Annnd... Arizona's anti-immigration campaign hurtles still further into red-state ridiculousness.
This morning, Governor Jan Brewer announced her latest, greatest battle plan in the war against illegal border-crossers: collect Internet donations to build a massive fence across the Arizona-Mexico line. (And what'll donors get in return? Why, an "I Helped Build the Arizona Wall" keepsake T-shirt, of course!)
In support, State Senator Russell Pearce squeezed in a few words of pro-fence propaganda on L.A.'s KNX news radio this morning. Here's the pile of steaming misinformation he dumped from his politickin' piehole:
Pearce claimed that illegal immigrants commit 2.5 times more violent crime than any other demographic.
He also used a Sin City analogy as a fear tactic to garner out-of-state support ("Unlike Vegas, what goes into Arizona doesn't stay in Arizona") and called the immigrant influx from Mexico an "invasion," but we'll let all that slide in the interest of clearing up this crime thing once and for all.
In response to Pearce's theory, we can almost see Wendy Sefsaf of the Immigration Policy Center roll her eyes over the phone.
She recommends we speak to the Department of Homeland Security about the fence idea (which, amusingly, cites prisoners as the perfect candidates for erecting the thing), but guesses it's "unprecedented, and probably illegal" for a state to evade federal strategy and take something so controversial into its own hands.
A Homeland Security rep will only say, "My apologies, DHS does not comment on state legislation." Ironically, President Obama is headed to the South tomorrow to push a more progressive (read: fenceless) U.S. immigration policy.
But as for the violent-crime statistic: The Immigration Policy Center released a March 2008 report that showed just the opposite, and Sefsaf says the trend has stayed consistent. An excerpt:Read more...
The Supreme Court's Brand X decision allows agencies to offer an interpretation of a statute that differs from a published circuit court decision. An agency may do so, however, only where the underlying statute is ambiguous. This Litigation Issue Page provides an overview of the Supreme Court's holding and identifies circuit court immigration decisions that have applied Brand X and immigration agency decisions that have addressed Brand X.
Brand X is a Supreme Court decision that deals with whether the courts must defer to an agency interpretation of a statute that conflicts with a circuit court's prior interpretation of a statute. The full case name and citation is National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967 (2005). According to Brand X, in limited circumstances, an agency may disagree with a circuit court decision and offer a different interpretation of a statute. However, it may do so only where the statute is ambiguous. In a situation where the court of appeals' decision is based on the unambiguous reading of the statute (decided under step I of the Chevron analysis), an agency interpretation that is contrary to a prior circuit court decision will not trump the circuit decision in that circuit.Read more...
In the Politics and Thanksgiving Dual Issue, learn about the American presidential election system, meet Exchange Visitor of the Month Esteban Roman, and find a recipe for pumpkin pie! In this issue, we also debut our new feature: the Alumni Spotlight. Don't miss hearing how Matthias Nienaber's J-1 program experience in the US has impacted his life since he left the US!
Mandatory E-Verify opponents do not propose eliminating an employee verification program, but say businesses need one that works well for employers — especially small companies — and workers.
Analysts and business organizations have argued that E-Verify alone would hurt Florida and the U.S. economy, but those same organizations say that a program that allows employers to verify a workers immigration status must be part of federal immigration reform.
The Immigration Policy Center compares the “Legal Workforce Act of 2011″ of Rep. Lamar Smith’s R-Texas, which would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers within three years, and Sen. Robert Menendez’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011,” which also includes mandatory E-Verify. The bill filed by Menendez includes a program to require immigrants who were undocumented as of June 1 to register with the government, learn English and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans.
The Policy Center explains that:
Like all comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bills since 2005, the Menendez bill allows for a mandatory E-Verify system only in context to other elements of comprehensive immigration reform, like a generous legalization program, reforms to family- and employment-based systems, border and interior enforcement and integration programs. Under Menendez’s bill, current unauthorized workers would have a chance to legalize their status, and future workers could come through newly created legal channels.
The Policy Center adds that, although some groups will continue to oppose mandatory E-Verify even as part of comprehensive immigration reform, “others have realized that if E-Verify isn’t going anyway, it had better work well and provide strong protections for workers.”Read more...
On January 8, 2007, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari, vacated the judgment, and remanded the case to Eighth Circuit for further consideration in light of Lopez v. Gonzales. The case is Tostado-Tostado v. Carlson, No. 06-6766.
Usually we select one trainee or intern as our Exchange Visitor of the Month. For May, we have decided to highlight a group of trainees. While the majority of our trainees and interns are the only J-1 visa holders at their host companies, some companies choose to have many trainees or interns at once. This is the case with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, an organization that, according to its mission statement, “works nationwide to catalyze an entrepreneurial society in which job creation, innovation, and the economy flourish.” Read more...
On June 20, 2011, Pennsylvania State Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-Philadelphia) introduced the Pennsylvania Dream Act, HB 1695, which mirrors the failed national-level bill that would have granted undocumented youth in-tuition rates at public universities. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania would become the 12th state, following the recent Illinois passage, to sign such legislation.
Presently, in Pennsylvania, in-state tuition costs for the 2011-2012 school year are $6,240, while out-of state tuition ranges from $9,360 to $15,600, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Undocumented students are not eligible for these in-state tuition rates, even though many of them have been residing in the state of Pennsylvania for significant periods of time.
The Pennsylvania legislation, like other state-level bills, builds a series of strict residency guidelines that undocumented students who request in-state tuition rates must demonstrate.
These guidelines, published by Dream Activist Pennsylvania, the main pro-immigration organization in Pennsylvania sponsoring the bill, include the requirement that students must have attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth for at least three years. They must also have graduated from a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth. And, in an often overlooked provision, students or their parents must have filed Pennsylvania income taxes annually for three years while attending school to qualify.
It's important to note that while the bill mirrors national-level legislation, states do not have the power to afford citizenship; only the federal government has that legal authority. Due to this fact, the Dream Act grants undocumented youth only the ability to attend college at in-state tuition rates, meaning that legally securing a job after receiving a degree is not possible.Read more...
Steven Kleinedler, executive director of the American Heritage Dictionary, took note when Immigration Policy Center criticized its definition of "anchor baby."
Kleinedler says American heritage will tweak the definition of the phrase for the third printing of the dictionary's Fifth Edition by noting that it is an offensive and derogatory term. He acknowledges that it "should have been done in the first place."
He wrote on New Times' initial blog post the other day that he'd been in contact with the executive director of the Immigration Policy Center "to discuss her very valid points" and that "a revision to the definition is in order, and the editorial staff and I are working on this."
"When I first read the blog post at Immigration Impact, I knew immediately that a revision would be order," Kleinedler says. "I didn't need anyone to convince me. It was an obvious error that needed to be rectified, and so that is what we did."
The revised definition:
n. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship.
The original definition:
n. A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.
Immigration Policy Center director Mary Giovagnoli first blogged at immigrationimpact.com criticizing the definition of "anchor baby."Read more...