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Quick Fact: Immigrants are a vital part of the workforce

More than 1 in 7 workers in the U.S. is an immigrant.

Breaking the law applies equally

Published on Fri, Oct 28, 2011

Alabama politicians told the people that illegal immigrants cost the state $112 million a year, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform. But the Immigration Policy Center also reports that illegal immigrants spend $130 million a year. Why was this not brought out?

 People say they are tired of illegal immigrants taking Alabama jobs, but how many state contracts have been awarded to out-of-state companies?

 How much money and how many teachers, farmers and other workers will lose their jobs? We get so much money per student and the state is already cutting back. How much more will they cut?

 We need to take a minute and look at Detroit and remember that that city once relied heavily on the auto industry; now some parts of the city have empty buildings. The auto industry is wonderful, but how many people do you know who are buying new cars in this economy?

 We need to protect our farmers and help our neighbors. If we are going to be immigration officers, are we going to start paying the Coast Guard and the federal employees, or are we going to let the federal government do it? They are not perfect, but if we start taking matters into our own hands, then we are no different than the immigrants. Breaking the law is the same for everyone, states included.

Published in the The Anniston Star

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Whether you are an educator, librarian, museum curator, immigration attorney, community activist or just someone who is interested in the unique ways immigrants and immigration touch our lives, we believe you have something valuable to add to the immigration dialogue. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get involved in this pivotal topic. If you have an idea or would like to make a suggestion on how we can make immigration more accessible to your community, please email us at teacher@immcouncil.org

Community Grants

The Community Education Center awards educational  grants of $100 to $500 to fund educational projects about immigrants and immigration.  No deadline available on rolling basis.

"Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest

The American Immigration Council is proud to sponsor the annual “Celebrate America” Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.

"Change in Motion" Multimedia Contest

The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce a call for submissions to the 2013 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The competition challenges today’s young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects.

 

E-Verify a bothersome but not insurmountable chore for area businesses

Published on Sat, Jan 14, 2012

 

Steve Hale of Hale Building Company in Anniston only wants to hire legal workers. He wants to comply with all laws.

But to him, the state is just not making it very easy.

Hale Building Company was one of many Alabama businesses with government contracts that were required to enroll with the E-Verify system this month to comply with the state’s immigration law. E-Verify is a free Internet service offered by the federal government that lets companies check the working status of employees by comparing a worker’s name to official records.

Hale said the process to enroll in the system, and just complying with the immigration law in general, has been difficult.

“There is a good bit of time needed to switch over to it,” Hale said. “And there is just a lot of confusion about what is to be done. But we’ve made a very valiant effort to conform to the new law.”

Hale said he does not agree with the way the state has implemented the law, which was passed last year and considered the toughest immigration legislation in the country.

“It seems like politicians could have done a better job to phase things in and explain them,” Hale said. “And we’re being asked to be the police of the industry, but we’re not in business to track these people down.”

Lance Taylor, president of the Taylor Corporation in Oxford, whose company also had to enroll in E-Verify this month, agreed with Hale that much of the immigration law is confusing.

“Every time they come out with something different, the lawyers try to keep us abreast with what we can and can’t do,” Taylor said. “There was just so much confusion when it first came out.”

John Bryan, vice president of the Sunny King Auto Group in Anniston, said his company also enrolled with E-Verify this month as a precautionary measure.Read more...

Published in the The Anniston, AL Star

2006 Winner, Jasminh Duc Schelkopf

My Mom “Thuy”

By Jasminh Duc Schelkopf

International School of Indiana

 

My mother’s name is Thuy. She was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. Her father was a 3-star Lieutenant General for the South Vietnam military and her family had almost everything that you could possibly think of before the civil war of Vietnam. However, when they lost their country, they lost everything. After the war, all they had left was their hope and beliefs.

 

In 1975, North Vietnam won the war. When my mother was only twelve years old (8th Grade), she and her brother and sister were forced to go to Canada. The rest of her family was then scattered around the world in places like France, Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. They all had a very tough time there because they had no support and no money as new immigrants.

 

For seven years after the war, my mother went to school and worked during the evening to help out my grandfather. My mother attended college for only two years because she needed a full time job to support her family. She also went to beauty school, graduated, and worked for the family. Then, having lived in Canada for ten years, my mother realized there was a better future for her in the U.S.A. -- “The Land of Opportunity.” She decided to move to Pennsylvania in 1985.

