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Immigration Law

Retraction Disappoints Skilled Workers

Posted Jul 5, 2007 12:08 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The government’s reversal of an offer to put skilled foreign workers on a fast-track to permanent residency could result in a class-action lawsuit.

The State Department’s Visa bulletin is closely watched because it announces who is eligible to file a green card application in the coming month, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) explains. On June 12, the bulletin announced that most foreign workers previously found to be eligible for an employer-sponsored visa could now apply for a green card.

The workers rushed to file their applications, sometimes flying family members to the United States to meet requirements.

Then on July 2, a State Department update reversed the previous statements, costing workers and their employers thousands of dollars and prompting talk of a class-action suit, the newspaper says.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association condemned the move as a "bait and switch."

"Here people followed the rules and did everything right, yet without warning or explanation the door was slammed in their faces," the group's president, Kathleen Campbell Walker, said in a press release. The retreat "is an example of how badly our immigration system is broken."

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