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International study points out U.S. immigration policy successes, failures

Published on Tue, Mar 01, 2011

The United States ranks ninth out of 31 countries in an international study evaluating immigrant integration policies released this week.

The Migrant Integration Policy Index (aka MIPEX), produced by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group, evaluates seven areas: labor market mobility, family reunion, education, political participation, long-term residence, access to nationality and anti-discrimination measures in all European Union member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada and for the first time the U.S.

The Immigration Policy Center, the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council, served as a U.S partner for the study, and helped answer questions and gather information from various American expert.

The study indicates that strong U.S. anti-discrimination laws protect immigrants and guarantee them equal rights and opportunities, a model for immigration rules elsewhere.

Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, told The Florida Independent that the U.S invests very little in immigrant integration and that budget cuts at the state and federal level put the country’s positive ranking at risk. She added that policymakers need to know that helping people to integrate and learn English provides a large return on investment.

Giovagnoli explained that the MIPEX study can help guide best practices, so the U.S. can learn from other countries like Canada that have a thoughtful integration policy, and help other countries learn from areas where the U.S. shows positive advances.

According to the study, U.S legal status gives most migrant workers and their families some of the same chances in the labor market as native-born Americans, but immigrants often take jobs far below their skill level.Read more...

Published in the American Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 11

This issue covers LCCR's efforts to obtain remedies for individuals mistreated by immigration officials, Supreme Court update, and courts to consider who can apply for waivers of removability.

Published On: Monday, May 22, 2006 | Download File

Tennessee's Undocumented Immigrants Paid Taxes to the Tune of $157 Million

Published on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

It's a familiar refrain: Undocumented immigrants come to the United States, contribute nothing and benefit handsomely from the Nanny State. And it's dead wrong.

In fact, according to estimates by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy and the Immigration Policy Center, households headed by undocumented immigrants paid more than $157 million in sales and property taxes here in Tennessee in 2010. Nationwide, they paid an estimated $11 billion in state and local taxes.

A 2005 Economic Report to the President points out that half of all undocumented immigrants are "believed to be working on the books," meaning they contribute to the tax rolls but remain ineligible for nearly every federal public assistance program. Even if their employer withholds Social Security taxes, they'll never benefit from a system they pay into.

Tennessee lawmakers are proposing legislation this session that would seek to make every facet of life in the state even more inhospitable for undocumented immigrants (see Thursday's Scene). But they might consider the numbers, especially this one: Tennessee ranks 14th on the list of 50 for most taxes paid by those with no legal right to be here.

Published in the Nashville Scene

Video Hearings in Immigration Court

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In 1995, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) introduced the use of video hearing equipment in immigration courts across the country.  As a result, noncitizens facing removal are frequently deprived of the opportunity to appear in person before an immigration judge.  Video hearings are more common where a noncitizen is detained, though many non-detained individuals are subjected to video hearings as well.  EOIR uses video hearings for both preliminary hearings (“master calendar hearings”) and merits hearings (“individual hearings”).

FOIA l Advocacy l Resources

FOIA

In February 2012, the American Immigration Council submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to EOIR asking for records related to video teleconferencing (VTC).  EOIR produced two sets of records.

First Production (November 23, 2012)

            Index of First Production

Second Production (January 30, 2013)

            Index of Second ProductionRead more...

"Ni Hao" from Hilary Xu

December, 2008
Hilary Xu

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Hilary Xu as December'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...

Gov. Deval Patrick Is Latest to Buck Obama Deportation Program

Published on Thu, Jun 09, 2011

This week Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joined a growing chorus of governors standing up against the federal government’s immigration enforcement agenda when he announced that he would not enter his state into Secure Communities. The program, which is supposed to target immigrants who commit serious crimes for deportation, has been controversial in that it has deported streams of people, both documented and undocumented, who were convicted of minor offenses or, in some cases, none at all.

The Department of Homeland Security responded to Gov. Patrick by immediately slamming the door on the state’s efforts to keep out of the program. An anonymous DHS official told the Boston Globe that the state’s participation is not optional. Immigrant rights advocates say DHS is setting itself up for a legal fight over what’s quickly becoming its most controversial immigration enforcement program.

“The tide is turning on S‐Comm,” said Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which is coordinating a national effort to dismantle Secure Communities. “A chorus of opposition to the program is growing louder as the migrant rights movement demands a reversal of politics that criminalize immigrants.”

Under Secure Communities, local authorities mush share the fingerprints of anyone booked in a local or county jail with federal immigration authorities. People without immigration documents and documented immigrants with prior criminal convictions get marked for deportation proceedings, even if they’re never charged with or convicted of a crime. The controversial and rapidly expanding program has become the marquee immigration enforcement program of the Obama administration’s deportation agenda. It’s currently operating in 42 states, and the administration hopes to expand it to the entire country by 2013.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines Magazine

Supreme Court Holds that Fifth Circuit Misapplied Fedorenko v. United States

Negusie v. Holder, 555 U.S. 511 (2009)

In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit misapplied the Supreme Court case, Fedorenko v. United States, 449 U.S. 490 (1981), to find that the persecutor bar at INA § 208(b)(2)(A)(i) applies even if a person's assistance in persecution was coerced or the product of duress. Read more...

Fly Fishing with Scott Marshall

October, 2012

This month we had the chance to speak with Scott Marshall from Australia about his current training in Los Angeles. We also talked about an epic road trip he took to Yellowstone and the differenced between basketball in the States and down under...
Read more...

Immigrants' ledger has two sides

Published on Sat, Aug 06, 2011

As Hazleton's ill-considered anti-immigration ordinance migrates to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals for further arguments, it continues to be based partially on a false premise.

The ordinance results partially from the notion that illegal immigrants are an economic drain and a service burden on the government.

That view, however, is rooted in only one side of the ledger. An analysis by the Immigration Policy Center recently detailed how tax-paying illegal immigrants bolster government treasuries.

In Pennsylvania alone, the analysis found, families headed by illegal immigrants pay $135 million a year in state and local taxes - nearly $35 million in state and local wage and income taxes, more than $7 million in property taxes and more than $81 million in sales taxes.

The analysis does not count another substantial contribution. The national debate over "entitlement" reform usually fails to note the huge surplus for Social Security generated by illegal immigrants. Earlier this year Stephen Goss, chief actuary for Social Security, estimated that illegal immigrant workers contribute about $12 billion a year to the trust fund.

By law illegal immigrants may not collect Social Security benefits, so their contributions are a net gain. The contribution is even more significant because of demographics: illegal immigrants generally are much younger than the average American worker.

None of that diminishes the need for rational immigration reform at the federal level. But it does call for greater context to the debate.

Published in the The Times-Tribune