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More Fear and Loathing in the House Judiciary Committee

Committee to Take Up Reps. Smith and Goodlatte's Restrictive Immigration Bills

Released on Wed, Jul 13, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up two immigration bills that supposedly address community safety, but in reality are simply the latest attempts to restrict immigration and limit due process for immigrants. Neither Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) “Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011,” or Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) “Security and Fairness Enhancement for America Act of 2011” (SAFE Act) offer solutions to the immigration crisis. Instead, Chairman Smith’s bill would authorize indefinite detention for a wide range of immigrants, while Rep. Goodlatte’s bill would eliminate the diversity visa—a lottery that offers 50,000 visas per year to immigrants from countries that send few people to the U.S. Once more, the House Judiciary Committee is using fear to restrict our immigration system.

While studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, “The Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011” attempts to exploit the public’s fear of crime to advance an anti-immigration agenda. The bill would expand the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to subject certain immigrants to indefinite—that is, potentially life-long—detention, even though the Supreme Court has held that such detention raises serious constitutional concerns. The bill relies on the continued detention of immigrants—many of whom have never committed a crime—as a stand-in for fixing the underlying problems of our broken immigration system. Similarly, the deceptively titled SAFE Act simply eliminates 50,000 visas that currently go to immigrants from many countries in Africa and elsewhere that have less of a tradition of immigrating to the U.S. 

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, noted:Read more...

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Voters: Gaining Clout

Published on Tue, Aug 25, 2009

Their views may not be readily apparent in opinion surveys, but last fall, increasing numbers of minorities and immigrants spoke loudly at the polls that really counted.

Published in the Florida Times-Union

Departure Bar to Motions to Reopen and Reconsider: Legal Overview and Related Issues

Released on Wed, Nov 20, 2013

This practice advisory discusses the "departure bar" to motions to reopen and arguments adopted by circuit courts that have rejected or upheld the bar.

 

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Report: Purchasing power of Latinos, Asians almost $26 billion in Colorado

Published on Tue, Aug 04, 2009

An immigration policy group says Latinos and Asians in Colorado have a buying power of nearly $26 billion and their businesses employ more than 53,000 people.

Published in the San Francisco Examiner

The American Immigration Council Mourns the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

Released on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council mourns the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. As the most senior member of the U.S. Senate, he was a stalwart supporter of immigration reform and spoke eloquently about his support for giving young undocumented youth the opportunity to become fully American.

The American Immigration Council was pleased to award Senator Inouye our “Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award” in the Spring of 2011 - an award given to individuals who exhibit a commitment and dedication to our heritage as a nation of immigrants and to the struggle to create fair and humane immigration policies in the United States.

In December of 2010, Senator Inouye made the following statement after the Senate’s failure to pass the DREAM Act during the lame duck session of Congress:

“The comprehensive immigration reform we claim we want in this country will not occur if we do not allow for the basic education of children and if we do not nurture the patriotic spirit of those brave enough to put on the uniform and fight for this country.  I was once labeled an enemy Alien by this country but we petitioned the government to allow us to fight and by the end of World War II the 442 Regimental Combat team had suffered the most casualties in the European campaign but was also the most decorated unit of its size in the history of the United States military.   By allowing the DREAM Act to sit idle, we extinguish hope for a lot of people and deny too many the opportunity I was given.”

The American Immigration Council sends its condolences to those who knew and loved Senator Inouye. We are a better nation for his service and will stand with those who work to advance the issues he most cared about.Read more...

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Immigration vital to economy: Google founder's mom says we need a flow of fresh talent from overseas

Published on Thu, Nov 12, 2009

Immigrants - and immigration - have provided significant fuel for America's growth and prosperity since the beginning days of our country. American values and beliefs; businesses and homes, and military and infrastructure have been shaped by the millions of immigrants who have arrived on our shores over the centuries. Unfortunately, the current national debate over immigration often has become so bitter that an important fact has been obscured: Immigrants contribute a wealth of new strengths and ideas to America.

Published in the The New York Daily News

American Immigration Council Commends Decision Expanding Availability of Hardship Waivers to LPRs

Released on Fri, Aug 09, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a unanimous decision that will allow more lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to avoid deportation if their removal would result in extreme hardship to family members in the United States.  The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which collaborated with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) on an amicus brief in the case, applauds today’s ruling and repeats its call for the Board to overturn its contrary decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).

With this decision, the Seventh Circuit joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) precludes a waiver only for those persons who, at the time they lawfully entered the United States, had become lawful permanent residents.  For many LPRs facing removal, such waivers are the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members.  In their amicus brief, the Council and NIJC argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the INA, which distinguishes between applicants who entered the country as LPRs and those who gained LPR status post-entry.

The case is Papazoglou v. Holder, No. 12-2372.  Maria Baldini-Potermin of Chicago represented the petitioner.

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For more information, contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516.

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Immigration Reform Will Ease Economic Decline, Study Says

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

WASHINGTON--A new study by a leading academic researcher contends that legalizing undocumented workers through comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over a 10-year period, generate billions of dollars in additional tax revenue, increase wages and consumer spending, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The study, “Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” was conducted by Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Hinojosa presented the findings during a telephonic press conference moderated by Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

Published in the New American Media

136 Leading Experts on Immigration Law Agree: President Has Legal Authority to Expand Relief

Released on Wed, Sep 03, 2014

Washington D.C. — U.S. law professors sent a letter today to the White House stating that President Obama has wide legal authority to make needed changes to immigration enforcement policy. The president is considering how to use his authority to mitigate the damage caused by our dysfunctional immigration system and protect certain individuals from deportation. Read more...

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Immigration reform hits the streets

Published on Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Last Sunday, a crowd estimated at 200,000 by its organizers gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to rally for comprehensive immigration reform; President Obama appeared in a video at the demonstration endorsing a bipartisan plan proposed by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Published in the Anchorage Press