Saturday, May 10, 2008

Child Status Protection Act

From Nora Privitera of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, with many thanks from USCIS (and also CLINIC) for forwarding this information to us.  This is very good news for people whose visa petitions were approved before the Child Status Protection Act’s effective date of 8/6/02, but who had not then filed for adjustment or consular processing:

USCIS Update      
May 6, 2008   

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Communications

USCIS ISSUES REVISED GUIDANCE ON CHILD STATUS PROTECTION ACT (CSPA)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today issued guidance that will modify its earlier interpretation of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) which permits applicants for certain immigration benefits to retain classification as a child even if he or she has reached the age of 21. The guidance, effective today, changes how USCIS interprets the applicability of the CSPA to aliens who had aged out prior to the enactment of the CSPA on August 6, 2002.

Under prior policy guidance, USCIS considered an alien beneficiary of a visa petition that was approved before August 6, 2002 to be covered by the CSPA only if the beneficiary had filed an application for permanent residence (either adjustment of status or an immigrant visa) on or before August 6, 2002, and no final determination had been made on that application prior to August 6, 2002. This new policy extends CSPA coverage to aliens who had an approved visa petition prior to the enactment of CSPA but who did not have a pending application for permanent residence on the date of enactment of the CSPA.

Aliens who were ineligible under the prior policy and who subsequent to the enactment of the CSPA never filed an application for permanent residence may file an application for permanent residence to take advantage of this new interpretation. Aliens who filed an application for permanent residence after the enactment of the CSPA and who were denied solely because they had aged out may file motions to reopen or reconsider without a filing fee.

For detailed information on this issue, see the accompanying Fact Sheet with questions and answers and also review the guidance issued to USCIS field leadership at http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/CSPA_30Apr08.pdf or call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.

– USCIS –

Fact Sheet                                                         
May 6, 2008

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Communications

USCIS ISSUES REVISED GUIDANCE ON THE APPLICABILITY OF THE CHILD STATUS PROTECTION ACT (CSPA)

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) amended the Immigration Nationality Act by changing how an alien is determined to be a child for purposes of immigrant classification. The Act permits an applicant for certain benefits to retain classification as a “child,” even if he or she has reached the age of 21.

Since its enactment on Aug. 6, 2002, USCIS provided several field guidance memoranda regarding the adjudication of immigration benefits in accordance with the CSPA. Today, USCIS has revised its guidance that modifies a prior interpretation of certain provisions of the CSPA.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)?
A: CSPA changes who can be considered to be a child for the purpose of the issuance of visas by the Department of State and for purposes of adjustment of status of aliens by USCIS.

The Act provides that if you are a U.S. citizen and you file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on behalf of your child before he or she turns 21, your child will continue to be considered a child for immigration purposes even if USCIS does not act on the petition before your child turns 21. Children of lawful permanent residents also benefit if a Form I-130 is filed on behalf of their children (see below).

Q: Who benefits under the new CSPA guidance?
A: The new guidance allows aliens who had an approved immigrant visa petition prior to the enactment of the CSPA, but had not yet applied for permanent residence (either an application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa) on the date of enactment to benefit from the CSPA. Under prior guidance, the CSPA did not apply to such applicants. The new guidance includes many aliens who, subsequent to the enactment of the CSPA, never filed an application for permanent residence and aliens who filed an application for permanent residence but such application was denied solely based on the applicant’s age.

Q: Are there other considerations impacting eligibility requirements?
A: Yes.

    * The new guidance does not include aliens who, prior to Aug. 6, 2002 (date CSPA was enacted), had a final decision on an application for permanent residence based on the immigrant visa petition upon which the applicant claimed to be a child.
    * If an alien filed an application for permanent residence after the enactment of the CSPA, and the application was denied, that denial must be ‘solely based’ on a finding that the applicant was not a child because the CSPA did not apply. An I-485 can be denied for various reasons; if your I-485 denial was based for a reason other than for CSPA, then this revised CSPA guidance does not apply to you. 

Finally, if you had an approved immigrant visa petition before August 6, 2002, and did not file an I-485 after the enactment of the CSPA, you could still benefit if (1) you are filing as an immediate relative or (2) your visa became available on or after Aug. 7, 2001, you did not apply for permanent residence within one year of petition approval and your visa becoming available.

Q: How do I know if I was denied solely based on CSPA?
A: The written denial decision you received from USCIS will state the basis for the denial.

