Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, architect of some of the most controversial anti-illegal immigrant state laws, now is fighting a proposal in his own state that would allow undocumented immigrants to work in hard-to-fill jobs.
The proposal, by business groups, calls for undocumented immigrants to be able to remain in Kansas if they work in jobs in agriculture and other industries that are struggling through labor shortages.
Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona, is denouncing the new Kansas proposal as "amnesty" for people who've come to the U.S. illegally. A spokeswoman said Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican, isn't supporting the measure.
But Brownback's agriculture secretary has acknowledged having several conversations with federal homeland security officials about potential labor shortages. The coalition pushing the new program includes agriculture groups with memberships that traditionally lean toward the GOP, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, another stalwart supporter of conservative Republicans.
Utah has a guest worker program, but it isn't set to start until January 2013, and its enactment was part of a legislative package that included initiatives in line with Kobach's thinking on immigration. States with large populations of undocumented immigrants -- including California, Florida and Texas -- don't have their own programs.
The Kansas proposal was described as "unprecedented" by Wendy Sefsaf, director of communications at the American Immigration Council.
State officials and supporters of the business groups' plan don't yet have hard numbers on how many jobs are in danger of going unfilled, but unemployment rates in the western half of the state were mostly less than 4 percent in December, well below the statewide figure of 5.9 percent.Read more...
A clash over immigration law will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 25), pitting the state of Arizona against U.S. President Barack Obama in a case with election-year political ramifications for him and Republican rival Mitt Romney.
In its second-biggest case this term, the court -- fresh from hearing the Obama healthcare overhaul case -- will consider whether a tough Arizona immigration crackdown strayed too far into the federal government's powers.
A pro-Arizona decision would be a legal and political setback for Obama, who has criticized the state's law and vowed to push for immigration legislation if re-elected on November 6. Read more...
The LAC uses litigation and advocacy as tools to protect the rights of noncitizens. We litigate in the federal courts, focusing our work on cases that have a wide impact. We also advocate before the immigration agencies to help ensure that the immigration laws are implemented properly. The following are our litigation and advocacy priorities: Read more...
The White House Blog cited IPC statistics about the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians to highlight how immigrants help strengthen our economy.
Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015. Read more...
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.
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...
Mary Giovagnoli, the IPC's Director, was quoted in this article from the Washington Post:
“The immigration issue in a lot of ways I think is maturing in a way that simply takes time,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, who was a staffer for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) during the 2006-07 debate. “There seems to be a much greater level of trust and cordiality. [The last time] the two sides were dragged kicking and screaming together.” A similar dynamic was at play with health-care reform—another major effort that had suffered from a spectacular defeat in Congress before finally passing. “Any major, major piece of social change is a long process,” Giovagnoli concludes.
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...