Monday, March 31, 2003

VIRGINIA MAKES IT OFFICIAL: Tomorrow's Washington Post will run a story titled "Immigrants Face A Tale of 2 States."

It's interesting that two neighboring states bordering the Chesapeake Bay take opposite approaches to illegal immigrants.

For background, read what I blogged here.

posted by Randy at 11:09 PM


Sunday, March 30, 2003

Naked Protectionism
I've resisted the temptation to fact-check the more vocal advocates of immigration limits policy. This time, I won't.

The loudest voice belongs to Rep. Tancredo (R-CO). He chairs the House Immigration Reform Caucus which favors, among other things, efforts to extinguish remnants of 245(i) and legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to illegal aliens. His statements are nothing but naked protectionism, cloaked behind his concern for strained resources and his stated motive to limit immigration.

Now, some of the Caucus's agenda items are reasonable. Although Rep. Tancredo exaggerates the family-based immigration numbers as I show below, I agree that a little tweaking to the number of family-based petitions is in order. And I wholeheartedly agree that our immigration policies should revolve around the rule of law, preserve the integrity of our borders, and welcome positive contributors to our society. But evidence pointing to Rep. Tancredo's protectionist bent is the noticeable absence of reasonable increases in employment-based immigrants from the Caucus agenda. The number of employment-based immigrants should increase from its embarrassingly low adjustments.

Brazenly spoken inaccuracies, though, should not buttress immigration policy goals.

On March 27, 2003, he introduced a bill to limit total annual immigration to 300,000. I've excerpted, blockquoted, and italicized Rep. Tancredo's remarks, which the Congressional Record published in its entirety. I will not fact-check his whole speech, only small portions relating to family unity, affidavits of support, and employment-based immigration.

This brings me to another point here that I think is worthy of mention. Let us go to the legal immigrant in the United States, somebody who has arrived here, let us say, in the last 5 years.

It's 2003, so Rep. Tancredo must be talking about legal immigrants entering the U.S. post-Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, found here. (In 1996, Congress significantly revised the INA by passing IIRAIRA.) Let's say he's talking about legal immigrants entering the U.S. in the first few years after IIAIRA, immigrants legalized under the 1990-derived Family Unity provisions. Taking into account terribly inefficient processing times, most Family Unity immigrants would've been processed by 2000. Anecdotal evidence compels me to say that the BCIS processes few 1990-era Family Unity cases today, which I also expand upon below. (Here, I won't discuss the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, upon which family unity policy is a bedrock. I don't think Rep. Tancredo remarks, as written in the Congressional record, refers to it because if it did, he would've said so.)

In 1996, this Congress passed another law; and it said that anyone coming into the United States under what was called the Family Reunification Act would have to identify a sponsor here in the United States and that sponsor had to agree to become financially liable for the person they were bringing into the country. If that person were to go onto some sort of social service, onto welfare or access hospitals and be unable to pay themselves for doctor bills, food banks, anything that was provided to this person coming in here under the Family Reunification Act, you had to have a sponsor.

As an initial matter, section 383 of IIRAIRA excluded certain criminals from qualifying for benefits under the Family Unity law passed in 1990. So far as I can tell, Congress never passed a Family Reunification Act in 1996. What it did pass was section 531 of IIRAIRA, embodying our current public charge inadmissibility law as it relates to aliens.

Rep. Tancredo has at least one thing wrong. There was no Family Re-unification Act in any immigration law passed by Congress in 1996. There was, however, a Family Unity provision in section 301 of the IMMACT of 1990.

Since 1996, section 213A of the INA has controlled. Under that section, any alien entering the U.S. under a family-based petition may be deemed inadmissible if there issues of public charge. More specifically, 8 CFR 213a lays out the procedures for determining whether the alien will become a public charge. The sponsor must submit an affidavit of support, Form I-864, which is used to determine the minimum income required to exceed the poverty line, as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

By the way, we have had that law generally on our books for 100 years. For 100 years an immigrant coming into the United States had to have a sponsor, and that sponsor took on some responsibility. The language is very plain on the documentation they have to fill out, that, in fact, you are accepting financial responsibility for that person that you are bringing in.

And that still is the law. It bears repetition that the sponsor is on the financial hook for ten years. Thus, should the immigrant receive means-tested benefits in the ten years following adjustment to permanent residence, the government can subrogate the sponsor for the received benefits. (Upon naturalization of the immigrant, the sponsor's responsibility disappears.)

Now, that was the way it was for everybody. But in 1976 we reduced the scope, the field, I suppose, to say, no, we will just do it for people who are coming in under the Family Reunification Act. People who are coming in under H-1B visas or any of the other work visas and all that sort of thing, not to worry, that is not going to matter.

Can't find a thing relating to a Congressional amendment to the INA in 1976. But let's address the H-1Bs and for at least two reasons, why they don't have to worry about affidavits of support. First, H-1Bs are nonimmigrants. A little looking into the H-1B program would reveal that this group of nonimmigrants are skilled workers. A U.S. employer has submitted an approved labor certification, which asserts, among other things, that the local labor pool won't produce a qualified worker for the advertised position. We're talking about college graduates and or others with above average skills and talents. These workers, all other things being equal, aren't taking up spaces at the food stamp line.

As repeatedly stated, H-1Bs are nonimmigrants and are distinguished from employment-based immigrants. In both cases, members of these categories show little chance of becoming a government burden. Rep. Tancredo's misplaces his fear that employment-based immigrants will go on welfare and disproportionately use public resources. The whole rationale for H-1Bs and employment-based immigrants is to bring in talent that is unavailable here. Employers must pay wages commensurate with what the market will bear. How is it conceivable that a bona fide, legitimate employment-based immigrant will likely become a public charge? It doesn't make sense.

Given what he's said, Rep. Tancredo is really trying to protect U.S. workers. Fair enough, only he hides the ball. His energy, though, could be better directed toward protecting the taxpayer. Without going into great depth, a qualifying relative seeking permanent residence under a family-based petition demonstrates a greater likelihood of presenting a public charge issue. Sponsors of family-based petitions come from all employment stripes. Some sponsors do well and other sponsors do less well. Some sponsors are highly skilled and highly paid workers, and some sponsors are less skilled and accordingly, less compensated.

That kind of economic disparity simply occurs less among employment-based immigrants. Immigration law requires employment-based immigrants to qualify under fairly rigorous requirements rooted in education or skills. Moreover, members of this immigrant category are more likely to pay moretaxes, not less. The same cannot be said for family-based immigrants, due mainly to the fairly low minimum income requirement. Here, Rep. Tancredo conflates employment-based immigrants and nonimmigrant skilled workers with qualifying immigrant relatives of legalized residents.

