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3/29/2022 Issue
            A Filipino nurse, of course. Her name, for short, is N.D.
           Note: My source for this story is a very long item published in a very respectable magazine, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, in the 2/7/2022 edition. The story has to do with a lawsuit that nurse N.D. filed against the staffing agency that brought her from the Philippines to a hospital in Pennsylvania.

           Nurse N.D. claims that her contract with the agency obliged her to work at the hospital where the agency placed her for 6,240 hours, for the salary specified in the contract. Problem was that not all the hours actually worked by Nurse N.D. were counted by the agency. The first 3 months were not counted at all, because they were considered ORIENTATION.  Then only “regular hours” were counted, but not OVERTIME. (A short calculation shows that if only 40 hours per week were counted, then the 6,240 contractual hours would stretch over 3 years. But counting by the ACTUAL hours, which could rise up to 80 a week, would reduce the contracted period to 1 1/2 years). On top of which, the contract price per hour was much less than what American nurses, working side by side with Nurse N.D. were paid.
           Nurse N.D. also claims that the working conditions at the hospital were terrible, due to shortage of staffing, and that extreme work schedule was exhausting. When she could not take it anymore, she decided to quit before completing her 6,240 contractual hours.
           Then she ran into another contract obstacle: an obligation to pay the agency $20,000 as compensation for the expenses the company had incurred in bringing her to the U.S. Nurse N.D. borrowed the money and paid the $20,000.


           The agency DENIED all allegations against its contract and against its treatment of nurses it brings to the U.S. and places in U.S. hospitals.


           There is still no outcome. The case is still pending in a court in Ohio.


           EXPEDITED REMOVAL is the power to REMOVE (deport) a noncitizen without a REMOVAL ORDER from an Immigration Judge.
           On 3/21/2022, Secretary of Homeland Security Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas, published an order CANCELLING a previous Trump Administration order of 7/23/2019, which expanded ICE authority to remove (deport) noncitizens.
           The 2019 order gave ICE the power to grab any noncitizen ANYWHERE in the U.S. and remove them if they could not prove that they had entered the U.S. legally or that they have been staying in the U.S. for two (2) years or more. The one making the decision, to deport or not, was the ICE officer.
           This 2019 order EXPANDING EXPEDITED REMOVAL, is now cancelled.
 All previous (pre 2019) orders, instructions, guidelines about
EXPEDITED REMOVAL remain in force. This means that only
noncitizens stopped by immigration officers within 100 miles from the border and cannot prove 14 days of continuous physical presence in the U.S. are subject to removal without a Judge’s order. Generally, noncitizens only need to show that they have entered legally or they have been in the U.S. more than two (2) WEEKS, and they cannot be deported without a judge’s order.
           And when brought before an Immigration Judge in court proceedings they may be eligible for all kinds of protections.


           A few weeks ago, the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against two executives of an I.T. (Information Technology) company near San Francisco. The accusation: VISA FRAUD by filing petitions for dozens of H-1B work visas, claiming that the beneficiaries would work IN-HOUSE for the petitioning company – but then outplacing them to work at the sites of other companies. In other words: operating as a STAFFING AGENCY without being one and without meeting the requirements imposed on a staffing agency.
           The two accused executives deny all charges and claim that they complied with all legal requirements.
           The case is just beginning, and the outcome will be a long time in coming.
           I call the RULES which were allegedly violated PRETZEL RULES, because they are so convoluted and flowing back and forth that they resemble a pretzel.
           Or, perhaps, the Beneficiary must become a pretzel to fit the rules.

           The U.S. Department of State noticed that some wars are going on in different places. On March 17, 2022 it published an instruction permitting certain American citizens (not Green Card holders) to file I-130 visa petitions for certain relatives at U.S. Consulates overseas.
           A U.S. citizen who is physically present overseas with Afghan, Ethiopian or Ukrainian IMMEDIATE RELATIVES (spouses, parents or unmarried children under age 21), may file an I-130 petition on behalf of such relatives at the American consulate in the country where the U.S. citizen is staying – subject to two conditions:
(a)  That the U. S. citizen had not already filed a petition for those IMMEDIATE RELATIVES while in the U.S., and,
(b)   That the relatives fled Ukraine after February 1, 2022, or Afghanistan after August 2, 2021, or Ethiopia after November 1, 2020.
The State Department publication does not explain what happens to the petition after it gets filed at the local American consulate.
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