SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE is the Web’s most popular e-mail newsletter regarding U.S. immigration laws and procedures with over 60,000 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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This month’s issue contains the following topics:
- 1. September 1996 State Department Visa Bulletin
- 2. Latest Processing Times for INS Service Centers
- 3. NEWS FLASH!: Congressional Conference Committee to Meet 9-17-96
- 4. Immigration Trivia Quiz: A Governor With Illegal Roots
- 5. INS’s About-Face: The Great H-1B Snafu
- 6. Physician News: HUD Declares Moratorium on New J Waivers
- 7. Board of Immigration Appeals Web Site
- 8. Employers: Important Government Phone Numbers
- 9. Web Sites for Embassies
- 10. Answer to the Immigration Trivia Quiz
The State Department released the September 1996 Visa Bulletin today.
Most priority dates advanced slowly or not at all. The big news was in the employment categories for persons born in India. All five categories are “unavailable” for the month of September! Indians with current priority dates in the first, fourth and fifth employment-based categories should make sure to submit their applications for adjustment of status before the end of August.
For an explanation of what the categories and numbers on the chart below mean, see
Most immigration applications and petitions must be submitted to one of the following INS Regional Service Centers: (1) Laguna Niguel, California; (2) Lincoln, Nebraska; (3) Dallas, Texas; and (4) St. Albans, Vermont.
The service centers have recently issued lists of their processing times for various types of applications.
Warning: Processing times may appear faster on the official lists than they are in reality.
To see how fast (or slow) your service center is processing a particular type of petition or application, see
August 1996 came and went without the passage of immigration legislation. Although one version of an immigration bill passed the House of Representatives in March and another version passed the Senate in May, for four months, Congress did not even convene a “conference committee” to iron out the differences between the two versions.
The main sticking point is a provision in the House bill which would allow states to expel hundreds of thousands of illegal children from the public schools. While both the President and a majority of the Senate have indicated opposition to this provision (The Supreme Court of the United States, in a case decided in the early 1980s called Plyler v. Doe, held that such an expulsion to be unconstitutional.), House leaders have insisted that some version of the so-called “Gallegly amendment” remain in the following bill.
Suddenly, earlier today, the House of Representatives finally named its members of the conference committee. (The Senate did so months ago.) The two bills can now move forward to conference and then, if there is agreement, a single bill will move to the floors of the two chambers to be voted on. The conference is now slated to be held Tuesday, September 17.
The House Conferees are as follows:
Hyde, Smith (of TX), Gallegly, McCollum, Goodlatte, Bryant (of TN), Bono, Conyers, Frank, Berman, Bryant (of TX), Becerra, Goodling, Cunningham, McKeon, Shaw, Martinez, Green (of TX), and Jacobs.
We will issue a special news alert to all subscribers of SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE as soon as the committee takes action on the bills. Stay tuned!
In order to give this new development some context, the following is the text of a letter sent by President Clinton to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) on August 2, 1996:
The White House Washington
August 2, 1996
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Reversing decades of neglect, this Administration has dedicated unprecedented resources and enforcement effort to curtailing illegal immigration. Our comprehensive strategy to restore the rule of law to illegal immigration enforcement has done more in three years than was done in thirty years before. It includes:
1) Gaining control of our borders. This Administration is deploying more border patrol agents than any previous Administration. In FY 1996, we will deploy an additional 1,000 new and reassigned agents. Overall, the Administration has increased the number of Border Patrol agents at the southwest border by 40% since 1993. For the first time, Border Patrol agents are being equipped with the high technology resources needed to do the job, including sensors, night scopes, computers and encrypted radios. Strengthened anti-smuggling efforts have reduced the criminal transport and exploitation of smuggled aliens.
2) Safeguarding the interests of legal workers. This Administration is the first to initiate effective enforcement of employer sanctions and worksite standards. In addition, I issued an Executive Order to keep federal contracts from going to businesses that knowingly hire illegal workers. We are also testing a computer work authorization verification system and are creating more fraud-resistant immigration documents.
3) Removing criminal and other deportable aliens from the country. In 1995, this Administration removed a record number of criminal and other illegal aliens from this country – 74% more than in FY 1990.
Most of H.R. 2202, the Immigration in the National Interest Act, supports the steps we have taken. I continue to urge Congress to pass these provisions and present me with the additional tools I need to continue the progress we have made.
However, there is a right way and a wrong way to fight illegal immigration. The Gallegly Amendment and the compromise being considered during the conference process would result in kicking children out of school and onto the streets. The street is no place for children to learn; children should be in school. This proposal is an unacceptable and ineffective way to fight illegal immigration. And the proposed compromise which will still require states to verify the immigration status of all children, and permit states to exclude those who cannot afford to pay tuition is as objectionable as the original provision. Congress should reject it.
