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Quick Fact: CBP and ICE Budgets

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) budget grew from $6 billion in FY 2004 to $11.4 billion in FY 2010, while ICE’s budget increased from $3.7 billion to $5.7 billion over the same period.

Report: 40 U.S. states passed immigration laws in 2011

Published on Tue, Aug 09, 2011

By Karen Brooks

AUSTIN, Texas - Nearly 250 new immigration laws and resolutions were enacted in 40 U.S. states during the first half of this year, indicating frustration with the federal government's handling of the issue, according to a new report.

The laws range from hiring restrictions to voter identification and allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, according to the report released on Tuesday by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The numbers show a slight decrease in activity from last year, but every state and Puerto Rico proposed legislation dealing with the issue in the first six months of 2011. By comparison, only 38 immigration laws were enacted by states in 2005.

"States are reacting to the federal government in inefficiency and they're trying to figure out how to deal with it -- good, bad and ugly," said Wendy Sefsaf, director of communications at the American Immigration Council, a Washington think tank. "Immigration impacts every policy issue there is, and people are trying to figure out how to manage it, for better or for worse, because the federal government won't." Among the findings in the report, released during the council's annual meeting in San Antonio:

* 14 states included funding for immigration initiatives in their budgets.

* Governors vetoed 12 pieces of legislation, including bills related to social services and immigration.

* Ten states enacted legislation requiring businesses or contractors to use the government E-Verify program to ensure the legal status of workers.

* Five states -- Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina -- enacted omnibus laws inspired by Arizona's 2010 law, which gave police the power to enforce immigration. All have been challenged in court.

Published in the Reuters

International Exchange Center Staff

  • For inquiries or for an emergency, please contact Colleen Tomlinson, Cultural Exchange Program Manager at 202-507-7513, ctomlinson@immcouncil.org. 

Ms. Colleen Tomlinson, Cultural Exchange Operations Manager
ctomlinson@immcouncil.org

Colleen Tomlinson serves as the Program Manager for Cultural Exchange at the American Immigration Council. Prior to joining the Council, she worked at the University of Maryland, College Park for almost 10 years as an International Advisor with F1 and J1 students. Colleen managed the entire international undergraduate population with over 3,000 applications from start to finish. She facilitated the procedure for processing incoming documents for prospective international students. Colleen holds a B.A. in Government and Public Policy and a M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. She has lived and studied in Jamaica and has travelled to China and Canada. 

Ms. Stephanie Rucker Andrews, Cultural Exchange Development Manager
sandrews@immcouncil.org

Read more...

New argument that immigrant reform vital to economic recovery

Published on Sun, Nov 13, 2011

Critics of undocumented immigration and of granting a path to citizenship to the undocumented currently living in this country often argue that immigrants are a drain on our country’s resources, and the U.S. can simply not afford to continue to support an illicit population that thrives off of government-funded services and programs. However, an ever-increasing number of studies show that the cost of immigrants to this country is wildly inflated, and in fact the contributions the immigrant population makes to the U.S. outweigh their expense.

On Sunday, Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean published an op/ed by Ted Rayburn which put a new spin on the argument that reforming the U.S. immigration system would benefit the economy. Rayburn argues that in an increasingly competitive global market society, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind, as the world’s highly skilled workers are moving en masse to countries with growing economies, such as Brazil and India. He concludes that if the U.S. does not revise its immigration laws to allow these skilled individuals to legally come to the U.S. and work, we will be at a perpetual international disadvantage.

The cogent arguments made by Rayburn regarding the importance of skilled immigrant labor in this country, however, does not preclude the similarly vital importance of unskilled immigrant laborers to the U.S. economy.

In Arizona, recent changes in the state’s immigration laws have illustrated the vital necessity of flexible migrant labor to local industry. As this labor has become increasingly scarce since the passage of SB 1070, many Arizona industries, most notably agriculture, have experienced the negative effects of a worker shortage.Read more...

Published in the The Examiner

2008 Winner, Cameron Busby

 

“America is a Refuge”

By Cameron Busby

Tuscon, Arizona

 

 A small child holds out a hoping hand,

a crumb of bread,

or even a penny just to be fed

Hoping America is a refuge.

