The American Immigration Council and its four programs had a busy year in 2011. We want to thank you for your support, readership, and feedback. We also want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a year-end gift. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue our work which includes the following "Top 11 for 2011." Read more...
In order to better serve our clients, we are changing the way we process J-1 visa applications. Effective January 1, 2014, we will no longer accept the paper version of our application.
We will be eliminating non-expedite service, and changing our processing times to 5 business days to review your application materials after you have submitted the completed online application and made payment. All applications will now be processed on an expedited timeline. This change in application processing corresponds with an increase in our fees. Our program fee will increase to $1,450, and we will charge an additional $450 as a non-refundable review fee that will be paid regardless of whether or not we issue the DS 2019. As is our current policy, if we deny your application and do not issue the DS 2019, we refund you all program fees ($1,450), insurance fees ($57/month per person), or the SEVIS fee ($180), but as of January 1, 2014 we will NOT refund the $450 application review fee.
We are also making several changes to the group insurance policy we offer to our J-1 participants and their dependents. Read the Insurance Group Policy Changes section below for more information.
Below is a summary of the different changes that will go into effect on January 1, 2014:
Advocates along the Northern Border report a recent, sharp increase in the use of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents to provide interpretation services to state and local law enforcement officers and emergency responders. This most often occurs when an officer or responder encounters an individual who does not speak English and proactively reaches out to USBP for assistance. But it has also occurred when USBP agents respond to an incident report in lieu of, or in addition to, local law enforcement officers.
Immigrants, their advocates, and community members are reporting—and official statistics confirm—that there are simply too many USBP agents on the ground, apparently with too much time on their hands, who lack adherence to stated priorities.
This special report lays out the problems with border patrol agents serving as translators and make recommendations intended to promote Title VI compliance, maintain the integrity of the USBP mission on the Northern Border, and protect the rights of immigrants and their families who call the Northern Border home.
As Pennsylvania grapples with a budget deficit brought on by the current recession, state and local policy makers would do well to keep in mind that immigrant communities are a potent force for economic recovery.
Mark-Up Characterized by Transparency and Bipartisan Cooperation
Released on Tue, May 21, 2013
Washington D.C. - Today, on a bipartisan vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, out of the committe and on to the Senate floor for a full vote in the coming days. The Senate committee mark-up spanned three weeks and covered many of the 300 amendments offered on every aspect of the bill. The resulting legislation represents a concerted effort to find a workable and fair immigration policy that makes our nation stronger.
The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:
“We congratulate Senator Leahy and the entire Senate Judiciary Committee on the spirit of deliberation, collaboration, and transparency that marked the process. Many amendments added during the mark-up will strengthen the bill in the areas of high-skilled immigration, protections for vulnerable groups and due process. However, other amendments, like those attempting to deny citizenship, may have been driven more by rhetoric than reality. In addition, not providing some relief to siblings who face extreme hardships because of their separation and not ending the discrimination against same sex couples legally married in the United States is short-sighted and bad policy. Yet despite these high costs, the overall bill coming out of committee now gives the Senate an important and rare opportunity to complete the task we have been working on for years—passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally moves us to our goal of fixing our broken immigration system.
Gustavo Cabrera, one of 31 janitors arrested last year in a high-profile raid on state courthouses, yesterday won the right to remain permanently in the United States, based on a 1997 law that legal experts say has provided relief to fewer than 200,000 people.
Legalizing undocumented workers via comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over a ten year period, generate billions in additional tax revenue and consumer spending, as well as create hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to a groundbreaking new study by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda from the University of California.
Brandon Hernandez is a typical American teenage boy. Clad in sneakers and baggy sweatshirt, the ninth-grade student is standing outside Central High School in Phoenix with a friend, flirting in vain with groups of girls passing by.
School has finished for the day and Brandon, who was born in Arizona to Hispanic parents, should be looking forward to the weekend. But the 14-year-old is worried: the state’s new immigration law could make him a target of police searching for illegal immigrants, he says.