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Northern California Celebrates America

2011 Winners Announced in Bay Area

Published on Wed, Jun 01, 2011

Angela Yang, 11, Pacifica resident and student in San Francisco, won with her story of an alien's first impression of the United States

Published in the Pacifica Patch

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 20

This issue covers I-212 litigation, asylum one year deadline decisions, representing clients with drug possession charges, mandamus petitions, and a court decision regarding asylum applicant confidentiality regulation.

Published On: Friday, November 17, 2006 | Download File

Unauthorized immigrants pay billions in taxes

Published on Mon, Apr 18, 2011

To mark the tax-filing deadline, the Immigration Policy Center released a report on Monday estimating that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes last year, including $807 million in Florida.

The Florida total includes $69 million in property tax and $737 million in sales tax. Unauthorized immigrants also pay income taxes, but Florida has no state income tax.

The report compiled by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimated taxes by households headed by unauthorized immigrants in 2010.

"These figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States," said the Immigration Policy Center, a research group based in Washington. "In spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs."

Some advocates for stricter immigration enforcement say that unauthorized foreign residents drain states and communities, in part by crowding schools and public health facilities. The report released Monday was designed to counter those complaints.

Researchers and politicians, meanwhile, continue to debate whether illegal immigration helps or hurts the economy of states like Florida. Immigrants pay taxes and provide labor while also tapping public resources.

Published in the Florida Sun Sentinel

Practice Advisory on Immigration Benefits and Pitfalls in a Post-DOMA World

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This practice advisory highlights some of the issues LGBT families will face following the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA.

Our economy needs illegal immigrants

Published on Sun, Jun 12, 2011

By STEPHEN M. NeSMITH JR.

As an immigration attorney, I highly favor immigrants coming to this country legally. There is no question illegal immigration is a major issue in this country and the United States needs a strong enforcement policy. But no matter what side of the debate you're on, Alabama's immigration law will only worsen our already struggling economy.

The authors of House Bill 56 claim illegal immigration causes economic hardship. Naturally, during tough economic times, we want to blame someone else for our problems. Illegal immigrants are an obvious target since there are negative consequences to their presence, such as increased education and medical costs. But what I don't understand is why my fellow Republicans ignore the benefits they bring.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates illegal aliens cost Alabama $112 million. However, the Immigration Policy Center estimates illegal aliens in Alabama pay a total of $130 million in taxes (personal, property and sales). So, whatever "economic hardship" illegal aliens cause by their presence, they easily offset with the money they pay back into the system.

We are a nation of laws and must enforce those laws. But the hard truth we must face is, at this moment (and until we fix the broken immigration system), our economy is dependent on illegal immigrants.

It is simple supply and demand. Before an enforcement-centric policy would be prudent, we must ensure we have a sufficient supply of workers to meet our needs. The governor of Georgia realized this, albeit too late.Read more...

Published in the Alambam.com

Supreme Court Rejects Government's Argument in Aggravated Identity Theft Case

Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 556 U.S. 646 (2009)

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the aggravated identity theft statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), requires federal prosecutors to show that a defendant knew the means of identification belonged to another person. Read more...

Yves Thiers Takes On Texas

August, 2010

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Yves Thiers as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Yves came to the United States from Belgium soon after graduating with a Master of Industrial Science degree. He hoped to be able to gain hands on knowledge of the engineering projects he studied at university. His host company, Dal-Tile Corporation, was just the place for this. Dal-Tile Corporation is a tile manufacturer and distributor based out of Dallas, TX. Read more...

Will Obama’s deportation policy pose ‘nightmare’ for law enforcement?

Published on Fri, Aug 19, 2011

Sheriff Neil Warren, dubbed "Wild West Warren" by pro-immigration groups, has racked up nearly 15,000 immigration-related arrests in Cobb Country north of Atlanta. A new deportation policy announced Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security could mean that many of those arrested by Mr. Warren may not only get out of jail, but could go back to Cobb County with a legal work visa in hand.

Responding to criticism that the US deportation net has been cast too wide – sweeping up college kids, grandparents, and other noncriminal illegals – the Obama administration on Thursday formalized new rules that could mean release for many of the 300,000 people currently facing deportation in the US. Its goal will be to focus on deporting only the worst and most hardened criminals.

The move centers on prosecutorial discretion, with the Obama administration deciding whom it will and won't deport. Clearly, the shift has political ramifications, with Latino groups lauding the decision and conservative critics calling it a backdoor "administrative amnesty."

But perhaps more important to Main Street America is the question of how the new policy will affect police departments, primarily in the West and Southeast. Many of these departments have used federal programs as a means to arrest every illegal immigrant they come across. Now, the Department of Homeland Security's announcement introduces new uncertainty about whether many of those arrested will simply be sent back.

It is further proof that, until comprehensive immigration reform passes Congress, states and federal agencies will continue to nibble at the issue with different and often contradictory measures. In the meantime, the latest move makes for a "law enforcement nightmare," says the union that represents US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel.Read more...

Published in the Alaska Dispatch