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The Patriot Act

The Patriot Act

What is the Patriot Act?

Introduction
to Patriot Act

The USA PATRIOT act is an acronym that
stands for the “Uniting (and)
Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept
(and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”
which granted American law
enforcement unprecedented rights to gather intelligence and abridge civil
liberties in the face of the terrorist threat to the United States.  The Patriot Act was passed by Congress by
overwhelming margins in 2001, renewed in 2006 and once again extended by
President Obama in 2011.

Provisions
of the Patriot Act

There are ten parts to the Patriot
Act, each concerning a different aspect of anti-terrorism efforts.  Only sections that remain in effect will be
listed as many of the original sections expired in 2006.  Provisions of the Patriot Act were subject to
sunset clauses, or a mandatory expiration by a certain date, requiring those
provisions to be re-approved.

Title
I of Patriot Act: Enhancing Domestic Security against Terrorism

Section 101 of Patriot Act – provides
for an unlimited Counterterrorism Fund to compensate the Department of Justice
for costs of assessing terror threats, paying rewards to informants and
rebuilding facilities destroyed by terrorist attacks

Section 102 of Patriot Act – affirms
the civil rights of South Asian, Arab and other Muslims in the United States
and condemns post-9/11 retaliation against these groups.  This section rejects collective
responsibility for wrongdoing and affirms that these groups will be treated as
individuals

Section 103 of Patriot Act – Promises
$200 million to the FBI for a Technical Support Center

Section 104 of Patriot Act – Allows
for the intervention of military troops, with the consent of the Attorney
General, in the event non-chemical weapons of mass destruction are used against
Americans domestically or abroad.

Section 105 of Patriot Act – Assigns
the Secret Service with the task of creating a National Electronic Crime Task
Force for preventing fiduciary damage against the electronic finance systems

Section 106 of Patriot Act – The President
is allowed to investigate the transactions of foreign nationals and countries
and seize their assets, without due process if they participate on an attack
against the United States.

The content of these sections
represent an increase in Presidential power and the authorization of various
government agencies to investigate possible terrorist activity in the United
States.

Title 2 of Patriot Act: Enhanced Surveillance Procedures

Section
203a/c of Patriot Act
Streamlined
procedures to disclose information between the courts and the government during
grand jury deliberations or proceedings. 
Subsection c gave the authority to the Attorney General to establish the
procedures by which this information is disclosed.

Section
205 of Patriot Act
Grants
the FBI the power to employ translators to support counter terror operations
without typical limitation and regulations set on typical federal
employees.  The Director of the FBI must
regularly disclose the number of translators employed in this manner to
Congress.

Section
208 of Patriot Act
Amended
from the original to require 11 (formerly 7) judges to review a surveillance
order, with three judges living within 20 miles of the capital.

Section
210/11 of Patriot Act
Affirms
the right of the government to force a communications provider to hand over
records of electronic communication.

Section
213 of Patriot Act
The
government may conduct searches without immediately notifying the suspect of
the warrant.  This is viewed as necessary
to prevent the tipping off of co-conspirators.

Section
216  of Patriot Act
Limits
the use of electronic surveillance equipment in investigations

Section
219 of Patriot Act
Allows
judges to issues search warrants both in and outside of the jurisdiction that
pertain to a terrorism investigation.

Section
221 of Patriot Act
Refers to
trade sanctions against state sponsors of terrorism, weapons proliferation and
drug trafficking.

Section
222 of Patriot Act
Limits
the degree of cooperation of a telecommunications provider and law enforcement
to the provisions of the Patriot Act alone.

Title II has previously given sweeping
power to federal authorities to intercept communications that might be related
to terrorist plots but many of those provisions have since expired.  There are now limitations on the use of
surveillance devices and the ability of law enforcement to conduct
searches.  Many of the provisions, such
as delayed notifications of warrants apply in domestic law as well.  Ongoing investigations started prior to 2006
retain the expired provisions until he conclusion of the investigation.  Critics have argued that this section does
not provide reasonable safeguards against the harassment of innocent civilians
by law enforcement by compromising their electronic privacy.

Title
III of Patriot Act International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act
of 2001

Subtitle A – This section is comprised of
regulations to prevent money laundering including restrictions on certain types
of bank accounts, financial institutions’ relationships with foreign entities
and increasing communication between these institutions and the government.  It also increased criminal penalties for
money laundering for the purposes of financing attacks, corruption and
trafficking.

Subtitle B – Banks must now notify US Intelligence
if they see suspicious activity in bank accounts and require the reporting of
foreign currency over $10,000.  The bank
cannot be held liable for the disclosure of personal information to federal
authorities.

