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All in the J-1 Family

August, 2008
Juan Morales Cifuentes

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Juan Morales Cifuentes as August'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. Read more...

Immigration Policy Center reports stable unauthorized immigrant population

Published on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

As Republicans in the Florida legislature move forward with immigration-enforcement bills, new data shows that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained stable.

According to a report released on Monday by the Immigration Policy Center:

Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.

The report also shows that three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade, and that unauthorized immigrants already in the U. S. have approximately 5.5 million children. Around 1 million of those children are unauthorized immigrants, while the remaining 4.5 million are native-born U.S. citizens who have at least one unauthorized parent.

Nationwide, unauthorized immigrants represent about 28 percent of the total foreign-born population. Naturalized U.S. citizens make up about 37 percent and legal permanent residents 31 percent.

The data used by the Immigration Policy Center report indicates that Florida has the third highest unauthorized population in the U.S. (825,000).

Citing Pew Hispanic Center data, the report indicates that the current unauthorized population accounts for roughly 1-in-20 workers: around 5 percent of the U.S. labor force.

“Unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families,” according to the report.

Published in the American Independent

Detention, Challenging the Legality of Detention

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2011)

This archived litigation issue page focuses on four areas of detention litigation:

  1. Challenging Matter of Rojas: does mandatory detention apply if ICE does not take custody “when the alien is released” from criminal custody?
  2. Matter of Garcia-Arreola: the BIA’s 2010 decision overturning Matter of Saysana, and holding that mandatory detention does not apply where the release from incarceration is unrelated to the ground that triggered mandatory detention
  3. Challenging prolonged mandatory detention pending a final decision on removal
  4. Post order prolonged mandatory detention for individuals deemed “specially dangerous”

For more information about challenging the legality of detention, see the Resources section.Read more...

Alumni of the Month: Ignacio De Solminihac Sierralta

February, 2013
Map of Chile

 In the winter of 2010, Ignacio De Solminihac Sierralta arrived in New York City to start a law internship. He was only in the US for two months, but on the day before his scheduled flight back to Chile, February 27, 2010, the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake also set off a devastating tsunami that reached all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. Here’s his story. Read more...

Debate over birthright citizenship intensifies

Published on Wed, May 11, 2011

Since 1857, when a man named Dred Scott fought for his constitutional right to remain free after standing on free soil, the question of the Fourteenth Amendment and its citizenship provision has been brought to the table many times by others who also question when exactly they are free and citizens of the United States.

Even in the 21st century, this is not a decided issue.

Current public debate and even some pieces of proposed legislation in various states and in Congress are questioning whether the U.S. Constitution should be altered to deprive U.S. citizenship of those who are born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in the wake of the Civil War, grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born in the United States and forbids states from depriving U.S. citizens of “privileges and immunities.”

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-profit citizens’ organization centralized in Washington, D.C., whose mission statement declares it dedicated to the cause of reforming immigration politics to serve a national interest. They said the only way to fix this issue is to start over.

“What we have said for a long, long time is that our current immigration policy doesn’t make any sense,” said Ira Mehlman, media director for FAIR. “It’s not serving the interest of the country. We keep trying to apply all kinds of different types of patches and add-ons. What we need to do is shut down the policy that exists and design one from scratch that actually serves the interest of the country.”

This includes changing the Fourteenth Amendment, or at least its current interpretation, especially with respect to the Citizenship Clause that overruled the Dred Scott decision. It declares, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”Read more...

Published in the BYU Daily News

Remand Rule

Gonzales v. Tchoukhrova, 549 U.S. 801 (2006)

  • In a summary order dated April 17, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case “for further consideration in light of Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. ___ (2006).” In Thomas, the Court held that the Ninth Circuit should have applied the “ordinary remand rule,” and remanded the case to the BIA for further analysis.
  • The Court’s ruling in Tchoukhrova indicates that the Ninth Circuit erred by reaching issues that the BIA had not ruled on in the first instance.

‘Green card lottery’ blunder comes as program’s future is in question

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

For Olivier Millogo, there was one last chance to hit this year’s jackpot.

He’d been lucky the first time in May, winning a prized slot in the State Department’s “green card lottery” and a chance to live and work legally in the United States.

But 12 days later, the 36-year-old from Burkina Faso was crushed when federal officials discovered a computer problem with the drawing and canceled the results. A second drawing on Friday brought no good news for him.

“I’m not selected,” said Millogo, who lives in Alexandria and is attending DeVry University on a student visa. “There is nothing to do.”

A class-action lawsuit was filed to block the new drawing, but a federal judge dismissed the case, clearing the way for it. The decision dashed the dreams of 22,000 would-be winners from around the world who had hoped the lottery’s initial results would be reinstated.

The program they had applied for, the Diversity Visa Lottery, attracts millions of applicants worldwide and each year provides about 50,000 immigrants a legal route to permanent residency in the United States. The mix-up over this year’s drawing comes as some lawmakers question whether it should continue.

Begun in 1995 with the backing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the lottery is unknown to many Americans but has stood as a symbol of hope for millions seeking the opportunity to transform their lives. But it has been pulled into the larger debate over immigration, with critics saying it is rife with security risks and brings no benefits to the United States.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill to drop it.

“If you’re a terrorist organization and you can get a few hundred people to apply to this from several countries . . . odds are you’d get one or two of them picked,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who introduced the bill, said in an interview.Read more...

Published in the Washington Post

Going to the AILA Annual Conference in San Diego?

The International Exchange Center will be running three special sessions in the Exhibit Hall on understanding the J Visa.

Practical Tips for the J Visa
June 16 (3:00 pm–3:45 pm)

Including the J-1 Client in Your Practice
June 17 (10:15 am–11:00 am)

J-1 Visa—The Advanced Class
June 18 (9:25 am–10:10 am)

For more informations on the sessions, please click here.

Quick Fact: The cost of detention

It costs roughly $166 per day for ICE to detain one person. ICE spends $5.5 million per day to detain 33,400 people in over 250 facilities. Furthermore, over half of detainees did not have criminal records and traffic offenses accounted for roughly 20 percent of those who did have criminal records.