YOUR LAST CHANCE
Hello Everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of Immigration Matters. We are glad that you could join us on this fortnightly segment where we provide you with the latest updates on immigration and related matters.
Here's a quick update on visa numbers. The latest visa bulletin of the State Department for the month of June reports that the employment based third preference for India will become unavailable in June. This means that those whose immigrant visa petitions have been approved under the employment third preference category, would not be able to get green cards during the summer. New visa numbers will only be allocated from October 1996 - the start of the new fiscal year.
Now to this week's topic...the latest from Capitol Hill.
At this time, the House and Senate have passed their immigration bills. Both these bills will be consolidated in a conference committee comprising Republicans and Democratics and the differences in the bills will be thrashed out and sent to the President for his signature.
It is still not too late to influence the conferees on toning down some of the harsher provisions:
Issue 1: The Senate bill imposes a three year ban to anyone who overstays the visa for 60 days. The House bill imposes a 10 year ban to anyone who is out of status for over one year. The conferees should realize that an individual could inadvertently fall out of status when they change status or when they receive a kickback from the INS that delays the grant of the new status.
Issue 2: Many conferees have been influenced by the Anti-terrorism bill and wish to eliminate important relief provisions such as suspension of deportation as well as relief against deportation for green card holders who have been convicted of crimes. One of the conferees is also pushing for the summary exclusion of refugees, even though the Leahy amendment eliminated this harsh measure from the Senate bill.
Issue 3: The House bill will require sponsors of relatives to demonstrate that their incomes are 200% above the poverty line. This hidden barrier to family immigration will affect poorer but hardworking and honest immigrants.
Issue 4: There is growing momentum to strike the restrictions to the H- 1B1 visa - a temporary work permit issued to professionals. These are provisions affecting legal immigration and should not be left in what is now an enforcement bill.
Issue 5: Preserve judicial review of deportation and exclusion orders. The Senate provision will preclude you from challenging a deportation order in a federal court, even if the administrative decision was wholly erroneous, arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.
If you have any questions or wish to contact your Congress person or Senator for the last time, please call the Law Offices of Cyrus D. Mehta at 212-686-1581. The number once again is 212-686-1581. Our phone lines will remain open for the next hour and we will take one call per viewer.
This is Cyrus Mehta wishing all of you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. See you again in 2 weeks.