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Practice Advisory on Immigration Benefits and Pitfalls in a Post-DOMA World

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This practice advisory highlights some of the issues LGBT families will face following the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA.

Mandatory E-Verify opponents say it must be part of comprehensive immigration reform

Published on Mon, Jul 11, 2011

Mandatory E-Verify opponents do not propose eliminating an employee verification program, but say businesses need one that works well for employers — especially small companies — and workers.

Analysts and business organizations have argued that E-Verify alone would hurt Florida and the U.S. economy, but those same organizations say that a program that allows employers to verify a workers immigration status must be part of federal immigration reform.

The Immigration Policy Center compares the “Legal Workforce Act of 2011″ of Rep. Lamar Smith’s R-Texas, which would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers within three years, and Sen. Robert Menendez’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011,” which also includes mandatory E-Verify. The bill filed by Menendez includes a program to require immigrants who were undocumented as of June 1 to register with the government, learn English and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans.

The Policy Center explains that:

Like all comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bills since 2005, the Menendez bill allows for a mandatory E-Verify system only in context to other elements of comprehensive immigration reform, like a generous legalization program, reforms to family- and employment-based systems, border and interior enforcement and integration programs. Under Menendez’s bill, current unauthorized workers would have a chance to legalize their status, and future workers could come through newly created legal channels.

The Policy Center adds that, although some groups will continue to oppose mandatory E-Verify even as part of comprehensive immigration reform, “others have realized that if E-Verify isn’t going anyway, it had better work well and provide strong protections for workers.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Supreme Court Rejects Government's Argument in Aggravated Identity Theft Case

Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 556 U.S. 646 (2009)

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the aggravated identity theft statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), requires federal prosecutors to show that a defendant knew the means of identification belonged to another person. Read more...

The Uncertain Future of Pennsylvania's Dream Act Legislation

Published on Wed, Sep 14, 2011

On June 20, 2011, Pennsylvania State Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-Philadelphia) introduced the Pennsylvania Dream Act, HB 1695, which mirrors the failed national-level bill that would have granted undocumented youth in-tuition rates at public universities. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania would become the 12th state, following the recent Illinois passage, to sign such legislation.

Presently, in Pennsylvania, in-state tuition costs for the 2011-2012 school year are $6,240, while out-of state tuition ranges from $9,360 to $15,600, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Undocumented students are not eligible for these in-state tuition rates, even though many of them have been residing in the state of Pennsylvania for significant periods of time.

The Pennsylvania legislation, like other state-level bills, builds a series of strict residency guidelines that undocumented students who request in-state tuition rates must demonstrate.

These guidelines, published by Dream Activist Pennsylvania, the main pro-immigration organization in Pennsylvania sponsoring the bill, include the requirement that students must have attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth for at least three years. They must also have graduated from a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth. And, in an often overlooked provision, students or their parents must have filed Pennsylvania income taxes annually for three years while attending school to qualify.

It's important to note that while the bill mirrors national-level legislation, states do not have the power to afford citizenship; only the federal government has that legal authority. Due to this fact, the Dream Act grants undocumented youth only the ability to attend college at in-state tuition rates, meaning that legally securing a job after receiving a degree is not possible.Read more...

Published in the Truth Out

IEC Comments on Proposed Regulatory Changes

The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council has respectfully submitted comments on proposed regulatory changes to Sub-Part A, General Provisions, Exchange Visitor Programs. Read the full text of our comments.


The proposed change, as published in the Federal Register, is available here.

A Conversation with Klaas Frese

April, 2011

Congratulations to Klaas Frese, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! Klaas came to Pennsylvania from Germany to train in the area of freight forwarding. We caught up with Klaas after a recent trip to Las Vegas to learn more about his experience in the United States.

Read more...

American Heritage Dictionary Revises "Anchor Baby" Definition; Clarifies Offensive, Derogatory Nature

Published on Mon, Dec 05, 2011

Steven Kleinedler, executive director of the American Heritage Dictionary, took note when Immigration Policy Center criticized its definition of "anchor baby."

 Kleinedler says American heritage will tweak the definition of the phrase for the third printing of the dictionary's Fifth Edition by noting that it is an offensive and derogatory term. He acknowledges that it "should have been done in the first place."

 He wrote on New Times' initial blog post the other day that he'd been in contact with the executive director of the Immigration Policy Center "to discuss her very valid points" and that "a revision to the definition is in order, and the editorial staff and I are working on this."

"When I first read the blog post at Immigration Impact, I knew immediately that a revision would be order," Kleinedler says. "I didn't need anyone to convince me. It was an obvious error that needed to be rectified, and so that is what we did."

 The revised definition:

n. Offensive 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.

 The original definition:

n. 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.

 Immigration Policy Center director Mary Giovagnoli first blogged at immigrationimpact.com criticizing the definition of "anchor baby."Read more...

Published in the Phoenix New Times

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