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American Immigration Council v. DHS and CBP

Cover letter dated 10/12/12 from Shari Suzuki, Chief, FOIA Appeals, Policy and Litigation Branch, CBP, describing renewed searches by Office of Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations, which were asked to search “every division, port, sector and station,” and indicating that 60 pages of responsive records were being released.

Key Documents:

Pages 1-2:  CBP memo (7/30/03) re: attorney representation during the inspection process.  8 CFR 292.5(b) governs primary and secondary inspections at ports of entry, as well as deferred inspections, “which are the continuation of a secondary inspection conducted at an onward office.”  Supervisory inspector may allow an attorney to attend a deferred inspection interview if he or she acts as “an observer and consultant to the applicant.”

Pages 8-9:  Memo re: access to counsel in St. Albans Area Port in response to AIC/AILA letter alleging denial of access to counsel (at pages 10-18).  Confirms that 7/30/03 CBP memo (at pages 1-2) is still in effect.  No official policy to bar counsel from L and TN adjudications or from deferred inspection.  Sets forth guidelines for legal professionals at ports of entry.Read more...

Georgia immigration reform bill stresses growers

Published on Tue, May 31, 2011

Atlanta (CNN) -- It's as dependable as the turning of the seasons itself. Every spring, migrant workers -- many of them by all accounts illegal immigrants -- work their way north picking fruits and vegetables, first in Florida, then in Georgia, then farther north.

But this year, growers say, many of those workers are bypassing Georgia, concerned about provisions in a new state law that imposes tough penalties for using fake work documents and allows police broader latitude to check immigration status. The bill is modeled on similar, and controversial, legislation in Arizona.

The result, the growers say, is a scramble to get fruits and vegetables off the ground before they rot.

"The reports we're getting back from our growers is that they are getting between 30 and 50 percent of the work crews that they need to get the crops in," said Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, which represents mostly medium- and large-size operations in the state's $1.1 billion fruit and vegetable business.

Growers say that the improving economy and a consequent slight rebound in construction could be siphoning some of the mostly Hispanic workforce they usually depend on. Some workers likely went home as the long recession dragged on, they say.

But the primary reason workers aren't coming to Georgia, growers say, is the legislation.

"I know a lot of crew leaders," said Jason Clark Berry of Blueberry Farms of Georgia. "Everyone I've talked to from Vidalia to Baxley, where my farm is, down through Homerville has said the exact same thing. People are afraid to come."Read more...

Published in the CNN

Court Affirms Ninth Circuit Ruling in Citizenship Case

Flores-Villar v. United States, 564 U. S. ___, 131 S. Ct. 2312, (2011)

The Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in a case involving whether two former citizenship provisions in the INA violate equal protection. These sections imposed a five-year residence requirement, after the age of fourteen, on U.S. citizen fathers -- but not on U.S. citizen mothers -- before they may transmit citizenship to a child born out of wedlock abroad to a noncitizen. Read more...

Arizona’s State-Owned Mexico Border Fence Attracts Donors From Across U.S.

Published on Tue, Aug 02, 2011

Arizona, whose immigration law sparked a lawsuit by the Obama administration and national boycotts, aims to collect tens of millions of dollars in private donations to build a border fence with inmate labor.

The plan, created by lawmakers and signed into law by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April, would turn donations over to a group of Republican legislators, political appointees and four county sheriffs who have criticized U.S. efforts to combat illegal immigration. They say the fence is needed to stop an “invasion” that may include violent criminals and Middle Eastern terrorists disguised as Mexicans.

“Arizona once more has to step in and do a job the federal government won’t do,” Republican state Senator Steve Smith, who sponsored the bill, said in a telephone interview. He said he believes the Obama administration has failed to secure the border and has now given up. “It is a massive invasion on our social and economic systems. Nobody can deny that.”

