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Letter to the Editor: Immigration and Employment

Published on Mon, Dec 07, 2009

In his Dec. 3 Ideas piece, “Recovering Stolen Jobs Key to Recovery,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) misconstrues the relationship between unauthorized immigration and unemployment among native-born workers. Smith seems to think that deporting the 8 million unauthorized-immigrant workers now in the United States would magically create 8 million job openings for unemployed, native-born Americans. In the real world, however, it’s not that simple. Immigrant and native-born workers cannot simply be exchanged for one another like batteries.

Published in the Politico

Bringing Fairness to the Immigration Justice System

Day Three of Senate Mark-Up Will Address Immigration Court Reforms, Detention, and E-Verify

Released on Wed, May 15, 2013

Washington D.C. - Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues mark-up of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Committee will complete work on Title Four and then begin to take up amendments related to Title Three, which addresses interior enforcement programs like E-Verify, as well as immigration court reforms and detention practices. We are encouraged to see the Senate take on the structure and quality of justice accorded immigrants who are caught in the enforcement net. The immigration removal system—from arrest to hearing to deportation and beyond—does not reflect American values of due process and fundamental fairness.

The failure to provide a fair process to those facing expulsion from the United States is all the more disturbing given the increasing criminalization of the immigration enforcement system. Over the last two decades, Congress has dramatically expanded the number and types of offenses that may render an individual deportable, subject to mandatory detention for long periods of time and without any opportunity for a judge to weigh the equities of a particular case.  Consequently, even relatively minor offenses can result in a person being detained in immigration custody and deported, often with no hope of ever returning to the United States.
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Legalizing unauthorized immigrants would help economy, study says

Published on Thu, Jan 07, 2010

Legalization of the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs and generate more tax revenue, two policy institutes say in a joint report Thursday. The report by the Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council estimates that "comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes currently unauthorized immigrants and creates flexible legal limits on future immigration" would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over a 10-year period.

Published in the CNN

HoldCBPAccountable.org Launched to Expose Border-Related Abuse and Litigation

Released on Wed, Mar 26, 2014

An alliance of immigration advocacy groups announces the launch of HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and administrative complaints brought against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties have joined forces to document litigation that exposes CBP abuses, including unlawful searches and seizures, removals based on coercion and misinformation, and the use of excessive and sometimes deadly force by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers.

Among the cases included on the website:Read more...

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DHS Fails to Meet Target Immigration Goals

Published on Wed, Mar 03, 2010

More than one year into the administration of President Barack Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still must pursue some key changes in support of immigration reform to embrace Obama's intended immigration policy objectives, a policy group said Tuesday.

DHS must move forward in due process for illegal immigrants by creating an ombudsman at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate complaints and keep its focus on detention reform at ICE, recommended the Immigration Policy Center in its report, The Challenge of Reform: An Analysis of Immigration Policy in the First Year of the Obama Administration.

 

Published in the Homeland Security Today

Unprecedented Coalition Ask Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking Immigration Initiatives

Released on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

Washington D.C. - The Texas federal district court order that blocked parts of President Obama’s executive action on immigration was based on unproven or incomplete presentations to the court and should be reversed, civil rights and immigration advocates argue in an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case of State of Texas v. United States. Texas and 25 other states have sued the federal government to stop the implementation of initiatives that will provide temporary relief from deportation, but advocates maintain the president’s actions are legally sound.

Multiple legal briefs defending the deferred action initiatives were filed Monday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a range of advocates, leaders, and elected officials. One of these briefs will be filed on behalf of more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, led by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
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Anti-Immigrant Group Cites Report That Disproves Its Own Arguments

Published on Sat, Apr 10, 2010

On Thursday, NumbersUSA — an immigration restrictionist group that calls for the suspension of most legal immigration — pounced on a report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) which found, amongst other things, that legalizing undocumented immigrants would not have a “significant effect” on the economy. According to NumbersUSA director Roy Beck, PPIC’s study validates what his organization has been saying all along:

Amnesty supporters claim that illegal aliens are paid below average wages, but by offering them a path to citizenship, their wages will increase. The study by the non-partisan institute, however, says that’s not the case.

Published in the Wonk Room

Arizonans just swatting the beehive

Published on Sun, May 02, 2010

Having been born on the banks of the Rio Grande (Eagle Pass, Texas) and after living 25 years among 2.4 million people in El Paso-Juárez — more than two-thirds of whom speak primarily Spanish — I have acquired a layman’s understanding of international relations. One lesson I’ve learned: Never treat a beehive like a piñata.

Published in the The Columbian

Exhibit Hall

Becoming Americans: A Historical Perspective

Exhibit by Phillip Ratner  


When Eleanor Sreb, of the Smithsonian Folklife Center, and Ross Holland, National Park Service Associate Director for Cultural Resources Management, approached artist Phillip Ratner to create artwork for Ellis Island, Ratner initially thought, "How do I fit the entire world into a single piece?" Ratner sat for hours on a bench in the Great Hall at Ellis Island sketching, thinking, observing--trying to capture the essence of the immigration experience. Ratner conjured up images of the millions of immigrants who passed through that Great Hall--travel weary people of all ages, creeds and nationalities who hungered for a new life in America. "I picked up the ghosts," Ratner said, "and it changed my life. I felt my grandparents' energy and that of the thousands of immigrants who passed through those halls."

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Violence On The Mexican Border Misconstrued

Published on Wed, May 26, 2010

The violence has increased since 2007 – on the Mexican side of the border. What gets lost in this debate is that violence on the American side of the border has actually decreased.

A report by the Immigration Policy Center compiled using statistics from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics found that violent and property crime in Arizona has been on a steady decline since 2002. It decreased by 8% in six years. Violent crime impacted 447 people out of 100,000 in 2008 compared to 555 in 2002.

Published in the News Junkie Blog