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E-Verify shouldn't be mandatory

Published on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

Fane, a native of Tonga, works as a dispatcher for a company in Los Angeles. When she was hired, her employer used E-Verify, an electronic federal database intended to identify only unauthorized immigrants, to verify her work authorization. Though she's been a U.S. citizen for 16 years, the E-Verify system flagged her. She had not notified the Social Security Administration that she had become a U.S. citizen - something that she did not realize that she was supposed to do.

Fane reported the mix-up to her employer, which eventually reinstated her. But she lost back pay for two weeks of work - a devastating loss of income for a working-class single mother of four.

Cases like Fane's, unfortunately, would become all the more common if Congress passes H.R. 2885, a bill sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to require all employers to implement E-Verify. Currently, the flawed E-Verify program is voluntary for most employers. This bill recently passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.

The government's own study shows that E-Verify's current error rate is 20 times higher for foreign-born workers than U.S.-born workers and 30 times higher for naturalized citizens, according to Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Making the system mandatory would adversely affect all immigrants, but especially the nation's Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, of whom more than two-thirds are foreign-born.

And those who are those authorized to work in this country, including U.S. citizens, could be deemed unauthorized simply due to an old database system that doesn't reflect current work authorization status. Because of errors in E-Verify, between 144,000 and 415,000 U.S. citizens and other legal workers in California alone could lose their jobs if they do not know to or are unable to correct their records, according to the Immigration Policy Center.Read more...

Published in the The Bellingham Herald

About the International Exchange Center

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The purpose of the International Exchange Center (IEC) is to create educational resources and opportunities that recognize our immigrant heritage. Dedicated to respecting, valuing, and celebrating cultural differences, the International Exchange Center programs create a synergy of the best ideas from many cultures for the benefit of all.

WHAT WE DO

The International Exchange Center fosters the exchange of culture, ideas and knowledge through sponsorship of the J-1 visa in the trainee and intern categories and the organization of periodic study tours to various cities around the world.
The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work and study based exchange visitor programs, which enable foreign nationals to visit and experience life in the United States. The U.S. Department of State designates sponsors to oversee J programs.

It is necessary for an applicant to have a sponsor before applying for the J-1 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. We welcome inquiries from U.S. host companies, their attorneys and from potential international interns and trainees.

As a sponsor, it is our responsibility to vet both the international applicant and the U.S. host organization for J-1 visa eligibility. We pride ourselves on screening and overseeing every exchange program directly. For this reason we do not work with overseas recruiters or U.S. placement agencies.Read more...

Quick Fact: The cost of Alabama's HB 56

Alabama’s HB 56 could shrink the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to $10.8 billion.

U.S. Seeks Rule Change to Let Some Illegal Immigrants Remain With Families

Published on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

The Obama administration proposed changing federal rules to let some undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. while seeking legal status, a move that would help Hispanics, a key voting bloc in the 2012 election.

The proposal is aimed at spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are eligible for a visa. The proposed change would let them remain in the country while applying for a green card, according to a statement by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The law now calls for immigrants who have been in the country illegally for 180 days or more to leave the U.S. to apply for legal residence, a period that can last as long as 10 years. Because of the potentially long separation from their families, immigrants who are eligible don’t apply for legal status, according to the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based pro-immigration group.

Congressional Republicans have stymied President Barack Obama’s drive to overhaul immigration laws to let temporary foreign workers enter the U.S. and to help illegal immigrants on a path toward citizenship. The proposed change doesn’t need congressional approval.

It would “provide a more predictable and transparent process and improved processing times,” according to the immigration agency’s statement.

Hispanics contributed to Obama’s margin of victory in the 2008 presidential election. Exit polls on election day showed 67 percent of Hispanic voters supported him compared with 31 percent for Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

States With Hispanics

That support helped Obama carry states with large Hispanic populations, including Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. The states are among the ones likely to be the most competitive in this year’s presidential race.

The illegal immigration issue has sparked disputes in the race among Republicans vying to be Obama’s opponent.Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg

Join the Summer Campaign!

Summer Money

Past AILA President Chuck Kuck has started a summer campaign to get 50 of his colleagues to join him in making a monthly donation of $10 (or more) to the American Immigration Council.  Read his email below and join the campaign!

 

CLICK HERE to join the Summer Campaign and become a monthly donor to the American Immigration Council!


 

Dear fellow AILA member,Read more...

A Tale of Two Undocumented Graduates

Published on Tue, Mar 20, 2012

Raul Rodriguez and Alberto Ledesma live parallel lives. Both proudly claim UC Berkeley as their alma mater. Both have worked hard academically. And both have published personal essays about the stigma of being an undocumented student.

But that’s where their lives diverge. Ledesma was fortunate enough to gain amnesty via the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), federal legislation that granted amnesty to immigrants who entered the U.S. before 1986. Rodriguez, on the other hand, remains undocumented because legislation like IRCA no longer exists.

“Even now, years after amnesty, I get all tongue-tied when anyone asks me about my immigrant past. I become that undocumented immigrant Cantinflas, twisting words and phrases until nothing I say makes sense. The problem is, I don’t know where my Cantinflas and where the true me begins.”

Rodriguez says he shares that same feeling of being constantly distressed. If he were granted amnesty, he says he would take every opportunity that presented itself, the simplest of all being travel. Before discovering he was undocumented, Rodriguez had plans to move to New York City and Paris, but all of those plans disappeared upon hearing the truth about his legal status.

“Being undocumented means re-shifting your life and not doing what you love,” he notes.

Today, Rodriguez lives a life that he can only describe as “going through the motions.” He is not alone. A study conducted by the Immigration Policy Center in 2008 showed that 25 percent of all people in the U.S. are either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. The same study concluded that 40 percent of all immigrants currently in the U.S. came to this country before 1990, which suggests that they've since established deep roots in this country. Many are like Ledesma and Rodriguez, having grown up in the U.S. yet never fully embraced as Americans. Read more...

Published in the New American Media

Mission

International ExchangeAbout the International Exchange Center

The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council firmly believes that the movement of people across borders improves quality of life worldwide. When international trainees on J-1 visas improve their career skills through training in the United States, they are better equipped to take care of their own families and communities.  On a larger scale, the positive ties created between US hosts and international trainees lead to a more stable world. When J-1 interns learn and share cutting edge technologies through internships with American companies, we all gain.

International trainings and internships provide the opportunity to combine the best ideas from two or more countries. J-1 trainees and interns return home with new career skills and a greater appreciation for American people and culture; the U.S. host company gains greater knowledge and appreciation for the J-1 visa holder's business practices, country and culture. Participating in international training is taking part in direct diplomacy and vitally important cultural exchange – strengthening positive ties with other parts of the world.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The purpose of the International Exchange Center is to create educational resources and opportunities that recognize our immigrant heritage.  Dedicated to respecting, valuing, and celebrating cultural differences, the International Exchange Center programs create a synergy of the best ideas from many cultures for the benefit of all.

Download a brochureRead more...

Memorial Day provides chance to break down language barrier

Published on Mon, May 28, 2012

Statistics from an IPC report were used in an article about the value of immigrants in America: Read more...

Published in the Star Exponent

Resources


Resources for Current J-1 Interns and Trainees

Is the American Immigration Council is currently sponsoring your J-1 Intern or Trainee program? Look here for information on what information you need to send us when you arrive, obtaining a Travel Validation signature, applying for a Social Security number and tax information, and replacement Evaluation forms.


Application Resources

Are you applying to one of the International Exchange Center’s J-1 programs? Click here for information on how to write a DS 7002 Training Plan and instructions on filling out our application.Read more...