Friday, July 27, 2012

Attention Paris Visa Applicants!

As of July 29, 2012, all non-immigrant visa applicants must fill in the DS 160 application form and pay the MRV fee through purchase of a mandat compte before scheduling an appointment. The reference numbers of both the DS 160 and the mandat compte must be provided at time of scheduling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome to Chicago!

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced a new ordinance that he intends to propose in Chicago that would prevent police officers from turning over undocumented immigrants to federal agents unless the immigrant has an outstanding criminal warrant or a serious criminal conviction.  The New York Times notes that Cook County, IL, which is governed separately from the City of Chicago, was under fire recently from ICE Director John Morton because of its own “sanctuary” law that bars the detaining of undocumented immigrants in order to turn them over to federal agents unless “federal agents have a specific warrant. “  The Times article notes that even though the purpose behind this proposed ordinance is pretty much directly opposite of the attrition focus of Arizona’s SB1070 which the White House has opposed and the Supreme Court limited in its recent decision, it could still be viewed as an infringement of the federal government’s immigration enforcement powers.   Director Morton, in his testimony before a House of Representatives subcommittee stated that he is “quite confident that [Cook County’s] approach is ultimately going to lead to additional crimes in Cook County that would have been prevented.”  However, Mayor Emmanuel, facing a homicide rate that has increased by 39% from a year ago, believes that the ordinance would encourage community cooperation between the police and the immigrant community as it would ease their fears of deportation.  

It remains to be seen how the Obama administration will deal with this challenge to its immigration authority, but it is refreshing to see local governments taking a stand against the fear-of-the-immigrant and attrition policies popularized by bills similar to SB1070.  Illinois is also one of two states that has resisted ICE’s Secure Communities implementation thus far.

Socialite Renounces citizenship

Wealthy socialite and Grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich has renounced her U.S. citizenship and resides in London, her spokeswoman Judy Smith said Tuesday. Rich's maiden name, Eisenberg, appeared on April 30 in the Federal Registrar's Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, though she left in November 2011.
In 1984, Rich penned the lyrics to "Frankie", a hit in 1986 for the R&B group Sister Sledge. Since then, she has written songs recorded by Phyllis Hyman, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Jessica Simpson, Marc Anthony, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan and Diana Ross. Her work has been nominated three times for Grammy Awards, most recently for the 1999 Aretha Franklin/Mary J. Blige duet "Don't Waste Your Time".[5] She also co-wrote the international hit "Candy", by Mandy Moore