In a new report, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) paints a misleading financial portrait of the DREAM Act. The report, entitled Estimating the Impact of the DREAM Act, claims that the bill would be a burden on U.S. taxpayers and would "crowd out" native-born students in the classroom. However, the available evidence does not support either of these dire predictions. In fact: Read more...
Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center commends Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for convening today’s hearing on “Improving Efficiency and Ensuring Justice in the Immigration Court System.” Immigration courts have long suffered from crushing backlogs that can delay the scheduling of hearings for years at a time. Additionally, immigrants who appear before these courts enjoy fewer legal protections than most Americans expect from any fair system of justice. With the dramatic and rapid escalation of immigration enforcement policies and resources, too little attention has been paid to the many challenges that face our immigration court system. Read more...
On June 20, 2014, President Obama stated “I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.” Yet it is still unclear when and what executive actions President Obama will take. Will his immigration legacy ultimately be remembered as an enforcement-driven enterprise, or one that uses the full force of executive branch authority to improve our badly broken system? The following resources discuss how the Administration can and should use executive authority and prosecutorial discretion to prioritize DHS's enforcement efforts on removing persons who are most dangerous to the country.Read more...
Washington D.C.- After a three-year investigation into the abusive practices of Sherriff Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office (MCSO), the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it had found a pattern and practice of civil rights abuses, including extreme cases of racial profiling. The enormity of the violations, the majority of which were experienced by immigrants and Latinos, has led the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to suspend its cooperation agreement (under section 287(g)) with the sheriff’s office and restrict the MCSO’s access to immigration databases through the Secure Communities program.
The dual announcements from DOJ and DHS reinforce what many in Arizona and the broader immigration community have long argued: the practice of allowing local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law increases the likelihood of racial profiling and pretextual arrests which leads to disastrous results for entire communities.
The DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez commented on the investigation noting “MCSO’s systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections has created a wall of distrust between the sheriff’s office and large segments of the community, which dramatically compromises the ability to protect and serve the people. The problems are deeply rooted in MCSO’s culture, and are compounded by MCSO’s penchant for retaliation against individuals who speak out.” Read more...
Amid a growing restlessness that immigration reform has been put on the back burner in Washington, local activists are beginning to ratchet up the pressure on their elected officials. Yesterday, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) kicked off its own leg of the nationwide Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. As the Tribune reports, their latest strategy for pushing the reform agenda comes from an unlikely source:
LAC Practice Advisory on Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock
Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) released an updated practice advisory, Employment Authorization And Asylum: Strategies To Avoid Stopping The Asylum Clock. This practice advisory provides an overview of the work authorization process for asylum applicants, addresses the operation of the “asylum clock,” which is used to track the 180-day waiting period during which an applicant cannot apply for work authorization, and discusses possible solutions to several common asylum clock problems. The practice advisory also discusses the policies and practices the LAC and co-counsel are challenging in a class action filed on behalf of asylum applicants harmed by the asylum clock process.
For additional resources related to the LAC’s work on employment authorization for asylum applicants, including information about the class action, visit our Asylum Clock webpage.
For a complete list of all LAC practice advisories, please visit the LAC’s website.
Day Two of Senate Mark-Up Will Tackle Trickiest Part of Reform
Released on Mon, May 13, 2013
Washington D.C. - Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues “mark-up” of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Committee will take up amendments related to Title Four, which addresses the majority of non-immigrant, temporary visas including those for high and less skilled immigrant workers, entrepreneurship and innovation programs, and a range of miscellaneous visitor visas. Title Four became one of the most intensely negotiated portions of the Gang of 8 bill, in part because issues regarding the future flow of immigrant workers strike at the heart of broad differences in opinion about how we supplement the American workforce through immigration.
Inherent in this debate are deeply nuanced questions about the best way to create a competitive business climate that does not undermine worker rights and protections, as well as the need to promote and encourage innovation and growth through immigration. The Gang of 8 should be applauded for tackling this enormous challenge and crafting solutions that attempt to address these concerns. This makes the bill significantly different from what was adopted in 1986—when a legalization program went forward without tackling the question of how to regulate the future demand for workers.
In this section of the bill, perhaps more than anywhere else, there will be disagreement about the best way to achieve a balance in S. 744 as it is readied for debate before the full Senate. In order to develop a smart and fair future flow program, Senators should keep in mind the following principles:Read more...
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.