Roberts, a journalist by trade and talented story teller by passion, paints the lives of 13 families by retelling their stories in a way that captures the essence of their journeys to the United States as well as their journeys to becoming Americans. Roberts eloquently breaks down many of the myths surrounding immigrants by sharing stories of men, women and children who had to leave so much behind by emigrating. The book is divided into sections, The Survivors, The International Entrepreneurs, The Business Owners, The Professionals, and The Women. The characters and their stories give many fresh perspectives on the issue of immigration.
With Democrats condemning House Republicans for slashing funding for border security in their budget, the American Independent reports on two new policy briefs that argue that increased U.S. funding and personnel for enforcement of the border with Mexico are proving totally ineffective at actually securing the border.
The National Immigration Forum’s report observes that despite hyperbolic political rhetoric to the contrary, Border Patrol funding has been increasing dramatically since 2005, rising at an average of $300 million per year. Under the combined efforts of the Bush and Obama administrations, the Border Patrol now has over 21,000 personnel, twice the amount they had in 2000, with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) providing an additional 3,000 agents at the border. The reallocation of National Guard troops to prevent the feared “spillover effects” from Mexican drug violence costs $300 million every year. This in spite of the fact that “crime rates were already down in the border region” before the National Guard was deployed, with border cities like El Paso, Texas and San Diego, Calif. boasting some of the lowest crime rates in the country. Absurdly, the Obama administration’s unprecedented campaign to deport as many law-abiding immigrants as possible is costing the taxpayer $23,000 per immigrant. Read more...
The budget recently approved by Congress to keep the federal government running through the 2011 fiscal year includes a series of cuts to major federal immigration agencies that will impact immigrants and immigration programs over the next year.
According to the American Immigration Council:
The bar on spending for immigrant integration programs, present in the initial budget passed by the House (H.R. 1), was not present in the final 2011 budget (H.R. 1473) signed by the President. Immigrant integration funding is a great investment for the U.S.—the costs are minimal, and the benefits can be huge. If well-integrated, immigrants are entrepreneurs and innovators who can help revitalize communities.
The council adds that “the 2011 budget cuts U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by more than a third ($87.7 million) from 2010 funding, whereas the initial budget would have increased USCIS funding by $41.2 million.”
Citizenship and Immigration Services is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
The Council also states that “immigration enforcement remains the biggest part of the budget, despite what restrictionists might have you think. The 2011 budget appropriates $8.2 billion for Customs and Border Protection salaries and expenses, $574.2 million for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology, and $5.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement salaries and expenses.”
Earlier this year, the National Immigration Forum and the Immigration Policy Center — the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council — released reports that state that as part of broad immigration reform, border security and enforcement spending has to be shifted to avoid the ineffective use of billions of taxpayer dollars.
This issue covers the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari in an immigration case involving whether a second drug possession offense is an aggravated felony, a new LAC resource on motions to suppress, favorable court of appeals’ decisions on detention and crimes of violence, and res judicata in removal proceedings.
America's red and blue states are increasingly going in exactly opposite directions on the issue of illegal immigration – a testament to how difficult finding middle ground has become on the federal level.
Earlier this month, Alabama followed Georgia and, most famously, Arizona in passing sweeping anti-illegal-immigration legislation. In many respects, Alabama's is the most comprehensive bill of the three, forcing schools to report how much they're spending to educate kids of illegal immigrants, for example.
That same week, however, New York State followed the lead of Illinois and opted out of the federal Secure Communities program, which is designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants in US jails who are convicted of certain felonies. They have criticized the program as casting too broad a net, deporting even "busboys and nannies." Several days later, Massachusetts also opted out, and California could be next.
As Washington has punted on federal immigration reform, states have become the laboratories to test new approaches. The picture that is emerging, though, is one of a nation divided against itself on the issue.
In the broadest terms, states with a long history of assimilating foreign-born migrants are largely defending the ideal of the United States as a "nation of immigrants," legal or illegal. Meanwhile, states that have before been largely isolated from immigration patterns are now taking a "the law is the law" approach.
The result is a pattern that roughly fits the red-blue divide with the South and inner West opposed by the Northeast and West Coast. But the patchwork of immigration policy could have a silver lining: As states struggle with the issue, their efforts could provide starting points for more meaningful federal reform.Read more...
In contrast to the criminal system, virtually no safeguards exist in removal proceedings for respondents with mental disabilities. Each year, untold numbers of noncitizens with mental disabilities are ordered deported without access to counsel or any assessment of their cognitive capabilities. The issue has taken on greater urgency following extensive reports of the challenges that immigrants with mental disabilities face in removal proceedings, as well as alarming accounts of the mistaken deportation of U.S. citizens with mental disabilities. This page contains summaries of recent and ongoing cases regarding the rights of noncitizens with mental disabilities.
The month of September brings the Health&Fitness issue of J-1 JOURNEYS. In this edition, we answer the important question, "What Is My J-1 Visa?", give advice on staying fit at the office, and talk about how to approach your supervisors for direct feedback.