Q: Will it matter whether the child reaches the age of 21 before or after the enactment date of the CSPA to benefit from this revised policy?
A: No, provided the applicant did not have a final decision prior to Aug. 6, 2002 on an application for permanent residence based on an immigrant visa petition upon which the applicant claimed to be a child.

Q: Please explain the differences of benefit for an immigrant petition filed by a U.S. citizen and a Lawful Permanent Resident.

A: Immigrant Petition as a child filed by a U.S. citizen:

·   If the child is under the age of 21 on the date of the filed immigrant petition, he/she will not ‘age out’. He or she will be eligible for permanent residence as an immediate relative, provided that no final decision was reached prior to Aug. 6, 2002 on an application for permanent residence based on the immigrant visa petition upon which the applicant claimed to be a child.

Immigrant Petition as a child filed by a Lawful Permanent Resident:

·         If the immigrant petition was approved and the priority date becomes current before the applicant’s ‘CSPA age’ reaches 21, the child will not ‘age out’, provided that no final decision was reached prior to Aug. 6, 2002 on an application for permanent residence based on the immigrant visa petition upon which the applicant claimed to be a child. In order for CSPA coverage to continue, the child must apply for permanent residence within a one-year of the date the priority date became current.

Q: How do I calculate my ‘CSPA age’?
A: For preference category and derivative petitions, your ‘CSPA age’ is determined on the date that your visa, or in the case of derivative beneficiaries, the principal alien’s visa, becomes available. Your CSPA age is the result of subtracting the number of days that your immigrant visa petition was pending from your actual age on the date that your visa becomes available. If your ‘CSPA age’ is under 21 after that calculation, you will remain a child for purposes of the permanent residence application.

Q: If my child is a derivative of a petition filed on my behalf, can my child benefit under CSPA?
A: Yes, so long as the child also meets CSPA eligibility requirements previously discussed and applies for permanent residence within one year of the priority date being current.

Q: If I was previously denied because of ‘aging out’, can I file a motion to reopen or have my I-485 reconsidered? If so, is there a filing fee incurred?
A: Under the new policy, USCIS will accept, without a filing fee, a motion to reopen or reconsider a denied I-485 application if the following criteria are met:

·    A visa petition was approved prior to Aug. 6, 2002 and the I-485 was filed after Aug. 6, 2002;

·    The applicant would have been considered under the age of 21 under applicable CSPA rules;

·    The applicant applied for permanent residence within one year of visa availability; and

·    The applicant received a denial solely because he or she aged out.

Q: Is there a deadline for filing a motion to reconsider my I-485 if the original was denied solely for ‘aging out’? Where should I file the motion?
A: No deadline. Applicants should apply at their local USCIS field office.

Q: I did not have an application for permanent residence pending on Aug. 6, 2002 and did not subsequently apply for permanent residence? Am I still eligible for CSPA coverage?
A: Yes, provided the applicant meets the following criteria:

    * The applicant is applying for permanent residence as an immediate relative; or
    * The applicant’s visa became available on or after Aug. 7, 2001; and

The applicant did not apply for permanent residence within one year of the petition approval and visa availability, but would have qualified for CSPA coverage.

bh

May 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

A Farmworker Story from 2008, Not 1938

An action alert from the UFW reminds us of the plight of farmworkers in modern American agriculture:

"Yesterday more than 100 migrant farm workers were living in an orchard. Tonight they have no place to go. Why, you ask? These Washington state cherry pickers came to Shafter, California after being told by company representatives to come to Califronia for a job in the cherries. Consequently workers and their families traveled from Washington State to work at the Kyle Mathison Orchards. Kyle Mathison is part of the Wenatchee, Washington based Stemilt Growers Company—which, according to its web site, is the largest shipper of fresh-market sweet cherries in the world. When these farm workers reached California, things were not as expected. A number of the workers were hired, but other workers were told to just wait and see if jobs were available. According to KERO 23 news, a farm worker said, "I came from Washington state. We came here to work, but they haven't treated us like they should and we're a little worried because we may not have enough money to go back to Washington." While in Washington, some of the workers were informed that housing would be available to them when they got to California. However, when they got here there was no housing. They had no choice but to sleep in the fields. Some stayed in tents, others in cars and still others slept on cardboard or simply the dirt. Workers complained of rashes from having to bathe in irrigation water. The KERO 23 news report quoted another worker as saying, "I asked where do we shower? And he said 'There's the water hole.' ... and there's ducks and fish! I asked, 'We shower there?! Where do the women shower?!' He said the same place." When workers went public about being left out in the cold, things only got worse. Last night Bakersfield area television stations showed the workers’ bleak situation. Today, Stemilt company representatives' called the sheriffs to have the 100 plus workers and their property evicted from the orchard. The workers who are currently working were told they would still be allowed on Monday—however they now have no place to live. The others have no place to live and no job—the company told them to still wait and see. Stemilt says their core values include treating workers, growers and customers fairly. How is this fair? Take action now. Tell Stemilt to provide housing for these out of state workers tonight, pay reasonable travel expenses and immediately hire the rest of the Washington workers instead of forcing them to wait and see."

