The immigration agencies rely on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, in determining whether a marriage is valid for immigration purposes.As a result, lesbian and gay U.S. citizens and permanent residents are barred from successfully petitioning for their spouses.In addition, lesbian and gay noncitizens are precluded from obtaining other immigration benefits, including relief from removal, based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.Recent developments, however, suggest that DOMA’s days may be numbered.Already, one district court has concluded that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, and the Obama Administration has decided it no longer will defend the law in federal court challenges.Read more...
The American Immigration Council and its four programs had a busy year in 2011. We want to thank you for your support, readership, and feedback. We also want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a year-end gift. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue our work which includes the following "Top 11 for 2011." Read more...
New voter data shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) is facing a major challenge in his run for President Obama's former Senate seat. Immigrant advocacy groups say Kirk will have to make changes to his stance on immigration reform if he wants a fighting chance at gaining Illinois' growing immigrant vote.
Advocates along the Northern Border report a recent, sharp increase in the use of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents to provide interpretation services to state and local law enforcement officers and emergency responders. This most often occurs when an officer or responder encounters an individual who does not speak English and proactively reaches out to USBP for assistance. But it has also occurred when USBP agents respond to an incident report in lieu of, or in addition to, local law enforcement officers.
Immigrants, their advocates, and community members are reporting—and official statistics confirm—that there are simply too many USBP agents on the ground, apparently with too much time on their hands, who lack adherence to stated priorities.
This special report lays out the problems with border patrol agents serving as translators and make recommendations intended to promote Title VI compliance, maintain the integrity of the USBP mission on the Northern Border, and protect the rights of immigrants and their families who call the Northern Border home.
Undocumented Mexican migrants who won their legalization during the 1986 amnesty showed a marked improvement in their economic status, education levels increased substantially and thousands visibly moved out of poverty without relying on public assistance.
Mark-Up Characterized by Transparency and Bipartisan Cooperation
Released on Tue, May 21, 2013
Washington D.C. - Today, on a bipartisan vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, out of the committe and on to the Senate floor for a full vote in the coming days. The Senate committee mark-up spanned three weeks and covered many of the 300 amendments offered on every aspect of the bill. The resulting legislation represents a concerted effort to find a workable and fair immigration policy that makes our nation stronger.
The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:
“We congratulate Senator Leahy and the entire Senate Judiciary Committee on the spirit of deliberation, collaboration, and transparency that marked the process. Many amendments added during the mark-up will strengthen the bill in the areas of high-skilled immigration, protections for vulnerable groups and due process. However, other amendments, like those attempting to deny citizenship, may have been driven more by rhetoric than reality. In addition, not providing some relief to siblings who face extreme hardships because of their separation and not ending the discrimination against same sex couples legally married in the United States is short-sighted and bad policy. Yet despite these high costs, the overall bill coming out of committee now gives the Senate an important and rare opportunity to complete the task we have been working on for years—passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally moves us to our goal of fixing our broken immigration system.
New immigration rules go into effect this week for people seeking asylum in the United States. It's part of the overhaul of the US detention system announced by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last summer. Previously, many asylum seekers were put into detention - sometimes for many years - while their cases were pending. Mary Giovagnoli is the Director of the Immigration Policy Center and specializes in asylum law.
Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse, by Daniel E. Martinez, Ph.D., Guillermo Cantor, Ph.D., and Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., areport that analyzes complaints filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection between 2009 and 2012. The analysis is based on information received through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation. The report examines one of the few avenues available for people to report mistreatment by Border Patrol agents - namely, the complaint system. For a long time, advocates and legal providers on the border have highlighted the flaws in the complaint system. This report is the first systematic attempt to document the problem in a rigorous way. In addition, a coalition of immigrants' rights groups has developed and released recommendations to DHS to address the CBP Complaint Process.Read more...
From listening to the more vigorous critics of illegal immigration, our porous borders are a grave threat to safety. Not only can foreign terrorists sneak in to target us, but the most vicious criminals are free to walk in and inflict their worst on innocent Americans.
In xenophobic circles, this prospect induces stark terror. Fox News' Glenn Beck has decried an "illegal immigrant crime wave." A contributor to Patrick Buchanan's Web site asserts, "Every day, in the United States, thousands of illegal aliens unleash a reign of terror on Americans."
Immigration reform needs to happen immediately. For too long, too many have lived under fear of deportation, their families being separated, and employers increasing hours while decreasing wages. There have been studies that suggest that an immigration bill will not only help immigrant families and communities, but the country as a whole.