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An Historical Perspective on the Success of Immigrants and Latinos

Released on Mon, Dec 07, 2009

As a front-page story in today's Washington Post reminds us: "Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country's economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group." The story highlights the degree to which the children of immigrants from Latin America have become crucial to sustaining the working-age population and tax base of the nation as the 75 million Baby Boomers retire. The parents of these children most likely would not have even come to this country if not for the U.S. economy's past high demand for workers to fill less-skilled jobs; demand which was not being adequately met by the rapidly aging and better-educated native-born labor force.

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Business

Many obstacles prevent employers from petitioning successfully for workers, in both nonimmigrant and immigrant classifications: overly restrictive interpretations of legal requirements, shifting adjudication standards, the proliferation of requests for evidence, and an overriding lack of transparency in agency decision-making. To date, few lawyers have opted to litigate these issues, due to time constraints, lack of litigation experience, fear of creating unfavorable precedent, and client resistance, among other factors.

The Council seeks to challenge the “culture of no” that has become the norm in agency decision making by: co-counseling individual cases that will be selected as part of a broader legal strategy to challenge the government’s misapplication of the law in the business contex; providing technical assistance to lawyers interested in litigating business immigration issues in federal court; exploring and, where appropriate, undertaking affirmative litigation; filing amicus briefs in strategically selected business immigration cases pending in federal courts and administrative agencies; and filing FOIA requests and, where necessary, litigating to obtain documents regarding agency policies and practices.Read more...

The Council Launches the 14th Annual Creative Writing Contest

Released on Wed, Aug 10, 2011

The Community Education Center of the American Immigration Council has launched its 14th Annual Creative Writing Contest for "Why I'm Proud America is a Nation of Immigrants".  The contest which is run by local chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association has more than 5,000 entries from around the country annually.  The contest is open to fifth graders during the 2010-2011 school year. 

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Chicago

Council Resources for AILA Illinois Chapter:

  Illinois Policy Resources   Education Resources

International Exchange Center Resource

The Council in the News      Practice Advisories       Immigration Impact Blog

 

Your Council Ambassador: Julie Emerick
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Filling the Leadership Void: What is President Obama’s Vision on Immigration?

Released on Mon, Apr 11, 2011

Washington D.C. - More than two years into the Obama Administration, it is still unclear whether President Obama’s immigration agenda will ultimately be remembered as an enforcement-driven enterprise, or one that uses the full force of executive branch authority to improve our badly broken system. On the one hand, the President continues to voice support for comprehensive immigration reform that would create a new immigration system that is more fair, just, and practical than the unworkable system now in place. On the other hand, the Administration repeatedly trumpets the fact that it is deporting more people with greater efficiency than its predecessors. When confronted by this apparent contradiction, Administration officials claim that, in the absence of Congressional action, their hands are tied and they must simply enforce the dysfunctional laws that are now on the books. This response ignores the important and completely legitimate role that the Executive branch of government has always played in interpreting and implementing existing laws.

It is time for the Administration to more clearly define a vision for what its legacy on immigration will be, then take action to ensure that vision is reflected in its interpretation and implementation of immigration law. Without bold and decisive action, President Obama’s legacy on immigration will come to be defined by a do-nothing Congress with a chronic inability to pass legislative reform.Read more...

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Planned Giving

Dissecting the HALT Act: Last Safety Valves in Immigration System Under Attack

Released on Mon, Jul 25, 2011

Washington D.C. - Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 26, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement will hold a hearing on the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act” (HALT Act), a bill that would suspend discretionary forms of immigration relief until January 21, 2013—the day after the next Presidential inauguration. 

Today, the Immigration Policy Center held a briefing to describe how the HALT Act systematically attacks many of the discretionary forms of relief available to immigrants. Immigration policy experts described the implications of limiting the Administration’s discretion in prosecuting immigration cases, as well as the impetus behind the bill. 

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, said:

“The HALT Act seeks to disable or suspend a number of immigration provisions that provide any discretionary relief to immigrants in order to chastise the Administration for a series of policy memos that contemplate using executive branch authority to improve current laws. Its authors seek to discourage the Administration from interpreting the law in ways that are more streamlined or benefit more individuals.” 

Beth Werlin, Deputy Director of the Legal Action Center, further explained:

“By taking away the power to grant deferred action, the HALT Act is basically interfering with the Administration’s ability to prioritize its removal cases and focus its resources on serious criminals and those who pose a true security risk.”

Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, commented on the impetus behind the bill:Read more...

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As Immigrants Move In, Americans Move Up

Published on Mon, Aug 24, 2009

A perceived weakness of the liberal argument on immigration is over-reliance on the concept of compassion. The perception is reinforced in part by reality, as liberals commonly call upon people to remember the importance of basic human solidarity and concern for others in the debate over immigration.

Published in the WireTap Magazine

Practice Advisory on Supreme Court’s Favorable Decision in Vartelas v. Holder

Released on Thu, Apr 05, 2012

Washington, D.C.—Last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Vartelas v. Holder, holding that the Fleuti doctrine still applies to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with pre-IIRIRA convictions. This means that LPRs with convictions before April 1, 1997 who travel abroad do not, upon their return, face inadmissibility if their trip was brief, casual and innocent.

Today, the Legal Action Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild are issuing a Practice Advisory, Vartelas v. Holder: Implications for LPRs Who Take Brief Trips Abroad and Other Potential Favorable Impacts, which describes the Court’s decision and offers strategies for LPRs who are affected by it. Of particularly note, some LPRs with final orders may want to consider filing motions to reconsider within 30 days of the Court’s March 28 decision. The advisory also discusses some of the other potential favorable impacts of the decision, including support for challenging the retroactive application of other immigration provisions and support for a broad reading of the criminal defense lawyer’s duty under Padilla v. Kentucky.

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For more information, contact Seth Garfinkel at sgarfinkel@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516.

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