KJ

May 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 9, 2008

MALDEF angry at Rush Limbaugh

Rush The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is angry at talk radio maven Rush Limbaugh. The group this week condemned the conservative radio host for saying on his radio show that he thought Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was “a shoe shine guy” or a Secret Service agent when he met him at an event last year. the two. For more on this story, click here. KJ

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Punishing (Legal) Immigrant Soldiers

When Congress passed an economic- stimulus package giving rebates to most taxpayers, it made sure that undocumented immigrants did not get any of the cash. But lawmakers also penalized at least a million legal U.S. residents - and tens of thousands of U.S. troops stationed overseas - simply because their spouses lack a Social Security number.  For more, click here. http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9186416?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

KJ

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

U.S. Government: Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, a Terrorist!

Nelson_mandela USA Today reports that Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela is on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the United States. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation "embarrassing," and some members of Congress vow to fix it. The requirement applies to former South African leader Mandela and other members of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), the once-banned anti-Apartheid organization. In the 1970s and '80s, the ANC was officially designated a terrorist group by the country's ruling white minority. Other countries, including the United States, followed suit.

KJ

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Labor Organizing and Immigrants

Here is an upcoming meeting at UC Davis on important issues related to labor organizing and immigrants:

NEXT GENERATION LABOR
A Symposium on Innovative Labor Organizing in the New Economy

Thursday, May 22nd
1:00 pm-5:00 pm
1008 King Hall
University of California, Davis

**Session 1 (1:00-3:00 pm): Regional Labor-Community Coalitions and the Partnership for Working Families* *

* Leslie Moody, Executive Director, Partnership for Working Families**
* Patricia Castellanos, Co-Director of Ports Campaign, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
* Amaha Kassa, Executive Director, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
* Martin Bennett, Sonoma Living Wage Coalition and UNITE-HERE Researcher
* Ben Boyce, New Economy Working Solutions, Santa Rosa (Invited)

*Session 2 (3:15-5:00 pm): Workers Centers and Immigrant Labor Organizing*

* Saybah Katrina Russ, Young Workers United **
* Andrea Cristina Mercado, Lead Organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas
* Renee Salcedo, Day Labor Program, La Raza Centro Legal
* Davin Cardenas, Graton Day Laborers Canter
* Claudia Soria-Delgado, Latino Issues Forum (invited)

*Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Regional Change, with multiple co-sponsors.

*Background:
*Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has experienced dramatic processes of economic restructuring, driven by processes of globalization, �informationalization�, and growing workforce diversity. During this time, the percentage of workers represented by unions has declined dramatically, leading some commentators to suggest that unions are out-dated institutions that are inappropriate for contemporary workplaces. At the same time that unionization has declined, however, a range of new innovative labor organizing efforts have emerged. These efforts are more rooted in community organizing (particularly in low-income and immigrant communities), labor-community partnerships, and in targeting organizing efforts at leveraging a wide-range of public policies and regulations to improve workers conditions, rather than focusing exclusively on attempting to gain collective bargaining status and a formal union contract. Many of these strategies have moved beyond the experimental stages, and are now providing exciting models for effective organizational forms and organizing strategies. The purpose of this symposium is to have a strategic discussion between researchers, organizers, and advocates about these organizing efforts, discussing lessons learned to date, next steps for organizing and policy, and broader implications for the future of the labor movement.

bh

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lofgren-Sensenbrenner Visa Bill

Family immigration has been one of the key strengths of our nation. Those who immigrate in family categories contribute to every level of the economy in addition to bringing social stability and strong values to the country. Here's a press release on legislation that recognizes the need to keep the family immigration categories strong and viable.

