Departments of Justice and Education Remind Local Agencies that

All Children, Regardless of Immigration Status, Are Eligible for

Public Education.

May 09, 2011: Late last week the U.S. Departments of Justice and

Education issued a notice reminding state and local agencies that

all children, regardless of their parents' real or perceived

immigration status, are given the right to equal access to public

education at the elementary and secondary level. The two federal

departments noted that they had received information that there

have been recent incidences in the U.S. in which student enrollment

was hindered based on a child's family's immigration

status. The agencies remind all stakeholders that such practices go

against federal law and that all children residing in the U.S. must

be given equal educational opportunities.

As stated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and supported by

mandates from the Supreme Court, state and local educational

agencies cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color or

national origin and students cannot be barred from enrolling in

elementary or secondary-level public school on the basis of their

citizenship or immigration status of that of their parents. Any

such infringement is a form of unlawful discrimination.

Read the full message at:

Napolitano Announces New Immigration Index to Measure Effects

of Border Security on US Residents Living at the US/Mexico


May 06, 2011: Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of

Homeland Security, has announced a new immigration index to measure

border security at the Southwestern border of the United States in

a more pertinent fashion than such data are currently recorded and

analyzed. This new index, Napolitano says, will look beyond simple

statistics of crime and will look more deeply into environmental

damage, levels of personal security and the economic impact to U.S.

residents living near the border with Mexico.

To describe the intricacy of information that will be in the

immigration index, Napolitano described examples of data that would

be collected, including data such as “calls from hospitals to

report suspected illegal aliens, traffic accidents involving

illegal aliens or narcotics smugglers, rates of vehicle theft and

numbers of abandoned vehicles, impacts on property values, and

other measures of economic activity and environmental


USCIS Posts Final RFE Template for Aliens of Extraordinary


May 04, 2011: USCIS has just posted a revised final RFE template

for Form I-140 E11, the Alien of Extraordinary Ability Form. This

template was updated to incorporate stakeholder feedback received

by USCIS after posting the template in its Feedback Opportunities

website section. This updated template, USCIS says, will be posted

online for a total of 10 days for stakeholder visibility. USCIS

Service Centers plan to immediately begin using the template.

Access the template online at:

USCIS and USPS Implement Secure Mail Initiative.

May 02, 2011: USCIS recently posted a notice informing the

public that it has fully implemented the Secure Mail Initiative

(SMI). This initiative uses the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS)

Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation option to deliver certain

immigration documents in a secure, safe and timely manner. This

initiative was made possible through a partnership between USCIS

and USPS and enables USCIS to confirm that permanent residence

cards and documents related to travel and employment authorization

were successfully delivered to recipients.

Through the use of USPS tracking data, applicants can easily

access delivery information and stay up to date on the status of

their documents. In addition, the new initiative will enable a

speedier delivery process; on average, documents sent through

priority mail will arrive two to four business days earlier than if

they were sent via first-class mail.

USCIS Undergoing 'Transformation' to Electronic


Apr 27, 2011: USCIS is moving closer to being a fully electronic

organization, according to Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS director. Last

week, Mayorkas announced that he wishes to transform the agency

into a more streamlined paperless service.

“We are a paper-based agency, what that means is that all of

our records are really kept in paper form and that is not very

efficient. It has implications of operations, cost efficiency and

accuracy,” Mayorkas said.

As part of this continued transformation, USCIS is currently

converting Form I-539, the Extension of Change of Status into an

electronic version and giving applicants the ability to create

online accounts to manage their immigration status.

According to Mayorkas, the agency is current undergoing a

'transformation,' an effort to fully modernize USCIS. USCIS

has a multi-year effort underway to move to a fully electronic

environment in which all records are maintained in electronic form.

Mayorkas noted that such a transformation would enable better

access to services for applicants and lead to major cost savings

for the agency.

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