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Is immigration enforcement a waste of money?

Published on Wed, May 26, 2010

The United States has spent billions to try to stop illegal immigration over two decades, yet the population of unauthorized foreign residents has grown dramatically.

Those who back other ways to deal with the problem raised this point on Wednesday while President Obama and Congress prepare to send additional personnel to the borders and spend millions more for detention, technology and enforcement.

“All of this attention on resources for the border ignores the fact that border enforcement alone is not going to resolve the underlying problems with our broken immigration system,” says the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group that favors comprehensive reform.

Published in the Sun Sentinel

The Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine: FOIA and Petitions for Review

The fugitive disentitlement doctrine arises in the immigration context when courts of appeals use the doctrine to dismiss petitions for review and when government agencies invoke the doctrine to deny FOIA requests. This Practice Advisory examines how the courts and the agencies apply the doctrine in these contexts.

Published On: Monday, April 29, 2013 | Download File

The Urban Institute

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

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Immigrant Cycle Familiar To United States

Published on Sat, Jul 03, 2010

"When we look at history, you see that immigration goes up in times of economic prosperity and down when the economy is not doing so well," said Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. The influx spurred opposition from many citizens, who said Irish immigrants were taking Americans' jobs and opposed the immigrants' religion. Politicians demanded laws to make it harder for foreigners to become U.S. citizens.

In 1875, the U.S. passed its first restrictive immigration law. It prevented prostitutes and convicts from entering the country.

"Throughout history, it is the laws that really define who is legal and who is illegal," Waslin said. "At different parts of U.S. history, different groups have been illegal depending on what law there was at the time."

Published in the Arizona Republic

Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock

The American Immigration Council’s Practice Advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, has been updated to reflect extensive changes to the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

For more information, please visit our asylum clock litigation page and read the updated FAQ on the benefits provided under the settlement agreement of the nationwide class action, ABT. v. USCIS, which challenged policies related to employment authorization for asylum applicants.

Published On: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | Download File

8 Tips for Teaching How to Write a Digital Story on Immigration

This is part one of a series dedicated to the art of teaching the digital story on immigration. The second part is accessible here. Digital storytelling about immigrant heritage is a way to access a shared past and present, however distinct the individual stories are, develop reading and writing skills, and most importantly, build empathy while thoroughly engaging students. It can, however, be challenging to teach for a number of reasons: 1) uncertainty in the writing process when there may be unknown variables in immigration experiences 2) fears of technology 3) relevancy within what may be a restrictive curriculum.

The American Immigration Council’s “Crossing Borders with Digital Storytelling” is a comprehensive guide adaptable for any grade level and aligned to Common Core, but best practice often involves learning from other teachers to improve.  Middle school teacher Brian Kelley has been developing family heritage podcasting and digital storytelling with his students for several years and has shared some of his methods for working with students in writing about their immigration journeys.  His tips connect well with our curriculum.Read more...

Year Released: 2015

9-12+

Arizona Sheriff Not Relenting After Court Ruling

Published on Fri, Jul 30, 2010

"Sheriff Joe Arpaio and some other folks there decided they can make a name for themselves in terms of the intensity of the efforts they're using," said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the pro-immigrant American Immigration Council. "There's no way to deny that. There are a lot of people getting caught up in these efforts."

Published in the CBS News

Immigration Judge Jurisdiction over INA § 204(j) Portability

Because the process for an immigrant worker to become a lawful permanent resident can be quite lengthy, Congress enacted a provision in 2001 that gives immigrant workers needed job flexibility. A worker with an approved visa petition and a pending application for permanent residence can change jobs during the transition period if the new job is the same or similar to the job for which the original visa was approved.  In a precedent decision issued in 2005, the BIA ruled that an immigration judge did not have jurisdiction to decide whether an applicant’s new job was the same or similar to the prior job. Matter of Perez-Vargas, 23 I&N Dec. 829 (BIA 2005).  This effectively prevented many noncitizen workers who had changed jobs in accordance with the law from having their permanent resident applications approved.   

The Legal Action Center successfully challenged this decision in several courts of appeals. These decisions and our arguments, in turn, persuaded the BIA to withdraw Matter of Perez-Vargas and issue a new decision finding that immigration judges do have jurisdiction to decide this issue.

CASES

Ahmad v. Mukasey, No. 08-4081 (2d Cir. amicus brief filed Jan. 16, 2009) (remanding case to BIA for new decision in light of the Board’s decision in Matter of Neto).

Matter of Neto, No. A095-861-144 (BIA amicus brief filed Aug. 27, 2009).  In a precedent decision, the BIA adopted the position of the Legal Action Center and vacated Matter of Perez VargasMatter of Neto, 25 I&N Dec. 169 (BIA 2010).Read more...

What the Drop in Illegal Residency Means for Immigration Reform

Published on Fri, Sep 03, 2010

But Mary Giovagnoli, director of the more liberal Immigration Policy Institute, sees the Pew study as extra motivation to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a legalization program for those already in the country. "I think it overall provides us with a healthy reality check on the fact that despite the claims that the country's being overrun and that all of these problems are the result of illegal immigrants, the amount of illegal immigration is, in proportion to the overall population and even in terms of overall numbers, declining," she says. "We need to seize upon that and build a smart immigration overhaul where now, with these statistics in play, we can figure out how to get it right."

The number of illegal immigrants has historically vacillated alongside the country's economic fortunes, Giovagnoli points out. "One of the overall best ways to ensure that we don't have continued loops of illegal immigration is to ensure that we have a combination of improvements to our permanent legal system and to our guest worker programs," she says. "We know that enforcement alone can't handle the situation."

Published in the Atlantic Monthly