The Immigration Service (U.S. CIS) has implemented it's new Customer Identity Verification. Beginning September 9, 2013, USCIS began to employ a new verification tool called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its field offices. Customers will now submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, when appearing at USCIS offices for interviews or to receive evidence of an immigration benefit. What does this mean for individual applicants? Upon arrival at the local CIS office for an interview or examination, you will be called in to an office where the Service will collect a digital finger print for each of your index fingers and a digital photograph. Then, while the Service is processing that information through the US-VISIT IDENT system, you will be requested to have a seat in the public waiting area. Once the US-VISIT IDENT system checks have cleared (usually a very short period of time), you may then be called in for the scheduled interview.
Immigration Reform is Still Alive. But, it may be ailing. In a memo from Eric Cantor to the House Republicans on September 6th, he outlined the House legislative agenda during September and October. Sadly immigration (reform), although mentioned, was pretty much glossed over. He acknowledged that the current legal immigration system is broken and should be fixed in a deliberate and responsible manner. However, the memo was still focused on the piecemeal legislative bills that have come out of the Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. A piecemeal approach is not a deliberate and responsible way to fix our broken system. As President Obama told ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," if the immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate would be allowed to go to the floor of the Republican controlled Congress for a vote, "It would pass, it would pass." I have written about this previously. And, I have reason to believe that some of the House leadership (including Eric Cantor) would be "okay" with the Senate bill going for an up or down vote on the floor. Although they may not be able to actually vote for the bill (because of their extremely Gerrymandered districts), they understand the need for immigration reform and would not oppose an up or down vote. We really need to be able to move beyond the vocal minority in the House who believe that "compromise" is a dirty word and that support for anything that President Obama favors is a bad thing. That is simply no way to run a country.
Immigration Reform is still on Congressional radar. As reported by Julia Preston recently in the New York Times, groups favoring immigration overhaul are planning to hold rallies in at least 40 cities throughout the U.S. on October 5th and a larger rally in Washington on October 8th. Such rallies are critical to keeping the pressure on the House of Representatives to pass a bill giving legal status to the millions undocumented who aspire to become lawful immigrants to the United States.