Subtitle C – This section deals primarily with
currency smuggling by stopping the movement of bulk currency to be sold on the
black market.  It is a criminal offense
to conceal currency over $10,000 on one’s person or in luggage.  Failure to report the currency subjects it to
forfeiture.

Title IV of Patriot Act – Protecting the Border

Subtitle
A –
The section provides for the protection of the Northern Border
with Canada by increasing the number of personnel available to monitor the
border.  This set extra pay and overtime
to Border Patrol and other enforcement personnel watching the border.  This section also appropriated more funds to
upgrade border security

Subtitle
B –
This amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit
representatives of foreign terrorist organizations from entering the US.  Their family may also be prohibiting from
entering the United States depending on the circumstances.  This is to prevent the possibility of attacks
or the collection of funds to finance future attacks.  This act also provides the language and
structure to classify terrorist organizations and what actions constitute a
terrorist attack.  The Secretary of State
has the ability to declare organizations as terrorists and this designation can
be reviewed and renewed every two years.

Subtitle B also provides for mandatory
detention provisions for aliens engaged in terrorist activity or espionage for
up to 90 days for 6 months if the detainee is confirmed to be a threat to
national security.  This process is
subject to judicial review and the number of aliens detained must be reported
to the Attorney General.  Additional
provisions required the monitoring of foreign students and the sharing of
information about potential terrorism suspects with other foreign
jurisdictions.

Subtitle
C –
This section allowed the preservation of the rights of immigrants
that have had loved ones killed as a result of terrorist acts or renewal
proceedings disrupted as a result of terrorist attacks in the Fall of 2001
(including anthrax attacks).  Two years
immediately after the attacks those who had lost loved ones could receive US
citizenship after filing a petition with the US Attorney General.

Title
V of Patriot Act – Removal of Obstacles
to Investigating Terrorism

The eight sections of this act provide
for

       
The payment of awards to those that inform on
terrorists (Section 501) or offers intelligence that allows for the significant
disruption or dismantling of a terrorist organization (Section 502)

       
Cooperation with local law enforcement by
sharing intelligence obtained from abroad to prevent attacks (Section 503)

       
Absolving educational institutions of
liability for releasing records to law enforcement (Section 507)

       
Broad powers to the Secret Service to
investigate computer fraud (Section 506)

The
section also included provisions to allow an alternative subpoena, called a
National Security Letter, which allowed the FBI and other government agencies
to force organizations turn over records to the government on particular
individuals (Section 505).  These
organizations were forbidden to challenge the NSL and were forbidden to reveal the
request due to a gag order.  The use of
SELS was challenged in Doe v. Ashcroft in 2004 and was found to be
unconstitutional and subject to stringent regulations to prevent abuse.  Doe v Ashcroft would continue through the
appointment of other attorney generals up until the present Attorney General
Eric Holder.  Federal courts finally
ruled against the government opposing the lack of a process to challenge the
subpoena and the lack of a right for the subpoenaed party to disclose the
subpoena.  The NSL is currently under
review and may proceed to the Supreme Court.

Title
VI of Patriot Act: Victims and families
of victims of terrorism

This Title provided relief funds for
families that have lost members due to terrorist attacks.  This covers emergency workers as well as the
general public.  The relief fund may
include private donors and has been expanded to include all US possessions,
including Puerto Rico and the US Pacific Territories.

Title
VII of Patriot Act: Increased information
sharing for critical infrastructure protection

This section streamlines communication
between the government and law enforcement and allows them to cross
jurisdictions to investigate terrorist conspiracies.  It further defines terrorism as a criminal
activity.

Title
VIII of Patriot Act: Terrorism criminal law

This section redefines several crimes
such as assassination, kidnapping, racketeering and cyber warfare as acts of
terror.  Specifically this Title created
a special punishment for attacking a mass transit system punishable with life
imprisonment for the death of any person.

Additional penalties included a
prohibition on harboring terrorists subject to imprisonment of up to ten years,
seizing the assets of individuals or organizations involved in terrorism and
punishing those that provided material assistance to terrorists.  The last provision was amended to clarify the
definition of “material assistance” as the original wording was broad and could
subject innocent or unknowing collaborators to unfair charges.

Title
IX of Patriot Act: Improved Intelligence

This section improves procedures to
disseminate intelligence gathered from electronic sources to the US Attorney
General in regards to investigating foreign sources. 

Title
X of Patriot Act: Miscellaneous

These are a number of unrelated
provisions including penalties for impersonating a Red Cross workers, training
foreign police organizations and studying the use of biometric information
linked to the FBI database at border security checkpoints.

It’s Time to Learn the Green Card Process

It's Time to Learn the Green Card Process

The green card application process is relatively involved, but certainly not insurmountable to anyone who has the proper documentation and assistance in obtaining a green card. The first steps of the green card process involve checking on a number of important preliminary concerns. For example, someone interested in submitting a green card application should first check the filing fees for such a green card application, and should ensure that he or she is prepared to pay those costs.

