Volume Seven, Number Two
SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE is the Web’s most popular e-mail newsletter regarding U.S. immigration laws and procedures with over 40,000 subscribers located in more than 150 countries. It is written by a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 30 years of experience practicing immigration law.
Published by the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1550, Los Angeles, California, 90017. Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0.
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Newsletter US Immigration Update February 2002
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. March 2002 State Department Visa Bulletin
2. Immigration Government Processing Times
3. Ziglar: New INS Commissioner Outlines Agency’s Priorities
4. Nurses: California First State To Propose Staffing Rules
5. Immigration Trivia Quiz: Win A Free Consultation!
6. An Independent Immigration Court: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
7. Detention: No-Bail Law Found Unconstitutional For LPRs
8. Web Site: DOJ’s Inspector General’s Reports On The INS
9. Chat Schedule, Transcripts, Audios & Videos
10. Answers To January’s Immigration Trivia Quiz
- Job Opportunities at the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman– Due to our rapidly expanding workload, we will be creating an extra three junior and senior paralegal positions at our law firm over the next few weeks/months. If you have previous immigration experience and/or are a university degree holder with a minimum of a 3.4 GPA (no attorneys, please), and are interested in furthering your career, please e-mail your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org (Link no longer operational)
- ACLU Files Suit To Challenge Closed Removal Hearings– The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit to force the Justice Department to remove a categorical block to open removal proceedings. The case in question involves Rabih Haddad, a Muslim cleric in Detroit, whose removal hearing was ordered closed in accordance with a memorandum signed by the Chief Immigration Judge. Among those excluded from the hearing were the press and Representative John Conyers (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee which has oversight over the Department of Justice. The complete text of the ACLU’s complaint is available at https://www.shusterman.com/pdf/haddad.pdf.
- INS Budget– President Bush has proposed increasing the INS budget by a whooping $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2003 (starting on October 1, 2002) to a total of $6.2 billion. This would allow the INS to add 2,200 positions to increase total employment to over 37,000 positions. The increases are primarily targeted to “building greater homeland security and combating terrorism”.
- INS Filing Fee Increases– The new increases in filing fees proposed by the INS on August 7, 2001 will be effective as of February 19, 2002. Links to INS’s announcement and a list of filing fees adjustments are available on our “Fingerprinting and Filing Fee Requirements” page
- INS Reports On Legal Immigration– INS has published two reports on legal immigration to the United States. The 1999 report (68 pages – PDF File) states that “nearly 647,000 immigrants were granted permanent residence status during 1999” (the lowest level since 1988). The 2000 report (7 pages – PDF File) states that the number of legal immigrants increased by over 200,000 as the INS increased it’s efforts to reduce its adjustment of status backlogs. However, the report reveals that “at the end of fiscal year 2000, there were over 1 million adjustment of status cases pending a decision”. We link to the 2000 report at http://uscis.gov/graphics/aboutins/statistics/IMM2000.pdf (Link is no longer operational) and to the 1999 report at http://uscis.gov/graphics/aboutins/statistics/IMM99.pdf (Link is no longer operational)
- Lobby Day– On March 7, we will be in Washington, D.C. to meet with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration about the legislative outlook in Congress in the wake of the suicide attacks of September 11. We found our previous meeting with Senator Brownback in March 2001 to be very productive. See https://www.shusterman.com/senatorbrownbackandailaattorneys.html.
