Skip to Content

Programs:

Legalization

State poised to restrict use of E-Verify database

Published on Fri, Sep 16, 2011

California is poised to nullify immigration enforcement ordinances in about a half dozen Inland Empire cities – and to continue to buck a national trend – by restricting the use of E-Verify, the national online database used to check the immigration status of workers.

Under the Employment Acceleration Act, passed by the state Senate last week and currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, state and local governments could not require California businesses to use the database to ferret out undocumented employees.

California’s approach is an anomaly. States and cities across the country have passed laws that mandate use of the E-Verify system as part of a strategy to curb illegal immigration and ensure that scarce jobs go to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The act conflicts with the Legal Workforce Act [PDF], a bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the use of E-Verify by all American employers.

The California bill has been cited as a reason that the national legislation, which is being marked up this week in the House Judiciary Committee, is necessary.

“California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., yet elected officials in Sacramento just sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that will further diminish job opportunities,” bill sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a statement. “California’s E-Verify opt-out bill shows exactly why we need a federal E-Verify law.”

If the Employment Acceleration Act becomes law, it would create ripple effects at the local level, trumping city ordinances adopted in a number of Inland Empire cities – including Temecula, Lake Elsinore, and Lancaster – that currently mandate the use of the E-Verify system as a prerequisite to running a business.

Citing the importance of local control, state senators representing these communities have opposed the bill.Read more...

Published in the California Watch

Legal Action Center Staff

Melissa Crow, Director
202-507-7500 ext. 7523 (mcrow@immcouncil.org)

Melissa Crow is the Legal Director of the American Immigration Council. She oversees the Council’s impact litigation, legal advocacy and legal education work. She has practiced immigration law for more than twelve years, including litigation in the federal courts, immigration courts, and Board of Immigration Appeals.  Prior to joining the Council, Melissa served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously a partner with Brown, Goldstein & Levy in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed a thriving immigration practice and undertook litigation to protect immigrants' rights in the workplace. Before entering private practice, Ms. Crow served as Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy during the 2007 debates on the U.S. Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. She also spent a year as the Gulf Coast Policy Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Ms. Crow has taught in the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School and the International Human Rights Clinic at Washington College of Law.  She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Leslie Dellon, Business Litigation Fellow
202-507-7500 ext. 7530 (ldellon@immcouncil.org)Read more...

Dictionary's definition of 'anchor baby' draws fire

Published on Mon, Dec 05, 2011

The "anchor baby" entry in the American Heritage Dictionary is drawing charges from an immigrant advocacy group that it is offensive.

Updated at 4:29 p.m. ET:

The American Heritage Dictionary officially changed its definition of the phrase "anchor baby" on Monday, reflecting that it considers the phrase to be "offensive."

In an interview Monday, dictionary Executive Editor Steven Kleinedler said the phrase was one of the 10,000 new words and phrases added to the fifth edition – the first revision of the dictionary in a decade – and that the lack of an offensive disclaimer was an oversight.

Kleinedler said he immediately realized the error when he saw Friday's blog post by Immigration Impact.

"When we saw the post, we looked at (the definition) and said 'They are completely right, we should change it,'" Kleinedler said. "This is a change that needs to be made."

The new definition, which will be included in the online dictionary and the next printing of the print edition, says the phrase is used "as a disparaging term."

Original post:

An immigrant advocacy group says editors of the American Heritage Dictionary have agreed to revise a recently added entry "anchor baby" to note that it is a derogatory or offensive phrase.

Use of the term is highly sensitive in the politically charged debate over immigration.

Immigration opponents such as Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and others use the phrase to describe children born in the USA to illegal immigrant parents. Those children are granted automatic U.S. citizenship, and King has filed legislation that would stop the practice.

Civil rights groups have long derided the phrase, saying it dehumanizes those children and poisons the immigration debate.Read more...

Published in the USA Today

March 2010 Snapshot

This March the International Exchange Center staff approved trainees and interns who will soon begin unique and interesting J-1 training and internship programs in marketing, industrial design, communications, and many other fields. Training and internship plans continue to reflect a shift in the US economy toward greater efficiency and changes in communications technology.


Our new J-1 exchange visitors are from every corner of the globe: Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Russia, India, Iran, South Africa, Morocco, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, and the United Kingdom.



 


 

Children of Immigrants Targeted by Tax Warfare in Congress

Published on Tue, Feb 07, 2012

 

The fundamental injustice of the tax system grows clearer as tax day looms ominously over working people and a few horde more and more of the nation’s wealth. Short of a total collapse of capitalism, the primary redistributive remedy for this would be progressive taxation. But our tax policy gets it exactly backward, and it's about to get a bit worse. And as with so many wars of attrition against the working class, this one begins by shafting disenfranchised communities, especially immigrants.

While the rich are rolling in tax giveaways, a few credits actually give poor folks a break. One of these, the refundable child tax credit (CTC), applies to middle-class and poor parents alike and was claimed by some 21 million taxpayers in 2011, “which averaged about $676 per child and totaled $26.1 billion,” according to Politico. For poor families, the CTC, together with its big sister the Earned Income Tax Credit, provides a lifeline to keep them from plunging below the poverty line.

Now some lawmakers advocate cutting off the child tax credit for tax filers who lack of Social Security number. The move is unabashedly aimed at making life harder for undocumented workers, even taxpaying ones, specifically by punishing their children.

Currently, the CTC is one federal tax benefit that people can claim using an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number. This effectively makes it available to undocumented workers—those who lack formal authorization.Read more...

Published in the In These Times

Access to Courts

Access to Courts Federal court review is an important check on agency decision making because of the high stakes involved in immigration cases and the potential for error that accompanies the growing volume of cases. Through targeted litigation, the LAC has consistently advocated that statutory limits on judicial review must be narrowly construed. We also provide practice advisories, mentoring and other support to attorneys seeking review of unfavorable decisions impacting the rights of noncitizens. In addition, we advocate for the adoption of policies that help ensure all noncitizens a meaningful opportunity to be heard in the immigration court system.

Federal Courts | Immigration Courts and the BIA | Practice AdvisoriesRead more...

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case challenging Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law two years after its passage. The Obama administration has challenged four provisions of the law, known as S.B. 1070, for interfering with federal immigration enforcement. Immigrant right groups have organized a number of protests and vigils nationwide to coincide with today’s hearing. Ben Winograd of the American Immigration Council said the Supreme Court ruling will have major implications nationwide as a number of states seek to pass copycat measures.

Ben Winograd: "Allowing states to be the primary enforcers of federal immigration law would, from a civil rights perspective, have huge ramifications. All of a sudden, every traffic stop that is conducted by a local officer and involves someone who arguably looks or sounds like an immigrant could result in an extended detention and even possibly incarceration."

Published in the DEMOCRACY NOW!

Supreme Court Case involving Arizona: A Resource Guide

Study: Most Dream Act-eligible youth hail from Mexico — and a third live in California

Published on Thu, Aug 02, 2012

Ruxandra Guidi of Southern California Public Radio cited the IPC's study, "Who and Where the DREAMers Are," in her article about DREAMers living in California. Read more...

Published in the Southern California Public Radio

David Bartlett, Ph.D.

David Bartlett, Ph.D., who has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, San Diego, is president of the Global Economics Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Adjunct Professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. His book, The Political Economy of Dual Transformations: Market Reform and Democratization, won the 1998 Hewett Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.Read more...