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Info Demanded on 'Criminal Alien Program'

Published on Tue, Mar 13, 2012

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CN) - Immigration lawyers want the Department of Homeland Security to release information on its Criminal Alien Program, which is believed to be involved in nearly half of all the "removal proceedings."

The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut Chapter sued the Department of Homeland Security in a federal FOIA complaint.

Critics have said that the so-called "criminal alien program" does not target criminals at all, but is used to enlist local governments in deportations.

"The Criminal Alien Program ('CAP') is an enormous, nationwide initiative of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE'), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and is implicated in approximately half of all removal proceedings," the complaint states. "CAP's enforcement operations take place in tandem with law enforcement in every state, and as a result of CAP, individuals are often detained by ICE and deported before they have been convicted of a crime or have had the opportunity to speak with an immigration attorney. Despite CAP's role in facilitating the removal of hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, and despite serving as ICE's 'bedrock' enforcement initiative, very little information about CAP is available to the public. What little is known about the program suggests that CAP exacerbates racial profiling and other abusive police practices."

The complaint adds: "Congress never enacted legislation authorizing CAP. Nor did DHS officially promulgate regulations to govern CAP. As a result, little publicly available information exists that could illuminate how CAP functions. Instead, DHS and ICE stitched CAP together from interpretations of vague congressional appropriations provisions and a patchwork of administrative initiatives, thwarting public understanding of the program."Read more...

Published in the Courthouse News Service

Host Company FAQs


1. Can start-up companies host J-1 exchange visitors?

2. What are the minimum qualifications of a prospective host company?

3. Does the size of the company matter?

4. Is there a limit as to how much a J-1 trainee or intern can receive in the form of remuneration?


1. How do I put a J-1 trainee/intern on the company payroll?

2. Do exchange visitors need a Social Security number in order to begin their training or internship?

3. Can a trainee/intern receive remuneration without a Social Security number?

4. Can a training or internship be extended?

5. Can a trainee or intern return for a second training or internship program after the first has been completed?



1. Can start-up companies host J-1 exchange visitors?

We require most prospective J-1 training companies to have been in operation for at least 2 years; notable exceptions are made in certain industries including emerging green technologies.

2. What are the minimum qualifications of a prospective host company?

Potential host companies must be able to document and/or demonstrate the following in order to meet basic eligibility requirements:

• qualified personnel to provide the proposed training/internship;

• the appropriate facility and equipment to provide the proposed training/internship;

• fewer than 10% of total staff members, regardless of staff compensation (from stipend, grant or direct company payroll), in a J-1 exchange visitor program;

And must further guarantee that:

Three Madera 5th Graders in Top 10 – Northern California Writing Contest

Published on Sat, May 26, 2012

When the top 10 winners of a Northern California creative-writing contest for fifth graders took the stage in San Francisco Wednesday night, three of them were from El Cerrito's Madera Elementary School.

The Northern California "Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest," now in its 10th year, challenged fifth graders to write essays or poems on the theme, "Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants."


Published in the ElCerritoPatch

Leadership Roster


American Immigration Council

2014-2015 Leadership Roster

Robert Cohen , Chair

 Porter Wright

Rob's primary area of practice is immigration and nationality law. He has extensive experience in all aspects of business and family immigration procedures. In addition to his legal experience, he is also an instructor for the Legal Assistant program at Capital University. Rob was recently appointed to serve as Vice Chair of the American Immigration Council and served as Chapter Chair of the Ohio Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association from 2003 to 2005. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Immigration Law every year since 1995, and is recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers®.

Professional Associations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association


  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1976
  • A.B., Miami University, 1973

Website: Click Here

Lori Chesser, Vice Chair

Why a rare bipartisan consensus on immigration totally fell apart

Published on Fri, Sep 21, 2012

Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, helps explain what happened to the STEM visa proposal in this Washington Post article:  Read more...

Published in the The Washington Post

Dr. Edward R. Braithwaite

Edward R. Braithwaite was born in Guyana, South America. A British colony at the time, it did not offer facilities for tertiary education to its nationals. Seeking higher education outside the country, he gained admittance to Cambridge University in England.

During his first year as a student, war broke out between England and Germany. Volunteering for military service, he became a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. At war's end, he returned to Cambridge and completed his degree in Physics.

He was suddenly and painfully confronted with one of the realities of British life from which both Cambridge and fellowship in the Royal Air Force had sheltered him - the cruel rigors of racial discrimination within British society.

Dr. Braithwaite eventually found employment as a teacher in one of London's most depressed neighborhoods. Over time he came to the surprising realization that he had an aptitude for teaching and writing. He applied himself to achieve some measure of ease and confidence within both disciplines. This led him to write about his experience in teaching, resulting in the publication of his first book "TO SIR, WITH LOVE".

In 1960 he was invited to work in Paris, France as Human Rights Officer for the World Veterans Foundation and later moved to UNESCO as an Education Consultant. When Guyana became independent from Britain in 1966, the new government asked him to be its first ambassador to the United Nations.Read more...

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson Quoted in the New York Times

Published on Wed, Jun 12, 2013

Ben Johnson, the AIC's Executive Director was quoted in a New York Times article titled "Obama Backs Bill to Overhaul Immigration as Debate is Set."  From the article:

"Other experts said Mr. Obama had learned from hard experience during the health care and budget debates about the right time to lie low and the right time to insert himself in the process.

"'There’s no question that the president has a delicate dance,' said Ben Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Council. 'He’s got to strike the right tone and the right balance of using the office effectively and not trampling on the process that’s currently under way.'"

Published in the New York Times

Geraldo Cadava

Geraldo Cadava, a native of Tucson, Arizona, specializes in histories of the U.S.‐Mexico border region and Latina and Latino populations in the United States. Harvard University Press will publish The Heat of Exchange, his book about culture and commerce in the Arizona‐Sonora border region since World War II, in 2012. Cadava teaches courses on Mexican American History, Latino Studies, the U.S.‐Mexico Borderlands, and Race and Ethnicity in the United States at Northwestern University.

New IPC Report Featured in USA Today

Published on Wed, Dec 11, 2013

The IPC's new report, "Bordering on Criminal: The Routine Abuse of Migrants in the Removal System," was featured in a USA Today article titled, "Report: Migrants in Custody Often Abused."

"Mexican migrants are frequently subjected to physical abuse and verbal mistreatment while in custody of U.S. border authorities, according to a new study.

"Migrants also frequently have possessions taken from them while in U.S. custody that are not returned, according to the study released Tuesday by the Immigration Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank. The study was conducted jointly with researchers at the University of Arizona, Georgetown University and the University of Texas-El Paso.

"The study comes as Congress considers immigration reforms including bills calling for the addition of thousands of new Border Patrol agents.

"Researchers said the frequency of abuses suggest systemic problems resulting from the lack of transparency and accountability within the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They recommended that Congress pass legislation that creates stronger oversight and accountability when abuses occur."

Published in the USA Today

Eric L. Olson

Eric L. Olson is Senior Advisor to the Security Initiative at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He served as the Interim‐Director for Government Relations at Amnesty International USA, and was Amnesty’s Advocacy Director for the Americas from 2002‐2006. Prior to Amnesty, he was the Senior Associate for Mexico, and Economic Policy at the Washington Office on Latin America for eight years. He worked at Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education in Cuernavaca, Mexico from 1989‐1993 where he was the program director. From 1986‐1988, he worked in Honduras, Central America as a development specialist for several local non‐governmental organizations.