- Nurses II – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – First, the good news. The state board examination, commonly known as the NCLEX, may be offered internationally for the first time starting in early 2003. The Bad – The INS’s California Service Center continues to send out Requests For Evidence on form I-140 petitions for RNs that they would have routinely approved just weeks ago. Letters from the licensing authority to the effect that a license will be granted as soon as the RN provides a social security number are no longer be accepted in lieu of licenses. Interim permits are no longer considered “full and unrestricted” licenses. Major acute care hospitals need to provide letters signed by a “financial officer” confirming that the hospital can afford to pay the RN’s salary. Rather than waste everyone’s time and energy, a little list of what CSC would now like to see attached to an I-140 for an RN would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! The Ugly – It appears that both legislative and administrative efforts to expedite the entry of foreign-born, U.S.-licensed RNs have been put on the back burner, despite the ever-growing national shortage of RNs (which promises to get worse before it gets better – see Topic #4 below). Let’s not kid ourselves – the shortage of over 126,000 RNs leaves citizens of the United States dangerously exposed not only to routine medical mistakes which result in the unnecessary loss of thousands of lives each year, but in the event of a bioterrorist attack on our country, the shortage of RNs could result in the loss of far more lives than occurred at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This is a problem which can no longer be ignored.
- Nurses III– List of Hospital Seminars (February and March) – Given the severity of the RN shortage (See above), healthcare providers want to know the latest information about foreign recruitment. Here is a list of seminars that we will be giving for hospitals during February and March:
February 7 Sacramento, CA Catholic Healthcare West February 21 Phoenix, AZ Arizona Hospital Assoc. February 27 Pasadena, CA Catholic Healthcare West March 15 Hershey, PA Penn. Hospital Assoc. March 19 Los Angeles, Ca Southern Calif. Assoc. of Healthcare Recruiters
- Nurses III– List of Hospital Seminars (February and March) – Given the severity of the RN shortage (See above), healthcare providers want to know the latest information about foreign recruitment. Here is a list of seminars that we will be giving for hospitals during February and March:
- T Visas For Victims of Human Trafficking– The INS announced that it is now accepting application for temporary “T” status from persons who have been victims of human trafficking. We link to the INS Fact Sheet on the “T Nonimmigrant Application Process” on our “Temporary Visas” page at https://www.shusterman.com/temporaryvisas/and to the self-petitioning Form I-914 on our “INS Forms” page at https://www.shusterman.com/formsusimmigration/. Form I-914 must be submitted to the INS’s Vermont Service Center.
- TPS– Temporary Protected Status for nationals of Angola has been extended to March 29, 2003. The 60-day re-registration period began on February 1, 2000 and will remain in effect until April 2, 2002. For more information, see http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/FR/HTML/FR/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-79324/0-0-0-79342/0-0-0-79590.html
On February 12, we posted the March 2002 Visa Bulletin, before the State Department posted the dates on their web site.
As usual, the family-based numbers showed either minimal or no forward movement. No category moved forward more than one month with the exception of the 4th preference category (married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens) for persons born in the India which advanced six weeks.
The Visa Bulletin creates false expectations. For example, a U.S. citizen parent of a single adult son or daughter is led to believe that his or her child will be able to immigrate in a little less than three years since the current priority date for the worldwide family-based 1st preference category is March 1, 1999. The unfortunate reality is that the there has been no forward movement in this category since November 2000. The parents and children should be informed of this fact, and advised either to seek other means to immigrate or to reconcile themselves to the fact that they will have to live their lives in different countries.
Unless Congress acts to reform the family-based system, the 3.5 million persons waiting to immigrate to the U.S. based on approved family-based petitions should consider other options for immigrating.
All of the employment-based numbers remain current for the seventh consecutive month. The time to apply for your labor certification or visa petition is now. We predict that sometime during the year 2002, visa numbers for persons born in India, China and possibly the Philippines will again begin to backlog.
For an explanation of what the categories, dates and symbols listed below mean, See
Check the State Department’s official version to see complete information about the movement of family, employment and lottery numbers, at
http://travel.state.gov/visa_bulletin.html (Link is no longer operational.)
We link to the most recent immigration waiting times for each of the four USCIS Service Centers, the National Benefits Center and the Administrative Appeals Office. We also link to the processing times of all of the 83 USCIS District Offices and Sub-offices. We link to the Labor Department’s page entitled “Processing dates for labor certification applications”. Finally, we link to the State Department’s “Visa Wait Times” page.
