Skip to Content

Programs:

Legalization

Practice Advisories

Image: 

These advisories provide in depth analysis on a variety of immigration law issues.

Heather Conn Explores the Art of Being an American through Cinema

May, 2008
Heather Conn

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Heather Conn as May's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

Illegal immigrants pay $11 billion in taxes a year

Published on Mon, Apr 25, 2011

Unlike certain corporate powers that make billions of dollars and pay no taxes, illegal immigrants generate billions of tax dollars for state governments. allgov.com

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has concluded that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in taxes last year. This total included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. allgov.com

The U.S. Immigration Policy Center says these figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States. sun-sentinel.com

The Washington-based research group says in spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs." sun-sentinel.com

HIGHLIGHTS

California gets the most out of its undocumented workers, pulling in $2.7 billion in taxes from households headed by illegals in 2010. laweekly.com

Other states that gained the most revenue from illegal immigrants paying taxes were Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($807 million), New York ($662 million), and Illinois ($499 million). allgov.com

They were followed by Georgia ($456 million), New Jersey ($446 million) and Arizona ($433 million). allgov.com

Some undocumented workers in California say they are filing income tax returns, hoping that playing by the rules will be an eventual path to citizenship. UPI

FACTS & FIGURES

An estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States. That's roughly one in every 20 workers. Reuters

The Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants from the U.S. than ever before. NPRRead more...

Published in the Press TV

What is the Australia/United States of America Work and Holiday Visa?

Read the 2007 Practice Advisory on the Australian Work and Holiday visa.

Download File

Let Alabama take the heat for migrant law

Published on Thu, Jun 16, 2011

Alabama now has the nation's toughest immigration law. Arizona should not compete to take back that title.

Our Legislature gave the state a break this year. No controversial immigration law was passed. No new spotlight fell on Arizona.

Yet the adjective phrase "Arizona-style" is still used to describe extreme, enforcement-heavy immigration measures such as the one just passed in Alabama.

In addition to mimicking most of the provisions of Arizona's infamous Senate Bill 1070, Alabama's law builds on Arizona's employer-sanctions law and its voter-identification law.

Alabama also goes after schoolchildren with a requirement that schools report on the immigration status of students. The idea, which has been proposed in Arizona, is to create a record of the cost of educating undocumented children as a basis for challenging the 1982 Supreme Court ruling that all children should be educated, regardless of immigration status.

Checking the status of schoolchildren will mean that kids - even some who were born in this country - will be kept out of school by undocumented parents who fear questions at school will lead to deportation. Alabama's school provisions would create a permanent uneducated underclass.

Like SB 1070, the Alabama law is built around a strategy called "attrition through enforcement." The aim is to make things so uncomfortable that undocumented immigrants self-deport.

Research by the Immigration Policy Center found that undocumented migrants often just go further underground as a result of get-tough measures. They become more vulnerable and less likely to report crime, making local law enforcement more difficult.

Other provisions in the Alabama law, such as making it a crime to knowingly rent to an undocumented immigrant and barring undocumented people from enrolling in postsecondary institutions, are also part of this strategy.Read more...

Published in the Arizona Republic

Court Finds Tax Crimes Are Aggravated Felonies

Kawashima v. Holder, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1166 (2012).

In a 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision holding that convictions for committing and aiding tax evasion in which the Government’s loss exceeds $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies under INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and therefore, are deportable offenses. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit split between the Third and Ninth Circuits in favor of the latter. Compare Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. 2004) with Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).

The Court began its analysis by stating that it will employ the categorical approach by looking to the statutory definition of the crime rather than the specific facts of the case. See Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 186 (2007). First, the Court found that the elements of the tax crimes at issue, 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and (2), clearly establish that commission of the crimes involves fraud or deceit. Second, the Court addressed the Petitioners’ argument that INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) must be read in conjunction with INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(ii), and because clause (ii) references a specific tax crime (not at issue here), Congress did not intend clause (i) to cover tax crimes as well. The Court rejected that argument, concluding that the two clauses are not mutually exclusive and thus tax crimes are not excluded from clause (i).

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan, issued a dissent in which she challenged the Court’s “dubious” statutory interpretation.

Obama to Recognize Same Sex Couples in Deportation Changes

Published on Tue, Aug 23, 2011

It’s not just DREAMers that are getting a reprieve under the Obama administration’s revised deportation policies. When the Department of Homeland Security announced last week that in the coming months it will review its roughly 300,000 open deportation cases with the aim of closing low-priority cases, the agency indicated that for the purposes of deportation policy, it will recognize same-sex couples and families as real families.

The news means that queer families facing deportation may win the right to stay in the country under DHS criteria of who constitutes a high priority for removal. The guiding document for who merits the use of prosecutorial discretion is a June 17 memo written by Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton. Morton advised ICE agents and attorneys to consider those who met any of the following characteristics were a low priority for deportation: those who were victims of crime, especially domestic violence or trafficking; those who are long-time lawful permanent residents; those with are veterans or active-duty military personnel and those with strong family ties in the U.S.

Under the Defense of Marriage Act, federal agencies are forbidden from recognizing the partnerships of same-sex couples, and that’s extended to the world of federal immigration policy. According to the American Immigration Council there are currently 36,000 bi-national same-sex couples in the country, and DOMA has provided the legal justification for the routine denial of same sex couple’s applications for permanent residence, and other immigration benefits like deportation relief, that straight couples are eligible for.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Impact on J-1 Programs in the Event of a Federal Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013 - As the US Congress delays approving a budget for FY 2014, it is possible that tax funded “non-essential” services will be suspended.  “Non-essential” services are those that are not considered to be a health or security concern.

Read on to learn areas that may impact our exchange visitors in J status: Read more...