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Quick Fact: The cost of deportation in Arizona

Deporting all of the unauthorized immigrants in Arizona would decrease total employment by 17.2%, eliminate 581,000 jobs for immigrants and native-born workers alike, shrink the state economy by $48.8 billion, and reduce state tax revenues by 10.1%.

Immigrant advocates protest deportation of young student, call for prosecutorial discretion

Published on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

South Florida immigrant advocates will be at the Broward Transistional Center today to take part in a national day of action to protest the deportation of Shamir Ali.


ICE recently announced that it had deported 396,000 people during fiscal year 2011. The agency’s own numbers indicate that, “of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors” and “this includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence.”

However the Immigration Policy Center argues that, “while the raw number is not in doubt, its meaning is far from clear,” adding that, according to ICE, 55 percent of those deported (approximately 218,000) were “criminal aliens,” but the definition of ‘criminal’ is overly broad.”

The Policy Center adds that ICE numbers show that “40% of criminal deportations were convicted under the four categories of homicide, sexual offenses, drug-related offenses, or driving under the influence (DUI). The other 60% of ‘convicted criminals’ fall into other categories including immigration crimes and traffic crimes.”

According to the Policy Center, “the real dilemma” for the Department of Homeland Security “is how it plans to reconcile its criminal deportation statistics with its new initiatives on prosecutorial discretion.”

Published in the The Florida Independent

LAC News Room

The Legal Action Center puts out press releases about ongoing developments in immigration law, posts on Immigration Impact and we also compile links to news clips that feature Legal Action Center staff.

Obama Administration Again Hands Families Over to Private Prison Company

Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), partners in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, responded to the news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had awarded a private prison company the grant to establish a new case management alternative to detention initiative for families. Read more...

Five Incarcerated Refugee Families Finally Released After Being Held for Months on End

Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), partners in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, responded to Friday’s release of five families who had been subjected to many months of incarceration despite repeated efforts to advocate for their release pending the adjudication of their claims for protection in the United States. Read more...Read more...

Northern, Southern Border Residents Unite in Detroit

Published on Fri, Feb 24, 2012

A few days ago I wrote a blog about life along the border since 9/11, calling it a “Constitution-free zone”—a term coined by the ACLU. Life in the “Zone”—defined as a 100-mile wide area that wraps around the external boundary of the United States—is like living in an occupied zone, border residents tell me. Where the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects Americans from arbitrary stops and searches, doesn’t always apply.

Unfortunately, the voices of residents living along the international borders seldom penetrate the Washington echo chamber. Today, in Detroit, more than 100 delegates from the northern and southern borders are meeting to “form a national picture of what’s happening along the border,” according to Ryan Bates, an organizer for the newly formed Northern Border Coalition. The goal of the two-day conference, which began February 23, is to hammer out a political strategy so that border residents can lobby Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to rein in U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents whom they say are out of control.

As the number of Border Patrol agents has skyrocketed, so has the confusion about their role in border communities. Residents are unsure of their rights when border agents stop them. Lawyer Ben Winograd, a staff attorney with the American Immigration Council in Washington D.C. wanted to clarify in an email the notion of a “Constitution-free zone” I’d written about in my previous blog.Read more...

Published in the the Texes Observer

SFCC students join national movement that puts immigrant youth in the spotlight

Published on Wed, Mar 14, 2012

Luzhilda Campos, 3.8 grade-point average. Triple major in psychology, human services and Spanish language.

Jesús Chávez, 3.8 grade-point average. Psychology major.

Héctor Zambrano, 3.2 grade-point average. Architectural design major.

Campos, Chávez and Zambrano are all undocumented students who are enrolled at Santa Fe Community College. Along with high school student Udell Calzadillas -- 3.7 grade-point average -- they have joined a national movement dubbed "Coming Out of the Shadows."

They are asking the community to support comprehensive immigration reform and the federal Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, known as the Dream Act, which would provide a legal path to citizenship for youth who complete two years in the military or two years at an institution of higher learning, and fulfill certain other requirements.

In May 2011, the Dream Act was re-introduced to Congress by Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Democratic Rep. Howard Berman of California. Although the legislation has failed to gain enough support in Congress, several states such as California allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and to qualify for some state financial aid.

In New Mexico, a student without a Social Security number also can pay in-state tuition.

"I have a dream of becoming somebody in the future, of being the example for my family," said Zambrano, 20. After working in the hospitality industry, he knew he didn't want a future there, he said. So he enrolled at the community college and plans to keep working toward a four-year degree.

"Sometimes I question myself. Should I keep studying? For what? I won't be able to work," Zambrano said. "But I'm still here."

Young adults like him have joined "Coming Out" campaigns in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York to push the campaign's slogan: "Undocumented, Unafraid, Unapologetic." Read more...

Published in the Santa Fe New Mexican

Access to Counsel

Access to Counsel

The LAC has long advocated for the right to appointed counsel for indigent immigrants in removal proceedings, as well as fair standards and procedures to remedy the sometimes devastating results of ineffective assistance of counsel. Access to counsel lies at the very core of our legal system and is integral to ensuring a fair process and a meaningful opportunity to be heard. Without counsel, vulnerable noncitizens are often deported without inquiries into their ability to comprehend the proceedings against them.

Student Banned from Returning to U.S. for Graduation

Published on Wed, May 30, 2012

IPC Senior Analyst Michele Waslin was quoted in an Indianapolis Star article about a star student who exemplifies the problems with our immigration system: Read more...

Published in the Indianapolis Star

Sponsorship Priority Policy

To best serve our excellent existing host organizations, we are implementing a priority policy regarding which applications will be considered for J-1 sponsorship.

New applications will be considered based on the following priorities:

First priority: 
Applications that have already been reserved for existing host sites and AILA members.  For the remainder of 2012, no further applications are being added to the reserved list.

Second priority: 
Depending upon available space, excellent applications for programs at US organizations that have successfully hosted J-1 programs with the American Immigration Council in the past. Currently, space is available only in the event of cancellations from the reserved list.

Third priority:
If space becomes available, excellent applications sent to the American Immigration Council via members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Currently, unless there are major policy changes at the Department of State, we do not anticipate additional space opening for new host organizations.

Due to the limited remaining allotment, only extremely strong applications for training and internship programs will be considered.

More information on our annual allotment is found on the Allotment Tip Sheet.


-The International Exchange Center Staff

Deferred action information session to be held

Published on Sun, Sep 23, 2012

AIC's Wendy Sefsaf gives insight and advice to those interested in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative in this Central Florida Future article:  Read more...

Published in the Central Florida Future