 

My mother began hard work at a beauty shop near Philadelphia and she worked hard everyday. Her dreams were to “ONE DAY” create her own salon and reach her many dreams. Due to her talents, she developed many clients and made a lot of friends. She saved as much money as she could and even avoided eating out or going to the movies or doing anything fun that might cost money.

 Read more...

Copycat immigration enforcement bill dies in Mississippi Senate

Published on Wed, Apr 04, 2012

An immigration enforcement bill that contains the same type of provisions that have Arizona’s S.B. 1070 poised for a Supreme Court hearing died Tuesday in the Mississippi Senate.

Immigration Works, a national organization “advancing immigration reform that works for all Americans – employers, workers and citizens,” said Tuesday in a press release that “Mississippi isn’t the only state to hesitate on immigration this year. Lawmakers across the country are holding off. Some are waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in its second immigration federalism case in so many years, U.S. v Arizona.”
The Supreme Court will hear arguments about Arizona’s law, known as S.B. 1070, on April 25.

S.B. 1070 has served as a model for other states and has brought to the forefront questions about how states can enforce existing federal immigration laws.

Immigration Works described “what made the difference in Mississippi”: “Business leaders and law enforcement officials spoke out persuasively, expressing concerns about the consequences of HB 488. The employer coalition that opposed the bill included the Mississippi Farm Bureau, the Mississippi Poultry Association, the state chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors and several foresting and nursery groups, as well as blueberry and sweet potato growers.” (Read the full press release below.)

The Immigration Policy Center writes that H.B. 488 “would have, among other things, allowed police officers to determine the immigration status of individuals they ‘reasonably suspect’ are in the country without documents. While HB 488 is dead, however, state House members may still be looking to keep these immigration enforcement measures alive by inserting them in other bills.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

The LAC Docket | Volume I, Issue 2

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

March 1, 2011
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate

OUR WORK

Access to Courts

Federal appeals court rejects jurisdictional bar to post-departure motions to reopen
Pruidze v. Holder, No. 09-3836 (6th Cir. 2011)

In early February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the government’s long-held position that immigration courts lack “jurisdiction” to consider motions to reopen filed by noncitizens who have already left the country. The unanimous decision agrees with the position of the Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIP), which contended in an amicus brief that the decades-old regulation underlying the government’s argument has been superseded by more recent changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). (See press release.) The Sixth Circuit thus became the fourth court to strike down or question the validity of the regulation, which only the Tenth Circuit has expressly found to be consistent with the motion to reopen statute.Read more...

Will a new immigration policy get Latinos to the polls?

Published on Fri, Jun 15, 2012

Mary Giovagnoli, director of the IPC, was quoted in a BBC article discussing the Administration's new policy offering deferred action to "DREAMers," young people brought to this country by their parents and fit certain criteria : Read more...

Published in the BBC

2012 Creative Writing Contest Honorable Mention

Working Toward a Dream

By: Aedra Li

San Francisco, CA


I remember being confused, so many why’s and not enough because’s. Why did we leave Saulita? Where were we going? My parents didn’t say a word to me or my brother. All they said was, “We are going to a better place. You will understand later.” Was a twelve year old girl too young to know the truth? If I got a penny for every question I had, I’d be a millionaire. Then I’d have enough money to go back to Saulita and see my bestfriend, Pablo.

 

During one part of the trip, my brother and I had to hide under a blanket. We heard a gringo speaking, but we couldn’t understand him through the blanket. He asked a lot of questions. After three days, we finally stopped driving. We got out, stretched our aching legs, and looked cautiously around. We saw many other immigrants working in the fields, picking strawberries. In front of us was a house that you could tell used to be white, but was now an ugly cream. It used to be a single-family house, but now it housed for families of five. Everyone that lived in that house had to work in the fields to live there and put food in their families’ mouths. We worked 15 hours a day under the hot California sun. All of our backs ached, all of our hands turned ugly with calluses. As the seasons changed, we moved from farm to farm, but the work was the same. We worked for six hard, intense years harvesting crops that would feed the lucky people who didn’t have to work like us.

 Read more...

Immigrant among first in nation to receive temporary reprieve from deportation

Published on Sat, Nov 03, 2012

IPC statistics were used in this AJC article about Christian Jimenez, one of the first immigrants in the U.S. to receive a reprieve from deportation under Obama's new immigration policy:

Nearly 1 million immigrants across the U.S. are now eligible for deferred action, according to an estimate by the Immigration Policy Center, an arm of the American Immigration Council, an immigrant rights and policy group in Washington. Of those, 24,360 live in Georgia, the eighth-largest total among states.

Published in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution