Members of the patent bar have joined the immigration reform debate. A bill being debated by the Senate Judiciary Committee that would transfer jurisdiction over appeals of deportation orders from the regional court of appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ignited cries of protests from patent lawyers.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, sponsored by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., affects many aspects of immigration policy and security in addition to changes in H-1B and green-card laws. But what alarms many patent attorneys is the provision in the 300-page bill that would shift the burden of reviewing thousands of deportation appeals to the CAFC, which has nationwide jurisdiction over patent appeals.

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