Well, as it turns out, about 75 to 80 percent of all immigration into the United States is under the Family Reunification Act, so almost everybody here today, the recent immigrant in the last 5 years, let us say, 10 years, came under that particular provision of our immigration law. It says, if that is the case, you need this sponsor.

I think I get it now. Rep. Tancredo again conflates two categories, this time members belonging to the nonexistent Family Re-unification Act with the general category of family-based immigration. If that is the case, and I think it is, then he does more than conflate the categories; he inflates the numbers. In a 2001 DOJ report, the Office of Policy and Planning stated the then-INS adjusted a little over a million immigrants for permanent residence. Sixty-four percent comprised family-based petitions and just seventeen percent of the total comprised employment-based petitions. Keep in mind that H-1Bs belong to the category of nonimmigrants, that is, visitors temporarily staying in the U.S. for a specified term. They are not included in the seventeen percent of immigrants adjusted for permanent residence.

In sum, Rep. Tancredo misstates a few things. Just so you know.

posted by Randy at 1:25 PM


Saturday, March 29, 2003

Immigration Fact-Checker, Coming Up
Legal. Legal. Legal. Somehow, that word was left out in Chicago Federal Reserve President Michael Moskow's remarks before attendees at a Washington DC Federal Reserve conference. Instead, a article quoted him as saying:

Immigrants generally have a high labor force participation rate; they have a high propensity to start new businesses; they use relatively small amounts of public services; and they generally do not cause unemployment among native citizens.

Maybe, then, the folks at the Federation for American Immigration Reform would have been less spun up. (Scroll down to the piece titled "From The Department Of Preplanned Conclusions.")

posted by Randy at 5:33 AM


Friday, March 28, 2003

Reset your RSS links
It looks like Tech Law Advisor, Volokh Conspiracy, and How Appealing had RSS feed problems. Me too.

Major props to Janes Blogosphere. The Manifest Border now has a reliable RSS feed. Click on icon to the right or click here.

posted by Randy at 8:23 PM

Reset your RSS links
It looks like Tech Law Advisor, Volokh Conspiracy, and How Appealing had RSS feed problems. Me too.

Thanks Major props to Janes Blogosphere. The Manifest Border now has a reliable RSS feed. Click on icon to the right or click here.

posted by Randy at 8:15 PM

Now A Word From Our Sponsors
Fellow bloggers are helpful and generous. Period. Lately, a few have gone out of their way to shine a path before me. As I've said before, it'll only get better. Before I continue, though, I should mention that the story between two guys and their aggregator sites, both of whom readers will discover are linking the Manifest Border, may very well turn out to be similar to the story featuring Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and computers, only without the nastiness.

That said, go check out Jonas Luster's daily dose of blawgy goodness, The Blawgregator. You'll find all the usual suspects.

Then pay Bob Helmer a visit at the Daily Whirl, where you pick the site and they snag the headlines.

posted by Randy at 7:55 PM

Officials Impotent On Sex Slave Trade
I know, I know, I know . . . it's a cheap attempt to lure readers. It was a long day, after a long week, and I'd like nothing more than to answer a dozen or two reader emails.

But in case you're wondering, an Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, has the article here.

posted by Randy at 6:49 PM

In Today's Papers
BCBP official upbeat: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert Bonner says integrity of U.S. borders is better more secure now than in the past. Link via the Washington Times.

City Targets Day Laborers: The city of Pasadena, California, bans day laborers from assembling at informal job sites. Via the LA Times. (May require registration.)

Special Registration Yielding Results: More than sixty thousand registrants face deportation due to visa violations. Via the Washington Post. (May require registration.)

posted by Randy at 2:06 AM

The Title Should Read: "Hero Laid To Rest"
In an Reuters report, Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez was

among the first U.S. soldiers to die in combat in Iraq . . . [and] once [was] arrested as an illegal immigrant to the United States, a Guatemalan official said on Monday.

"I know that in 1997 he was arrested by the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) but he was underage and he had an adoptive family to take care of him, so the immigration judge let him stay," Jorge Contreras, a spokesman for the Guatemalan Embassy in Washington, told Reuters by

Freedom is paid with the blood of servicemen and servicewomen, U.S. citizen or not. Yes, Lance Corporal Gutierrez was a legal permanent resident. Yes, he was not a U.S. citizen. And yes, as a fourteen year old boy, he flouted immigration laws. But under that same set of laws, he obtained permanent residence. As evidence of his gratitude, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.

No one said that U.S. citizenship conferred greater loyalty than non-citizen, legal permanent residents. Don't agree with that? Read this example of a U.S. born, U.S. citizen soldier.

UPDATE: The Washington Post honors Lance Corporal Gutierrez here.

posted by Randy at 2:03 AM


Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Problems With Your H-1B/L-1A Petition? How To Survive An RFE
Los Angeles-based immigration attorney Carl Shusterman lays out his tried-and-true methods for answering a request for evidence by the BCIS. (Link via Immigration Portal.)

Compare it with what the BCIS says here and here. Nonproprietary guidance can be found for the H-1Bs at 8 CFR 214.2(h) and for the L-1As at 8 CFR 214.2(l).

Good reading!

posted by Randy at 8:13 PM

**********JURY ACQUITS TYSON FOODS**********
Government loses immigration conspiracy case against Tyson Foods. Read the CNN piece here.

posted by Randy at 5:22 PM


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

And For The Most Important News Of My Day . . .
Thank you, thank you, thank you . . . How Appealing!

posted by Randy at 9:31 PM

A Break For Station Identification
Correctly interpreting immigration law requires good tools. Appellate attorney Gary O'Connor of the Statutory Construction Zone ensures folks like me recognizes the tools courts use to construe the laws, statutes, and codes.

Finding out what other legal bloggers ("blawggers") are doing helps create the beehive braintrust that makes blawgs so valuable. Legal commentator and attorney Robert Ambrogi of LawSites tracks "new and intriguing web sites for the legal profession." His recent article compiled a roundup of must-see blawgs.

posted by Randy at 9:26 PM

Tyson Foods Get Kid-Glove Treatment
Closing arguments are just about over and although the U.S. Attorney's case is far from life support, just 12 of the original 36 charges remain to be decided. Read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.

Even if Tyson gets heavily fined, that is much more desirable than the results contemplated here. Read what happens when the government really takes the gloves off.

posted by Randy at 8:55 PM

Final Rule Adds Widows and Children of 9/11 Victims to Immediate Relative Category
To implement a section of the USA Patriot Act, the State Department published a final rule which

provided for immediate relative status for spouses of U.S. citizens widowed as a direct result of the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, regardless of the length of the marriage, and provided that the spouse was not legally separated at the time of the citizens death and files a petition with two years of the death, having not married in the interim.

