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American Heritage Editor on ‘Anchor Baby’ Definition: ‘We Were Wrong’

Published on Wed, Dec 07, 2011

Recently, controversy erupted over the American Heritage dictionary’s definition of “anchor baby” as a neutral term. Jorge Rivas gave us an overview earlier this week. The act prompted immigrant rights advocates to reach out for institutional change. Here’s how the dictionary’s new edition originally defined “anchor baby:”

Anchor Baby, 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.”

Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center pushed back on the term’s definition, acknowledging that it’s politically loaded language and not neutral. She’s right. The term is racially charged and hurtful, much like the term “illegal immigrant,” which Giovagnoli ironically did use in her piece. It’s no surprise that dehumanizing and criminalizing people by describing them as “illegal immigrants” has paved the way for “anchor baby,” which suggests that supposedly “illicit” people who have families and settle down are conniving and dangerous. Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Events and Awards

The American Immigration Council’s event program is an important tool used to educate Americans of the important contributions made by immigrants to our society and to remind Americans that it is in our country's best interest to remain a nation of immigrants.

Annual Benefit

The Council hosts a national Annual Benefit gala, in conjunction with the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s (AILA) Annual Conference, where we award the American Heritage Award to honor the outstanding contributions of individual immigrants.

Immigrant Achievement Awards

The Council also hosts three additional regional Immigrant Achievement Awards in New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. At the Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards, the Council awards the Stephen K. Fischel Public Service Award as well as the American Immigration Council Youth Immigrant Achievement Award.

“Celebrate America” Creative Writing Contest

The Council’s Community Education Center sponsors the annual "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society. Open to fifth grade students across the nation, this contest encourages our youth, families and surrounding communities to evaluate and appreciate the effects of immigration in our own lives. This, in turn, allows them to see that America is truly a nation of immigrants.

Quick Fact: The importance of unauthorized immigrants in California

If all of the unauthorized immigrants in California were removed, the state would lose $301.6 billion in economic activity, decrease total employment by 17.4%, and eliminate 3.6 million jobs.

Backlash against Kris Kobach on immigration is growing

Published on Thu, Feb 09, 2012

Kris Kobach’s ears should be burning.

Backlash built this week against the Kansas secretary of state for gallivanting state-to-state, drumming up support for laws bent on driving illegal immigrants out.

The rebukes aren’t coming from his usual critics, those who display sanity about the federal reforms needed to effectively deal with illegal immigration.

No, Kobach’s supporters are barking back now. The legislators and taxpayers who bought into his schemes to make the lives of illegal immigrants so hellish that they “self-deport.”

The editorial board of the Press-Register in Mobile, Ala., accused Kobach of banking on exactly what happened there — costly court challenges and a wide-range of unintended consequences for legal residents.

“Alabama allowed itself to be used as a guinea pig on illegal immigration so that a Kansas lawyer could build his political career,” the editorial said.

So Alabama’s legislature has gone to work, figuring out how to rewrite or repeal the damage done by Kobach’s handiwork, measures passed in 2011.

On Monday, the Immigration Policy Center released “Discrediting ‘Self Deportation’ As Immigration Policy.” Yes, you can make life harsh for immigrants, but everyone else suffers, too. Economists predict Alabama’s gross domestic product will lose up to $10.8 billion as a result, and $57 million to $264 million more in state income and sales tax collections could evaporate.

Oops.

Anyway, data are beginning to show that immigrants don’t self-deport in substantial numbers.

It’s all sleight of hand, a hustle that eventually will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Missouri also stood out in national conversations for being among the gullible states where chasing around illegal immigrants is still gathering traction, despite experiences elsewhere.Read more...

Published in the The Kansas City Star

New Media Internship

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council, is seeking a New Media Intern to assist with its online presence and social networking capacity. Applicants should possess strong communications and new media skills, as well as a passion for the future of immigration.

