Critics of undocumented immigration and of granting a path to citizenship to the undocumented currently living in this country often argue that immigrants are a drain on our country’s resources, and the U.S. can simply not afford to continue to support an illicit population that thrives off of government-funded services and programs. However, an ever-increasing number of studies show that the cost of immigrants to this country is wildly inflated, and in fact the contributions the immigrant population makes to the U.S. outweigh their expense.
On Sunday, Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean published an op/ed by Ted Rayburn which put a new spin on the argument that reforming the U.S. immigration system would benefit the economy. Rayburn argues that in an increasingly competitive global market society, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind, as the world’s highly skilled workers are moving en masse to countries with growing economies, such as Brazil and India. He concludes that if the U.S. does not revise its immigration laws to allow these skilled individuals to legally come to the U.S. and work, we will be at a perpetual international disadvantage.
The cogent arguments made by Rayburn regarding the importance of skilled immigrant labor in this country, however, does not preclude the similarly vital importance of unskilled immigrant laborers to the U.S. economy.
In Arizona, recent changes in the state’s immigration laws have illustrated the vital necessity of flexible migrant labor to local industry. As this labor has become increasingly scarce since the passage of SB 1070, many Arizona industries, most notably agriculture, have experienced the negative effects of a worker shortage.Read more...
The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Juan Morales Cifuentes as August's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...
More than one in four California residents are foreign born, but almost 46 percent of them — 4.6 million people — are naturalized citizens eligible to vote, according to a new report by the Immigration Policy Center.
There were almost 10.2 million immigrants in the state in 2010, U.S. Census data show. That’s 27.2 percent of the population.
Immigrants comprise more than a third of the California labor force, figuring prominently in economics sector such as agriculture, manufacturing and services.
They pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year, according to state-specific fact sheets compiled by the pro-immigration policy center from a variety of studies in recent years.
Unauthorized immigrants in California paid $2.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2010 and most native-born Californians have experienced wage gains from the presence of immigrants in the state’s labor market, research compiled by center show.
Click here for more numbers on immigrant contributions to the California economy at the Immigration Policy Center website.
Emily Creighton is a Staff Attorney at the Legal Action Center. She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae before the Board of Immigration Appeals and numerous federal courts and serves as counsel in national class action litigation. Ms. Creighton also contributes to practice advisories and administrative advocacy efforts on a variety of immigration-related topics. Ms. Creighton graduated cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in 2006.
Melissa Crowis the Director of the Legal Action Center, the litigation and legal advocacy arm of the American Immigration Council. Ms. Crow has practiced immigration law for more than twelve years, including litigation in the federal courts, immigration courts, and Board of Immigration Appeals. Prior to joining the LAC, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed a thriving immigration practice and undertook litigation to protect immigrants' rights in the workplace. Before entering private practice, Ms. Crow served as Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. She also spent a year as the Gulf Coast Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Ms. Crow has taught in the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.Read more...
In the winter of 2010, Ignacio De Solminihac Sierralta arrived in New York City to start a law internship. He was only in the US for two months, but on the day before his scheduled flight back to Chile, February 27, 2010, the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake also set off a devastating tsunami that reached all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. Here’s his story. Read more...
President Obama's inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election. Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting, suggests an alternate narrative, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to show up in support of the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado — the election could go to the Republican candidate, likely to be former Governor Mitt Romney.
Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with its March 5th cover story, "Yo Decido," written by journalist Michael Scherer. The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. is Hispanic, and most Hispanics live in the U.S. legally. They are fully integrated into communities. There is a prevailing assumption that, because a majority of Hispanics are Catholic, they should be naturally allied with more conservative candidates — particularly the two Roman Catholics still in the Republican race as of this writing, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.
While the Republicans appear to have learned from some earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain's jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns, and history. They don't seem to understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don't seem to really care.Read more...
Training and internship programs are categorized by descriptions found in the Code of Instructional Programs published by the U.S. Department of Education. Descriptions are organized by academic area and each description is assigned a subject code, a unique, six digit identifying number. J-1 sponsors must match the training or internship described on form DS-7002 to one of the subject codes. The code is used in SEVIS to identify the field of training and appears on form DS-2019.
Subject codes are important for two reasons. First, it is important to understand that J-1 sponsors are designated by the US Department of State to offer programs in specific occupational areas; most sponsors are not designated to sponsor all types of trainings/internships. Subject codes organize and describe occupations, indicating to sponsors what types of trainings or internships they are able to sponsor. The descriptions included with each subject code can also offer excellent guidance to those creating a training plan for new programs.
Second, some J-1 participants will be subject to the two-year home residency requirement, 212(e). These include all participants who have received government funds in support of all or part of their J-1 program, and participants who are identified as having skills in demand in the home country. These skills are negotiated by the US Department of State and foreign ministries around the world and are summarized on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. In determining who is subject to 212(e) under the skills list, the subject code on the DS-2019 is matched to the general occupational category headings contained in the skills list.Read more...