Archive for June, 2010

The Second Amendment

June 28, 2010

In McDonald v. Chicago, The Supreme Court reasserted today that individuals have the right to retain guns at both the State and Local levels. The Majority consisting of conservative justices—- Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy based their decision on the history of the second Amendment, where militias were given the right to protect their farmlands. At that time we had no organized police force, we had no justice system in place.

Who are the militias of today? The KKK– the uneducated people, who generally do not work, collect welfare checks, and blame all their owes on the colored people and now the “illegal immigrants.”

If the Supreme Court grants the right to local levels to enact gun controls, one can only speculate for instance what kind of gun control laws Maricopa COunty in Arizona will enact.

Due Process protects every “individual”; it does not say “citizens”. And just like every individual has the right to protect themselves with weapons, every individuals also have the more fundamental right to live.

Although the justices said that the Second Amendment allows for a reasonable restriction of guns, their rationale based on history of the second Amendment gives the militias a carte blanche right to bear arms. This can indeed set a dangerous precedence.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

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Faster through the Airports

June 24, 2010

Although I am not going anywhere, as summer rolls along, visions of distant lands dance in my head. However, that vision is marred by long lines at the airports— getting your luggage checked, getting into a plane with carry on bags and no overhead place, and finally the immigration and customs line ups.

This year, for a fee, the Government and even some airlines are helping to ease that pain.

The US Government, (and some foreign Government as well like Holland) has introduced the Global Entry Program. US Citizens over the age of 14 can pay a fee of $100/- (valid for 5 years) and enroll in the program. They have to enter their data in the following web site:

https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/

After the completion of the process, there will be a one time only CBP interview.

However, once its complete, you do not need to stand in any immigration line. There are kiosks in most major airports. The traveler has to scan in their passport at airport kisoks, and zoom down to luggage claim.

Similarly, in Houston IAH, international travelers who are US Citizens and has no checked luggage, can go through the lines used by pilots and air hostesses for faster processing.

This process can be used by anyone, but because of the lengthy process to get into the program, its probably feasible for frequent business travelers only. The travelers also get expedited check in in kiosks of other participating countries as well. As more countries sign on, the price may come down. Or this may simply become a requirement for foreign travel in the future. It will save money on personnel for countries participating in this program.

Additionally, some airlines are also letting passengers cut in line for boarding the plane or for checking in for a fee. Both American and South West is going to be offering this perk for a fee ranging from $10/- to $50/- per ticket.

This will be the future of travel, in a world increasingly short for time. But then, in this world, will there even be time for vacations?

For more information contact Houston Immigration Lawyer or Houston Immigration Attorney, Annie Banerjee

Texas Immigration

June 15, 2010

If you were wondering why the Tripple G rated (Guns, God and Gays) Southern States, still under the shadows of the Jim Crow laws have not passed on their hatred for immigrants in a restrictive bill like Arizona, wonder no further. The Texas GOP convention this past week end in Dallas adopted an anti immigration stance that would bar illegal immigrants from “intentionally or knowingly” residing in Texas. Of course the GOP did not clarify if this knowledge applies to residing in Texas or being not legal. But then, we need to one up Arizona.  So the GOP advocated for an “open carry” law which would allow residents of carrying fire arms in the open, without a concealed weapons permit. Of course that would in Texas terms mean shoot on sight, especially at brown people.

Take into account that we recently changed our history textbooks to reflect the right wing ideology and we are the perfect breeding ground for future KKK party members. And how many years ago was it that Texas actually belonged to Mexico?  Maybe we should, as Governor Rick Perry had once suggested, secede, form our own ultra right wing country and gradually fade into oblivion.

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information.

Prima Facia Evidence for Outstanding Researcher

June 11, 2010

The Administrative Appeals Unit (AAO) recently held that if a case does not establish the factual basis of a prima facia case, then it will be denied without a request for additional information.

The case involved an Outstanding Researcher.(OR) The AAO, quoting a Ninth Circuit case, Kazarian v. USCIS 2010 WL 725317, said that there are two prongs to establish whether the case satisfies regulatory requirements.

The first is whether the case has the requisite evidence. In an OR case, the petitioner must have the two out of six criteria set forth in the regulation.

The second is whether the evidence meets final merit. This is where the case gets interesting. Granted initially it was a poorly prepared case. But the AAO suggested a number of things, with no precedence, that seemed absurd. Here is a short list:

1. The beneficiary was on Peer review Committee of journals. The AAO suggested that most scientists do this. My understanding is that only senior scientists are given this privilege.

2. The AAO suggested that most researchers gets grants. No, labs and senior scientists gets grants, junior members don’t. As a matter of fact, not so long ago there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about how it was the junior or novice scientists that came up with novel ideas that changed the world. Einstein, Newton etc were in their prime when they discovered their seminal research. Yet junior scientists are NOT given grants.

3. The AAO states that the petition requires an offer letter from the sponsor. In an OR case, the sponsor is the hiring institution. They have to sign the I-140 and the petitioning document. Why would they do that, if they did not intend to offer the beneficiary the job?

4. The Petitioner must provide documentary evidence of the employer’s ability to pay. If the petitioner states (under oath) in the I-140 their gross and net; I think they meet their prima facia obligation. If Texas Service Center (TSC)(where the case got denied) does not think this is enough to establish the fact, then an RFE would be appropriate.

I know there is a huge backlash against any type of employment based immigration, and I know there is a high unemployment rate. But to stay competitive, we MUST do research. And most researchers in this country come from foreign lands. If we dont keep abreast of science and technology, most high tech jobs will be outsourced. India will do the research, have the patents. And we will only pay second fiddle.

And if the TSC adjudicators do not believe me, they need to get into their cars, drive less than 3 miles down Stemmons Freeway to Harry Hines Blvd. There is UTSW, one of the premier medical school and research institution in the US. They have three Nobel laureates and countless foreign researchers. And think, if we dont change our policy, all the Nobel prizes will go to other countries

Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information