A Disclaimer: I know this is a hot button issue, so I ask that you please contact your immigration lawyer related to the specifics of your case before taking (or choosing not to take) any course of action. This blog is for general information and news and nothing herein should be construed as legal advice.
The consensus seems to be that regardless of what the DOS and/or CIS may or may not do with the July visa bulletin, those who are eligible should file their I-485 applications in July for a couple of reasons: (1) the numbers may not retrogress in which case it would be a shame to lose the opportunity to file; and (2) even if the numbers become unavailable, there is almost guaranteed to be a lawsuit against the agencies for which remedies may only be available for those who actually filed and whose cases were rejected.
We should have more official news early next week and will keep you posted.
The DOS may revise its July visa bulletin and make all or some of the EB categories unavailable for July as early as Monday or Tuesday of next week. Should this occur, the literally thousands of people who are trying to immigrate LEGALLY will have been taken for a ride. When the July visa bulletin came out mid-June, competent immigration lawyers were advising their clients to get their medical examinations, passport photos and questionnaires ready to proceed and file in a timely manner (before the end of July).
Should the CIS reject those cases that will be filed based on the DOS Visa Bulletin (which according to the existing regulations and memos they should accept) lawsuits will be filed against the agencies, but how will that help those who “played by the rules”? They can get back in line. This system is a miserable failure.
Those whose cases are rejected may be able to join a class-action that may be filed by AILF if cases end up being rejected if and when the State Department amends its July visa bulletin. Stay tuned.
According to the July Department of State Visa Bulletin, Employment-Based visa numbers for all categories (except other workers) are current for July. However, there is now speculation that the USCIS may determine that numbers are unavailable before the end of July. This is based on the CIS rejecting I-485 applications in June for the other workers category with priority dates before October 1, 2001 that were filed after June 5, 2007 because the CIS determined that the number of available visas had been exhausted by that time.
This means that we will be rushing to try to file I-485 cases as early as possible in July to increase the chances that these cases will be accepted for processing. The American Immigration Lawyers Association hasx written a letter to the CIS advising the agency that AILA believes their actions in June were unacceptable and contrary to existing regulations and CIS Field Guidance Memos.
As promised, more news already. The USCIS issued a memo stating that between July 2, 2007 and August 1, 2007, it will temporarily stop accepting cases filed using its Premium Processing Service (PPS). PPS is the service in which the CIS will, in most cases, adjudicate or issue a Request for Additional Evidence on a case within 15 calendar days for an additional $1000 filing fee.
The Senate voted against invoking closure on the CIR bill this morning. This probably lays the issue to rest until after the Presidential election. The topic will likely be too hot to touch before then. This is just another example of Congress failing to deal with a tough issue. Hopefully the tide will turn with the next attempt.
I will therefore shift the focus of my blog back to current immigration-related news and developments, and there are many. Even without a complete overhaul of the system, new cases, regulations and interpretive memos from various agencies are published almost daily.
A link to the CNN.com story on the failure of the Senate to pass this bill can be found to the left.
After some procedural wrangling, most amendments to the Immigration bill that were debated in the Senate today were defeated. Tomorrow the senators will vote on cloture. If 60 Senators vote for cloture (to end debate), then the bill will be up for a final vote by the end of this week. If fewer than 60 Senators vote to invoke cloture, CIR will probably not come about until after the Presidential election.
The bill being debated contains hundreds of pages of provisions, some good, some not. However, any immigration bill that seeks to overhaul our broken system will have its critics. Hopefully those Senators who voted yesterday to bring the bill back for debate, will vote to invoke cloture tomorrow and vote for passage of the bill on Friday so that this process can move forward. If your Senators are on the fence, please call them tomorrow morning and encourage them to vote to invoke cloture.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill returns to be debated by the Senate this week. With both Congress’ and the President’s approval ratings in the gutter and complaints about the bill coming from both sides of the political spectrum, will CIR pass? The recent ICE raids around the country with stories of the government deporting single mothers and in one case allegedly deporting a mentally-ill US Citizen to Mexico demonstrates just how inefficient and undesirable an enforcement-only approach to a multi-faceted problem can be.
Will Congress manage to do something for the good of the country or will the Senators and Representatives who try to obstruct the progress of a solution to our immigration crisis prevail? I will be following the debate closely and will provide my analysis, opinion and commentary in the coming days.
Most of those who care enough about immigration to write or speak about it, have already made up their minds about the issue. They will argue backwards. For instance, someone who wants to show that an earned legalization component to an immigration bill is a bad idea, will look for evidence to back up that point of view. On the other hand, those who believe it is a good solution will try to bolster that opinion. If we were being fair about an issue, we would listen to both sides of the argument and then decide what the ideal solution should be. Blanket Amnesty? Mass deportation? Getting the undocumented to self-deport? None of these solutions seem feasible. The brave Senators who are actually doing their jobs are trying to find a solution to a problem where virtually everyone believes the status quo is unacceptable.
One can find polls to back up almost any point of view. The validity of any poll depends on: sample size, randomness of the sample, the universe the sample was chosen from, how the questions were phrased, the collection method (phone call, mail, website etc.), and how the results were tabulated, among other factors. Lou Dobbs will cite polls that bolster his point of view and La Raza will cite others. As with most issues, the solution to the immigration problem lies somewhere between the extremes of the lying polls.
“The Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform” has an 800 number that makes it easy for everyone to contact their senators to voice their support for comprehensive immigration reform. The number is: 1-800-417-7666, instructions are provided when you call. The Senate returns tomorrow to continue the debate, let your voice be heard! A link to the informative flier from the CCIR can be found to the left.
The USCIS issued a memo reminding everyone that CIR is being debated but that nothing has become law. Therefore, do not pay a notario, legal consultant or even a lawyer for anything having to do with the law currently being debated. At this point, nobody knows what the details of the new law will be if there is one at all. There is a link to the CIS memo to the left.