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Guidelines for entering the "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest

Past winners have used the theme “Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants” to discuss their personal immigration experiences, learn about and share family histories or write about the broader questions of the challenges facing immigrants in a new land. Fifth grade students enter their work in local contests which are sponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the National Competition where entries are reviewed by a distinguished panel including U.S. senators, award-winning authors and noted journalists. Winning entries are to be printed in the Congressional Record. The grand prize winner and two guests (including one parent/guardian) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Council’s Annual Benefit Dinner where the winner will be recognized and will recite the winning piece. Local and national judges are looking for student writing that is original, thoughtful and speaks to the Council’s mission to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.

Check for a local contest and local deadlines.  The national deadline for local winners is April 12, 2013.

CWC 2012 logo

GUIDELINES

Theme: "Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants"

Entrants: 5th graders

Format:

  • Any written entry (essay, poem, story, interview, etc.) that reflects the theme
  • Entry should be submitted to your contest coordinator (some local contests require electronic submissions, so please check with your coordinator).

Word count: Up to 500 wordsRead more...

Deportations Are Up, But Is Anyone Applauding?

Published on Thu, Sep 13, 2012

Ben Winograd, an American Immigration Council staff attorney, was quoted in a KPBS article in which he explains government deportation-speak:  Read more...

Published in the KPBS San Diego

Shahriar Pourdanesh

Shahriar Pourdanesh (known as Shar Pourdanesh to his many Redskin fans), was born in Iran. He came to the United States with his family after leaving Iran during the Iranian revolution in 1979. He attended University High School in Irvine, California where he was an all-league offensive lineman and was the fourth-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the state. He attended college at the University of Nevada in Reno where he was a dominant offensive lineman. As a senior in 1992, he was named to the first team All-Conference for the Big West Conference.

Shar joined the Redskins after two seasons with the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and is the first Iranian to play NFL football. In 1994 Shar was named CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year for the Baltimore Stallions and was named to the CFL all-star team in 1994 and 1995. During the 1996 Redskins' season Shar proved a very versatile player, playing both left tackle and right tackle.

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson Quoted in the Financial Times

Published on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

The Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, Ben Johnson, was quoted in a Financial Times article titled "US Senate to debate immigration."  Here's an excerpt:

"In a sign of how the GOP establishment is swinging behind the effort, Crossroads GPS, the well-funded and influential political group run by former Bush aide Karl Rove, has started running newspaper ads in favour of immigration reform.

"The group has taken full-page ads in Washington newspapers declaring that 'America deserves an immigration system that works', saying reform 'presents a historic opportunity to strengthen our nation’s security and prosperity for the future'.

"However, many immigration reform advocates are holding their breath.

'This issue has proven to be difficult – beyond difficult – and I think it’s going to be a fight to the death,' said Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, adding that it was still 'susceptible to political winds'.

Published in the Financial Times

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D.

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D., joined the Political Science Department at the University of Rhode Island as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2007. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. Her current research interests include the relationship between state capabilities and internal conflict, and resource distribution and development. She is the former Co‐Editor of International Interactions and a member of the TransPacific Consortium. At URI, Kristin teaches courses in International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, and Civil Conflict.

 

IPC's Mary Giovagnoli in Chicago Sun-Times

Published on Fri, Nov 29, 2013

Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center, was quoted in a recent Chicago Sun-Times article titled, "Keeping Immigration Reform Alive."

"“We are going to see it in 2014, a carefully orchestrated dance toward reform,” said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. Politicians will have “breathing room after the primaries. We still have a chance at something decent.”

A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is a sticking point for Republicans, understandably since the party already has sent alienated Latino voters fleeing to the open arms of Democrats.

A New York Times article last week pointed out that for many, being able to drive and work legally in the U.S. is a bigger priority than citizenship. “What they really care about is a solution that allows them to overcome their greatest vulnerabilities,” Oscar A. Chacon, executive director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, told the Times.

Yet, withholding citizenship wouldn’t stand the test of time. As Benito of ICIRR and Giovagnoli noted, such a move would create an official second-class form of residency that runs contrary to the principles of a proud, democratic country."

Published in the Chicago Sun-Times

Application Resources

APPLY FOR J-1 VISA SPONSORSHIP

Are you a potential J-1 intern or trainee?  A U.S. company or organization looking to host an international exchange visitor?  An immigration attorney representing a host company or foreign national interested in the J-1 visa?  The International Exchange Center is here to assist you in navigating the J-1 process.

Begin an application by clicking the green "Apply Now for Our J1 Program" button on the right. All applications are now filed electronically; we no longer use paper applications.

Not sure if you qualify? Take our short survey located on the right below the "Begin the Application" section.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:Read more...

Legal Fellow Patrick Taurel Discusses Implementation of Immigration Action

Published on Mon, Feb 09, 2015

Patrick Taurel, Legal Fellow and the American Immigration Council, provides an in-depth look into the implementation of President Obama’s executive order on immigration and the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.

Watch the C-Span segment below:

Published in the C-Span

LAC Docket l Volume II, Issue 3

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

June 12, 2012
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate


OUR WORK

Enforcement



Enforcement

LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents
AILA v. DHS, No. 10-01224 (D.D.C. summary judgment granted in part March 30, 2012)

In May 2012, USCIS released in full the remaining contested documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the LAC and Steptoe & Johnson LLP on behalf of AILA. Filed in July 2010, the case sought the public release of records concerning USCIS fraud investigations in the H-1B program. For the past several years, USCIS’s H-1B visa review and processing procedures have caused confusion and concern among U.S. businesses that depend on temporary foreign workers with specialized knowledge to operate successfully.Read more...

California's Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

Released on Wed, Feb 25, 2009

California's $42 billion deficit has led to a lot of misplaced blame on the immigrant, Latino, and Asian communities that comprise the state's economic backbone. Yet immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers and entrepreneurs are integral to rebuilding California's economy and tax base. The state may be facing hard economic times, but the California dream is anything but dead—immigrants and their families are part of the very engine that keeps California's future alive.

View Release