Friday, March 28, 2008

Office of Special Counsel's Antidiscrimination Guidance for Employers Following the DHS Safe-Harbor Procedures

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS's) Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter (“no-match rule”), as published in August 2007 and as modified by a Proposed Supplemental Rule that was announced by DHS on March 21, 2008, offers employers who receive no-match letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA) a safe-harbor in a related immigration enforcement action if those employers follow the series of steps set forth in the no-match rule to ensure that the information provided by affected employees to confirm their work eligibility is genuine. The no-match rule provides that an employer may terminate an employee whose work eligibility could not be confirmed after the employer has followed the procedures that the rule sets forth.

For full article, click here

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Economic impact of HB 1804 estimated

The state bankers association says the loss could be $1.8 billion.

If 50,000 immigrants leave Oklahoma, the state would lose about $1.8 billion annually in productivity and wages, according to a study released Tuesday by the Oklahoma Bankers Association.

The group does not take a position on HB 1804, the state's new immigration law, said President and Chief Executive Officer Roger Beverage.

The study was commissioned after the association began hearing stories about banks seeing impacts such as loan defaults and halted housing developments.

"Bankers asked the question, 'Can we afford to do this? Does this make sense?' " Beverage said. "That is a question for the Legislature or someone other than us. It is information we think makes sense to consider. Reasonable people will disagree whether it's worth the savings."

House Bill 1804 makes it a crime to knowingly hire, house or transport illegal immigrants and took effect Nov. 1.

For full story, please click here

Administration Announces New “No-Match” Regulations

DHS Regs Pass Burdens to Social Security Administration, Small Businesses, and Citizens

On March 21, 2008, the Bush Administration announced proposed regulations that supplement its August 2007 final rule regarding an employer’s legal obligations upon receiving a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that the information submitted for an employee does not match SSA records (otherwise known as an SSA “no-match” letter). Implementation of the August 2007 rule was preliminarily enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on October 10, 2007, after labor, immigrant, and business groups filed a lawsuit charging that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not have the legal authority to implement the rule, and that the changes DHS sought to make to immigration laws can be made only by Congress and not through an administrative procedure. While the 2008 supplemental rule purports to respond to findings underlying the district court decision, in fact, no significant changes were made from last summer’s regulations. Unfortunately, if implemented, it will be harmful to native-born and legal workers, and will prove inefficient, ineffective, and costly.

For full story, please click here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT VISA BULLETIN

APRIL 2008

Family Immigration - Note that there was some movement in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Preference categories for all countries.
  • 1st Preference (USC unmarried sons & daughters over 21)
    • Worldwide: 22 February 2002
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 22 February 2002
    • India: 22 February 2002
    • Mexico: 08 July 1992
    • Philippines: 01 March 1993
  • 2A Preference (LPR spouses & unmarried children under 21)
    • Worldwide: 08 May 2003
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 08 May 2003
    • India: 08 May 2003
    • Mexico: 01 May 2002
    • Philippines: 08 May 2003
  • 2B Preference (LPR unmarried sons & daughters over 21)
    • Worldwide: 22 March 1999
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 22 March 1999
    • India: 22 March 1999
    • Mexico: 01 April 1992
    • Philippines: 01 February 1997
  • 3rd Preference (USC married sons & daughters)
    • Worldwide: 22 May 2000
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 22 May 2000
    • India: 22 May 2000
    • Mexico: 22 July 1992
    • Philippines: 01 April 1991
  • 4th Preference (USC brothers & sisters)
    • Worldwide: 22 July 1997
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 15 December 1996
    • India: 22 November 1996
    • Mexico: 01 December 1994
    • Philippines: 22 February 1986
Employment Based - Note that the 2nd preference category for foreign nationals from India now have visa numbers available.
  • 1st Preference (EB-1)
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • 2nd Preference (EB-2)
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 01 December 2003
    • India: 01 December 2003
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • 3rd Preference (EB-3)
    • Worldwide: 01 July 2005
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 08 February 2003
    • India: 01 October 2001
    • Mexico: 01 October 2001
    • Philippines: 01 July 2005
  • Schedule A workers (RNs, PTs)
    • Worldwide: UNAVAILABLE
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: UNAVAILABLE
    • India: UNAVAILABLE
    • Mexico: UNAVAILABLE
    • Philippines: UNAVAILABLE
  • Unskilled Workers (less than 2 years experience required)
    • Worldwide: 01 March 2002
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: 01 March 2002
    • India: 01 March 2002
    • Mexico: 01 March 2002
    • Philippines: 01 March 2002
  • 4th Preference (EB-4)
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • Religious Workers
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • Iraqi & Afghani Translators
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • 5th Preference (EB-5: Investors)
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT
  • Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers)
    • Worldwide: CURRENT
    • China (PRC) - Mainland born: CURRENT
    • India: CURRENT
    • Mexico: CURRENT
    • Philippines: CURRENT

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

House Republicans File Discharge Petition on SAVE Act (H.R. 4088)

House Republicans today filed a discharge petition in a bid to force a floor vote on H.R. 4088, also known as the SAVE Act. This deportation-only bill, sponsored by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), represents yet another misguided approach to solving our broken immigration system. If passed, the bill would mandate participation in the flawed Electronic Employment Verification System (EEVS), increase funding for a number of enforcement measures, but do nothing to address the more than 12 million people in the US without status.

Republican leaders would need to round up a total of 218 signatures for the discharge petition to be successful and force the bill to the floor for consideration. The bill currently has 142 cosponsors. See the Take Action below to learn how you can make sure your Representative does not sign the discharge petition for this ill-conceived piece of legislation.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cato Study Finds E-Verify “Ineffective, Intrusive, Expensive”

(WASHINGTON) E-Verify, the program promoted by the Bush administration to reduce illegal immigration, would be ineffective, invasive and costly, finds a study by the Cato Institute.

"A full-fledged Electronic Employment Verification (EEV) system has many practical and technical problems-to say nothing of the question of whether it is appropriate for a free country-and would still fail to prevent illegal immigration" says Jim Harper, Cato's director of Information Policy Studies and author of "Electronic Employment Verification: Franz Kafka's Solution to Illegal Immigration."

To be done effectively, EEV would require an expensive national ID system which would greatly impinge upon the privacy of American citizens. "The things necessary to make a system like this really impervious to forgery and fraud would convert it from an identity system into a cradle-to-grave biometric tracking system," writes the author. This would increase the value of committing identity fraud, and the amount and type of information stored in the databases would expose Americans to grave security risks.

EEV would make applying for jobs a hassle for all American citizens and it would effectively deny some law-abiding individuals the ability to work. A study by the SSA Inspector General revealed an error rate of 4.1 percent in the data used to administer the Basic Pilot program, now renamed E-Verify. At that rate, 1 in every 25 new legitimate hires would receive a "tentative nonconfirmation," requiring the individual to go through a burdensome process to seek permission to work from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

For the full report, please see: Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification: Franz Kafka's Solution to Illegal Immigration, Jim Harper