Thursday, May 13, 2010

June 2010 Visa Bulletin Released

The US Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2010. The biggest news is that the Dominican Republic is now added as a separate country in Family and Employment preference categories.

Other major changes (or not):

* Family 2A preference dates for all countries, advance by over a year.
* India EB-2 is unchanged from last month. This means that it has moved only one week since October 2009.  In that month, the current date was 1/22/05, and now it is 2/1/05. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Information flyer for new citizens

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Green card to be green again in redesign.

USCIS has announced that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card (green card) with enhanced security features - and a "new" color.  For many years the card has been white, pink before that, and green a long time ago.

The new security features are described as follows:
Secure optical media will store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of the card holder. Holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images will make the card nearly impossible to reproduce. Tighter integration of the card design with personalized elements will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it immediately to file data. Finally, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.

Existing card holders don't need to do anything. They will get new cards as they apply for renewals or replacements in the normal course.

For more information, see the USCIS press release and the fact sheet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five Myths About Immigration

The Washington Post has an article  that dispels 5 mythis about immigration. The myths are:

1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.  

The article notes that immigrants form a higher percentage of the workforce than of the overall population, i.e. more immigrants work than US workers. The article also quotes economists saying that
immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created. 

2. Immigration is at an all-time high, and most new immigrants came illegally.

The article notes that the historic high was in about 1980, when about 14.8% of the population were immigrants. Now the figure is about 12.5%. About 2/3 of these are here lawfully.

3. Today's immigrants are not integrating into American life like past waves did.

The same charge was levied at  prior influxes of immigrants, according to the article. As with previous immigrants, integration takes a generation and evidence shows that current immigrants are as keen as prior ones to integrate.

4. Cracking down on illegal border crossings will make us safer.

The article discusses the extremely difficult task that the government faces in securing
7,500 miles of land borders, 12,380 miles of coastline and a vast network of sea ports, international airports, ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders and visa-issuing consulates abroad. 

5. Immigration reform cannot happen in an election year.

Immigration is a controversial issue, however all major immigration acts that have passed in recent decades have passed in elections years.

For the full text of the article, see here.