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Immigration showdowns: Federal government challenging state laws in court

Published on Sun, Dec 11, 2011

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: In October, the U.S. Department of Justice challenged South Carolina's immigration law in federal court, charging that parts of the law are "unconstitutional and interfere with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy."

In April, the Justice Department succeeded in blocking some provisions of the newly enacted Arizona immigration law, and in October, some of Alabama's controversial provisions were temporarily blocked. Last month, the federal government sued Utah.

"A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Nov. 22. "The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws, and while we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy."

South Carolina officials, including Gov. Nikki Haley, echoing the concerns of leaders in other states, say that local authorities cannot wait any more for the federal government to institute comprehensive immigration reform and must act now to secure borders and protect citizens and legal residents.

"If the Feds were doing their job, we wouldn't have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said recently.

The Obama administration has ramped up deportation actions.

About 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been deported since the beginning of 2009, and the Department of Homeland Security is dealing with a backlog of about 300,000 cases. By comparison, a total of 1.57 million were deported during President George W. Bush's two terms.Read more...

Published in the Post and Courier

American Immigration Council Jobs

WORK WITH THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL!

FULL TIME STAFF:

FELLOWSHIPS:

  • The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) hires legal fellows on an as-needed basis. The LAC collaborates with students applying for fellowship funding. In order to be considered for a fellowship with us, individuals must either be a current law school student or a law school graduate and must be a strong researcher and writer. If interested in a fellowship, please e-mail a cover letter and resume to clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

INTERNSHIPS:

  • No internships available at this time.

VOLUNTEER:

There are many ways that you can get involved with the American Immigration Council. Please contact teacher@immcouncil.org for more information.

Quick Fact: Immigrants found large percentage of science and technology firms

Immigrant entrepreneurs have founded or co-founded 25.3% of all science and technology firms in the United States.

Spanish language media: GOP presidential candidates move forward with immigration policies despite Latino disapproval

Published on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

GOP presidential candidates have voiced their support for immigration policies that leave out most Latino voters, who are looking for a common sense solution to the issue, but Democrats are not doing much better, participants in Spanish language Univision news show Al Punto said Sunday.

Immigration policies supported by GOP presidential candidates “do not articulate a poltical or economic position that is realistic,”said Viviana Hurtado, of the Wise Latina Club, on Al Punto.

According to TIME magazine’s Tim Padgett, ”the Latino community, especially the Mexican American community, do not want an open door policy that lets anybody in.” What they want, said Padgett, “is a common sense policy” – something neither Democrats nor Republicans have offered.

Padgett added that “Democrats are doing well with Latinos only because Republicans are doing so badly.”

Sylvia Manzano, of Latino Decisions, wrote Sunday that “Republican candidates have devoted quite a bit of time to issues disproportionately affecting Latinos, asserting their party and ideological bona fides on topics like official English language laws, immigration, Mexican border control, the DREAM Act, bilingual education and various identification laws. From the vantage point of most Latino voters, the Republican party champions positions opposite to their interests.”

According to the The Guardian, Kris Kobach, author of the controversial immigration enforcement laws in Arizona and Alabama, ”has been in direct discussions with [Mitt Romney] the presidential candidate about possible changes to federal policy should Romney win the Republican nomination and go on to take the White House.”

Kobach, current Kansas Secretary of State, is a long-time supporter of “attrition through enforcement” policies, which Romney himself has called “self-deportation.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

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"A Magical Place in this World"

Published on Tue, May 15, 2012

"There is a magical place in this world,

Where people come to look for freedom and happiness."

Those are the opening lines from a winning poem by Illinois fifth grader and champion gymnast Alexander Tymouch. The poem took the top spot in the 2012 American Immigration Council's annual "Celebrate America" fifth grade creative writing contest

Read more...

Published in the The San Diego Union-Tribune

Green Card Stories

The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. The new Arizona immigration law makes it clear that we must find a way to connect on a human level.

Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives of about 1,000 words each, accompanied by artistic photos. Rather than couching immigration in terms of economics or politics, these stories appeal to the heart.

Each story is as old as the foundation of this immigrant nation, but also reflects the global trends and conflicts of the 21st century: the aspiring dentist who fled war-torn Sudan with just three T-shirts and a pair of shoes; the Caribbean-born orthopedic surgeon facing deportation; the Iraqi bodyguard for U.S. troops blinded by a car bomb; a former Mexican farm worker and school dropout turned high school principal. Arriving from all corners of the globe, coming for work, love, to study or escape persecution, they all share a steely resourcefulness and a fierce love for America. Green Card Stories tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum--out of many, one.Read more...

Bay Area Immigrants Warned Of Scams As Deferred Deportation Begins

Published on Wed, Aug 15, 2012

CBS San Francisco used IPC's statistics about potential candidates for deferred action in an article last Wednesday.  The article warns Bay Area immigrants to watch out for scams, as more and more people try to take advantage of those applying for deferred deportation. Read more...

Published in the CBS San Francisco

Barbara Murik Chesman

Barbara Murik Chesman was born in the Schlachtenzee Displaced Persons Camp in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her parents, Abraham and Lisa Murik (nee Davidowicz) both survived the horrors of the Holocaust and emigrated from Germany to the United States in March of 1949.

The family settled here in Washington, DC where Mrs. Chesman attended Wheatley Elementary School, the Hebrew Academy of Washington, and Western High School (now Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts). She later attended the University of Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics in May of 1968.

While at college, Mrs. Chesman started working part-time for the Department of State in the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the Passport Office. Following graduation, Mrs. Chesman became a full time employee of the Department of State in August of 1968 in the Office of Passport Services. She met her future husband Bernard Chesman in May of 1971 and they were married June 4, 1972 at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Washington, DC. Immediately following their marriage, they moved to Atlanta Georgia for 7 months, but decided to return to Washington in January 1973 where Mrs. Chesman resumed her career in the Passport Office.

Mrs. Chesman has held many positions in almost every part of the Office of Passport Services but her most notable achievement came in June of 1994, when the Special Issuance Agency (the passport agency which handles all passports for the Federal government) was made a separate entity and she was named Director. Currently, Mrs. Chesman serves in that position today.Read more...