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Many states look to Arizona’s SB 1070 as a model for new immigration legislation

Published on Tue, Dec 28, 2010

State legislators in 25 states (see list below) planned to introduce SB 1070 clones in upcoming legislative sessions, according to Immigration Impact. Of course, not all — or even most — of these laws will pass. However, Republicans picked up the most seats in the modern era of state legislatures in 2010 — more than Republicans did in 1994 or Democrats in the post-Watergate wave of 1974. Republicans hold both houses and the governorship in fifteen states (sixteen including Nebraska’s unicameral legislature).

Published in the American Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 22

This issue covers litigation related to ICE raids at Swift plants, post-Lopez motions, developments in Acosta and Padilla-Caldera cases, challenges to Matter of Blake, and technical support from the National Immigration Project.

Published On: Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Download File

Northern California Celebrates America

2011 Winners Announced in Bay Area

Published on Wed, Jun 01, 2011

Angela Yang, 11, Pacifica resident and student in San Francisco, won with her story of an alien's first impression of the United States

Published in the Pacifica Patch

Appointed Counsel for Children

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For children facing deportation, appointed counsel helps ensure a fair and just immigration process.

Huw McDonald Lends a Hand

November, 2009
Huw McDonald Lends a Hand

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Huw McDonald as this month’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. Read more...

Unauthorized immigrants pay billions in taxes

Published on Mon, Apr 18, 2011

To mark the tax-filing deadline, the Immigration Policy Center released a report on Monday estimating that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes last year, including $807 million in Florida.

The Florida total includes $69 million in property tax and $737 million in sales tax. Unauthorized immigrants also pay income taxes, but Florida has no state income tax.

The report compiled by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimated taxes by households headed by unauthorized immigrants in 2010.

"These figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States," said the Immigration Policy Center, a research group based in Washington. "In spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs."

Some advocates for stricter immigration enforcement say that unauthorized foreign residents drain states and communities, in part by crowding schools and public health facilities. The report released Monday was designed to counter those complaints.

Researchers and politicians, meanwhile, continue to debate whether illegal immigration helps or hurts the economy of states like Florida. Immigrants pay taxes and provide labor while also tapping public resources.

Published in the Florida Sun Sentinel

Excerpts from Artesia Declarations

Highlights from Declarations and Links to PDF's are below:

When [my client] discussed her fear of gangs in El Salvador, the asylum officer seemed impatient and began to rush through the interview.

Every woman I met was forced to care for her children and discuss her case simultaneously.… Mothers were forced to recount very traumatic and upsetting details of rape, violence and kidnapping in the presence of their young children. Women were forced to attend court hearings in front of immigration judges with their children running around the room.

Each and every applicant that I met with or represented during an official proceeding with an Immigration Judge or asylum officer had a child or children with them at the time, often in their laps. Many of the children were sick, and the mothers were often required to recount gruesome acts of violence, sometimes rape, while holding or trying to care for their children. There was no one to care for the children or any place that they could be left while these proceedings were taking place.

In every case I reviewed where the detainee requested to speak with an attorney, the asylum officer merely asked, "Do you want to continue or not?" In none of the interview summaries I reviewed did the asylum officer state that the person could postpone the interview in order to obtain legal representation.Read more...

Our economy needs illegal immigrants

Published on Sun, Jun 12, 2011

By STEPHEN M. NeSMITH JR.

As an immigration attorney, I highly favor immigrants coming to this country legally. There is no question illegal immigration is a major issue in this country and the United States needs a strong enforcement policy. But no matter what side of the debate you're on, Alabama's immigration law will only worsen our already struggling economy.

The authors of House Bill 56 claim illegal immigration causes economic hardship. Naturally, during tough economic times, we want to blame someone else for our problems. Illegal immigrants are an obvious target since there are negative consequences to their presence, such as increased education and medical costs. But what I don't understand is why my fellow Republicans ignore the benefits they bring.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates illegal aliens cost Alabama $112 million. However, the Immigration Policy Center estimates illegal aliens in Alabama pay a total of $130 million in taxes (personal, property and sales). So, whatever "economic hardship" illegal aliens cause by their presence, they easily offset with the money they pay back into the system.

We are a nation of laws and must enforce those laws. But the hard truth we must face is, at this moment (and until we fix the broken immigration system), our economy is dependent on illegal immigrants.

It is simple supply and demand. Before an enforcement-centric policy would be prudent, we must ensure we have a sufficient supply of workers to meet our needs. The governor of Georgia realized this, albeit too late.Read more...

Published in the Alambam.com