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New argument that immigrant reform vital to economic recovery

Published on Sun, Nov 13, 2011

Critics of undocumented immigration and of granting a path to citizenship to the undocumented currently living in this country often argue that immigrants are a drain on our country’s resources, and the U.S. can simply not afford to continue to support an illicit population that thrives off of government-funded services and programs. However, an ever-increasing number of studies show that the cost of immigrants to this country is wildly inflated, and in fact the contributions the immigrant population makes to the U.S. outweigh their expense.

On Sunday, Nashville newspaper The Tennesseean published an op/ed by Ted Rayburn which put a new spin on the argument that reforming the U.S. immigration system would benefit the economy. Rayburn argues that in an increasingly competitive global market society, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind, as the world’s highly skilled workers are moving en masse to countries with growing economies, such as Brazil and India. He concludes that if the U.S. does not revise its immigration laws to allow these skilled individuals to legally come to the U.S. and work, we will be at a perpetual international disadvantage.

The cogent arguments made by Rayburn regarding the importance of skilled immigrant labor in this country, however, does not preclude the similarly vital importance of unskilled immigrant laborers to the U.S. economy.

In Arizona, recent changes in the state’s immigration laws have illustrated the vital necessity of flexible migrant labor to local industry. As this labor has become increasingly scarce since the passage of SB 1070, many Arizona industries, most notably agriculture, have experienced the negative effects of a worker shortage.Read more...

Published in the The Examiner

Quick Fact: The real cost of a border fence

A fence along all 2,000 miles of the southwest border would cost at least $2.5 billion to build, plus anywhere from $33 billion to $140 billion to maintain over the following two-and-a-half decades.

Report: Immigrants make up large part of California work force

Published on Tue, Jan 17, 2012

More than one in four California residents are foreign born, but almost 46 percent of them — 4.6 million people — are naturalized citizens eligible to vote, according to a new report by the Immigration Policy Center.

There were almost 10.2 million immigrants in the state in 2010, U.S. Census data show. That’s 27.2 percent of the population.

Immigrants comprise more than a third of the California labor force, figuring prominently in economics sector such as agriculture, manufacturing and services.

They pay roughly $30 billion in federal taxes, $5.2 billion in state income taxes and $4.6 billion in sales taxes each year, according to state-specific fact sheets compiled by the pro-immigration policy center from a variety of studies in recent years.

Unauthorized immigrants in California paid $2.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2010 and most native-born Californians have experienced wage gains from the presence of immigrants in the state’s labor market, research compiled by center show.

Click here for more numbers on immigrant contributions to the California economy at the Immigration Policy Center website.

Published in the Sacramento Business Journal

2008 Winner, Cameron Busby

 

“America is a Refuge”

By Cameron Busby

Tuscon, Arizona

 

 A small child holds out a hoping hand,

a crumb of bread,

or even a penny just to be fed

Hoping America is a refuge.

 

A child weeps over her mother's lifeless body,

the tears streaming down her face

Praying America is a refuge.

 

A child's torn sock blows in the wind,

as a bomb explodes the tiny sock catches a flame and begins to

burn to ash

Can America be a refuge?

 

A thirsty father and son seeking shade from the blazing sun,

all they want is a job

and for America to be a refuge.

 

America can be a refuge for you.

It can be a refuge for me.

I am glad that America is a refuge for all.

 

The Hispanic Factor

Published on Thu, Apr 05, 2012

President Obama's inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election. Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting, suggests an alternate narrative, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to show up in support of the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado — the election could go to the Republican candidate, likely to be former Governor Mitt Romney.

Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with its March 5th cover story, "Yo Decido," written by journalist Michael Scherer. The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. is Hispanic, and most Hispanics live in the U.S. legally. They are fully integrated into communities. There is a prevailing assumption that, because a majority of Hispanics are Catholic, they should be naturally allied with more conservative candidates — particularly the two Roman Catholics still in the Republican race as of this writing, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

While the Republicans appear to have learned from some earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain's jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns, and history. They don't seem to understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don't seem to really care.Read more...

Published in the Memphis Flyer

Practice Advisories by Topic

LAC Practice Advisories provide in depth discussion and analysis of select substantive and procedural issues in immigration law. The Practice Advisories are intended to assist lawyers and do not substitute for individual legal advice supplied by a lawyer familiar with a client's case. View advisories by date.

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) | BIA & Immigration Court Procedures | Business Immigration |
Detention | EnforcementFederal Court Review | FOIA | Immigration Benefits |
Motions to Reopen | Relief from Removal | Voluntary Departure

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

Failure to Appeal to the AAO: Does it Bar all Federal Court Review of the Case? (July 22, 2004). This Practice Advisory discusses whether and how a person can get review of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decision in federal court if he or she did not appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The advisory addresses the Supreme Court case Darby v. Cisneros, holding that a plaintiff is not required to exhaust non-mandatory administrative remedies in certain situations, and how it may apply to cases involving appeals to the AAO.Read more...

Why the Supreme Court ruling on immigration is a clear rebuke to Arizona

Published on Tue, Jun 26, 2012

IPC's staff lawyer Ben Winograd published an Opinion Piece for the Christian Science Monitor about the Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's immigration law: Read more...

Published in the The Christian Science Monitor

The LAC Docket | Volume II Issue 2

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

March 23, 2012
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate

OUR WORK

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 Access to Counsel


FOIA Lawsuit Prompts USCIS to Turn Over Documents about Counsel; CBP Claims to Have Few Responsive Records

AIC v. DHS and USCIS
, No. 1:11-cv-01971 (D.D.C. filed Nov. 8, 2011)
AIC v. DHS and CBP
, No. 1:11-cv-01972 (D.D.C. filed Nov. 8, 2011)Read more...

Read AIC Board Member Matthew Hirsch's Op-Ed on the Case for Immigration Reform

Published on Sat, Dec 08, 2012

American Immigration Council Board Member Matthew Hirsch published a piece on the need for immigration reform in the Patriot News on the PennLive website.  Here's an excerpt:

"Since the election, renewed attention has been focused on the issue of immigration reform and, like boxers circling in the ring, opposing sides seem to be inching toward some kind of compromise. The Republican leadership recognizes that shifting demographics helped President Obama win re-election, and it does not want to be the party of 'No' on immigration.

Both parties also understand that Congress is seen by the public as a pit of petty partisanship, and they view immigration as an issue that has the potential for a bipartisan bill they all can claim as their own.

These are good reasons for compromise on immigration, but there are at least five other good reasons for supporting immigration reform, which includes legalization of the undocumented."

Published in the Patriot News