Monthly Archives: November 2008

USCIS PUBLISHES FINAL RULE FOR RELIGIOUS WORKER VISA CLASSIFICATIONS

According to a USCIS Press Release:  “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will make significant revisions to the special immigrant and nonimmigrant (R-1) religious worker visa classification regulations.   The final rule will ensure the integrity of the religious worker program by establishing a requirement that employers submit a formal petition for temporary religious workers, and by providing for increased inspections, evaluations, verifications, and compliance reviews of religious organizations.  The rule also fulfills the recent Congressional mandate to issue final regulations to eliminate or reduce fraud in the religious worker program.”

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

OBAMA’S LIKELY PICK FOR HEAD OF HOMELAND SECURITY MAY GIVE CLUES AS TO THE PROSPECTS FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

According to an article on chron.com:  “Experts said that Napolitano’s record yields important clues as to how the Obama administration may handle sensitive immigration issues ranging from workplace raids to the border fence. Eventually, lawmakers in both parties say, Napolitano’s approach could lay the political groundwork for a comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform plan.”

Governor Napolitano has a reputation for being tough yet fair-minded when it comes to immigration.  She would be a great pick to head the Department.

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

NY TEEN CHARGED WITH MURDER AS A HATE CRIME IN IMMIGRANT’S DEATH

According to an article on cnn.com:  “A grand jury has indicted a Long Island teenager on a charge of second-degree murder as a hate crime in the stabbing death of an Ecuadoran immigrant this month, according to the indictment, unsealed Thursday in Suffolk County District Court.”

If this was in fact a hate-crime, could the barrage of anti-immigrant media coverage demonizing the undocumented have played a role in conditioning the alleged perpetrators to believe that the life of an undocumented is worth less than that of an American?  This is a question that is worth exploring.

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

TPS RE-REGISTRATION PERIOD AUTOMATICALLY EXTENDED FOR HONDURAN AND NICARAGUAN NATIONALS

According to a USCIS Press Release:  “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced an extension to the re-registration period for nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and are now eligible to re-register and maintain their status an additional 18 months. Initially, the 60-day re-registration period for nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua began Oct. 1, 2008 and ended on Dec. 1, 2008. This re-registration period is now being extended through Dec. 30, 2008.”

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

HISPANIC TURNOUT MAY SPUR IMMIGRATION REFORM

According to an article on npr.com:  “More Hispanics than ever voted, and they voted 2-to-1 for Obama over McCain. Sharry says Latino support was decisive in helping deliver the swing states of Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida. And polls show it was the immigration issue — specifically some in the Republican Party who demonized illegal immigrants — that helped drive Latinos to the Democrats.”

Although it may not the best timing to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform, President Obama will need to do something to address the issue.  I still think that it could be a hot-button political issue if the anti-immigrants have nothing more important to worry about (such as their retirement funds disappearing and their houses being foreclosed upon).  This bodes well for the argument that the issue should be addressed sooner rather than later as we are now as far from the next election as we will ever be.

Another problem with a mass earned legalization in these times of relatively high unemployment is that if it is based on a test of the U.S. labor market, many qualified U.S. applicants may apply or layoffs may occur for the positions – which would lead to Labor Certifications failing.  Congress would have to probably need to enact a “grandfathering” provision as they did with 245(i) that will preserve the rights of the undocumeted who try to file within the limited time frame to re-file at a later time and benefit from the protections of the law .  If not, literally millions of individuals would be unable to legalize and the problems associated with the lare numbers of undocumented individuals in this country will not be resolved. 

Ideally, the economy will improve and the unemployment rate will go down within the first few months of an Obama administration and CIR will be enacted.  This nation, and many would argue, the world, is dealing with economic issues the likes of which most of us have never experienced.  I don’t envy the challenges the new administration will face.

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

RAIDED FACTORY SETTLES OVERTIME LAWSUIT

According to an article on boston.com:  “The former owner of a New Bedford leather goods factory raided by immigration officials early last year has settled a class-action lawsuit, agreeing to pay $850,000 to former employees who worked up to 16 hours a day but weren’t paid overtime.”

Our office has represented several immigrants to collect unpaid wages and overtime regardless of their immigration status.  It is unlawful for employers to deny wages or overtime to workers for hours worked or to retaliate against them for attempting to enforce their workplace rights. 

Please visit our law firm’s new website www.immigrantconnect.com.

USCIS PROVIDES PROCESSING UPDATE ON HAGUE ADOPTIONS

According to a USCIS Update:  “In recognition of National Adoption Awareness Month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding prospective adoptive parents to submit complete application and petition packages for international adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention to ensure timely processing.”

Please visit our law firm’s new website, www.immigrantconnect.com.

USCIS PROGRESSING TOWARD FY 2009 PROCESSING GOALS

According to the USCIS:  ““In our 2007 fee rule we committed to improving service. In the months that followed we received a large surge of applications. Notwithstanding that surge, in Fiscal Year 2008 we began measuring our performance and backlog against the goals we set in the fee rule. Although we knew we could not reach them in FY 08 because of the large surge, we believed it was important to remain true to the commitments we made – and we did process 1.6 million more cases that we received during the year.”

Please visit our law firm’s new website, www.immigrantconnect.com.

GET IMMIGRATION UPDATES – SUBSCRIBE TO IMMIGRANTCONNECT.COM

Get daily updates on immigration laws and policies as well as a dose of my personal thoughts on related issues!  If you would like to subscribe, here’s what our resident tech genius had to say regarding how to do it:

All they need to do is point their RSS reader to http://immigrantconnect.com/feed/.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication,”  and the idea behind RSS is that you won’t have to keep coming back to websites for updates.  Instead, a piece of software called an “RSS Reader” will do that job of checking the websites you specify for updates, alerting you when new articles are available, and then presenting the new articles in a succinct form.

Modern web browsers (such as Firefox and Internet Explorer 6), e-mail clients (such as Thunderbird), and some portals like My Yahoo! and Google already work as RSS readers.   For Outlook, there’s a free plug-in called RSS Popper, which you can download here:  http://rsspopper.blogspot.com/

Doesn’t sound “really simple” to me, but I welcome new subscribers.

Please visit our law firm’s new website, www.immigrantconnect.com.