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E-Verify shouldn't be mandatory

Published on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

Fane, a native of Tonga, works as a dispatcher for a company in Los Angeles. When she was hired, her employer used E-Verify, an electronic federal database intended to identify only unauthorized immigrants, to verify her work authorization. Though she's been a U.S. citizen for 16 years, the E-Verify system flagged her. She had not notified the Social Security Administration that she had become a U.S. citizen - something that she did not realize that she was supposed to do.

Fane reported the mix-up to her employer, which eventually reinstated her. But she lost back pay for two weeks of work - a devastating loss of income for a working-class single mother of four.

Cases like Fane's, unfortunately, would become all the more common if Congress passes H.R. 2885, a bill sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to require all employers to implement E-Verify. Currently, the flawed E-Verify program is voluntary for most employers. This bill recently passed out of the House Judiciary Committee.

The government's own study shows that E-Verify's current error rate is 20 times higher for foreign-born workers than U.S.-born workers and 30 times higher for naturalized citizens, according to Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Making the system mandatory would adversely affect all immigrants, but especially the nation's Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, of whom more than two-thirds are foreign-born.

And those who are those authorized to work in this country, including U.S. citizens, could be deemed unauthorized simply due to an old database system that doesn't reflect current work authorization status. Because of errors in E-Verify, between 144,000 and 415,000 U.S. citizens and other legal workers in California alone could lose their jobs if they do not know to or are unable to correct their records, according to the Immigration Policy Center.Read more...

Published in the The Bellingham Herald

Supreme Court Update

The Supreme Court Update provides information about recent Supreme Court decisions in immigration cases and other cases which may be of interest to immigration attorneys, as well as information about immigration cases in which the Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari. The site features case summaries, dates for oral argument and, in some cases, additional resources such as amicus briefs and related practice advisories.

 Last updated: July 24, 2015

Certiorari Granted | Cases Decided | Supreme Court Resources

Please contact the Clearinghouse at clearinghouse@immcouncil.org if you know of any additional resources or changes in the status of cases that are not indicated here.

U.S. Seeks Rule Change to Let Some Illegal Immigrants Remain With Families

Published on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

The Obama administration proposed changing federal rules to let some undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. while seeking legal status, a move that would help Hispanics, a key voting bloc in the 2012 election.

The proposal is aimed at spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are eligible for a visa. The proposed change would let them remain in the country while applying for a green card, according to a statement by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The law now calls for immigrants who have been in the country illegally for 180 days or more to leave the U.S. to apply for legal residence, a period that can last as long as 10 years. Because of the potentially long separation from their families, immigrants who are eligible don’t apply for legal status, according to the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based pro-immigration group.

Congressional Republicans have stymied President Barack Obama’s drive to overhaul immigration laws to let temporary foreign workers enter the U.S. and to help illegal immigrants on a path toward citizenship. The proposed change doesn’t need congressional approval.

It would “provide a more predictable and transparent process and improved processing times,” according to the immigration agency’s statement.

Hispanics contributed to Obama’s margin of victory in the 2008 presidential election. Exit polls on election day showed 67 percent of Hispanic voters supported him compared with 31 percent for Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

States With Hispanics

That support helped Obama carry states with large Hispanic populations, including Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. The states are among the ones likely to be the most competitive in this year’s presidential race.

The illegal immigration issue has sparked disputes in the race among Republicans vying to be Obama’s opponent.Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg

What We Do

Litigation and Advocacy

The LAC uses litigation and advocacy as tools to protect the rights of noncitizens. We litigate in the federal courts, focusing our work on cases that have a wide impact.  We also advocate before the immigration agencies to help ensure that the immigration laws are implemented properly.  The following are our litigation and advocacy priorities: Read more...

A Tale of Two Undocumented Graduates

Published on Tue, Mar 20, 2012

Raul Rodriguez and Alberto Ledesma live parallel lives. Both proudly claim UC Berkeley as their alma mater. Both have worked hard academically. And both have published personal essays about the stigma of being an undocumented student.

But that’s where their lives diverge. Ledesma was fortunate enough to gain amnesty via the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), federal legislation that granted amnesty to immigrants who entered the U.S. before 1986. Rodriguez, on the other hand, remains undocumented because legislation like IRCA no longer exists.

“Even now, years after amnesty, I get all tongue-tied when anyone asks me about my immigrant past. I become that undocumented immigrant Cantinflas, twisting words and phrases until nothing I say makes sense. The problem is, I don’t know where my Cantinflas and where the true me begins.”

Rodriguez says he shares that same feeling of being constantly distressed. If he were granted amnesty, he says he would take every opportunity that presented itself, the simplest of all being travel. Before discovering he was undocumented, Rodriguez had plans to move to New York City and Paris, but all of those plans disappeared upon hearing the truth about his legal status.

“Being undocumented means re-shifting your life and not doing what you love,” he notes.

Today, Rodriguez lives a life that he can only describe as “going through the motions.” He is not alone. A study conducted by the Immigration Policy Center in 2008 showed that 25 percent of all people in the U.S. are either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. The same study concluded that 40 percent of all immigrants currently in the U.S. came to this country before 1990, which suggests that they've since established deep roots in this country. Many are like Ledesma and Rodriguez, having grown up in the U.S. yet never fully embraced as Americans. Read more...

Published in the New American Media

International Exchange Center Programs

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE CENTER PROGRAMS

The J-1 Visa: Changing America, Changing the World

The Role of the J-1 Trainee/Intern

Interns and Trainees

The Department of State's J-1 Visa Basics


 

THE ROLE OF THE J-1 TRAINEE OR INTERN

Sometimes, it is easy to become confused about the role of the trainee or intern within the host organization.

The trainee/intern’s role is to:

• Learn about the U.S. host organization
• Learn the specific skills and knowledge laid out in the DS-7002 training plan under constant watch of a supervisor
• Gain a new understanding of U.S. culture
• Share their home culture with colleagues and friends

J-1 visa regulations are very specific. A J-1 intern or trainee program should never include more than 20% clerical work or be used in place of regular employment. J-1 trainees and interns are not at will employees.Read more...

Memorial Day provides chance to break down language barrier

Published on Mon, May 28, 2012

Statistics from an IPC report were used in an article about the value of immigrants in America: Read more...

Published in the Star Exponent

Kendell K. Frederick

Army Specialist Kendell K. Frederick was born on August 17, 1984 on the island of Trinidad. There he lived with his grandfather and great grandparents, while his mother Michelle Frederick Murphy migrated to the United States to make a better life for her and her son.

In January 1999, at the age of fifteen, Kendell immigrated to the U.S. to join his mother and family in Randallstown, Maryland. There he was welcomed by his mother, his stepfather Kenmore Murphy, and his two sisters, Kennisha and Kendra. The entire family had looked forward to that day for a very long time.

Kendell attended Old Court Middle School, and upon graduating, attended Randallstown senior High School. There he was introduced to the R.O.T.C. program and decided to give it a try. He loved being in a leadership role, and stayed committed to the R.O.T.C. program for the entire four years.

In 2001, while in his last year of high school, Kendell decided to enlist in the army reserve, and that summer entered basic training at Fort Sill Oklahoma, where he graduated on July 17, 2002.

Upon returning home, Kendell entered Aberdeen and obtained his degree in generator engineering. In February of 2004, he was assigned to the Army reserve's 983rd Engineer Battalion, based in Monclova, Ohio. From there he was deployed to Iraq in December 2004 to work on power generators. His unit, which specializes in construction of roads and infrastructure, depended on him to operate and maintain the portable electrical sources needed to perform their work.Read more...