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Regulations for Healthcare Workers: Abraham v. Reno

This LAC lawsuit successfully compelled the INS to issue long-awaited regulations implementing § 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act for certain healthcare workers who were waiting to become lawful permanent residents.

This LAC lawsuit successfully compelled the INS to issue long-awaited regulations implementing §343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act for certain healthcare workers who were waiting to become lawful permanent residents.

  • AILF and INS reached a settlement in Abraham v. Reno.
  • AILF filed a lawsuit to compel the INS to issue regulations implementing IIRIRA §343 for Medical Technologists, Medical Technicians, Physicians Assistants and Speech/Language Pathologists applying for permanent residence.

Anne Glassl Walks in Memphis

March, 2010

Anne Glassl came to the United States from Hamburg, Germany. She is training in Memphis, Tennessee in the field of product development. On a previous vacation to the U.S., Anne had the chance to visit Memphis. When the opportunity came to train in the Southern city, she had a good idea of what to expect, describing Memphis as “a very charming town.” Read more...

Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

Published on Wed, May 18, 2011

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that the department would extend temporary immigration protections for an additional eighteen months for Haitians currently residing in the United States.

In a press release Napolitano announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti beneficiaries effective July 23, 2011 and for an additional 18 months.

The protections were offered in January 2010, in response to the tragic earthquake that the struck the country. Thousands of Hatians who fled the disaster sought refuge in the United States, and many of them settled in South Florida. According to the release, there are now 48,000 Hatians living in the U.S. under the temporary protections.

The release also notes that the department is actively turning away Hatians who try to enter the country illegally, and that the protections will not apply to people who arrive in the country after that time.

The Immigration Policy Center stated that the extension of TPS decision by the Secretary is evidence of the power of the Executive branch to shape the implementation of existing immigration law.

The IPC contends that Napolitano could have declined to extend TPS or make more people eligible, because the law did not require her to do so. But because she had the discretion to revisit the original determination, and ultimately used it to expand the range of people eligible for this protection, the U.S. will be able to help thousands of people who might otherwise have faced deportation to Haiti and enormous suffering.

According the 2009 American Community Survey (pdf.) at least 376,000 people of Haitian ancestry live in Florida; an estimated 830,000 live in the U.S. The survey adds that 59 percent are foreign born.

Published in the Florida Independent

Supreme Court Rejects Government's Argument in Aggravated Identity Theft Case

Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 556 U.S. 646 (2009)

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the aggravated identity theft statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), requires federal prosecutors to show that a defendant knew the means of identification belonged to another person. Read more...

DREAM Act sparks debate, misinformation, and fear

Published on Wed, Jul 13, 2011

After reading the 200 plus comments last week, I realized that despite my laying out the case for the DREAM Act, that there were many misconceptions as well as real questions out there that deserve answers and clarification.

There were also readers who wrote insightful comments, sometimes even using their own experiences to highlight what the DREAM Act would mean. And I encourage more of you to write in.

A thank you to all who left comments.

I hope to further the dialogue by tackling ten points made by readers who showed real concern or didn’t have all the facts about DREAMers, the young people this bill would affect.

1. Illegal immigrants flooding over our borders are the problem.

Actually the problem is more complicated than that.

Out of the estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented aliens living in America, 40-45% came here on visas from places as diverse as India, Russia, or Ireland and then never returned home. They arrived on tourist, student, business, and temporary worker visas. (Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Committee Report and GAO)

Since 2007, more than 300,000 people each year have remained on our shores after their visas expired. (ICE report to Congress)

By the way, an interesting side fact: six of the 9/11 hijackers had overstayed their visas.

2. DREAMers will take away jobs.

There is no evidence that citizenship for DREAMers would cost jobs for American workers. Instead it has been found that immigrants actually expand and enrich the economy as these young people become productive, tax paying individuals. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Report)

America needs as many talented college graduates that it can muster. Right now, we are encouraging people from abroad to come to America to go to college with majors in science and technology.Read more...

Published in the Washington Times

Divided Court Upholds Matter of Wang

Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio, 573 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 22 (2014)

In a 5-4 judgment, the Court ruled that Congress did not intend for derivative beneficiaries of the Family 3rd and 4th preference categories to benefit from INA § 203(h)(3), a provision that allows beneficiaries of certain visa petitions to retain earlier priority dates after “aging out”—that is, turning 21—and losing child status. As a result, many young immigrants who were included on their parents’ visa petitions as minors cannot be credited with time spent waiting in a visa line with their families, and instead will be placed at the back of a different visa line. The Court reversed the en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit, De Osorio v. Mayorkas, 695 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2012), and upheld the BIA’s limited interpretation of § 203(h)(3) in Matter of Wang, 24 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which found that the statute only applied to derivative beneficiaries in the Family 2A category.

Justice Kagan announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion joined by Justices Ginsberg and Kennedy. Chief Justice Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, which Justice Scalia joined. Justices Alito and Sotomayor filed dissents; Justice Sotomayor’s dissent was joined by Justice Breyer and, except as to one footnote, by Justice Thomas.Read more...

The Uncertain Future of Pennsylvania's Dream Act Legislation

Published on Wed, Sep 14, 2011

On June 20, 2011, Pennsylvania State Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-Philadelphia) introduced the Pennsylvania Dream Act, HB 1695, which mirrors the failed national-level bill that would have granted undocumented youth in-tuition rates at public universities. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania would become the 12th state, following the recent Illinois passage, to sign such legislation.

Presently, in Pennsylvania, in-state tuition costs for the 2011-2012 school year are $6,240, while out-of state tuition ranges from $9,360 to $15,600, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Undocumented students are not eligible for these in-state tuition rates, even though many of them have been residing in the state of Pennsylvania for significant periods of time.

The Pennsylvania legislation, like other state-level bills, builds a series of strict residency guidelines that undocumented students who request in-state tuition rates must demonstrate.

These guidelines, published by Dream Activist Pennsylvania, the main pro-immigration organization in Pennsylvania sponsoring the bill, include the requirement that students must have attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth for at least three years. They must also have graduated from a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth. And, in an often overlooked provision, students or their parents must have filed Pennsylvania income taxes annually for three years while attending school to qualify.

It's important to note that while the bill mirrors national-level legislation, states do not have the power to afford citizenship; only the federal government has that legal authority. Due to this fact, the Dream Act grants undocumented youth only the ability to attend college at in-state tuition rates, meaning that legally securing a job after receiving a degree is not possible.Read more...

Published in the Truth Out

J-1 Program: Holiday Closing Announcement (DEC 25th - JAN 2nd):

The American Immigration Council offices will be closed starting on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013 and will reopen on January 2, 2014. During this closing, it is important that you know how to reach the International Exchange Center staff in the event of an urgent situation:

If you have an urgent concern during the holiday break, you may contact Lois Magee (Responsible Officer) at (202) 329-3690. We will be checking the J1Program@immcouncil.org email inbox daily, so we will attempt to reply to the urgent emails that we receive during the break.

During that week, we will not be processing J-1 applications, signing documents, performing site visits, or responding to inquiries, except for those urgent issues that come from our J-1 Participants.

Read more...

Quick Fact: Millions of students could be eligible for legal status under DREAM Act

There are an estimated 2.1 million undocumented children and young adults in the United States who might be eligible for legal status under the DREAM Act.