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President Obama Puts Immigration Reform Back on the Table

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment
May 10, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama offered his most concrete articulation of a new way forward for resolving our broken immigration system. Echoing and expanding upon the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the American Dream, the President invited the American public to join him in pressing Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.   

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, issued the following statement:

“The President continues to refine his argument that comprehensive immigration reform is a key component of ensuring our success in the 21st century. While this message cannot be repeated often enough, the blueprint for change released by the White House today marks a new page in the immigration debate. The blueprint offers numerous ideas that can be translated into specific legislation and will challenge both parties to come together to work in the country’s best interests. The blueprint also invites the public to engage Congress directly on this issue, setting the stage for a showdown between the President and the public—who overwhelmingly support immigration reform—and a recalcitrant Congress.     

We look forward to engaging in a more robust discussion of the economic impact of immigration, and we take today’s events as a signal that the Administration will continue to lead on this important issue. Immigration reform is on the table, and the time is long overdue for an honest, constructive debate over how to create a 21st century immigration system that is good for American workers and families, and reflects our history as a nation of immigrants.”

To view information on the economics of immigration reform, see: 


Senators Reintroduce the DREAM Act

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

May 11, 2011 

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez re-introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Last fall, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives, and garnered the support of a majority in the Senate, but was ultimately defeated when the Senate failed to invoke cloture and proceed to debate. The sponsors of the DREAM Act hope to build on last year’s momentum and continue to highlight the importance of fully utilizing the talent and potential of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way but their birth certificates.
First introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act would address the plight of young immigrants who have been raised in the U.S. and managed to succeed despite the challenges of being brought here without proper documentation. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high school, stayed out of trouble, and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.
Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go on to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation: immigrants brought to the United States at a young age who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with second-generation Americans. These students are culturally American and fluent in English, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth. 
The moral, intellectual and practical rationale for the DREAM Act is overwhelming. The White House supports it. The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice, entrusted with enforcing and implementing our immigration laws, support it. The Department of Education and America’s academic and faith community support it, as well as state legislatorscommunity groups, and the American public. The DREAM Act is even part of the Department of Defense’s2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in its recruiting efforts.
 
Despite broad support for the legislative proposal, the divisive political environment around immigration poses an enormous challenge for the DREAM Act. If Congress fails to act, the Administration can and should take more decisive steps to ensure that the values driving their legislative agenda are reflected in their implementation and interpretation of current law.  DHS should ensure that its officers use their prosecutorial discretion to defer the removal of any eligible student caught up in the broken immigration system.   
 
For research and resources on the DREAM Act visit IPC’s resource page:
 

The sex slaves next door: New form of trafficking invades US

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Latino residential brothels adopt sophisticated camouflage to elude authorities

These are all over the US and are in Houston, Texas.


Supreme Court Appears Unlikely to Strike Down Gender Difference in Citizenship Law

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

This case brought up to the Supreme Court and article describe a discrepancy on how children of unwed parents gain citizenship through either the US citizen mother or father.  

Posted Nov 11, 2010 7:25 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss

Article Link here.


Favorite Turks

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

My husband is Turkish and I was thrilled to find out Dr. Oz was Turkish because I think he helps bring a face to Turkish-Americans and Turkey.  So my husband calls Dr. Oz my second-favorite Turk…

Here is a story about Dr. Oz’s father coming to the US in the 1950’s with little English from a book that consists of a collection of stories: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-louis-gates-jr/faces-of-america_b_758303.html.


Increase in USCIS Filing Fees Goes Into Effect on November 23, 2010

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

September 26th, 2010

I wrote earlier in the summer about USCIS’ plans and proposed rule to increase certain filing fees.   The final rule was published recently in the Federal Register and the new increased filing fees are set to go into effect on November 23, 2010.

Increases (and a few decreases) in USCIS Filing Fees

A full schedule of the new fees is set forth in page 4 the final rule PDF document or in this table.  Among the most notable increases are:

  • Form I-90 (replacement of green card) filing fee increases from $290 to $365;
  • Form I-129 (used for H, L, P, O visas) filing fee increases from $320 to $325;
  • Form I-129F (used for fiancee visas) filing fee decreases from $455 to $340;
  • Form I-130 (family-based immigrant visas) filing fee increases from $355 to $420;
  • Form I-131 (reentry permits and advance parole documents) filing fee increases from $305 to $360;
  • Form I-140 (employment-based immigrant visas) filing fee increases from $475 to $580;
  • Form I-290B (motion to reopen/appeal) filing fee increases from $585 to $630;
  • Form I-485 (adjustment of status) filing fee increases from $930 to $985;
  • Form I-539 (change or extension of status) filing fee decreases from $300 to $290;
  • Form I-751 (removal of condition) filing fee increases from $465 to $505;
  • Form I-765 (work permit) filing fee increases from $340 to $380;
  • Form I-824 (action on approved petition, follow-to-join) increases from $340 to $405;
  • Form I-907 (premium processing) increases from $1,000 to $1,225;
  • Biometrics processing fee increases from $80 to $85.