Read the Federal Register notice here. (Requires Adobe Acrobat).

Now let's unpack the final rule. Pre-USA Patriot Act, INA 201(b)(2)(A)(1) defined "immediate relatives" as
the children, spouses, and parents of a citizen of the United States, except that, in the case of parents, such citizens shall be at least 21 years of age. In the case of an alien who was the spouse of a citizen of the United States for at least 2 years at the time of the citizen's death and was not legally separated from the citizen at the time of the citizen's death, the alien (and each child of the alien) shall be considered, for purposes of this subsection, to remain an immediate relative after the date of the citizen's death but only if the spouse files a petition under section 204(a)(1)(A)(ii) within 2 years after such date and only until the date the spouse remarries.

On January 11, 2002, the State Department published an interim rule that modified the definition of immediate relatives, above. On March 20, 2003, the final rule became effective. There being no comments received, the rule remained unchanged from interim to final.

The practical effect of the final rule is that spouses and children of deceased U.S. citizen victims of 9/11 terrorist acts may self-petition. In the case of alien spouses, the length of marriage is a non-issue, so long as there was no legal separation at the time of the U.S. citizen's death. Children also become eligible for self-petition benefits, provided they petition within two years of the U.S. citizen parent's death.

posted by Randy at 8:21 PM


Sunday, March 23, 2003

Economic and Health Rights, and Zero Sum
The Arizona Republic addresses state resources strained to the brink by printing one reader's viewpoint.

posted by Randy at 9:16 AM

In-state Tuition for Some, Part II
A Roanoke, Virginia newspaper reported today that Governor Warner favors a bill prohibiting tuition to illegal aliens. He's proposing, however, an amendment:

. . . Warner said Saturday that he will ask lawmakers to approve an exception for "a small and deserving group of students" who satisfy specific requirements.

The exception would apply to students who have graduated from a Virginia high school, lived in the state for at least five years and are seeking legal immigration status. Students or their parents also must show that they have paid state income taxes for at least three years, Warner said.

Sounds to me like Governor Warner would grant in-state tuition to those with a pending adjustment of status application. (For background on this measure sweeping the states, I blogged about states adopting in-state tuition for illegal aliens here.) One of the bars to admissibility is the likelihood of becoming a public charge. Under INA 212(a)(4), no alien likely to become a burden to the government is inadmissible. Consequently, an applicant's sponsor must promise to the government that the applicant won't present an public charge issue. The way to determine issues of public charge is by evaluating the sponsor's Affidavit of Support. And a requirement for a properly completed affidavit of support is for the sponsor to submit tax returns for the prior three consecutive years.

But there's a complication. Applying for legal permanent residence does not mean automatic approval of the same. Denials happen all the time. Inadmissibility may occur for reasons not related to the student. For example, if the student is a derivative applicant, the principal must gain admission because if he does not, the derivative student does not. Moreover, processing times, despite "the six-month process standard for all applications," may take years. A state then has to deal with fees spent on a student who otherwise would not -- and did not -- qualify for permanent residence.

So far, neither the taxpayer has not been informed of this nor has the legal permanent resident and naturalized citizen who have done what it takes to become legitimate.

posted by Randy at 7:16 AM


Saturday, March 22, 2003

H-1Bs, Sun, and the Institute
There's more H-1B bashing and it might have racial undertones. In a post by Indian-American attorney and blogger, Venkat at Balasubramania's Mania, disgruntled workers are suing Sun for discriminating against older American workers by favoring H-1B workers. In this case, many of the H-1B workers are young, Indian graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology. Recently, 60 Minutes did a flattering piece on these graduates. In fact, some say IIT grads equals grads from MIT, Harvard, and Princeton . . . put together.

Without oversimplifying things, it just seems like a competition issue. Assuming that companies like Sun are hiring H-1B workers legitimately, I find it hard to believe that these workers are actually displacing Americans. But even if they are, which I doubt, it stems from reasons detached from H-1B program abuse. Whatever calculations enter into the hiring formula, hiring these Indian graduates apparently makes good financial sense. Moreover, there aren't that many who enter the U.S. as H-1Bs. As the BCIS states here, there are defined limits to the number of workers eligible to obtain these visas. In 2004, the caps will return to 65,000 per year, although from 2001-2003, the annual limit was 195,000.

As for H-1B workers displacing American workers, the domestic automobile industry of the 70s and 80s may provide an imperfect analogy. It is recalled that at one time, domestic auto manufacturers were exasperated over the popularity of Japanese cars. Detroit answered by simply producing better cars. Today, domestic cars rival, and some cases, exceed the quality of Japanese cars.

H1-B abuses and illegal circumventions aside, the above analogy therefore teaches this: as long as education costs remain high (necessitating large debt burdens), university systems continue to pump out non-technical degreed grads whom high-tech companies have no need, and other countries keep producing skilled, qualified grads, high-tech companies will continue to hire and recruit H-1Bs.

Companies won't care what country quality, skilled workers come from. Lawsuits that target companies who hire Indian workers smell racial to me.

posted by Randy at 7:05 PM

Attention: Law Students Focusing On Immigration Law
Could an immigration variation of this be the beginning of a hotly sought-after internship?

For multinational companies and top law firms: how soon would it take for an immigration blogging stint to stack up, all other things equal, against the traditional law school jobs?

Link via Tech Law Advisor.

posted by Randy at 6:53 PM

More on Diplomatic Visas
As I blogged earlier, diplomats are issued diplomatic visas subject to State Department regulations. But as described in Note 1.1 of 9 FAM 41.26, mere possession of a diplomatic passport does not spell issuance of a diplomatic visa. The holder must be in the categories listed in 22 CFR 41.26(c)(1):

(i) Heads of states and their alternates;
(ii) Members of a reigning royal family;
(iii) Governors-general, governors, high commissioners, and similar
high administrative or executive officers of a territorial unit, and
their alternates;
(iv) Cabinet ministers and their assistants holding executive or
administrative positions not inferior to that of the head of a
departmental division, and their alternates;
(v) Presiding officers of chambers of national legislative bodies;
(vi) Justices of the highest national court of a foreign country;
(vii) Ambassadors, public ministers, other officers of the
diplomatic service and consular officers of career;
(viii) Military officers holding a rank not inferior to that of a
brigadier general in the United States Army or Air Force and Naval
officers holding a rank not inferior to that of a rear admiral in the
United States Navy;
(ix) Military, naval, air and other attache and assistant attache
assigned to a foreign diplomatic mission;
(x) Officers of foreign-government delegations to international
organizations so designated by Executive Order;
(xi) Officers of foreign-government delegations to, and officers of,
international bodies of an official nature, other than international
organizations so designated by Executive Order;
(xii) Officers of a diplomatic mission of a temporary character
proceeding to or through the United States in the performance of their
official duties;
(xiii) Officers of foreign-government delegations proceeding to or
from a specific international conference of an official nature;
(xiv) Members of the immediate family of a principal alien who is
within one of the classes described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) to
(c)(1)(xi) inclusive, of this section;
(xv) Members of the immediate family accompanying or following to
join the principal alien who is within one of the classes described in
paragraphs (c)(1)(xii) and (c)(1)(xiii) of this section;
(xvi) Diplomatic couriers proceeding to or through the United States
in the performance of their official duties.

