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John Patrick Leyba Can Now Call Himself a Cowboy

April, 2008
John Patrick Leyba

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce John Patrick Leyba as April’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

Guest commentary: Michigan should avoid divisive immigration laws

Published on Thu, Jul 14, 2011

Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday will make his first major policy speech on immigration. Snyder already has signaled his opposition to an Arizona-style immigration bill, saying any such measure would further divide our state. Here's why that's a wise position.

Our immigration system has no capacity to deal with some 12 million undocumented people already in this country. Deportation is tearing families apart, and a backlog in processing applications creates agonizingly long wait times. Reports of overzealous immigration enforcement -- including stakeouts at a Detroit elementary school -- are only the most recent examples of why we must overhaul this system. But fair, humane legislation demands a comprehensive approach from the White House, not the statehouse.

Immigration bills were introduced in 23 states last year. At least five states have enacted "show me your papers" laws. Arizona blazed the path in 2010 with a sweeping measure that makes it a crime for people to fail to carry immigration documents, and gives police broad powers to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

A blatantly unconstitutional Alabama law goes even further, requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents, authorizing police to demand papers during traffic stops, and even criminalizing Alabama residents for day-to-day interactions with undocumented individuals.

Such patchwork, state-by-state measures virtually guarantee the proliferation of racial profiling -- an issue with which the Arab-American community is all too familiar.Read more...

Published in the Detroit Free Press

Understanding the Final Rule for J-1 Trainee and Intern Programs

New final rules became effective Sept. 9, 2010 for J trainee and intern programs 22 C.F.R.§ 62 (2010). With few exceptions, the final rule will produce little change to the way J trainee and intern programs have been administered since the interim-final rule of 2007.

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Going Beyond The Politics Of Discretion In The American Immigration System

Published on Fri, Sep 02, 2011

The ability of whether the President can use discretion in the immigration arena has become the flavor of the month. The announcement by the DHS on August 18, 2001 under which 300,000 individuals who are low priority can hope to have their cases closed and obtain work authorization was welcomed. The details about how this policy will play out are nicely explained in a Legal Action Center advisory. Although many were pleasantly surprised by this policy, within days of the announcement even advocates for immigration reform have become skeptical about whether this policy will have a dramatic and far reaching impact. Obama supporters have even gone so far to accuse the Obama administration for mere window dressing in order to keep certain voters on his side in the next elections. Commentators such as Dan Kowalski also justifiably feel that ICE personnel will continue to ignore this policy, and choose not to exercise their discretion favorably.

While the President has his critics within the pro-immigration camp regarding his new announcement on discretion, the attempt by immigration restrictionists in Congress to blunt the June 17, 2011 Morton Memo on prosecutorial discretion when viewed in a larger context repeats an old pattern. For instance, Congressmen Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Senator Vitter have proposed a most unusual piece of legislation suitably called the HALT Act (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act) that will suspend all of the Administration’s discretionary relief until January 21, 2013, which is the day after the next Presidential inauguration.Read more...

Published in the Immigration Daily

Annual Allotment Tip Sheet August 21, 2012 Update

August 24, 2012-- Special Allotment for J-1 Pilot Project

The Department of State has granted the American Immigration Council a special allotment of DS-2019 forms for the remainder of the 2012 calendar year in order to launch an exciting new J-1 pilot project.
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American Heritage Editor on ‘Anchor Baby’ Definition: ‘We Were Wrong’

Published on Wed, Dec 07, 2011

Recently, controversy erupted over the American Heritage dictionary’s definition of “anchor baby” as a neutral term. Jorge Rivas gave us an overview earlier this week. The act prompted immigrant rights advocates to reach out for institutional change. Here’s how the dictionary’s new edition originally defined “anchor baby:”

Anchor Baby, n. 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.”

Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center pushed back on the term’s definition, acknowledging that it’s politically loaded language and not neutral. She’s right. The term is racially charged and hurtful, much like the term “illegal immigrant,” which Giovagnoli ironically did use in her piece. It’s no surprise that dehumanizing and criminalizing people by describing them as “illegal immigrants” has paved the way for “anchor baby,” which suggests that supposedly “illicit” people who have families and settle down are conniving and dangerous. Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Programs

Community Education CenterCommunity Education Center (CEC) »

The Community Education Center (CEC) strives to promote a better understanding of immigrants and immigration by providing educational resources that inspire thoughtful dialogue, creative teaching and critical thinking. Dedicated to the American values of fairness, social justice and respect for all people, the center is committed to making immigration an “everybody issue.” The CEC also highlights the positive contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to American society through its programmatic work.

International Exchange CenterInternational Exchange Center (IEC) »

The International Exchange Center (IEC) is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor trainees and interns on the J-1 visa. The IEC assumes a number of duties and responsibilities in the visa process and they are committed to the success of every intern and training program. Participating in international training is people-to-people diplomacy that creates positives ties with other parts of the world.Read more...

Quick Fact: DREAMers would earn trillions of dollars

The total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would be between $1.4 trillion and $3.6 trillion.