The campaign is ratcheting up rhetoric between the state and the federal government over border security. It is modeled after a similar effort by Brewer that taps into the same nationwide discontent over U.S. policy to pay for the defense of Arizona’s immigration law. The campaign, Keep Arizona Safe, has raised more than $3.8 million from about 45,000 donations since June 2010, said Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Brewer.

$50 Million Goal

For the border fence, more than $146,000 has been collected from about 3,000 private donors in 50 states since fundraising began July 20. At least 568 were from Arizona, 329 from California, 182 from Texas, 173 from Florida, 88 from New York and 42 from New Jersey. The goal is to raise a minimum of $50 million, said Smith.Read more...

Published in the Bloomberg

The J-1 in American Happy Hour

A Special Announcement for All J-1 Participants:

The International Exchange Center and the American Council on International Personnel are hosting a joint happy hour event in Manhattan, NY.

The event is a chance for you to connect with other J-1s living in the Greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area and share some of the experiences that are unique to exchange visitors currently living in the United States.
We are all very excited to meet some of the participants in our programs and to hear about your adventures, so please come and join us for our first meet up of the New Year!

EVENT:
The J-1 in America Happy Hour!

DATE&TIME:
Friday, 1.18.2013 @ 6:00PM - 8:00PM

LOCATION:
Jack Doyle’s
246 West 35th Street NY, NY 10001 (MAP)
(www.jackdoylesnyc.com)

There will be food, many opportunities to share your stories, and hopefully lots of laughter and great conversation all around. If you plan to attend, please send a short email to J1Program@immcouncil.org so we can get an idea of how many people are coming.

Thank you for being part of the International Exchange Center and we can’t wait to see you there!


-The International Exchange Center Staff

Quick Fact: U.S. Citizen children are supported by unautorized immigrants

There are 4 million U.S. citizen children living in mixed status families with at least one parent who is an unauthorized immigrant.

LGBT Couples Facing Increased Immigration Tensions

Published on Mon, Oct 10, 2011

CHICAGO—According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are approximately 36,000 same sex, bi-national couples living in the United States. These couples have to reach out to alternative methods such as student visas or other legal resources in order to remain together.

 Kevin Goodman is associate dean at St. James Cathedral, in Chicago. He met Anton Pulung-Hartanto, who is originally from Indonesia, at Disney world in 2000.

“I went to Disney with a youth group, to try to show them that one could have a religious experience in a place like that, and that’s where I met my partner”, said Goodman at a forum on LGBT Immigrant Rights held at the Adler School of Professional Psychology on September 27th.

Pulung-Hartanto worked at Disney, in Florida, as a cultural host with a Q-1 visa, which is provided specifically for cultural exchange programs.

They have been together for 12 years and plan on marrying next spring in Vermont, said Goodman.

The Final Option

Goodman is from New Orleans and grew up tied to the All Saints’ River Ridge Episcopal church. He studied communication and worked as a television producer. But he’s always been interested in Asian cultures, which is why he traveled to Xi’an in the Republic of China and has taken Asian Studies courses. He also studied in the theological seminary in New York, where his work with indigent youth and people with HIV began.

When he arrived in Chicago he worked with The Night Ministry program, specifically with indigent youth in the Lakeview neighborhood. He was also working with the St. Matthew church in Evanston through the Ravenswood Community Services agency and now with St. James Cathedral.

When Pulung-Hartanto’s Q-1 Visa expired, he applied for a Student I-20 visa which allowed him another 10 years in this country. He studied culinary arts at Saint Augustine College.Read more...

Published in the New American Media

American Immigration Council Jobs

FULL TIME STAFF:

  • Policy Director
    The Policy Director leads the research and policy team’s efforts to provide lawmakers, policymakers, advocates, the media, and the general public with accurate and timely information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy in U.S. society, refuting myths about immigration and immigrants and working to foster consensus that reform is needed. 
  • Senior Staff Attorney
    The Senior Staff Attorney will pursue impact litigation and advocacy efforts on a broad spectrum of issues, which may include the right to counsel, family detention and border enforcement.
Read more...