If the immigration bill contains this provision, I will veto it. We can agree on so much in the legislation that would help what we are already doing. Let us move forward with illegal immigration enforcement legislation without this misguided measure.
The Republican Platform calls for a broad crackdown on illegal immigration, even endorsing an amendment to the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to mothers who are not citizens or permanent residents from being considered U.S. citizens at birth.
At the Republican Convention, a prominent governor declined an opportunity to deliver a pre-prepared speech endorsing the immigration provisions of his party’s platform. He refused on the ground that “(his state) has represented hope and freedom to people from around the world and we have to continue to do that”.
With admirable candor, the governor volunteered that his own uncle and grandmother had come to the U.S. illegally. His uncle was a German sailor who jumped ship while his grandmother used her sister’s immigration papers when she entered the U.S. from Ireland. Both eventually became U.S. citizens.
Who is this governor and what state does he govern?
(See item #10 for answer.)
Foreign-born professionals and their employees went into a state of shock when the INS suddenly announced in late August that all 65,000 H-1B visa numbers for professional workers had been expended for fiscal year 1996. Then, a mere two weeks later, INS admitted error, and announced that the number of H-1B petition approvals was still less than 60,000! What happened and what are the implications for the future of the H-1B program?
New subscribers to SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE who did not receive the Special Alerts e-mailed in late August and early September may wish to see
Immigration Medical Graduates (IMGs) may be in for some rough times ahead. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a moratorium on newly-submitted waivers of the two-year home residency requirement for J- 1 physicians.
A copy of the HUD policy memo may be viewed at
https://www.shusterman.com/hud-j1.html (Link no longer operational)
For a detailed explanation of the J waiver process for physicians, see
https://www.shusterman.com/fmg95.html (Link no longer operational.)
When a person is ordered deported or excluded from the U.S. by an Immigration Judge, he may appeal the judge’s order to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In the past, many observers (including the Federal Courts) have criticized the BIA for decisions which were not well- reasoned and which failed to consider all of the positive factors presented in support of applications for relief from deportation.
During the past year and one-half, the BIA has attempted to establish a new image. Under the Chairmanship of Paul Schmidt, a distinguished attorney who has served as the Acting General Counsel of the INS and as a member of the private bar, the BIA has expanded from five to twelve members, and has issued a number of well-reasoned precedent decisions (and a few enormous duds!).
To learn more about this important agency, see
and click on “Board of Immigration Appeals”. To read the text of recent
BIA decisions, click on “Recent Decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals”
For information on the highly-significant regulations affecting appeals and motions practice before the BIA (and its parent agency, the Executive Office for Immigration Review) which became effective on July 1, 1996, click on
“Questions and Answers on the New Motions and Appeals Regulations”
call: (800) 898-7180 (800) 898-7180
From time to time, SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE provides a list of government phone numbers to aid the public in navigating through the many- layered bureaucracies of the immigration establishment. This month’s issue lists three little-known toll-free numbers available to employers with questions about the antidiscrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).
A) Employer Hotline of the Office of the Special Counsel
(800) 255-8155 (800) 255-8155
B) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(800) 669-4000 (800) 669-4000
C) Civil Rights Division’s Office of the Special Counsel
(800) 255-7688 (800) 255-7688
Immigrants often need to utilize the services of the embassy of their home country in the U.S. Do you need to renew your passport, obtain information regarding dual citizenship, or if you have already naturalized, obtain a visa to visit the country of your birth? These and many other services may be available by contacting the appropriate embassy.
Now, there is a web site, “The Electronic Embassy” which lists the names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of all foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. (alphabetically, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe). In addition, this site provides information about culture, education, commerce, consular services, travel and employment.
To access The Electronic Embassy, see
and click on “The Electronic Embassy”.
Also, the site allows you to access the home pages of over two dozen foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. which have established web sites.
Finally, The Electronic Embassy allows you to access the sites of U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad which have established web pages. (Warning: Some of the U.S. web sites do not appear to be in working order!).
George Pataki, Governor of the State of New York
Carl Shusterman Esq.
Former INS Attorney (1976-82)
Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law
Board of Legal Specialization
State Bar of California
Web Site: https://www.shusterman.com
Disclaimer: This e-mail is not intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. The information contained herein is general in nature and readers are strongly advised to consult with an attorney. Any reliance on the information contained above is taken at the reader’s own risk.
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September 1, 1996