Washington D.C. - Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a proposal to streamline the application process for the spouses and children of U.S. citizens currently eligible for legal permanent resident status, minimizing the amount of time that applicants would have to be separated from their families. Under current procedures, thousands of persons who qualify for legal status must leave the U.S. to obtain their permanent resident status, but as soon as they leave, they are immediately barred from re-entering for 3 or 10 years if they have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days. Many are eligible for a family unity waiver, but under current rules (not law), the waiver can only be applied for from overseas. Because that process can often take many months and even years, it is believed that many otherwise eligible applicants do not apply for legal permanent resident status, remaining unauthorized in the U.S. rather than risk lengthy separation from their families. Read more...
You can depend on it. Whenever we write an article or a blog about the woes of the U.S. health care system, at least one person writes back to complain about how illegal immigrants get free health care.
American Immigration Council Commends Latest Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship
Washington, D.C.—Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth 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 is the latest 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 repeats its call for 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 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, which distinguishes between applicants who entered the country as LPRs and those who gained LPR status post-entry.Read more...
The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants as it pushes early next year for legislation to overhaul the immigration system, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.
Mark-Up Characterized by Transparency and Bipartisan Cooperation
Washington D.C. - Today, on a bipartisan vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, out of the committe and on to the Senate floor for a full vote in the coming days. The Senate committee mark-up spanned three weeks and covered many of the 300 amendments offered on every aspect of the bill. The resulting legislation represents a concerted effort to find a workable and fair immigration policy that makes our nation stronger.
The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:
“We congratulate Senator Leahy and the entire Senate Judiciary Committee on the spirit of deliberation, collaboration, and transparency that marked the process. Many amendments added during the mark-up will strengthen the bill in the areas of high-skilled immigration, protections for vulnerable groups and due process. However, other amendments, like those attempting to deny citizenship, may have been driven more by rhetoric than reality. In addition, not providing some relief to siblings who face extreme hardships because of their separation and not ending the discrimination against same sex couples legally married in the United States is short-sighted and bad policy. Yet despite these high costs, the overall bill coming out of committee now gives the Senate an important and rare opportunity to complete the task we have been working on for years—passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally moves us to our goal of fixing our broken immigration system.
Maryland’s foreign-born population has grown by 34.6 percent while its native-born population has increased by 3.3 percent. .Public school enrollment of students who require special instruction in English has soared even more, rising by 93.5 percent from 2000 to 2008 while overall enrollment declined slightly.
Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data. Following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, in response to “Catch and Release: Interior Immigration Enforcement in 2013”
“A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) makes a range of false claims about deportation data. First their claim that out of 722,000 “potentially deportable aliens” encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement only 195,000 were charged is completely misleading. As a result of dragnet programs like Secure Communities, any foreign-born individual that that comes into contact with law-enforcement likely falls into 722,000 number cited by CIS. Thus, this number includes immigrants (including long time permanent residents) whose interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal. In fact, that data likely includes U.S. citizens as well. CIS is essentially asserting that a legal-permanent resident or a recently naturalized citizen with a broken tail light should be charged by ICE and removed from the country although there is no basis in law for such action. Read more...
A new report by a University of Rhode Island professor concludes that remittances sent by foreign workers from the United States to their home countries “yield surprising benefits” to the U.S. economy, rebutting critics who say they are a drain because the money is not spent in the United States.
The report, “Many Happy Returns: Remittances and their Impact,” by political science professor Kristin Johnson, was released Tuesday by the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council in Washington.
In the midst of the gossip and grumblings about the U.S. Congress being unable or unwilling to agree on any bill or plan on the table, one is primed to think that President Obama will accomplish a whole lot of nothing in his four years in office.
The latest Gallup poll showing a 52-week low in an approval rating of 46 percent shows that Americans aren’t happy with the way things are going up on Capitol Hill. In his push to see the health care bill through the senate, it seems that the Obama administration is willing to put everything on the back burner in the mean time. But what about those people, living and working in the U.S., for whom health care isn’t an option in the first place?
It's not every day in Arizona that the police are so eager not to do their job. Yet the state's latest anti-immigrant crack down has evoked protests from cops across the state, who fear that a new measure to criminalize undocumented immigrants will only make it harder to deal with local crime.
Broad opposition to the law, SB 1070, has produced some of the immigration debate's strangest bedfellows: civil rights advocates have aligned with police chiefs to warn of the consequences of entangling local police in federal immigration policy. And law enforcement officials nationwide have warned that the growing trend of localizing immigration enforcement undermines years of progress in establishing “community policing” techniques that are believed effective in preventing crime.