In a speech before the National Immigration Forum on February 1, INS Commissioner James Ziglar outlined the agency’s policies regarding refugees, children and border security since September 11. The Commissioner also spoke about reducing processing backlogs, a guestworker program and legislation to extend §245(i).
The Bush Administration has announced that only 70,000 refugees will be admitted to the United States this year, the lowest number since the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. Despite this, security clearances added since the September 11th attacks have created concerns that the 70,000 refugees would not be processed this year.
Commissioner Ziglar stated that “I want you to know that we have designed a realistic plan to address this issue. Among other things, it includes detailing a significant number of INS personnel to conduct refugee interviews worldwide…”
With regard to the events of September 11 and their effect on U.S. immigration policy, the Commissioner stated that “the events of September 11 were caused by evil, not immigration… We cannot judge immigrants by the actions of terrorists.”
He detailed what the INS is doing to protect our borders, emphasizing that his agency has “redoubled our collaborative efforts with other agencies to ensure that students, visitors, and others who come to the United States temporarily, abide by the terms of their admission. Our message is loud and clear: Flouting of U.S. immigration laws must and will stop.”
He defended his decision to enter the names of 314,000 persons into an FBI database stating that “these individuals have been accorded due process. They appeared before immigration judges, went through the appeals process, and now face a final order of deportation. Instead of complying with the law, however, they have chosen to ‘jump bail’ and abscond…”
We respectively disagree with this policy. See
Commissioner Ziglar also defended the INS’s decision to suspend the processing of orphan petitions in Cambodia and Vietnam stating that “given the growing volume of evidence of child selling and kidnapping that we are finding in some countries, I make no apologies for INS’ stance on questionable adoptions”.
The Commissioner’s letter suspending Cambodian orphan petitions may be accessed at
(Link is no longer operational.)
He announced what he referred to as a “long-overdue policy” toward juveniles where the INS will “work toward developing a system that quickly reunites children with their families, in the United States or abroad.”
The Commissioner pointed, with pride, to the reduction in processing times for adjustment of status applications from 30 months in 1999 to an average of 13 months today. He also cited statistics showing a reduction in processing times for naturalization, employment-based immigrant petitions and H-1B petitions. He concluded that the “INS remains committed to achieving the six-month processing standard set by President Bush.”
He endorsed a temporary guest worker program with Mexico.
With regard to a further extension of §245(i), he stated, “I know many of you are interested in the fate of legislation to extend §245(i). I want you to know that the Administration remains supportive and will continue to work with Congress to pass legislation in this area.”
The complete text of the speech is available at
On January 22, Governor Gray Davis proposed regulations that would make California the first state in the U.S. to mandate the maximum number of patients who could be cared for by a nurse.
The rules, which were issued in order to implement a law passed by the legislature in 1999, will become effective in a modified form only after a lengthy public hearing process. One thing is clear, however. The new regulations will increase the demand for registered nurses in the state, this in the face of a dramatic national shortage of RNs.
The rules are controversial. Rose Ann DeMoro, the Executive Director of the California Nurses’ Association (CAN) stated, “This is the most sweeping health care reform we’ve seen.” However, representatives of other nurses’ unions believe that the rules don’t go far enough. Beth Kappell of the Service Employees International Union commented that “we’re pleased that the ratios are out, but we’re going to fight to improve them.”
Industry representatives were less than enthusiastic about the new rules. Warren Zelman of the California Association of Health Plans, the trade association for HMOs, warned that “increasing the number of nurses relative to patients is going to raise hospital costs, and ultimately raise health plan premiums.”
The California Heathcare Association (CHA), the hospital trade organization, plans to raise its concerns during the public hearing progress. In its Media Statement, the CHA sounded an ominous note:
“…because we face the most serious nursing shortage in the nation, some hospitals may have to shut down dome services or significantly reduce the capacity of their services in order to comply with the law… the California RN workforce is headed for disaster. Once the proposed staffing ratios are in effect, the nursing shortage may become even more acute and access to patient care services may be jeopardized.”
However, the next day, on January 23, Governor Davis unveiled his three-year, $60 million Nurse Workforce Initiative. The initiative will fund a variety of programs to educate, train and retain nurses. The Governor’s initiative will be funded from the federal Workforce Investment Act. Many of the ideas contained in the Governor’s proposal are legislative ideas introduced by the CHA over the past several years.
California faces a tremendous challenge in increasing the number of nurses working in the state. Currently, California has the second lowest number of RNs per 100,000 population in the country. The California figure is 566 RNs compared to the national average of 798 RNs per 100,000 population. Several states have more than 1,000 RNs per 100,000 population.
Even if the Governor’s proposals prove successful, they will be limited to a single state and will take several years to implement. In the meantime, federal legislation is urgently needed to address the national shortage of nurses. A variety of approaches need to be considered, one of which is the re-establishment of a usable temporary visa category to allow U.S. hospitals to hire foreign-born, U.S.-licensed registered nurses.
In January, the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) issued a 20-page position paper entitled “An Independent Immigration Court: An Idea Whose Time Has Come”.
The report calls for removing the Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) from the Department of Justice and placing them in an independent agency whose director is appointed by the President with the advise and consent of the Senate.
The central thrust of the paper is that “the Attorney General should not be the boss of the prosecutor and the judge”. It states that “when reduced to its simplest form, in the current structure the Attorney General supervises both the prosecutor and the judge in Immigration Court proceedings. One does not need legal training to find this a disturbing concept, which creates, at the very minimum, the appearance of partiality. Thus, it is not surprising that the public perceives this system as ‘rigged'”.
The paper concludes that “removing the Immigration Courts from the DOJ will enhance administrative efficiency, increase accountability and facilitate Congressional oversight of the INS.”
The position paper places the need for an independent court in historical perspective. Immigration judges started out as INS “Special Inquiry Officers” (SIOs). It was not until 1956 that the SIOs were removed from the supervision of INS District Directors. In 1973, SIOs were first permitted to use the title “Immigration Judge” and wear robes in the courtroom. Finally, in 1983, the Attorney General formally separated the Immigration Courts and the BIA from the INS, and placed them in a separate agency, the Executive Office For Immigration Review (EOIR). The problem which remains is that both the INS and the EOIR both report to the same boss, the Attorney General who heads the Department of Justice.
How can the Court be seen as neutral in such circumstances? In the criminal context, imagine if District Attorneys and the Judges before which they appear reported to the same boss. The defense attorney and the defendant would be at a distinct disadvantage.
The NAIJ is the certified representative and recognized collective bargaining unit which represents the Immigration Judges of the United States. In this position paper, the NAIJ echoes the recommendation of the bipartisan United States Commission On Immigration Reform which, in 1997, called for the establishment of a separate, Executive Branch agency to house both the Immigration Courts and the BIA.
For those not familiar with the relationship between the INS and the Immigration Courts, my experience as an INS Trial Attorney in the early 1980s (before the establishment of the EOIR) may be instructive. I remember being assigned to represent the INS in exclusion hearings for Cubans being detained in various Federal prisons around the U.S. The INS assigned me to fly to Tacoma together with an Immigration Judge. The Judge and I stayed at the same hotel, ate all of our meals together, and generally were considered ourselves part of the “same team”. I even chauffeured the Judge to a ferry which we boarded each morning which took us to the Federal Correctional Institutional at McNeil Island where the detainees were held.