Furthermore, anyone submitting a green card application should check the green card processing time for the green card process, as the green card processing time may play an important role in determining exactly when an individual should submit a green card application and begin the green card process. For example, if an individual had a visa that allowed him or her to remain within the country up until a certain date, then it would be advisable for him or her to check the green card processing time and determine at exactly what point he or she should submit a green card application.

Green card processing time will also likely depend on exactly how many green card applications will likely be submitted at or around the same time. An individual beginning the green card process will also need to find a doctor for him or herself in the green card process.

They key element of the green card process is the submission of the actual green card application to the proper office. It is currently possible to submit a green card application online, as well. A green card application must be dependent on some basis for a green card, including that the individual applying for a green card is being sponsored by a family member or a job, or that the person applying for a green card has refugee or asylee status.

Alabama Immigration Law Forces Hispanic Students out of School

Alabama Immigration Law Forces Hispanic Students out of School

Alabama schools are witnessing abnormally high rates of absences for Hispanic students after the state enacted what is widely regarded as the toughest anti-immigration law in the United States. 
The immigration law, which was unanimously approved by the state legislature, allows law enforcement officers to check for papers and detain undocumented residents without bail. The Alabama immigration law also mandates that public schools share with authorities the residence and citizenship status of all newly enrolled students. 
In response to the law’s enactment, throngs of Hispanic students skipped classes out of fear of deportation or imprisonment. In response to the drastic number of absences and the brutal reality of the law, legislators responsible for the reform claim, assured residents that the law is merely about statistics and not about enforcing brutal penalties on its inhabitants. 
Under the Alabama immigration law, schools are required to ask new students to either submit a birth certificate or sworn proof that they are in the United States legally. However, if the students are unable to provide such documentation they are still able to attend school. Under the law, neither the students nor the parents will be arrested for failing to provide proper documentation. 
After the student submits (or fails to) his/her documentation, the school provides statistical information to the state concerning the number of students who were able to provide citizenship papers.
Alabama requires all schools to follow this immigration policy. The state made available form letters that schools send to parents of new students to clarify the requirements of the immigration law and inform parents that they should not be frightened or concerned if they are unable to provide sworn documents reflecting citizenship. 

Steps To Fulbright Scholarship Grants

Steps To Fulbright Scholarship Grants

Is Fulbright Scholarship Right For
Me?

The Fulbright Program was
conceived as a competitive international educational exchange program for
talented US citizens to travel abroad while studying, teaching or conducting
research.  Similarly, non-US citizens may
come to the United States to conduct similar activities.  Approximately 8,000 Fulbright scholarships
are given out every year through the US Department of State with funding
furnished by Congress with some alternate funding from foundations, corporations
and other governments.  The total
congressional contribution to the Fulbright Program was $253.8 million in 2010
with an additional $85.2 million contributed by other sources.  To date, 155 countries participate in the
Fulbright program on a bi-lateral basis.

History

The Fulbright program was the
brainchild of Arkansas senator William J Fulbright who suggested selling
surplus materials from World War II and putting the proceeds toward an
international exchange program for the advancement of world peace.  The first Fulbright participants went abroad
in 1948 and since then 310,000 individuals have been program participants.  To date, there are 43 Nobel Prize and 78
Pulitzer Prize winners that were participants in the Fulbright Program.  Senator Fulbright remained an avid supporter
and advocate for the program until his death in 1995.

Select Fulbright grants:

                  For
US citizens

       
Fulbright US Student Program –

o  
Sends students and young professionals to study
abroad for a year with the opportunity to teach English

       
Fulbright-mtvU Fellowship

o  
Gives 4 US students to study an aspect of music
and its relation to other cultures, sharing their experiences through social
media

       
Fulbright US Scholar Program

o  
Sends US scholars and professionals abroad for a
year to teach or research

       
Fulbright Specialist Program

o  
Sends US scholars and professionals abroad for
two – six weeks to serve as specialists for curriculum and institution planning
at foreign academic institutions

For foreign
citizens

       
The Fulbright Foreign Student Program

o  
Allows foreign students to study in the United
States for one year, with the possibility of renewal.

       
The Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching
Assistant Program

o  
Invites foreign English teachers to improve
their skills in the United States at various colleges and universities.

       
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program &
Fulbright Scholar in Residence Program

o  
Invites foreign scholars to teach or conduct
research at colleges and universities in the United States for a year.

       
Hubert H Humphrey Program

o  
Invites professionals from developing countries
to the United States for study and experience.

       
The International Fulbright Science and
Technology Award

o  
Invites foreign students to pursue doctoral
study in science, technology and engineering for outstanding students.

