Friday, April 24, 2009

DREAM Act debate

The New York Times has a discussion this week on the DREAM Act. This legislation, sponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois, and Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana, addresses the situation faced by young people who were brought to the United States years ago as undocumented immigrant children and who have since grown up here, stayed in school, and kept out of trouble. If enacted, the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act would
  • Permit certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status and to eventually obtain permanent status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military; and
  • Eliminate a federal provision that penalizes states that provide in-state tuition without regard to immigration status.
Supporter of the legislation argue that
It would give lawful status to children brought to America by events beyond their control. They have grown up here, are fully integrated, and know no other country. Instead of being rounded up and deported, they will contribute to America, starting when they meet requirements that they go to college or serve in the military.
Opponents say that it is an amnesty
designed to politically leverage the dilemma of the most sympathetic group of illegals into a more general amnesty.
The most recent status of the DREAM Act is that a bipartisan group of senators introduced it to the latest Congress on March 26, 2009. AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association) estimates that 65,000 undocumented young people who have spent their childhoods in America would be impacted by this important piece of legislation annually.

College Board, the nation's recognized leader in assisting students in the transition to higher education, recently issued a report supporting the DREAM Act.

Photo by Lisa Weston

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

H-1B count now at 44,000

USCIS has released the latest count of FY 2010 H-1B petition filings.

According to the CIS website

USCIS has received approximately 44,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap. The agency continues to accept petitions subject to the general cap.

Additionally, the agency has received approximately 20,000 petitions for aliens with advanced degrees; however, we continue to accept advanced degree petitions since experience has shown that not all petitions received are approvable.

For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7.

USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY2010 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS’ Web site at

Photo thanks to aussiegall

Monday, April 20, 2009

CIS has issued the latest processing time goal and report here. In a 2007 fee rule, CIS aimed to reduce processing times by 20% by 2009. CIS is meeting its goals in some ares, e.g. EAD applications, I-129 petitions (2 month goal) and I-131 applications (3 month goal). In some other popular cases, processing times are well behind the goals, e,g, I-140 petitions (9 month processing vs 4 month goal), I-751 Removal of Conditions (9 month processing vs 6 month goal), Adjustment of Status for family (7.3 month processing vs 4 month goal). We have seen many cases take less than the posted processing times, especially naturalization applications. However there are also cases taking longer.