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Deportations Under New U.S. Policy Are Inconsistent

Published on Sat, Nov 12, 2011

A new Obama administration policy to avoid deportations of illegal immigrants who are not criminals has been applied very unevenly across the country and has led to vast confusion both in immigrant communities and among agents charged with carrying it out.

Since June, when the policy was unveiled, frustrated lawyers and advocates have seen a steady march of deportations of immigrants with no criminal record and with extensive roots in the United States, who seemed to fit the administration’s profile of those who should be allowed to remain.

But at the same time, in other cases, immigrants on the brink of expulsion saw their deportations halted at the last minute, sometimes after public protests. In some instances, immigration prosecutors acted, with no prodding from advocates, to abandon deportations of immigrants with strong ties to this country whose only violation was their illegal status.

For President Obama, the political stakes in the new policy are high. White House officials have concluded that there is no chance before next year’s presidential election to pass the immigration overhaul that Mr. Obama supports, which would include paths to legal status for illegal immigrants. But immigration authorities have sustained a fast pace of deportations, removing nearly 400,000 foreigners in each of the last three years.

With Latino communities taking the brunt of those deportations, Latino voters are increasingly disappointed with Mr. Obama. White House officials hope the new policy will ease some of the pressure on Latinos, by steering enforcement toward gang members and convicts and away from students, soldiers and families of American citizens.Read more...

Published in the New York Times

International Exchange Center Staff


Mr. Jai Misra, Program Specialist

Jai Misra joined the American Immigration Council in April 2012 and works with the International Exchange Center's J-1 visa sponsorship program. Mr. Misra graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in Globalization Studies, and he spent a year at the American University in Cairo (AUC) where he helped design cultural exchange programs for study abroad students at AUC's International Student Services Office.

Ms. Lois C. Magee, Director, International Exchange Center

Lois C. Magee was named Director of the American Immigration Council's International Exchange Center in January 2006. Ms. Magee has been affiliated with a number of citizen exchange organizations including the International Christian Youth Exchange, AFS Intercultural Programs, and the YMCA International Branch. She has worked with and written on J-1 visa programs for over twenty years. Ms. Magee holds a Master's degree in International Administration from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.

Ms. Moksheda Thapa, Program Specialist - (currently on leave until 12/2014)
mthapa@immcouncil.org

Quick Fact: U.S. naturalization fees extremely high

U.S. naturalization fees are now higher than in 25 of the 30 other MIPEX countries.

Obama hopes to win Latino voters in face of GOP candidates' immigration debate

Published on Sat, Jan 14, 2012

The Obama administration has unveiled several key decisions aimed at bolstering ties to the immigration reform community as the president’s campaign has stepped up efforts to woo Latino voters ahead of the 2012 elections. 

The moves come as Republican presidential contenders have begun staking out positions on immigration, making it a focal point of political attacks leading into the South Carolina and Florida primary elections.

Latino and immigration reform groups have heavily criticized President Obama for not doing enough to overhaul the country’s immigration system to provide a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally.

The groups, on and off Capitol Hill, have stressed that the same Latino voters who helped bring Obama into office in 2008 are not a sure bet for him in 2012. As Republicans begin to attack the president on his immigration record, Obama will be forced to highlight the steps he’s taken to improve the immigration process. 

In a strong nod to Latino groups this week, Obama appointed Cecilia Munoz, the former senior vice president at the National Council of La Raza — the largest U.S. Latino civil rights and advocacy group — to be the director of the Domestic Policy Council where she’ll help shape the president’s domestic policy on immigration, education, health care and energy issues.

And last week, the administration proposed a long-awaited and greatly sought rule change that would fast track certain visa applications, lessening the time U.S. citizens are separated from their families who are required to remain outside the country while their immigrant visas are being considered.Read more...

Published in the The Hill

2008 Winner, Cameron Busby


“America is a Refuge”

By Cameron Busby

Tuscon, Arizona


 A small child holds out a hoping hand,

a crumb of bread,

or even a penny just to be fed

Hoping America is a refuge.