posted by Randy at 1:44 PM

The U.S. Expels Iraqi Diplomats
On Thursday, the U.S. declared three Iraqi personnel from the Algerian Embassy as "personea non grata," a phrase used by the U.S. to remove diplomats. Read the DOS press release here.

Unsurprisingly, the Immigration & Nationality Act excludes diplomats or officers of a foreign government from the category of immigrants. INA 101(a)(15)(i). They are nonimmigrants subject to the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State. Diplomats, their immediate relatives, and employees apply for visas at the any U.S. Consulate, "regardless of nationality or residence of the applicant." 9 FAM 41.26(b). So long as they are deemed an "officer[s] or employee[s] of any foregn government," they fall under DOS regulations. Consequently, they may remain in the U.S. entirely at the pleasure of the Secretary of State.

posted by Randy at 12:59 PM

Consular Officers Enter Guilty Plea in Visa Fraud
In a DOJ press release here, four U.S. Consular officers from the now-closed U.S. Consulate office in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, pled guilty to conspiracy to sell visas.

This latest arrest and guilty plea further stresses the need for vigilance not only at the borders but also at locations where visitors first take steps to enter the U.S. The media often reports of domestic enforcement shortcomings, but as I blogged here, the first line of defense is at the consulate offices located abroad.

posted by Randy at 8:30 AM


Thursday, March 20, 2003

Canadian Sunset, Part III
Repeat after me . . . there's nothing to fear if I'm legal . . . there's nothing to fear if I'm legal . . . there's nothing to fear if I'm legal . . . .

Apparently, many have reason to fear. But as I blogged here, registration is an inevitable procedure.

Inevitable, that is, if one's immigration matters are in order.

posted by Randy at 7:03 PM

In-state rates for some but not others
Let's see if I understand this. I'm a U.S. citizen and a resident of Illinois. I want to attend the University of California, Berkeley, but will have to pay out-of-state tuition rates. Fair enough.

But if I am unfortunate enough to be born of undocumented (read: no immigration status) parents and I am also, ahem, without status, then under state law, I may attend Berkeley and take advantage of in-state tuition rates, even though I am a resident of Illinois.

Don't believe me? Then access the UPI article here.

posted by Randy at 6:44 PM

Ashcroft expands agents' roles
The Washington Post reported agents of the FBI and U.S. Marshall Service may detain persons suspected of violating immigration laws.

Must be part of the "your organizational block is also my organizational block" way of doing things.

posted by Randy at 6:31 PM

Three thousand to reclaim fomer nationality
In an LA Times article here, thousands sign up before next Wednesday's deadline to claim Mexican citizenship. Why? As one said, "[t]his is a fine country to work in, but you are always pressured; you never make friends . . . ."

We're talking about U.S. citizens.

CORRECTION: Not next Wednesday, but yesterday's Wednesday.

posted by Randy at 6:19 PM


Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Canadian Sunset, Part II
In a post I made here, I pointed to a Washington Times story that described an out-of-status student's trek to Canada. Reader Zack Ajmal wrote:

Now, being an illegal immigrant is a separate matter, but "eluding" special registration by leaving the US before the deadline is entirely legal according to BCIS (or whichever agency replaced the INS).

Zack is partially correct. And the reason may boil down to defining terms. Special registration regulations state that if a member of the call-in group exits the U.S. at any time during the registration period, then no special registration is necessary. In other words, the member has to be in the U.S. during the entire registration period.

Does exiting and subsequently reentering shield against any registration? The answer is no. The regulations further require that the member may be registered at the Port-of-Entry if he is admitted and is subject to a registration requirement existing at that time. See the FAQ here.

But let's return to the subject of the Washington Times article, keeping in mind that the following is intended to be a brief and a not-all-inclusive overview of an out-of-status F-1 student and special registration. I'll pose the following question based on the facts presented in the article: Will exiting and reentering allow a person to circumvent registration (provided he is subject to special registration), as the regulation apparently allows?

To answer, I'll first discuss the legal, in-status F-1 student and follow it by the illegal, out-of-status F-1 student. Generally, F-1 students are admitted to the U.S. for the duration of status. What this means is they are allowed to remain in the U.S. during the time it takes to graduate from the prescribed academic program. Also, F-1 students may exit or enter the U.S. as desired.

Now, all of this is carefully regulated. Indeed, the F-1 student may travel abroad for a short time and reenter the U.S. but upon reentry, he will be inspected by an immigration officer. (I use the gender-specific pronoun "he" because women are exempt from special registration.) What documents does the F-1 student need to reenter? A passport, a valid U.S. visa, an Arrival-Departure Document (Form I-94), and a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (Form I-20). Only a designated school official may issue an I-20.

But, you say,what about if the student does not have the I-20 on his person or luggage? The immigration inspector will defer the inspection and give the student a specified number of days to present it. Section 212(d)(5) controls the parole authority. As the BCIS states in a 1997 report to Congress:
These [deferred inspection] cases represent technical rather than substantive matters and are usually resolved rapidly. If admissible, the alien is admitted in the proper visa category, and the parole is terminated. Otherwise, he/she may be placed in removal proceedings.

An inspected and legally admitted F-1 student who is present in the U.S. and subject to special registration will register either as part of the call-in group or upon reentry to the U.S. He may not have to submit to the "call-in" registration but nevertheless, he must register within the specified period following reentry into the U.S. Simply put, there is no "eluding" the registration. Whether it be special or reentry, registration is registration.

Now to the out-of-status student scenario. If the F-1 student is out-of-status, two issues will be of concern. First, the student has violated the terms of his visa. It is also doubtful he is even attending school. More likely, he is working full-time and off-campus, another violation of the student visa, unless he has a valid EAD. Second, it will be next to impossible for the out-of-status student to obtain the aforementioned I-20. Although the student may exit the U.S., upon reentry, the immigration inspector will discover he is out-of-status, as an inspection and registration would reveal. Even if the student submits to a deferred inspection, the student will invariably not report to the local BCIS office to present his I-20 because he does not have one.