I “won” exclusion orders in every case in which I appeared. Would I have been so successful if the Judge and I had not worked for the same agency? Perhaps. The Judge was a former INS Appellate Trial Attorney, and at that time, almost every Immigration Judge was a former an INS Trial Attorney. However, there certainly was the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Fortunately, in 1983, things changed. The Immigration Judges were removed from the INS and placed in a separate agency from the INS. Many Immigration Judges are now drawn from the ranks of the private bar rather than the INS (It is difficult to make generalizations based on an Immigration Judge’s employment prior to being appointed to the bench. Three attorneys who worked for our law firm currently serve as Immigration Judges. Although their backgrounds are similar, each of them is very different.)
However, as the position paper details, while the transfer of the Immigration Courts from the INS to the EOIR solved some problems, there are still conflicts of interest, and the appearance of a conflict of interest in housing both the Courts and Trial Attorneys (Associate District Counsels) in the Department of Justice.
For example, Congress mandated, in 1996, that the Immigration Judges be authorized to hold attorneys who appear before them “in contempt of court” should the need arise. Almost six years later, no attorney has ever been held in contempt of court by an Immigration Judge. Why not? Because the Justice Department has failed to issue regulations to implement the law. And why hasn’t the DOJ promulgated regulations? According to the NAIJ position paper, it’s because the INS objects to having it’s attorneys held in contempt of court by other attorneys also employed by the Justice Department even though these latter attorneys serve as Immigration Judges!
Another example is the recent issuance of regulations which all but strip Immigration Judges of their authority to redetermine bonds. We covered this issue in the December 2001 issue of SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE. See
The Attorney General’s regulations were, essentially, a vote of no-confidence in the Department’s own Immigration Judges. The Attorney, since he is the boss over both the prosecutors and the judges, can simply decide that prosecutorial function “trumps” the judicial function, as he did in issuing the new bond regulations.
In our opinion, this is reason enough to agree with the Immigration Judges and the Commission for Immigration Reform that justice would be better served by removing the Immigration Courts and the BIA from the Justice Department.
At the same time that the Judges are advocating that the Immigration Courts and the BIA be removed from the Justice Department, Attorney General Ashcroft has proposed drastic changes to the BIA, including reducing the number of BIA members by over 50% to 11, barring the BIA from considering factual discrepancies in the record in all but the most egregious cases, permitting one-judge decisions in most appeals cases, further limiting the time to submit appeals and appellate briefs, and compelling the BIA to issue decisions within 180 days. To learn about the Attorney General’s plans, see the following two-page summary at
and/or read the Justice Department’s press release at
Also, see AILA’s coverage of the proposed reorganization of the BIA in it’s “Washington Update”, dated February 4, 2002, on our “Advocacy” page at
https://www.shusterman.com/toc-advocacy.htm (Link is no longer operational.)
AILA President Jeanne Butterfield commented that after Mr. Ashcroft has purged “dissident elements” from the BIA, “all the judges are going to be able to do … is rubber-stamp underlying decisions.”
In a congressional hearing regarding EOIR Oversight held on February 6, AILA member Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr stated that it “is counterintuitive to think that eliminating Board Members and implementing more stringent streamlining will resolve backlog programs.” He concluded that to insure that the courts be “independent, impartial and include meaningful checks and balances”, AILA advocates the creation of a separate Executive Branch agency that would include both the Immigration Courts and the BIA.
by scrolling down to “U.S. House of Representatives” and clicking on “Hearing Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims“.
For the second time in less than a month, a federal appeals court has held that a provision (8 U.S.C. §1226(c)) of a 1996 law that requires “mandatory detention” of certain lawful permanent residents who have criminal convictions is unconstitutional.
Usually, any person placed under removal proceedings by the INS has a right to bail. If the INS attempts to hold a person without bail or the person believes that bail amount set by the INS is excessive, he may request a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge. The judge decides whether the bond amount is fair according to whether the person is a danger to the community or is likely to abscond.
A controversial provision of the 1996 immigration law holds that “aggravated felons” are not entitled to bail no matter what the circumstances. The result is that a person who applies for relief from removal (e.g., withholding of removal, cancellation of removal) may be incarcerated by INS for months, or even years, while his case is being decided. Former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner testified before Congress in 1998, shortly before the mandatory detention law became effective, that “in some cases, no purpose is served by maintaining the person in custody during the entire process.”
The panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled unanimously that the law violates Mr. Kim’s 5th Amendment right not to be deprived of his liberty with due process of law.
Mr. Kim entered the United States from his native Korea at the age of six, and became a lawful permanent resident (LPR) at the age of eight. He was convicted of burglary in 1996 and, a year later, of petty theft with priors. Because he received a three-year sentence for the second conviction, he was classified as an “aggravated felon” under the 1996 immigration law and was subjected to “mandatory detention”.
After being in INS custody for three months, Mr. Kim’s attorneys petitioned a federal district court for a writ of habeas corpus demanding that the government justify why he was being held without bail. The district court judge held that the mandatory detention law was unconstitutional on its face, and the INS released Mr. Kim on bail.
However, the appeals court scaled back the district judge’s ruling holding that the law was not invalid on its face, only as it applied to lawful permanent residents.
The appeals court held that
“We do not hold that a lawful permanent resident alien in removal proceedings has an absolute right to bail. We hold only that such an alien has a right to an individualized determination of a right to bail, tailored to his or her particular circumstances.”
“As a lawful permanent resident, (Kim) is entitled to the individualized determination and fair procedures guaranteed by the due process clause of the 5th amendment.”
Judy Rabinovitz of the Immigrant Rights Project of the ACLU, who argued the case, stated:
“This decision reminds us that it is unconstitutional and counter-productive to lock people up without a hearing. It is so significant that, in this post-9/11 climate, a court is still ready to say that there are checks and balances, that the Constitution applies.”
The court’s decision in Kim vs. Ziglar is similar in both reasoning and result to the recent holding of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Patel vs. Zemski. In the latter case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals held that mandatory detention is unconstitutional whether or not the detainee is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Cases challenging the mandatory detention law are currently pending in four other circuits. However, because the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Parra vs. Perryman, 172 F.3d 954 (7th Cir. 1999) upheld the constitutionality of the mandatory detention law, it is likely that the issue will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.
In December 2001, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable report entitled “Review Of INS’s National Customer Service Center Telephone Information Service”. The OIG staff called the TIS 250 times, found that they usually got through to a live person in a little over a minute, and that, by and large, the information they received was accurate.
The TIS phone number is (800) 375-5283.
The OIG report explains, with regard to the TIS, that:
“A part of the mission of the Immigration Services and Benefits Program is to provide accurate and timely information and adjudicate immigration benefit applications for its customers in a professional and courteous manner. Since December 1999, the INS has provided nationwide live telephone assistance through a single toll-free number where customers can get information on immigration benefits and services. The TIS provides this service through four telephone service centers. Two are contractor operated and two are INS operated. The centers have approximately 550 employees. The goal of TIS is to provide INS customers with consistent and accurate information and assistance on immigration services and benefits without having to visit an INS office. The TIS receives 30,000 to 50,000 calls per day. The day with the most calls is Monday and the busiest time of the day is mid-morning (9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon).
The TIS is available in English and Spanish throughout the United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It features automated, self-service options 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time, to customers calling from the Continental United States.”
This was the latest of almost 30 “Evaluation and Inspection Reports” on the INS (1994 – Present) listed on the OIG’s web site. Each department of the federal government has an OIG. The purpose of the Justice’s Department’s OIG is as follows:
“The Inspector General, United States Department of Justice (DOJ), promotes economy, efficiency and effectiveness within the Department. The Inspector General also enforces criminal and civil laws, regulations and ethical standards within DOJ by investigating individuals and organizations who allegedly are involved in financial, contractual or criminal misconduct in DOJ programs and operations.”
The OIG has jurisdiction not just over the INS, but over all agencies within the Department of Justice including the FBI, the DEA, the Bureau of Prisons and many others. However, the amount of information about INS’s programs and policies is enormous.
The OIG web site is divided into the following topics:
- What’s New?
- Special Reports
- Semiannual Reports To Congress
- Congressional Testimony
- Audit Reports
- Evaluation And Inspection Reports
- FOIA Reading Room
- Organizational Charts
- Office Directory and
- Links To Various Related Web Sites
The site contains four recent “Audit Reports” on the INS (and over 20 since 1995):
- Deferred Inspections At Airports
- Automated I-94 System
- System Data Pertaining To Secondary Inspections At Selected Preclearance Airports (Executive Summary Only)
- INS Management Of Property
Under “Congressional Testimony”, the site lists testimony by the OIG regarding the INS, the latest being the “Statement Of Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims Concerning ‘INS Enforcement and Service Performance Issues'” on October 17, 2001.
The site also lists a number of “Special Reports”, the latest being one issued on July 31, 2000 entitled “An Investigation of INS Citizenship USA Initiative”.
Here is the message from the person who was the first to respond:
Dear Mr. Shusterman,
The answers to the questions posted on this month’s trivia quiz are:
Q. What is this woman’s name and where was she born?
A. Madalenna Lai, born in Vietnam.
Q. How did she thank the United States for accepting her as a refugee?
A. She made a 35-foot long, 18-feet wide float for the Rose Parade in Pasadena (Tournament of Roses of 2002), and it took her 8 years to build it.
Q. How did she raise the money for her gift?
A. She sold her house to raise the $100,000 needed to make the float.
I am confident the answers shown above are the correct ones, and cover all the information you were expecting. I obtained the answers from CNN’s website, as I remember listening to that story back in late December.
Should I be the lucky winner of this month’s trivia quiz contest, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to have a consultation with you. I can be reached by email or phone, and for your convenience, I have included my contact information below.
Alex Di Giacomo
When I asked Alex to provide some background about himself, I received the following message:
Dear Mr. Shusterman,
I am very pleased to know that I am the winner of the January Immigration Trivia Quiz. I would like to share with you a few details about myself.
I am currently in the United States working as an Electrical Engineer in the state of Washington, under H1B status. I came to the United States shortly after I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electronics Engineering and Control Systems, from the Universidad Nacional de las Fuerzas Armadas, in Venezuela, my country of birth and one of my countries of citizenship (Italy being the other one).
I was presented with the opportunity to work in the United States during a short vacation that I took right after graduating from the University, and decided to accept it. I have been very satisfied with my decision, regardless of the known discomforts and limitations we foreign professionals experience on a daily basis, due to our immigration status. Nevertheless, my experience at work has been highly positive and my employer is satisfied with my work performance, which has led him to be willing to sponsor me for permanent resident status.
Being this the case, I became a subscriber of your newsletter about a year ago, and I have been an avid reader of the material presented therein. My initial goal was to gather as much information as I could, on the procedure to follow in order to obtain permanent resident status through employment, as well as all other issues affecting foreign nationals. I have to confess that I have become somewhat of an informal “legal expert”, and I am grateful to people who, like you, take the time to offer useful information and orientation to others whose present life and future depend on it.
Last but not least, I would like to encourage all people who are faced with the increasingly burdensome immigration system, to seek support and assistance from people like you, who have been making efforts for a long time towards reforming the system, so it better reflects the values and points of view of the American people, the core of this great country. If there is anything I have learned from the experience of my own country, is that politicians not always reflect the true views and interests of their constituents, and it’s our duty as citizens (current or future) to make sure the legal system and laws reflect the values of the people who build a nation. Our legal system is a reflection of our own national identity, and as such should be designed.
God bless America, and all the values for which it stands.
Alex Di Giacomo
Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California
Former U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association (1988-97)
Phone: (213) 623-4592 Fax: (213) 623-3720
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, California 90017
“Every man wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”
– Bertrand Russell
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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. All information contained in this newsletter is generalized. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.