A child weeps over her mother's lifeless body,

the tears streaming down her face

Praying America is a refuge.


A child's torn sock blows in the wind,

as a bomb explodes the tiny sock catches a flame and begins to

burn to ash

Can America be a refuge?


A thirsty father and son seeking shade from the blazing sun,

all they want is a job

and for America to be a refuge.


America can be a refuge for you.

It can be a refuge for me.

I am glad that America is a refuge for all.


Villaraigosa Urges Hispanics to Vote

Published on Wed, Apr 04, 2012

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who will chair the Democratic National Convention here in September, on Tuesday urged Hispanics in North Carolina to vote “for those who don’t have a voice” in the presidential elections in November.

“If we don’t vote, neither of the two parties are going to take us into account. You have to go out and register people and, above all, motivate those who can to become U.S. citizens,” said Villaraigosa in a meeting with Hispanic reporters in Charlotte.

In his first visit to the Queen City, one of the country’s highest-profile Latino politicians reiterated that since North Carolina is the state that has had the biggest growth in the country in its Hispanic community, its voting power is “essential.”

“The figures point to it and we know it: the Hispanic vote is important, and we’ll work very hard to get it,” Villaraigosa emphasized.

The mayor on Tuesday toured Charlotte’s convention center and Bank of America stadium, where President Barack Obama will accept the nomination of his party in September.

The number of Hispanics in North Carolina increased by 111 percent over the past decade to more than 800,000, representing 8.4 percent of the state’s residents.

According to figures compiled by the North Carolina state elections board, in 2008 there were more than 68,000 Hispanics registered to vote and of those 20,648 voted in the presidential elections that November.

Obama won North Carolina by a scanty 14,177 votes, the first time since 1976 that a Democratic presidential candidate had garnered the state’s 15 electoral votes.

A post-electoral analysis by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center emphasized that those Hispanic votes that went to the Democrats were “indispensable” in helping Obama win the Tar Heel state.

Published in the Latin American Herald Tribune

The LAC Docket | Volume I, Issue 1

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

December 17, 2010
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate



Amicus brief seeks redress for H-1B employee arrested while extension request remained pending
El Badrawi v. DHS
, No. 07-01074 (D. Conn.)

Immigration attorneys routinely file requests on behalf of employers seeking to extend the employment of nonimmigrant personnel.  But few may realize that ICE claims the authority to detain a nonimmigrant employee whose initial period of authorized stay ends before USCIS adjudicates a pending extension application filed on his behalf.  Indeed, the government has put forth precisely that claim in the case of a Lebanese national arrested and detained as an alleged H-1B “overstay.”  Condemning ICE’s arbitrary use of its enforcement authority, the LAC argued in an amicus brief that both federal law and practical considerations dictate that beneficiaries of pending timely filed H-1B extension requests are entitled to remain in the United States until those requests have been adjudicated. Read more...

Immigration Reform a Break for DREAMers Looking to Work

Published on Mon, Jun 18, 2012

IPC director Mary Giovagnoli was quoted in an Epoch Times story covering President Obama's announcement of deferred action for 'DREAMers:' Read more...

Published in the The Epoch Times

The LAC Docket | Volume II Issue 2

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

March 23, 2012
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate


Access to Counsel

 Access to Counsel

FOIA Lawsuit Prompts USCIS to Turn Over Documents about Counsel; CBP Claims to Have Few Responsive Records

, No. 1:11-cv-01971 (D.D.C. filed Nov. 8, 2011)
AIC v. DHS and CBP
, No. 1:11-cv-01972 (D.D.C. filed Nov. 8, 2011)

Mary Giovagnoli: The TT Interview

Published on Thu, Nov 15, 2012

IPC's director, Mary Giovagnoli, was interviewed by Julián Aguilar of The Texas Tribune.  Read the interview below to learn more about immigration politics and reform: Read more...

Published in the The Texas Tribune