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2003

  • State Dept. Supports DHS Policies on Haitians (12/29/2003)
    A State Dept. "fact sheet" indicates support for Dept. of Homeland Security policies "to minimize...the risk of another mass migration from Haiti..."
    AILA Doc. No. 03122916.
  • FTC Issues Alert Regarding USA Immigration Services and DV Lottery Applications(67 KB - 12/24/2003)
    The Federal Trade Commission is alerting potential DV Lottery applicants who bought services from USA Immigration Services to register their DV applications directly with the Dept. of State on the DOS website. The FTC alert is in written in both English and Spanish. Registration for the DV Lottery ends on 12/30/03. (AILA Doc. No. 03122422)
    AILA Doc. No. 03122422.
  • DOS Announces Increase In Visa and Passport Fraud Arrests (12/23/2003)
    A State Dept. "fact sheet" on the activities of the Diplomatic Security Criminal Program in fiscal 2003 indicates an 82% increase in arrests for passport and visa fraud over the previous year, and describes the results of large-scale visa malfeasance investigations at 4 consular posts.
    AILA Doc. No. 03122323.
  • Remarks by Secretary Powell and Mexican Foreign Minister Derbez (11/13/2003)
    Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez after their 11/12/03 meeting included comments about immigration issues.
    AILA Doc. No. 03111340.
  • Secretary Powell Answers Questions on US-Mexico Immigration Talks and on US-Cuba Relations (10/23/2003)
    Secretary Powell confirms that US-Mexico immigration talks are "one of our top priorities" and that he hopes to "move the ball forward." On US-Cuba relations, he advises on the tightening of travel restrictions and other actions to be taken by the US Government.
    AILA Doc. No. 03102344.
  • DOS Spokesman Addresses Cuban Permission to Visit (10/1/2003)
    State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher responds to a press question regarding the statement by the Cuban Foreign Minister that Cubans living outside the country may visit without a visa.
    AILA Doc. No. 03100142.
  • DOS Announces Completion of MOU with DHS on Visa Oversight Rules (9/30/2003)
    The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the DOS and DHS provides that DOS will continue to manage the U.S. visa process and foreign policy. The DHS will establish and review visa policy, and incorporate homeland security requirements. DHS officers are now stationed in Saudi Arabia and additional DHS officers may be sent to other posts.
    AILA Doc. No. 03093012.
  • Machine Readable Passport Requirement Deferred for 21 Countries (9/25/2003)
    State Dept. announces that the requirement that travelers have machine readable passports to be admitted under the visa waiver program is postponed until 10/26/04 for 21 countries. Five countries did not request postponement, and Belgium was not eligible.
    AILA Doc. No. 03092541.
  • Secretary of State Discusses Immigration and Mexico (9/12/2003)
    An interview by a reporter for Mexico's Televisa with Secretary Powell includes exchanges regarding Mexico and immigration to the United States.
    AILA Doc. No. 03091241.
  • DOS Spokesman Denies Decision on Waiver of Machine Readable Passport Rule (9/10/2003)
    State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher denies press reports that a decision has been made to postpone until October 2004 the requirement that all Visa Waiver entrants possess a machine-readable passport, indicating instead that affected countries have been asked to request a postponement.
    AILA Doc. No. 03091042.
  • Visas Not Issued In Time for Latin Grammys (9/4/2003)
    In press briefings on 9/2 and 9/3, State Dept. Spokesman Richard Boucher blames applications filed too late to complete security checks for the fact that some Cuban singers missed the Latin Grammys.
    AILA Doc. No. 03090441.
  • DOS Announces Plans to Expedite Refugee Processing Since September 11, 2001 (8/19/2003)
    The DOS's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration issued a press release announcing its focus on responding to new security features and efforts to expeditiously identify and admit refugees for whom resettlement is appropriate.
    AILA Doc. No. 03081945.
  • State Dept. Announces Improvements in Passport Services (8/4/2003)
    The National Passport Information Center changes to a toll-free telephone number, expands operator assistance, and adds email access.
    AILA Doc. No. 03080441.
  • State Dept. Answers Question on Jeb Bush Challenge to Cuban Repatriation (8/4/2003)
    Excerpt from State Dept. press briefing regarding criticism by the Florida governor of the recent repatriation of certain individuals to Cuba.
    AILA Doc. No. 03080440.
  • DOS Answers Question on Immigration for Informants (7/29/2003)
    State Dept. answers a reporter's question on immigration eligibility for informants. Details regarding what kind of visa or protection would be available were not provided.
    AILA Doc. No. 03072910.
  • Nuevo Laredo Defendants Sentenced in Visa Fraud Case (7/28/2003)
    The DOS reported that five individuals, including four former employees of the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, were sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Laredo, Texas for conspiracy to commit visa fraud.
    AILA Doc. No. 03072813.
  • Required Use of Machine-Readable Passports for Visa Waiver Travel (7/16/2003)
    A State Dept. press announcement reminds the public that, as of 10/1/03, visa waiver entrants must present a machine-readable passport or must obtain a visa to enter. This requirement already applies to Belgian citizens.
