Category Archives: Uncategorized

USCIS Unveils Newest GreenCard Design

On May 10th, 2010, USCIS has introduced the latest version of the Permanent Resident Card (also known as “Green Card” , or Alien Resident Card, or Form I-551).

The new card bears a revision date of February 16, 2009.

All previous versions of the I-551 shall remain valid until expiration.  The production of the new Permanent Resident Card will commence on May 10th and will be the only version of the I-551 that will be issued.

New I-551 (5-10-2010)

Myth Debunked: Immigrants Harm Healthcare Reform

Amidst the United States’ wrangling with the issue of workable and sustainable healthcare reforms, notions keep surfacing, largely prompted by anti-immigrant groups, that immigrants (whether “legal” or “illegal”) are standing in the way of a meaningful healthcare reform.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Here are some things to consider before blindly buying into slanted rhetoric of those would like to pin America’s healthcare problems on its foreign-born population. A recent report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) made the following observations:

FACT: The more people who pay into a system of health insurance, the more everyone benefits. An important function of health insurance is to pool risks and use premiums collected from the healthy to pay for the medical care of those who need it.

FACT: U.S. citizens make up the majority of those who are uninsured. U.S. citizens make up the majority of the uninsured (78%), while legal and undocumented immigrants account for 22% of the nonelderly uninsured.

FACT: Immigrants do not impose a disproportionate financial burden on the U.S. health care system. According to a July 2009 study in the American Journal of Public Health, immigrants use less medical care, and less expensive care, even when they have health insurance.

Immigrants’ per-person medical expenditures were one-half to two-thirds less than U.S.-born citizens with similar characteristics. Health care costs for the average immigrant in America are 55% lower than health care costs for the average U.S.-born person. Another study found that, in 2005, average annual per capita health care expenditures for noncitizens were $1,797—versus $3,702 for U.S. citizens.

Recent immigrants were responsible for 1.4% of total public medical expenditures for adults in 2003, even though they constituted 5% of the population.

U.S. Immigration Policy Likely a Culprit in Chicago’s Unsuccessful Olympic Bid

Following Chicago’s recent defeat for its olympic bid in Copenhagen, which was ultimately awarded  to Rio de Janeiro, speculations have been circulating as to why the IOC chose to pick a venue outside the United States.

Some were quick to point out a possible ground being the U.S.’ stringent immigration policies and refusal rates.  A recent piece by the New York Times elaborates further:

http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/02/chicagos-loss-is-passport-control-to-blame/

Maybe, we’re not quite as warm and welcoming as we could (or should?) be?  … well, sorry Chicago.

Subject to Continuous Screenings at POE? DHS’ “TRIP” Might Help.

If you frequently find yourself subject to “random” screenings and secondary inspections by CBP and TSA during your air travels, and cannot figure out why (or are not told why), DHS’ “TRIP” program might help you.

DHS’ Travel Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs–like airports and train stations–or crossing U.S. borders, including:

* denied or delayed airline boarding
* denied or delayed entry into and exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border checkpoint
* continuously referred to additional (secondary) screening

You might use TRIP to address

* watch-list misidentification issues
* situations where you believe you have faced screening problems at ports of entry
* situations where you believe you have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed, denied boarding or identified for additional screening at our nation’s transportation hubs

TRIP is part of an effort by the U.S. government to welcome legitimate travelers while still securing our country from those who want to do us harm.

Requests received online are routed for redress to the appropriate DHS components. Components will review the request and reach a determination about a traveler’s status.

MYTH: Most immigrants are undocumented and cross borders illegally!

The public perception of immigration is often the result of slanted, skewed coverage of U.S. media, and its continued focus on the southern border. There is a persistent view that the overwhelming majority of immigrants in the United States have somehow snuck in, over the border at the dark of night, or somehow arrived as a smuggled stow-away, without inspection or papers… This is not even close to an accurate or acceptable depiction of the truth.

FACT:

About 2/3 of immigrants in the United States are here lawfully — either as naturalized citizens, as lawful permanent residents, or in some other lawful status. In addition, by some estimates, about half of all undocumented immigrants have previously entered the United States legally, and simply overstayed and have not departed the U.S.

Those who entered the U.S. legally at some point in the past, had visas that allowed them to reside here temporarily — either as tourists, students, or temporary workers. These visitors were subject to inspection by immigration officials before entering the country, and only began accruing “unlawful presence” in the U.S. once their visas and/or status expired, and they didn’t leave the country on time.

Myth Debunked: Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy!

I recently published a post “myth debunked” post…  I have received numerous positive comments from U.S. citizens and Non-citizens alike.  From time to time, as appropriate,  I will find and discuss popular myths and misconceptions….

One such popular claim is that immigrants are a drain on the economy. This misperception pervades pretty much all modern nations who have a high percentage of immigrants. (examples would include:  USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, western and central Europe, Australia, just to name a few)

But, the truth is, immigrants are beneficial! Neglecting for a moment the cultural differences and diversity they contribute, from a pure fiscal standpoint, most immigrants by far (of course not all) are a net benefit to our country.

FACT ONE: The immigrant community is not a drain on the U.S. economy but, in fact, proves to be a net benefit. Research reported reveals that the average immigrant pays a net $80,000 more in taxes than they collect in government services. For immigrants with college degrees the net fiscal return is $198,000.  In addition, many immigrants pay more in taxes than their U.S. citizen counter-parts in the same or substantially similar situation, because many tax benefits are not available to immigrants who are NOT “Green Card” holders (i.e. lawful permanent residents) or naturalized citizens.

FACT TWO: The American Farm Bureau asserts that without guest workers, the U.S. economy would lose as much as $9 billion a year in agricultural production and 20 percent of current production would go overseas.

Aside from the documented fiscal benefit, our immigrant neighbors often contribute in other ‘enriching’ ways, bringing with them their experiences, their culture, their arts, their music, their culinary traditions, their literature, which ordinary, home-bread Americans otherwise might never be exposed to…  Simply ask an American who travels frequently overseas for pleasure, why they do it.

Truth is:  Get to know your ‘foreign’ neighbors and learn about them.  Some things about them might surprise you… pleasantly.

ABC Network to air “Homeland Security USA” on Tuesdays

In an effort to showcase our nation’s efforts to keep its borders and its people safe(r), America’s ABC network station has just begun airing a new documentary, which will give viewers an ‘up close and personal’ look at the work done by the various organizations under the umbrella of DHS, the Department of Homeland Security.   The show is scheduled to air on Tuesday evenings.  (if interested, check your local listings, or go online to view available episodes, which are posted after the original airing).

 

abc_dhs_show
Click to view Episode 1
  (have a look and judge for yourself)