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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:

  • Staff Attorney
    The Staff Attorney will work with the Legal Director, fellow attorneys, the Council’s policy team, and our legal assistant to:
    • Pursue litigation and advocacy on a broad spectrum of issues, which may include the right to counsel, border enforcement, due process in immigration proceedings, and family detention; Write and submit amicus briefs to federal courts and agencies; 
    • Provide practice materials and litigation resources to immigration practitioners;
    • Provide training and practice assistance to immigration practitioners.
  • Executive Assistant
    The Executive Assistant will serve as an indispensable member of the Executive Office providing outstanding administrative and clerical support to the Executive Director and the Director of Finance and Operations and other departments as needed. 

  • Advocacy Coordinator (3-month paid engagement) | Dilley, Texas
    This position will play a leading role in our on the ground staff and the management of volunteers assisting mothers and children detained in Dilley, Texas and assist in compilation of data to end family detention.

Read more...

American Immigration Council Sues U.S. Immigration Agencies Over Asylum “Clock”

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last week, the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review in federal court in Seattle. The lawsuit alleges widespread problems with the asylum “clock”—the system that the government uses to determine when immigrants with pending asylum applications become eligible to obtain work authorization in the United States. The class certification motion describes the nationwide impact of these policies.

The complaint, co-filed with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, Gibbs Houston Pauw, and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, was submitted on behalf of untold numbers of asylum applicants wrongfully denied work authorization due to unlawful agency policies and practices. The named plaintiffs include asylum seekers who have pursued their cases for years without work authorization—including a man from China who initially filed his asylum application in 2003.

With limited exceptions, federal law requires USCIS to grant work authorization to any person with an asylum application pending for 180 days. In calculating this period, however, USCIS relies on determinations made by immigration judges who work for EOIR. As a result, arbitrary EOIR policies on when the “clock” should start and stop—combined with growing backlogs in U.S. immigration courts—have unlawfully prevented asylum seekers from working. The suit alleges these policies violate the Constitution, federal statutes, and governing regulations.
Read more...

Published in the New American Media

Stephen Colbert Mentions IPC Blog in "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger"

Published on Mon, Dec 12, 2011

Last night, Stephen Colbert gave a shout out to the Immigration Policy Center's blog in a segment called "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger." Steven Colbert gave a shout out (video below), in his own unique way, to the IPC for lifting up the problems with the original definition of “anchor baby” released in the latest edition of the American Heritage dictionary.

Watch:

Published in the Colbert Report

The LAC Docket | Volume I, Issue 4

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

September 8, 2011
Our Work | Requests for Evidence | Quick Links | Donate

OUR WORK

Access to Courts

Circuit courts continue to target departure bar on motions to reopen
Prestol Espinal v. Attorney General
, --- F.3d --- (3d Cir. 2011)
Contreras-Bocanegra v. Holder
, No. 10-9500 (10th Cir. rehearing en banc granted Aug. 2, 2011)

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit became the latest federal court to reject the government’s efforts to prevent noncitizens outside the United States from having their cases reopened or reconsidered. In a unanimous ruling, the court held that the regulations underlying the “departure bar” violate the plain text of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which sets deadlines for filing motions to reopen or reconsider but says nothing to limit such rights for noncitizens already outside the country.Read more...