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Former Ariz. Attorney General proposes new approach to border

Published on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

In a paper published today by the Immigration Policy Center, former Arizona Attorney General and 2010 Democratic candidate for governor Terry Goddard strikes out at the state’s current border enforcement strategies and attempts to lay out what he sees as a superior binational approach to border security.

In criticizing Arizona’s current approach to border enforcement, Goddard writes, “Again and again, symbols trump reality, misinformation buries the truth.” Goddard is referring to recent efforts to build a massive wall, stretching the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border, an effort derided by many as simultaneously impractical and ineffective. Goddard is similarly critical of the federal Secure Communities program, in which local law enforcement is employed to enforce immigration law. He argues that these largely symbolic and rhetorical efforts at securing the border could in fact be making current problems worse.

Goddard’s solutions to solving current problems at the Arizona-Sonora border focus not on undocumented immigrants but rather on what he sees as the larger issue in this region: Mexican drug cartels. He argues that the U.S. and Mexican governments must approach the cartels as business enterprises. In order to disable them, Goddard writes that the countries must work together to stanch the flow of money into these criminals’ hands.

For Goddard, because the Tucson Sector is the primary locus through which people and resources are smuggled back and forth across the border, it is here where any successful effort to abolish border violence must begin. This means that Tucson must serve as a model to the rest of the border region of how effectively securing the border starts not with capturing and deporting undocumented migrants, but with capturing and arresting the criminals that facilitate these individuals’ cross-border movement and propagate the border region’s larger criminal environment.Read more...

Published in the Examiner: Tucson AZ

Our Litigation & Advocacy

The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center engages in impact litigation to protect and advance the rights of noncitizens. The LAC frequently submits briefs as amicus curiae (friend of the court) before administrative tribunals and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and files affirmative lawsuits in limited circumstances.

Alabama immigration law: Long waits face many who wish to immigrate

Published on Sun, Dec 04, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The idea that prospective immigrants simply wait their turn to enter the U.S. legally, as advocates of Alabama's immigration law suggest, would apply to only a few because the legal paths for entering the country permanently are selective, limited and backlogged.

There are 4.7 million people from around the world already in line waiting for a chance to move in, according to the latest figures from the U.S. State Department. And the law, as set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act, does not let just anyone get in line.

 The law is specific about who is allowed in on a permanent basis, coinciding with four general objectives of federal immigration policy: to reunite families, attract workers with special skills, increase diversity from countries that don't usually have high numbers of immigrants to the U.S., and protect people who are fleeing persecution in their home countries.

 If someone wants to immigrate permanently, they have to fall into one of those four categories. Even then, the wait can last years or decades. For example, applications filed by Mexican unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens before April 1993 are the ones being considered now, according to a monthly update from the State Department.

 In other words, the proposal that illegal immigrants should have just waited for their turn is not even possible.

 "When there is no line to get into, those are times when people feel they don't have options," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center and former associate chief counsel for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 There are 12.6 million legal permanent residents currently living in the United States plus millions more who have long since become naturalized citizens.Read more...

Published in the Birmingham News

Where are our participants?

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.

Want to connect with them? Check out and "like" our Facebook page.

 

 

Kan. plan: Allow illegal immigrants to stay, work

Published on Tue, Jan 31, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A coalition of business groups will propose Kansas start a new program to help some illegal immigrants remain in the state so they can hold down jobs in agriculture and other industries with labor shortages, coalition representatives disclosed Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Council called the proposal "unprecedented" and questioned whether the federal government would allow such a program, though she was sympathetic toward supporters' goals. Utah has set up a guest-worker program, but it doesn't take effect until 2013 and was part of a broader package of initiatives on immigration.

The Kansas proposal also is notable because it complicates the debate over immigration issues in the home state of Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona. Kobach, known nationally for advising state and local officials across the nation on immigration issues, is secretary of state, the chief elections official in Kansas.

The proposal is likely to stir controversy in the Kansas Legislature and divide the Republican majority, some of whose members are pursuing proposals to crack down on illegal immigration. Representatives of the business coalition, which includes agriculture groups and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, provided a draft copy of their proposed legislation to The Associated Press ahead of its formal introduction in the House and Senate.

Supporters of the proposal acknowledge they're trying to protect industries heavily reliant on laborers, particularly agriculture. But state officials and backers don't have any hard numbers for how many jobs are in danger of going unfilled. Kansas has an estimated 45,000 illegal-immigrant workers.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...

Arizona Immigration Law: What The Supreme Court Is Considering, And Why It Matters

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

In January, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona made headlines when she was photographed thrusting an accusatory finger in President Barack Obama's face during a confrontation on a Phoenix tarmac. Brewer later explained that the president was "a little disturbed" about her book, in which she described Obama as weak on immigration.

The fleeting exchange filtered quickly out of the news cycle, but the image encapsulated the underlying legal issue as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up Arizona's new immigration law on Wednesday. Fundamentally, the case pivots on the relationship between states and the federal government when it comes to enforcing immigration law. Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

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...

Undocumented youth laud ‘Deferred Action’ policy

Published on Wed, Jun 27, 2012

The Asian Journal highlighted the IPC's Q&A Guide to the President's deferred action policy:

Meanwhile, many organizations have formed seminars and briefings to help people better understand the Deferred Action Policy, how the process will work and who will benefit from it. One such organization is the Immigration Policy Center which held a tele-briefing on June 21 with experts who discussed the Administration’s legal authority behind this move, what’s currently known about the process and how politics are shaping up around the decision. Read more...

Published in the Asian Journal

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.