When did we become a nation of immigrant-haters?

BY Shawn Sedaghat

I really don’t need to go on a soap box here and talk about the benefits of immigrants to our multi-cultural society, but given the recent stunning re-election defeat of House Republican leader Eric cantor leaves me wondering whether we, as a nation, will ever look at immigration based on facts rather than allowing it to remain a lightning rod for our fears and anxieties about our economic woes, and where we have come as a country. Immigrants did not get us here, but strange and outrageous immigration law and policy may have somewhat thwarted our growth in the right direction. Almost thirty years after a Republican President Reagan recognized the potential of immigrants both politically and economically and offered millions of illegals amnesty, the very word is now taboo and can cause the unseating of favored and favorite politicians that dare to even approach something remotely similar to that brave solution. There is absolutely no other way to deal with an estimated 11 million immigrants, some of whom have now lived in this country for decades, but through a humane and well-thought-out amnesty. Our politicians, dumb down the national discourse by calling a solution to this national black-eye “Path to Citizenship” or “Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007″ or ” The Ted Kennedy Immigration Reform Act of 2014″  lest we break out in a collective frenzy and unseat them all if they tell us the truth. “Amnesty”. There, the word itself does not hurt us. We have 11 million immigrants who are second class citizens and we, as a decent people need to acknowledge it and do something about it.

Oh, by the way, if you are of the mindset that immigrant are not a source of pride for this nation, just look at a list below :

  • Louis Adamic (1899 – 1951) Slovenia 1913 Writer,
  • Lucien Aigner (1901 – 2000) Hungry/France 1939 Photo Journalist
  • Mary Antin (1881 – 1949) Russia 1894 Writer
  • Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) Russia 1923 Writer
  • Charles Atlas (1893 – 1972) Italy 1903 Bodybuilder
  • Mischa Auer (1905 – 1967) Russia 1920 Actor
  • Abraham Beame (1906 – 2001) England 1906 Politician
  • Sidor Belarsky (1898 – 1975) Russia 1930 Singer
  • Ludwig Bemelmans (1898 – 1962) Italy 1912 Writer/Artist
  • Irving Berlin (1888 -1989) Russia 1893 Composer
  • Frank Capra (1897 -1991) Italy 1903 Film Director
  • Samuel Chotzinoff (1889 -1964) Russia 1895 Pianist
  • E.E. Clive (1883 – 1940) Wales 1912 Actor
  • Claudette Colbert (1903 -1966) France 1912 Actress
  • Edward Corsi (1896 -1965) Italy 1907 Politician
  • Ricardo Cortez (1899 -1977) Austria 1903 Actor
  • Frank Costello (1893 -1973) Italy 1893 Gangster
  • Donald Crisp (1881 -1974) Scotland 1906 Actor
  • Xavier Cugat (1900 -1990) Spain/Cuba 1915 Musician
  • Karl Dane (1886 -1934) Denmark 1920 Actor
  • Al Dubin (1891 -1945) Switzerland 1896 Lyricist
  • David Dubinsky (1892 -1982) Poland 1911 Union Leader
  • Max Factor (1872 – 1936) Russia 1906 Cosmetician
  • Edward Flanagan (1886 – 1948) Ireland 1904 Priest
  • Felix Frankfurter (1882 – 1965) Austria 1894 Lawyer/Judge
  • Douglas Fraser (1916- ) Scotland 1922 Union Leader
  • Marcus Garvey (1887 – 1940) Jamaica 1916 Ethnic Leader
  • Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) Lebanon 1895 Writer
  • Emma Goldman (1896 – 1940) Russia 1919 Anarchist
  • Samuel Goldwin (1882 – 1974) Poland 1896 Movie Producer
  • Arshile Gorky (1904 – 1948) Armenia 1921 Painter
  • Bill Graham (1931 – 1991) Germany 1941 Music Promoter
  • Juano Hernandez (1898 – 1970) Puerto Rico 1915 Actor
  • Jean Hersholt (1898 – 1956) Denmark 1914 Actor
  • Joe Hill (1879 – 1915) Sweden 1902 Activist/Writer
  • Sidney Hillman (1887 – 1946) Lithuania 1907 Union Leader
  • Francis Hodur (1866 – 1953) Poland 1893 Priest
  • Immigrant Native Land Year Occupation
  • Bob Hope (1903 – 2003) England 1908 Actor
  • Sol Hurok (1884 – 1974) Ukraine 1906 Movie Producer
  • Vincent Impelliteri (1900 – 1978) Italy 1901 Politician
  • C.L.R. James (1901 – 1989) Trinidad 1953 Historian
  • Al Jolson (1886 – 1950) Lithuania 1894 Actor/Singer
  • Elia Kazan (1909 – 2003) Turkey 1913 Director
  • Ruby Keeler (1909 – 1993) Canada 1912 Actress/Dancer
  • John Kluge (1914 – ) Germany 1922 Businessman
  • Simon Kuznets (1901 – 1985) Ukraine 1922 Economist
  • Meyer Lansky (1902 – 1983) Poland 1911 Gangster
  • Alfred Levitt (1894 – 2000) Belarus, Ukraine 1911 Painter
  • Charles Luciano (1897 – 1962) Italy 1906 Gangster
  • Bela Lugosi (1882 – 1956) Hungary 1921 Actor
  • Mike Mazurki (1909 – 1930) Ukraine 1915 Actor
  • Claude McKay (1890 – 1948) Jamaica 1921 Poet
  • Antonio Moreno (1886 – 1967) Spain 1902 Actor
  • Alan Mowbray (1896 – 1969) England 1920 Actor
  • Philip Murray (1886 – 1952) Scotland 1902 Union Leader
  • Pauline Newman (1894 – 1986) Lithuania 1901 Union Leader
  • Louis Nizer (1902 – 1995) England 1905 Lawyer
  • William O’Dwyer (1890 – 1964) Ireland 1910 Politician
  • Warner Oland (1880 – 1938) Sweden 1894 Actor
  • George Papashvily (1895 – 1973) Georgia 1923 Writer
  • Frank Puglia (1892 – 1975) Italy 1908 Actor
  • Gregory Ratoff (1897 – 1964) Russia 1920 Actor
  • James Reston (1909 – 1995) Scotland 1920 Journalist
  • Hyman G. Rickover (1898 – 1986) Poland 1904 Admiral
  • Edward G. Robinson (1893 – 1973) Rumania 1903 Actor
  • Knute Rockne (1888 – 1931) Norway 1893 Football Coach
  • Nicola Sacco (1891 – 1927) Italy 1911 Anarchist
  • Ben Shan (1898 – 1969) Lithuania 1906 Painter
  • Igor Sikorsky (1889 – 1972) Russia 1919 Inventor
  • Spyros Skouras (1893 – 1971) Greece 1910 Movie Producer
  • Lee Strasberg (1902 – 1982) Austria 1909 Director
  • Jule Styne (1905 – 1994) England 1912 Composer
  • Arthur Tracy (1899 -1997) Russia 1906 Singer/Actor
  • Baron von Trapp (1881 – 1948) Austria 1938 Singer
  • Rudolph Valentino (1895 – 1926) Italy 1913 Actor
  • Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888 – 1927) Italy 1911 Anarchist
  • George Voskovec (1905 – 1981) Czechoslovakia 1951 Actor
  • Anzia Yerierska (1885 – 1970) Russia 1901 Writer
  • George Zucco (1886 – 1960) England 1913 Actor


