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School districts told to monitor enrollment of Alabama immigrant students

Published on Mon, Oct 10, 2011

The impact of Alabama’s new immigration law, which requires K-12 schools to check the immigration status of their students, could be felt in several states, including Florida.

Sunshine State News reports today that “a number of school districts across Florida have been advised to monitor enrollment numbers for Hispanic migrant families relocating from Alabama after a federal judge upheld that state’s new immigration enforcement law.

The online news outlet adds that “Florida’s Education Estimating Conference said so far they haven’t seen any influx in the counties bordering Alabama or in counties such as Osceola, Hardee and Volusia where migrant families may seek agriculture employment,” and that the “Alabama Department of Education stated that on Oct 3, 5 percent of the state’s Hispanic students didn’t show up for school.”

Our sister site The American Independent recently reported that civil rights groups and the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Alabama’s immigration enforcement law, “passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in May, from being enforced, as they did in the case of S.B. 1070, the Arizona immigration law. But unlike in Arizona, a federal judge chose to allow most of the Alabama law to go into effect.”

The Immigration Policy Center reported last week that Alabama school administrators “worry that Alabama’s immigration law will impact the state’s already cash-strapped school system.”

The Policy Center added that, “according to Alabama’s Department of Education, 2,285 Hispanic students (of 34,000 Hispanic students state-wide) were absent from school on Monday.”Read more...

Published in the The Florida Independent

J-1 Alumni Impact Survey

Do the J-1 intern and trainee programs sponsored by the American Immigration Council produce a lasting and positive impacts on the lives of the J-1 visa holders? Do the J-1 visa holders leave with a lasting and positive impression of the United States? The responses from our alumni survey indicate an overwhelming “Yes.”

Survey results show that our alumni “Learned, Left and Leveraged” their experience in America. 

  • They learned from their host company sponsors and about American culture–20% arrived in the US with a very positive impression but 59% left with a very positive impression.
  • The vast majority left when their visas ended—89% reported that they left the United States after the conclusion of their J-1 program.
  • After returning home they leveraged their new skills into new jobs and expanded responsibilities—95% of the respondents reported that the J-1 training or internship has had an impact on their current career

Read more...

Photography by Sharon Panackal

January, 2013
Sharon Panackal, IEC Exchange Visitor of the Month, 2013

In November of last year, the International Exchange Center began publicizing our Annual Photo Contest. We received an email from Sharon Panackal:

“I am attaching the photograph with this email, and below is the caption I have written about the photograph...
Read more...

Conn. mayor seeks to let illegal immigrants vote

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven is tightening its embrace of newcomers as its mayor seeks to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens, a policy challenge that comes shortly after attacks on "sanctuary cities" by Republican presidential candidates.

The Democratic mayor, John DeStefano, helped illegal immigrants come out of the shadows four years ago when he launched a first-of-its-kind program to give them city resident cards. Despite crackdowns elsewhere, he has forged ahead with proposals that he says are designed to find common ground in a diverse city.

"We're a place of differences," he said. "We're a place that sees a strength and places a value on welcoming folks from all over."

Dozens of American cities including New York, San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass., take a hands-off approach to pursuing illegal immigrants. While advocates say they are rightly distancing themselves from a broken immigration system, critics accuse them of flouting federal law as "sanctuary cities" — a label not all of them accept.

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has vowed to cut off federal funding for such cities. One of his rivals, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, pushed a bill this year that would have prohibited cities from acting as "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants and allowed local law enforcement to become more involved in immigration enforcement. Mitt Romney has said he opposed sanctuary cities as Massachusetts governor and, as president, he would "find the right approach" to ending them if legally possible.

President Barack Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans to crack down on sanctuary cities. As a Democratic candidate in 2007, he said the U.S. government should address the issue by providing a rational immigration system, not by withdrawing funds from cities that shelter noncitizens.Read more...

Published in the Associated Press

Litigation Clearinghouse

The Litigation Clearinghouse serves as a national point of contact for lawyers conducting or contemplating immigration litigation. From 2005-2010, the Clearinghouse issued Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletters to discuss immigration-related litigation, share valuable resources, and look at litigation arguments being used by immigration lawyers accross the country. Between 2006 and 2012, the Clearinghouse also provided Supreme Court developments and Litigation Issue Pages, which focused on issue-specific topics being litigated in the federal courts. Although these pages are no longer updated, they are valuable resources in understanding federal court litigation as it relates to immigration law and procedure.

The LAC encourages immigration attorneys to contact the Clearinghouse to share information about your cases at clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

Kirk Says U.S. Visa Restrictions Hobbling Business Efforts

Published on Mon, Mar 05, 2012

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the nation’s policy for issuing visas is hurting the economy by limiting tourism and blocking overseas buyers of American products from coming to the U.S. for training.

“We will engage on the visa issue, which is frankly crippling us right now,” Kirk said today in Washington. “We hear from business after business, ‘We go, we make these sales, and my customers can’t get a visa to come here to learn how to use the product.’ We are past-due to have a common-sense immigration policy, and we need to have visa reform as part of that.”

In January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the nation needs to ease restrictions on immigrants who plan to open U.S. businesses, and create a separate visa for potential entrepreneurs.

Efforts at overhauling immigration laws are stymied in Congress, including a proposal to let temporary foreign workers enter the U.S. and help illegal immigrants advance toward citizenship. The debate has overshadowed the need to change the U.S. visa program, according to the Chamber, the largest business group.

Current laws make it difficult for people to enter the U.S. and start a business, according to a Jan. 25 report from the Chamber and the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based nonprofit. Expansion of the visa program would also aid companies’ access to foreign- born graduates of U.S. universities, helping economic growth, the authors of the report said.

Speeding Visas

President Barack Obama on Jan. 19 gave the departments of Homeland Security and State 60 days to write a plan for speeding visa applications from China and Brazil. Obama’s order recommends cutting the process to three weeks from four months.

Visa-processing capacity in China and Brazil must increase 40 percent in the next year, according to the order.Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg

Where are our participants?

Have you ever wondered if there are other exchange visitors in your area? If so, we've created a map showing the distribution of J-1 trainees and interns currently sponsored by the International Exchange Center throughout the United States.

Want to connect with them? Check out and "like" our Facebook page.

 

 

Quick Fact: Immigrants found large percentage of science and technology firms

Immigrant entrepreneurs have founded or co-founded 25.3% of all science and technology firms in the United States.

Fox Champions Discriminatory Bill That Would Leave Domestic Abuse Victims Unprotected

Published on Wed, May 16, 2012

An IPC report on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was cited in a Media Matters story:

Immigrants Are Highly Vulnerable To Domestic And Sexual Violence. From the Immigration Policy Center:Read more...

Published in the Media Matters