Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the U.S. Senate for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744) by a vote of 68-32 (including 14 Republicans). This vote reflects how far the country has come in understanding the significance of immigration reform to the health and well-being of the nation as a whole. Regardless of what may come next, today’s vote reflects the irrefutable fact that the social and economic benefits of immigration reform are tangible and achievable. There will be much work ahead to continue to perfect the policies reflected in this bill. But for the moment, we should thank the Senate, led by the Gang of Eight, for the courage and vision to finally move the country forward on immigration.
“Today’s vote is a game-changer. The debate around immigration reform is forever changed, the notion that the Senate cannot act on immigration is a thing of the past, and now we know that it is possible to find bi-partisan agreement on an issue once deemed toxic,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.
“There is little doubt that today’s vote offers the country a chance to start again on immigration. While the compromises necessary to achieve a significant bipartisan vote were many, this is a lesson for us all in democracy—we can respect deep disagreements on policy grounds, yet still find a way forward. The Senate should be commended for giving us all a chance to change the conversation on immigration,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.
Legalization of the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs and generate more tax revenue, two policy institutes say in a joint report Thursday. The report by the Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council estimates that "comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes currently unauthorized immigrants and creates flexible legal limits on future immigration" would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over a 10-year period.
Washington D.C. - As the numbers of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children crossing our southern border grows, the U.S. government faces a critical test of its historic commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. How we respond will signal to the world whether our commitment to due process and the protection of refugees is real or illusory, and it could have a profound effect on how other countries around the world respond to our call to deal fairly and humanely to refugee crises in places like Syria and the Sudan.
Unfortunately, the initial response by the Administration has been more focused on appeasing its critics with get-tough political messages that prioritize streamlined enforcement over due process and humane treatment. Most recently, the White House has sent a request to Congress asking, among other things, for the authority to process minor children from Central America more expeditiously, and media reports have indicated that their goal is to deport mothers with children as quickly as possible (some reports indicate a goal of 15 days) in order to send a message to the sending countries. This emphasis on speedy removals rather than on determining whether these children and families have a legitimate fear of persecution, and whether or where they may be safely returned to avoid further abuse or exploitation is an abandonment of fundamental principles of due process and fairness - principles that define our judicial system - and undermines the moral authority of our voice in the international community. Read more...
More than one year into the administration of President Barack Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still must pursue some key changes in support of immigration reform to embrace Obama's intended immigration policy objectives, a policy group said Tuesday.
DHS must move forward in due process for illegal immigrants by creating an ombudsman at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to investigate complaints and keep its focus on detention reform at ICE, recommended the Immigration Policy Center in its report, The Challenge of Reform: An Analysis of Immigration Policy in the First Year of the Obama Administration.
On Thursday, NumbersUSA — an immigration restrictionist group that calls for the suspension of most legal immigration — pounced on a report by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) which found, amongst other things, that legalizing undocumented immigrants would not have a “significant effect” on the economy. According to NumbersUSA director Roy Beck, PPIC’s study validates what his organization has been saying all along:
Amnesty supporters claim that illegal aliens are paid below average wages, but by offering them a path to citizenship, their wages will increase. The study by the non-partisan institute, however, says that’s not the case.
Having been born on the banks of the Rio Grande (Eagle Pass, Texas) and after living 25 years among 2.4 million people in El Paso-Juárez — more than two-thirds of whom speak primarily Spanish — I have acquired a layman’s understanding of international relations. One lesson I’ve learned: Never treat a beehive like a piñata.
The violence has increased since 2007 – on the Mexican side of the border. What gets lost in this debate is that violence on the American side of the border has actually decreased.
A report by the Immigration Policy Center compiled using statistics from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics found that violent and property crime in Arizona has been on a steady decline since 2002. It decreased by 8% in six years. Violent crime impacted 447 people out of 100,000 in 2008 compared to 555 in 2002.
Immigrants make cities more economically competitive. A recent post on Immigration Impact highlights a recent report from Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) describing five ways immigrants make cities more economically competitive. Specifically, immigrants 1) contribute to a dynamic labor force and spur economic growth, 2) are more likely to start businesses and create jobs in their cities, 3) are critical to helping cities counteract population decline, keeping economies vibrant and strong, 4) make cities more attractive by raising housing values, and 5) contribute to a talented workforce through higher levels of education.Read more...
According to the American Immigration Council, “The complaint alleges that S.B. 1070 unlawfully attempts to regulate immigration and punish those whom Arizona deems to be in violation of immigration laws.”
The AIC notes that in the Escobar case, “On June 11 the Arizona cities of Flagstaff, San Luis, Somerton and Tolleson moved to join the lawsuit as plaintiff intervenors.”
This Practice Advisory discusses the impact of an interim rule repealing two former regulations which barred all “arriving aliens” from adjusting status if they are in removal proceedings. This advisory provides a brief history leading to the rule, defines key terms, discusses the impact of the rule, and suggests steps that a parolee can take to benefit from the rule.