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Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' offensive term

Published on Thu, Dec 08, 2011

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries -- and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term "anchor baby" as "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."

The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is offensive, as it does for other words.

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word's inclusion on its blog on Dec. 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the "poisonous and derogatory nature of the term."

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.

The current wording was added to the online dictionary on Monday. It flags the word as "offensive" and defines "anchor baby" as being "used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

Kleinedler told Colorlines, a blog that reports on issues of race, ethnicity and social justice, that changing the word was more about accuracy than outrage.

"Personally, this was not a reaction that we have to fix it because people are angry," Kleinedler told Colorlines. "We fixed it because we were wrong. And I, as the executive editor, acknowledge the fact that this was an error and I take responsibility for that."Read more...

Published in the CNN

American Immigration Council Store

All proceeds from the purchase of books go to the American Immigration Council and its educational initiatives. Scroll down to check out our inventory of signed copies of immigration related books.

Price: $20

 

Davy Brown Discovers His Roots

By Keely Alexander and Velani Mynhardt

The American Immigration Council partnered with authors Velani Mynhardt Witthöft and Keely Alexander of Keely Velani LLC and created Davy Brown Discovers His Roots. The colorfully illustrated book tells the story of a young boy and his friends as they discover that everybody has an immigration story, whether their families arrived today or generations ago. The story, which is aimed toward 7-12 year olds, is a great way to introduce the concept of the many ways people come to the United States permanently and temporarily. It is a perfect conversation starter for a family discovering their roots or for a classroom teacher starting a unit on immigration.

Read more...

Kris Kobach, Nativist Son

Published on Thu, Mar 01, 2012

If there's a controversial new anti-immigration law that's captured national attention, chances are that it has Kris Kobach's imprimatur. A telegenic law professor with flawless academic credentials—Harvard undergrad, Yale Law School—Kobach helped Arizona lawmakers craft the infamous immigration law that passed in the spring of 2010. He's coached legislators across the country in their efforts to pass dozens of similar measures, ranging from Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri to the small town of Fremont, Nebraska, pop. 26,000. His record has helped propel him into elected office, becoming Kansas' secretary of state just six months after the passage of Arizona's SB 1070.

Kobach routinely denies that he's the progenitor of the anti-immigration laws he's drafted or defended. Rather, he insists he simply assists officials already committed to tougher enforcement policies. "I did not generate the motivation to pass the law...I am merely the attorney who comes in, refines, and drafts their statutes," he says.

But advocates on both sides of the immigration debate agree that Kobach's influence has been far-reaching. Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group, calls Kobach "instrumental in helping states and localities deal with the federal government's authority." Vivek Malhotra, a lawyer who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union when it tussled with Kobach in court, says, "What Kris Kobach has done as a lawyer is really gone out to localities around the country and really used them as experimental laboratories for pushing questionable legal theories about how far states and local governments can go."Read more...

Published in the Mother Jones

Mission

About the Immigration Policy Center

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy in U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

What We Do

Contributing Research

The IPC researches important issues related to immigration (such as the impact of immigration on the economy, jobs and crime). Our work is geared toward providing a solid, fact-based foundation for the immigration debate.

Bridging the Gap

The IPC's work helps to bridge the gap between advocates and academics, policy experts and politicians. Through forums, briefings and special publications, we bring diverse groups together to help shape the immigration debate.

Getting the Facts

All too often, the debate about immigration is dominated by fear and misinformation. IPC works to make sure that fact is separated from fiction. To do this, we monitor and rapidly respond to statements made by anti-immigration groups, providing lawmakers, the media and the general public with accurate, up-to-date information.Read more...

Young illegal immigrants coming out

Published on Wed, May 16, 2012

IPC information on the DREAM Act was used in a CovNews Article about undocumented youth 'coming out' of the shadows: Read more...

Published in the CovNews

Matthew Baxter, 1958-2011

Matthew Baxter, Former Council Ambassador, AILA Chapter Chair, Colleague and Friend

On September 15, 2011, Philadelphia AILA member Matthew Baxter passed away from complications of liver disease. He was 53 years old.

Philadelphia’s AILA chapter treasured Matthew as a person who made membership in the association worthwhile. He took on many roles for the Philadelphia Chapter, serving as a Chapter Officer and Chapter Chair, committee chair, mentor, speaker and friend. He was always willing to teach his fellow members, whether at a CLE, on a phone call, or in the hallway outside immigration court. He was deeply involved with education, advocacy and practice support. He served as Chapter Liaison to USCIS and EOIR, working tirelessly on behalf of the Chapter and cooperatively with the agencies to develop solutions to everyday challenges.

He also served two years as Ambassador for the American Immigration Council (AIC), formerly known as AILF. He was a model Ambassador, raising awareness about the organization and its work, touting the accomplishments of the Legal Action Center and Immigration Policy Center, promoting the Creative Writing Contest, attending events as a representative of the AIC and raising money for the organization. His work, his drive and his commitment as an Ambassador helped strengthen the AIC.

Matthew cared deeply about his clients and doing the best job possible for them. His cases were meticulously prepared and elegantly argued. He loved the law and he understood how to use it as a tool for justice.Read more...

Sheriff Baca may defy proposed law easing immigration enforcement

Published on Sat, Aug 25, 2012

Wendy Sefsaf of the IPC was quoted in an LA Times article about L.A. County Sheriff Baca and California's Trust Act:

"This is one more fight between the federal government and local government because we continue to not solve the greater problem," said Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the Immigration Policy Center. Read more...

Published in the Los Angeles Times

Justice Alma L. López

Justice Alma L. López was born in Laredo, Texas on August 17, 1943, and was raised and educated in San Antonio, Texas. Justice López was appointed to the Fourth Court by Governor Ann Richards in October 1993, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Fourth Court of Appeals and the first Hispanic woman to serve as Chief Justice in the State of Texas. She was elected to a full term of six (6) years on November 8, 1994, taking office on January 1, 1995. She was re-elected to a second term in November 2000.

Justice López graduated from St. Mary’s University with a B.B.A. in 1965 and from St. Mary’s Law School with a J.D. in 1968. Justice López practiced law for twenty-five years, twenty of those as a sole practitioner prior to being appointed to the Court.

Justice López is the recipient of many awards including the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Mexican American Bar Association in 1998. She was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for Public Service in 2002 and received the National Association of Women Lawyers President’s Award for Excellence in 2004. She is listed in the Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans.Read more...

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson in the New York Times

Published on Tue, May 21, 2013

The AIC's Executive Director, Ben Johnson, was quoted in an article in the New York Times.  The article, titled "Veteran Senator Emerges as Player on Immigration Overhaul," focuses on Senator Orrin Hatch's role in the Senate Judiciary Committee's mark-up of the immigration bill.

"Though he backed away from immigration reform when he faced a tough primary challenge in 2012, many immigration advocates believe he is now ready to come around to their side.

“I think there is the political space now for Senator Hatch to talk about these issues that he has a track record of being supportive of,” said Ben Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Council."

Published in the New York Times

Claudia M. Prado‐Meza

Claudia M. Prado‐Meza is a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University, focusing on sustaining rural communities in Mexico and outreach programs for Latino immigrants in Iowa.