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The economic ignorance of immigration restrictionists

Published on Fri, Mar 25, 2011

By Walter Ewing

Prominent immigration restrictionists such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) like to pretend that federal and state governments could simply deport their way out of massive budget deficits and high unemployment. By this flawed line of economic reasoning, removing unauthorized immigrants from country would magically free up both jobs and budgets. In reality, removing millions of workers, consumers, and taxpayers would cause national and state economies to contract, resulting in fewer total jobs and less tax revenue. In addition, it would cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to locate, round up, detain, and deport the 11 million unauthorized men, women, and children now living in the United States.

This is not a recipe for economic recovery; it is a recipe for economic disaster.

Restrictionists who champion the deport-them-all approach to unauthorized immigrants have been relying of late on a deeply flawed 2010 report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which makes implausible claims about the costs of unauthorized immigrants. The FAIR report and the restrictionists who rely upon it overlook the fact that unauthorized immigrants are not only workers, but consumers as well. Unauthorized workers spend their wages in U.S. businesses — buying food, clothes, appliances, cars, etc. — which sustains the jobs of the workers employed by those businesses. Businesses respond to the presence of new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores, and production facilities. The end result is more jobs for more workers. For instance, a new report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation in Arizona estimates that the economic output and consumer spending of unauthorized workers in Arizona sustains 581,000 jobs.Read more...

Published in the The Hill

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 2

in

This issue covers an upcoming Supreme Court argument on the aggravated felony definition; a decision in a suit challenging a state law regulating verification of employment eligibility; favorable court of appeals asylum decisions; litigation resources, and highlights from the LAC (including litigation involving federal court jurisdiction and the Child Status Protection Act, and advocacy around the asylum clock).

Published On: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Download File

Illinois Backs Out Of Federal Immigration Program

Published on Thu, May 05, 2011

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Pat Quinn said Illinois would stop participating in a federal program that requires authorities to run the fingerprints of anyone arrested through a federal immigration database.

The program, called Secure Communities, is in effect in more than 1,000 jurisdictions in 40 states. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to rollout the program nationwide by 2013.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Quinn withdrew the state from the program because he had concerns that it was veering from its stated mission to deport convicted criminals:

Nearly a third of all illegal immigrants deported out of Illinois under the program have never been convicted of any crime, the letter stated, citing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures. Quinn's office suspended the state's role in the program in November amid concerns about its effectiveness.

"During the suspension, we voiced our concerns to ICE and asked them to prove that Secure Communities can and will be implemented as agreed to," the governor's office said in a statement. "After review, we were not satisfied and determined that ICE's ongoing implementation of Secure Communities is flawed."

One key thing to remember is that when a person comes into the country illegally, they are guilty of a civil infraction, not a criminal one. According to the Immigration Policy Center, one common objection to the program is that if local officers are seen as immigration officials, they'll lose the trust of their community and would make their jobs harder.

The program, however, has been popular among those who seek tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

The New York Times reported another interesting angle in March: Whether the federal government can force local jurisdictions to participate in the program is up for debate.Read more...

Published in the National Public Radio

Enforcement, Detainers

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JUNE 2013)

Challenging the Use of ICE Immigration Detainers

Under 8 CFR. § 287.7, an “authorized immigration officer” may issue Form I-247, Immigration Detainer – Notice of Action, to a law enforcement agency (LEA) that has custody of an alleged noncitizen. A detainer is a request that an LEA notify ICE prior to releasing the individual so that ICE may make arrangements to assume custody within 48 hours after the person would otherwise have been released.

In June 2011, ICE released a new detainer form. According to ICE, the new form more clearly indicates that state and local authorities may not detain an individual for more than 48 hours; that local law enforcement authorities are required to provide arrestees with a copy of the detainer form, which has a phone number to call if the subject of the detainer believes his or her civil rights have been violated; and that ICE has flexibility to issue a detainer contingent on conviction. It remains to be seen whether changes to the form will resolve longstanding problems with detainers that increasingly have resulted in litigation.

Lawsuits generally have challenged local law enforcement authorities’ unlawful practice of holding noncitizens on expired detainers. Below is a non-exhaustive list of cases that have addressed immigration detainer issues.


California

Roy v. Los Angeles County, No. 12-9012 (C.D. Cal. filed October 19, 2012)Read more...

Collaborative Learning at the Kauffman Foundation

May, 2010

Usually we select one trainee or intern as our Exchange Visitor of the Month. For May, we have decided to highlight a group of trainees. While the majority of our trainees and interns are the only J-1 visa holders at their host companies, some companies choose to have many trainees or interns at once. This is the case with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, an organization that, according to its mission statement, “works nationwide to catalyze an entrepreneurial society in which job creation, innovation, and the economy flourish.” Read more...

Dear Mr. Smith, Our Broken Immigration System Requires Solutions That Embrace Discretion, Not Eliminate It

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

Over the last six months, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), along with other members of the House Judiciary Committee, have engaged in an all-out effort to turn back the clock on our immigration laws through a series of bills that may tackle one issue at a time, but equal a comprehensive overhaul. This week, the restrictionists' Comprehensive Immigration Reform package (RCIR, as we call it) became complete with the introduction of the "Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation Act" (HALT Act), a bill that would suspend discretionary forms of immigration relief until January 21, 2013. Yes, until the day after the next inauguration.

Just yesterday, Congressman Smith inched a bit closer to RCIR when the full Judiciary Committee voted to advance the "Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011" (H.R. 1932) -- a bill that authorizes indefinite detention for immigrants. Apparently Smith is not content with the current mandatory detention laws because they include some provisions for release of immigrants, such as asylum seekers and others who have committed no crimes. His bill, however, would create a penal system for immigrants far more restrictive than the current detention system, which has generally been under fire from all sides.

And it doesn't stop there. Other bills in the RCIR package include mandatory E-verify with no provisions for current undocumented workers to become legal, elimination of the diversity visa, expanded authority for the Secretary of Homeland Security to revoke visas issued by the Department of State, the elimination of review for those visas, suspension of waivers for the 3 and 10 year bars, suspension of cancellation of removal, suspension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS), suspension of virtually all parole authority, deferral powers, and work authorization, and a revocation of any such benefits that are awarded between the date of introduction of the HALT Act and its enactment.Read more...

Published in the Huffington Post

Second or Subsequent Possession Conviction is Not an Aggravated Felony

Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, 560 U.S. 563 (2010)

The Supreme Court held that a second or subsequent simple drug possession conviction does not qualify as an aggravated felony under INA § 101(a)(43)(B) (“drug trafficking crimes”) and therefore does not preclude a lawful permanent resident from applying for cancellation of removal. Read more...