Washington D.C. - Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a proposal to streamline the application process for the spouses and children of U.S. citizens currently eligible for legal permanent resident status, minimizing the amount of time that applicants would have to be separated from their families. Under current procedures, thousands of persons who qualify for legal status must leave the U.S. to obtain their permanent resident status, but as soon as they leave, they are immediately barred from re-entering for 3 or 10 years if they have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days. Many are eligible for a family unity waiver, but under current rules (not law), the waiver can only be applied for from overseas. Because that process can often take many months and even years, it is believed that many otherwise eligible applicants do not apply for legal permanent resident status, remaining unauthorized in the U.S. rather than risk lengthy separation from their families. Read more...
In a new report released yesterday, Restriction or Legalization? Measuring the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform, the Cato Institute seeks to quantify the Benefits that would flow to the U.S. economy from comprehensive Immigration Reform which grants some form of legal status to unauthorized immigrants already living In the United States.
American Immigration Council Commends Latest Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship
Washington, D.C.—Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that will allow Immigration Judges to exercise discretion in cases involving lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose removal would cause extreme hardship to family members in the United States. The ruling is the latest opinion from a federal appellate court to reject a contrary decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in the oral argument, applauds today’s ruling and repeats its call for the Board to overturn its decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).
The case involved a 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents Immigration Judges from considering evidence of hardship in certain cases involving immigrants who were “admitted” to the United States as LPRs. For many LPRs facing removal, the ability to obtain such hardship waivers is the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members. In its amicus brief, the Council argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the statute, which distinguishes between applicants who entered the country as LPRs and those who gained LPR status post-entry.Read more...
Mark-Up Characterized by Transparency and Bipartisan Cooperation
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.
Immigrants - Latinos and Asians - are a growing segment of Wisconsin society and integral to the state's economy, providing tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power, according to a study released Thursday.
Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data. Following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, in response to “Catch and Release: Interior Immigration Enforcement in 2013” Read more...
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An immigration policy reform group says Alaska's foreign-born and minority populations have a growing presence in Alaska and its economy.
In a new publication, the Immigration Policy Center based in Washington, D.C., says one in 10 Alaskans are Asian or Latino, and those communities have more than $2 billion in buying power. It says the information comes from Census data and economic information from other research.
A new report released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) this week attempts to assess the economic benefits of a legalization program on immigrants and native born workers. The report, Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects, however, falls short on research and methodology. While the report accurately concludes that legalization would not have a negative impact on native workers’ wages and employment, the report takes a myopic approach to legalization’s impact on wages and mobility of the newly legalized. A wide range of economic studies—studies which consider legalization’s impact in both the long term and in context to comprehensive immigration reform—conclude that legalization does in fact benefit both native-born and immigrants alike.
Many proponents of Arizona's harsh new immigration law cite rampant crime and violence at the border as the impetus behind the push to turn police into immigration agents and undocumented workers into criminals.
But immigrants are less likely than native-born residents to commit crimes, and presence in the US without papers is a civil, not a criminal offense. As the Immigration Policy Center points out, Arizona's crime rates have been steadily falling in recent years despite increased flows of undocumented immigration. It is unclear how directing police officers, under threat of lawsuit, to target these residents will make Arizona safer. In fact, law enforcement officials from across the country warn that SB 1070 may have the opposite effect, and compromise public safety by diverting scarce police resources away from targeting criminals, regardless of citizenship status.