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Refugees: A Fact Sheet

What is a refugee?

A refugee, as defined by Section 101(a)42 of the Immigration and Nationality Act(INA) (based on  the  United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols  relating to the Status of Refugees) is a person who is  unable or unwilling  to return to the home country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 | Download File

Giving Facts a Fighting Chance: Answers to the Toughest Immigration Questions

This comprehensive Q&A guide reviews the most current research available, debunks myths, and answers some of the most common immigration-related questions, including those about worksite enforcement, border security, birthright citizenship, access to public benefits, immigrant criminality, immigrant integration and the economic impacts of immigration.

Americans are justifiably frustrated and angry with our outdated and broken immigration system.  The problem is complex, and a comprehensive, national solution is necessary.  Politicians who suggest that the U.S. can deport its way out of the problem by removing 11 million people are unrealistic.  The U.S. needs a fair, practical solution that addresses the underlying causes of unauthorized immigration and creates a new, national legal immigration system for the 21st century.

Published On: Tue, Oct 12, 2010 | Download File

Immigrant Women in the United States: A Portrait of Demographic Diversity

The 18.9 million immigrant women and girls in the United States in 2008 present a portrait of demographic diversity on many fronts.  An analysis of Census Bureau data reveals that immigrant women are not easily categorized or stereotyped—and that many common myths about immigrants are shattered when we look carefully at the demographic diversity of these women.

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Published On: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 | Download File

Immigration Detainers: A Comprehensive Look

What is an immigration detainer and how does it work? Are detainers only placed on unauthorized immigrants? What happens after an immigration detainer has expired?  What are the consequences of immigration detainers?  In order to better understand immigration detainers’ function and impact, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) provides the following Fact Check to shed much needed light on this often misunderstood immigration enforcement tool.

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Published On: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 | Download File

Breaking Down the Problems: What's Wrong with our Immigration System

While some characterize our immigration crisis as solely an issue of the 11 to 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in this country, our problems extend beyond the number of undocumented people to a broader range of issues. The lack of a comprehensive federal solution has created a slew of lopsided, enforcement-only initiatives that have cost the country billions of dollars while failing to end unauthorized immigration. The first step, however, in devising solutions to our problems is understanding the scope of them. IPC’s latest report addresses several key areas, including how our current immigration system functions, the structural failure of our system, issues stemming from an inadequate federal response and long-delayed immigration reform.

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Published On: Fri, Jan 01, 2010 | Download File

Citizenship by the Numbers

Citizenship Day (September 17) is an appropriate time to take stock of the growing number of U.S. citizens who are immigrants to this country—or who are the children of immigrants.  Roughly one-in-seventeen U.S. citizens are foreign-born, and tens of millions of native-born U.S. citizens have immigrant parents.  This demographic reality has important political ramifications.  A rising share of the U.S. electorate has a direct personal connection to the immigrant experience, and is unlikely to be favorably swayed by politicians who employ anti-immigrant rhetoric to mobilize supporters.  This is particularly true among the two fastest-growing groups of voters in the nation: Latinos and Asians.  The majority of Latinos and Asians are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, and they comprised one out of every ten voters in the 2008 election.

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Published On: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 | Download File

The Facts about the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

There is a great deal of confusion about Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), a tool used by the IRS to ensure that people pay taxes even if they don't have a Social Security number. Despite the fact that ITINs have no bearing on legal status, some people point to the ITIN program as some type of benefit that gives quasi-legal status to people in the U.S. illegally. This fact sheet explains what ITINs are, who has them, and the purposes for which they are used.

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Published On: Tue, Jun 30, 2009 | Download File

Facts about Farmworkers

AgJOBS is a bipartisan, compromise bill that is the result of years of negotiations among farmworkers, growers, and Members of Congress. The Immigration Policy Center has produced a Fact Check on Farmworkers.

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Published On: Wed, May 13, 2009 | Download File

De-Romanticizing Our Immigrant Past: Why Claiming "My Family Came Legally" Is Often a Myth

Many people assume that their family immigrated to the U.S. legally, or did it “the right way.”  In most cases, this statement does not reflect the fact that the U.S. immigration system was very different when their families arrived, and that their families might not have been allowed to enter had today’s laws been in effect.  In some cases, claiming that a family came “legally” is simply inaccurate—undocumented immigration has been a reality for generations.

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Published On: Tue, Nov 25, 2008 | Download File

Basic Pilot / E-Verify: Not a Magic Bullet

Background on the Basic Pilot/E-Verify program and its weaknesses.

Published On: Sat, Mar 01, 2008 | Download File