THE CHILD STATUS PROTECTION ACT (CSPA) and The new Supreme Court Decision in the Osorio case.

By Shawn Sedaghat

Imagine if you will that you have a brother who has become a Naturalized citizen of the U.S. and has filed a petition to also bring you and your lovely family here as Lawful Permanent Residents. Imagine now for a moment that the waiting time for this type of visa is, on average, over 13 years and by the time you are eligible to finally receive your immigrant status in the United States, one of  your children has passed the age of 21 – after which he or she can no longer immigrate as a “child” of yours under the same petition that your brother filed for you some 13 years before, and that he has “aged-out”.

Understanding the legal system and the fact that 21 is the cut off age for immigration as a dependent child, you then decide to file for your son or daughter yourself, now that you are a proud permanent resident of the United States.  After doing a little research, you realize that the waiting period for such a petition, where a permanent resident parent files for a son or daughter who is over 21 years of age, is anywhere between 3 years and 6 or 7 years on average depending on some quota you cannot comprehend. Naturally, but incorrectly,  you assume that all that waiting that your child did as part of your case should count towards the new petition you are now filing.

Also assume that much to your chagrin, the good officer at the immigration service does not buy into your analogy and the case meanders its way to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). There your arguments that the Child Status Protection Act ( CSPA ) does in essence and spirit give the beneficiary, here your son or daughter , the benefit of the period they waited along with their parents, is not successful.

Well, the fighting sort that you are, you decide to take this case to the 9th. Circuit court of appeals and are happy as a clam when you find out that the good judges there agree with your take on what is fair, but  your joy is soon tempered when the government sees fit to take this case to the Supreme court. Now, tell me how you would feel if the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision that since the statue is not quite clear on this issue, they must defer to the interpretation of the agency that adjudicates the case, namely the BIA, and rules against you.