Therefore, and for very practical reasons, an out-of-status F-1 student will not consider the exit-reentry solution to avoid special registration.

posted by Randy at 4:14 AM


Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Weblog plug, then lights out
I remember the experience all too well.

(Pointer via Bag and Baggage.)

posted by Randy at 10:52 PM

Manifest Remodeling
An old friend lent a hand with the site. While it's true that Blogger made creating websites almost foolproof, the choice of available templates are far from dissatisfaction-proof. For The Manifest Border, altering the canned template, tweaking the code, and balancing the design with style did not come unilaterally.

Fortunately, my good friend Keith Pryor and his colleague, Mark Banker, provided valuable expertise for which I am grateful.

To echo what I said before, it'll only get better.

posted by Randy at 9:09 PM


Monday, March 17, 2003

More on the First Responder Initiative
From where did Secretary Ridge get a hold of $600M? The $3.5B First Responder Initiative. Here are some good to know facts:

- Provide the first responder community with much-needed funds to conduct important planning and exercises, purchase equipment, and train their personnel.
- Provide States and localities with the flexibility they require to ensure that the funds are used to address the needs of their local communities.
- Establish a consolidated, simple, and quick method for dispersing Federal assistance to States and localities.
- Encourage mutual aid across the Nation so that the entire local, State, Federal, and volunteer network can operate together effectively.
- Establish a process for evaluating the effort to build response capabilities, in order to validate that effort and direct future resources.
- Encourage citizens to participate actively in preparing their communities for the threat of terrorism and other disastrous events.

posted by Randy at 7:31 PM

DHS doles out $600M
In a press release, Secretary Ridge announced plans to provide $600 million dollars to state and local governments to help fight terrorism. Secretary Ridge said, in part:

This money is an important step in getting the states and localities better prepared to deal with potential terrorist incidents. This investment will create new capabilities to protect us against terrorism and it will integrate traditional security functions in a new and better way.

Governors, mayors, and county supervisors can access the funding program here.

posted by Randy at 7:18 PM

The New DEA
I can't help but think that headlines like this will be to this decade what the DEA was to the 80s and 90s.

posted by Randy at 5:03 PM

State Department publishes visa how-to
This is interesting.

Last Friday, the State Department announced a new website for visitors thinking about travelling to the United States. There's even a short five-page document that outlines a step-by-step procedure for obtaining a visa.

posted by Randy at 5:15 AM


Sunday, March 16, 2003

Just in . . .
Kevin J. Heller of Tech Law Advisor just linked me.

Thanks, Kevin!

posted by Randy at 10:33 PM

More student blues
In a letter to the Immigration Portal, a student blames her student visa problems on an arithmetic error. She writes:

My application for Optional practical training was rejected just becasue some INS ["BCIS"] official could not do his arithmetic right. They added 8+2 =12 and based on that they said I exceeded 12 months of curricular practical training and they rejected my application. Now I have lost my internship due to that and also have to leave the country before graduating.

She might be confusing "graduating" with "completion." When a foreign student arrives in the United States, an immigration inspector gives her an Arrival-Departure Document, Form I-94. As an F-1 student, she can remain here for the duration of status, i.e., until she graduates. Here's what the BCIS says:
You are allowed to stay in the United States for as long as you are enrolled as a full-time student in an educational program and making normal progress toward completing your course of study. If approved, you also will be allowed to stay in the country up to twelve additional months beyond the completion of your studies to pursue practical training.

Here, the BCIS official added eight months and two months, equaling twelve months. Her practical training may have exceeded the twelve months she was allowed to remain following graduation. If that is the case, then the BCIS official may have denied her application on grounds unrelated to the arithmetic error. She has no reason to quibble with the BCIS because if her "optional practical training" exceeded the twelve months following graduation, then she's not asking to remain as an F-1 student. She's looking at something different, possibly a Q visa.

Most likely, she graduated from school but in her mind, she hasn't completed what she desires -- optional practical training. As discussed above, she may qualify, but not as an F-1 student.

posted by Randy at 10:08 PM

Canadian Sunset
In the 1950s, Andy Williams sang:

A weekend in Canada, a change of scene
Was the most I bargained for
And then I discovered you and in your eyes
I found the love that I couldn't ignore

Here, it's the sunset and much more. A student in this story avoids special registration.

posted by Randy at 3:35 PM


Saturday, March 15, 2003

Immigration blog delivered to your desktop
The Manifest Border is now available directly to your favorite news aggregator. Don't have a reader? Don't know what's an aggregator? You can read about the most efficient way to get headlines and news, here and here.

I'm glad you're tuned in. It'll only get better.

posted by Randy at 4:08 PM

Jumped in and the water is fine
Changes to The Manifest Border were easy. I've removed the ad banner. Syndication (read: RSS/XML feed) is just a short time away . . . .

posted by Randy at 3:39 PM


Friday, March 14, 2003

Second guessing the Sixth Circuit
Plenty of attention has pointed to the indefinite detention question. The Sixth Circuit opined on it, the ABA Journal commented on it, Howard Bashman linked to it, and the press reported it here.

Enough differences among the circuits exist to result in a writ of certiorari, although a split in the circuits is only one reason, among others, for the Supremes to review.

But in the meantime, I'll take a crack at the Sixth's reading of IIRAIRA and indefinite detention, assemble the other circuits' holdings, and blog it.

posted by Randy at 11:39 PM

A good title, a bad title, and a totally wrong title
It must have begged me to watch it.

Just I sat down after reading a story to the Manifest Baby, I asked the Manifest Wife what was on and she said something about illegal aliens. So I checked the info feature to our satellite service and sure enough, the episode was titled "Illegal Alien."

But Fox TV's John Doe presented a completely different storyline. It was about a government conspiracy behind the death of an astronaut. Oh yeah, the astronaut crash landed in rural forest area where shotgun-toting young people were partying. Naturally, the lost astronaut was mistaken for an alien, shot, and killed.

Why didn't the astronaut announce he was a US citizen? The burden would shift to prove he was not a US citizen.

Forget I wrote that. Wrong title = wasted five minutes.

UPDATE: Read an excellent primer on titles here.

posted by Randy at 10:57 PM


Thursday, March 13, 2003

BCIS rolls out new citizenship test
A good idea whose time has come.
(DHS press release is a pdf file. To read it, you need Acrobat. Thanks to the Immigration Portal.)

posted by Randy at 7:31 PM


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

RSS feed, here I come
Ernie the Attorney says I have no feed.

