United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Legal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JLegal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 → online text (page 30 of 30)
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f



209

Mr. Papademetriou. Before we jump too quickly into copying
others, I would urge that we truly resist that compulsion. We have
not had a particular good record in cop5dng other systems. Part of
the problems that we have had with employer sanctions because
there was not, in a sense, a concept that was bred in-house, and
I would be very, very careful about a system like that, both in
terms of its visibility and because the more you look at those sys-
tems, you more realize that it is nothing but full of successive
smoke and mirrors. They do a hell of a good job, Mr. Chairman,
in terms of projecting an image of being in control, but when all
is examined, it is highly bureaucratic and it does allow for an awful
lot of judgments. It's put an awful lot of judgments

Mr. Smith. Thank you.

Mr. Krikorian.

Mr. Krikorian. All I wanted to say in response to Mr.
Papademetriou was that there's obviously a danger that a point
system can metastasize and become increasingly complicated. But
Senate proposals from the late eighties were actually quite simple.
I mean, they were straightforward. They didn't have the com-
plicated mathematical formulae and the numerology that exists in
the Canadian system. And although the danger always exists — I
mean, there's no way to avoid that — the importance of getting con-
trol over the numbers, of improving the quality and eliminating a
system which creates backlogs at least make a point system worth
looking more closely at.

Mr. Smith. OK, thank you.

Mr. Guendelsberger — Professor Guendelsberger.

Mr. Guendelsberger. I have nothing to add.

Mr. Smith. OK. Mr. Lempres.

Mr. Lempres. I'd just say I think it's important that we give INS,
in particular, a clear mandate through this process, so they can un-
derstand what their job is. I think that they receive quite a lot of
criticism, much of it, I'm sure, is deserved, but the fact is that right
now there is no clear mandate for them, and the criticism, I think,
can be just as easily directed at the system we've set up as opposed
to the people currently administering it.

I'd also say that it's important that we have a simple system.
Whatever reform we have should be one that people can under-
stand. Under the current system there are very few people in the
United States — maybe no one — who actually understands the en-
tire system. Such a system cannot be perceived as fair and cannot
be implemented effectively.

Mr. Smith. Very few people understand that there are different
forms of immigration, whether it be legal, illegal, or refugees, or
whatever, much less the various categories within those groups.
That's a good point as well.

Thank you all for being with us today. We look forward to seeing
you again and appreciate your taking the time.

The subcommittee is adjourned.

[Whereupon, at 1:41 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned.]



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

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APPENDIX



Statement of Steve K. Singal

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for keeping the record open for testimony for a couple
of weeks following the hearing on May 17, 1995. I would like to provide this testi-
mony for your consideration. My name is Steve K. Singal. I live at 16755 Sioux
Lane, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878. Due to some other commitments, I was able
to attend only the morning session on May 17, 1995. However, your helpful commit-
tee staff provided me a set of all testimonies which I read. Prior to this hearing I
had watched some congressional hearings on C-Span and found them interesting
and informative. Attending the hearing personally was like attending a live sports
program instead of watching it on TV — only issues of greater importance were being
discussed.

While I am not an expert in immigration matters, I did come from India 25 years
ago and later naturalized as an American citizen. I have been helped by both the
country of my birth India and country of my citizenship by choice and am grateful
to both. If the gates to America had been closed, I would not have been able to ac-
complish much professionally and personally. I am convinced that orderly flow of
new immigrants is good for America, especially if quality immigrants are admitted
who contribute to our society and economy.

I was particularly impressed by your opening remarks regarding abuse of non-
immigrant visas. Your third sentence of the first paragraph on page 3 states
". . . Also visas are being given to aliens who supposedly come here temporarily on
nonimmigrant visas, but who always intended to immigrate permanently." Dr.
Susan Martin, Executive Director, U.S. Commission on Immigration, in response to
a question from Congressman Gallegley, stated that many people coming on non-
immigrant visas overstay with impunity because the Immigration and Naturaliza-
tion Service (INS) lacks "effective exit control".

I submit that the widespread abuse of nonimmigrant visas is because INS regula-
tion and procedures permit nonimmigrants to "adjust status" to lawful immigrants
without leaving the United States. This practice permits many people to come on
nonimmigrant visas who then find avenues of immigration through emplo3Tnent or
marriage. It also encourages these nonimmigrants to lie to the consular officers at
the time of application for nonimmigrant visas which require them to state that
they do not intend to immigrate. The convenience of adjusting the status to that
of an immigrant without leaving the U.S. also encourages the nonimmigrant visa
holders to overstay and remain illegally in the United States until they can find an
avenue for immigration since INS is unable to track them down. The only time they
£u-e unable to adjust their status without having to go back to their country is if
they get caught by INS due to an informant or by a police in traffic infraction or
an illegal act.

The adjustment of status provision should be completely eliminated or severely
limited. Nonimmigrants should be permitted to adjust their status to an immigrant
only in their country of origin to prevent the temptation of lying to the consular offi-
cers and overstaying after expiration of nonimmigrant visas. For example, there is
hardly any abuse by people on visitor exchange visas ("J" visas) because they can-
not adjust their status to immigrants unless they go Iback to their native country
for two years.

An additional problem is the unbelievable number of applications for visitor visas
to the U.S. from around the world. For instance, over one million people applied for
a visitor visa in India edone last year. Over 90% of the applications are rejected be-
cause the consular officers have unfettered discretion in determining the true intent
of the applicants. Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires
the applicant to convince the consular officer that the applicant does not intend to
immigrate to the U.S. The consular officer, a bureaucrat, has an almost unfettered
authority to determine if the applicant should be issued a visitor visa. The consular

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212

section refuses to recommend what evidence should be presented by the visitor visa
appUcant to overcome the presumption that the visa apphcant intends to immigrate
(See enclosed refusal letter). The decisions of consular officers are rarely reversed
by the Chief Consular Officer. The only appeal is with the State Department's Visa
Appeal process which reviews the consular officer's decision for error of law and not
for facts. The U.S. courts have consistently refused intervention in visitor visa re-
fusal cases. Relatives and friends of U.S. citizens are without any recourse to the
visa applicant or his U.S. sponsor. The people who truly intend to come to America
for a visit are denied visitor visas because the consvdar officers feel that the appli-
cant would be able to adjust status to immigrants.

This has led to widespread rumors that visitor visas are sometimes procured
through contacts or graft. It also seems unfair that decisions of a relatively low level
government officer (the consular officer) are final and no meaningful appeal is avail-
able. This is justified by some as a check to people abusing the visitor visa by over-
stay and immigration. I submit that the only reason fraudulent visitor applicants
sometime succeed is since ovir system permits adjustments of status without even
returning to the appUcant's native country. Denying people on nonimmigrant visas
the opportxmity to adjust their status to an immigrant in the U.S. would rectify this
abuse to a large degree. I know it would mean a trip to their native country for
adjustment of status but it would prevent the abuse of visitor visas.

I appreciate the opportunity to submit this testimony. I would like to attend fu-
ture hearings. I am available to testify or answer any questions.

o



ISBN 0-16-052500-4



9 780160"525001



90000






Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JLegal immigration reform proposals : hearing before the Subcommitee on Immigration and Claims of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, May 17, 1995 → online text (page 30 of 30)