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.
Unless you are a citizen of China, India or Mexico, if you have an application for alien employment certification that was certified by the Department of Labor prior to June 1, 2005 in the Employment Based Third Category (skilled worker or professional), today you are eligible to apply to adjust your status. See the Department of State Visa Bulletin link to the left.
Please also note that the USCIS is no longer accepting I-140 Premium Processing cases in which the employer is seeking a substitution of the alien. Also, if you are requesting that the USCIS request an approved labor certification directly from the DOL that is not included with the original filing, Premium Processing Service is not available in this situation either.
Funny story from www.boston.com! A physician who blogged using the name “flea” had his identity revealed to the world, during his malpractice trial. The case quickly settled. A reminder that we must all remember to blog cautiously. It probably helps to use one’s real name to avoid getting too comfortable babbling. Link to the Boston.com article to the left.
Immigrating to the US is expensive. The laws are complex, tricky and constantly evolving (this is without CIR!). In most cases, an alien should hire a qualified immigration lawyer to avoid making errors that could prove fatal to his or her immigration status and options while in the US. Immigration lawyers, like most professionals are not cheap. Having said that, the choice to hire a lawyer is still just that, a choice.
USCIS filing fees are not a choice however. More than in any area of government, it seems like the the CIS and Congress believe that most immigrants have money-growing trees in their yards. The CIS filing fees effective July 30, 2007 are arguably excessive but the percentage increase from the existing fees for most filings is objectively unreasonable.
Apparently GOP Senators are getting a lot of angry calls from restrictionists this week. Shouldn’t be a surprise, but Senators are saying that they did not expect this passionate reaction. I expected it, the press expected it, why would the Senators be surprised by it?
The restrictionists do not want any benefits whatsoever to be offered to undocumented aliens. Even though most rational folks admit that all 12 million cannot be deported, they recommend “starving” the undocumented by cutting off jobs and health benefits. I guess that would mean greater employer enforcement and hospitals refusing to treat the sick. These suggestions are nonsense.
Let’s hope that our Senators have the brains and the courage to not get derailed by a loud minority. It is clear from the 2006 mid-term elections and recent polling that most Americans support a path to earned legalization for the undocumented. Most of the immigration hardliners in 2006 lost their elections.
The loud restrictionists remind me of a friend of mine who frequently complains in restaurants. Although he feels his complaints are validated, the waiters and managers spend an inordinate amount of time addressing his subjective complaints to the exclusion of offering great service to the other patrons. In the end the restaurant loses. At least my friend’s nonsense doesn’t cause the restaurants to go out of business which is essentially what many of these senators will have happen to them if they fail to pass a fair, balanced immigration bill.
In other words, Senators, do what’s best for the country and ignore the screaming minority. It’s not a good allocation of resources to concentrate on those who will never be happy. I heard Bose makes good noise-canceling headphones.
Remember just a few (four or five) years back when the filing fee for an H-1B petition was $130? Total H-1B filing, training and fraud fees are now as high as $2190, and as of July 30, 2007, they’ll be going up again.
The new USCIS Fee Schedule will raise the filing fee for an I-129 Petition from $190 to $320, an I-485 application will go up from $395 ($325 + $70 biometric fee) to a whopping $1010. If only wages would increase at these rates! Please see the link to the new USCIS Fee Schedule for more details.
The Senate will be taking a full week off for Memorial Day. Time spent in their home states will be predictive of the attitudes they will have upon their return. Most Senators have the common sense to know that just because there are 90 calls to their office opposing CIR and 10 supporting it, this number is certainly not reflective of the attitude of most Americans.
Remember the loudmouths in grade school? They always seemed to hog an inordinate amount of attention. Those who support solving our immigration crisis should give their Senators a call to let them know. Even if it will only dilute the anti-immigrant screaming. CNN or FOX showed that a couple of Senators (Graham from South Carolina and another one whose name escapes me) were “booed” at speeches in which immigration was mentioned. It was all over the news. One of the speeches was recorded with a camera-phone (probably by one of the “booers”). These are cheap publicity stunts, but they work. How many people booing does it take to get a reaction, 3 or 4? The antis are well-organized and make it a point to show up. Supporters must do the same. Have a great weekend.
House Minority Leader John Boehner today referred to the immigration bill being debated in the Senate as a “piece of shi*.” So much for political correctness. However, I tend to agree with Senator Reid who believes that the anger and passion on this issue will lead to a better bill.
My only concern is that the vocal minority of anti-immigrants will influence some naive members of congress because of the shear volumes of calls they make to their offices. Those of us who support fixing this broken system need to call our Senators and ask them to support workable comprehensive immigration reform. I called and e-mailed my Senators, but I’m in Massachusetts,and I know how Kennedy and Kerry will be voting!