Skip to Content



Immigration Policy Center reports stable unauthorized immigrant population

Published on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

As Republicans in the Florida legislature move forward with immigration-enforcement bills, new data shows that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained stable.

According to a report released on Monday by the Immigration Policy Center:

Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.

The report also shows that three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade, and that unauthorized immigrants already in the U. S. have approximately 5.5 million children. Around 1 million of those children are unauthorized immigrants, while the remaining 4.5 million are native-born U.S. citizens who have at least one unauthorized parent.

Nationwide, unauthorized immigrants represent about 28 percent of the total foreign-born population. Naturalized U.S. citizens make up about 37 percent and legal permanent residents 31 percent.

The data used by the Immigration Policy Center report indicates that Florida has the third highest unauthorized population in the U.S. (825,000).

Citing Pew Hispanic Center data, the report indicates that the current unauthorized population accounts for roughly 1-in-20 workers: around 5 percent of the U.S. labor force.

“Unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families,” according to the report.

Published in the American Independent

Lawsuit Filed against DHS and USCIS Seeks Transparency Promised by Obama Administration

AILA v. DHS is a FOIA lawsuit seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures for the "H-1B" visa program – a program which allows U.S. businesses to temporarily employ highly-skilled foreign workers.

AILA v. DHS is a FOIA lawsuit seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures for the "H-1B" visa program – a program which allows U.S. businesses to temporarily employ highly-skilled foreign workers. AILA had pursued disclosure of the documents through two separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, both of which were denied in full by the government.

The suit is brought by the American Immigration Council and Steptoe & Johnson LLP.


Proceedings in District Court

On July 20, 2010, plaintiff AILA filed a complaint in district court asking the court to order defendants to conduct a reasonable search for the records responsive to AILA’s requests; to be enjoined from continuing to withhold information relevant to the requests; to declare the requested records are not exempt from disclosure and make copies available to AILA; and to award any other relief that the court deems just and equitable.


Yves Thiers Takes On Texas

August, 2010

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Yves Thiers as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Yves came to the United States from Belgium soon after graduating with a Master of Industrial Science degree. He hoped to be able to gain hands on knowledge of the engineering projects he studied at university. His host company, Dal-Tile Corporation, was just the place for this. Dal-Tile Corporation is a tile manufacturer and distributor based out of Dallas, TX. Read more...

Debate over birthright citizenship intensifies

Published on Wed, May 11, 2011

Since 1857, when a man named Dred Scott fought for his constitutional right to remain free after standing on free soil, the question of the Fourteenth Amendment and its citizenship provision has been brought to the table many times by others who also question when exactly they are free and citizens of the United States.

Even in the 21st century, this is not a decided issue.

Current public debate and even some pieces of proposed legislation in various states and in Congress are questioning whether the U.S. Constitution should be altered to deprive U.S. citizenship of those who are born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in the wake of the Civil War, grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born in the United States and forbids states from depriving U.S. citizens of “privileges and immunities.”

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-profit citizens’ organization centralized in Washington, D.C., whose mission statement declares it dedicated to the cause of reforming immigration politics to serve a national interest. They said the only way to fix this issue is to start over.

“What we have said for a long, long time is that our current immigration policy doesn’t make any sense,” said Ira Mehlman, media director for FAIR. “It’s not serving the interest of the country. We keep trying to apply all kinds of different types of patches and add-ons. What we need to do is shut down the policy that exists and design one from scratch that actually serves the interest of the country.”

This includes changing the Fourteenth Amendment, or at least its current interpretation, especially with respect to the Citizenship Clause that overruled the Dred Scott decision. It declares, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”Read more...

Published in the BYU Daily News

Court Holds Traditional Standard Applies to Stays of Removal Pending Petitions for Review

 Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418 (2009)

The Supreme Court held that a court of appeals should apply the traditional criteria governing stays when adjudicating a stay of removal pending a petition for review. In doing so, the Court rejected the government’s argument that the stringent standard in INA § 242(f)(2) (“clear and convincing evidence” that the removal order “is prohibited as a matter of law") applies. The Court’s decision reversed the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, which had held that INA § 242(f)(2) applies to stays of removal pending petitions for review. Read more...