____________________________________
Asian American Justice Center Applauds the Introduction of Lofgren-Sensenbrenner Visa Recapture Bill

Calls on Congress to Address Family and Employment Visa Backlogs
Washington, D.C. – The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a leading national civil and human rights organization, applauded last week’s introduction of a visa recapture bill (HR 5882) by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). The bill would ensure that unused and unclaimed family and employment-based visas which have been allocated in past years could be re-allocated in future years.
“We commend House Immigration Subcommittee Chair Lofgren’s effort to work in a bipartisan way to restore some fairness to the system,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of AAJC. “It is only fair that visas that don’t get used in one year get rolled over for future use, particularly when the existing annual quota is already too limited. The limited availability of family visas is resulting in separations of five to 23 years depending on the category. It is outrageous that visas are allowed to go to waste.”
Immigrants coming to join Asian American families face some of the worst immigration backlogs in the world. An estimated 4 million family-based immigrants are currently waiting in line, and 1.5 million family members of these family-based immigrants are family members of Asian Americans. Studies have also shown that the long backlogs in the family-based immigration system contribute to the rise in undocumented immigration, which includes 1.3 million Asian Americans without legal immigration status.
The bill would also provide some relief to immigrants who came under temporary employment visas for high skilled labor under the H-1B program. Under that program, a fixed number of immigrants who want to stay and who have employers who also want them to stay are allowed to apply for a permanent employment visa. However, there are not enough visas allocated for immigrant visas and a long backlog has developed. In recent years, almost half of the H1-B temporary visas were issued to high skilled immigrant workers from India and China. Many of these workers are facing long unreasonable waiting times to adjust to legal permanent residence status.
Congresswoman Lofgren’s bill would recapture hundreds of thousands of family and employment visas, and give much-needed relief to the families and individuals waiting for a visa for permanent residence because of bureaucratic delays and system backups.

“We cannot continue to allow bureaucratic delay and dysfunction to further undermine an already broken system,” said Tuyet G. Duong, senior staff attorney at AAJC. “To fully fix the system, Congress needs to do much more to ensure that immigrant families are able to lawfully come to our country in a timely and humane manner and that the promises made to immigrant workers are fulfilled.”
# # #
The Asian American Justice Center, formerly known as NAPALC, is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates – the Asian American Institute of Chicago, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles – and nearly 100 community partners in 49 cities, 23 states and Washington, D.C.

bh

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Schrag Comments on Immigration Court Practice Manual

Phil Professor Philip G. Schrag (Georgetown) has submitted comments on the proposed the new immigration court procedures in the Immigration Court Practice Manuel, specifically the requirement for advance filing of evidence and briefs for nondetained respondents of 30 days before an individual calendar hearing (and proposing a 10 day requirement).

The new rules are effective July 1.

Here are Professor Schrag's comments.  Download immigration_practice_manual_comments_may_08.doc

POSTSCRIPT

Morawetz Nancy Morawetz, NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, also filed comments on the new EOIR rules1. In addition to covering the 30 day issue raised in Phil Schrag's comments, these comments address a number of other ways in which the rules undermine the statutory right to counsel and fail to provide adequate safeguards for pro se litigants. The comment further encourages EOIR to postpone implementation of the rules until there is a fair collaborative process for designing any national manual.  Download comments_5.13.08 FINAL.pdf

KJ

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant (or Nonimmigrant?) of the Day: Kosuke Fukudome (Japan)

Kosuke_fukudome_2 Kosuke Fukudome (born April 26, 1977, in Osaki, Soo District, Kagoshima, Japan) is a right fielder for the Chicago Cubs. Prior to arriving in the United States, Fukudome played nine seasons for the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League. He was also a member of the Japanese national baseball team, winning a silver medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics, a bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics, and placing first in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Fukudome won the Central League MVP award the same year.

Fukudome currently plays for the Chicago Cubs. He became a free agent in November 2007 and, on December 11, 2007, the Chicago Cubs signed Fukudome to a four-year, $48 million contract. He made his Major League Baseball debut on March 31, 2008 against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. He went 3-for-3 with a walk, including a double on his first Major League pitch, and a three-run game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth.  For more on his first months in the major leagues, click here.