There are
additional programs for teacher exchange and excellence in education.  Additionally, the Critical Language
Scholarship (CLS) sponsors US undergraduate students to study languages
important to American policy and foreign affairs.

Who administers Fulbright grants?

The Fulbright Program is the
responsibility of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US
Department of State.  The Fulbright
Foreign Scholarship Board is made up of twelve members, appointed by the President
to serve as a steering committee for the program and approve all grant recipients.  In foreign countries, there may be a bi-national
Fulbright commission or foundation dedicated to screening, recruiting and
publicizing the Fulbright program.  In
countries without a commission, the US Embassy publicity handles the
commission’s duties to recruit potential grant recipients.

Specialized committees such as
AMIDEAST and LASPAU administer grants for the Middle East and Latin
America/Caribbean respectively.

What does one study on a
Fulbright grant?

What are other organizations that
are related to Fulbright grants?

What is included in a Fulbright
grant?

How do I apply for a Fulbright
grant?

Are there group grants?

Who is eligible?

Any and all persons involved with
the State Department or an immediate family member There is a variety of
subjects that can be studied under a Fulbright grant from humanities to science
and technology.  It will not support an
individual entering medical school but will support studies and research into
patient care and public/global health. 
There are no grants for the role purpose of learning English.  There are specialized enhancement grants for
US students that intend to go to a country with a language identified as
“critical” by the US State Department. 
These languages include Mandarin Chinese, Korea, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and
Farsi.

The Fulbright Association, which
is not associated with the government, is a private non-profit group of
Fulbright alumni that educate Congress on the continued needs of the program
and its mission.  They award the J.
William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to exceptional
individuals that contribute to world peace and foster international
cooperation.

The Fulbright Academy is also not
affiliated with the program but is an alumni association that serves as a
support network to foster collaboration and support amongst its members.  It boasts approximately 9,000 members and
serves as support for new Fulbright members.

Most Fulbright grants include
roundtrip transportation, stipend, tuition and insurance as well as
compensation for travel and participation in mandatory Fulbright events.  Students from other countries are entitled to
receive some orientation and pre-academic programs to improve their English
language skills, especially when dealing with technical subjects such as law
and health.

If you are an exceptional and
high achieving individual, you may be selected to receive a Fulbright grant.  You must demonstrate academic excellence,
leadership and a feasible project that can be completed with the funds.  Generally speaking, you must apply to the
program fifteen to twelve months before the grant is administers.  The https://fulbright.state.gov will provide
you with a list of available grants and where the applications to those grants
may be sent.  Applications are not
submitted to this website.

Bear in mind that the Fulbright
program is bi-national and will only fund American students going abroad or
foreign students studying in America.  It
will not fund foreign students seeking to study in other countries.  It also does not fund foreign students
already in the US. 


The most common method for an
American to apply to the Fulbright program is through their university or
college which can guide them through the process.  Larger institutions will have a Fulbright
advisor for the purpose of recommending and guiding prospective applicants.

Should you be deemed eligible for
further examination, you will be given a language test to ensure you have
adequate proficiency in the language of the target country.  Foreign applicants will need to demonstrate
English proficiency.  The applicant will
also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores depending on the American program they
are enrolling in, based on the standards of the institution.

The Fulbright-Hayes Group Project
Abroad Program is a department of education grant that funds groups seeking to
study humanities, foreign language or social sciences abroad for the purposes
of group study or curriculum development. 
These educators collectively work especially to increase understanding
of area studies and develop a curriculum to be used in the United States.

There may be age restrictions and
recommendations attached to each grant.

Fulbright US Student Program

Holding a doctorate will
disqualify an applicant from the Fulbright Program.  Qualifications will vary depending on the
type and location of the grant, but the applicant must have a bachelor’s degree
and a proficiency in the language of the country they are applying to work in.

Fulbright US Scholar Program

The applicant must have a Ph.D.
and teaching experience as well as demonstrate the foreign language proficiency
needed to carry out the project.

Fulbright Teacher Exchange
Program

All that is required for this
program is a bachelor’s degree, full time teaching assignment and English
fluency.

`Foreign Fulbright applicants
must meet the individual requirements set by their country’s Fulbright Commission.  They cannot have US citizenship/permanent
residency.  Scholars must have a doctoral
degree or relevant experience as well as English language proficiency.

How are candidates selected?

Candidates are assessed on merit
based on their record of achievement, language preparation/proficiency and
their project proposal.  Depending on the
project, several organizations may be involved in assessing the candidate in a
collaborative process that also involves embassies in the target country.

Source:

https://fulbright.state.gov/grants/which-grant-is-right-for-me,

https://fulbright.state.gov/history/sen-fulbright