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Giving the Facts a Fighting Chance: Addressing Common Questions on Immigration

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This report provides answers to many of the most common immigration questions.

New argument that immigrant reform vital to economic recovery

Published on Sun, Nov 13, 2011

Critics of undocumented immigration and of granting a path to citizenship to the undocumented currently living in this country often argue that immigrants are a drain on our country’s resources, and the U.S. can simply not afford to continue to support an illicit population that thrives off of government-funded services and programs. However, an ever-increasing number of studies show that the cost of immigrants to this country is wildly inflated, and in fact the contributions the immigrant population makes to the U.S. outweigh their expense.

On Sunday, Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean published an op/ed by Ted Rayburn which put a new spin on the argument that reforming the U.S. immigration system would benefit the economy. Rayburn argues that in an increasingly competitive global market society, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind, as the world’s highly skilled workers are moving en masse to countries with growing economies, such as Brazil and India. He concludes that if the U.S. does not revise its immigration laws to allow these skilled individuals to legally come to the U.S. and work, we will be at a perpetual international disadvantage.

The cogent arguments made by Rayburn regarding the importance of skilled immigrant labor in this country, however, does not preclude the similarly vital importance of unskilled immigrant laborers to the U.S. economy.

In Arizona, recent changes in the state’s immigration laws have illustrated the vital necessity of flexible migrant labor to local industry. As this labor has become increasingly scarce since the passage of SB 1070, many Arizona industries, most notably agriculture, have experienced the negative effects of a worker shortage.Read more...

Published in the The Examiner

IEC is Atwitter about Social Networking

You can now find the International Exchange Center on Facebook and Twitter!  Look us up:

We’d love to have you as a fan on Facebook.  If you’re already a member of Facebook, it’s simple to find us: just search for International Exchange Center.  If you don’t yet have an account, it’s easy and free to join at http://www.facebook.com.  As a fan of the International Exchange Center, you’ll be able to interact with other participants by sharing stories, photos, and video of your experience as a J-1 trainee or intern in the United States.

We’ve also been busily tweeting the latest updates and information from the International Exchange Center on Twitter.  Put us in your timeline by looking up and following “j1exchange” to find out what we’re doing.  If you’re curious about J-1 program participation, send us a direct message with your questions or give us a mention and we’ll get back to you.  New to Twitter?  Sign up for a free account at http://www.twitter.com.

Report: Immigrants make up large part of California work force

Published on Tue, Jan 17, 2012

More than one in four California residents are foreign born, but almost 46 percent of them — 4.6 million people — are naturalized citizens eligible to vote, according to a new report by the Immigration Policy Center.

There were almost 10.2 million immigrants in the state in 2010, U.S. Census data show. That’s 27.2 percent of the population.

Immigrants comprise more than a third of the California labor force, figuring prominently in economics sector such as agriculture, manufacturing and services.

They pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year, according to state-specific fact sheets compiled by the pro-immigration policy center from a variety of studies in recent years.

Unauthorized immigrants in California paid $2.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2010 and most native-born Californians have experienced wage gains from the presence of immigrants in the state’s labor market, research compiled by center show.

Click here for more numbers on immigrant contributions to the California economy at the Immigration Policy Center website.

Published in the Sacramento Business Journal

Jobs & Internships

Full Time Staff

  • Reseach and Policy Analyst
    The Research and Policy Analyst is responsible for providing policy-oriented research and analysis on timely immigration issues, with a particular emphasis on immigration enforcement and the economic impact of immigration.

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The Hispanic Factor

Published on Thu, Apr 05, 2012

President Obama's inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election. Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting, suggests an alternate narrative, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to show up in support of the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado — the election could go to the Republican candidate, likely to be former Governor Mitt Romney.

Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with its March 5th cover story, "Yo Decido," written by journalist Michael Scherer. The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. is Hispanic, and most Hispanics live in the U.S. legally. They are fully integrated into communities. There is a prevailing assumption that, because a majority of Hispanics are Catholic, they should be naturally allied with more conservative candidates — particularly the two Roman Catholics still in the Republican race as of this writing, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

While the Republicans appear to have learned from some earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain's jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns, and history. They don't seem to understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don't seem to really care.Read more...

Published in the Memphis Flyer

Immigrant Youth Achievement Award Nomination

Immigrant Youth Achievement Award Nomination Deadline February 1, 2012.

In a media fueled environment where the label “immigrant” has taken on such negative and hateful qualities, the American Immigration Council works to combat these stereotypes by holding up exemplary youth in our communities as examples of the positive contributions young immigrants are making in our country everyday.  The Immigrant Youth Achievement Award recognizes a young immigrant in the United States whose accomplishments are the embodiment of the immigrant spirit and show a commitment to making a positive impact in their community or the world around them.

The Immigrant Youth Achievement Award is presented at the American Immigration Council’s annual Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards each Spring.  Past honorees have emigrated from countries such as Ireland, India, Cambodia, China, and Cuba and have made contributions in literature, journalism, music and politics.

Criteria

In determining the selection of a nominee to receive the American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award, the selection committee will use the following criteria:Read more...

Why the Supreme Court ruling on immigration is a clear rebuke to Arizona

Published on Tue, Jun 26, 2012

IPC's staff lawyer Ben Winograd published an Opinion Piece for the Christian Science Monitor about the Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's immigration law: Read more...

Published in the The Christian Science Monitor

Victor Villaseñor

Born in the barrio of Carlsbad, California in 1940, Victor Villaseñor was raised on a ranch four miles north in Oceanside. Since his parents were born in Mexico, Villaseñor spoke only Spanish until beginning school. After years of facing language and cultural barriers, heavy discrimination and a reading problem, later diagnosed as dyslexia, Mr. Villaseñor dropped out of high school his junior year and moved to Mexico. There he discovered a wealth of Mexican art, literature, music, that helped him recapture and understand the dignity and richness of his heritage.

Mr. Villaseñor returned to the U.S. at the age of 20. He began to feel the old frustration and rage return as he witnessed again the disregard toward poor and uneducated people and especially toward the Mexicans. Then a chance encounter with James Joyce’s Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Man, changed his life. It awakened a desire to confront through literature the problems associated with his cultural heritage that continued to plague him.

After producing nine novels, 65 short stories, and receiving 265 rejections Villaseñor sold his first novel, Macho!, which the Los Angeles Times compared to the best of Steinbeck. This began a journey that would eventually lead to the publication of the national bestseller, Rain of Gold. Published in seven languages and used by thousands of teachers and school systems across the nation as required reading, Rain of Gold tells the story of Mr. Villaseñor’s family, taking the reader from war-torn Mexico during the Revolution to the present day.Read more...