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Guest commentary: Michigan should avoid divisive immigration laws

Published on Thu, Jul 14, 2011

Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday will make his first major policy speech on immigration. Snyder already has signaled his opposition to an Arizona-style immigration bill, saying any such measure would further divide our state. Here's why that's a wise position.

Our immigration system has no capacity to deal with some 12 million undocumented people already in this country. Deportation is tearing families apart, and a backlog in processing applications creates agonizingly long wait times. Reports of overzealous immigration enforcement -- including stakeouts at a Detroit elementary school -- are only the most recent examples of why we must overhaul this system. But fair, humane legislation demands a comprehensive approach from the White House, not the statehouse.

Immigration bills were introduced in 23 states last year. At least five states have enacted "show me your papers" laws. Arizona blazed the path in 2010 with a sweeping measure that makes it a crime for people to fail to carry immigration documents, and gives police broad powers to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

A blatantly unconstitutional Alabama law goes even further, requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents, authorizing police to demand papers during traffic stops, and even criminalizing Alabama residents for day-to-day interactions with undocumented individuals.

Such patchwork, state-by-state measures virtually guarantee the proliferation of racial profiling -- an issue with which the Arab-American community is all too familiar.Read more...

Published in the Detroit Free Press

Remand Rule

Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2006)Read more...

  • In a per curiam decision dated April 17, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case for further consideration of the asylum claim.

America Through Sonja Haenzelmann’s Lense

November, 2010

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Sonja Haenzelmann 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. Sonja is also the winner of last month’s photo contest on our Facebook page!

Read more...

Going Beyond The Politics Of Discretion In The American Immigration System

Published on Fri, Sep 02, 2011

The ability of whether the President can use discretion in the immigration arena has become the flavor of the month. The announcement by the DHS on August 18, 2001 under which 300,000 individuals who are low priority can hope to have their cases closed and obtain work authorization was welcomed. The details about how this policy will play out are nicely explained in a Legal Action Center advisory. Although many were pleasantly surprised by this policy, within days of the announcement even advocates for immigration reform have become skeptical about whether this policy will have a dramatic and far reaching impact. Obama supporters have even gone so far to accuse the Obama administration for mere window dressing in order to keep certain voters on his side in the next elections. Commentators such as Dan Kowalski also justifiably feel that ICE personnel will continue to ignore this policy, and choose not to exercise their discretion favorably.

While the President has his critics within the pro-immigration camp regarding his new announcement on discretion, the attempt by immigration restrictionists in Congress to blunt the June 17, 2011 Morton Memo on prosecutorial discretion when viewed in a larger context repeats an old pattern. For instance, Congressmen Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Senator Vitter have proposed a most unusual piece of legislation suitably called the HALT Act (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act) that will suspend all of the Administration’s discretionary relief until January 21, 2013, which is the day after the next Presidential inauguration.Read more...

Published in the Immigration Daily

UPDATE: IEC Comments on Proposed DS 7002 (July 2012)

July 05, 2012-- The International Exchange Center has responded to the second round of proposed revisions to the DS 7002. Read our full comments to the Department of State here.

American Heritage Editor on ‘Anchor Baby’ Definition: ‘We Were Wrong’

Published on Wed, Dec 07, 2011

Recently, controversy erupted over the American Heritage dictionary’s definition of “anchor baby” as a neutral term. Jorge Rivas gave us an overview earlier this week. The act prompted immigrant rights advocates to reach out for institutional change. Here’s how the dictionary’s new edition originally defined “anchor baby:”

Anchor Baby, n. A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”

Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center pushed back on the term’s definition, acknowledging that it’s politically loaded language and not neutral. She’s right. The term is racially charged and hurtful, much like the term “illegal immigrant,” which Giovagnoli ironically did use in her piece. It’s no surprise that dehumanizing and criminalizing people by describing them as “illegal immigrants” has paved the way for “anchor baby,” which suggests that supposedly “illicit” people who have families and settle down are conniving and dangerous. Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Legal Action Center Staff

Emily Creighton, Staff Attorney
202-507-7500 ext. 7505 (ecreighton@immcouncil.org)

Emily Creighton is a Staff Attorney at the Legal Action Center. She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae before the Board of Immigration Appeals and numerous federal courts and serves as counsel in national class action litigation. Ms. Creighton also contributes to practice advisories and administrative advocacy efforts on a variety of immigration-related topics. Ms. Creighton graduated cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in 2006.

Melissa Crow, Director
202-507-7500 ext. 7523 (mcrow@immcouncil.org)

Melissa Crow is the Director of the Legal Action Center, the litigation and legal advocacy arm of the American Immigration Council.  Ms. Crow has practiced immigration law for more than twelve years, including litigation in the federal courts, immigration courts, and Board of Immigration Appeals.  Prior to joining the LAC, she served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed a thriving immigration practice and undertook litigation to protect immigrants' rights in the workplace. Before entering private practice, Ms. Crow served as Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. She also spent a year as the Gulf Coast Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Ms. Crow has taught in the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law.  She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Leslie Dellon, Business Litigation Fellow
202-507-7500 ext. 7530 (ldellon@immcouncil.org)Read more...

Quick Fact: Removal of unauthorized immigrants would cause large drop in GDP

If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from the United States, the country would lose $551.6 billion in economic activity, $245 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and approximately 2.8 million jobs.