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Proposed Rule Change Will Unify Families Subject to 3 and 10 Year Bars

Released on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

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...

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Immigrants are vital to recovery

Published on Sun, Aug 16, 2009

As Pennsylvania grapples with a budget deficit brought on by the current recession, state and local policy makers would do well to keep in mind that immigrant communities are a potent force for economic recovery.

Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer

AIC Commends Latest Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

Released on Tue, Nov 13, 2012

 For Immediate Release

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...

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Poll: Mexicans More Likely to Come to U.S. if Granted Amnesty

Published on Wed, Oct 14, 2009

The polling wars on immigration reform have officially begun. Today, the Center for Immigration Studies, which aims to restrict immigration to the United States and deport those who are here illegally, sent around the findings of a recent Zogby poll which finds that — surprise! — a majority of Mexicans say they think their friends and family would be more likely to come to the United States if the U.S. granted them permanent legal status. Never mind that no U.S. lawmaker is actually proposing to do that.

Published in the The Washington Independent

The American Immigration Council Applauds Senate Passage of Historic Immigration Reform Legislation

Released on Thu, Jun 27, 2013

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the U.S. Senate for passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation (S. 744) by a vote of 68-32 (including 14 Republicans). This vote reflects how far the country has come in understanding the significance of immigration reform to the health and well-being of the nation as a whole. Regardless of what may come next, today’s vote reflects the irrefutable fact that the social and economic benefits of immigration reform are tangible and achievable. There will be much work ahead to continue to perfect the policies reflected in this bill. But for the moment, we should thank the Senate, led by the Gang of Eight, for the courage and vision to finally move the country forward on immigration.

“Today’s vote is a game-changer. The debate around immigration reform is forever changed, the notion that the Senate cannot act on immigration is a thing of the past, and now we know that it is possible to find bi-partisan agreement on an issue once deemed toxic,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.

“There is little doubt that today’s vote offers the country a chance to start again on immigration. While the compromises necessary to achieve a significant bipartisan vote were many, this is a lesson for us all in democracy—we can respect deep disagreements on policy grounds, yet still find a way forward. The Senate should be commended for giving us all a chance to change the conversation on immigration,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

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For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at wfeliz@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7524

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Immigrant legalization viewed as a boon

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

Legalizing the status of the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in this country would create jobs, increase wages and boost the sagging U.S. economy, an academic study released Thursday says.

Published in the San Antonio Express

America Must Uphold Its Obligations to Protect Children and Families Fleeing Persecution

Released on Mon, Jun 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - As the numbers of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children crossing our southern border grows, the U.S. government faces a critical test of its historic commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. How we respond will signal to the world whether our commitment to due process and the protection of refugees is real or illusory, and it could have a profound effect on how other countries around the world respond to our call to deal fairly and humanely to refugee crises in places like Syria and the Sudan.
Read more...

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Stanislaus County inmates all get immigration check

Published on Mon, Mar 08, 2010

Each time someone is booked at Stanislaus County jail facilities, the inmate's fingerprints are sent electronically to the FBI's criminal database to check the person's criminal history.

New technology will now simultaneously send those fingerprints to immigration officials trying to identify dangerous criminals who entered the country illegally.

The technology is part of a federal initiative called Secure Communities, which checks the immigration status of anyone booked at jails across the country.

 

Published in the The Modesto Bee

Immigrant groups try to steal thunder from tea party

Published on Fri, Apr 16, 2010

Immigrant-rights groups sought to tap some of the "tea party" thunder Thursday by using the anti-tax-and-spending movement's nationwide protests to argue illegal immigrants must be legalized because they are eager to pay their full taxes.

But tea partiers, rallying on the day federal income-tax returns were due, didn't buy it.

The collision between two of the big political movements in America is expected to escalate heading in to this year's midterm elections as both push the political parties from different directions.

Published in the Washington Times

The Rev. Douglas Sharp: Aliens and citizens

Published on Wed, May 12, 2010

The Rev. Douglas Sharp, Dean of the Academy, Protestants for the Common Good

I remember the day, many years ago, when I stumbled across a passage in Leviticus in the New Revised Standard Version that said: “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Published in the Chicago Tribune