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New Americans in the North Star State

Published on Thu, Oct 15, 2009

The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an essential part of Minnesota's economy and tax base. As workers, consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As the state works towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political landscape of the North Star State.

Published in the Reuters

American Immigration Council Applauds DOMA Decision

Released on Wed, Jun 26, 2013

 For Immediate ReleaseAmerican Immigration Council Applauds DOMA Decision June 26, 2013 Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court unequivocally affirmed that there is no legitimate reason for the federal government to discriminate against married couples on account of their sexual orientation.  The Justices struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, noting in their decision, “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.” Today’s historic decision means that our immigration system must stop treating gay and lesbian families differently than other families.   For far too long, gay and lesbian U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents have been barred from obtaining immigration status for their noncitizen spouses.  As a result, families have been separated and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents have been deported from the United States.  President Obama issued an immediate directive to the Attorney General to “work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.” The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano also issued a statement to press confirming that DHS is “working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, [to] implement today's decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws."“Far too often, exceptions have been carved out to exclude immigrants from basic rights and protections. We are pleased that the Administration has made it clear it intends for this important decision to apply fully to the immigration system” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. Read more...

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Benjamin Johnson Discusses the Economic Benefits of CIR

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

No one ever said legislating "change" would be easy. With Congress mired in health care, cap and trade and more, why not take on another issue that has vexed it for years? Take immigration. Ben Johnson of the American Immigration Council says the stars have aligned for reform.

Published in the NPR

District Court Rules Grant of TPS Is an Admission for Adjustment of Status Purposes

Released on Thu, Jun 05, 2014

Washington, D.C.The American Immigration Council welcomes last week’s ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, which held that a noncitizen’s grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) qualifies as “inspection and admission” into the United States. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, inspection and admission are eligibility requirements for lawful permanent residence (LPR). Jesus Ramirez, the plaintiff in Ramirez v Dougherty, was granted TPS in 2001 following the devastating earthquake in El Salvador, his home country, and has renewed this status ever since. He now seeks to become an LPR on the basis of his marriage to a United States citizen. The American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, and subsequently NWIRP became counsel for the plaintiff.Read more...

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Studies Show Immigration Reform Could Give a Boost to the Economy

Published on Fri, Mar 12, 2010

Add to the immigration debate following yesterday’s White House meetings a few recently published studies that could prove to be useful in pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.

One study shows that comprehensive immigration reform could add $1.5 trillion to the country’s GDP over the next 10 years by increasing consumption and investment. Comprehensive immigration reform, here, is defined as a plan that “creates a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants in the United States and establishes flexible limits on permanent and temporary immigration that respond to changes in U.S. labor demand in the future.” According to this Center for American Progress and Immigration Policy Center study, comprehensive reform would also boost wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.

 

Published in the The Washington Independent

Homeland Security Secretary Announces Changes to Family Detention Policies

Released on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Washington D.C. - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson released a statement on plans to make “substantial changes” to the agency’s family detention policies. The following is a statement, in response, from Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.

“The United States has a long, proud history of being a beacon of hope and refuge to people fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. The act of coming to the United States to seek protection is not illegal or criminal. Not only do our laws ensure that those fleeing persecution may apply for asylum, but the United States has entered into treaties with other countries to ensure the protection of refugees. Offering protections to those who arrive here seeking asylum is who we are as a nation. Yet, for the past year, the Obama Administration has treated thousands of women and children asylum seekers arriving at our borders as criminals. They have been locked up in remote detention facilities run by private prison corporations, at great financial and human cost. Through our legal work on the ground, we have witnessed first-hand how little due process and compassion is being afforded to the women and children in our care.
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Steve King: Immigrants Aren’t ‘Real Americans If They Love Taxes’

Published on Fri, Apr 16, 2010

This week, crowds of peaceful immigration reform supporters gathered outside post offices in several cities bearing signs with slogans stating “We Love Taxes!” and “Viva Taxes!” in an effort to demonstrate that there are millions of undocumented immigrants who are eager for a chance to be brought into American civil society and pay taxes as part of their civic duty. Advocates also submitted thousands of blank tax forms to federal lawmakers that could’ve been filled out to by undocumented immigrants who have the capacity to generate billions in tax revenue.

Published in the Think Progress

Winners of the 19th Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest

Released on Tue, May 17, 2016

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the American Immigration Council’s 19th Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest is Eliana Jaffee from the Pardes Jewish School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Eliana’s poem was chosen from among thousands of entries nationwide. Her poem “Why We’re Here” describes America as a place of freedom, hope, and refuge for new arrivals. Eliana writes:

 

That morning when the sun had risen,

my shores, my seas,

my hopes freed from prison,

the poor,

the rich, and

all the forgiven came to me.

 

Go,

ask that girl to compare,

a life of despair to a breath of free air,

ask her why are you here,

not somewhere over there?

 

To read the entire piece and the other winning pieces, click here.Read more...

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Calling All 5th Graders

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Join the National Creative Writing Contest to explore America as a nation of immigrants and win prizes!

Immigration Blueprint

Published on Fri, May 07, 2010

Lawmakers in at least nine states are using Arizona’s immigration law as a test case to craft similar legislation, ratcheting up the pressure on the federal government to act before states enact a patchwork of laws that undercut federal authority.

Arizona’s S1070 opened a door that national anti-illegal immigration advocates had been pushing against for years. Groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform and its legal wing, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, have sought for years to create model legislation on illegal immigration that would withstand legal challenges and create a blueprint for states and cities that wanted to follow suit.

Published in the Arizona Capitol Times