I am not sure of Kosuke Fukudome's precise immigration status.  But he is a noncitizen making the Chicago Cubs' season very exciting!!

May 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Penn Conference on “Citizenship, Borders, and Human Needs”

Tomorrow (Friday, May 9th), the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship and Constitutionalism (DCC) will be hosting its first Annual Conference on the theme of “Citizenship, Borders, and Human Needs”   The conference will take place from 9am to 6pm in Bodek Lounge on the first floor of the University of Pennsylvania’s historic Houston Hall (located at 3417 Spruce St), and there will be a reception following in the Mosaic Gallery of the Penn University Museum from 6pm -7pm.

Speakers include: Veit Bader (Sociology, University of Amsterdam), Rainer Baubock (Social Sciences, European University Institute), Christian Joppke (Government, American University of Paris), Chandran Kukathas (Government, London School of Economics), Kamal Sadiq (Political Science, UC Irvine), Karolina Szmagalska-Follis (Anthropology, Penn), Leti Volpp (Law, UC Berkeley), and Antonio Yunez-Naude (Economics, El Colegio de Mexico).

For your convenience, papers are available for download on our website: Just go to http://www.sas.upenn.edu/dcc/ and click on 2007-2008 events. Download conference_schedule.doc

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Washington Post to Run Series on Immigrant Detention

Sam Stein of the Huffington Post reports that the Washington Post will be rolling out an investigative series by prizewinning reporters Dana Priest and Amy Goldstein on immigration, specifically the United State's detention program. But instead of looking at terrorist suspects being sent to Guantanamo Bay, the Post is now exploring the government's detention of undocumented immigrants.

STAY TUNED!!!!!!!!!

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Governator: On Coming to America?!

209pxarnold_schwarzenegger From the L.A. Times blog:

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is probably the most famous product of California's 109 community colleges, though perhaps an imperfect advertisement for their value. He was among the speakers on Tuesday at a event in Sacramento to mark a $70-million gift to provide scholarships to the state's community college students. The governor was introduced as someone who can inspire community college students. He agreed: "I always say, 'Come to America, go to community college and marry a Kennedy. It's all very simple.'"

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lovato on ICE Enforcement in the South: Juan Crow

From writer, Roberto Lavato:

Hola,

hope you're well.

Below please find my best effort to date to conceptualize the current immigration crisis. It's the product of
significant time spent in the Georgia and the deep south:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080526/lovato

While centered in the South, the analysis therein is applicable to many if not most regions of the country.
Given the 66 deaths of migrants in ICE custody and the raids that now target even children, it
feels timely.

The Nation is translating it into Spanish and it will run in some Spanish language papers as a series as well.

It's part of a larger project.

Saludos,

Roberto Lovato
Writer
New America Media
244 Madison Avenue, #149
New York, NY 10016

An excerpt:

Justeen Mancha's dream of becoming a psychologist was born of the tropical heat and exploitation that have shaped farmworker life around Reidsville, Georgia, for centuries. The wiry, freckle-faced 17-year-old high school junior has toiled in drought-dry onion fields to help her mother, Maria Christina Martinez. But early one September morning in 2006, Mancha's dream was abruptly deferred.

From the living room of the battered trailer she and her mother call home, Mancha described what happened when she came out of the shower that morning. "My mother went out, and I was alone," she said. "I was getting ready for school, getting dressed, when I heard this noise. I thought it was my mother coming back." She went on in the Tex-Mex Spanish-inflected Georgia accent now heard throughout Dixie: "Some people were slamming car doors outside the trailer. I heard footsteps and then a loud boom and then somebody screaming, asking if we were 'illegals,' 'Mexicans.' These big men were standing in my living room holding guns. One man blocked my doorway. Another guy grabbed a gun on his side. I freaked out. 'Oh, my God!' I yelled."

bh

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Inefficiency of No-Match Program

The Immigration Policy Center has issued an important report on the problems with the SSA No-Match Program:

The Social Security Administration No-Match Program: Inefficient, Ineffective, and Costly

By Marielena Hincapié, Tyler Moran, and Michele Waslin*

Today the Immigration Policy Center unveils a new report entitled The Social Security Administration No-Match Program: Inefficient, Ineffective, and Costly.  Co-authored by Marielena Hincapié and Tyler Moran of the National Immigration Law Center and Michele Waslin of IPC, this new paper provides the most comprehensive analysis of the no-match program and the Administration's new proposed regulations to use the program as an immigration enforcement mechanism.  The new report is "one-stop shopping" for the most up-to-date research and data, including government reports and Congressional testimony, real-life examples of how no-match letters have been utilized in the past, and analysis of the impact the new regulations would have on business, workers, and the Social Security Administration (SSA).   The authors conclude that the no-match program is not the most efficient way to achieve its original objective, much less serve as an effective immigration enforcement tool. 