Effective Date

All of these fee changes become effective on November 23, 2010.  All applications or petitions mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed on or after November 23, 2010 must include the new fee.

Conclusion

We will not comment on the fairness and the justifications of the new fees.  We hope that the new fees will result in increased efficiency and accuracy in USCIS adjudications.

We urge our clients and readers, if possible, to prepare and file any upcoming petitions and applications for benefits before the new fees become effective in approximately two months on November 23rd.   As with previous fee increases, we expect increased workload of filings so please contact us as soon as possible so that we can ensure we can prepare and file your case on time before the filing fee increase becomes effective on November 23rd.


DREAM Act Coming to the Senate Floor

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

From Immigration Policy Center:

DREAM Act Coming to the Senate Floor
Senator Reid to Attach Act to Defense Authorization Bill

September 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would attach the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the Department of Defense authorization bill expected to come before the Senate as early as next week. The vote will be an important test of whether Congress can transcend partisan politics and work together on crafting solutions to the broken immigration system that both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge is in desperate need of reform. That the proposal will be considered as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill is appropriate, given the Department of Defense’s support for DREAM Act as a way to improve military readiness.

First introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act would address the plight of young immigrants who have been raised in the U.S. and managed to succeed despite the challenges of being brought to the U.S. without proper documentation. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high-school, have stayed out of trouble and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.

Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation – any (first generation) immigrants brought to the United States at a young age who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with second generation Americans. These students are culturally American, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth. They tend to be bicultural and fluent in English.

Research has shown that providing a legal status for young people who have a proven record of success in the United States would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. University presidents and educational associations, as well as military recruiters, business and religious leaders have added their voice to those calling for passage of the bill. Foreign-born students represent a significant and growing percentage of the current student population. Unfortunately, immigration status and the associated barriers to higher education contribute to a higher-than-average high dropout rate, which costs taxpayers and the economy billions of dollars each year.

The DREAM Act would eliminate these barriers for many students, and the DREAM Act’s high school graduation requirement would provide a powerful incentive for students who might otherwise drop out to stay in school and graduate. This will help boost the number of high skilled American-raised workers. As they take their place in the workplace as hard working, taxpaying Americans, they will contribute a lifetime of revenues at the local, state and federal level.

Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, Bill Carr, supports the DREAM Act and stated that the law would be “good for readiness” and would help to recruit “cream of the crop” students. The DREAM Act is part of the Department of Defense’s 2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in it’s recruiting efforts.

Visit our website at www.immigrationpolicy.org.


How to tell where your application is being processed by the Receipt Number

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

You can tell by your receipt number where your USCIS applicaiton is being processed:

If your receipt number starts with:
EAC – It is being processed at the Vermont Service Center
WAC – It is being processed at the California Service Center
LIN – It is being processed at the Nebraska Service Center
SRC – It is being processed at the Texas Service Center

You can also tell your filing date by the \’Partial Receipt number\’. Here is how:
The first 3 characters represent which service center is processing your case. The next two digits represent the fiscal year (October 1, through September 30) in which INS received your case( e.g, 00 is 2000 ).The next three digits represent the computer workday of that fiscal year on which the fee was taken


Children in Hiding

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Juarez kids surrounded by violence, dead bodies

By Jean Friedman-Rudovsky Wednesday, Sep 8 2010

Link Here

Ten thousand of Juárez’s 500,000 children under the age of 14 have been orphaned, according to El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, a Juárez-based university and research institution. Of those murdered, 43 were between the ages of 12 and 15. More than 200 were between 16 and 18. It is impossible to know the number of youngsters, like Esteban, who have witnessed a killing or stood close to a corpse that’s still warm.


Asylum Denied

Posted on by Ruby Powers in Immigration Law Leave a comment

Houston Press

By Chris Vogel and Patrick Michels Wednesday, Aug 25 2010

Unlike refugees from other troubled countries, only a fraction of Mexicans seeking U.S. asylum are accepted – no matter how horrible their wounds or their stories.
“But unlike refugees from other war-torn nations who were living under the violent thumb of drug lords and found safety on American shores, the United States is accepting only a fraction of the number of Mexicans seeking asylum. In the midst of a politically unrecognized war, fueled by Americans’ demand for illegal drugs and their ever growing arsenal of easily available weapons, the U.S government turns a deaf ear to Mexicans who are running for their lives.”

“Yet he seldom wins. Obtaining asylum, especially for Mexican nationals, is nearly impossible.”

“U.S. asylum law, applicants must show that their government is unable or unwilling to protect them and that they are in danger of persecution because they voiced unpopular political opinions or because they belong to a particular ethnic, religious, political or social group. The majority of people who are granted asylum are running away from civil wars, dictators or communist rule.”

“According to statistics from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, fewer than 2 percent of Mexican nationals who applied for asylum from 2005 to 2009 were successful. Typically, there have been 2,700 to 3,400 applications each year, and 30 to 70 were granted.”


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