Not for long . . .

posted by Randy at 9:16 PM

AG Ashcroft cans five pro-immigrant BIA judges
The LA Times has the story here. (Requires registration.)

My note: if you don't want to register -- I don't blame you; it's a royal pain -- well, their Terms of Service won't allow me to excerpt it. Sorry.

(Thanks to Howard Bashman's How Appealing for the link.)

AILA note: they're suing the DOJ to force Ashcroft to stop it. When will AILA stop swimming upstream? They lost the special registration battle and they are sure to lose this one.

posted by Randy at 7:49 PM

Glass is half-full and will runneth over
The Immigration Portal posted an editorial that should encourage immigration practitioners.

posted by Randy at 7:39 PM

Due process, aliens, and Congress
US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) wants to introduce legislation guaranteeing due process for aliens in immigration proceedings. But he's treading on flimsy grounds. Read the story here.

In a time when some think our lawmakers have gone awry, one area remains steadfastly within the reach of Congress. In matters related to immigration, Congress has plenary authority. It is a principle in immigration law that "[w]hatever the procedure authorized by Congress is, it is due process as far as an alien denied entry is concerned." Shaughnessy v. United States ex rel. Mezei, 345 U.S. 206 (1953). Rep. Conyers is almost certainly directing his proposed law toward detained combatants. Here, it is unclear whether these detainees are seeking entry into the US or, for that matter, whether "seeking entry" vis a vis enemy combatants is relevant when discussing due process for purposes of immigration law.

My take is this: enemy combatants are not aliens seeking entry into the US. Crafting new immigration laws or amending old ones to accomodate enemy combatants seem to be just a tad outside of Mezei.

So, Rep. Conyers, if you want procedural due process for enemy combatants, don't tamper with the INA.

posted by Randy at 7:05 AM


Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Marry the hand that brings you
It is commonly asked "what happens to the guy (or gal) who, on arrival to the US, gets cold feet?" I'm talking about the fiancee and the K-1 visa. To use one example, the arriving fiancee has no intent to marry and is simply evading immigration law. But to avoid being a public charge and to pursue the American Dream, arriving fiancee (and K-1 visa violator) lands a job. In fact, the employer is thinking about petitioning arriving fiancee-turned-visa violator.

Here's what happens. Let's say that he (it could be "she" but I digress) wants to legalize, not as a permanent resident, but as a temporary worker. His employer then files a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129. To change from one nonimmigrant status (K-1 fiancee) to another nonimmigrant status (for our purpose, let's use H-1B), section 248 of the Immigration and Nationality Act controls. Under section 248, an alien classified as a K-1 is PROHIBITED from changing to another nonimmigrant status. In this case, he arrived in the US pursuant to a K-1 visa. His next immigrant classification, if events proceeded as planned, would be that of a legal permanent resident. The law simply permits no detours. Therefore, a K-1 cannot change to an H-1B.

In the another instance, again let's say that he doesn't marry his fiancee. Like before, he obtains a job but this time, his employer intends to sponsor him for permanent residency under an employment-based petition, Form I-140. To adjust his status from a nonimmigrant (K-1 fiancee) to an immigrant status (employment-based permanent resident), section 245(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act controls. Under section 245, an alien who is classified as a K-1 is PROHIBITED from applying to adjust status to an employment-based permanent resident. Here, he arrived, as before, pursuant to a K-1 visa. Like the scenario above, there are no detours from a nonimmigrant K-1 classification to legal permanent residence. Therefore, a person holding a K-1 visa cannot apply for an employment-based green card.

In sum, both scenarios state the same thing: a person who arrives in the US and who is petitioned by a US citizen-fiancee must marry the fiancee or else that person has violated the terms of the visa. Consequently, the K-1 visa-violator must then apply OUTSIDE of the country to seek any immigration benefit in the future. Even then, he must face the unpleasant task of disclosing the event to the consular officer and risk not obtaining a visa (see post below describing foreign citizens desiring to visit the US) or lie to the consular officer and risk being barred from entering the US, s. 212 (a)(6)(C).

posted by Randy at 10:40 PM

There's no "I" in the screening team

Let me first concede the critics' strongest argument -- that inspectors at the ports need to be awake at the wheel. Fine. But if our country truly wants to make its borders secure, then the consular officers abroad also have to be alert, too.

This is how it works. Generally speaking, visitors to the US must obtain a visa from the US consulate office in the country of origin. Shocking, isn't it? That means if George, a citizen and resident of Whiteacre (oh my! property law, redux!) wants to attend a flight school in Arizona, he must make an appointment with a US consular officer. Moreover, if Whiteacre happens to be on the list of countries known to sponsor terrorism, George will have to submit to a face-to-face interview. If the results of the examination are negative, well, guess what? George misses the flight. And the flight school convening date. And the opportunity to threaten the safety of Americans here at home.

The inspectors are really, figuratively speaking, the defensive secondary.

posted by Randy at 9:22 PM

UPDATE: Miami marriage scam

Immigration and Naturalization Service officer Jose Luis Cintron, 47, and paralegal Guillermo Rico, 50, were indicted last week on bribery and conspiracy charges that alleged a pattern of sham marriages and bribery.

Read the latest here, on a story I blogged here.

posted by Randy at 8:49 PM


Monday, March 10, 2003

Shall it be the morning or afternoon flight?
Today's story in New California Media circulates what must be the understatement of the day:

Los Angeles-based Vice Consul Noemi Diaz] said the increasing number of US legal permanent residents being deported is a result of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. One of the provisions of this law is that lawful permanent residents with deportable offenses are going to be processed for removal. “I want to remind all immigrants not to commit criminal offenses here so as not to be deported,” she added.

(emphasis added.)
Perhaps these words by Attorney General Ashcroft should underscore Vice Consul Diaz's sentiments:
From its inception, the United States has always been a nation of immigrants; it is one of our greatest strengths. But aliens arriving at our shores must understand that residency in the United States is a privilege, not a right. For those aliens,. . . who engage in violent criminal acts during their stay here, this country will not offer its embrace.

In re Jean, 23 I&N Dec. 373, 383-384 (A.G. 2002). (To read this pdf file, it requires Adobe Acrobat.)

posted by Randy at 5:40 PM

Not a pledge drive, too!

I just received my first congrats for this blog. Bernard Hibbitts over at The Paper Chase blogrolled me.

As for this post's title, I should give credit where it's due. Thanks to Eugene Volokh for inspiring me to brazenly plagiarize a post title from earlier today. And while I'm busy copying, go ahead and do as he suggests -- just be sure to also add The Manifest Border to your links.

posted by Randy at 5:16 PM


Sunday, March 09, 2003

Take your pick -- voluntary or judge-ordered removal
Rapper "Slick Rick" has immigration problems.

