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Birthright Citizenship’s Unlikely Road to Supreme Court

Published on Mon, Jan 10, 2011

“Those children can’t petition for their parents to become U.S. citizens until they are 21 years old and it most cases, the parents would be barred from getting a visa to the United States for 10 years,” said Michelle Waslin, senior policy analyst at the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C. “So that’s a 31-year plan. It doesn’t seem like it’s a very good plan to legalize your status here in the U.S. It doesn’t protect them from deportation.”

Waslin argues that such a change in the law will affect all citizens, creating a complicated bureaucracy.

“My birth certificate will no longer be proof of my U.S. citizenship, so how would anybody prove their citizenship?” she asked.

Published in the Immigrant Magazine

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 5

This issue covers a new suit seeking detention standards, update on religious workers class action, class action certification in a naturalization delay suit, limitations on the categorical approach, and litigation resources on the web.

Published On: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Download File

Birthright of illegal residents' children is under attack

Published on Fri, Mar 04, 2011

Twelve years ago, Lizbeth Ramos and her common-law husband, Juan, left their hometown near Puebla, Mexico, and set out on foot across the desert for the Arizona border, to slip into new lives as illegal immigrants.

He found work in a produce market in the Philadelphia area, she in a boutique. They saved up to start a family.

Now 30, she lies on an examination table in Pennsylvania Hospital, at a weekly obstetrics clinic for immigrant women, no status questions asked. As a doctor slides an ultrasound wand over her bulging belly, her eyes are transfixed by the monitor. She is carrying twins.

The moment they enter the world, they will be what their parents are not: U.S. citizens.

Such is their birthright, granted by the 14th Amendment to an estimated 340,000 babies born annually to undocumented immigrants.

But in the marathon fight over immigration control, that 143-year-old constitutional guarantee has become the latest target and the delivery room the new front. The pejorative anchor babies already is in the lexicon.

"Once a child is born here, the parents make the argument that they should be allowed to stay as that child's guardian. They are using that child as an anchor [to] play on our heartstrings," said Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican who has built a national reputation as a crusader against what he calls "illegal alien invaders."

Immigrant advocates dismiss his contention as myth, and point to a recent study that found that undocumented immigrants generally "come for work and to join family members." The Washington-based nonprofit Immigration Policy Center concluded that "they do not come specifically to give birth" and game the immigration system.

Such assertions have not tempered efforts by immigration-control proponents to effectively do away with "birthright citizenship" for illegal immigrants' children.Read more...

Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 10

This issue covers IJ's jurisdiction to apply

Published On: Thursday, May 4, 2006 | Download File

State's fast-growing Hispanic community seeks greater political voice

Published on Sun, May 01, 2011

Through two recessions, the number of Hispanics in South Carolina spiked more rapidly than anywhere else in the country in a boom that’s remaking sections of the Upstate and could soon put more Latinos into public life.

Business leaders say Hispanic small business owners now make up a key economic driver and that the growth is a likely prelude to more entering politics as the population finds its voice.

All told, the 2010 census counted nearly 236,000 Hispanics in the state, a 148 percent jump from 2000 that accounts for a quarter of the state’s total growth, though that’s partly due to a more rigorous count.

The number of Hispanic children in the state increased by 192 percent, an increase that also led the nation, according to census calculations by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Greenville County has the state’s largest Hispanic population, and it has increased by 156 percent since 2000 to 36,495 or 8 percent of the total population.

Longtime Greenville entrepreneur Ruben Montalvo believes the official census numbers are still “way, way under” the actual Hispanic population, which be believes is closer to the national average of 14 percent of the total Greenville population.

Perhaps 4 percent can vote, however, and when you add the communication challenge for many Hispanics and the national debate over immigration, he said it’s “naïve” to believe the population will be fully represented politically.

The demographic is still nowhere near the size and concentration to trigger minority voting districts under federal civil rights law, but the next likely step is more Hispanics moving into public leadership, said Dean Hybl, executive director of the regional collaborative nonprofit Ten at the Top.

It’s now the interim phase, said Wifredo Leon, publisher of Latino Newspaper, in which the population size has become substantial but hasn’t yet developed politically.Read more...

Published in the Greenville News

BRAND X IN IMMIGRATION CASES

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JULY 2012)

The Supreme Court's Brand X decision allows agencies to offer an interpretation of a statute that differs from a published circuit court decision. An agency may do so, however, only where the underlying statute is ambiguous. This Litigation Issue Page provides an overview of the Supreme Court's holding and identifies circuit court immigration decisions that have applied Brand X and immigration agency decisions that have addressed Brand X.

What is Brand X?|Application of Brand X in Circuit Court Immigration Cases|Discussion of Brand X in Agency Cases and Rules|Court Remands and Brand X

What is Brand X?

Brand X is a Supreme Court decision that deals with whether the courts must defer to an agency interpretation of a statute that conflicts with a circuit court's prior interpretation of a statute. The full case name and citation is National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967 (2005). According to Brand X, in limited circumstances, an agency may disagree with a circuit court decision and offer a different interpretation of a statute. However, it may do so only where the statute is ambiguous. In a situation where the court of appeals' decision is based on the unambiguous reading of the statute (decided under step I of the Chevron analysis), an agency interpretation that is contrary to a prior circuit court decision will not trump the circuit decision in that circuit.Read more...

A Look Through Milan Simic’s Lens

June, 2009
Milan Simic

The Exchange Visitor Program is proud to announce Milan Simic as June’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Milan is featured this month for being the winner of the EVP Photo Contest! The winning entry, Rush Hour in Times Square, is pictured above. Read more...

Criminal immigration prosecution numbers continue to rise

Published on Tue, Jul 05, 2011

The Southern and Middle Federal Judicial Districts of Florida were among the top 10 districts in the nation in the number of criminal immigration prosecutions in the first six months of fiscal year 2011.

New data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University shows that criminal prosecution for illegal reentry was the most commonly recorded lead charge brought by federal prosecutors — accounting for nearly half of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed.

The data shows that the Florida districts have contributed more than 420 criminal immigration prosecutions, while clearly showing that the vast majority of these cases occur in the Southwest border states.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse report notes that individuals who are not criminally prosecuted may be deported administratively. It adds that the vast majority of immigration apprehensions are dealt with via administrative actions such as “removals” and “voluntary departures.”

The data shows a steady rise of criminal prosecutions for illegal reentry, a felony offense, from 2009 through 2011. According to the authors, this charge has surpassed illegal entry as the most common federal immigration prosecution charge.

Commenting on this data, the Immigration Policy Center states that comparing the prosecution for illegal reentry data with prosecution for weapons-related offenses shows that the “federal government is prioritizing immigration enforcement over potentially far more dangerous activities, such as gun smuggling.”

According to the Policy Center, the data shows that while more than 18,500 cases of illegal reentry were prosecuted, “the number of weapons prosecutions continues to decline. In the month of January 2011 there were only 484 new weapons prosecutions—the lowest level since January 2001. Weapons prosecutions are down 7.9% from this time last year, and 28.8% from 2006.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent