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American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

Released on Mon, Sep 17, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that will allow immigration judges to exercise discretion in cases involving lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose removal would cause extreme hardship to family members in the United States. The ruling marks the fourth opinion from a federal appellate court to reject a contrary decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in the oral argument, applauds today’s ruling and calls on the Board to overturn its decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).

The case involved a 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents immigration judges from considering evidence of hardship in certain cases involving immigrants who were “admitted” to the United States as LPRs. For many LPRs facing removal, the ability to obtain such a hardship waivers is the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members. In its amicus brief, the Council argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the statute and improperly conflated applicants who entered the country as LPRs with those who gained LPR status post-entry.

The beneficiary of today’s decision, Zaman Hanif, has resided in the United States for more than 25 years. The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him in 2009 based on a criminal conviction that resulted in four months’ incarceration.  Hanif sought a waiver of inadmissibility on account of the hardship his removal would create for his immediate family members, including his wife, two elderly parents, and U.S. citizen children.Read more...

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Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth

Published on Wed, Aug 12, 2009

Immediately after the Presidential election of 2008, it was quickly apparent through exit polling that Latino, Asian, and African-American voting had expanded dramatically compared to the 2004 election. Census Bureau data released late last month confirms the tremendous growth in voting among these groups. Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases a fact check, Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth, which shows how much the electoral power of racial and ethnic minorities increased in just four years.

Published in the SOA World Magazine

Creating a Workable Future Flow Program in Senate Immigration Bill

Day Two of Senate Mark-Up Will Tackle Trickiest Part of Reform

Released on Mon, May 13, 2013

Washington D.C. - Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues “mark-up” of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Committee will take up amendments related to Title Four, which addresses the majority of non-immigrant, temporary visas including those for high and less skilled immigrant workers, entrepreneurship and innovation programs, and a range of miscellaneous visitor visas. Title Four became one of the most intensely negotiated portions of the Gang of 8 bill, in part because issues regarding the future flow of immigrant workers strike at the heart of broad differences in opinion about how we supplement the American workforce through immigration. 

Inherent in this debate are deeply nuanced questions about the best way to create a competitive business climate that does not undermine worker rights and protections, as well as the need to promote and encourage innovation and growth through immigration.  The Gang of 8 should be applauded for tackling this enormous challenge and crafting solutions that attempt to address these concerns.  This makes the bill significantly different from what was adopted in 1986—when a legalization program went forward without tackling the question of how to regulate the future demand for workers.  

In this section of the bill, perhaps more than anywhere else, there will be disagreement about the best way to achieve a balance in S. 744 as it is readied for debate before the full Senate. In order to develop a smart and fair future flow program, Senators should keep in mind the following principles:Read more...

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How Much Taxpayer Money will the GOP use to Fire Up an Anti-Immigrant Base?

Published on Fri, Nov 06, 2009

Billions upon billions, if some Republicans get their way. Fortunately, they didn't get their way on the Census yesterday. The Vitter-Bennett census amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill became a moot point yesterday afternoon when the Senate ended debate on the bill in a nail-biting procedural vote of 60 to 39, which comes as a relief to advocates who worked non-stop, through hubs like DontWreckTheCensus.org, to help sink the unconstitutional, impractical, and expensive measure.

Published in the The Huffington Post

Immigration Reform and the State of the Union

Released on Tue, Jan 28, 2014

Washington D.C. - Tonight, President Barack Obama pressed the reset button and laid out his priorities for 2014—and, ultimately, the final leg of his presidency. During the State of the Union address, the President discussed the need to create jobs and greater opportunity for all. He also made it clear that immigration reform and economic recovery go hand-in-hand, and he expects the House of Representatives to make the next move on immigration reform. The President said: 

“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system.  Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted.  I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same.  Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades.  And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone.  So let’s get immigration reform done this year.”Read more...

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Immigration reform's economic impact is debated

Published on Tue, Jan 12, 2010

As the U.S. unemployment rate hovers at around 10 percent, a key question is emerging in the unfolding immigration reform debate: whether legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants will further erode the economy or speed its recovery. The answer is hard to pin down because of clashing conclusions in recently issued reports.

Published in the Miami Herald

GOP Talking Immigration Reform Ahead of Elections

Published on Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Today, Immigration Impact, the blog of the Immigration Policy Center, reported on a shift in tactics in the immigration debate: A growing number of Republican lawmakers say the party needs to adjust its positions on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) in order to boost Latino support:

More Republicans have acknowledged that the GOP must change its tune on Latinos and immigration, especially in the lead-up to midterm elections. This week, RNC Chair Michael Steele not only agreed to a meeting with an immigration advocacy group (after the group staged a sit-in), but went a step further to say that he’s concerned with harsh GOP rhetoric on immigration…

 

Published in the The Washington Independent

Expert Calls for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Create Internal Ombuds Program

Published on Mon, Apr 26, 2010

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, says that ICE could substantially improve its performance by appointing an ombudsman "to serve as an internal conscience, taking in reports on individual cases, making sure that policy is followed and serving as an internal watchdog."

Published in the The Ombuds Blog

Immigration reform vital to Alaskans

Published on Wed, May 05, 2010

Once again U.S. immigration policies are in the national spotlight. Arizona Gov. Brewer signed legislation on April 23 to authorize the arrest of Arizona residents if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States without immigration documents. Her decision to sign this legislation has catapulted comprehensive immigration reform from the end of a long list of important Congressional legislation to competing for first place with financial reform.

Published in the Anchorage Daily News

Arizona Lawmaker Takes Aim at Automatic Citizenship

Published on Tue, Jun 15, 2010

Adopting such a practice in the U.S. would be not only unconstitutional but also impractical and expensive, said Michele Waslin, a policy analyst with the pro-immigrant Immigration Policy Center in Washington.

"Every single parent who has a child would have to go through this bureaucratic process of proving their own citizenship and therefore proving their child's citizenship," she said.

Published in the Associated Press