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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...
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Study: Fewer Mexicans migrating to United States

Published on Tue, Aug 02, 2011

PHOENIX - While illegal immigration has dominated a portion of political dialogue in the United States over the last few years, fewer Mexicans are crossing the border according to a new study.

"About 60 percent fewer people are coming to the United States from Mexico," said Wendy Sefsaf with the Immigration Policy Center. The center uses Mexican nationals as a proxy because they are a large part of the undocumented population, Sefsaf said.

The reason that fewer people are looking to head across the border is the downtrodden economy.

"The reason why people are not coming is the economy," Sefsaf said. "That's always been the case. Migration from Mexico for 100 years has been impacted the economic conditions in the receiving countries."

Data from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Rand Corporation also revealed that fewer immigrants are leaving the country and those that are in the United States have likely been here for more than a decade, showing a need for a more nuanced set of policies to help immigrants integrate fully into American society, Sefsaf said.

Published in the KTAR Arizona

Court Holds that Padilla v. Kentucky Does Not Apply Retroactively to Certain Convictions

 Chaidez v. United States, 568 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1103 (2013)

In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Kagan, the Court held that Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010), does not apply retroactively to collateral review of convictions final at the time of that decision.  Padilla found that a noncitizen could raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment if his criminal defense attorney failed to advise him of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. In Chaidez, the Court found that its previous decision went beyond applying the existing standards for ineffective assistance of counsel claims in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Because the preliminary question answered by the Padilla Court – whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel encompassed advice about collateral consequences of convictions – was not settled at the time of its decision in 2010, it held that Padilla created a new rule of criminal procedure and thus did not apply in collateral challenges to past convictions under the principles set forth in Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989).

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the Immigrant Defense Project issued a Practice Advisory addressing efforts to obtain post-conviction relief under Padilla after the Chaidez decision.  

The case left many issues and arguments unresolved.

Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg dissented.

 

Undocumented College Students Rally For Public Financial Aid

Published on Wed, Sep 28, 2011

Two dozen college students rallied Werdnesday afternoon outside the San Francisco office of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until Oct. 9 to either sign or veto a bill that would allow undocumented students to receive public financial aid for higher education.

The students, joined by a member of the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, took part in a statewide day of action designed to pressure Brown into signing the bill, AB 131, the second half of the California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act.

In July, Brown signed AB 130, a bill allowing undocumented students to receive private scholarships.

If he signs the second bill, undocumented students attending public higher educational institutions who qualify for the exemption from non-resident tuition would be eligible to receive financial aid at the state's public colleges and universities.

Currently, undocumented students cannot receive state or federal financial aid.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, although some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, only 5 to 10 percent continue onto college, with many unable to continue for financial reasons or because schools do not allow them to enroll.

Several students, identified only by their first names for their protection, shared stories at the rally about their college experiences.

Through choked tears, Catherine spoke of how she had been a fourth-year political science student at the University of California at Berkeley but had to drop out the semester she was to graduate because she could not afford to finish.

"Sign this bill as if your own children needed it," she said, urging Brown to take action. "Undocumented students are under attack and California can be the beacon of hope."Read more...

Published in the The San Francisco Appeal

About the Immigration Policy Center

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.

Read staff bios»

Contact Us

Immigration Policy Center
American Immigration Council
1331 G Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005-3141
Tel.: 202-507-7500
Fax: 202-742-5619
info@immigrationpolicy.org

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.

Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' offensive term

Published on Thu, Dec 08, 2011

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries -- and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term "anchor baby" as "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."

The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is offensive, as it does for other words.

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word's inclusion on its blog on Dec. 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the "poisonous and derogatory nature of the term."

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.

The current wording was added to the online dictionary on Monday. It flags the word as "offensive" and defines "anchor baby" as being "used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

Kleinedler told Colorlines, a blog that reports on issues of race, ethnicity and social justice, that changing the word was more about accuracy than outrage.

"Personally, this was not a reaction that we have to fix it because people are angry," Kleinedler told Colorlines. "We fixed it because we were wrong. And I, as the executive editor, acknowledge the fact that this was an error and I take responsibility for that."Read more...

Published in the CNN

American Immigration Council Store

All proceeds from the purchase of books go to the American Immigration Council and its educational initiatives. Scroll down to check out our inventory of signed copies of immigration related books.

Price: $20

 

Davy Brown Discovers His Roots

By Keely Alexander and Velani Mynhardt

The American Immigration Council partnered with authors Velani Mynhardt Witthöft and Keely Alexander of Keely Velani LLC and created Davy Brown Discovers His Roots. The colorfully illustrated book tells the story of a young boy and his friends as they discover that everybody has an immigration story, whether their families arrived today or generations ago. The story, which is aimed toward 7-12 year olds, is a great way to introduce the concept of the many ways people come to the United States permanently and temporarily. It is a perfect conversation starter for a family discovering their roots or for a classroom teacher starting a unit on immigration.

Read more...

Kris Kobach, Nativist Son

Published on Thu, Mar 01, 2012

If there's a controversial new anti-immigration law that's captured national attention, chances are that it has Kris Kobach's imprimatur. A telegenic law professor with flawless academic credentials—Harvard undergrad, Yale Law School—Kobach helped Arizona lawmakers craft the infamous immigration law that passed in the spring of 2010. He's coached legislators across the country in their efforts to pass dozens of similar measures, ranging from Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri to the small town of Fremont, Nebraska, pop. 26,000. His record has helped propel him into elected office, becoming Kansas' secretary of state just six months after the passage of Arizona's SB 1070.

Kobach routinely denies that he's the progenitor of the anti-immigration laws he's drafted or defended. Rather, he insists he simply assists officials already committed to tougher enforcement policies. "I did not generate the motivation to pass the law...I am merely the attorney who comes in, refines, and drafts their statutes," he says.

But advocates on both sides of the immigration debate agree that Kobach's influence has been far-reaching. Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group, calls Kobach "instrumental in helping states and localities deal with the federal government's authority." Vivek Malhotra, a lawyer who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union when it tussled with Kobach in court, says, "What Kris Kobach has done as a lawyer is really gone out to localities around the country and really used them as experimental laboratories for pushing questionable legal theories about how far states and local governments can go."Read more...

Published in the Mother Jones