Well that is pretty much what happened here my friends. Junior must wait in line like all the other people and all those years of waiting, and the fact that now your family is ripped apart does not matter. Sometimes we do throw out the child with the bath water. Here it seems that the common sense approach gave way to strict adherence to the law. CSPA allows those whose cases were delayed as a result of government action or inaction to deduct that wasted period from their actual age in order to perhaps still qualify as beneficiaries, but CSPA does not help in a fact pattern described here, where the delay was due to no fault of the government.

Here is a link to the Supreme Court Decision:

Supreme Court Decides Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio









What if the petitioner of an EB-1 Visa as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability is not the recipient of a one time achievement that is a major internationally recognized award?

By Shawn Sedaghat  and Gregory Aleksanyan

If the petitioner of an EB-1 visa as an alien of extraordinary ability is not a recipient of a one-time achievement that is a major, internationally recognized award, he or she can meet the regulatory criteria by providing evidence of meeting at least three of the criteria listed under the relevant regulations.

As we have discussed earlier, and also on our EB1Attorney.net site, the list of 10 criteria is not compiled hierarchically, and each of the requirements is treated equally and given equal weight.  Thus, meeting any of the three criteria will suffice.

Appearing first on the list of criteria is that of “receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.”

In order to prove that the alien has received a lesser internationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of alien’s endeavor, he/she is required to provide the following documentation:

    • A copy of each prize or award certificate; or
    • A clear photograph of each prize or award; or
    • Public announcement regarding the awarding of the prizes or awards issued by the granting organization

However, the inquiry does not end here.  The alien must further establish that the award or prize he/she won (a) was for excellence in the field of endeavor, (b) was related to the alien’s field of expertise, and (c) was nationally or internationally recognized.

(a) In evaluating whether the award or prize was given for excellence in the field of endeavor, the adjudicating officer will make an inquiry into the following:

  • The criteria used to grant the prizes or awards;
  • The significance of the prizes or awards, to include the national or international recognition that the prizes or awards share;
  • The reputation of the organization or panel granting the prizes or awards;
  • Who is considered for the prizes or awards, including the geographic scope for which candidates may apply;
  • How many prizes or awards are awarded each year; and,
  • Previous winners of the award.
  • Documentary evidence describing how the prizes or awards relate to excellence in the beneficiary’s field.
  • Documentary evidence of the criteria used to grant the prizes or awards, including evidence that a criterion for winning the prizes or awards was excellence in the field.

(b) In evaluating whether the award or prize is related to alien’s field of expertise the adjudicating officer will make an inquiry into the following:

  • Documentary evidence of national or international prizes or awards received that are granted for excellence in the beneficiary’s field.
  • Documentary evidence establishing what the criterion was for winning the prizes or awards.
  • Documentary evidence describing how the prizes or awards relate to the beneficiary’s field.
  • The significance of the prizes or awards;
  • Who is considered for the prizes or awards;
  • How many prizes or awards are given each year; and
  • Previous winners who are related to the beneficiary’s field.


(c) Finally, in evaluating whether the award or prize is nationally or internationally recognized the evaluating officer will inquire into the following:

  • The criteria used to give the prizes or awards.
  • Information on the reputation of the organization granting the prizes or awards.
  • Documentary evidence demonstrating:

o   The significance of the prizes or awards, to include the national or international recognition the prizes or awards share;

o   The reputation of the organization granting the prizes or awards;

o   Who is considered for the prizes or awards, including the geographic scope for which candidates may apply;

o   How many prizes or awards are awarded each year;

o   Previous winners who enjoy national or international acclaim; and,

  • Documentary evidence establishing how the award(s) was/were given for excellence in the beneficiary’s field.
  • The petitioner may submit any other information about the prizes or awards that would help establish that the prizes or awards should be considered as nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.

The burden of establishing an alien meets this requirement can be very onerous, as can be seen from the above requirements for detailed documentary proof.  Moreover, certain awards may be well-known amongst members of a specific profession or within a field of expertise, however for the general public and most importantly for the adjudicating officer said information may be not readily available.  Not every award enjoys the popularity of an Oscar’s or Pulitzer, although it may be more important and significant for a specific field of expertise.  Thus, it is incumbent upon the alien to bring to light the equities of the award or prize and to establish to the satisfaction of the adjudicating officer that the alien meets a specific criterion.

By knowing and anticipating what type of information an adjudicating officer is looking for in evaluating your equities, you are able to highlight the strengths of your petition and ensure that the adjudicating officer will not overlook important information crucial to the success of your case.

Hello Readers

It is my sincere hope that what appears on these pages helps those who are looking for answers and solutions in unlocking this riddle, otherwise known as U.S. Immigration Law