JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An immigration policy reform group says Alaska's foreign-born and minority populations have a growing presence in Alaska and its economy.
In a new publication, the Immigration Policy Center based in Washington, D.C., says one in 10 Alaskans are Asian or Latino, and those communities have more than $2 billion in buying power. It says the information comes from Census data and economic information from other research.
A new report released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) this week attempts to assess the economic benefits of a legalization program on immigrants and native born workers. The report, Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects, however, falls short on research and methodology. While the report accurately concludes that legalization would not have a negative impact on native workers’ wages and employment, the report takes a myopic approach to legalization’s impact on wages and mobility of the newly legalized. A wide range of economic studies—studies which consider legalization’s impact in both the long term and in context to comprehensive immigration reform—conclude that legalization does in fact benefit both native-born and immigrants alike.
Many proponents of Arizona's harsh new immigration law cite rampant crime and violence at the border as the impetus behind the push to turn police into immigration agents and undocumented workers into criminals.
But immigrants are less likely than native-born residents to commit crimes, and presence in the US without papers is a civil, not a criminal offense. As the Immigration Policy Center points out, Arizona's crime rates have been steadily falling in recent years despite increased flows of undocumented immigration. It is unclear how directing police officers, under threat of lawsuit, to target these residents will make Arizona safer. In fact, law enforcement officials from across the country warn that SB 1070 may have the opposite effect, and compromise public safety by diverting scarce police resources away from targeting criminals, regardless of citizenship status.
Some police departments argue federal immigration enforcement undermine their core missions, said Wendy Feliz Sefsaf of the American Immigration Council.
"It [Arizona's law] goes against all the goals of community policing," she said. "There's definitely law enforcement out there saying this kind of thing doesn't work."
In fact, last week police chiefs from Los Angeles, Tucson, Houston, Philadelphia and other cities, met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and said laws like Arizona's would lead to increases in crime.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said Arizona's law "will likely hinder" federal efforts to detain and remove "dangerous criminal aliens." Calling for immigration reform on the national level, she said "this issue cannot be solved by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws."
The Immigration Policy Center, the research and policy arm of the Washington-based American Immigration Council, put out a statement saying the report was "highly misleading" because FAIR "completely discounts the economic contributions of unauthorized workers and consumers."
This practice advisory discusses the procedural requirements for an APA suit, highlights the primary issues that arise in such cases, and provides examples of how the courts have decided these issues in immigration cases.
Michele Waslin, an analyst with the Immigration Policy Center, a research organization that focuses on the contributions that immigrants make, said denying citizenship to children would only create more problems.
"It would punish the innocent children of undocumented immigrants, and it flies in the face of traditional American values," Waslin said.
This Practice Advisory describes the Supreme Court's decision in Vartelas v. Holder, holding that the Fleuti doctrine still applies to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with pre-IIRIRA convictions. This means that LPRs with convictions before April 1, 1997 who travel abroad do not, upon their return, face inadmissibility if their trip was brief, casual and innocent. The advisory offers strategies for LPRs who are affected by the decision and discusses some of the decision's other potential favorable impacts.