Alabama now has the nation's toughest immigration law. Arizona should not compete to take back that title.
Our Legislature gave the state a break this year. No controversial immigration law was passed. No new spotlight fell on Arizona.
Yet the adjective phrase "Arizona-style" is still used to describe extreme, enforcement-heavy immigration measures such as the one just passed in Alabama.
In addition to mimicking most of the provisions of Arizona's infamous Senate Bill 1070, Alabama's law builds on Arizona's employer-sanctions law and its voter-identification law.
Alabama also goes after schoolchildren with a requirement that schools report on the immigration status of students. The idea, which has been proposed in Arizona, is to create a record of the cost of educating undocumented children as a basis for challenging the 1982 Supreme Court ruling that all children should be educated, regardless of immigration status.
Checking the status of schoolchildren will mean that kids - even some who were born in this country - will be kept out of school by undocumented parents who fear questions at school will lead to deportation. Alabama's school provisions would create a permanent uneducated underclass.
Like SB 1070, the Alabama law is built around a strategy called "attrition through enforcement." The aim is to make things so uncomfortable that undocumented immigrants self-deport.
Research by the Immigration Policy Center found that undocumented migrants often just go further underground as a result of get-tough measures. They become more vulnerable and less likely to report crime, making local law enforcement more difficult.
Other provisions in the Alabama law, such as making it a crime to knowingly rent to an undocumented immigrant and barring undocumented people from enrolling in postsecondary institutions, are also part of this strategy.Read more...
The Supreme Court granted certiorari, vacated the judgment, and remanded the case to the Second Circuit for further consideration in light of Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183, 126 S. Ct. 1613, 164 L. Ed. 2d 358 (2006).
In Gonzales v. Thomas, the Court held that the Ninth Circuit erred by deciding, without prior resolution by the BIA, that the asylum applicants and their family would constitute a "particular social group" and should have applied the "ordinary remand rule" rather than deciding the asylum case in the first instance. The underlying court of appeals decision in Gao involves an asylum claim based on membership in a "particular social group."
It’s not just DREAMers that are getting a reprieve under the Obama administration’s revised deportation policies. When the Department of Homeland Security announced last week that in the coming months it will review its roughly 300,000 open deportation cases with the aim of closing low-priority cases, the agency indicated that for the purposes of deportation policy, it will recognize same-sex couples and families as real families.
The news means that queer families facing deportation may win the right to stay in the country under DHS criteria of who constitutes a high priority for removal. The guiding document for who merits the use of prosecutorial discretion is a June 17 memo written by Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton. Morton advised ICE agents and attorneys to consider those who met any of the following characteristics were a low priority for deportation: those who were victims of crime, especially domestic violence or trafficking; those who are long-time lawful permanent residents; those with are veterans or active-duty military personnel and those with strong family ties in the U.S.
Under the Defense of Marriage Act, federal agencies are forbidden from recognizing the partnerships of same-sex couples, and that’s extended to the world of federal immigration policy. According to the American Immigration Council there are currently 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples in the country, and DOMA has provided the legal justification for the routine denial of same sex couple’s applications for permanent residence, and other immigration benefits like deportation relief, that straight couples are eligible for.Read more...
President Barack Obama risks losing important Hispanic votes if he does not do more on the immigration issue, protesters from Winston-Salem and surrounding areas said Tuesday during a rally in Charlotte, echoing a message that has been expressed at similar rallies nationwide.
"For me, the rally means: 'Obama, you really need to help us, and if not, we can take you out of office,'" said Ana Sosa, a 19-year-old Mocksville resident who can't vote because she doesn't have legal permission to be in the United States but who says she can affect how other people vote. Read more...
Whether you are an educator, librarian, museum curator, immigration attorney, community activist or just someone who is interested in the unique ways immigrants and immigration touch our lives, we believe you have something valuable to add to the immigration dialogue. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get involved in this pivotal topic. If you have an idea or would like to make a suggestion on how we can make immigration more accessible to your community, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Immigration Council is proud to sponsor the annual “Celebrate America” Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.
The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce a call for submissions to the 2013 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The competition challenges today’s young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects.
Unauthorized immigrants made up 5.2% (about 8 million) of the U.S. workforce in 2010, according to a report from the American Immigration Council's Strength In Diversity report.
The same year, the American Immigration Council and American Progress estimated that deporting all unauthorized immigrants from the country and sealing the borders to future unauthorized immigration would "reduce the U.S. GDP by 1.46% annually—or $2.6 trillion in lost GDP over 10 years."
In January, the American Immigration Council compiled information about the full political and economic power of "immigrants, Latinos, and Asians" for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
At least 15 states, including California, Texas, and New York, stand to lose billions if illegal immigrants are deported. The number of illegal immigrants living in each state has been obtained from the 2008 report released by Pew Hispanic Center.