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The American Immigration Council Welcomes Bi-Partisan Senate Immigration Bill

Released on Wed, Apr 17, 2013

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the “Gang of Eight” Senators who have introduced the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act."  The Senators and their staff have been working tirelessly, for months, to create a bi-partisan solution that attempts to fix our broken immigration system. The Senate is to be commended for having the courage to lean into this difficult issue and bring forth a detailed and comprehensive proposal. In addition, labor and business groups should be acknowledged for their role in negotiating, in advance, some of the toughest sticking points to help ensure a smooth path through Congress. 

In the coming days and weeks as the bill is analyzed and debated, there will be many who criticize both the policy remedies in the bill, as well as the sheer length of the legislation. It is important to keep in mind, however, that developing a comprehensive solution requires striking a delicate balance between a diverse cross section of stakeholders and impacted constituencies. Furthermore, the dysfunctional system that we have developed over the past two decades is in dire need of deep and precise reforms. While there will be fair criticisms of some of the bill’s contents it is important to keep the spirit of the debate productive and to ensure room for compromise. Read more...

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Neb. immigrants vital to economic recovery

Published on Mon, Dec 14, 2009

A new report says immigrants in Nebraska have a buying power of nearly $3.8 billion and are integral to the state's economy as workers. The report issued Monday by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center says those contributions and others mean Nebraska's foreign-born population will play a critical role in the state's economic recovery.

Published in the Associated Press

Immigration Advocacy Groups Urge Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act Broadly

Released on Wed, Nov 06, 2013

Washington, D.C.—This week, the American Immigration Council filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their “green cards” before they turned 21. The brief was filed in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigrant Justice Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The case, Cuellar de Osorio v. Mayorkas, involves a provision of the Child Status Protection Act of 2002 (CSPA).  The amicus brief argues that in the CSPA, Congress specifically remedied the problem of children who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, turned 21 and lost the opportunity to immigrate with their families before a visa became available.  Specifically, the brief argues that children listed as beneficiaries on all types of visa petitions – and not simply those filed by lawful permanent residents, as the government argues – are entitled to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults.  As a result, they do not have to wait as long for new visas. The brief presents compelling case histories illustrating the hardship that these families have suffered as the result of the government’s narrow interpretation.    

The amici were represented on a pro bono basis by Lori Alvino McGill and Nicole Ries Fox of Latham and Watkins, LLP.  Read more about this case and the Child Status Protection Act on our website.

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Report: Low-risk, legal immigrants being deported

Published on Thu, Feb 18, 2010

A federal program to identify and deport dangerous criminal immigrants has been routinely scooping up legal and unauthorized immigrants with little or no criminal history, according to a locally generated study released this week by the Immigration Policy Center in Washington.

According to the study, 57 percent of immigrants identified by the Criminal Alien Program in 2009 had no criminal convictions, up from 53 percent in 2008.

Published in the The Statesman

Leadership Team Changes at the American Immigration Council

Released on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council announces changes to our organizational leadership team. Beth Werlin will become the Director of Policy, and Guillermo Cantor will become our Deputy Director of Research. These changes will fill the gap created by the departure of Mary Giovagnoli, who will join the Department of Homeland Security as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration Policy next month.

Beth Werlin, Esq., will become our new Director of Policy. Beth has been with the Council for almost 14 years as part of our legal team and has a deep understanding of our mission and history. She is a talented lawyer who is widely-respected for her knowledge and dedication. She has been involved in nearly every major legal issue the Council has tackled over the last decade and has worked to protect the rights of noncitizens and ensure that the immigration agencies are held accountable for violations of the law. Her insight and experience have played a critical role in increasing the collaboration and integration of our work across all programs. In her new role, she will put her knowledge and experience to work in deepening and strengthening our relationships and ensuring that the work of our policy and legal teams is even more complementary.

Guillermo Cantor, Ph.D., will become our new Deputy Director of Research. In just two years with the Council, Guillermo has done a tremendous job in shaping, transforming, and strengthening our work. Using his extensive experience as a social science researcher committed to impacting policy, he has enhanced our research, expanded our partnerships with the academic community, explored new research and funding strategies, and has stepped forward as a leader within our office and within the broader immigration community. As the new Deputy Director of Research, Guillermo will be responsible for leading our research efforts and managing our research team.Read more...

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IT Industry, Hispanics Team Up On Immigration

Published on Sat, Apr 10, 2010

Advocates for information-technology companies have allied with progressive and Hispanic groups to win a broad overhaul of immigration law, but they are also keeping open the option of pursuing a narrow set of tech-friendly legal changes in the next Congress.

"I'm happy to be part of comprehensive reform, and I'm happy to be part of a focused bill," said Brad Feld, a Colorado-based venture capitalist who is pushing to establish a Startup Visa program that would grant green cards to high-tech entrepreneurs. Feld lobbied Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., to add the proposal to an immigration bill drafted by Rep. Luis Gutierrez., D-Ill.

Published in the Information Technology Industry Council

At One-Year Anniversary of Immigration Actions, Administration Must Vigorously Defend Authority

Released on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

Washington D.C. - Friday, marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of his executive actions on immigration, which at their heart, are first steps towards common-sense reforms to an outdated immigration system.

The series of reforms range from temporary protections for an expanded group of unauthorized young people (expanded DACA) and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA), to modernizing and streamlining the visa application process, tonew guidance to better prioritize the immigration agencies’ use of their limited enforcement resources.

While the centerpiece of the executive actions—expanded DACA and DAPA—remains tied up in litigation, the Administration can and should use its uncontested authority to continue refining enforcement priorities and improving the operations and functions of the visa system.  As the deferred action initiatives have become highly-politicized and are yet to achieve their intended goal—keeping families together while ensuring that the government’s enforcement resources are targeted toward real security threats—there is one aspect of these measures that remains unassailable: the President’s authority to take such actions.Read more...

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Can Arizona really afford this immigration law?

Published on Fri, Apr 30, 2010

Arizona's harsh new immigration law has taken quite a beating in the past week.

President Obama has called it “misguided” and promised to keep an eye on it. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government may challenge the law. Calls for boycott are multiplying, threatening to stagnate Arizona’s already weakened economy.

But maybe the state's lawmakers should see all these potential obstacles as a blessing. Because the truth is, Arizona may not be able to afford this law anyway.

Published in the Salon

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Conference focuses on immigration issues

Published on Wed, May 26, 2010

Fixing the border to solve immigration problems without addressing other issues is a little like solving just one side of a puzzle, an immigration policy expert said yesterday.

“You fix one side of a Rubik’s Cube, but the rest is a mess,” Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, said.

Giovagnoli spoke at the ninth annual Cambio de Colores conference in Columbia. The three-day event focuses on Hispanics and immigrants in Midwestern communities and is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri System, MU, MU Extension and the Cambio Center.

Published in the Columbian Daily Tribune