USCIS Updates Naturalization Test Questions. Due to the recent elections, USCIS has updated its questions for naturalization applicants who take the test after January 5, 2011. Answer civics test questions 20, 23, and 47 using the answers below:
Question 20: Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?
Answers will vary. Give the name of one of your state’s U.S. Senators who will serve in the 112th Congress beginning January 5, 2011.
Question 23: Name your U.S. Representative.
Answers will vary. Give the name of your U.S. Representative who will serve in the 112th Congress beginning January 5, 2011.
Question 47: What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?
CBO Study Find Both Dream Act Bills Good for the Economy. A new report issued by the CBO verifies that both the DREAM Act passed by the House of Representatives and the one currently before the Senate are good for the economy. According to the report, the CBO estimates that the DREAM Act would reduce deficits by $2.2 billion over the 2011-2020. The CBO estimates that the DREAM Act would give conditional nonimmigrant status to approximately 700,000 people who met the requirements under the Act. Part of the reason for the decrease in the federal deficit is that under the Act some current unauthorized workers would become authorized workers, and as such, would lead to a higher reporting of employment income and result in higher social security and income tax revenues. To read the CBO report, click here.
USCIS Celebrates Military Family Appreciation Month. USCIS held a special citizenship ceremony at the Sasebo Naval Station in Japan. During the ceremony, twelve U.S. military spouses and three children adopted by a U.S. Navy family received their certificates of citizenship. Three active-duty service members were also naturalized as U.S. citizens. Click here to read further.
Pelosi and Reid to Try to Get DREAM Act Through Congress. Earlier this month, Nancy Pelosi joined in support of Harry Reid (D-NV) in advocating for a vote on the DREAM act. The DREAM act is an immigration bill that would provide legal status to young foreign-nationals who graduate from high school and pursue college or military service. Currently, predictions for the newly elected congress to pass immigration reform look pessimistic. For more information click here.
Lawsuit Against Arizona Immigration Law Allowed to Continue. U.S. District Judge, Susan R. Bolton, has denied a request by Gov. Jan Brewer, and the Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, among others, to dismiss the case by the American Civil Liberties Union which challenges that constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law.
Although this has allowed the lawsuit to contitnue, it is important to note that some aspects of the Arizona law have gone into effect. For instance there is now a state-wide ban on “sanctuary cities” and hiring laborers who are undocumented migrants is now ciminalized under the Arizona law. For more information click here.
October 2010 H-1B Cap Count. USCIS has just announced the most recent H-1B cap count numbers. As of October 1st, approximately 40,600 of the 65,000 H-1b cap-subjected petitions were receipted. Furthermore, USCIS has receipted 14,900 of the 20,000 H-1B master’s cap. For more information, please visit www.uscis.gov.
USCIS Announces Fee Increases. Last week, USCIS announced a planned increase of all filing fees for immigration applications and petitioner. Starting November, 23 2010 all fees will be increased by an average of 10 percent. The final fee rule also established three new fees, including a fee for regional center designations under the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Pilot Program, a fee for individuals seecing civil surggeon designation, and a fee to recover USCIS costs to process immigrant visas granted by the Department of State. The new fees will also reduce and eliminate several fees, including some fees relating to service-member and certain veterans of the US armed forces who are seeking citizenship-related benefits. For more informaiton, and a detailed fact sheet and FAQ please click here.
Report: High Skilled Immigrants Contribute to US Economy.
A recent report from the US Chamber of Commerce and American Council on International Personnel (ACIP) argues that highly skilled immigrants make considerable contributions to the U.S. economy. This is welcomed news for specialized immigrants, as it refutes the argument that foreign-born professionals who come to the US to work temporarily, such as H-1B workers, are taking jobs away from US citizens.
In part the report states that “it is a common mistake among critics of immigration to assume there is only a fixed number of jobs in the economy… [and that] those arguing to place more restrictions on hiring foreign nationals have shown little interest in whether particular U.S. employers are successful, never mind that they should have the freedom to hire employees who the companies believe will make them successful.” Finally the report argues that “the best policy for the United States is one that sides with freedom and innovation, not restriction, [since] “keeping the door open for high skilled foreign nationals strengthens America[‘s economy.”
Read the full report here.