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Immigration News - May and June of 2010

06/30/2010: DV-2011 Green Card Lottery Status Check Now Available

The DOS website to check DV-2011 entrant status is now open. - DOS

06/24/2010: CEOs, Mayors Lobby for Immigration Reform

Chief executives of several major corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Disney and News Corp., are joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg to form a coalition advocating for immigration reform - including a path to legal status for all undocumented immigrants now in the United States. - AP

06/23/2010: DOL: We Can Help

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing some of the nation's most important worker protection laws. WHD is committed to ensuring that workers in this country are paid properly and for all the hours they work, regardless of immigration status. - DOL

06/21/2010: Law Students' Interest in Immigration Grows

As the immigrant population in Colorado grows, so does interest in immigration law. More students at the University of Denver and University of Colorado law schools are pushing for clinics and classroom offerings on immigration law and help in finding internships and jobs in the field. However, certain factors, including the low pay and lack of large immigration-law firms in Colorado, make it difficult for graduates to practice the specialty. - Denver Post

06/19/2010: Harvard Student won't Face Deportation

Eric Balderas, a 19-year-old Harvard biology student who became an international celebrity last week after being arrested for being in the United States unlawfully, is no longer facing deportation to Mexico, officials said last night. - Boston Globe

06/19/2010: DOJ to Sue Arizona over Immigration

The Obama administration has decided to file a lawsuit to strike down a new Arizona law aimed at deporting illegal immigrants, thrusting itself into the fierce national debate over how the United States should enforce immigration policies. - NYT

06/16/2010: Trafficking in Persons Report 2010

The 10th annual Trafficking in Persons Report outlines the continuing challenges across the globe, including in the United States. The Report, for the first time, includes a ranking of the United States based on the same standards to which we hold other countries. The United States takes its first-ever ranking not as a reprieve but as a responsibility to strengthen global efforts against modern slavery, including those within America. This human rights abuse is universal, and no one should claim immunity from its reach or from the responsibility to confront it. - DOS

06/15/2010: New Form I-90

USCIS announced today that a new version of the Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card (Form I-90), is available on the USCIS website. The new version of the form is dated 8/10/09 and contains more user-friendly features. Applicants may file Form I-90 electronically (through e-filing), or through the mail to the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox facility. - USCIS

06/10/2010: July 2010 Visa Bulletin and New Predictions

DOS released the July Visa Bulletin, and India EB2 cut-off date leaped forward 8 months to reach October 1, 2005. They also updated their predictions on visa availability by the end of FY-2010. Both China EB2 and India EB2 are expected to reach March or April of 2006!

06/09/2010: USCIS Seeks Public Comment on Proposal to Adjust Fees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is seeking public comment on a proposed federal rule that would adjust fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions. The proposal, posted to the Federal Register today for public viewing, would increase overall fees by a weighted average of about 10 percent but would not increase the fee for the naturalization application. - USCIS Announcement

06/07/2010: New Pending I-485 Inventory Released

USCIS released a pending I-485 inventory (data as of 5/27/2010). The green card tracker has been updated with new data.

06/04/2010: Florida Man Denaturalized

Florida man is denaturalized for serving in Bosnian military unit linked to massacres in Bosnia. ICE investigation leads to the loss of man's U.S. Legal Permanent Residency status for lying about involvement in Bosnian Serb army. - ICE

06/03/2010: Obama, Arizona Gov. Brewer Discuss Immigration

Facing off over illegal immigration, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer told President Barack Obama that Americans "want our border secured" and called Thursday for completion of a separating fence. Obama underscored his objections that the tough immigration law she signed is discriminatory. - AP

05/28/2010: After Governor's Pardon, Citizenship for Chinese Immigrant

It was his application for United States citizenship that derailed the American life of Qing Hong Wu, an information technology executive who had risen from poverty and street crime in Chinatown. He had fulfilled the promise he made to the judge who sentenced him for teenage muggings, but immigration authorities jailed him for mandatory deportation to China, a country he had left at 5. - NYT

05/27/2010: DOS Launches Redesigned Website

On May 25, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs unveils a new design of www.travel.state.gov that is easier to navigate and more user-friendly. Changes to the site were based on feedback received from over 32,000 people who participated in a customer satisfaction survey the Bureau of Consular Affairs has been conducting since May 14, 2009. - DOS News

