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Birthright Citizenship’s Unlikely Road to Supreme Court

Published on Wed, Dec 22, 2010

“Those children can’t petition for their parents to become U.S. citizens until they are 21 years old and it most cases, the parents would be barred from getting a visa to the United States for 10 years,” said Michelle Waslin, senior policy analyst at the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C. “So that’s a 31-year plan. It doesn’t seem like it’s a very good plan to legalize your status here in the U.S. It doesn’t protect them from deportation.”

Published in the Hartford Guardian

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 12

This issue covers a recent FOIA lawsuit seeking information about stipulated removal; a Seventh Circuit case holding that the waiver of a right to a removal hearing under the Visa Waiver Program must be knowing and voluntary; a Ninth Circuit decision finding that DHS may not unilaterally block a motion to reopen to adjust status by opposing the motion; and the Supreme Court's decision to grant certiorari to examine the standard for granting stays of removal at the courts of appeals.

Published On: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | Download File

Houston Students Take Part in Naturalization Ceremonies

Published on Thu, May 05, 2011

District Director Sandra Heathman will introduce three award winning essay writers at an N-600 Oath Ceremony that will be attended by 20 new citizens. The fifth grade winners wrote an essay, sponsored by the American Immigration Council on the theme, “Why I am Glad America is a Country of Immigrants.” The winners will read their winning essays. The new citizens have already had their N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship granted, and will obtain their Certificates.

Published in the USCIS Houston | View PDF

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 17

This issue covers "material support" litigation, Supreme Court cases this fall, and a recent Eighth Circuit case holding the government to regulatory standards.

Published On: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Download File

Undocumented Immigrants Pay More In Taxes Than Wealthy

Published on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

A new study released by the Immigration Policy Center for tax day shows that at least half of the undocumented immigrants in this country pay income taxes. Add that to the sales and property taxes that those undocumented persons also pay and undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than most wealthy Americans.

The total amount of tax revenue collected in state and local taxes is approximately $11.2 billion, including $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes and $8.4 billion in sales taxes.

The numbers don't come as much of a surprise to those who track immigration policy. According to Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the American Immigration Council, the current political movement to restrict, criminalize and punish immigrants will come at a steep price to states.

According to Sefsaf "[t]he restrictionist movement in the U.S. spends all their time letting everyone know how much [undocumented immigrants] cost us, and they try to ignore the fact that they contribute. We are not trying to say there are not costs associated with people. There are costs associated with everyone. But we are trying to balance out the debate."

States like Florida, for example, which collects about $806.8 million from unauthorized immigrants and does not have a state income tax would certainly feel the impact should a significant amount of that population leave. That revenue comes from immigrants buying groceries, rent and other necessities subject to sales and property taxes.

The bottom line is to suggest that undocumented immigrants are nothing but a revenue suck on states is simply wrong. While that will likely not change the conversation for those who have committed to making attacking immigrants the wedge issue of the moment, as Sefsaf notes, the only way to have an honest conversation about changing immigration policy is with a full set of facts.

Published in the Care 2.com

Adjustment of Status Under § 245(i) for Noncitizens Previously Removed (Duran Gonzalez Class Action)

This class action lawsuit challenges the Department of Homeland Security's willful refusal to follow the precedent I-212 decision of the Ninth Circuit in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft.

Duran Gonzalez is a Ninth Circuit-wide class action challenging DHS’ refusal to follow Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004). In Perez-Gonzalez, the Ninth Circuit had said that individuals who had been removed or deported may apply for adjustment of status (under INA § 245(i)) along with an accompanying I-212 waiver application. In Duran Gonzales v. DHS, 508 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir. 2007), the Ninth Circuit overturned Perez-Gonzalez, deferring to the BIA’s holding that individuals who have previously been removed or deported are not eligible to apply for adjustment of status. See Matter of Torres-Garcia, 23 I&N Dec. 866 (BIA 2006). The Court subsequently said, however, that some plaintiffs may be able to establish that the new rule should not apply retroactively.

On July 22, 2014, the District Court approved the settlement agreement and issued a final judgment in the case.  The settlement involves remedies for class members who submitted adjustment of status and I-212 waiver applications on or after August 13, 2004 and on or before November 30, 2007. Read the announcement about the settlement agreement.  

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Initial Proceedings in District CourtRead more...

Report documents dramatic shift in immigrant workforce’s skill level

Published on Thu, Jun 09, 2011

Highly skilled temporary and permanent immigrants in the United States now outnumber lower-skilled ones, marking a dramatic shift in the foreign-born workforce that could have profound political and economic implications in the national debate over immigration.

This shift in America’s immigration population, based on census data, is summarized in a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution. It found that 30 percent of the country’s working-age immigrants, regardless of legal status, have at least a bachelor’s degree, while 28 percent lack a high school diploma.

The shift had been in the works for the past three decades, a period that has seen a dramatic increase in the population born outside the United States. But in 2007 the percentage of highly skilled workers overtook that of lower-skilled workers.

The trend reflects a fundamental change in the structure and demands of the U.S. economy, which in the past decades transformed from an economy driven by manufacturing to one driven by information and technology. The report also offers a new perspective on the national immigration discourse, which tends to fixate on low-skilled, and often illegal, workers.

“Too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences,” said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, an immigrant advocacy organization. “The debate has been stuck in the idea that it’s all about illegal and low-skilled workers.”

Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that advocates for tighter immigration restrictions, said the report raises other concerns.Read more...

Published in the Washington Post