    AILA Doc. No. 03071645.
  • State Department Lifts Restrictions on Use of U.S. Passports for Travel to Iraq (7/15/2003)
    A 7/15/03 State Department Press Release notes that, effective July 14, the agency has revoked the restriction on the use of U.S. passports for travel to, in or through Iraq.
    AILA Doc. No. 03071547.
  • State Dept. Spokesman Addresses Question on Stolen Passports (7/10/2003)
    State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher responds to a press question regarding an FBI alert on stolen passports of several countries.
    AILA Doc. No. 03071048.
  • Visa Revalidations Now Taking 10-12 Weeks (7/8/2003)
    The State Dept. has updated its website to indicate that visa revalidations are currently taking 10-12 weeks, and to provide other information regarding what types of visas cannot be revalidated in the U.S. (AILA Doc. No. 03070841)
    AILA Doc. No. 03070841.
  • Former Consular Officer in Prague Convicted of Visa Fraud (6/25/2003)
    A former foreign service officer who was stationed in Prague has been convicted of visa fraud and sentenced to 24 months imprisonment.
    AILA Doc. No. 03062548.
  • DV-2004 "Winners" Notified (6/25/2003)
    State Dept. indicates that it has notified 111,000 "winners" of their DV-2004 selection, to fill a total of 55,000 slots. Numbers selected from each eligible country are provided.
    AILA Doc. No. 03062547.
  • Secretary of State Addresses ADC (6/16/2003)
    Topics covered in Secretary of State Powell's remarks to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee included immigration topics such as NSEERS and US VISIT.
    AILA Doc. No. 03061642.
  • DOS Spokesperson Discusses Visa Restrictions for Burma (6/10/2003)
    Excerpt from a 6/6/03 State Department daily press briefing discussing visa restrictions for Burma.
    AILA Doc. No. 03061042.
  • DOS Spokesperson Discusses Embassy Closings (5/27/2003)
    State Dept. spokesperson Richard Boucher discusses the timing and reasons for decisions to temporarily close embassies and consulates.
    AILA Doc. No. 03052742.
  • Two State Department Employees Charged with Selling Visas (5/2/2003)
    Two State Department employees, along with seven other persons, charged in visa selling scheme operating out of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka.
    AILA Doc. No. 03050241.
  • State Dept. Website Includes List of Designated J-1 Program Sponsors (4/28/2003)
    DOS website includes a list, last updated 8/02, of programs designated as sponsors for J-1 training programs.
    AILA Doc. No. 03042840.
  • DOS J-1Waiver On-Line Status Being Updated (4/24/2003)
    The State Dept. Waiver Review Division is upgrading its status check system.
    AILA Doc. No. 03042442.
  • State Department Country Reports on DOS Website (4/18/2003)
    The 2003 State Department "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" have been posted to the DOS Website. (AILA Doc. No. 03041846)
    AILA Doc. No. 03041846.
  • Visa Restrictions Against Belarus Lifted (4/18/2003)
    Press statement declaring that the United States Government has decided, in tandem with fourteen member countries of the European Union, to rescind visa restrictions relating to Belarus.
    AILA Doc. No. 03041843.
  • DOS PRM Details Funding for Afghan Refugee Crisis(54 KB - 4/16/2003)
    The State Dept. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration describes its commitments of $185.5 million for resources in support of Afghan refugees and returnees since September 2001. (AILA Doc. No. 03041641)
    AILA Doc. No. 03041641.
  • State Dept. Spokesman Discusses Consular Post Closings (3/21/2003)
    Excerpt from a 3/20/03 State Dept. press briefing, in which the closing of embassies and consulates, and their impact on services, is discussed.
    AILA Doc. No. 03032125.
  • Former U.S. Consular Employees Plead Guilty to Visa Fraud Conspiracy (3/21/2003)
    A DOJ News Release announces that four former employees at the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud.
    AILA Doc. No. 03032124.
  • State Dept. Warns of Possible Temporary Closings of Facilities (3/20/2003)
    A DOS email warns that U.S. facilities worldwide, including consulates and embassies, are at heightened alert, and some may temporarily close or suspend services from time to time for security reasons.
    AILA Doc. No. 03032021.
  • State Dept. Starts "Smart Borders. Open Doors." Campaign (3/14/2003)
    DOS establishes a new website to communicate changes in visa procedures, and announces an initiative to better communicate procedures and policies.
    AILA Doc. No. 03031443.
  • DOS OIG Announces Sentencing in Immigration Fraud Case (3/11/2003)
    A press release from the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General announces the sentencing of a Virginia attorney on charges of conspiracy, labor certification fraud, immigration fraud, and money laundering. Kooritzky was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and must pay restitution in the amount of $2,300,000.
    AILA Doc. No. 03031141.
  • State Dep’t Inspector General Presents FY 2003 Oversight Plan (1/15/2003)
    The State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a report detailing its proposed FY 2003 oversight plan. Among the activities the OIG expects to undertake are a survey of overseas visa operations, a review of the Diversity Visa Program, and an inspection of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Visa Office.
    AILA Doc. No. 03011542.
 
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