Nation Of Immigrators

Nation Of Immigrators

A public policy blog on America's dysfunctional immigration system

Category Archives: Immigration terminology

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Parole-in-Place — The Immigration PIPsqueak That Could Help Solve the Biggest Obstacle to Comprehensive Reform

Posted in Congress on Immigration, Deportation - Removal, Homeland Security, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, Obama Administration on Immigration, Parole-in-Place, Removal Proceedings, Unlawful Presence, USCIS

The last few weeks have witnessed severe shocks to the health care system known as Obamacare. The President has issued mea culpas for the not-ready-for-prime-time web site,, and for his campaign promise to Americans that if they liked their health insurance plan, they could “keep it. Period.” Americans who’ve lost their preferred health plan have also experienced shocks, … Continue Reading

The Immigration-Abandonment Ploy — Fallout from a Fiddling Congress and Bickering Allies

Posted in Adjustment of Status, Advance Parole Travel Authorization, Congress on Immigration, Consular Officers, Immigration Lawyers, Immigration Regulations, Immigration terminology, State Department, Unlawful Presence, USCIS, Waivers of Inadmissibility

The times they are a-mournin’ for proponents of immigrant rights and immigration reform. While Pope Francis shows the world how to love by embracing and praying with a tumor-scarred man, immigrants-rights activists and immigration-reform pragmatists are at war among themselves over tactics in the battle to achieve just solutions to our nation’s dysfunctional immigration problems. They who should be allies Continue Reading

Four Post-Infosys Strategies for Corporate Customers and Consultants to Minimize Immigration Risks

Posted in B-1 Visas, Business Visitors, Courts on Immigration Law, DOL, Employment-Based Immigration, Enforcement/DOL, Enforcement/USICE, Foreign policy, General Immigration, H-1B Visas, Homeland Security, I-9s, Immigration Discrimination, Immigration Law Complexity, Immigration Lawyers, Immigration Portfolio Management, Immigration Regulations, Immigration terminology, Legal Representation, Obama Administration on Immigration, Trade in Services, USCIS

Samuel Herbert, Her Majesty’s Home Secretary from 1931-32 (the British equivalent of the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security), could well have been speaking about two recent immigration-related events when he quipped that “bureaucracy” is “a difficulty for every solution.”

One is an October 30 Settlement Agreement between Indian It consulting giant, Infosys, and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern Continue Reading

No Longer Illegal, But Still An Alien

Posted in Congress on Immigration, Guest Columns, Hate speech, Immigration and Journalism, Immigration Discrimination, Immigration terminology

[Blogger’s Note:  Our guest blogger today is Careen Shannon, who is Of Counsel at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. This is an updated and condensed version of an article Careen wrote for the online magazine Careen Shannon and Austin Fragomen Continue Reading

Arcing toward Immigration Justice: “Illegals” No More

Posted in Consular Officers, Enforcement/USICE, Hate speech, Immigrant Visas, Immigration and Journalism, Immigration Lawyers, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, State Department

All of us at times become dispirited.  

As I’ve viewed immigration over the last 40 years, passionate advocates have come and gone, fortunate foreign citizens have been granted green cards and then naturalized; but the harshness and hard-heartedness of immigration law as a reflection of American cultural norms hasn’t really diminished.

For example, back in the 1980s I set … Continue Reading

Rethinking Immigration: Stop the Alienation of Affection

Posted in Congress on Immigration, Democrats on Immigration, Global Migration, GOP on Immigration, Immigration Discrimination, Immigration Protectionism, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, Obama Administration on Immigration

With the Obama Administration and lawmakers in both parties promising to fix our dysfunctional immigration system, it’s time for a reality-based understanding of global migration and a fresh choice of words.  

As Prof. Fariborz Ghadar, Senior Advisor and Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs, observes:

Just as a teenager grows up and dismisses the simplistic … Continue Reading

Immigration Good Behavior — a Riddle Riddled with Riddles

Posted in Adjustment of Status, Border Issues & CBP, Congress on Immigration, Consular Officers, Courts on Immigration Law, Customs and Border Protection, Enforcement/USICE, Immigration Courts, Immigration Law Complexity, Immigration Reform, Immigration Regulations, Immigration terminology, Removal Proceedings, Unlawful Presence, USCIS

[A] riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”  ~ Winston Churchill

The most quotable of British Prime Ministers could well have been talking about the American immigration system rather than describing Russia in 1939.  U.S. immigration law is like stratified rock, revealing layer on layer of Congressional accretions laid down over many years, with the superstructure upended in … Continue Reading

Immigration Egregore: The “Illegal Immigrant” Slur

Posted in Immigration Discrimination, Immigration terminology

A newly resurrected dispute over word choices has gone viral. Charles Garcia revived the debate by arguing that the term, “illegal immigrant,” is a slur.  Ruben Naverette countered that it is apt, albeit a discomfiting truth, asserting in essence that a spade should be called a spade. Siding with the Supreme Court, Dan Kowalski parsed the term differently and … Continue Reading

Immigration Lawyers Arguing: “Can I Work from Home for a Foreign Employer?”

Posted in Courts on Immigration Law, Employment-Based Immigration, Foreign policy, Guest Columns, Immigration Law Complexity, Immigration Regulations, Immigration terminology

[Blogger’s note:  Whether by dint of nature or nurture, lawyers love to argue; immigration lawyers perhaps more so. Unlike our colleagues (outside of immigration practice) for whom sources of law are better defined, immigration attorneys can access a wider array of law and non-law sources with which to fashion our pro and con arguments.  

As a change of pace Continue Reading

First, Do No (Immigration) Harm (to Business Visitors)

Posted in B-1 Visas, Business Visitors, Congress on Immigration, Consular Officers, Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B Visas, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, Obama Administration on Immigration, State Department

The sage of the current age, Wikipedia, defines the term “nonmaleficence” — from the Latin primum non nocere — as a principle of medical ethics, one that in my view is equally applicable to the immigration sphere.  The princple holds that “given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing … Continue Reading

Demystifying Immigration Myths

Posted in Congress on Immigration, Courts on Immigration Law, DOL, Enforcement/DOL, Enforcement/USICE, Foreign policy, General Immigration, Immigration Agency Expertise, Immigration Law Complexity, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, MOUs - Memoranda of Understanding, USCIS

A trip abroad, as I took recently for a speaking gig, often allows intellectual curiosity to gallivant more freely.  It also provides opportunities to question accepted truths or cause germinating notions to blossom into convincing arguments, especially if serendipity or divine providence creates chance meetings with strangers.  These thoughts crystallized after my return as I read Peggy Noonan’s op-ed … Continue Reading

Immigration Punking — Left, Right and Center

Posted in Congress on Immigration, Enforcement/USICE, General Immigration, H-1B Visas, Immigration Reform, Immigration terminology, Obama Administration on Immigration

On the first day of the second quarter of 2011, I fell for a joke.  As the Urban Dictionary (definition #2) would word it, I was “punk’d“!  I didn’t merely fall for just any immigration-related ersatz news item (like the passage of the CIRAF bill reported by my colleagues in ABIL), I breathlessly embraced as the truth an emailed report I quote … Continue Reading

Immigration ‘Language is the Skin of the Soul’

Posted in General Immigration, Hate speech, Immigration terminology

As 1930s radio shows and 21st Century talk-radio shock jocks remind us, words — perhaps even more than images — carry evocative power, the power to incite passion.  Fernando Lázaro Carreter, the academician and guardian of Spanish (whose quote appears in the title of this post and in a slide deck I published years back on immigration writing for lawyers), viewed … Continue Reading