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Ankle Bracelets, DREAM Act, EB-2 Category for Indians

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July 2009
Ankle Bracelets, DREAM Act, EB-2 Category for Indians

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) DRO (Detention and Removal Officers) were visiting Atlanta Immigration Courtrooms in May looking for respondents who were appearing for hearings, but who had previously not been detained by ICE. These immigrants had no bond or restraints on their liberty and were voluntarily appearing for their immigration hearings. Because they showed up at their hearings and were following the rules set forth by the US government, they had ankle bracelets placed on them by ICE officers!

It is not clear why ICE feels that these immigrants, who were most likely to appear for future hearings and follow the judgments given to them, were the ones who should receive this restraint on their liberty. The officer administering the program told a lawyer that the program targets non-lawful permanent residents, who do not have a bond and are in pre-final order status (in removal proceedings), even those with no criminal history and with relief available. Ironically, and unfairly, the monitoring can only work within 50 miles of Atlanta, so respondents who live outside that radius are not tagged with the ankle bracelet. We will keep Khabar readers updated on this deplorable new program.

DHS Secretary Napolitano Endorses DREAM Act

In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 6, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano discussed the DREAM Act when answering a question from U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin. The Illinois Democrat noted that he had introduced a version of the Dream Act for eight years. For young people living in America without status, it allows them to do either two years of service in the military or complete two years of college, and then move toward legal status.

Durbin asked Napolitano’s opinion of the Act and received the following answer: “As a governor of a border state, this is one of those areas where everyone wants the immigration law enforced. ? On the other hand, we have to have the ability to deal with some of the human issues that arise here. And the one that you have identified is one of the most acute. I supported the Dream Act when I was governor. I support it now. One of the most moving things I've been privileged to do as secretary is to administer the oath of citizenship to men and women in our military who have been serving in Iraq, who were not citizens, who have elected to become citizens. In a way, it kind of mirrors what you're talking about in the Dream Act. But it seems to me that the Dream Act is a good piece of legislation and a good idea.”

With the Obama Administration’s stated focus on immigration, it is likely that this legislation will be at the top of the list to be passed in 2009.

EB-2 Category for Indians

The EB-2 category (advanced degree workers) for Indian nationals has retrogressed four years and will be set at January 1, 2000 for applications received beginning June 1. If you are from China, the backlog is five years less: Feb. 15, 2005. And if you are from any other country in the world, there is no wait at all.

For years, India has seen its categories pushed further and further back. Congress employs an unjust distribution methodology in which no country is permitted to claim more than percent of the numbers in a green card category. This does not allow the government/USCIS to take into account large countries that produce extremely bright and qualified professionals. These workers are filling highly skilled job positions, which will benefit the US greatly in all areas, particularly science, mathematics, and information technology.

It is short-sighted not to reconsider the distribution in the face of a spiraling economy. The best hope is for the Indian community to organize and push for improvements in visa processing and visa distribution. Otherwise, Indian immigrants will seemingly be waiting ten years longer than everyone else to get a green card.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR JULY 2009

FAMILY India                      Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st 15Nov02 15Nov02

2A 22Dec04 22Dec04

2B 15Apr01 15Apr01

3rd 22Oct00 22Oct00

4th 22Oct98 22Oct98

EMPLOYMENT India           Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st Current Current

2nd 01Jan00 Current

3rd Unavailable Unavailable

Other Unavailable Unavailable

4th Current Current

5th Current Current


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