‘Green card lottery’ blunder comes as program’s future is in question

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

For Olivier Millogo, there was one last chance to hit this year’s jackpot.

He’d been lucky the first time in May, winning a prized slot in the State Department’s “green card lottery” and a chance to live and work legally in the United States.

But 12 days later, the 36-year-old from Burkina Faso was crushed when federal officials discovered a computer problem with the drawing and canceled the results. A second drawing on Friday brought no good news for him.

“I’m not selected,” said Millogo, who lives in Alexandria and is attending DeVry University on a student visa. “There is nothing to do.”

A class-action lawsuit was filed to block the new drawing, but a federal judge dismissed the case, clearing the way for it. The decision dashed the dreams of 22,000 would-be winners from around the world who had hoped the lottery’s initial results would be reinstated.

The program they had applied for, the Diversity Visa Lottery, attracts millions of applicants worldwide and each year provides about 50,000 immigrants a legal route to permanent residency in the United States. The mix-up over this year’s drawing comes as some lawmakers question whether it should continue.

Begun in 1995 with the backing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the lottery is unknown to many Americans but has stood as a symbol of hope for millions seeking the opportunity to transform their lives. But it has been pulled into the larger debate over immigration, with critics saying it is rife with security risks and brings no benefits to the United States.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill to drop it.

“If you’re a terrorist organization and you can get a few hundred people to apply to this from several countries . . . odds are you’d get one or two of them picked,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who introduced the bill, said in an interview.Read more...

Published in the Washington Post

Court Broadly Defines “Misdemeanor Crime of Violence,” But Limits Applicability of Holding

United States v. Castleman, 572 U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 1405 (2014)

In a 9-0 judgment, the Court reversed the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court held that a conviction pursuant to a statute which criminalizes conduct including offensive touching and bodily injury through indirect force qualifies as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which bars individuals with domestic violence convictions from possessing guns or ammunition. However, the Court expressly noted that its decision does not cast doubt on prior decisions of the courts of appeals and the BIA which have held that a “crime of violence” requires force beyond offensive touching, nor upon statutes, including the INA, which tie the definition of a “crime of domestic violence” to the definition of a more generic crime of violence.

Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Justices Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, joined by Justice Thomas.

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Immigrant Defense Project issued a Practice Advisory addressing Castleman’s impact on immigration cases.

State poised to restrict use of E-Verify database

Published on Fri, Sep 16, 2011

California is poised to nullify immigration enforcement ordinances in about a half dozen Inland Empire cities – and to continue to buck a national trend – by restricting the use of E-Verify, the national online database used to check the immigration status of workers.

Under the Employment Acceleration Act, passed by the state Senate last week and currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, state and local governments could not require California businesses to use the database to ferret out undocumented employees.

California’s approach is an anomaly. States and cities across the country have passed laws that mandate use of the E-Verify system as part of a strategy to curb illegal immigration and ensure that scarce jobs go to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The act conflicts with the Legal Workforce Act [PDF], a bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the use of E-Verify by all American employers.

The California bill has been cited as a reason that the national legislation, which is being marked up this week in the House Judiciary Committee, is necessary.

“California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., yet elected officials in Sacramento just sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that will further diminish job opportunities,” bill sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a statement. “California’s E-Verify opt-out bill shows exactly why we need a federal E-Verify law.”

If the Employment Acceleration Act becomes law, it would create ripple effects at the local level, trumping city ordinances adopted in a number of Inland Empire cities – including Temecula, Lake Elsinore, and Lancaster – that currently mandate the use of the E-Verify system as a prerequisite to running a business.

Citing the importance of local control, state senators representing these communities have opposed the bill.Read more...

Published in the California Watch