This week, another batch of state legislators in Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado and Texas dipped their toes in the enforcement-only waters, but found themselves facing an even louder chorus of opposition from their communities.
In South Carolina, the farming lobby is putting pressure on lawmakers considering “papers please” Arizona-style legislation to also consider farmers who need seasonal labor. Last week, amidst questions on the bill’s legality, South Carolina legislators sent an Arizona copycat bill (SB 20 ) to committee for further discussion. This week, however, the American Farm Bureau said it would pursue a policy that “assists the federal government in helping states create programs that give growers access to enough legal labor”—that is, temporary legal status.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has a process through which individuals may lodge complaints against immigration judges. Yet, there is very little publicly available information about how such complaints are resolved. The LAC, in collaboration with AILA and Public Citizen, is working to shed light on this closed complaint process.
American Immigration Lawyers Association v. Executive Office for Immigration Review, et al., No. 13-cv-00840 (D.D.C. filed June 6, 2013)
The LAC and co-counsel Public Citizen filed a lawsuit on behalf of AILA seeking information about complaints alleging immigration judge misconduct. This suit stems from a November 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request AILA submitted to EOIR asking that the agency disclose complaints against immigration judges and records indicating how the agency has resolved those complaints. EOIR failed to release any documents, prompting the filing of the lawsuit in June 2013. In October 2013, the parties agreed to a schedule for the production of documents and briefing in the district court. Beginning in November 2013, and stretching over the course of almost four months, EOIR is expected to release at least several hundred complaints against immigration judges.Read more...
The American Immigration Council (formerly the American Immigration Law Foundation) is pleased to present the 2009 "Appreciating America's Heritage" Teachers' Resource Guide. Each year, AILF publishes a new edition of this guide because it is important to promote respect, dignity and an appreciation for everyone in this country, regardless of where you were born. By ensuring our children learn that every person deserves respect and that celebrating multiculturalism is at the heart of our American values, the sooner the next generation can end the divisive rhetoric that has divided America for too long.
Prominent immigration restrictionists such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) like to pretend that federal and state governments could simply deport their way out of massive budget deficits and high unemployment. By this flawed line of economic reasoning, removing unauthorized immigrants from country would magically free up both jobs and budgets. In reality, removing millions of workers, consumers, and taxpayers would cause national and state economies to contract, resulting in fewer total jobs and less tax revenue. In addition, it would cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to locate, round up, detain, and deport the 11 million unauthorized men, women, and children now living in the United States.
This is not a recipe for economic recovery; it is a recipe for economic disaster.
Restrictionists who champion the deport-them-all approach to unauthorized immigrants have been relying of late on a deeply flawed 2010 report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which makes implausible claims about the costs of unauthorized immigrants. The FAIR report and the restrictionists who rely upon it overlook the fact that unauthorized immigrants are not only workers, but consumers as well. Unauthorized workers spend their wages in U.S. businesses — buying food, clothes, appliances, cars, etc. — which sustains the jobs of the workers employed by those businesses. Businesses respond to the presence of new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores, and production facilities. The end result is more jobs for more workers. For instance, a new report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation in Arizona estimates that the economic output and consumer spending of unauthorized workers in Arizona sustains 581,000 jobs.Read more...
Author: Introduction by Laura Danielson and Stephen Yale-Loehr, Stories by Saundra Amrhein, Photographs by Ariana Lindquist
The American Immigration Council is proud to support the publication of Green Card Stories. Green Card Stories (due to be printed in November 2011) is an incredible tribute to the diverse backgrounds that make up our immigrant population in America today. The American Immigration Council’s mission is to “strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history by shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future” and we can’t think of a better way to further our mission than through this beautiful and touching book.
Not only can you pre-order books for yourself, your office, family members, clients, etc. you can also pre-order a book to donate to your local school, library or community center or you can donate a book to one of the Council’s designated “hot spots” where education on immigration is needed most. Could your Member of Congress use a thank you or a gentle reminder of who our immigrant population is? Donate a copy of Green Card Stories to a Congressional office. All donated books will be delivered free of charge with a note indicating your generous gift.
To get a preview of the book, check out this slideshow.
In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Pat Quinn said Illinois would stop participating in a federal program that requires authorities to run the fingerprints of anyone arrested through a federal immigration database.
The program, called Secure Communities, is in effect in more than 1,000 jurisdictions in 40 states. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to rollout the program nationwide by 2013.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Quinn withdrew the state from the program because he had concerns that it was veering from its stated mission to deport convicted criminals:
Nearly a third of all illegal immigrants deported out of Illinois under the program have never been convicted of any crime, the letter stated, citing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures. Quinn's office suspended the state's role in the program in November amid concerns about its effectiveness.
"During the suspension, we voiced our concerns to ICE and asked them to prove that Secure Communities can and will be implemented as agreed to," the governor's office said in a statement. "After review, we were not satisfied and determined that ICE's ongoing implementation of Secure Communities is flawed."
One key thing to remember is that when a person comes into the country illegally, they are guilty of a civil infraction, not a criminal one. According to the Immigration Policy Center, one common objection to the program is that if local officers are seen as immigration officials, they'll lose the trust of their community and would make their jobs harder.
The program, however, has been popular among those who seek tougher enforcement of immigration laws.
The New York Times reported another interesting angle in March: Whether the federal government can force local jurisdictions to participate in the program is up for debate.Read more...
This issue covers the Supreme Court’s recent decision on judicial review of motions to reopen; upcoming BIA oral arguments addressing Brand X and whether the date of adjustment qualifies as the date of admission under INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I); a BIA decision on portability; a favorable K-2 “age out” decision; and motions to reopen after deportation.
Over the last six months, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), along with other members of the House Judiciary Committee, have engaged in an all-out effort to turn back the clock on our immigration laws through a series of bills that may tackle one issue at a time, but equal a comprehensive overhaul. This week, the restrictionists' Comprehensive Immigration Reform package (RCIR, as we call it) became complete with the introduction of the "Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation Act" (HALT Act), a bill that would suspend discretionary forms of immigration relief until January 21, 2013. Yes, until the day after the next inauguration.
Just yesterday, Congressman Smith inched a bit closer to RCIR when the full Judiciary Committee voted to advance the "Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011" (H.R. 1932) -- a bill that authorizes indefinite detention for immigrants. Apparently Smith is not content with the current mandatory detention laws because they include some provisions for release of immigrants, such as asylum seekers and others who have committed no crimes. His bill, however, would create a penal system for immigrants far more restrictive than the current detention system, which has generally been under fire from all sides.
And it doesn't stop there. Other bills in the RCIR package include mandatory E-verify with no provisions for current undocumented workers to become legal, elimination of the diversity visa, expanded authority for the Secretary of Homeland Security to revoke visas issued by the Department of State, the elimination of review for those visas, suspension of waivers for the 3 and 10 year bars, suspension of cancellation of removal, suspension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS), suspension of virtually all parole authority, deferral powers, and work authorization, and a revocation of any such benefits that are awarded between the date of introduction of the HALT Act and its enactment.Read more...