The best bet for reforming the immigration system this year lies with smaller bills, and immigrants rights groups have attempted to push for these measures instead. If this happens, the future of comprehensive immigration reform is still unclear, according to Mary Giovagnoli, director of Immigration Policy Center.
“We don’t have a good measure anymore of what will happen once we get something discreet like the DREAM Act passed,” she says. “But when the sky doesn’t fall in and if people still get re-elected after supporting DREAM, it may show members of Congress that leaning into the immigration issue and voting for comprehensive immigration reform could help them politically.”
Their coordinated efforts have been a success, with more than 280,000 new citizens being registered to vote. This year, with tight congressional races for state Assembly and Senate elections, their goals are to demonstrate the impact of that voting bloc, which already counts more than 1 million registered voters in New York, according to a new study by the Immigration Policy Center.
This brief argues that USCIS may not deny a petition for classification under the employment-based third preference (EB-3) immigrant visa category as a skilled worker classification simply because the person does not possess an actual bachelor’s degree. Rather, a person may qualify for EB-3 classification by demonstrating that she possesses the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree based on the combination of education and employment experience.
Grace Korean v. Chertoff et al. D. Or. No. CV04-1849-JE
When Eleanor Sreb, of the Smithsonian Folklife Center, and Ross Holland, National Park Service Associate Director for Cultural Resources Management, approached artist Phillip Ratner to create artwork for Ellis Island, Ratner initially thought, "How do I fit the entire world into a single piece?" Ratner sat for hours on a bench in the Great Hall at Ellis Island sketching, thinking, observing--trying to capture the essence of the immigration experience. Ratner conjured up images of the millions of immigrants who passed through that Great Hall--travel weary people of all ages, creeds and nationalities who hungered for a new life in America. "I picked up the ghosts," Ratner said, "and it changed my life. I felt my grandparents' energy and that of the thousands of immigrants who passed through those halls."
Michelle Waslin, an Immigration Policy Center senior policy analyst, tells the Independent that “SLLI wants to spark a legal challenge that goes all the way to the Supreme Court. They want to set up a system for citizens and another for people who can be discriminated.”
Waslin also says that amending the 14th Amendment is not a solution for illegal immigration. “Under the current system, you’re born here, you get a birth certificate,” she says. “If we didn’t have that system we would need a bureaucracy to determine citizenship.”
She points out that if automatic citizenship is eliminated, all U.S. citizens would be affected. She compares the outcome to the current situation of a U.S. serviceman in Germany, married to a German woman, who together have a baby. That couple has to hire an immigration lawyer have to clarify if the baby if a U.S. citizen.
The LAC has long advocated for the right to counsel in immigration settings, including meaningful access to legal representation in immigration court and DHS proceedings.
On May 31, 2012, in an effort to improve access to counsel before CBP, ICE and USCIS, the LAC and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights released the report, Behind Closed Doors: An Overview of DHS Restrictions on Access to Counsel. The report describes restrictions on access to legal representation before DHS, provides a legal landscape, and offers recommendations designed to combat DHS’s harmful practices. It also addresses recent changes to USCIS guidance that are intended to expand access to legal representation.
The report includes anecdotes from immigration attorneys across the country indicating that CBP, ICE and USCIS often interfere with noncitizens’ access to counsel in benefits interviews, interrogations, and other types of administrative proceedings outside of immigration court. Depending on the context, immigration officers completely bar attorney participation, impose unwarranted restrictions on access to legal counsel, or strongly discourage noncitizens from seeking legal representation at their own expense. The LAC held a recorded teleconference highlighting key issues in the report.Read more...
Cesar Chavez and the Mexican-American Field Worker Experiences is designed to teach students about the life and work of Cesar Chavez and to document the experiences of contemporary agricultural field workers. After learning about the work of Cesar Chavez, students will design and conduct original research about the conditions and needs of today's field workers. The end product of this project will be a booklet reporting on the research and findings of the students. This booklet will be printed and made available as a resource for the local school district and the community at large.
On Tuesday the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a meeting that purported to explore the effects of undocumented workers on the labor market. “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities” included prepared statements from the President of the San Antonio Tea Party and a professor representing the abjectly titled—and thoroughly unprogressive—Progressives For Immigration Reform (PRIF), among other specialists.
There were few surprises during the hearing—the subcommittee chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) began with a statement that read, in part, “Virtually all credible studies show that competition from cheap foreign labor displaces American workers, including legal immigrants, or depresses their wages.”
His references include a Pew Hispanic Survey that shows seven million undocumented immigrants have jobs in the U.S. and a study conducted by the risibly partisan The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that determined undocumented workers depress wages for all low-skilled workers by $1,800 a year. Rep. Smith then cites a Harvard research paper by George Borjas that found undocumented workers reduce the wages of low-skilled American workers by 7.4 percent.
I’ll get to the findings in a moment, but I think it’s bedeviling Rep. Smith relies on two studies that view undocumented immigrants in a negative light, and stops right there. Doing more to cement anti-immigrant advocates as purveyors of hyperbole and anecdote, Smith says:
“But research is not the only proof. After illegal workers are arrested and detained during Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worksite enforcement actions, many businesses replace them with American minorities.”
A footnote? A statistic? He doesn’t even offer a number pulled from the firmament. Instead, he entreats lawmakers to fix an immigration system that hurts “American workers” and particularly “African Americans.”Read more...