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Saying "sí" to business opportunities

Published on Wed, Jan 18, 2012

Manny and Vicky Gonzalez are reminded each day that it isn’t only Spanish speaking people who stop to purchase Mexican (“tortas”) sandwiches at their two restaurants in Minneapolis.

“A lot of Minnesotans have learned that there is more to Mexican food than tacos,” said Manny, who with his wife started Manny’s Tortas along Lake Street in 1999.

In the past century, long-time Minnesota families learned there was more to Italian cuisine than pizza, and that Chinese food is regional and far more complex than chow mein. Now, Minnesotans with newly acquired tastes for the Gonzalez’s Mexican sandwiches drive from throughout the Twin Cities metro area to their two shops in Minneapolis’ Mercado Central and Midtown Global Market.    

U.S. Census data from 2010, anecdotal evidence about immigrant entrepreneurship, and a recently released study from the Immigration Policy Center show Minnesota is rapidly changing. Days of sputtering along and resisting change should be behind us. New Minnesotans are changing the demographic portrait of the state and communities. New ethnic entrepreneurs are changing the mix of businesses and the products and services being offered in commerce.

Hector Garcia, executive director of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC), refers to the benefits of this commerce as “cultural complementarities.” The long established Minnesota society learns from immigrants and refugees entering the state in search of opportunities, he said, and new arrivals learn from established businesses, groups and people.

What’s more, new Census data show that immigrants now comprise 8.3 percent of the Minnesota workforce. From them, Garcia said, existing Minnesota businesses and its large corporations gain knowledge for opening even more trade and business relationships with countries and businesses abroad, paving the way for even more economic activity.Read more...

Published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet

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...

Kansas Officials Await Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law

Published on Sun, Apr 08, 2012

TOPEKA — Kansas hasn’t adopted an Arizona-like immigration law, but several current and former elected officials from Kansas have chosen sides as the issue goes before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court will hear arguments April 25 in the legal battle between the state of Arizona and the federal government over the immigration law known as Senate Bill 1070.

Kris Kobach, a Republican who before being elected Kansas secretary of state gained national attention by pushing tough anti-immigration laws, helped write SB 1070. The measure was adopted by the Arizona Legislature and enacted by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.

The law contained a number of controversial provisions that are now front and center before the Supreme Court.

One of the most controversial requires local police in Arizona to determine the immigration status of anyone stopped if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.

The Justice Department says regulating immigration is the job of the federal government, not the states. Officials in Arizona, a state bordering Mexico, say the feds haven’t done their jobs and that is one of the reasons for SB 1070.

In addition to legal briefs from the specific parties in the case, the Supreme Court has received approximately 40 legal briefs from others who support and oppose SB 1070, according to a report completed by the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan group whose mission “is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration.”

Kansas is one of 16 states that have signed on in support of SB 1070. That decision was made by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican. Schmidt’s office says he supports preserving powers of states to promote public safety. His office said Kansas has not spent any money in the litigation.Read more...

Published in the Lawrence Journal World

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...

What happens next in Arizona?

Published on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

IPC staff lawyer Ben Winograd was quoted in a Washington Post blog post covering what the Supreme Court decision will mean in Arizona: Read more...

Published in the The Washington Post

Flora Singer

Retired Teacher and

Scholar of the Montgomery County Public Schools

Ms. Flora Singer was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1930 and came to the United States at the age of 16. Hers is a compelling story of her own courage and the courage of others who assisted her in evading Hitler's deadly plan for the Jews of Europe during World War II. Ms. Singer and her siblings were separated in Belgium shortly after the beginning of the war. Her father escaped to the U.S. and served in the U.S. Army. Ms. Singer and her two sisters were protected from annihilation in the concentration camps by a Benedictine monk, Father Bruno Reynders. He hid Ms. Singer and her sisters and placed them in convents where they were looked after for two years before they came to the United States with their mother to be finally reunited with their father.

Ms. Singer began her life in the United States in New York City. While living in cramped conditions and sharing one bathroom with four other families in the apartment building, she learned to read and write in English on her own at the public library. She supplemented the family income by sewing in a workshop at first, but then began to study stenography and obtained employment as a secretary and did translations. It was not until the age of 27 that she decided to resume her formal education and received her G.E.D. at Temple University in Philadelphia.

After marrying Jack Singer and having two children, Ms. Singer decided to return to school and earn her college degree. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park and received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, in French and a Master of Arts degree, also in French. She was invited to complete the Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland as well as at Catholic University but did not accept either offer.Read more...

AIC's Wendy Feliz-Sefsaf in Politico

Published on Thu, Jan 03, 2013

Wendy Feliz-Sefsaf, Communications Director at the AIC, was quoted in this article on Politico:

"When the 113th Congress digs into immigration reform with renewed vigor in the new year, no lawmaker will find himself in quite so tight a spot as Rep. Mike Honda.

It’s a position, however, very much relished by Honda, a seven-term Democrat from the San Jose area. His district, California’s redrawn 15th, is among the nation’s most complicated on this hot-button issue — dominated by major high-tech firms focused on importing high-skilled labor as well as huge minority populations seeking paths to citizenship."

Read more here.

 

Published in the Politico

James C. Ho

James C. Ho is currently Solicitor General for the state of Texas. Previously he worked at the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. He has previously served as chief counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on the Constitution and Immigration under the chairmanship of Senator John Cornyn (R‐TX) and as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas.

Wall Street Journal Cites IPC to Refute Rep. Steve King

Published on Fri, Jul 26, 2013

In a recent post in their "Political Diary," the Wall Street Journal cited a recent fact sheet from the IPC's senior researcher, Walter Ewing.  The post, which was refuting Iowa Representative Steve King's recent offensive comments about DREAMers, cited the fact sheet, "From Anecdotes to Evidence: Setting the Record Straight on Immigrants and Crime."

'"For every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are least educated," wrote Mr. Ewing in a 2007 study that he co-authored with Ruben Rumbaut. "This holds true especially for Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population." By the way, these findings comport with federal and state studies going back a century. If anything, today's immigrants are less likely to be involved in criminal activity than their predecessors.'

Published in the Wall Street Journal

Eric Ward

Eric Ward is Programme Executive at Atlantic Philanthropies and formerly National Field Director of the Center for New Community, a national civil rights organization based in Chicago, Illinois.