05/26/2010: Crime-Stopper Faces Deportation

Just like the police tell you to do, Abel Moreno called 911 when a man began assaulting his girlfriend. Before the end of the year, he could be deported to Mexico for his trouble. Moreno, 29, of Charlotte made the call Dec. 29 because, he alleged, a Charlotte police officer was trying to fondle his girlfriend after a traffic stop. The officer ordered Moreno to drop the call and arrested him and his girlfriend for resisting arrest. - MSNBC

05/26/2010: Texas Woman Sentenced to 57 Months for Impersonating Immigration Officer

A Texas woman's scheme to solicit thousands of dollars to provide immigration documents while posing as an immigration official was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison Tuesday. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). - ICE News

05/25/2010: HP to Help Speed Determination of Immigration Status

HP Enterprise Services today announced it has been awarded a $41.6 million contract to provide application services for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) to help speed internal processes regarding immigration status determination. - HP

05/25/2010: USCIS Revises Employment Authorization Document

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has revised the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or Form I-766, to incorporate the addition of a machine-readable zone on the back of the card. This update to the EAD is part of USCIS's ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud. Starting May 11, USCIS began issuing the revised EAD cards. The machine-readable zone is compliant with International Civil Aviation Organization standards. USCIS also removed the two-dimensional bar code on the backside of the card and moved the informational box of text to just beneath the magnetic stripe on the card. The revised card retains all of its existing security features. - USCIS Announcement

05/24/2010: More USCIS Filing Location Changes

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it will be transitioning the intake function of several more forms from the Service Centers to its Lockbox network. The transition will start mid-May with the Service Centers forwarding applications to the USCIS Dallas and Phoenix Lockbox facilities for processing. In June, USCIS will post the revised filing instructions, update the web page for each form, and announce the address change with a USCIS Update. - USCIS Announcement

Forms affected are I-140, I-539, I-129F, I-526 and I-817.

05/20/2010: DHS Eliminates I-94W for VWP Travelers

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the elimination of the paper arrival/departure form (Form I-94W) for authorized travelers from nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)-streamlining secure travel for millions of visitors to the United States every year by consolidating the collection of traveler information and enhancing security by automatically providing DHS with important passenger information prior to departure. - DHS

05/20/2010: An Illegal Immigration Fact Check

But while several violent high-profile incidents in the Tucson, Arizona, sector have gained national attention and colored political rhetoric, an ABC News analysis of immigration and crime data, combined with interviews with law enforcement officials, shows something very different -- that violence and crime on the U.S. side of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico are generally on the decline. - ABC News

05/19/2010: Interim Final Rule on Visa Application Fee Increase

Further to the Department's proposed rule to amend the Schedule of Fees for Consular Services (Schedule) for nonimmigrant visa and border crossing card application processing fees, this rule raises from $131 to $140 the fee charged for the processing of an application for most non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas (Machine-Readable Visas or MRVs) and adult Border Crossing Cards (BCCs). The rule also provides new tiers of the application fee for certain categories of petitionbased nonimmigrant visas and treaty trader and investor visas (all of which are also MRVs). Finally, the rule increases the $13 BCC fee charged to Mexican citizen minors who apply in Mexico, and whose parent or guardian already has a BCC or is applying for one, by raising that fee to $14 by virtue of a congressionally mandated surcharge that went into effect in 2009. This interim final rule becomes effective June 4, 2010. - Federal Register

05/18/2010: China EB3 Class Action Lawsuit

"We have filed a class action lawsuit challenging the procedures used for establishing cut-off dates for individuals in the China EB3 category. We have included a claim that the cut-off dates established for the EB3 category in FY 2008 and FY 2009 violate INA §203(e) (visas must be allocated in priority date order), and as a result class members are unlawfully delayed in obtaining their permanent resident status; and that there is no adequate system to properly account for the number of immigrant petitions and AOS applications that are pending, and as a result immigrant visas are issued in violation of §203(e). Attached is a copy of the Complaint." - Gibbs Houston Pauw

