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Toward A Better Life

Author:  Peter Coan

Coan's collection of 'new beginning' stories captures the spirit of new Americans.  Each story frames a different period of history but the drive, dreams, passion and pride of the subjects hasn't changed over time. Immigrants often leave so much behind in order to bring so much forward.  The author organized the stories by decade and included a background of each era.  With the perfect dose of history the book moves forward and the readers will feel like they get to know the storytellers. This book is the perfect companion to any educator who is teacing their students about immigration to the United States because it puts both the historic and contemporary issues of immigration into perspective.

Year released: 2011
Grades 7-Adult

Democrats Fight Back on Immigration

Published on Thu, Jul 29, 2010

Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the more liberal American Immigration Council, countered that for some conservatives, "it's never enough." Over the last seven years, Johnson said, the U.S. has quintupled its number of border agents and quadrupled its immigration enforcement budget -- "but the appetite for increasing immigration enforcement-only policy seems to be never-ending. I can only conclude that it's because constantly raising the bar on how much we need to spend and what constitutes secure borders at this point seems like an excuse for not doing anything else."

Published in the Atlantic

Administrative Procedures Act (APA)

District courts have jurisdiction to review a wide-variety of immigration decisions that arise outside of removal proceedings, including challenges to denials of visa petitions. These cases most often assert a claim under the APA, which permits individuals to sue the government for unlawful agency action. While the INA places some restrictions on review of discretionary decisions in non-removal cases, it does not strip district courts of all jurisdiction. The LAC seeks to ensure that district courts exercise jurisdiction over these APA cases to the fullest extent possible.



Ngassem v. Chertoff, No. 05-0584-cv (2d Cir. amicus brief filed Apr. 16, 2008) (case settled without a decision from the court). The LAC filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner, arguing that the district court had jurisdiction over the denial of an asylee relative petition.

Jama v. DHS, et al., No. 13-4192 (6th Cir. amicus brief submitted Dec. 4, 2013).  The LAC filed an amicus brief arguing that the district court erred when it found that USCIS’ decision terminating the plaintiff’s refugee status was not “final” for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act because the termination decision could not be appealed or raised in removal proceedings.  Additionally, the LAC argues that the restrictions on judicial review found in the INA do not apply to a district court action, such as this one, that is entirely unrelated to removal proceedings.Read more...

Educate, Celebrate, and Empower: Build an Inclusive School Community

The one-week immigration community outreach project and lesson plan meets three objectives: 1) to educate students on the experiences of the immigrant population; 2) to celebrate and welcome immigrant students; and 3) to empower all students to implement a social justice project. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Middle School 6-8 and High School 9-12

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Is immigration an Ohio problem? Numbers say no

Published on Mon, Aug 30, 2010

The Immigration Policy Center, which is on the opposite end of the immigration debate from the federation, argues that their inclusion as a cost of illegal immigration is misleading.

"They are U.S. citizens and denying them education, health care, financial assistance, etc.. would put them at a disadvantage compared to other U.S. citizens," spokeswoman Michele Waslin wrote in an e-mail. "In financial terms, it could probably cost the state much more in the long run to have a population of poorly educated, unhealthy citizens."

Published in the Lancaster Eagle Gazette

“Admission” and Adjustment of Status

The Council has filed amicus briefs addressing if and when an adjustment of status can constitute an “admission” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA defines the terms “admitted” and “admission” as the lawful entry of a noncitizen following inspection and authorization by an immigration officer. However, the Board has held that adjustment of status from within the United States also constitutes an “admission.” The issue has arisen in cases involving the attempted removal of noncitizens for the commission of certain crimes within five years after “the date of admission” (INA & 237(a)(2)(A)(i)), and in cases involving waivers of inadmissibility under INA & 212(h), which in some circumstances are unavailable to noncitizens who have previously been “admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”


Board of Immigration Appeals

Should America's illegal immigrants be offered legal status?

Published on Tue, Oct 12, 2010

Americans are justifiably frustrated that 11 million unauthorized immigrants now live in the United States. Yet the majority of them would have preferred to come legally; there was simply no way under current immigration laws. Moreover, most of them are working, paying taxes, and buying US goods. Other than lacking legal status, most are law-abiding residents. Many are married to US citizens, with children who are citizens.

The problem is that they are often willing to accept low wages and poor working conditions, which creates unfair competition for US workers and gives unscrupulous employers an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers.

We could continue on the same path we have pursued for two decades: spending more money on enforcement and passing increasingly harsh laws in an attempt to drive unauthorized immigrants out. But despite the billions of dollars we’ve spent building walls, hiring border patrol agents, and detaining and deporting hundreds of thousands, the unauthorized population hasn’t decreased significantly.

Instead of “enforcement only,” we should offer unauthorized immigrants a chance to come forward, register, pay a fine, learn English, pass background checks, and legalize their status.

Legalizing them would inject a new level of certainty into their lives, allowing them to invest more in themselves and their communities. Legalized immigrants will earn more, pay more taxes, consume more, buy houses, start businesses, and contribute more to the economy.

Americans want real solutions to the problem of unauthorized immigration that are practical and fair. Enforcement alone has failed. We need comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization program.

– Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst, American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center

Published in the The Christian Science Monitor

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 10

This issue covers a Seventh Circuit decision holding that the BIA abused its discretion in denying a continuance of an "arriving alien" seeking adjustment; a lawsuit filed by Fragomen, Del Ray, Bernsen Loewy LLP against the Department of Labor; a Second Circuit decision examining the scope of APA review; and a favorable First Circuit EAJA decision in a naturalization delay case.

Published On: Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Download File