 

A child weeps over her mother's lifeless body,

the tears streaming down her face

Praying America is a refuge.

 

A child's torn sock blows in the wind,

as a bomb explodes the tiny sock catches a flame and begins to

burn to ash

Can America be a refuge?

 

A thirsty father and son seeking shade from the blazing sun,

all they want is a job

and for America to be a refuge.

 

America can be a refuge for you.

It can be a refuge for me.

I am glad that America is a refuge for all.

 

Report: Immigrants make up large part of California work force

Published on Tue, Jan 17, 2012

More than one in four California residents are foreign born, but almost 46 percent of them — 4.6 million people — are naturalized citizens eligible to vote, according to a new report by the Immigration Policy Center.

There were almost 10.2 million immigrants in the state in 2010, U.S. Census data show. That’s 27.2 percent of the population.

Immigrants comprise more than a third of the California labor force, figuring prominently in economics sector such as agriculture, manufacturing and services.

They pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year, according to state-specific fact sheets compiled by the pro-immigration policy center from a variety of studies in recent years.

Unauthorized immigrants in California paid $2.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2010 and most native-born Californians have experienced wage gains from the presence of immigrants in the state’s labor market, research compiled by center show.

Click here for more numbers on immigrant contributions to the California economy at the Immigration Policy Center website.

Published in the Sacramento Business Journal

Practice Advisories by Topic

LAC Practice Advisories provide in depth discussion and analysis of select substantive and procedural issues in immigration law. The Practice Advisories are intended to assist lawyers and do not substitute for individual legal advice supplied by a lawyer familiar with a client's case. View advisories by date.

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) | BIA & Immigration Court Procedures | Business Immigration |
Detention | EnforcementFederal Court Review | FOIA | Immigration Benefits |
Motions to Reopen | Relief from Removal | Voluntary Departure

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

Failure to Appeal to the AAO: Does it Bar all Federal Court Review of the Case? (July 22, 2004). This Practice Advisory discusses whether and how a person can get review of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision in federal court if he or she did not appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The advisory addresses the Supreme Court case Darby v. Cisneros, holding that a plaintiff is not required to exhaust non-mandatory administrative remedies in certain situations, and how it may apply to cases involving appeals to the AAO.Read more...

The Hispanic Factor

Published on Thu, Apr 05, 2012

President Obama's inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election. Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting, suggests an alternate narrative, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to show up in support of the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado — the election could go to the Republican candidate, likely to be former Governor Mitt Romney.

Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with its March 5th cover story, "Yo Decido," written by journalist Michael Scherer. The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. is Hispanic, and most Hispanics live in the U.S. legally. They are fully integrated into communities. There is a prevailing assumption that, because a majority of Hispanics are Catholic, they should be naturally allied with more conservative candidates — particularly the two Roman Catholics still in the Republican race as of this writing, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

While the Republicans appear to have learned from some earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain's jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns, and history. They don't seem to understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don't seem to really care.Read more...

Published in the Memphis Flyer

Entrepreneurship and Economic Policy Fellowship

The Immigration Policy Center, (IPC) a division of the American Immigration Council is seeking applications for a two-year fellowship that will focus on the intersection of immigration, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic policy.

This fellowship will initially focus on two key challenges that face America in its development of a 21st century immigration policy:

  1. The importance of devising policies that permit American companies to competitively recruit and retain the best and brightest from around the world, and
  2. The growing importance of immigrant entrepreneurship in reviving economies and rebuilding communities throughout America.

In keeping with the IPC philosophy of active engagement in the immigration policy debate, the fellow would be expected to conduct original research, as well as build a network of academics and business people who can provide actual examples of immigrant innovation, growth, and entrepreneurship that make the contributions of immigrants real to the public. In addition to independent research products, the fellow will produce fact sheets, blog posts, and other materials that provide our target audiences with the tools they need to engage in a well-informed and rational discussion of immigration policy.Read more...

Why the Supreme Court ruling on immigration is a clear rebuke to Arizona

Published on Tue, Jun 26, 2012

IPC's staff lawyer Ben Winograd published an Opinion Piece for the Christian Science Monitor about the Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's immigration law: Read more...

Published in the The Christian Science Monitor