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Court Finds Tax Crimes Are Aggravated Felonies

Kawashima v. Holder, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1166 (2012).

In a 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision holding that convictions for committing and aiding tax evasion in which the Government’s loss exceeds $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies under INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and therefore, are deportable offenses. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit split between the Third and Ninth Circuits in favor of the latter. Compare Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. 2004) with Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).

The Court began its analysis by stating that it will employ the categorical approach by looking to the statutory definition of the crime rather than the specific facts of the case. See Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 186 (2007). First, the Court found that the elements of the tax crimes at issue, 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and (2), clearly establish that commission of the crimes involves fraud or deceit. Second, the Court addressed the Petitioners’ argument that INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) must be read in conjunction with INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(ii), and because clause (ii) references a specific tax crime (not at issue here), Congress did not intend clause (i) to cover tax crimes as well. The Court rejected that argument, concluding that the two clauses are not mutually exclusive and thus tax crimes are not excluded from clause (i).

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan, issued a dissent in which she challenged the Court’s “dubious” statutory interpretation.

Mary Giovagnoli on the DREAM Act

Published on Thu, Aug 04, 2011

Mary Giovagnoli on the DREAM Act:

Published in the Explore Homeland

Impact on J-1 Programs in the Event of a Federal Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013 - As the US Congress delays approving a budget for FY 2014, it is possible that tax funded “non-essential” services will be suspended.  “Non-essential” services are those that are not considered to be a health or security concern.

Read on to learn areas that may impact our exchange visitors in J status: Read more...

Executive Action on Immigration


Dream Act California: What Gov. Brown's Bill Means for Students, Taxpayers

Published on Sun, Oct 09, 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown announced Saturday that he has signed the second half of California's Dream Act legislative package, which will begin in 2013. But what is the Dream Act, and what impact will it have on the California?


Each year, about 25,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in California. Many of these students came to America when they were very young, before they had any say in their education or choices. As such, many legislators feel this bill gives them an opportunity both to become Americans and fulfill the American dream.

"After having invested 12 years in the high school education of these young men and women, who are here through no fault of their own," Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D- Los Angeles) said Saturday, "it's the smartest thing for us to do to permit these students to get scholarships and be treated like every other student."

Many undocumented students are not able to attend college without financial assistance. Almost 40% of undocumented students families' live below the federal poverty line, compared to 17% percent for native-born families, according to the Immigration Policy Center.

Approximately 2,500 students are expected to apply under the program thus far.


Published in the International Business Times

Trustees Emeriti

The Council expresses its deep gratitude to the following individuals who have served with distinction as past members of the American Immigration Council Board of Trustees and/or Board of Directors. We salute their leadership and continued commitment to building our foundation.

Peter Ashman (2006-2013)
Kelly McCown (2006-2012)
Jeff Joseph (2006 -2012)
Amy Novick (2006-2012)
Kristen Schlenger** (2001-2012)
James David Acoba (2000-2001)
Jonathan Avirom (1993-2001)
Roxana C. Bacon*** (2000-2005)
Lenni Beth Benson (2000-2004)
Daryl R. Buffenstein (1994-1997)
Jeanne A. Butterfield (2001-2008)
C. Lynn Calder (1997-2004)
Maria Isabel Casablanca (2004-2010)
Margaret A. Catillaz (1999-2001)
Anne Chandler (2006-2013)
Gerard M. Chapman (2001-2008)
Joseph E. Ching (1993-1996)
Steven A. Clark (1998-2001)
Robert Cohen (2004-2011)
Jules E. Coven
Linda A. Cristello (2000-2001)
Goldie C. Domingue (2000-2002)
Jenifer Eisen (1997-1999)
Phyllis Eisen (2000-2001)
Stephen K. Fischel (2005-2008)
Sarah Fortino-Brown (2004-2010)
Charles Foster (1993-2004)
Hope M. Frye (1992-1996)
Harry Gee, Jr. (1993-1995)
Jodi Goodwin (2004-2007)
Silvia Romo Graves (2001-2011)
Karen Grisez (2004-2011)
Matthew L. Hirsch (2006-2013)
Paul Hribernik (2000-2001)
Veronica M. Jeffers (2001-2002)
H. Ronald Klasko (1989-1990)
Charles H. Kuck (2007-2010)
Steven M. Ladik* (2000-2005)
MaryEllen Lannon (2008-2009)
Michelle L. Lazerow (2001-2007)
Ellen Ma Lee (1993-2004)
Michael Maggio (1993-2001)
Margaret H. McCormick* (1997-2004)
Cyrus D. Mehta** (1998-2005)
Nancy-Jo Merritt (1993-1995, 2008-2010)
Charles Miller (1995-1998)
Kathleen A. Moccio** (1998-2008)
Sheela Murthy (2002-2009)


Let illegals, other noncitizens vote, New Haven mayor says

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven and its mayor are seeking to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens.

Mayor John DeStefano, a Democrat, introduced four years ago a first-of-its-kind program to give noncitizens, legal or not, city resident cards. Despite crackdowns elsewhere, he has forged ahead with proposals that he says encourage differences.

“We’re a place of differences,” he said. “We’re a place that sees a strength and places a value on welcoming folks from all over.”

Dozens of American cities including New York, San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass., take a hands-off approach to pursuing illegal immigrants. While advocates say they are distancing themselves from a broken immigration system, critics accuse them of flouting federal law as “sanctuary cities.”

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has vowed to cut off federal funding for such cities. Texas Gov. Rick Perry pushed a bill this year that would have prohibited cities from acting as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants and get local law enforcement more involved in immigration enforcement. Mitt Romney has said he opposed sanctuary cities as Massachusetts governor and, as president, he would “find the right approach” to ending them if legally possible.

President Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans to crack down on sanctuary cities. As a Democratic candidate in 2007, he said the U.S. government should address the issue by providing a rational immigration system, not by withdrawing funds from such cities.Read more...

Published in the Washington Times

2010 Annual Immigrant Acheivement Awards Washington, DC

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Council
Executive Director Ben Johnson introduces honorees
Cokie and Steven Roberts
Cokie Roberts and Steven Roberts kick off the evening
Creative Writing Contest Winner & Cokie Roberts
The national winner of "Celebrate America"  Creative Writing Contest receives her award from Cokie Roberts
Steven V. Roberts and Paul Zulkie
President of the Board of Trustees Paul Zulkie (R) and Steven V. Roberts

(L-R) Ben Johnson, Henry Cejudo, Julia Culbert, Cokie Roberts, Steveb Roberts

Appeals Court Blocks Controversial Sections of Tough Alabama Immigration Law

Published on Fri, Mar 09, 2012

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked two key sections of Alabama’s immigration law, HB 56.  Thursday’s ruling came the same week that thousands of Latinos marched with African American leaders to commemorate the bloody civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery 47 years ago.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined sections 27 and 30 of the state law until legal challenges brought by the federal government and a coalition of church and civil rights groups are resolved. Read more...

Published in the Feet in Two Worlds