Thursday, January 27, 2011

Newsbites January 24, 2011

The USCIS Adopts a Less Paper Intensive Method for Filing

The USCIS has opted to move from a paper based filing system to an electronic based one. This has been termed the USCIS Transformation. Among the expected goals of this initiative are accuracy in filing information, efficiency in processing applications and the ability to track applications. To read more:

Election Effects on Civics Test Answers for Naturalization Applicants After January 5, 2011

The results of the recent election have led to a change in the answers required by Naturalization applications on their Civics test. Given the challenging content of many of the questions on this test, it is important that Naturalization applicants become knowledgeable about the changed answers. For more see:

Help Haiti Act 2010 Offers Green Cards to Hatian Orphans Paroled in the United States

The catastrophic earthquake which shook the small island of Haiti on January 12, 2010, left nearly 1, 000, 000 Haitian natives homeless, including numerous orphaned children. With the Help Haiti Act of 2010, these orphaned children will have an opportunity to restart their lives in America. Click here for more:

Martin Luther King had a Dream and so too does Obama: The DREAM Act

President Obama continues to advocate for Immigration law reform through The DREAM Act. This Act’s failure to pass in the Senate on December 18, 2010, does not negate the dream of many that the Act will ultimately materialize into an approved bill passed by both houses of Congress. View more here:

Study Reveals that Low-Skilled Immigration Offers Benefits to National Economy

The Migration Policy Institute has discovered that immigrants who are unskilled actually benefit the U.S. economy by keeping goods and service competitively priced. Since the role assumed by this populous in the workforce would presumably not be fulfilled by the local population, the immigration of unskilled labour allows for goods and services to be more affordable by keeping wages lower. See more at:

The Shooting of Gifford Stifles the Immigration Debate

The moderate views of Senator Gifford were expected to offer a balance in the Immigration law debate. Gifford’s political views were held to be more consistent with Obama’s agenda for Immigration law reform. Her unfortunate shooting has created a precarious climate in view of the fate of Immigration in America. Take a look here for more:

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Newsbites - January 27, 2011

Why an Inclusive Immigration Policy was Advocated by President Obama

The State of the Union Address this past Tuesday February 25th acknowledged the benefits that a more inclusive immigration scheme would offer to the U.S. economy. President Obama eluded to the beneficial impact reform would have on the American workforce, tax base and businesses. To read more:

Arizona’s Immigration Reform goes a Step Further in Attempting to Deny Birthright Citizenship

While it is commonly accepted and entrenched in the U.S. Constitution that persons born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, Arizona is attempting to deny children born in the U.S. by undocumented aliens U.S. citizenship. The constitutionality of Arizona’s proposed Bill is expected to present challenges. For more see:

Federal Building Exposes itself to Protest by the Children of Detained Immigrants

The raids conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency led to the detention of nearly 30 immigrants. These raids resulted in fear of deportation by some of the detainees’ children. The collective fears were able to voice their disdain for their parents’ detainment in Washington this past week. Click here for more:

Is Immigration a Federal Matter? ...

Religious organizations seem to think so. Utah is expected to consider numerous bills to reform immigration laws in the state. This has prompted concern by the religious communities who fear that the anticipated reform sought by the state will lead to communal division. View more here:

Immigration Raids in Michigan Lead to Nearly 80 Arrests

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested 77 illegal immigrants within a 4-day investigation period. For the majority of the arrested persons, there were outstanding orders of deportation. Among that same number were persons convicted for manslaughter, assault and weapons violations. See more at:

The Posada Trial: Informant Testifies that Information was False

Luis Posada Carilles allegedly lied during his immigration hearing in El Paso about how he got into the U.S. in 2005. At 82 years of age, Posada testified that he was seeking political asylum in America. Posada’s defense attorney claims that the government’s informant is not credible, because he was being paid to investigate Posada. Take a look here for more:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security in Conjunction with the Department of State Extends the Eligibility of Participation in H-2A and H-2B Programs to

Vol. I, Issue 25 - January 25, 2011

What is the H-2A and H-2B Visa Program?

The H-2AVisa Program permits U.S. employers to employ foreign nationals in temporary agricultural employment. Under the H-2B visa status, however, a U.S. employer may offer employment to a foreign national for non-agricultural temporary work. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with few exceptions approves applications submitted under the H-2A and H-2B visa categories only when the countries for which prospective employees are sought, have been authorized to work in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security.

Under an H-2A visa, farm workers engaging in seasonal work in the agricultural field may be offered employment by a U.S. employer. The H-2B Program as previously noted is not limited to agricultural work, although it must still be temporary in nature. Entertainers, minor league athletes and film workers are among the pool of applicants that may be approved to work in the U.S. under the H-2B visa.

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The 53 New Countries Approved by the Department of Homeland Security

As of January 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security has authorized the following countries to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa Program: Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vanuatu.

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Factors Used to Determine H-2A and H-2B Visa Program Eligibility

The Secretary of Homeland Security in conjunction with the Secretary of State takes the following four factors into account when determining which countries will be authorized to work under the H-2A and H-2B visa categories (please bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive):

(1) Cooperation regarding the issuance of documentation required for travel with citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of the country to whom a final order of removal may be issued;

(2) The amount of final orders of removal that are unexecuted against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of the applicable country;

(3) The amount of executed orders of removal against citizens, subjects, nationals and residents of the applicable country; and

(4) The U.S. interest, which may implicate a host of additional factors not listed herein.