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U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement
The Department of State announced on October 16, 2012, that the Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation in Adoption of Children entered into force on November 1, 2012. This agreement should enhance the safeguards and protections for all parties involved in adoptions between the United States and the Russian Federation.
The Agreement's entry into force began a period of transition that will last six to nine months. Most cases already in progress as of November 1 will be able to continue under the old procedures.
The twenty-nine-page Agreement is at Appendix A and http://tsgsandbox.his.com/adoptions/content/pdf/us-russia_adoption_agmt-713%2011-signed_english.pdf. A Frequently Asked Questions set (http://tsgsandbox.his.com/adoptions/content/pdf/Russia_Bilateral_Adoption_Agreement_FAQs1012.pdf) is reprinted at Appendix B. Further information on the Agreement is available at www.uscis.gov/adoption and www.adoption.state.gov.
BITS AND PIECES
EOIR - In October the DOJ Office of the Inspector General issued an eighty-page report, number I-2013-01, available at http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2012/e1301.pdf, indicating that "The OIG found that immigration court performance reports are incomplete and overstate the actual accomplishments of these courts. These flaws in EOIR's performance reporting preclude the Department from accurately assessing the courts' progress in processing immigration cases or identifying needed improvements." Juan Osuna, Executive Director of the EOIR, and Laura Lichter, president of AILA, have criticized the report. See more information at http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/immigration-law/blogs/inside/archive/2012/11/02/lichter-osuna-oig-critique-of-immigration-courts-lacks-nuance.aspx, (Lichter, Osuna: OIG Critique of Immigration Courts Lacks Nuance.)
Supreme Court - The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in No. 11-820, Roselva Chaidez v. United States, on November 1. The question is whether the holding in Padilla v. Kentucky, that an attorney representing a noncitizen in a criminal case must give proper advice about immigration consequences, applies retroactively. Jeffrey L. Fisher argued for the petitioner, and Deputy Solicitor General Michael R. Dreeben for the government. The transcript is available in the United States Supreme Court Transcripts database on lexis.com, at 2011 U.S. Trans. 41048.
[This is an excerpt from the Nov. 15, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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