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Eased Immigration Laws May Spur Growth, U.S. Chamber Report Says

Published on Wed, Jan 25, 2012

The U.S. needs to ease restrictions on immigrants who plan to open businesses, and create a separate visa for potential entrepreneurs, according to a report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Current immigration laws make it difficult for people to enter the U.S. and start a business, according to the report, released today by the Chamber and the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council. Expansion of the visa program would also aid companies’ access to foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities, helping economic growth, the authors of the report said. 

Immigrant entrepreneurs established 18 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, according to a June 2011 report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group of business leaders and mayors that advocates for immigration reform. Those companies, such as Google Inc. (GOOG), Big Lots Inc. (BIG) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) generated $1.7 trillion in revenue in 2010 and had 3.7 million employees worldwide, the report said. 

“They are going to contribute and succeed somewhere -- why shouldn’t it be the United States?” Thomas Donohue, the Chamber’s chief executive officer, said in a Jan. 12 speech in Washington. 

Immigrants are more likely than native-born U.S. workers to start their own business or be self-employed, according to the Chamber of Commerce study. Of naturalized citizens, 5.1 percent were employed by their own business, compared with 3.7 percent of the native-born citizens, the report found. In Massachusetts, immigrants were 14 percent of the population in 2008 and started 61 percent of the businesses, the report found. 

Legislation Stymied Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg

LAC News Room (page 2)

More migrants facing deportation are getting reprieves

November 28, 2010: LAC attorney Mary Kenney is quoted in this Arizona Daily Star article on deferred action, wich is a discretionary tool ICE officials can use to help people in special circumstances. Read more . . .

H-1B Employees Should Not Face Arrest While Extension Pending

November 8, 2010: Late last week, the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council (LAC), together with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), filed an amicus brief arguing that an H-1B employee should not face arrest, detention or deportation after his initial period of admission expires if a pending extension request remains under review. The brief, filed in federal district court in Connecticut, maintains that H-1B employers who follow the law should not lose valuable employees because of widespread delays at immigration processing centers."Both existing law and common sense dictate that the government cannot sit on an employer's H-1B extension request and then arrest the employee due to its own processing delays," said Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center. Read more . . .Read more...

Romney Campaign May Be Moving Left on Immigration

Published on Wed, Apr 18, 2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign hired GOP campaign strategist Ed Gillespie, while Kris Kobach’s “advisor” status was put in doubt, according to news reports.

Elise Floey of Huffington Post wrote Tuesday that the Romney campaign “told Politico that [Kris] Kobach is a ‘supporter,’ not an adviser. This contradicts both Kobach’s previous statements and his seemingly larger role in the campaign — a bigger part than the campaign is letting on.”

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach authored Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement-only law. He endorsed Romney in January, “advised Romney on immigration during his 2008 presidential bid and has long-promoted the strategy of ‘attrition through enforcement’— the immigration-control strategy to drive away the unauthorized population by making their lives so miserable that they will choose to ‘deport themselves’ rather than remain in the U.S.,” according to the Immigration Policy Center.

The Hill reported Tuesday that “Romney’s hiring of Republican strategist Ed Gillespie is being seen as a sign the campaign will heavily court Hispanic voters — perhaps at the expense of immigration hard-liners in the party.”

“When asked for an interview, Gillespie directed The Hill to Romney’s presidential campaign, which said he’d be a senior adviser that will help them with messaging, overall strategy and the August convention in Tampa, Fla,” The Hill added.

“Gillespie, a former head of the Republican National Committee, has long advocated an aggressive outreach to the Hispanic community,” The Hill wrote. “He also heads up Resurgent Republic, an organization focused on messaging to independents, including Hispanic swing voters.”

Resurgent Republic is currently developing a six part “target voter series” focused on suburban women, young voters, seniors, independents, Hispanics and blue collar Catholics.Read more...

Published in the Colorado Independent

2011 "Celebrate America" 3rd Place National Winner

I remembered vividly all of these strangers laughing at me, and I didn't even know what i had done. This flashback included an adult, tall and stern, frown at what I had siad.  Before I knew it, my mother was gazing sorrowfully at me, with another look in her eyes that I couldn't identify.  I wondered what I had done to pain my beloved mother so much. In this strange, stern, new world, I knew nothing.


Coming from my world full of color,  I was unused to this bland, stale country.  But then my world collapsed, creating new horrid memories.  My family had escaped our nor unfamiliar home and immigrated to American, the free country.  Still, many people in this unfriendly people were hostile.  The immigration officers, teachers, police, all of them acted as if they didn't want us here.  I wished that my home still existed, so there would actually be something to call home.


But as I sat alone, thinking, I wondered what would have happened if I stayed.  Bombing, fires, they were all still fresh in my mind.  I knew that I would have lost everything there, but was this place any better?  I have to start all over from nothing.  Not even this new language.  I finally uinderstood what the emotion was in my mother's eyes.  Pity.  She was pitying me for not knowing what I had been through, what I had done wrong.Read more...