After he performed on a weeklong cruise to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for the Tom Joyner Foundation's Fantastic Voyage 2002 in June, INS agents grabbed Walters when he got off the ship in Miami.

INS officials said that in 1997, an appeals board ordered Walters back to England under a federal law that requires deportation of convicted felons who do not have American citizenship. So when Walters left on the cruise and then returned, INS charged Walters with deporting himself and then re-entering the United States. His lawyer said Walters was never notified that he had to leave the country.

Walters is most likley afoul of Sections 237 and 241 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under 237, "[a]ny alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable." When Walters shot two people in 1990, he became deportable. Under 101 of the Act, shooting people, generally speaking, is an aggravated felony, whether it is classified as an offense related to firearms or whether it is deemed a crime of violence.

Walters then triggered 241 when he voluntarily went on the cruise and returned. The Service reinstated his removal order when Walters entered the US.

A pretty cut and dried case.

UPDATE: I don't think his "Free Slick Rick" petition will change the outcome.

posted by Randy at 10:25 AM


Saturday, March 08, 2003

RICO is in the house

You are a chicken farmer in Iowa. Supermarkets depend on the eggs and poultry your business provides. Three hundred employees depend on you to provide work, which in turn permits workers to pay the rent and put food on the table.

You fail, though, to check your prospective employee's Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. Maybe you disregard the employee's status altogether. Or worse, you seek out undocumented workers and hire them. It's a calculated risk and if BICE agents come around, it could result in hefty fines.

But it gets better -- not for you, but for the feds. Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, you could forfeit everything.

Yes, everything. Just yesterday, an Iowan paper reported the following article:

Iowa farm businessman John Glessner Jr. agreed this week to at least a $300,000 forfeiture in Sioux City's federal district court rather than take a chance in challenging a RICO charge.

Lawyer William Smith of Des Moines said his client could have ended up losing a $20 million chicken facility had a judge decided that the facility was part of a criminal enterprise Glessner used to employ undocumented workers.

It's not a stretch. Racketeering includes

any act which is indictable under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 274 (relating to bringing in and harboring certain aliens), section 277 (relating to aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter the United States), or section 278 (relating to importation of alien for immoral purpose) if the act indictable under such section of such Act was committed for the purpose of financial gain.

18 USC 1861.

It goes on to describe whom RICO targets:

It shall be unlawful for any person who has received any income derived, directly or indirectly, from a pattern of racketeering activity . . . .

18 USC 1862.

The government can indeed make a colorable RICO claim. Hiring illegal aliens, profiting from them, and later forfeiting everything you own is textually supported by the Act. The question is whether such a businessman, like Mr. Glessner, will go the distance to challenge it.

I don't think so.

UPDATE: There's more on Glessner. He pled guilty to two misdemeanor federal charges with maximum fines of $3,000 each. He settled with the government for $300,000. Had he not, the US Attorney's office would have proceeded with the RICO indictments.

posted by Randy at 10:56 AM

Policy change to adjustment of status

On February 28, 2003, the services component of the INS, now known as the BCIS, released a policy memo for its adjudicators. The memo now permits a concurrently filed Application to Adjust Status, Form I-485, to be considered properly filed even if the underlying visa (family-based or employment-based) petition is later denied. So, if an appeal overturns the previous denial of the underlying visa petition, there is no need to refile the AOS.

The following family-based scenario illustrates the new policy. A US citizen parent files a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, for her seven year old daughter who was born in Ecuador. Because the daughter is an immediate relative, there is no visa allocation to satisfy and therefore the parent can file the I-485 concurrently.

Assume, however, the Service finds the petition to have no basis for whatever reason (defective birth certificate, questionable paternity, etc.) and subsequently denies the petition. The old policy required the concurrently filed AOS to be deemed "improperly filed" since there was no basis for its being filed, as the underlying petition was denied. But now, if the parent establishes the relationship by the proponderance of the evidence and the underlying petition is later approved, the concurrently filed AOS may be adjudicated. In other words, a motion to reopen the AOS will now revive it where in the past, it would not.

Read the 2/28/2003 memo here. (The memo is a pdf file. To read it, you need Acrobat.)

posted by Randy at 7:55 AM


Friday, March 07, 2003

Enough already

Like the problems Ali had with the name "Cassius Clay" and Jabbar had with "Lew Alcindor," the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services within the Department of Homeland Security (how do you like that?) can't seem to shake the "INS" moniker, found here, here, and here, despite the big kickoff I blogged here.

UPDATE: As I mentioned only BCIS, perhaps a little parochialism on my part seeped in. As I wrote earlier, what used to be the INS split into three bureaus. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("BICE") and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ("BCBP") fall under the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security, headed by Asa Hutchinson. The enforcement side of the old INS now form these two bureaus. The investigators went to BICE and the inspectors, Border Patrol agents, and deporatation agents went to BCBP.

Read more about the enforcers here.

posted by Randy at 5:45 PM


Thursday, March 06, 2003

It's no longer a secret

The plan was good. I thought it out. And I told no one.

Not a soul.

So far, I've eluded Google. But despite my best efforts, The Manifest Border is no longer behind the curtains. A well-known appellate lawyer and pioneer blogger, Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage, called me out.

Here's the proof.

posted by Randy at 10:53 PM

L-1s increase as H-1s fall out of favor

BusinessWeek Online says multinational companies are evading immigration laws by using cheaper L-1s to replace more expensive American workers.

Fluno's experience is just one example of an explosion in the use -- and in some cases, the abuse -- of L-1 visas. With the travails of the high-tech industry and the jump in IT unemployment, fewer U.S. companies can tap the H-1B program these days by saying qualified Americans aren't available. At the same time, many employers looking to slash costs have discovered that they can use firms that hire L-1s to dump high-paid Americans in favor of cheaper workers from abroad.

Read the BWO story.

The BCIS gives a rundown of all the nonimmigrant worker visas here.

posted by Randy at 7:56 PM

In Maryland, activists head driver push
I wonder if the effort in Virginia has leaked to those in Maryland?

posted by Randy at 4:54 AM


Wednesday, March 05, 2003

It was good while it lasted

Two related stories, here and here, combine to tell the same thing: when it rains, it pours.

For those who can't read the articles (which should be read sequentially), the story is this: man pays smuggler to come to the US; wife illegally enters later; couple raises two US born children; family lives happily for 14 years; authorities snare man in an airport sweep and discover he's undocumented and is using a false social security card; man loses job, faces deportation hearing; local paper reports story; wife's employer reads paper, discovers he is employing an undocumented worker; employer fires wife.

