When it comes to immigration policy, the candidates vying for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination agree: the first imperative is to halt the flow of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Immigration has proved to be a contentious issue in the Republican primary. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was lambasted for signing a bill offering in-state tuition to some undocumented students, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew criticism from his right flank for suggesting that immigrants with deep roots and family ties should have a path to legalization. But throughout this discord, every candidate has invoked the need to "secure the border" before pursuing any other reforms.
Before suspending her candidacy, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., proposed building a "double fence" that spanned "every mile, every foot, every inch" of the border. Perry has vowed to police the border by fortifying the U.S. Border Patrol, which already deploys a record number of agents. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has embraced the border-first approach, and his focus on enforcement helped him win the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the harsh Arizona immigration law that became a model for other states.
"What I support is focusing on securing the border, and when we secure the border and have convinced the American people that we do not have a flow of illegal aliens coming into the country, then we can address what we're going to do with the 11 or 15 million that are here," Romney told the Washington Examiner.
The American Immigration Council’s event program is an important tool used to educate Americans of the important contributions made by immigrants to our society and to remind Americans that it is in our country's best interest to remain a nation of immigrants.
The Council hosts a national Annual Benefit gala, in conjunction with the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s (AILA) Annual Conference, where we award the American Heritage Award to honor the outstanding contributions of individual immigrants.
The Council also hosts three additional regional Immigrant Achievement Awards in New York City, Chicago and Washington, DC. At the Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards, the Council awards the Stephen K. Fischel Public Service Award as well as the American Immigration Council Youth Immigrant Achievement Award.
The Council’s Community Education Center sponsors the annual "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society. Open to fifth grade students across the nation, this contest encourages our youth, families and surrounding communities to evaluate and appreciate the effects of immigration in our own lives. This, in turn, allows them to see that America is truly a nation of immigrants.
The city of Austin didn’t like Arizona’s controversial immigration-enforcement law — SB1070 — when it first passed in 2010, and it still doesn’t like the measure today as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments for and against it.
In 2010, the city of Austin quickly passed a resolution that urged city departments to sever ties with businesses in that state.
Council members said then they wanted to send a message that they opposed racial discrimination of any kind, and they didn’t want to risk subjecting city employees to “unfounded detentions while on official city business” in Arizona.
Now, Austin — along with the city of Laredo and Dallas County — is again expressing dismay over the measure in an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for April 25.
Meanwhile, a leading immigration-policy think tank has issued a report stating that if the justices rule in Arizona’s favor, individuals may still bring additional legal claims to halt the policy depending on how it is enforced.
The court will review four provisions of the Arizona law, which has been enjoined by a federal district court. They include a requirement that police officers attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped if they suspect the person is in the country illegally; a requirement that immigrants register with the federal government and carry a registration card with them; a provision that makes it a crime for an unauthorized immigrant to work, apply for work or solicit work; and a provision that allows officers to arrest immigrants without a warrant if probable cause exists that they have committed a deportable offense.
The amicus brief, joined by 41 cities, the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, argues that the law, and others like it, open the door for racial profiling and adversely affect community policing efforts.Read more...
Ever wonder where in the world J-1 exchange visitors live before and after the time they spend as trainees or interns in the United States?
We're lucky to receive applications from all over the world, and the number and variety of countries and regions represented changes often. Below is a visual representation of the various countries our April, 2010 exchange visitors call home:
Can you identify all of them? If not, don't worry -- we've made a list for you:
Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Macau, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and finally, the United Kingdom.
Why is our nation American beautiful? Because it is unique. America is like a multicolored bird. Eachi feather is an immigrant, giving our country beauty. Without each and every feather, there would be no bird at all. Without each color, the bird would be gray, dull, a miserable sparrow.
Why is our nation America beautiful? It is complex. America is like a field of floweres, each one unique. Each flower is an immigrant, defining our country as diverse. Without every flower, every person, America would be an old field of dry hay.
With immigrants, our beautiful nation strives and becomes something great. It becomes a room with great, wide, open windows. It allows us to see farther into what is honorable.
That is why America grows stronger. With immigrants, it allows us to see how kind it is to keep an open door for everyone. It gives our country a spark, that gives us a shine so bright, anyone anywhere can see us.
That is why America, our national is beautiful.
America needs the strong hearts brave enough to travel far into our distant land. My own great-grandfather was a refugee from Russia. He, a Jew, escaped from possibly being killed. His father worked as a bottle washer in America. He got paid very little, with bad conditions, but he was determined. We need that type of strong hearted people in America.
My ancestors also came from Ireland, a country which suffered many hardships. My ancestors were always poor, and never could waste a single penny. Their struggling left them with pure toughness. We need people who are still willing even when things are going poorly.Read more...
IPC Director Mary Giovagnoli was quoted in USA Today's article on Senators Kyl and Hutchison's ACHIEVE Act legislation. Here's an excerpt:
WASHINGTON -- Arizona Sen.Jon Kyl and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation Tuesday to give legal status to young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
The bill by the two Southwest Republicans -- and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- would offer special student and work visas and ultimately permanent legal status to those who earn a college degree or serve four years in the military.
"We need to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm," said Kyl, who, like Hutchison, is retiring in January. "This particular piece of immigration reform seemed a logical place to begin."
Unlike several previous "Dream Act"-style bills, it does not offer a special pathway to citizenship, a conscious omission that is likely to be opposed by immigrant rights' groups and many Democrats.
"I think this is a doubled-edged sword," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, which advocates for immigrants' rights. "On one hand, I think it's great that people are putting ideas out there about how to go forward on immigration. At the same time, I think it's really unfortunate that the choice is being made to put solutions out there that don't include the opportunity for people to become citizens."