Romney Debuts a Lighter Touch on Immigration

Published on Fri, Jun 22, 2012

IPC Senior Policy Analyst Michele Waslin was quoted in a TIME article covering Romney's stance on immigration:

According to a State Department report from November 2011, in fiscal year 2012 there are 322,636 people in countries around the world awaiting approval to join legal permanent-resident family members in the U.S. Many others who are eligible already live here, according to Michele Waslin of the Immigration Policy Center, some of whom are undocumented and legally awaiting a change in status.

Published in the TIME

The Border: A Resource Page

As money is poured into border enforcement, it is critical that lawmakers consider the facts. The following resources provide key answers to basic questions about the U.S.-Mexico Border and the issues that surround it--from the fiscal implications of policies to the struggle to fight drug cartels.Read more...

IPC's Walter Ewing Writes for Yahoo! Finance

Published on Thu, Jan 24, 2013

The IPC's Senior Researcher, Walter Ewing, had this article published in Yahoo! Finance:

"The U.S. immigration system undermines the U.S. economy in many ways. Two particularly glaring (and interrelated) examples concern foreign students and high-tech workers.

Each year, foreign students graduate from U.S. universities, often with in-demand science and engineering degrees. Yet many are forced to return to their home countries rather than putting their newly acquired knowledge to work here. Likewise, each year many high-tech workers from abroad (some of whom studied in U.S. universities) are forced to return home when their temporary work visas expire, regardless of how valuable their continuing contributions to the U.S. economy might be.

Both of these scenarios are nonsensical. That is why President Obama said in his inaugural address that the nation’s work will not be complete 'until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.'"

Published in the Yahoo! Finance

Gustavo Villageliu

Gustavo Villageliu was appointed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) as a Board Member in July of 1995. The BIA is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. Mr. Villageliu came to the United States from Cuba as a refugee in 1962 when he was thirteen years old. He and his family lived in Miami for twelve years, then moved to Iowa, where his parents taught as University professors.

Mr. Villageliu attended law school at the University of Iowa, graduating cum laude in 1977. After serving as Johnson County Attorney Prosecutor Intern in Iowa City, Iowa, he joined the Board of Immigration Appeals as a staff attorney in January, 1978. He received numerous achievement awards for his work specializing in war criminals, investors, and criminal alien cases. In September of 1989 he moved to Miami as an Immigration Judge, where he handled cases of detained Cubans at the Krome detention center. As a BIA Board Member, Mr. Villageliu dissented in the landmark case, Matter of N-J-B. In that February 1997 decision, the BIA held that the service of an Order to Show Cause under prior law terminated the period of physical presence for purposes of applying for suspension of deportation, even though the Order was served before the 1996 Act's effective date. This ruling would have resulted in the deportation of tens of thousands of persons who may have qualified for suspension of deportation under previous law. On July 10, 1997, the Attorney General vacated the Board's decision in that case essentially adopting Mr. Villageliu's opinion. Mr. Villageliu and his wife Carmen live in Falls Church with their three children.

Hanford Sentinel Myth-Busting Article Cites Several IPC Resources

Published on Tue, Aug 06, 2013

An article in the California newspaper The Hanford Sentinel cited a number of resources from the Immigration Policy Center in an attempt to bust a number of immigration myths.  The article cites the recently posted California state fact sheet, a separate California fact sheet highlighting immigrants and innovation, and the recent report by Jack Strauss on Latino immigrants, African-Americans, and the myth that they are in competition for jobs.

"“Immigrant workers spend their wages in U.S. businesses,” said an Immigration Policy Center summary. “They buy food, clothes, appliances, cars and much more. Businesses respond to the presence of these new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores and production facilities. Immigrants also are 30 percent more likely than the native-born to start their own businesses. The end result is more jobs and more pay for more workers.”

What about immigrants’ effect on African-Americans? “Cities experiencing the highest rates of immigration tend to have relatively low or average unemployment rates for African-Americans,” Saint Louis University economist Jack Strauss concluded in an analysis of Census findings. “Cities with greater immigration from Latin America experience lower unemployment rates, poverty rates and higher wages among African-Americans.”

This may be counter-intuitive, but it’s probably because Latino newcomers and African-Americans don’t compete for the same jobs.

“Native-born workers take higher-paying jobs that require better English-language skills,” said the Immigration Policy Center report."

Published in the Hanford Sentinel

Jeffrey Kaye

Jeffrey Kaye is a Los Angeles‐based freelance journalist. He has been a longtime contributor to the PBS NewsHour and World Report, the public affairs program of HDNet television. Between 1980 and 1984, Kaye was a reporter and senior producer at KCET‐TV (PBS) in Los Angeles. Previously, he worked as a magazine writer, a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, a TV producer, and as a special correspondent for the Washington Post and other publications.