Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a piece penned by journalist George Will on the topic of birthright citizenship. Will highlights a scholar who argues against giving those born in the United States birthright citizenship and characterizes the repeal of a 150 year-old constitutional tenet as "a simple reform." Normally, the idea of stripping those born in America of their right to citizenship has been relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians who try to exploit it for electoral gains. In endorsing this argument, Mr. Will has looked past a whole body of research which examines the dramatic and far- reaching consequences this would have on American society.
The arguments about birthright citizenship revolve around the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which affirms that all persons born in the United States (and subject to its jurisdiction) have a birthright to citizenship. A repeal of the 14th amendment is sometimes raised as a "cure" to our current broken immigration system, when in reality it takes us further away from the larger conversation that must be had about how we can fairly and efficiently revamp American immigration. Proposing solutions to the symptoms, rather than the root causes of a broken system, do nothing to solve our overall immigration problems and create divisions and dysfunctions in our society at all levels.
Foreign-Born Job Gains Do Not Equal Native-Born Job Losses
Released on Fri, Oct 29, 2010
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Pew Hispanic Center released a report that has an attention-getting headline, but pays little attention to detail. The report makes much of recent data indicating that unemployment has fallen slightly among foreign-born workers over the past year, while rising slightly among native-born workers. Some observers will undoubtedly conclude from this that the jobs which went to foreign-born workers would have otherwise gone to native-born workers if not for the presence of immigrants in the labor market. However, this is not the case. In reality, immigrant and native-born workers are not interchangeable, nor do they compete with each other for some fixed number of jobs in the U.S. economy. Moreover, many immigrants are highly skilled professionals who create jobs through their inventiveness and entrepreneurship.
Unfortunately, the Pew report provides no detail about the skill level of the workers who have gained or lost jobs since last year, nor does it tell us where in the country they live. Yet this is critical information in determining how many unemployed natives might have filled jobs which went to immigrants. As the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) pointed out in an August 2009 report, employed immigrants and unemployed natives “tend to have different levels of education, to live in different parts of the country, to have experience in different occupations, and to have different amounts of work experience. As a result, they could not simply be ‘swapped’ for one another.”Read more...
Washington, D.C. - Today, President Obama offered his most concrete articulation of a new way forward for resolving our broken immigration system. Echoing and expanding upon the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the American Dream, the President invited the American public to join him in pressing Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.
Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, issued the following statement:
“The President continues to refine his argument that comprehensive immigration reform is a key component of ensuring our success in the 21st century. While this message cannot be repeated often enough, the blueprint for change released by the White House today marks a new page in the immigration debate. The blueprint offers numerous ideas that can be translated into specific legislation and will challenge both parties to come together to work in the country’s best interests. The blueprint also invites the public to engage Congress directly on this issue, setting the stage for a showdown between the President and the public—who overwhelmingly support immigration reform—and a recalcitrant Congress.
We look forward to engaging in a more robust discussion of the economic impact of immigration, and we take today’s events as a signal that the Administration will continue to lead on this important issue. Immigration reform is on the table, and the time is long overdue for an honest, constructive debate over how to create a 21st century immigration system that is good for American workers and families, and reflects our history as a nation of immigrants.”
To view information on the economics of immigration reform, see: Read more...
The American Immigration Council welcomes Leslie Dellon, who will be joining us in July as our Business Litigation Fellow. As a member of the Council’s legal team, Leslie will spearhead a national effort to challenge current agency policies and practices on employment-based immigration issues.
Heavily-Divided Supreme Court Upholds Matter of WangRead more...
Washington, D.C.— The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of an updated practice advisory: "DHS Review of Low Priority Cases for Prosecutorial Discretion." On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the establishment of a joint DHS-Department of Justice (DOJ) working group charged with reviewing the approximately 300,000 cases pending before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to identify candidates for administrative closure. Subsequently, on November 17, 2011, DHS issued three documents detailing how the agency will implement the review process, which includes the launch of two pilot projects. This practice advisory summarizes information that is known to date about the review and discusses some of the ambiguities and contradictions that the recent announcements have created.
For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit our website.
American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship
Washington, D.C.—Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that will allow immigration judges to exercise discretion in cases involving lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose removal would cause extreme hardship to family members in the United States. The ruling marks the fourth opinion from a federal appellate court to reject a contrary decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in the oral argument, applauds today’s ruling and calls on the Board to overturn its decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).
The case involved a 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents immigration judges from considering evidence of hardship in certain cases involving immigrants who were “admitted” to the United States as LPRs. For many LPRs facing removal, the ability to obtain such a hardship waivers is the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members. In its amicus brief, the Council argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the statute and improperly conflated applicants who entered the country as LPRs with those who gained LPR status post-entry.
The beneficiary of today’s decision, Zaman Hanif, has resided in the United States for more than 25 years. The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him in 2009 based on a criminal conviction that resulted in four months’ incarceration. Hanif sought a waiver of inadmissibility on account of the hardship his removal would create for his immediate family members, including his wife, two elderly parents, and U.S. citizen children.Read more...
"Velani Mynhardt Witthöft and Keely Alexander, authors of Davy Brown Discovers His Roots will be signing copies of their book in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 3, during the opening of the AILA exhibit hall and on Saturday morning, June 6 at the AILF booth."