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Federal Court Judge imposes Temporary Restraining order re SSA “No-Match” Letters September 5, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, Immigration Laws and Policies, News and politics, Simply Immigration!.
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Federal Judge Maxine Chesney  from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that enjoins the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security rules on Social Security Administration “no-match” letters.  The Judge said there was a serious question about whether the Bush administration’s planned crackdown on illegal workers was authorized by law. A hearing on whether a preliminary injunction will be issued is scheduled for October 1, 2007.   Government Officials had planned to send the first warning letters Tuesday and mail 140,000 letters to employers by Nov. 9, 2007. 

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Good News! CIS Reopens EB Adjustment Filings. July 17, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, Labor Cert, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, USCIS Press Release, Visa Bulletin.
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USCIS has announced that, beginning immediately, it will accept employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority date are current under July Visa Bulletin, No. 107 (the one they retracted).  USCIS will accept applications until August 17, 2007.  Please pass on this announcement to all interested parties.

H-1B Petitions for FY2008 on April 2 March 28, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
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WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2008 (FY08) H-1B cap on Monday, April 2, 2007.  USCIS will not reject cases delivered during the weekend (March 31 or April 1).  Instead, USCIS will treat those petitions as if they arrived on April 2.  The deciding factor for USCIS is when the agency takes possession on the petition and not when the petition was postmarked.
 

USCIS will monitor cap cases closely and will inform the public of the date the agency has received enough petitions to meet the FY08 H-1B cap.  After that date, known as the “final receipt date,” USCIS will not accept any additional petitions requesting H-1B cases that apply against the FY08 congressionally mandated cap.

If you need more information or attorney assisatnce for your H-1B petitions, please feel free to contact David Sheen at david@jdgloballaw.com or call us as 510.438.6868 to make an appointment.   

President Bush’s Plan For Comprehensive Immigration Reform January 28, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, News and politics, Simply Immigration!.
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During his State of the Union Address, President Bush Called On Congress To Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  The President believes that America can simultaneously be a lawful, economically dynamic, and welcoming society.  We must address the problem of illegal immigration and deliver a system that is secure, productive, orderly, and fair.  The President calls on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that will secure our borders, enhance interior and worksite enforcement, create a temporary worker program, resolve – without animosity and without amnesty – the status of illegal immigrants already here, and promote assimilation into our society. All elements of this problem must be addressed together – or none of them will be solved.  

For more detail information aour President Bush’s plan for imigration reform go to:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/stateoftheunion/2007/initiatives/immigration.html

House Immigration Subcommittee Members Announced January 25, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, News and politics, Simply Immigration!.
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On Wednesday, January 24, 2007, leaders of the House Committee on the Judiciary announced the membership roster of the newly named Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law (formerly the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims). Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) will chair the sixteen-member subcommittee, and Representatives Steve King (R-IA) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA) will serve as Ranking Member and Deputy Ranking Member, respectively.

Immigration Subcommittee members will also include: Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA), Artur Davis (D-AL), William Delahunt (D-MA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Randy Forbes (R-VA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Daniel Lungren (R-CA), Marin Meehan (D-MA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Maxine Waters (D-CA). Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who served on the Immigration Subcommittee during the 109th Congress and has been an outspoken supporter of comprehensive reform, was not reappointed to the Judiciary Committee by the Republican leadership.

The Immigration Subcommittee is part of the larger House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction not only over matters related to immigration, but also over a range of judicial issues such as judicial proceedings, federal courts, civil liberties, interstate compacts, and patents. In addition to the members of the Immigration Subcommittee, members of the House Judiciary Committee include: Committee Chair Representative Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Member Representative Smith (R-TX), and Representatives Boucher (D-VA), Cannon (R-UT), Chabot (R-OH), Coble (R-NC), Cohen (D-TN), Feeney (R-FL), Franks (R-AZ), Issa (R-CA), Johnson (D-GA), Jordan (R-OH), Keller (R-FL), Nadler (D-NY), Pence (R-IN), Schiff (D-CA), Scott (D-VA), Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Sherman (D-CA), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Watt (D-NC), Weiner (D-NY), and Wexler (D-FL).

Passport Requirements for Air Travel Now Effective January 25, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, Tips, Travel Alert, USCIS Press Release.
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In a January 23, 2007 Press Release, DHS reminded the public that citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Bermuda are now required to present a valid passport at U.S. air ports-of-entry when entering from any part of the Western Hemisphere. The final rule on the travel document requirements of the first phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2006. 71 FR 68411.

SENATOR HARKIN CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM FOLLOWING SWIFT RAIDS December 20, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration reform, MyComments, News and politics, Politics and World Events, Simply Immigration!.
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WASHINGTON D.C. —- In the wake of the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on Swift & Co., Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to express concern about alleged humanitarian and civil rights abuses against detainees, and to urge the agency’s cooperation with Congress in implementing comprehensive immigration reform.

The complete text of the letter is as follows.

The Honorable Michael Chertoff

Secretary of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

3801 Nebraska Avenue Center, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Secretary Chertoff:

I am writing to express my deep concern about the handling of workers of the Swift & Co. meat processing facilities detained throughout the nation last week. As you know, Swift has a plant in Marshalltown , Iowa and close to one hundred workers were arrested at this facility.

Your Department has an obligation to fully enforce our nation’s immigration laws and these raids have provided a very clear illustration of just how broken our current system is.

