07-16-2007, 05:06 PM
There is an article in todays Wall Street Journal. Anyone who is a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal, please post the entire article.
U.S. to Reverse "Some" Denials Of Work Visas
By Miriam Jordan
Looking to resolve a messy immigration tangle, the U.S. government is close to announcing that it will accept "some" applications for work-based green cards that were filed by thousands of skilled workers in early July at the government's invitation and then abruptly rejected.
Tens of thousands of skilled workers, many of them in the U.S. on temporary H1B visas, responded to an official invitation, in a June 12 "visa bulletin" issued by the State Department, to take the final step in July toward attaining U.S. permanent residency. ..
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07-16-2007, 05:40 PM
U.S. to Reverse
Of Work Visas
By MIRIAM JORDAN
July 16, 2007; Page A2
Looking to resolve a messy immigration tangle, the U.S. government is close to announcing that it will accept at least some applications for work-based green cards that were filed by thousands of skilled workers in early July at the government's invitation and then abruptly rejected.
Tens of thousands of skilled workers, many of them in the U.S. on temporary H1B visas, responded to an official invitation, in a June 12 "visa bulletin" issued by the State Department, to take the final step in July toward attaining U.S. permanent residency. That sent workers, their families and their employers scrambling to compile paperwork and meet other requirements such as medical exams. Normally, eligible employment-sponsored workers wait years for their numbers to be called.
Then, July 2, as applications poured into processing centers, the State Department announced in a bulletin "update" that no employment-based immigrant visas were left for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 because of "sudden backlog reduction" by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS announced it would reject applications that it received.
People familiar with the situation say that officials are working out the final details of a plan that would at least partially rectify the problem.
It isn't clear, however, whether the immigration agency will now accept all applications and process them later, accept only those that have arrived, or come up with some other approach.
The July 2 decision provoked outrage among immigration lawyers, foreign workers and their employers. July 5, Microsoft Corp. announced that it plans soon to open a software-development center in Vancouver, Canada, with a view to "recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S." The announcement sent a clear signal to the government of the high-tech industry's dissatisfaction with the visa situation.
July 6, a large Chicago immigration law firm filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the government. Separately, the American Immigration Law Foundation, a nonprofit group, said it will file this week its own suit seeking class-action status.
Meanwhile, disgruntled green-card applicants cried foul, saying they had been unfairly treated by the government despite playing by the rules.
July 10, they registered their disappointment at the immigration system by dispatching hundreds of flower bouquets to the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services chief Emilio Gonzalez.
The next day, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), whose district includes Silicon Valley, sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff requesting "all correspondence, emails, memoranda, notes, field guidance or other documentation" leading to the immigration system's about-face July 2.
The problem may have resulted from a communications breakdown between the State Department, which issues a monthly bulletin detailing who is eligible to file a green-card application, and USCIS, which processes the visa applications. The State Department has said that its role is to ensure that every visa slot available is used. In the past, however, the immigration agency has failed to use all of the slots.
07-17-2007, 08:57 AM
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