Responsibilities include:

  • Updating IPC website, blog and publications
  • Blog/new media outreach
  • Archiving media clips
  • Generating dialogue in social networking spaces
  • Gathering and maintaining media contact lists (relevant websites, blogs, print, audio and visual media)
  • Integrating new media technologies into IPC's communication strategies
  • Supporting staff as needed

Qualifications and Skills

  • Interest in immigration
  • Basic HTML skills preferred, but not required
  • Understanding of blog culture and new media world
  • Basic Wordpress and blogging skills
  • Familiar with a wide-range of online social networks and new media technologies
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Student working on BS/BA or MS/MA degree in Communication/Journalism/New Media or related field with a strong interest in immigration
  • Sense of humor a must

Compensation
Non-paid, school credit available

Schedule
Flexible, preferably 3-4 days a week

Duration
Five to Six Months

Application Procedure
Application process is rolling. Please send us a resume and cover letter stating your knowledge of and experience with new media—including relevant classes and related work experience.  Your cover letter should also demonstrate your interest in immigration and what you hope to gain from this internship.Read more...

Letter to the Editor: Where Arizona’s immigration law is flawed

Published on Sun, Apr 29, 2012

Despite the Supreme Court justices’ apparent skepticism [“Justices receptive to parts of Arizona’s immigration law,” front page, April 26], the immigration status checks required by Arizona’s law subvert federal enforcement priorities and procedures. Section 2(B) requires Arizona police to verify the immigration status of all individuals arrested. This will result in thousands of additional verification requests to the federal government every year, significantly delay response times and divert scarce enforcement resources away from high-priority targets.

Section 2(B) also requires that, in the event of a lawful stop or an investigative detention, police check immigration status only if they have “reasonable suspicion” an individual is unlawfully present. Given the cursory nature of such stops, the complexities of federal immigration law and minimal guidance from the state law, police — under threat of civil damages — will be forced to rely on impermissible criteria such as race to make these determinations.

Such an arbitrary and unjust process contradicts the comprehensive enforcement scheme embodied in federal immigration law.

Melissa Crow, North Potomac

Published in the The Washington Post

Access to Courts

Access to Courts Federal court review is an important check on agency decision making because of the high stakes involved in immigration cases and the potential for error that accompanies the growing volume of cases. Through targeted litigation, the LAC has consistently advocated that statutory limits on judicial review must be narrowly construed. We also provide practice advisories, mentoring and other support to attorneys seeking review of unfavorable decisions impacting the rights of noncitizens. In addition, we advocate for the adoption of policies that help ensure all noncitizens a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the immigration court system.

Federal Courts | Immigration Courts and the BIA | Practice AdvisoriesRead more...

DHS Unveils Guidance for Deferred Action for Qualfied Young Illegal Aliens

Published on Mon, Aug 06, 2012

Homeland Security Today cited the IPC's study, "Who And Where the DREAMers Are," in an in-depth article describing the new criteria surrounding Obama's deferred action plan:

Read more...

Published in the Homeland Security Today

Sponsorship Priority Policy

To best serve our excellent existing host organizations, we are implementing a priority policy regarding which applications will be considered for J-1 sponsorship.

New applications will be considered based on the following priorities:

First priority: 
Applications that have already been reserved for existing host sites and AILA members.  For the remainder of 2012, no further applications are being added to the reserved list.

Second priority: 
Depending upon available space, excellent applications for programs at US organizations that have successfully hosted J-1 programs with the American Immigration Council in the past. Currently, space is available only in the event of cancellations from the reserved list.

Third priority:
If space becomes available, excellent applications sent to the American Immigration Council via members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Currently, unless there are major policy changes at the Department of State, we do not anticipate additional space opening for new host organizations.

Due to the limited remaining allotment, only extremely strong applications for training and internship programs will be considered.


More information on our annual allotment is found on the Allotment Tip Sheet.

 

-The International Exchange Center Staff