05/15/2010: For Car Bomb Suspect, a Long Path to Times Square

Yet by some measures, Mr. Shahzad - a Pakistani immigrant who was then 26 years old - seemed to be thriving in the West. He worked as a financial analyst at Elizabeth Arden, the global cosmetics firm. He had just received his green card, making him a legal resident in the United States. He owned a gleaming new house in Shelton, Conn. His Pakistani-American wife would soon become pregnant with their first child, whom they named Alisheba, or "beautiful sunshine." ... Four years later, Mr. Shahzad stands accused of planting a car bomb in Times Square on a balmy spring evening. - NY Times

05/14/2010: Student and Exchange Visitor Visa Update

This cable provides an update to guidance provided for student and exchange visitor visa applications. We remind posts that student and exchange visitors should be provided visa appointments on a priority basis. Admission to a lesser-known academic institution is not in itself a reason for refusal, although all applicants should be able to explain their school choice and educational plan. We urge posts to report suspect schools. Summer Work and Travel program participants should return from their programs in time for the beginning of fall classes, even though DHS allows them a 30-day grace period before they have to depart the United States. This cable also provides clarification on flight training, study incidental to visits for pleasure, and SEVIS. - DOS Cable

05/14/2010: New H-1B 'Advisor' from DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor today unveiled a new tool to help employers and others understand how to comply with requirements under the H-1B visa program, which allows for the temporary employment of foreign workers in the U.S. in certain specialty occupations. An online "advisor," available at http://www.dol.gov/elaws/h1b.htm, describes the program's standards and provides detailed information about employers' and workers' rights and responsibilities. It outlines notification requirements, monetary issues, worksite issues, recordkeeping, worker protections and enforcement.

05/11/2010: USCIS to Issue Redesigned Green Card

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card - commonly known as the "Green Card" - to incorporate several major new security features. Some highlights of the new changes include:

  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
  • Secure optical media
  • Holographic images
  • Laser engraved fingerprints
  • High resolution micro-images
  • Color shifting ink
  • Color of the new green card? Green!

Some existing Green Cards bear an expiration date, and those cards will remain valid until they expire. Holders of those cards will receive the redesigned version when seeking a renewal or replacement. - USCIS announcement and Q&A

05/11/2010: June 2010 Visa Bulletin Released

05/07/2010: Bombing Suspect's Route to Citizenship

When Faisal Shahzad took his oath of citizenship a year ago, swearing to "support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies," he seemed the model of a legal immigrant success story. Moving from one coveted visa to the next over a decade, he had acquired an M.B.A., a decent job, a wife and two children and a fine suburban home. - NY Times

05/05/2010: "Los Suns of Phoenix"

The Phoenix Suns beat San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA's Western Conference semifinals. Apparently neither the players nor the crowd were too distracted by the "Los Suns" jerseys. It was a decision by Suns owner Robert Sarver, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but also as a way of protesting the new Arizona immigration law.

05/03/2010: "A Country of Immigrants"

To the sound of drums and the sight of American flags, more than 25,000 people - a microcosm of a national movement - marched on Dallas City Hall on Saturday in the latest episode in the never-ending Texas immigration saga. - Texas Tribune

05/03/2010: Ariz. Immigration Policy Sets off Polarizing Debate

City workers in San Francisco and St. Paul can no longer take business trips to Arizona. A professor who helped write Arizona's new immigration law says his phone hasn't stopped ringing. The White House is planning a strategy to combat the new law even as legislators in other states propose copycat bills. With a stroke of her pen, Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer not only signed into law the toughest immigration law in the country, she also reignited a polarizing debate. Protesters held dozens of marches in Los Angeles, New York and other cities Saturday to cap a chaotic week. - USA Today

05/03/2010: 5 Myths about Immigration

Despite the fact that we are a nation of immigrants -- or perhaps because of it -- immigration continues to be one of America's most contentious topics. The new law in Arizona authorizing police to arrest individuals who cannot show documents proving that they are in the country legally has set off a fresh bout of acrimony. But as in the past, much of the debate is founded on mythology. - WaPo

05/03/2010: Residents in Green Card Scam Not Protected

Korean nationals accused of becoming U.S. citizens through a massive green card scam cannot stay in the United States under equal protection because they were never lawful permanent residents, the 9th Circuit ruled. - Courthouse News

05/01/2010: About 35 Arrested at Immigration Rally

About 35 immigrant advocates have been arrested in front of the White House fence, including a U.S. congressman, after they sat down and defied orders from police. - WaPo

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