TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A coalition of business groups will propose Kansas start a new program to help some illegal immigrants remain in the state so they can hold down jobs in agriculture and other industries with labor shortages, coalition representatives disclosed Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Council called the proposal "unprecedented" and questioned whether the federal government would allow such a program, though she was sympathetic toward supporters' goals. Utah has set up a guest-worker program, but it doesn't take effect until 2013 and was part of a broader package of initiatives on immigration.
The Kansas proposal also is notable because it complicates the debate over immigration issues in the home state of Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona. Kobach, known nationally for advising state and local officials across the nation on immigration issues, is secretary of state, the chief elections official in Kansas.
The proposal is likely to stir controversy in the Kansas Legislature and divide the Republican majority, some of whose members are pursuing proposals to crack down on illegal immigration. Representatives of the business coalition, which includes agriculture groups and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, provided a draft copy of their proposed legislation to The Associated Press ahead of its formal introduction in the House and Senate.
Supporters of the proposal acknowledge they're trying to protect industries heavily reliant on laborers, particularly agriculture. But state officials and backers don't have any hard numbers for how many jobs are in danger of going unfilled. Kansas has an estimated 45,000 illegal-immigrant workers.Read more...
More migrants facing deportation are getting reprieves
November 28, 2010: LAC attorney Mary Kenney is quoted in this Arizona Daily Star article on deferred action, wich is a discretionary tool ICE officials can use to help people in special circumstances. Read more . . .
H-1B Employees Should Not Face Arrest While Extension Pending
November 8, 2010: Late last week, the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council (LAC), together with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), filed an amicus brief arguing that an H-1B employee should not face arrest, detention or deportation after his initial period of admission expires if a pending extension request remains under review. The brief, filed in federal district court in Connecticut, maintains that H-1B employers who follow the law should not lose valuable employees because of widespread delays at immigration processing centers."Both existing law and common sense dictate that the government cannot sit on an employer's H-1B extension request and then arrest the employee due to its own processing delays," said Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center. Read more . . .Read more...
In January, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona made headlines when she was photographed thrusting an accusatory finger in President Barack Obama's face during a confrontation on a Phoenix tarmac. Brewer later explained that the president was "a little disturbed" about her book, in which she described Obama as weak on immigration.
The fleeting exchange filtered quickly out of the news cycle, but the image encapsulated the underlying legal issue as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up Arizona's new immigration law on Wednesday. Fundamentally, the case pivots on the relationship between states and the federal government when it comes to enforcing immigration law. Read more...
From China sailed my Grandfather Ben. He came to America when he was four plus ten. His Guangzhou village was small and poor And he helped his mother with farming chores. Every morning he gathered bits of firewood And drew water from the well as much as he could. From morning to night he slaved like an ox. But it was never enough to fill the rice box. So his parents said, "You'd better leave home And go to America where you can roam. Until you find a great place of your own. America, Gold Mountain, is the place to go Big and wide, and high and low. Everything is yes, and there are never any nos."
But here in America life was hard And it wasn't like a birthday card. Golden Mountain didn't have jobs For Chinese men, and that made them sob. From San Francisco to Saint Louis Chances for Chinese were least to fewest. Still his heart never gave way Cause he knew hard work always pays. So Grandpa Ben worked hard again. Slaving in a laundry from five to ten. And he lived in important USA times Starting from cool Jazz Age crime Right on down to the Great Depression's Brother can you spare a dime. Until finally his big chance came To show America Chinese are the same. He joined the army in World War II And fought in Europe for the red, white and blue. All over he fought bringing supplies To American soldiers on the lines. Until one day he was shot in the back And his jeep flipped over and he got smacked. He didn't win any fame or medals Just came back home to wed and settle.
Still to me he is The Greatest Hero. Cause he never gave up and never said no. He loved America both good and bad And taught his 5 kids not to be sad. Work hard, dream big, and never give up. And one day Gold Mountain will live up To what is written on the Statue of Liberty Chances for all and the gift to be free.Read more...
The Asian Journal highlighted the IPC's Q&A Guide to the President's deferred action policy:
Meanwhile, many organizations have formed seminars and briefings to help people better understand the Deferred Action Policy, how the process will work and who will benefit from it. One such organization is the Immigration Policy Center which held a tele-briefing on June 21 with experts who discussed the Administration’s legal authority behind this move, what’s currently known about the process and how politics are shaping up around the decision. Read more...
The 5th Grade Creative Writing Contest provides youth with an opportunity to learn more about immigration to the U.S. and to explain, in their own words, why they are proud America is a nation of immigrants. Twenty-one AILA Chapters participated in this year’s (2012) contest. The top entry from each participating AILA Chapter was judged by a panel immigration experts who chose the top five (shown in bold).
An IPC report was cited in a recent article in the Washington Post on the Obama administrations push to give judges more leeway in deciding who can be deported:
"Under current law, non-citizen immigrants convicted of what’s known as an “aggravated felony” face automatic penalties that make it far harder for them to be spared from deportation. While the term suggests a crime of a serious and violent nature, the definition of an “aggravated felony” has been expanded over the years, to the point where it includes crimes that are neither “aggravated” nor “felonies.” Obama’s draft immigration bill would narrow the definition of an aggravated felony by giving immigration judges greater discretion to grant leniency to individual immigrants convicted of minor offenses.
Originally, only a small handful of serious crimes were classified as “aggravated felonies” in immigration law, but the definition was expanded in 1996 to encompass a host of other more minor offenses. “As initially enacted in 1988, the term ‘aggravated felony’ referred only to murder, federal drug trafficking, and illicit trafficking of certain firearms and destructive devices,” explains a brief from the Immigration Policy Center, an immigration advocacy group. “Today, the definition of ‘aggravated felony’ covers more than thirty types of offenses, including simple battery, theft, filing a false tax return, and failing to appear in court.”"
Mr. Hossain is the type of talented high technology employee that the U.S. needs so desperately in order to maintain current economic prosperity, growth and competitiveness. An immigrant from Bangladesh, he is a permanent resident employed in the position of Internet Services Specialist for Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc. Bell Atlantic has over 100 U.S. operations and employs over 75,000 persons nationwide. The company's core operations are its local network systems which provide telephone service via 18.8 million residential and business access lines in six states and Washington, D.C. in the mid-Atlantic region.
Mr. Hossain designs Client/Server infrastructure software elements based on Object Oriented classes as middleware. His work is used to build Internet applications geared towards Bell Atlantic's Internet related service offerings. Mr. Hossain earned his Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his Bachelor in Business Administration in Management Information Systems from the University of Houston in 1990. In addition, Mr. Hossain has many years of experience working with the Eastman Kodak Company, in Senior Software Engineering positions. He resides in the United States with his wife and young son.
In their recent report, "Immigration Facts: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," the Brookings Institution cited the IPC's estimate of the number of potentially eligible DACA Recipients.
"Estimates of the potentially eligible population calculated by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) using age, country of birth, educational attainment and enrollment, and year of entry to the United States show approximately 936,000 immigrants were immediately eligible at the time of the announcement of the program. Eligibility criteria such as continuous residence and criminal history are much harder to approximate."