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Community Education Center Resources

K-12 teachers, who are often pressed for time and lack adequate resources, need up-to-date, factual, teacher-written and classroom-tested teaching materials when discussing and teaching immigration-related topics in the classroom. The Community Education Center is committed to providing teachers with the tools and resources they need to prepare fair and informative lessons.

The Community Education Center strives to enhance classroom learning by providing a wide variety of accessible and creative educational teaching resources to fit the need of every modern classroom. Our annual Teachers' Resource Guide, created by teachers for teachers, provides new lesson plans, book reviews and other valuable educational tools. The center also provides additional K-12 teacher-written lesson plans, suggested reading lists and links to other educational resources.Read more...

Quick Fact: Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes

At last count, households headed by unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes.

 

U.S. Immigration Services Improves Access to Legal Counsel for Immigrants

Published on Sun, Jan 22, 2012

During its nine-year history, issues have arisen with respect to restrictions on counsel by the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration agencies. Tuesday, in response to calls from the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued immediate, comprehensive changes to their policies to ensure an appropriate role for attorneys in the immigration process.

Many non-citizens are forced to navigate the immigration process without representation because they cannot afford an attorney.  But even persons who can afford one, or are represented by a pro bono attorney, have at times faced severe restrictions on their representation.  This is particularly troublesome given the significant power USCIS officers wield.  For example, they decide whether a non-citizen is entitled to stay in the U.S. or not.  The assistance of an attorney well versed in the complexities of immigration law can help safeguard the rights of these non-citizens and ensure just outcomes.  

By revising its guidance, USCIS has responded to some of the most serious access concerns.  For example, the new guidance provides that an attorney generally may sit next to his or her client during an interview, may be permitted to submit relevant documents to the USCIS officer, and may raise objections to inappropriate lines of questioning. 

The American Immigration Council looks forward to commenting on the new guidance and working with the agency to make sure it is followed.  The other immigration agencies – Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – should take note of USCIS’s commitment to improving access to counsel and take similar steps to recognize the meaningful role that attorneys play in protecting noncitizens’ rights. 

Published in the Hispanically Speaking News

2007 Winner, Ben Groselak

"Immigration To Our Great Nation"

 By Ben Groselak

 SS. Cyril & Methodius Parish and School

 Lemont, Illinois

 

A lot of people from far and wide,

come to America with nothing to hide.

A new life to start…

an American citizen…a dream in their heart.

 

Imagine the strife of traveling so far,

aboard a boat, a train or even a car.

Leaving your homeland, what a decision…

to come to a strange country of mixed composition.

 

Immigration has made a great nation…

new ideas, languages, cultures and creations.

All our lives have been touched by the blending,

the music, the foods, the inventions…by immigrants ascending.

 

What do they hope for? Why do they come?

They come for religious choice, to join their family…

they come to have a voice.

Most of all, however, they come for freedom.

 

How lucky am I to live in this land that is free!

How fortunate am I to know that I don’t have to leave!

I am blessed to be here…and I am extremely proud to say…

 

“America is just where I plan to stay!”

 

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Win Politically

Published on Wed, Apr 11, 2012

President Obama’s inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election.

Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting suggest otherwise, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to support the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado — the election could go to the likely Republican candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with their March 5 cover story “Yo Decido.” The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. are Hispanic and of legal status.

While the Republicans may have learned from earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain’s jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns and history. They don’t understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don’t seem to really care.

Romney is hardly progressive or nuanced when it comes to Hispanic issues; he opposes the critically important DREAM Act, which would allow people who arrived in the U.S. as children to earn an education in America beyond high school. Common sense suggests we support a policy whereby our nation, struggling to compete in an increasingly technical, global environment, supports the education of young people who want to contribute to the social and economic development of the U.S.Read more...

Published in the Tennessean

Where are our J-1 Participants?

Ever wonder if there are other J-1 Trainees and Interns in your area? This map shows which states have exchange visitors. If you would like to go one step further and connect with other participants in your state, just go to our Facebook page and start a discussion!

 

Arizona Immigration Law Critics Split On Court Ruling

Published on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

American Immigration Council director Ben Johnson was quoted in an article discussing reactions to the SB 1070 ruling:

Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said it "makes clear that the federal government — and only the federal government — has the power and authority to set the nation's immigration policies."

IPC staff lawyer Ben Winograd was also quoted in the article:

"The fact that Kennedy wrote the majority opinion is itself kind of a firewall," said Ben Winograd, an attorney with the American Immigration Council. Kennedy is widely recognized as the court's key swing vote.

Published in the Investor's Business Daily

2012 Creative Writing Contest 1st Place Winner

 

America, The Magical Land

By: Alexander Tymouch

Chicago, IL

 

There is a magical place in this world,

Where people come to look for freedom and happiness.

They sail for weeks through the swaying ocean,

When they finally arrive at the mesmerizing new land,

They try to keep their own ways at first.

They celebrate the same holidays,

Wear the same clothes,

And eat the same food.

They do everything the same as before,

But eventually…

They start to learn from one another

And exchange their cultures.

It’s like an experienced cook came and learned to dance,

While a graceful dancer came and learned to sew.

A talented tailor came and learned to bake,

While a baker came and learned to farm.

They thought they were doing it for their own benefit,

But in fact they were making history.

These people learned different cultures

And shared their own cultures too.

And while they were as different as they could be,

They became friends more quickly

By teaching one another

And learning from one another.

And just like that, a new country was born.

But what is truly unbelievable,

Is the fact that this was all created

By ordinary families of immigrants

In that same beautiful, magical place,Read more...

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson in ABC-Univision Report

Published on Mon, Jan 14, 2013

AIC's Executive Director, Ben Johnson, was quoted in this recent ABC-Univision article:

"Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will remain at her post during President Obama's second term, a development that could have implications for the debate over immigration reform.

Officials from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed to ABC/Univision on Monday that Napolitano will stay in her current job...

'I think with Secretary Napolitano as the head of the Department of Homeland Security, it certainly is very hard to argue that the Obama administration isn't serious about enforcement. She has been very aggressive in enforcing the law,' said Benjamin Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Council in Washington, D.C. 'She's bringing a lot of credibility and a lot of experience in making the case that we've done enforcement, and it's time to start thinking about other areas of immigration policy that have to be changed.'"

Read more here.

Published in the ABC News-Univision

Philip Anderson

President of the American Bar Association

Philip S. Anderson, a partner in the Little Rock law firm of Williams & Anderson, is the third President of the American Bar Association from Arkansas. His advocacy on behalf of immigrants' rights reflects Mr. Anderson's long history of service to the bar and to the public. Prior to election as ABA President, he served as Chair of the ABA House of Delegates, the Association's policy-making body, and as Chair of the ABA Coalition for Justice, which oversees the ABA's justice initiatives program to encourage judges and lawyers to involve the community in improving state and local justice systems.

Mr. Anderson served by Presidential appointment on the U.S. Circuit Judge Nominating Commission Panel for the Eighth Circuit in 1978 and 1979 and was a member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 1983 until 1988. He is a Trustee of the Southwestern Legal Foundation and is involved with other public service organizations.Read more...