According to an article on latimes.com:  “The cost of getting a passport will hit $100 starting Friday. The increase is one of a series of changes this week that affect U.S. citizens traveling outside the country.”

The increase from $97 to $100 is very modest compared to the outrageous filing fee increases recently imposed by the USCIS for immigration benefits.


Romney has tried unsuccessfully, as have many before him, to win primaries by making immigration a major divisive issue in his campaign.

Giuliani has dropped out of the race and endorsed McCain.  This is a big deal because most pundits agree that Giuliani and McCain were dividing votes.

The latest rumor is that Schwarzenegger, the California governor, is likely to endorse McCain today.  This would be meaningful as it could swing California voters towards McCain in that state’s primary on Tuesday.  Schwarzenegger warned candidates not to exploit the immigration issue in his state.

Another problem Romney faces is that he used attack ads against the other candidates and I alienated many Hispanics with his “anti-illegal immigration” rhetoric.  The result:  Huckabee is still in the race (I’m not sure if this is to win or to take “conservative” votes from Romney who aired negative ads about him) and Hispanics are voting overwhelmingly for McCain.

As I’ve written before, opponents of immigration are loud, however they are not the majority.  Even those who oppose illegal immigration do not consider it a top issue, especially given the current economic issues facing the nation.

So  if Romney, a Republican candidate who has spent more than any other and has tried to use immigration as a wedge issue loses the GOP nomination, it is clear that it is best for th Republican party because he certainly would not be able to win in the general election where both democrats and independents are even less concerned about the issue than are most Republicans.  Moreover, Democrats and Independents more likely to support comprehensive immigration reform that offers a path to earned legalization for the undocumented.

However this plays out, it should be interesting…stay tuned.


Senator John McCain has won Florida’s Republican Primary.  This gives McCain momentum going into “Super Tuesday”.   This is promising for those who support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

The Democratic front-runners all support CIR as does McCain, who is now the Republican front-runner.  The prospect of CIR will depend mainlyon which party is elected to Congress.


According to an article on computerworld.com:  “The U.S. software industry is larger than the food processing industry in terms of revenue, according to an IT trade group that wants Congress to raise the annual cap on H-1B visas, give permanent residency to foreign nationals who graduate from U.S. colleges and back trade policies that give companies unfettered access to global markets.”

As an urgent matter, this country needs more H-1B visas to effectively compete in the global economy.  However, companies and foreign nationals should not expect an increase in the number of cap-subject visas for FY-2009, currently 65,000.  Employers should prepare for those they would like to hire as H-1B workers early so that cases are received by the USCIS no later than April 1, 2008.  Alternatives to H-1B visas or the possibility that the organization or beneficiary may be cap-exempt should be discussed with a lawyer.

Our firm is now accepting cases for cap-subject H-1B cases to be filed on April 1, 2008.  Please visit www.magedrost.com for additional information.


According to an article on chron.com:  “Cities are getting clobbered by Washington’s failure to reform national immigration policy, a group of mayors said Friday, and they urged Congress to take another look at legislation on the issue before the general election.”

As badly as this country needs immigration reform, the mayors will have to wait until at least 2009 for the government to take action.  President Bush will probably not even bring up the subject in tonight’s State of the Union address.


According to an article that appeared on InsideBayArea.com:  “Now for real insight, let’s turn to a Republican who is also an immigrant. With the California primary approaching on Feb. 5, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has advice for Republican presidential hopefuls who intend to come to the Golden State and exploit the immigration issue: Don’t.”

Good advice from both policy and political perspectives.


According to an article on miami.com:  “Illegal immigration — which consumed recent GOP debates with charges of hypocrisy and policy flip-flops and put Democratic presidential candidates on the defensive — has faded as a key issue for Florida voters.”

My position has been and continues to be that candidates should not use the immigration issue to stir up passions either way.  McCain stepped back from the issue, although we know that he is a candidate who seeks a real solution.  I have not heard too much from Romney on the issue lately, however his positions on many issues blow with the wind.  Those candidates who were most vocal and punitive in opposing any legalization for the undocumented namely Tancredo and Thompson – have both pulled out of the race.

If McCain wins the Republican nomination and either Clinton or Obama lead the Democrats, the next President of the US will not stand in the way of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  The focus will then need to be on electing a Congress that will move forward with a real solution to our nation’s immigration crisis.  Remember, the last two times CIR was being debated it was not President Bush who opposed it but rather members of the House and Senate.