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DREAM Act sparks debate, misinformation, and fear

Published on Wed, Jul 13, 2011

After reading the 200 plus comments last week, I realized that despite my laying out the case for the DREAM Act, that there were many misconceptions as well as real questions out there that deserve answers and clarification.

There were also readers who wrote insightful comments, sometimes even using their own experiences to highlight what the DREAM Act would mean. And I encourage more of you to write in.

A thank you to all who left comments.

I hope to further the dialogue by tackling ten points made by readers who showed real concern or didn’t have all the facts about DREAMers, the young people this bill would affect.

1. Illegal immigrants flooding over our borders are the problem.

Actually the problem is more complicated than that.

Out of the estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented aliens living in America, 40-45% came here on visas from places as diverse as India, Russia, or Ireland and then never returned home. They arrived on tourist, student, business, and temporary worker visas. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Committee Report and GAO)

Since 2007, more than 300,000 people each year have remained on our shores after their visas expired. (ICE report to Congress)

By the way, an interesting side fact: six of the 9/11 hijackers had overstayed their visas.

2. DREAMers will take away jobs.

There is no evidence that citizenship for DREAMers would cost jobs for American workers. Instead it has been found that immigrants actually expand and enrich the economy as these young people become productive, tax paying individuals. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Report)

America needs as many talented college graduates that it can muster. Right now, we are encouraging people from abroad to come to America to go to college with majors in science and technology.Read more...

Published in the Washington Times

Second or Subsequent Possession Conviction is Not an Aggravated Felony

Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 560 U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 2577 (2010)

The Supreme Court held that a second or subsequent simple drug possession conviction does not qualify as an aggravated felony under INA § 101(a)(43)(B) (“drug trafficking crimes”) and therefore does not preclude a lawful permanent resident from applying for cancellation of removal. Read more...

A Conversation with Magdalini Fliska

March, 2011

Congratulations to Magdalini Fliska, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! Magdalini came here from Greece to study chocolate making at Barry Callebaut USA in New Jersey. I recently sat down with Magdalini to chat about her exchange experience so far.


Should Schools Help Catch Illegal Immigrants?

Published on Tue, Oct 04, 2011

The long and winding road that is the challenges to Alabama’s Taxpayer H.B. 56 has begun. Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn has issued various rulings, but they are early, preliminary and procedural skirmishes, so there are no winners and losers yet.

But I have to ask Alabama decisionmakers, why bother? Many of the politicians involved are restrictionists and nativists who insist that they do not want government overreaching in their lives. And yet, they do not seem to mind, in fact insist upon, reaching into the lives of undocumented families, even at the state level.

Surely it is not large numbers behind this overreaction that is H.B. 56. Immigration Policy Center and Census Bureau figures reveal that in 2010, only 5 percent of Alabamians are Latino (3.9 percent) or Asian (1.1 percent), and in 2009, 87.8 percent of children in Asian families in the state were U.S. citizens, and 85.1 percent of Latino children in the state’s families were U.S. Citizens. With these small communities, why the rush to symbolize intolerance by enacting the country’s most restrictionist and comprehensively anti-immigrant statute?

Such laws are mean-spirited and punitive. The schoolchildren are already not showing up for classes. In enacting bans on college enrollments and counting measures on schoolchildren allowed by law to attend schools since Plyler v. Doe in 1982, Alabamians reveal themselves not as strict constructionists or conservatives, but as ideologues who will use unnecessary legislation and the power of government to intervene in families to punish innocent children. Public shame on them.

Published in the The New York Times

2012 Winter Holiday Closing Announcement: December 24th - January 1st

November 28, 2012-- The American Immigration Council's offices will be closed from 12/24/12 - 1/1/13

The International Exchange Center will be closed during the week from Christmas Eve through New Years Day.

All applications that we receive in our office after December 18th will not be reviewed until January 2nd at the earliest. Applications received on or before December 18th will be reviewed by December 21st, but our staff will not be conducting webcam interviews or issuing DS 2019 forms during the period of December 24th - January 1st. Read more...

Dictionary redefines ‘anchor baby’ as slur

Published on Sun, Dec 11, 2011

What does a tenure “anchor baby” mean? If we were to demeanour it up
in a American Heritage Dictionary, we would find a new
definition given final week.

The tenure was among some 10,000 new difference and phrases in the
fifth book of a dictionary, published in November. It was
defined as: “A child innate to a noncitizen mom in a nation that
grants involuntary citizenship to children innate on a soil,
especially such a child innate to relatives seeking to secure eventual
citizenship for themselves and mostly other members of their

But when Steve Kleinedler, a executive editor of the
dictionary, review that clarification during a radio talk last
month, it uneasy Mary Giovagnoli, a executive of a Immigration
Policy Center, a pro-immigration investigate organisation in Washington.

The once-obscure tenure has been used frequently in a recent
debate over either to change a Constitution to repudiate automatic
U.S. citizenship to children innate in this nation to illegal
immigrant parents.

Last Friday morning, Giovagnoli posted an indignant object on the
center’s blog, observant a compendium “masks a unwholesome and
derogatory inlet of a term, a tenure that demeans both primogenitor and

On Monday, a compendium posted a new definition. It started
with “offensive,” in italics: “Used as a adverse tenure for a
child innate to a noncitizen mom in a nation that grants
automatic citizenship to children innate on a soil, generally when
the child’s hearth is suspicion to have been selected in sequence to
improve a mother’s or other relatives’ chances of securing
eventual citizenship.”

Kleinedler said, “The tenure is now treated likewise to how the
dictionary treats a far-reaching operation of slurs.”

Published in the Washington Investment

Events and Awards

The American Immigration Council’s event program is an important tool used to educate Americans of the important contributions made by immigrants to our society and to remind Americans that it is in our country's best interest to remain a nation of immigrants.

Annual Benefit

The Council hosts a national Annual Benefit gala, in conjunction with the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s (AILA) Annual Conference, where we award the American Heritage Award to honor the outstanding contributions of individual immigrants.

Immigrant Achievement Awards

The Council also hosts three additional regional Immigrant Achievement Awards in New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. At the Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards, the Council awards the Stephen K. Fischel Public Service Award as well as the American Immigration Council Youth Immigrant Achievement Award.

“Celebrate America” Creative Writing Contest

The Council’s Community Education Center sponsors the annual "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society. Open to fifth grade students across the nation, this contest encourages our youth, families and surrounding communities to evaluate and appreciate the effects of immigration in our own lives. This, in turn, allows them to see that America is truly a nation of immigrants.

Quick Fact: Unauthorized immigrants 5.2% of the workforce

At last count, unauthorized immigrants comprised 5.2% of the U.S. workforce.