Monthly Archives: April 2012

SCOTUS HEARS ARGUMENTS REGARDING ARIZONA’S IMMIGRATION LAW

According to an article on nytimes.com:  “Justices across the ideological spectrum appeared inclined to uphold a controversial part of Arizona’s aggressive 2010 immigration law, based on their questions on Wednesday at a Supreme Court argument.”

A decision is expected in June.  It will be interesting to see how the Justices come down on this case.  If Arizona required police to check the immigration status of all persons stopped, another state could enact a law (as some municipalities have) prohibiting police from inquiring as to a person’s immigration status.  Some states could become “sanctuary states” if they are more lenient, welcoming and accepting of undocumented persons whereas others would be “enforcement states” that undocumented individuals would avoid. Should this occur, it will be fascinating for a Sociology major like me to witness which states fare better, those with a welcoming climate or those that are purely enforcement oriented.

This issue is far from over, as no arguments were made with regard to racial profiling.  Moreover, if Arizona were to prevail on significant parts of the law, it and other states would likely push the envelope and introduce immigration bills that could conflict with federal immigration law.

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USCIS ANNOUNCES CIVICS FLASH CARDS IN SPANISH ARE NOW AVAILABLE

According to a USCIS News Release:  “USCIS is now offering Civics Flash Cards in Spanish on the Citizenship Resource Center. The Civics Flash Cards will help you learn about U.S. history and government while preparing for the naturalization test. The 100 civics (history and government) questions and answers for the naturalization test are included in these flash cards. The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask you up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. You must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test. Certain applicants, because of age and time as a permanent resident, are exempt from the English requirements for naturalization. For more information on exceptions and accommodations, see www.uscis.gov.  Visit Study Materials for the Civics Test and select “Publications” to see electronic versions of the Civics Flash Cards in Spanish.”

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ROMNEY TO SOFTEN STANCE ON IMMIGRATION AS HE GEARS UP FOR GENERAL ELECTION?

According to an article on news.yahoo.com:  “Mitt Romney may adopt a softer tone on illegal immigration now that the long and divisive primary is all but over and he gears up for a head-to-head battle with President Barack Obama.”

Would Romney softening his stance on immigration be smart politics?  Of course.  However, one can argue that a candidate who changes his stance so easily does not actually have a genuine position on the issue and may say or do whatever is politically convenient to get his hands on the keys to the White House.  This makes it hard to predict what Romney would support or oppose if he were to get elected.

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USCIS CONTINUES TO ACCEPT FY-2013 H-1B PETITIONS

According to the USCIS, as of April 9, 2012, only one week after petitions were first accepted, the agency has received 17,400 out of 65,000 available cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY-2013 and 8,200 out of 20,000 available petitions under the H-1B Master’s Cap Exemption.

If you are a cap-subject organization that wishes to file an H-1B on behalf of a qualified foreign-national, this would be a good time to do it.  H-1B petitions are being filed at a faster pace than in recent years.

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INCREASE IN EARLY CAP-SUBJECT H-1B DEMAND FOR FY-2013

According to AILA, USCIS has informed the organization that as of April 4, 2012, 22,323 cap-subject H-1B cases were received by the USCIS.  Approximately 25% of these were for U.S. advanced degree cases.  This is almost double the number of cases received at the same time last year. (AILA Infonet Doc. No.: 12040553 (posted Apr. 5, 2012)).

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USCIS CAP GAP Q&A FOR F-1 STUDENTS SEEKING FY-2013 H-1B STATUS UNDER THE CAP

A recently-issued USCIS Q&A “…address(es) the automatic extension of F-1 student status in the United States for certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions (indicating a request for change of status from F-1 to H-1B) for an employment start date of October 1, 2012 under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 H-1B cap.”

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