These two have precious few avenues of relief. One avenue, suspension of removal, requires 10 years of presence in the country. The man, however, departed and reentered the US in 1994. Also, he has to establish extreme hardship, a factor among others he will have difficulty in overcoming, because the normal hardships accompanying separation from family members (the daughters) won't pass the threshold. Throw in the fraudulant documents and there is a recipe for removal.

In Ramirez-Alejandre v. Ashcroft, the Ninth Circuit recently discussed suspension of removal and surveyed extreme hardship factors. It's a good overview.

posted by Randy at 8:24 PM

A sharper point

Yesterday, I wrote about the debate regarding the Jesica Santillan transplant debate and illegal aliens. Read what professional journalists wrote today about the topic here.

posted by Randy at 7:52 PM

Possibly the first among equals

There may be just 200 or so legal bloggers but I wonder who is the first to cover immigration?

posted by Randy at 7:41 PM


Tuesday, March 04, 2003

In an empty forest, does a falling tree make a sound?

Despite the the big kickoff -- splitting the INS, renaming its three components, and delivering them to the DHS -- the word has not made it to some in the Associated Press here and here.

posted by Randy at 6:36 PM

Quieting the shrill

When Jesica Santillan underwent two unsuccessful heart-lung transplants, her illegal immigrant status occupied front and center in the debate. The debate focused on the propriety of 1) placing the second set of heart and lungs into an already hopeless patient and 2) distributing an extremely limited commodity to an illegal alien. Because I blog on immigration matters, I'll address only the second point.

One side stridently argued that Jesica should not have been on the list, primarily because she was illegal. She received services and sophisticated medical care that properly should be directed to US citizens and legal permanent residents.

The other side pleaded with compassion that immigrant status has very little, if any, bearing on the merits of placing Jesica on the heart-lung list. As one in the today's AP report on Jesica's burial states, "love has no colors to it, and it crosses all rivers and nations."

In Jesica's legalization case, I know only from what has been reported. Jesica's A-file is presumably located in the Charlotte suboffice. It's possible one or both of Jesica's parents has a pending application to adjust status. From what made the news, her parents paid smugglers to ferry them from Guadalajara, across the border, and on to North Carolina. If that is the case, the smuggling issue is a strawman because it almost certainly would not be an issue of inadmissibility for permanent residence. Moreover, the applicable section under 212 would exclude the parents from the smuggling bar because it carves out an exception in instances where a parent is accompanying a child.

Now, Jesica's mother is an college employee and as the AP article reports, her insurance coverage played some part in the organ transplant decision, that is, the merit of directing the heart-lung to Jesica.

Unsurprisingly, none of this was reported in the wake of Jesica's death. What a difference a few days make in lending balance to the story.

posted by Randy at 4:50 PM


Monday, March 03, 2003

No green card, no driver's license

In Virginia, the General Assembly presented Gov. Warner a bill that would require immigrants to provide proof of legal permanent residence before the state issues a driver's license. If signed, it is sure to cause an outcry among immigrant advocacy groups. Read the WP article here.

I have yet to read the proposed legislation in Virginia, so I can only guess how far the law reaches. In other states, particularly Arizona, a driver's license may be issued by the state department of motor vehicles if the applicant has a valid employment authorization card. EADs, as they are known, are typically granted to those with pending adjustment of status applications. In other words, if the immigrant, legally here or not (a 245i issue which I'll blog at a later date), has a pending green card application, the DMV may issue a driver's license, but only for the duration of the EAD. Thus, an expired EAD means an invalid driver's license.

EADs are good for one year. In those districts where adjustment of status applications can take up to two years or more, the applicant appears before an immigration officer to renew his EAD. Moreover, when the applicant appears for an EAD renewal, it is not an automatic grant. The applicant will undergo several investigatory checks to ensure no violations occurred which would create potential issues of inadmissibility for permanent residence.

The WP article states that Virginia would deny a driver's license to an illegal alien or anyone without proof of legal permanent residence. That, of course, would knock out all the nonimmigrants present in the country for a limited time. This group would include the H-1s, the Fs, Js, Ls, Ms, Os, and Rs. Many of these folks could arguably justify having a driver's license, especially if they are adjusting to permanent residence. On the other hand, the EWI (enter without inspection) folks, many whom are the immediate relatives of a United States citizen, have clearly flouted the law. It is the latter category of individuals that might be the target of this legislation.

More later . . . .

posted by Randy at 11:58 PM

The Sec speaks
In remarks made before the National Association of Counties, Secretary Ridge touched on the enforcement vs. services debate. Let me explain. Bureau directors within the DHS are wondering just like everyone else which way will the money flow. It doesn't take someone with a lot of brains to figure out where the money should go if given the choice between scrutinizing those entering the country and scrutinizing those already here.

That said, the Secretary hinted in two places where he is inclined to go. First, he mentioned the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. He quantified the dollars necessary to carry out their missions by then underscoring the additional $36B to help them. Second, he stated that his "first objective is obviously and always to prevent terrorism." He continued by again quantifying the dollars needed to "reduce our vulnerability to an attack."

I think it's important, however, to place his comments in the proper perspective. He is, after all, talking to local government executives, whose concern is presumably to ensure the safety of residents within the county. By speaking about how legalization programs will soon see processing times of six months or less, the Secretary can select almost nothing less relevant.

Still, a little disheartening, I bet, for Acting Director Aguirre.

posted by Randy at 5:57 PM

Miami examiner stung
Now that the INS is part of DHS, this would never happen in the BCIS, right?!
Periodic supervisory checks and a sense of right/wrong would prevent this in the future.

UPDATE: One of these days, there will be permalinks to newspaper articles. Here's Jose Cintron, Miami INS office, and the marriage scam story here.

posted by Randy at 8:01 AM

Looking east, looking west
Compare this report from Gotham with this piece from Phoenix.

The local police can't get help when they need it. In Gotham, the feds were "difficult to reach" but "in the recent past, that's changed." In Phoenix, "there may be times when [the feds] won't be able to respond."

Uh, hello?! In case it's not obvious, these things cost money. It's hard enough to fit ten pounds in a five pound sack, much less twenty.

More money = more agents = more arrests.

posted by Randy at 5:05 AM


Sunday, March 02, 2003

The Web's First Immigration Blog
One hundred and twelve years of immigrant admissions and denials ended with the decomissioning of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Now, those from abroad who are here to seek a better life will receive all the due process Congress mandates via the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, a component within the Department of Homeland Security.

posted by Randy at 9:11 PM

Comments appearing on The Manifest Border belong exclusively to me. They neither represent specific legal advice nor do they reflect the position of my federal agency employer. I try to provide quality immigration information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from The Manifest Border.
Disclaimer courtesy of Denise Howell.

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