Category: Comprehensive Immigration Reform 2013

What should Immigration Reform Look like? Part one.

The Washington Post published an opinion piece entitled : “Mr. Bohner’s weak immigration excuses”. The article discussed the “smoke screens” that get used in the immigration debate. The article’s main point was the fact that Republicans use the terms “border security” to scare people about immigration reform at a time when illegal immigration has dropped since 2008. As I discussed before, the emphasis on border security in any immigration reform is misplaced. Below I will discuss some things that, in my opinion, should be in immigration reform. 
High Skilled Immigration: many practitioners believe that the current system is restricting the influx of highly skilled and educated immigration. The current system restricts the number of visas that could be granted to these immigrants, who wish to proper in the United States. I am a strong advocate of the points system that several developed countries like Canada and the United Kingdom use. This system will give more points to intending immigrants depending on their education, experience and skills. This system still restricts the amount of immigrants, which appeases politicians that want to guard American jobs, but also attracts the needed skills that we need. 
Undocumented Immigration (Illegal Immigration): Most politicians should respectfully realize that the magic bullet to end illegal immigration does not exist. There are several causes for illegal immigration, which include economic, political, and problems with our existing system. The economic reasons are paramount here but problems with our existing system, in my opinion, dwarf the economic causes. I have represented numerous people who simply stayed in the United States because all of their relatives live here. Fixing the problems with our legal immigration system will lead to a decrease in undocumented immigration. One of the ways to fix such system, is to eliminate visa limits for family sponsored immigration. This has been addressed in the Senate’s immigration bill. We should now wait and see if the plan will pass the house. 
I will post another entry this week that will discuss other aspects of immigration reform. 
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Activists are Fasting for Immigration Reform. What are you doing to make it a reality?

Did you know that for the past 21 days activists have been fasting on Capitol hill for immigration reform? The group called Fasting for Families has staged the fast to urge House Republicans to pass immigration reform that has been stalled in the House for months.  The group’s resolve has earned them a visit from President Obama and the first lady
I have to be honest, I do not totally support the Senate’s immigration reform bill. While it  has several good things in it, the fact that it has a prolonged road to citizenship is troublesome. I support a similar law to the one passed by President Clinton where out of status immigrants paid a penalty to gain permanent residence
I ask you to support the protesters, even by a simple prayer. 

AILA Central Florida Chapter 27th Annual Conference Clearwater Beach FL

I am attending one of the premiere conferences on immigration in the nation. AILA Central Florida Chapter’s annual conference has featured some of the top speakers in the country on issues ranging from family petitions, business immigration, and removal defense.
Today’s panels include some of the top attorneys dealing with criminal immigration matters. The panel discussion by Mary Kraemer and Art Rios spoke about case developments around the country. It is a very informative conference. 

BIA Rules that DOMA is no Longer a Bar to the Approval of Same-Sex Petitions

In a decision issued on Wednesday, the BIA remanded an immigrant visa petition to the District Director because DOMA is no longer a bar to the approval of same-sex petitions. In Matter of Zeleniak26 I&N Dec. 158 (BIA 2013), a United States citizen petitioned for his spouse. The District Director denied the petition in 2010 and he appealed to the BIA. The BIA remanded the petition to address some issues, the Director issued a second denial and the Petitioner appealed the second denial. 

The Director had ruled that the same-sex couple had a valid marriage but the petition could not have been approved because of Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibited immigration benefits to same-sex couples. In remanding the petition to the District Director, the BIA reasoned that the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2695-96 (2013), removed the former prohibition under Section 3 of DOMA to the approval of same-sex immigration petitions. Thus, the BIA remanded the petition to the District Director for further consideration.

This is a monumental decision, since the decision is binding on USCIS when adjudicating immigrant visa petitions. It is also binding on all immigration judges around the nation.  These are the first effects of the Supreme Court’s decision which will affect the ways that immigration practitioners will tackle immigration cases. 

USCIS Issues Guidance on Implementation of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision

USCIS has issued guidance on the implementation of last week’s Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The guidance tells adjudicators to treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples in immigration petitions. This guidance came after Secretary Napolitano directed USCIS yesterday to treat the petitions equally.
This comes on the heels of the approval of the first adjustment of status petition for a same-sex couple in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  This is great news!!!!