SSA no-match letters are sent to workers and employers in an attempt to correct discrepancies in SSA's records that prevent workers from receiving credit for their earnings.  They were not designed to be an immigration-enforcement tool, and historically they have never been used for immigration-enforcement purposes.  In fact, for years, SSA has made it clear that no-match letters are not an indication of immigration status, and that there are many legitimate reasons why a worker or employer might receive a no-match letter.  Yet, in March 2008, the Administration unveiled new proposed regulations to which would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to commandeer the program for immigration enforcement purposes.

This report provides an overview of SSA's no-match letter program, a summary of DHS's new supplemental proposed rule regarding no-match letters, and an overview of the unintended consequences of no-match letters that are sent to employers.  While the new no-match rule will not, and cannot, solve the problem of undocumented immigration, experience with the no-match program over the last few years indicates that turning no-match letters into an immigration-enforcement mechanism will:

Cause the firing of employment-authorized workers and U.S. citizens at a time when our economy is highly fragile;
Impose additional costs on employers;
Result in increased discrimination and abuses against U.S. workers; and
Overwhelm SSA by diverting resources away from its primary mission of administering benefits.
* Marielena Hincapié is a Staff Attorney and the Director of Programs at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and Tyler Moran is the Employment Policy Director at NILC.  Michele Waslin is Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center. 

Contact: Angela Kelley, Director
202-507-7511 (office)
202-441-5589 (cell)
akelley@ailf.org 

bh

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No Undocumented Immigrants In NC Community Colleges?

Inside Higher Ed reports (see also Chronicle of Higher Education) that the North Carolina Community College System set off a firestorm in November when it issued a directive indicating that all 58 colleges must begin admitting undocumented students under the open admissions policy. But the state attorney general’s office has now called for reversing course. The office sent out an advisory letter Tuesday (Download 5608_community_college_letter_kelly.pdf ) suggesting a return to an earlier system policy, propagated in 2001, which limited enrollment of undocumented immigrants on the basis that federal law restricts their eligibility for most state and local public benefits. In the letter from the attorney general’s office, JB Kelly argues that without a state law explicitly listing post secondary education as an eligible benefit for undocumented immigrants, or guidance from the Department of Homeland Security, the 2001 policy limiting their enrollment “would more likely withstand judicial scrutiny.”

For Professor Michael Olivas' response to the North Carolina AG's letter, Download jb_kelly_state_of_north_carolina_shante_martin.pdf

Postscript The day after the state attorney general’s office advised North Carolina community colleges to drop their policy of admitting undocumented immigrants, the state’s governor is urging colleges to continue admitting immigrants. Gov. Michael F. Easley, a Democrat, said in a written statement today that federal law on the issue was not settled. He added that he was asking the attorney general to seek clarification from Washington on whether undocumenred immigrants were eligible to attend community colleges.

By the end of the week, the press reported that no federal law prohibits North Carolina from admitting illegal immigrants to its colleges and universities, according to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The statement from federal officials contradicts a letter sent this week by the North Carolina Attorney General office.

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Sally Ann Howes (United Kingdom)

300pxchitty3 Sally Ann Howes (born July 20, 1930) is a singer and actress holding a dual citizenship; born in London, England, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Her career on stage, screen and television has spanned over six decades. She is best remembered for the role of Truly Scrumptious in the 1968 musical film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

USCIS Issues Revised Guidance on Child Status Protection Act

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today issued guidance that will modify its earlier interpretation of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) which permits applicants for certain immigration benefits to retain classification as a child even if he or she has reached the age of 21. The guidance changes how USCIS interprets the applicability of the CSPA to aliens who had aged out prior to the enactment of the CSPA on August 6, 2002.

Under prior policy guidance, USCIS considered an alien beneficiary of a visa petition that was approved before August 6, 2002 to be covered by the CSPA only if the beneficiary had filed an application for permanent residence (either adjustment of status or an immigrant visa) on or before August 6, 2002, and no final determination had been made on that application prior to August 6, 2002.

