March's newsletter features Chairy Saidjan of Jakarta, Indonesia as our exchange visitor of the month and discusses Chairy's appreciation for American art and the art of American entrepreneurship. Helpful tax tips and a discussion of Women's History Month are also included.
In honor of Tax Day, the Immigration Policy Center posted a reminder that often gets ignored in the illegal immigration debate, especially those who accuse illegal immigrants of mooching off the system from public schools to hospitals.
Using a methodology from the nonpartisan Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and information from the Pew Hispanic Center figures on each state's illegal immigration population using numbers from the 2010 Census, the ITEP came up with an estimate on state-specific tax payments.
Yes, immigrants pay taxes, too:
There were an estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. as of 2010. Pew has also estimated the unauthorized population for each state. Pew has found that unauthorized immigrants are likely to be less educated than native-born U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, and they tend to work in low-wage jobs. Thus the average family income of the unauthorized population is lower than the average family income for U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. The average income of a household headed by an unauthorized immigrant is estimated to be $36,000; 10 percent of which goes towards remittances to family members in countries of origin.
According to the report, Arizona is in the top 10 of state receiving the most revenue from households headed by illegal immigrants. In 2010, Arizona's illegal immigrants paid $38 million in personal income taxes $45 million in property taxes and $348 million in sales taxes:
Sales tax is automatic, so it is assumed that unauthorized residents would pay sales tax at similar rates to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants with similar income levels.
Similar to sales tax, property taxes are hard to avoid, and unauthorized immigrants are assumed to pay the same property taxes as others with the same income level. ITEP assumes that most unauthorized immigrants are renters, and only calculates the taxes paid by renters.Read more...
The LAC's credible threat to sue the U.S. Department of Labor has caused the DOL to agree to reopen Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) cases erroneously closed for alleged failure to respond to a 45-day letter. 30- DAY DEADLINE FOR RESPONDING!
Under AILF's Threat to Sue, DOL Agrees to Reopen BEC Cases
30- DAY DEADLINE FOR RESPONDING!**
AILF's credible threat to sue the U.S. Department of Labor has caused the DOL to agree to reopen Backlog Elimination Center (BEC) cases erroneously closed for alleged failure to respond to a 45-day letter. This agreement includes cases where the employer or attorney never received the 45-day letter and also where they received the 45-day letter and timely responded, but the case was nonetheless closed.
In March 2005, DOL adopted a new system for filing applications for labor certifications, known as the Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). The new system only applies to applications filed on or after March 28, 2005. When it adopted this new system, DOL already had pending before it over 300,000 labor certification applications that had been filed under the old system but had not yet been decided. This backlog of pre-PERM cases is not being handled under the new PERM system.
DOL set up two BECs to handle all of the backlogged cases - one in Dallas and one in Philadelphia. Throughout 2005, DOL shipped the 300,000 plus backlogged cases from around the entire country to these two BECs.
The BECs began sending a "45-day" letter to the employer/attorney in every one of the backlogged cases. These letters request that the employer/attorney check a box on an enclosed form if they want to proceed with the case. If the employer/attorney fails to respond to the letter within 45 days, BEC closes the case.
There were serious problems with the BECs' management of the 45-day letter process. The two primary problems were:Read more...
A Georgia federal judge heard arguments this week over whether Georgia's new Arizona-style immigration law should stand or fall. The judge heard arguments on both the constitutionality and the practicality of enforcing the law.
The law closely mirrors Mississippi's 2011 Senate Bill 2179 - which, like the Georgia law, would have required county and municipal law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects and to arrest and jail illegal immigrants. The bill failed in Mississippi when House and Senate negotiators could not agree on the law.
Those disagreements were heightened when the Mississippi Municipal League raised legitimate concerns that the bill was an "unfunded mandate" from the Legislature that would increase costs on county and municipal governments and could raise taxes.
The Mississippi bill required housing illegal immigrants in county jails and transporting them to the nearest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Louisiana. But the bill provided only $20 a day for local governments to pay the costs of incarceration and no funds for transportation, medical expense and host of other potential costs.
Texas state legislators are voting this week on similar legislation. With almost 9.5 million Hispanic residents comprising nearly 38 percent of the state's population, the outcome of this law in Texas will be closely watched nationally.
If adopted, Texans would join citizens in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama and South Carolina as states that have adopted broadly scaled state laws addressing the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Clearly, immigration is not a problem in Mississippi of the size and scope that it is in Texas and Arizona.Read more...
A divided Supreme Court held that voluntary departure recipients must be permitted to unilaterally withdraw a voluntary departure request before the expiration of the voluntary departure period in order “to safeguard the right to pursue a motion to reopen.” The Court, however, rejected the argument that the voluntary departure period automatically tolls when a motion to reopen is filed. Read more...
The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Heather Conn as May'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...
Under a new decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals made on Thursday, immigrants arrested without a warrant will not be read their rights until they are placed in formal deportation proceedings. The Board argued that its decision (PDF) was based on changes to regulations stating that immigrants arrested without a warrant need not be informed of their rights before being questioned.
Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council, said in a press release, “The Board’s ruling renders the advisals practically meaningless and makes immigrants less likely to remain silent when questioned and less likely to assert their right to counsel.”
The new decision makes it harder for immigration attorneys to successfully file motions to suppress evidence acquired while violating an immigrant’s rights. Such motions are being used more often in deportation cases, which are themselves occurring at record levels.
Although people arrested for immigration violations don’t have “Miranda rights” per se, arresting immigration officers were required to inform immigrants of their right to an attorney and that anything they say can be used against them. Now, Crow told TAI, that protection is rendered less effective because officials can inform immigrants of their rights after they given incriminating testimony while under warrantless arrest.
Technically, the decision only affects arrests by federal immigration officials. However, Secure Communities, the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement program in which local law enforcement give the fingerprints of people they arrest to federal immigration officials, could reinforce the effects of the decision.
That’s because immigrants can potentially give incriminating testimony well before federal officials place them in deportation proceedings but after they have been flagged by Secure Communities.Read more...