According to a USCIS Press Release: ‘Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the publication of a rule formalizing DHS’ longstanding policy to expedite and streamline the citizenship process for men and women bravely serving in America’s armed forces.”
All prevailing wage requests for H-1B LCAs, H-2Bs and PERM applications must now be filed electronlically by completing the requisite form and filing it with the Department of Labor.
It remains to be seen whether the current system is an improvement over the state determinations that were used previously. The answer probably depends on what state you are in and/or the relationship you had with the SWA in your state.
According to an article on nytimes.com: “Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nations immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when The New York Times obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.” NY Times journalists and the ACLU also obtained documents relating to immigrant detainees deaths that it has published.
Another recent article on nytimes.com states: “Agents in riot gear from Immigration and Customs Enforcement tried to break up a hunger strike by detainees at the Varick Federal Detention Center in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, three detainees at the center said Wednesday in telephone interviews.”
If these allegations are in fact true, the Obama administration needs to do take imminent action to protect immigrant detainees from abuse that sometimes results in their death while in US custody. The actions of ICE and those in charge of detention facilities must be transparent, and those found to be negligent, abusive or reckless in their treatment of immigrants as well as those who covered up alleged abuses must be brought to justice. Even the most egregious immigration violation does not warrant a death sentence. It surprises me that there are not more high-profile civil lawsuits brought by personal injury and wrongful death lawyers for alleged abuses such as those outlined in the article and documents. Perhaps the efforts of the New York Times and the ACLU to shed light on these practices will lead to such suits being filed on behalf of the victims.
According to an article on nytimes.com: “The Obama administration extended a special immigration status on Friday to Haitians living illegally in the United States that protects them from deportation for 18 months and allows them to work here.”
Pro-immigrant groups had been pressing the administration hard for this since the disastrous earthquake struck Haiti.
According to a USCIS Q&A: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued updated guidance to adjudication officers to clarify what constitutes a valid employer-employee relationship to qualify for the H-1B specialty occupation classification. The memorandum clarifies such relationships, particularly as it pertains to independent contractors, self-employed beneficiaries, and beneficiaries placed at third-party worksites. The memorandum is titled: Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements: Additions to Officers Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 31.3(g)(15)(AFM Update AD 10-24). In addition to clarifying the requirements for a valid employer-employee relationship, the memorandum also discusses the types of evidence petitioners may provide to establish that an employer-employee relationship exists and will continue to exist with the beneficiary throughout the duration of the requested H-1B validity period.”
According to an article on nytimes.com: “Over the last two years, the news media and Congress have brought attention to many deaths in the immigration detention system that appear to have involved substandard medical care or abuse. But a trove of documents obtained over recent months by The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union sheds light on even more fatalities.”
Even the most hardened anti-immigrationists would not support the death penalty for undocumented aliens which is what such substandard medical care and outright abuse amounts to.
According to an aticle on nytimes.com: “Mexico’s ambassador to the United States said Friday he expects immigration reform is unlikely to pass in that country in 2010 because of unemployment and midterm elections.”
I believe this prediction may be accurate. Do we need immigration reform? Absolutely, as our current system is badly broken. The timing however, may not be ideal for democrats given the upcoming mid-term elections. On the other hand, if the party loses its super-majority in the Senate and some House seats to Republicans in November, passing CIR could prove to be an even more ambitious task than it would be now.