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Legalization

High School Lesson Plan 3: Issues in Immigration

The Issues in Immigration series consists of three parts or modules listed below. Each module is designed to teach secondary students about immigration and immigrant conflicts, myths and facts. The lesson will also increase student awareness about immigration issues.

Module One: Debate

Module Two: The Lost Boys of Sudan

Module Three: Lost Childhoods - Unaccompanied Children

Should America's illegal immigrants be offered legal status?

Published on Tue, Oct 12, 2010

Americans are justifiably frustrated that 11 million unauthorized immigrants now live in the United States. Yet the majority of them would have preferred to come legally; there was simply no way under current immigration laws. Moreover, most of them are working, paying taxes, and buying US goods. Other than lacking legal status, most are law-abiding residents. Many are married to US citizens, with children who are citizens.

The problem is that they are often willing to accept low wages and poor working conditions, which creates unfair competition for US workers and gives unscrupulous employers an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers.

We could continue on the same path we have pursued for two decades: spending more money on enforcement and passing increasingly harsh laws in an attempt to drive unauthorized immigrants out. But despite the billions of dollars we’ve spent building walls, hiring border patrol agents, and detaining and deporting hundreds of thousands, the unauthorized population hasn’t decreased significantly.

Instead of “enforcement only,” we should offer unauthorized immigrants a chance to come forward, register, pay a fine, learn English, pass background checks, and legalize their status.

Legalizing them would inject a new level of certainty into their lives, allowing them to invest more in themselves and their communities. Legalized immigrants will earn more, pay more taxes, consume more, buy houses, start businesses, and contribute more to the economy.

Americans want real solutions to the problem of unauthorized immigration that are practical and fair. Enforcement alone has failed. We need comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization program.

– Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst, American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center

Published in the The Christian Science Monitor

“Admission” and Adjustment of Status

The LAC has filed amicus briefs addressing if and when an adjustment of status can constitute an “admission” under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA defines the terms “admitted” and “admission” as the lawful entry of a noncitizen following inspection and authorization by an immigration officer. However, the Board has held that adjustment of status from within the United States also constitutes an “admission.” The issue has arisen in cases involving the attempted removal of noncitizens for the commission of certain crimes within five years after “the date of admission” (INA & 237(a)(2)(A)(i)), and in cases involving waivers of admissibility under INA & 212(h), which in some circumstances are unavailable to noncitizens who have previously been “admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”

CASES

Board of Immigration AppealsRead more...

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America

Author: Steven V. Roberts

Roberts, a journalist by trade and talented story teller by passion, paints the lives of 13 families by retelling their stories in a way that captures the essence of their journeys to the United States as well as their journeys to becoming Americans.  Roberts eloquently breaks down many of the myths surrounding immigrants by sharing stories of men, women and children who had to leave so much behind by emigrating.  The book is divided into sections, The Survivors, The International Entrepreneurs, The Business Owners, The Professionals, and The Women.  The characters and their stories give many  fresh perspectives on the issue of immigration.

Year Released: 2009
Grades 9-Adult

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America

Birthright Citizenship’s Unlikely Road to Supreme Court

Published on Mon, Jan 10, 2011

“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.”

Waslin argues that such a change in the law will affect all citizens, creating a complicated bureaucracy.

“My birth certificate will no longer be proof of my U.S. citizenship, so how would anybody prove their citizenship?” she asked.

Published in the Immigrant Magazine

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 8

This issue covers class certification in two cases, one involving religious workers and the other surviving spouses; recently filed CSPA suits; the Supreme Court's decision to hear a 9/11 detainee Bivens action; and a request for lawyer declarations in a FOIA suit.

Published On: Thursday, July 10, 2008 | Download File

The Unemployment and Immigration Disconnect

New Report Finds No Significant Relationship between Native Unemployment and Immigrants

Washington D.C. - As Congress once again takes up the mantle for comprehensive immigration reform, it is critically important for policymakers to understand the real impact immigration has on native unemployment. Research conduced by Rob Paral and Associates for the Immigration Policy Center demonstrates that there is little apparent relationship between unemployment and the presence of recent immigrants at the regional and state levels. Read more...

Birthright of illegal residents' children is under attack

Published on Fri, Mar 04, 2011

Twelve years ago, Lizbeth Ramos and her common-law husband, Juan, left their hometown near Puebla, Mexico, and set out on foot across the desert for the Arizona border, to slip into new lives as illegal immigrants.

He found work in a produce market in the Philadelphia area, she in a boutique. They saved up to start a family.

Now 30, she lies on an examination table in Pennsylvania Hospital, at a weekly obstetrics clinic for immigrant women, no status questions asked. As a doctor slides an ultrasound wand over her bulging belly, her eyes are transfixed by the monitor. She is carrying twins.

The moment they enter the world, they will be what their parents are not: U.S. citizens.

Such is their birthright, granted by the 14th Amendment to an estimated 340,000 babies born annually to undocumented immigrants.

But in the marathon fight over immigration control, that 143-year-old constitutional guarantee has become the latest target and the delivery room the new front. The pejorative anchor babies already is in the lexicon.

"Once a child is born here, the parents make the argument that they should be allowed to stay as that child's guardian. They are using that child as an anchor [to] play on our heartstrings," said Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican who has built a national reputation as a crusader against what he calls "illegal alien invaders."

Immigrant advocates dismiss his contention as myth, and point to a recent study that found that undocumented immigrants generally "come for work and to join family members." The Washington-based nonprofit Immigration Policy Center concluded that "they do not come specifically to give birth" and game the immigration system.

Such assertions have not tempered efforts by immigration-control proponents to effectively do away with "birthright citizenship" for illegal immigrants' children.Read more...

Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 13

This issue covers recent Supreme Court decisions on reinstatement of removal and adjustment of status for arriving aliens, a court of appeal

Published On: Thursday, June 29, 2006 | Download File