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Have you ever wondered if there are other exchange visitors in your area? If so, we've created a map showing the distribution of J-1 trainees and interns currently sponsored by the International Exchange Center throughout the United States.

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Kan. plan roils debate in immigration guru's state

Published on Wed, Feb 01, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An architect of state and local laws cracking down on illegal immigration is a leading Republican officeholder in Kansas, but business groups in his home state are asking legislators to move in the opposite direction by starting an unusual program designed to give illegal immigrants hard-to-fill jobs.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona, criticized the new Kansas proposal Tuesday as "amnesty" for people who've come to the U.S. illegally. A spokeswoman said Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican, isn't supporting the measure.

But Brownback's agriculture secretary has acknowledged having several conversations with federal homeland security officials about potential labor shortages. The coalition pushing the new program includes agriculture groups with memberships that traditionally lean toward the GOP, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, another stalwart supporter of conservative Republicans.

Utah has a guest worker program, but it isn't set to start until January 2013, and its enactment was part of a legislative package that included initiatives in line with Kobach's thinking on immigration. States with large populations of illegal immigrants- including California, Florida and Texas- don't have their own programs.

It would be "unprecedented" if Kansas implemented the program proposed by its business groups, said Wendy Sefsaf, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center. She said she is skeptical that the federal government would allow such a program, though she's sympathetic toward its goals.

"Maybe it's a good thing to have a counterbalance to Kris Kobach," she said.Read more...

Published in the Associated Press

My Grand Father Ben: 2011 National Grand Prize Winning Entry

From China sailed my Grandfather Ben.
He came to America when he was four plus ten.
His Guangzhou village was small and poor
And he helped his mother with farming chores.
Every morning he gathered bits of firewood
And drew water from the well as much as he could.
From morning to night he slaved like an ox.
But it was never enough to fill the rice box.
So his parents said, "You'd better leave home
And go to America where you can roam.
Until you find  a great place of your own.
America, Gold Mountain, is the place to go
Big and wide, and high and low.
Everything is yes, and there are never any nos."


But here in America life was hard
And it wasn't like a birthday card.
Golden Mountain didn't have jobs
For Chinese men, and that made them sob.
From San Francisco to Saint Louis
Chances for Chinese were least to fewest.
Still his heart never gave way
Cause he knew hard work always pays.
So Grandpa Ben worked hard again.
Slaving in a laundry from five to ten.
And he lived in important USA times
Starting from cool Jazz Age crime
Right on down to the Great Depression's
Brother can you spare a dime.
Until finally his big chance came
To show America Chinese are the same.
He joined the army in World War II
And fought in Europe for the red, white and blue.
All over he fought bringing supplies
To American soldiers on the lines.
Until one day he was shot in the back
And his jeep flipped over and he got smacked.
He didn't win any fame or medals
Just came back home to wed and settle.


Still to me he is The Greatest Hero.
Cause he never gave up and never said no.
He loved America both good and bad
And taught his 5 kids not to be sad.
Work hard, dream big, and never give up.
And one day Gold Mountain will live up
To what is written on the Statue of Liberty
Chances for all and the gift to be free.Read more...

Facts? Or Factors

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

I have a dear friend who disagrees with me about the immigration issue -- she's a fence-sitter mostly, not sure that the state should or should not be passing legislation restricting access of undocumented immigrants to public services.

"I've got to think and pray about it more, and I'm not sure I know enough about the issue," she told me this morning.

I applaud her candor, and her willingness to suspend judgment until she has all the facts.

Unfortunately, facts have very little to do with the issue. Read more...

Published in the Huffington Post

Guidelines for entering the "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest

Past winners have used the theme “Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants” to discuss their personal immigration experiences, learn about and share family histories or write about the broader questions of the challenges facing immigrants in a new land. Fifth grade students enter their work in local contests which are sponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the National Competition where entries are reviewed by a distinguished panel including U.S. senators, award-winning authors and noted journalists. Winning entries are to be printed in the Congressional Record. The grand prize winner and two guests (including one parent/guardian) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Council’s Annual Benefit Dinner where the winner will be recognized and will recite the winning piece. Local and national judges are looking for student writing that is original, thoughtful and speaks to the Council’s mission to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.

Check for a local contest and local deadlines.  The national deadline for local winners is April 12, 2013.

CWC 2012 logo

GUIDELINES

Theme: "Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants"

Entrants: 5th graders

Format:

  • Any written entry (essay, poem, story, interview, etc.) that reflects the theme
  • Entry should be submitted to your contest coordinator (some local contests require electronic submissions, so please check with your coordinator).

Word count: Up to 500 wordsRead more...

Time to stop overgeneralizing about immigrants

Published on Wed, Jul 11, 2012

IPC's senior policy analyst Michele Waslin was quoted in a Washington Post article about the complexity of immigration law and the dangers of overgeneralizing:

"The confusion with the military aspect has been troubling these last couple of weeks because so many people get it wrong. It really shows the need for education on how immigration rules really work," said Michele Waslin, the senior policy analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. "Immigration law is really, really complex and people think you're either legal or you're not, even though there are lots of different types of statuses." Read more...

Published in the The Washington Post

Shahriar Pourdanesh

Shahriar Pourdanesh (known as Shar Pourdanesh to his many Redskin fans), was born in Iran. He came to the United States with his family after leaving Iran during the Iranian revolution in 1979. He attended University High School in Irvine, California where he was an all-league offensive lineman and was the fourth-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the state. He attended college at the University of Nevada in Reno where he was a dominant offensive lineman. As a senior in 1992, he was named to the first team All-Conference for the Big West Conference.

Shar joined the Redskins after two seasons with the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and is the first Iranian to play NFL football. In 1994 Shar was named CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year for the Baltimore Stallions and was named to the CFL all-star team in 1994 and 1995. During the 1996 Redskins' season Shar proved a very versatile player, playing both left tackle and right tackle.

IPC Cited in White House Fact Sheet on the Economic Need for Immigration Reform

Published on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

A 2012 report by the IPC was recently cited in a White House fact sheet pointing out the economic need for comprehensive immigration reform: 

"According to the 2010 American Community Survey, immigrants earned a total of $1.1 trillion, and the Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015."

Published in the White House

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D.

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D., joined the Political Science Department at the University of Rhode Island as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2007. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. Her current research interests include the relationship between state capabilities and internal conflict, and resource distribution and development. She is the former Co‐Editor of International Interactions and a member of the TransPacific Consortium. At URI, Kristin teaches courses in International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, and Civil Conflict.

 

Ben Johnson Quoted in MSN News Article

Published on Tue, Aug 20, 2013

In a recent article discussing Senator Ted Cruz and his dual citizenship with Canada, AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson was quoted to verify whether or not dual citizenship would preclude Cruz from holding the Presidency.

"Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said he wasn't aware of whether there are rules prohibiting a sitting president from having dual citizenship.

"I would think the optics would be more challenging," he said."

Published in the MSN News