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US Representatives face summer of immigration pressure
Republican members of the US House of Representatives will face lobbying from supporters of immigration reform over the summer recess. Celia Munoz, a White House spokeswoman, said that there was a strong, bipartisan majority in favour of reform who would put pressure on Republicans to back reform if the House of Representatives holds a vote in September.
Before then, a right-wing, pro-reform pressure group called Bibles, Badges and Business will lobby Republicans around the country as will Hispanic pressure group the National Council of La Raza. In Washington, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is piling on the pressure through his FWD.us pressure group.
Pakistani students told to beware bogus UK visa agents
A UK immigration official has warned Pakistani students to avoid unscrupulous immigration agents. At a press conference in Karachi, Mandy Ivemy warned students that bogus agents were promising swift processing of visa applications. She said that UK visa processing takes less than three weeks anyway. She also warned that, if an agent uses forged documents with an application, the applicant will be banned from applying again for ten years.
She said that UK immigration received 3,000 such applications from Pakistan in 2012.
Legal US immigrants barred from work by E-Verify
Hundreds of thousands of US immigrants with valid work visas could be prevented from working by a faulty government database. The E-Verify system allows employers to check potential employees' immigration status. It was established in 2007 and is currently used by about 10% of employers but a bill currently before Congress would require all employers to use it within five years. E
ven if this doesn’t happen, E-Verify will almost certainly be used more widely in future. The American Civil Liberties Union estimates that, if the system were used by all employers, up to 200,000 people annually could be wrongly barred from working.
Australia: 457 visa holders to be charged for children's schooling
The Western Australian government has announced that, from next year, it will charge workers in Australia with temporary work visas, known as ‘457 visas’, AUS$4,000 per year for every child educated in state-run schools. The state government says that this is necessary because so many 457 holders are now bringing children to the state. In 2005, there were 290 such children.
By 2012, there were 8,600. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory already charge 457 visa-holders for their children’s education. The 457 visa is Australia's main temporary work visa. There are currently over 100,000 people in Australia with 457 visas.
Infosys sued in US court over 'abuse' of H-1B and B-1 visas
US IT workers are suing Indian software giant Infosys over alleged discrimination and abuse of two US visas; the H-1B 'specialty occupation' visa and the B-1 business visa. Brenda Koehler is suing Infosys in Wisconsin after failing to get a job with Infosys. Ms Koehler, an experienced software engineer, claims she was refused a job despite being well-qualified.
She says that about 90% of Infosys’s US staff are from South Asia and alleges that this is because the company discriminates against US workers by favouring Asian workers. She also claims that Infosys employs foreign workers in the US when they are in the country on B-1 visas. B-1 visa holders may take part in meetings and negotiations but should not usually carry out paid work. An Infosys spokeswoman said ‘we categorically deny Ms. Koehler's claims'.
Mr Milonov seems to be motivated by an anti-gay agenda. Both Lady Gaga and Madonna, who have many gay fans, are also accused of breaching Russian law by advocating gay rights on stage in St Petersburg. Mr Milonov is a vocal opponent of homosexuality.
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