, will be detailed in a Federal Register notice that publishes next week. Applications should not be submitted until the designation becomes effective. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be hosting a stakeholder engagement next week to discuss the process for filing TPS applications and to address questions and concerns related to the TPS application process. We appreciate your assistance in helping to inform the Syrian community in the U.S. about the TPS designation and look forward to hearing your input during the engagement next week.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Alert: I-601 Provisional Waiver Is Not in Effect

Alert: I-601 Provisional Waiver Is Not in Effect

Alert: I-601 Provisional Waiver Is Not in Effect
Originally Posted by
Daniel M. Kowalski


"USCIS is considering changes that would allow certain immediate relatives (the spouse, children or parents of a U.S. citizen) who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to receive a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence bars before leaving the United States.

These procedures are not in effect and will not be available to potential applicants until USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date. USCIS plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the coming months and will consider all comments received as part of that process before publishing a final rule.

Do not send an application requesting a provisional waiver at this time. USCIS will reject any application requesting this new process and we will return the application package and any related fees to the applicant. USCIS cannot accept applications until a final rule is issued and the process change becomes effective.
Be aware that some unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may wrongly claim they can currently file a provisional waiver application (Form I-601) for you. These same individuals may ask you to pay them to file such forms although the process is not yet in place. Please avoid such scams. USCIS wants you to learn the facts about protecting yourself and your family against scammers by visiting uscis.gov/avoidscams.

If you already have an immigrant visa interview with the U.S. Department of State, we strongly encourage you to attend. The Department of State may cancel your immigrant visa registration if you fail to appear at this interview." - USCIS, Feb. 22, 2012.

DHS Documents: Local Police Not Required To Hold Undocumented Immigrants For U.S. Government

DHS Documents: Local Police Not Required To Hold Undocumented Immigrants For U.S. Government

WASHINGTON -- Local law enforcement agencies are not required to hold undocumented immigrants at the request of the federal government, according to internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by a coalition of groups critical of the Secure Communities enforcement program.

The documents could provide ammunition for jurisdictions that no longer want to participate in Secure Communities, which allows federal immigration authorities to use fingerprints to scan those arrested by local law enforcement. They also support recent actions by Cook County, Ill., Santa Clara, Calif., and San Francisco, all of which decided this year to stop adhering to federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants who were either low-level offenders or were accused of felonies.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Center for Constitutional Rights and Benjamin Cardozo School of Law received the documents after a Freedom of Information Act request and plan to release them this week. The three documents, from October 2010 and January 2011, clarify DHS policy on detainers -- requests from federal immigration officials for police to hold those arrested, in some cases after being detected by enforcement programs.

"A detainer serves only to advise another law enforcement agency that ICE seeks an opportunity to interview and potentially assume custody of an alien presently in the custody of that agency," according to an undated document.

Another document, notes from a briefing to Congressional Hispanic Caucus staff in October 2010, says "local [law enforcements] are not mandated to honor a detainer, and in some jurisdictions they do not." The third document, a series of questions and answers emailed in January 2010, says ICE detainers are "a request," and "there is no penalty if they [local law enforcement] do not comply."

Nicole Navas, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said "detainers are critical to ICE achieving its mission to identify and remove criminal aliens," and that they are important for community safety.

"ICE anticipates that law enforcement agencies will comply with the detainer though ICE has not sought to compel compliance through legal proceedings," she said in a statement. "Jurisdictions that ignore detainers bear the risk of possible public safety risks."

A few jurisdictions have already chosen not to comply, however. The Board of Commissioners in Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, voted on Sept. 8 to free from jail undocumented immigrants charged with misdemeanors and felonies, even when federal agents request that they be held. The board said the issue was financial, despite the fact that it came on the heels of an attempt by the state of Illinois to end its ties to the Secure Communities enforcement program. Detainer requests cost the county about $15 million each year, none of which is reimbursed, county officials told the Chicago Tribune.

Law enforcement agencies are only asked to hold those arrested for 48 hours under detainers. But if suspected undocumented immigrants are in jail for longer than that, DHS can pick them up at any time.

Some undocumented immigrants choose to stay in jail rather than posting bond because they believe they will eventually be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after leaving jail, said Fred Tsao, policy director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Tsao said that supporters of the Cook County policy are stressing that public safety will not suffer if detainer requests are denied, because there are "significant backstops" to limit the release of those accused of serious crimes.

"ICE is still able to pick people up," he said. "ICE has their names and their addresses, and if ICE really wants them, they can pick them up themselves. They don't need any help from Cook County."

In Santa Clara, Calif., the Board of Supervisors voted on Oct. 18 on a similar policy to no longer honor detainers unless they are reimbursed for the cost by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If reimbursed, they will only continue to detain people convicted of serious or violent felonies. Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese told the Los Angeles Times that the board decided on the policy after appeals by local immigrants and advocacy groups, who said the Secure Communities program was hurting the local undocumented community.

"We're very discouraged that the issue keeps getting pushed down to our level, the county level, without any reform at the federal level," Cortese told the Los Angeles Times. "So our way of responding to that is, we're not cooperating. We're a big county. There's a couple big counties in the state...that can push back on these kind of issues."

San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who has been critical of Secure Communities because he said it could hurt the relationship between law enforcement and the community, announced on May 6 that the county would no longer hold undocumented immigrants charged with misdemeanors based on DHS requests.

(click on the link to see the rest at the Huffington Post)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Alabama immigration crackdown costs state up to $11 bln: study - Yahoo! News

Alabama immigration crackdown costs state up to $11 bln: study - Yahoo! News

The Alabama law, passed in June, requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason, among other measures.
The cost-benefit analysis by University of Alabama economist Samuel Addy estimated up to 80,000 jobs were vacated by illegal immigrants fleeing the crackdown, costing Alabama's economy up to $10.8 billion.
The lost jobs also cost Alabama up to $264.5 million in lost state sales and income taxes, and as much as $93.1 million in lost city and county sales taxes, it found.