This new policy extends CSPA coverage to aliens who had an approved visa petition prior to the enactment of CSPA but who did not have a pending application for permanent residence on the date of enactment of the CSPA. Aliens who were ineligible under the prior policy and who subsequent to the enactment of the CSPA never filed an application for permanent residence may file an application for permanent residence to take advantage of this new interpretation. Aliens who filed an application for permanent residence after the enactment of the CSPA and who were denied solely because they had aged out may file motions to reopen or reconsider without a filing fee.

This link includes further information on this issue, including a link to a Fact Sheet with questions and answers as well as the guidance issued to USCIS field leadership.

KJ

May 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What the Heck? U.S. Arresting Undocumented LEAVING the Country

The L.A. Times reports that U.S. border authorities no longer apprehend undocumented immigrants only as they enter the country. Now they're catching them on the way out. At various times near the Tijuana-San Diego border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have been setting up checkpoints, boarding buses headed to for Mexico and pulling off people who lack proper documentation.  The undocumented immigrants they apprehend are typically turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for processing. Unless they have serious criminal records or numerous immigration violations, most are returned to Mexico within a few hours, the agents say. Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center of Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego, said he was not aware of similar crackdowns in the past. The checkpoints make sense for intercepting contraband, but targeting undocumented immigrants voluntarily leaving the country is a "bizarre" way of handling the illegal immigration question, he said.

KJ

May 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Ethiopian Refugee Camps Close

After 23,000 refugees returned home to South Sudan, the United Nations refugee agency has closed two camps in western Ethiopia.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced yesterday that it had closed Bonga and Dimma camps after the organization assisted refugees to return, mainly to Blue Nile state in South Sudan. Last week's closures bring to three the number of camps which have been emptied in western Ethiopia since last year.

The repatriation operation has now halted for the rainy season and is scheduled to begin again in November. Around 3,000 refugees who remain in the two camps will be transferred to other camps in Ethiopia. Some of these refugees have indicated that they will return to Sudan later in the year using their own means.

UNHCR is now planning to rehabilitate the camps before handing them over for use by the local community. There are proposals to use one as an agricultural centre and the other as a technical training college.

Overall, some 275,000 Sudanese refugees have returned to South Sudan since 2006 from various surrounding countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. This year alone, some 47,000 Sudanese refugees have returned home, mainly with UNHCR assistance.

bh

May 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Ruby Keeler (Canada)

Ruby_keeler_in_dames_trailer Ruby Keeler, born Ethel Hilda Keeler, (1910-1993), was an actress, singer, and dancer most famous for starring with Dick Powell in a string of successful early musicals at Warner Brothers.  Ruby Keeler was among the first tap dancing stars in motion pictures.

Keeler was born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1910.  When she was three years old, her family moved to New York City.  She was only 14 when she started working at a nightclub. She was noticed by Broadway producer Charles B. Dillingham, who gave her a role in Bye Bye Bonnie, which ran for six months. She then appeared in Lucky and The Sidewalks of New York. In the latter show, she was seen by Flo Ziegfeld, who sent her bunch of roses and a note, "May I make you a star?" Keeler would appear in Ziegfield's Whoopee! in 1928.

Keeler married Al Jolson, the famous singer. They met in Los Angeles, where she had been sent by Loew's theaters to assist in the publicity campaign for The Jazz Singer.  The couple were married in Pittsburgh on September 21, 1928 while she toured with Whoopee!; she was 19 and he was 42. They moved to California.

In 1929, Keeler traveled to New York to star in Show Girl. In 1933, producer Darryl F. Zanuck cast Keeler in the Warner Bros. musical 42nd Street appearing opposite Dick Powell. (For a clip, click here). The film was a huge success. As a result of her performance in 42nd Street, Jack L. Warner gave Keeler a long-term contract and cast her in such hits as Gold Diggers of 1933 and Dames (1934).

Keeler and Jolson were divorced in 1940. Keeler remarried in 1941 and left show business that year. In 1971, she came out of retirement to star in the hugely successful Broadway revival of No, No, Nanette. The production was directed by Keeler's 42nd Street director, Busby Berkeley.

Keeler died of cancer in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 82. She has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  For more about Keeler, click here.

KJ

May 7, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)