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Illegal Immigrants Paid $2.7 Billion in Taxes in California Last Year

Published on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

As you nurse your tax-day hangover, we bring you news from the flip side.

Despite what Lou Dobbs might have told you, turns out illegal immigrants do pay taxes. Lots of them.

The Immigration Policy Center, citing the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, put up some sobering figures.

California gets the most out of its undocumented workers apparently:

The Golden State pulled in $2.7 billion in taxes from households headed by illegals in 2010. That includes sales taxes, property taxes and some income taxes.

ITEP says that at least half of undocumenteds pay property taxes.

Other states that pull in decent income from our lowest-class, lowest-paid, non-rights-having workers:

  • Texas: $1.6 billion.
  • Florida: $806.8 million.
  • New York: $662.4 million.
  • Illinois: $499.2 million.

Nationwide, undocumented-led households poured $11.2 billion in tax coffers, according to ITEP.

So go ahead, blame the illegals for everything. We all know they provide the easiest scapegoat to just about any problem.

Published in the LA Weekly

Lawsuit on Visa Bulletin, Adjustment of Status

The class action lawsuit, which we prepared but ultimately did not have to file, argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept the "green card" applications of tens of thousands of intending immigrants.

The Legal Action Center was poised to file a lawsuit on July 17, 2007 but because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) resolved the issues, we did not have to file the suit. The LAC prepared the class action lawsuit, which alleged that the federal government's refusal to accept tens of thousands of applications for green cards (and discouragement of thousands of other workers from even applying) violated federal statutes, regulations and policies, as well as the U.S. Constitution. The suit would have argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept the adjustment of status ("green card") applications. AILF is pleased that the DHS and DOS allowed intending immigrants to file applications for adjustment of status until and including August 17, 2007. They also allowed these applicants to pay the fee amounts that were in effect before the increase on July 30th, 2007.

LAC Welcomes Government Reversal on Permanent Resident Applications ("Green Cards") (July 19, 2007)

The Legal Action Center is pleased that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) have announced they will comply with their own regulations and policies and accept the "green card" applications of tens of thousands of intending immigrants. A class action lawsuit scheduled to be filed by the LAC on July 17, 2007 on behalf of all affected intending immigrants argued that the government must do exactly that. See the LAC's complaint. The LAC is gratified that the government accepted our arguments and belatedly is doing what it should have done in the first place.Read more...

Republicans Bash Immigrant Workers and Call It a Jobs Bill

Published on Thu, Jun 16, 2011

Republican lawmakers Rep. Lamar Smith and Sen. Chuck Grassley made good on promises to target undocumented immigrant workers when they filed twin bills in Congress this week that would create a federal mandate forcing virtually all employers to use the database E-Verify to establish their workers’ immigration status. Smith has pitched his Legal Workforce Act as an immigration enforcement bill with a twist; he imagines it also as a job creation bill that would protect U.S. jobs from undocumented workers in an aching economy.

Immigrant rights groups have rejected that claim, calling the bill a bald attack on immigrant communities that would instead hurt the economy and make mandatory a deeply flawed immigration enforcement tool.

“This legislation is another example of putting cheap political maneuvers ahead of the interests of American workers,” said Clarissa Martínez De Castro, the director of immigration and national campaigns for the National Council of La Raza. “It will do nothing to create jobs, it will place a burden on all job-seeking U.S. citizens and legal immigrants, and it will not fix our broken immigration system.”

Smith’s bill, HR 2164, calls for nearly every employer with one or more worker to use E-Verify to check the work eligibility of both prospective and new hires. Current law calls for employers to use the system after workers are hired. HR 2164 would also decrease the number of acceptable documents that workers can use to prove their immigration status and work eligibility and would make it a felony to use a false Social Security number. The bill would be phased in over the course of the next three years.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines Magazine

Court Holds Traditional Standard Applies to Stays of Removal Pending Petitions for Review

Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418 (2009)

The Supreme Court held that a court of appeals should apply the traditional criteria governing stays when adjudicating a stay of removal pending a petition for review. In doing so, the Court rejected the government’s argument that the stringent standard in INA § 242(f)(2) (“clear and convincing evidence” that the removal order “is prohibited as a matter of law") applies. The Court’s decision reversed the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, which had held that INA § 242(f)(2) applies to stays of removal pending petitions for review. Read more...

Heather Conn Explores the Art of Being an American through Cinema

May, 2008
Heather Conn

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...

Study finds Mexican immigration to the U.S. on the decline

Published on Thu, Aug 18, 2011

As election season nears, immigration will undoubtedly be cast into the national spotlight as a hot-button campaign issue for many candidates. But as public officials make broad statements about U.S. immigration policy — widely acknowledged to be a broken system — a new study shows that the reality of immigration may be far different from what the political rhetoric implies.

A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center and the RAND Corporation focusing on Mexican migration patterns into the U.S. shows that immigration from Mexico has waned in recent years, and that fewer Mexicans are leaving for the U.S. “The number of Mexicans annually leaving Mexico for the U.S. declined from more than one million in 2006 to 404,000 in 2010 – a 60% reduction,” the report states.

However, while Mexican immigration to the U.S. declined over the past decade, the study also shows that the Mexican-American population grew rapidly. From 2000 to 2010, births increased the Mexican-American population by 7.2 million, while immigration increased it by 4.2 million. The decade marked a turnaround from the previous two decades, when the number of new immigrants outpaced the number of births in the Mexican-American community.

What’s the impetus for such a shift? The report explains:

On the U.S. side, declining job opportunities and increased border enforcement may have made the U.S. less attractive to potential Mexican immigrants. And in Mexico, recent strong economic growth may have reduced the “push” factors that often lead Mexicans to emigrate to the U.S.Read more...

Published in the PBS

J-1 Participant Distribution

J-1 exchange visitors often wonder if there are other trainees and interns in their city or state with whom they could connect and share experiences.  To answer, we've created a map showing the distribution of trainees and interns currently sponsored by the International Exchange Center throughout the United States.


Check it out!

What is the Australia/United States of America Work and Holiday Visa?

Read the 2007 Practice Advisory on the Australian Work and Holiday visa.

Download File

Deportations Under New U.S. Policy Are Inconsistent

Published on Sat, Nov 12, 2011

A new Obama administration policy to avoid deportations of illegal immigrants who are not criminals has been applied very unevenly across the country and has led to vast confusion both in immigrant communities and among agents charged with carrying it out.

Since June, when the policy was unveiled, frustrated lawyers and advocates have seen a steady march of deportations of immigrants with no criminal record and with extensive roots in the United States, who seemed to fit the administration’s profile of those who should be allowed to remain.

But at the same time, in other cases, immigrants on the brink of expulsion saw their deportations halted at the last minute, sometimes after public protests. In some instances, immigration prosecutors acted, with no prodding from advocates, to abandon deportations of immigrants with strong ties to this country whose only violation was their illegal status.

For President Obama, the political stakes in the new policy are high. White House officials have concluded that there is no chance before next year’s presidential election to pass the immigration overhaul that Mr. Obama supports, which would include paths to legal status for illegal immigrants. But immigration authorities have sustained a fast pace of deportations, removing nearly 400,000 foreigners in each of the last three years.

With Latino communities taking the brunt of those deportations, Latino voters are increasingly disappointed with Mr. Obama. White House officials hope the new policy will ease some of the pressure on Latinos, by steering enforcement toward gang members and convicts and away from students, soldiers and families of American citizens.Read more...

Published in the New York Times