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Our most recent outbound exchange trip in­volved an eclectic group of American profes­sionals, one J-1 trainee, two cities in Poland, and a lot of talk about Central European migra­tion trends and immigration/emigration issues. There were also, of course, many pierogies, a lot of Żubrówka, and much baraszcz to be had. The group was able to explore Warsaw and Krakow, experiencing Polish culture and hearing from experts about history, immi­gration, emigration, and the changes that mem­bership in the European Union has brought to Poland and other new EU members in the region.

Highlights of the exchange included a visit to the US consulate in Warsaw, where the trip’s one and only J-1 trainee, Tania Alves Calvao, was able to step behind the windows and see the Consulate from a new and different perspective. Trip participants also enjoyed an informal visit to a premier Polish law firm, discussions with American business interests in Poland, and a presentation from the Warsaw University Cen­ter for Migration Research. A somber and informative day was spent at Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Southern Lawmakers Focus on Illegal Immigrants

Published on Fri, Mar 25, 2011

Some of the toughest bills in the nation aimed at illegal immigrants are making their way through legislatures in the South.

Proposed legislation in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, where Republicans control the legislatures and the governors’ mansions, have moved further than similar proposals in many other states, where concerns about the legality and financial impact of aggressive immigration legislation have stopped lawmakers.

Dozens of immigration-related bills showed up early in legislative sessions across the South. Some were aimed at keeping illegal immigrants from college or from marrying American citizens. Most died quickly, but three proposals designed to give police broader powers to identify and report illegal immigrants are moving forward.

The conservative political landscape, and a relatively recent and large addition of Latinos, both new immigrants and legal residents from other states, have contributed to the batch of legislation, say supporters and opponents of the proposed laws.

“The South has become a new gateway for immigrants,” said Wendy Sefsaf of the Immigration Policy Center, a research organization. “People see the culture shift, and they are a little bit freaked out.”

The Hispanic population in Alabama, for example, has increased by 144 percent since 2000, according to new census figures. In Mississippi, the numbers jumped by 106 percent, and in North Carolina by 111 percent. Over all, however, numbers remain small. Only about 4 percent of the population in Alabama is Hispanic. In South Carolina, the figure is 5 percent.

But Georgia has the seventh-largest population of illegal immigrants in the country, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. There, a version of a law pioneered in Arizona would allow local police officers to inquire about the immigration status of people they suspect of committing crimes, including traffic violations.Read more...

Published in the New York Times

IJ's Jurisdiction to Apply INA § 204(j)

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JANUARY 2010)

In Matter of Perez Vargas, 23 I&N Dec. 829 (BIA 2005), the BIA held that immigration judges lack jurisdiction to determine whether an approved I-140 remains valid under INA § 204(j). Section 204(j) provides that, for purposes of an adjustment application that has been pending for more than 180 days, an approved I-140 visa petition remains valid even if the adjustment applicant changes jobs, so long as the new job is in the same or similar occupational classification. Several courts of appeals rejected the BIA’s holding, and in January 2010, the BIA reversed itself in Matter of Neto, 25 I&N Dec. 169 (BIA 2010).

Latest Developments|Additional Resources

Latest Developments

BIA Overturns Matter of Perez-VargasRead more...

A Conversation with Anthony Mulloy

June, 2011

Congratulations to Anthony Mulloy, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! We caught up with Anthony to learn more about his J-1 experience in the United States. Read more...

Studies Show That Comprehensive Immigration Reform Will Boost The Economy And Create Jobs

Published on Tue, May 17, 2011

IPC: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Could Generate "750,000 To 900,000 Jobs" And Increase GDP By $1.5 Trillion. In a report prepared for the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress, UCLA's Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda concluded that comprehensive immigration reform could add .84 percent to GDP each year, amounting to "at least $1.5 trillion in added GDP" over a ten-year period. He also concluded that comprehensive immigration reform could "generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in additional net tax revenue" over a three-year period. According to Hinojosa-Ojeda:

[A]n increase in personal income of this scale would generate consumer spending sufficient to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs. [Raising The Floor For American Workers: The Economic Benefits Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, January 2010]

Economist Cowen: "Allowing In More Immigrants, Skilled And Unskilled" Would "Create Jobs." In a New York Times opinion piece titled "How Immigrants Create More Jobs," George Mason economist Tyler Cowen wrote that "it turns out that the continuing arrival of immigrants to American shores is encouraging business activity here, thereby producing more jobs, according to a new study." Cowen cited the research of economists at the University of California, Davis and at Bocconi Uniersity in Italy. According to Cowen:Read more...

Published in the Media Matters

Particularly Serious Crime and Jurisdiction; Case Dismissed

Ali v. Achim, 551 U.S. 1188 (2007)

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the Seventh Circuit erred 1) when it concluded that an offense does not need to be an aggravated felony to be classified as a “particularly serious crime,” and 2) when it construed the scope of the court’s jurisdiction to review the BIA’s particularly serious crime determinations under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) and (a)(2)(D). On December 21, 2007, the petitioner filed a motion for voluntary dismissal asking the Court to dismiss the writ of certiorari pursuant to a settlement agreement. The motion states that the petitioner and the government entered into a settlement agreement and petitioner has agreed not to pursue his claims for asylum and withholding of removal. The Court dismissed the case on December 27, 2007. Read more...

ACLU slams Texas bill allowing indefinite detention of immigrants

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

There's no sugarcoating the destructive effect that Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-Texas) bill will have on people's lives. H.R. 1932 imposes indefinite detention on immigrants who have been ordered removed but cannot be deported through no fault of their own.

The House Judiciary Committee has debated H.R.1932. This bill would strip individuals of the right to appear before a neutral arbiter to argue that their detention is unjustified. It directly contradicts recent Supreme Court decisions reiterating that the fundamental guarantee of due process applies to all individuals present in the United States.

A recent Physicians for Human Rights report documents the severe and long-lasting effects of holding people in indefinite detention, noting that "without any information about or ability to control the fact or terms of their confinement, detainees develop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that lead to debilitating depressive symptoms, chronic anxiety, despair, dread of what may or may not happen in the future, as well as to [post-traumatic stress disorder] and suicidal ideation." Rep. Smith has provided no compelling justification to support subjecting thousands of individuals to such debilitating conditions of confinement.

Rep. Smith said last week: "Just because a criminal immigrant cannot be returned to their home country does not mean they should be freed into our communities." But no one is arguing that dangerous criminals may never be detained, only that categorically locking up dangerous and non-dangerous immigrants forever is legally wrong and inhumane.

Both the criminal justice system and civil commitment systems are in place to protect our communities from truly dangerous people. Instead of attempting to amend or reform these systems to achieve Rep. Smith's goals, this bill creates a new Guantanamo-esque legal limbo where immigrants are detained indefinitely without charge.Read more...

Published in the Press TV

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!

Quick Fact: Foreign students contribute to the economy

The 690,923 foreign students who were in the country during the 2009-2010 academic year contributed $18.8 billion to the economy.