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HALTing the DREAM

Published on Mon, Aug 01, 2011

Every now and then a piece of legislation comes around with a terribly creative acronym. The USA PATRIOT Act back in 2001 was one example. But rarely do two bills on the same issue appear in Congress with such diametrically opposed names and policy goals as the DREAM and HALT Acts.

Published in the The Nation

Court Vacates Injunction Against Hazleton Ordinances, Remands for Further Consideration

Hazelton v. Lozano, 563 U.S. __, 131 S. Ct. 2958 (2011)

In early June, the Court granted the petition in Hazleton v. Lozano, vacated the judgment of the Third Circuit, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, No. 09-115, 563 U. S. __ (2011).  The Third Circuit had upheld an injunction against the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, prohibiting the implementation of a pair of controversial ordinances designed to prohibit employers and landlords from employing and renting to undocumented residents. 

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A Conversation with Jessica Dickman

July, 2011
Congratulations to Jessica Dickman, our Exchange Visitor of the Month. We recently caught up with Jessica to learn more about her J-1 visa experience.

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School districts told to monitor enrollment of Alabama immigrant students

Published on Mon, Oct 10, 2011

The impact of Alabama’s new immigration law, which requires K-12 schools to check the immigration status of their students, could be felt in several states, including Florida.

Sunshine State News reports today that “a number of school districts across Florida have been advised to monitor enrollment numbers for Hispanic migrant families relocating from Alabama after a federal judge upheld that state’s new immigration enforcement law.

The online news outlet adds that “Florida’s Education Estimating Conference said so far they haven’t seen any influx in the counties bordering Alabama or in counties such as Osceola, Hardee and Volusia where migrant families may seek agriculture employment,” and that the “Alabama Department of Education stated that on Oct 3, 5 percent of the state’s Hispanic students didn’t show up for school.”

Our sister site The American Independent recently reported that civil rights groups and the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Alabama’s immigration enforcement law, “passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in May, from being enforced, as they did in the case of S.B. 1070, the Arizona immigration law. But unlike in Arizona, a federal judge chose to allow most of the Alabama law to go into effect.”

The Immigration Policy Center reported last week that Alabama school administrators “worry that Alabama’s immigration law will impact the state’s already cash-strapped school system.”

The Policy Center added that, “according to Alabama’s Department of Education, 2,285 Hispanic students (of 34,000 Hispanic students state-wide) were absent from school on Monday.”Read more...

Published in the The Florida Independent

IEC will not review new applications for J-1 sponsorship (September 1-7, 2014)

The IEC will not review applications during the first week of September (09/01/2013 - 09/07/2013).

New applications received during this week will not be looked at until September 9 at the earliest, and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Expedited applications received on or before 08/23 will be reviewed by 08/30. Non-Expedited applications received on or before 08/16 will be reviewed by 08/30. Staff will not be available to conduct Skype webcam interviews during the week of 09/01 - 09/07.

This crucial break during the first week of September will allow the International Exchange Center to conduct an internal review of our procedures in anticipation of some new changes that we hope will improve the programs we offer to J-1 Trainee/Intern participants, host organizations, and AILA attorneys who utilize our services.

Staff will not be available to make exceptions. Thank you for supporting us through this exciting transition!

-The International Exchange Center Staff

Conn. mayor seeks to let illegal immigrants vote

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven is tightening its embrace of newcomers as its mayor seeks to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens, a policy challenge that comes shortly after attacks on "sanctuary cities" by Republican presidential candidates.

The Democratic mayor, John DeStefano, helped illegal immigrants come out of the shadows four years ago when he launched a first-of-its-kind program to give them city resident cards. Despite crackdowns elsewhere, he has forged ahead with proposals that he says are designed to find common ground in a diverse city.

"We're a place of differences," he said. "We're a place that sees a strength and places a value on welcoming folks from all over."

Dozens of American cities including New York, San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass., take a hands-off approach to pursuing illegal immigrants. While advocates say they are rightly distancing themselves from a broken immigration system, critics accuse them of flouting federal law as "sanctuary cities" — a label not all of them accept.

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has vowed to cut off federal funding for such cities. One of his rivals, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, pushed a bill this year that would have prohibited cities from acting as "sanctuaries" for illegal immigrants and allowed local law enforcement to become more involved in immigration enforcement. Mitt Romney has said he opposed sanctuary cities as Massachusetts governor and, as president, he would "find the right approach" to ending them if legally possible.

President Barack Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans to crack down on sanctuary cities. As a Democratic candidate in 2007, he said the U.S. government should address the issue by providing a rational immigration system, not by withdrawing funds from cities that shelter noncitizens.Read more...

Published in the Associated Press

American Immigration Council Jobs

WORK WITH THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL!

FULL TIME STAFF:

FELLOWSHIPS:

  • The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) hires legal fellows on an as-needed basis. The LAC collaborates with students applying for fellowship funding. In order to be considered for a fellowship with us, individuals must either be a current law school student or a law school graduate and must be a strong researcher and writer. If interested in a fellowship, please e-mail a cover letter and resume to clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

INTERNSHIPS:

  • No internships available at this time.

VOLUNTEER:

There are many ways that you can get involved with the American Immigration Council. Please contact teacher@immcouncil.org for more information.

Quick Fact: CBP and ICE Budgets

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) budget grew from $6 billion in FY 2004 to $11.4 billion in FY 2010, while ICE’s budget increased from $3.7 billion to $5.7 billion over the same period.

Kirk Says U.S. Visa Restrictions Hobbling Business Efforts

Published on Mon, Mar 05, 2012

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the nation’s policy for issuing visas is hurting the economy by limiting tourism and blocking overseas buyers of American products from coming to the U.S. for training.

“We will engage on the visa issue, which is frankly crippling us right now,” Kirk said today in Washington. “We hear from business after business, ‘We go, we make these sales, and my customers can’t get a visa to come here to learn how to use the product.’ We are past-due to have a common-sense immigration policy, and we need to have visa reform as part of that.”

In January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the nation needs to ease restrictions on immigrants who plan to open U.S. businesses, and create a separate visa for potential entrepreneurs.

Efforts at overhauling immigration laws are stymied in Congress, including a proposal to let temporary foreign workers enter the U.S. and help illegal immigrants advance toward citizenship. The debate has overshadowed the need to change the U.S. visa program, according to the Chamber, the largest business group.

Current laws make it difficult for people to enter the U.S. and start a business, according to a Jan. 25 report from the Chamber and the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council, a Washington-based nonprofit. Expansion of the visa program would also aid companies’ access to foreign- born graduates of U.S. universities, helping economic growth, the authors of the report said.

Speeding Visas

President Barack Obama on Jan. 19 gave the departments of Homeland Security and State 60 days to write a plan for speeding visa applications from China and Brazil. Obama’s order recommends cutting the process to three weeks from four months.

Visa-processing capacity in China and Brazil must increase 40 percent in the next year, according to the order.Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg