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Educated Immigrants Outnumber Low-Skilled Ones in U.S.

Published on Fri, Jun 10, 2011

The word "immigrant" often conjures up the negative images of low-skilled and likely illegally residing workers. As Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council tells the Washington Post, "too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences." Yet a new report from the Brookings Institution pushes back against this stereotype, showing there are actually more college-educated immigrants of working age in the United States than those without high-school degrees.

To help understand the chart above, it's useful to look at Brookings terminology. Low-skilled immigrants are those that do not possess a high-school diploma, while high-skilled immigrants are those with a college degree, or more. The shift in the past few decades has been significant: "In 1980, just 19 percent of immigrants aged 25 to 64 held a bachelor's degree, and nearly 40 percent had not completed high school," the report states. By 2010 that 40 percent was down to 28 percent, while the percentage of immigrants holding BAs rose to 30. Mid-skilled immigrants--those that have a high school diploma or some college and no degree--are still the largest group, though the percentage has held pretty steady since the early 90's. It's worth adding that Brookings methodology did not distinguish between illegal and legal immigrants; birthplace was the sole determination of immigrant status.

It looks like good news, but not everyone sees the report as encouraging. "New college graduates are faring very poorly on the labor market, and what the report is telling us is that we're bringing in a high number of workers to compete with them," Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, a self-described "pro-immigrant, low-immigration," think-tank in Washington D.C told the Post.

Published in the Atlantic Monthly

Court Disallows Modified Categorical Approach Except Where Statute Divisible

Descamps v. United States, 570 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013)

In an 8-1 decision written by Justice Kagan, the Supreme Court held that sentencing courts must apply the categorical approach – and only the categorical approach – to a federal defendant unless the underlying statute of conviction is ‘divisible.’

Descamps concerns the analytical approach courts must undertake when determining what federal consequences (usually sentence enhancement or removal) attach to a particular conviction. The default approach is called the categorical approach, wherein the court compares the elements set forth in the criminal statute to the INA removal ground or other federal law at issue. The facts in the criminal case are irrelevant. All that matters are the elements of the statute of conviction. The rationale for an elements-centric approach, as the Court explained in Descamps, is multifold: it comports with the text and history of the statutes it was created to apply (often the Armed Career Criminal Act and the INA), it avoids Sixth Amendment concerns that would arise form sentencing courts’ making factual findings that belong to juries, and it averts the practical difficulties and potential unfairness of a factual approach.Read more...

Quick Fact: Removal of unauthorized immigrants would cause large drop in GDP

If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from the United States, the country would lose $551.6 billion in economic activity, $245 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and approximately 2.8 million jobs.

Deportation reviews raise some immigrants' hopes

Published on Sun, Aug 28, 2011

Hilda Jauregui and dozens of women at an Orange County immigration detention center recently gathered to hear the news on television that the Obama administration will review thousands of deportation cases with an eye closing those considered "low-priority."

FOR THE RECORD:

Deportation order: An article in the Aug. 29 LATExtra section about the Obama administration's plans to review 300,000 deportation cases was missing the word "toward" in the first paragraph. The paragraph should have said: Hilda Jauregui and dozens of women at an Orange County immigration detention center recently gathered to hear the news on television that the Obama administration will review thousands of deportation cases with an eye toward closing those considered "low-priority." Also, an earlier version of this online article stated that the Jauregui family had ignored a deportation order issued more than 10 years ago. The family actually appealed the order.

"Everyone was shouting and hugging each other," Jauregui said in a telephone interview from the James A. Musick jail facility last week. "One woman said 'I'll qualify because I'm older,' another said she had children who were born in the country. Everyone was trying to find something positive that would make them qualify."

U.S. Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano announced the review Aug. 18 as the administration was seeking to counter criticism that it has been too harsh in its deportation policies. The case-by-case review is intended to refocus efforts on felons and other public safety threats, officials said.

Now immigrants around the country are trying to find out how the review of nearly 300,000 deportation cases will actually work. The administration has said it would try to identify immigrants considered low-priority — including students, the elderly, victims of crime and people who have lived in the U.S. since childhood.Read more...

Published in the Los Angeles Times

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Immigration by State

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Read more about the demographic and economic impacts immigrants are making in your state.

The Immigration Fight Heads to Pennsylvania

Published on Wed, Oct 12, 2011

It appears as if Pennsylvania is the next state to enter into the fray of reforming their state’s immigration laws. Last week, the State Government Committee approved the Professional Licensees Illegal Employment Act. If the bill becomes law, it would penalize anyone that hires undocumented workers by revoking their professional licenses from the Bureau of Occupational and Professional Affairs. This Bureau controls the professional licensing of over 30 licensing boards for various occupations including doctors, nurses, and funeral directors.

The Pennsylvania bill has wide support from Pennsylvania Republicans who believe that employers who hire illegal immigrants are not penalized at all. They believe that illegal immigrants are taking vital jobs in a time where the country is facing increasingly high unemployment rates. Opposition to the bill is widespread, with critics citing the bill’s continued failure to set out a clear policy of how it is going to be enforced.

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Although Alabama has yet to fully enforce its draconian immigration laws, Alabama is already beginning to suffer because of its new legislation. After Judge Sharon Blackburn upheld HB 56, nearly 25% of the state’s construction workers have failed to show up to work. In a time where Alabama is supposed to be focusing on rebuilding infrastructure following the Tuscaloosa tornadoes of last year, the lack of construction workers in Alabama is troublesome. The Perryman Group stated that Alabama could lose an estimated 18,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in revenue because of the state’s immigration measures. Estimates from the American Immigration Council could also cost the states another $130 million in lost tax revenues.Read more...

Published in the Immigration Daily

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.

Immigration policy to see a big change

Published on Sat, Jan 07, 2012

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...