However, I am appalled by the process that has apparently been used to detain and deport the workers. First, according to both media reports and information my office has received, the hotline by which family members and others were supposed to obtain information has at times been unanswered by ICE officials, and at other times provided no information of any use.

Second, your Department has apparently made it almost impossible for lawyers and even clergy to obtain access to those detained and has transported workers to other states without granting them access to counsel.

Third, although assurances were provided to my staff that any individuals with small children who would otherwise go without care would be released to make alternative arrangements, there continue to be reports of numerous single mothers remaining in custody.

I continue to be concerned that the process in the wake of such raids lacks transparency and is being conducted without even the most basic fairness. I hope you share my belief that the failure to ensure that basic legal rights and humanitarian protections are afforded to individuals in our immigration system reflects poorly on the principles that have made the United States strong.

Finally, this incident highlights the need for comprehensive reform to our antiquated immigration system. Only when we bring the 12 million illegal workers out of the shadows and into the legal system will both industry and employees benefit. These improvements must include increased security at our borders and a means to legal citizenship for immigrants already in the country, which would include fines, learning English, passing a background check and paying back taxes. I hope that your agency will pledge to work with Congress next year to bring about this change.

I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Tom Harkin

United States Senator

2008 Diversity Visa Lottery Registrations December 18, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Greencard Lottery, News and politics, Simply Immigration!.
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Over 6.4 million entries for the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery were received during the two-month electronic registration period, from October 4, 2006, through December 3, 2006. This is an increase from the more than 5.5 million applications received in the 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery. Taking into account dependents, there are more than 10 million participants in the 2008 Diversity Visa Lottery.

Most of the applications were from Africa and Asia with 41 percent of the total from Africa, 38 percent from Asia, 19 percent coming from Europe, and 2 percent coming from South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The largest number of applicants came from Bangladesh (more than 1.7 million applicants) followed by Nigeria (684,735) and Ukraine (619,584). The number of winning entries by country will be available after the random lottery process is conducted next year.

The electronic registration process makes it easier for applicants to apply and continues to increase the Department’s ability to screen against duplicate and other fraudulent entries. Anti-fraud technology using facial recognition and data mining will be used to eliminate duplicate cases.

Winners will be notified with a letter mailed from the Kentucky Consular Center confirming the name, date of birth, and country of chargeability for the registrant, as well as a time/date stamp when entries were registered. Notification will be sent to the winning entrants by mail only between April and July 2007 and will provide further instructions, including information on fees connected with immigration to the United States.

There have been several attempts to defraud Diversity Visa Lottery entrants. Lottery entrants selected as winners in the Diversity Visa random drawing are notified only by the Department of State’s Kentucky Consular Center. No other organization or company is authorized by the Department of State to contact winning entrants.
2006/1121
Released on December 15, 2006

DHS Announces $12 Million for Operation Stonegarden to Support Local Border Security Efforts December 18, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Laws and Policies, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, USCIS Press Release.
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Release Date: December 15, 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010

Washington – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today more than $12 million in grant awards to the four Southwest border states in support of ongoing local law enforcement efforts at the border. The funding, as part of Operation Stonegarden, assists local authorities with operational costs and equipment purchases that contribute to border security. The distribution of these funds is as follows: Arizona, $6,353,174; California, $1,000,000; New Mexico, $1,580,258; and Texas, $3,070,081.

“Local law enforcement plays an undeniable role in helping to combat crime and secure the border,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “Our ultimate success at the border is going to require close coordination with local authorities and sustained commitments to remedying a security challenge that has been decades in the making.”

Operation Stonegarden began as a successful pilot program in fiscal year 2005 that involved 14 border states. The initiative gave states the flexibility to use DHS grant funding to enhance coordination among state and federal law enforcement agencies at our borders. The pilot program resulted in an estimated 214 state, local and tribal agencies working 36,755 man-days on various public safety and border security operations.

Funding for Operation Stonegarden was made available through the fiscal year 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror and Hurricane Recovery. The program requires states to identify and prioritize solutions to their border security needs.

Other resources for this initiative come from the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP). As part of the expansion of Operation Stonegarden in January 2006, the department announced that states had the ability to use up to 25 percent of unspent LETPP funds from fiscal years 2004 and 2005. In addition, states can now use up to of 25 percent of their fiscal year 2006 LETPP funds for border security-related activities.

The $12 million in funds released today by the department will supplement the states’ opportunity to utilize 25 percent of their fiscal year 2006 LETPP funds to further enhance critical border security operations. More than $384 million was awarded nationwide through the LETPP program in fiscal year 2006.

Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) Arrests 1,300 Workers in Raids December 13, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in News and politics, Simply Immigration!, USCIS Press Release.
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On 12/12/06, approximately one thousand Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents entered six Swift & Company meatpacking plants-in Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; Cactus, Texas; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, Minnesota-with warrants permitting the agents to search and apprehend undocumented immigrant workers. According to a new release issued by ICE on 12/13/06, agents arrested 1,282 undocumented immigrant workers on administrative immigration violations, including 65 who were also charged with criminal violations such as identity theft, re-entry after deportation, and other violations. ICE did not bring charges against Swift officials during the raids.**Toll-free number for families members of workers detained in Swift raids: 1-866-341-3858

For complete USCIS release visit:

http://www.ice.gov/pi/news/newsreleases/articles/061213dc.htm