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American Immigration Council Announces Steve and Cokie Roberts as Masters of Ceremonies for the 2010 American Heritage Awards!

Released on Wed, May 12, 2010

The American Immigration Council is excited to announce that we have confirmed Steve and Cokie Roberts as the Masters of Ceremonies of our 2010 American Heritage Awards!

Steve Roberts, an award winning journalist and the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, is the recent author of the book From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America. His wife of more than 40 years, Cokie Roberts, is a senior news analyst for NPR News and political commentator for ABC, as well as the author of several New York Times best selling books. This year, the Library of Congress named her a "Living Legend."

The American Heritage Awards, to be held on Friday, July 2, 2010 at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, will honor outstanding immigrant women and their allies. The honorees include Rebecca Cammisa, director and producer of the 2010 Oscar Nominated documentary Which Way Home; Nelly Rico, mother of Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo and Loula Loi Alafoyiannis, the founder and CEO of the Euro-American Women's Council. A limited number of tickets and sponsorships are available for the event; please contact Elizabeth Stinebaugh at for more information. Tickets may also be purchased online.

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Your Council Ambassador: Geoff Lacy

President Obama’s Plans for Winning the Future include Immigration Reform

Discusses Immigration Policy in Plan for Economic Prosperity

Released on Wed, Jan 26, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Last night in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Republicans and Democrats to work together to "win the future" by taking on challenges that have been decades in the making—challenges like updating our current immigration laws to meet the needs of the country.  The President outlined an ambitious agenda focused on innovation, education, and reform designed to expand economic growth and personal opportunity for all Americans.  He specifically called on Congress to work with him to reform our laws so that we are able to attract the best and brightest minds from around the world, retain highly educated foreign students by making it easier for them to live and work in the United States, stop wasting the talent of students brought to this country illegally as children, and to end the problem of illegal immigration once and for all.  Read more...

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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update - October 31, 2014

Read our previous Entrepreneurship and Innovation Newsletters here.

Latest Research

Almost 40 percent of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. A new report from America’s Society/Council of the Americas and the Partnership for a New American Economy notes that these Minnesota-based companies employ more than 264,000 people globally and bring in more than $100 billion in revenue each year. Additionally, the report finds that the overall role of immigrants in Minnesota’s economy has resulted in GDP gains, with immigrants contributing more than $22.4 billion to the state’s GDP in 2012, accounting for 7.5 percent of total GDP in Minnesota that year.

News Updates

Immigrants make up outsized share of small business growth. An October 15 article for notes that, “over the last two decades, immigrant-owned businesses have made up 30 percent of the growth in the small business economy, a significant chunk given that immigrants only account for 13 percent of the US population.” Furthermore, “their businesses also performed better than your average American. Employees within these small companies earned over $55,000 a year over the median earned income of $41,000 a year.”Read more...

Once Again, Congress Pursues Costly E-Verify Legislation to the Peril of U.S. Economy

Released on Tue, Jun 14, 2011

Washington D.C. - On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement will hold a hearing on the “Legal Workforce Act,” another enforcement-only bill introduced today by Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill would make the electronic employment verification system “E-Verify” mandatory for all employers within two years (three for agriculture). Much like the other hearings conducted by the Subcommittee this year, Wednesday’s hearing is likely to promote tougher enforcement and more deportations as the solution to immigration reform, rather than offer a thoughtful analysis of what must be done to create an effective immigration system that stimulates our economy and supports workers and businesses.

E-Verify is a web-based technology that allows employers to check federal databases to determine whether their employees—U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other foreign-born workers—are authorized to work in the U.S. While USCIS has made significant improvements in E-Verify, many problems still exist. An independent evaluation found that E-Verify is unable to identify unauthorized workers in half of the cases. At a time when the U.S. needs to stimulate its economy and create jobs, mandatory E-Verify will impose additional regulations and costs on businesses, and employers will have to fire U.S. citizens who are erroneously indentified as unauthorized to work. Read more...

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Immigration Reform as Economic Stimulus

Published on Mon, Aug 31, 2009

In Immigration Policy Center's latest Perspectives on Immigration, Senior Researcher Walter Ewing argues that even as the U.S. economy begins a tenuous recovery, it is critical that policymakers look beyond short-term stimulus plans to the long-term economic revitalization of our nation.

Published in the Merchang

USCIS Takes Steps to Improve Noncitizens’ Access to Legal Counsel

Released on Thu, Jan 19, 2012

Washington D.C. – During its nine-year history, issues have arisen with respect to restrictions on counsel by the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration agencies. Tuesday, in response to calls from the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued immediate, comprehensive changes to their policies to ensure an appropriate role for attorneys in the immigration process.

Many noncitizens are forced to navigate the immigration process without representation because they cannot afford an attorney.  But even persons who can afford one, or are represented by a pro bono attorney, have at times faced severe restrictions on their representation.  This is particularly troublesome given the significant power USCIS officers wield.  For example, they decide whether a noncitizen is entitled to stay in the U.S. or not.  The assistance of an attorney well versed in the complexities of immigration law can help safeguard the rights of these noncitizens and ensure just outcomes.   

By revising its guidance, USCIS has responded to some of the most serious access concerns.  For example, the new guidance provides that an attorney generally may sit next to his or her client during an interview, may be permitted to submit relevant documents to the USCIS officer, and may raise objections to inappropriate lines of questioning. Read more...

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IPC: health care debate is jamming a stick into the wheels of immigration reform

Published on Tue, Aug 11, 2009

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), based in Washington, D.C., considered today, as the current debate on health care rages in town halls across the nation, immigration is being used as a way to jam a stick into the wheels of impending reform.

Published in the Examiner

Thankful for a New Conversation on Immigration Reform

Released on Fri, Nov 23, 2012

Dear Friend:

Two weeks ago, many national leaders awoke to a new political and demographic reality—one that they had long suspected and been warned about, but couldn’t quite believe until the election results were in. The unmistakable lessons of this political season are that national elections are won by uniting a diverse coalition of American voters and promoting positive solutions to the challenges that face our nation. 

The good news for our political system is that neither party has a monopoly on the ability to meet this new demand. These lessons reflect a need and an opportunity to break through the partisan gridlock that has crippled the nation and to build broad coalitions in support of real solutions that are driven by messages that unite us rather than divide us.   Nowhere is this clearer than in the immigration debate.   Misguided and mean-spirited ideas like “self-deportation” no longer have credibility on the national stage. The strategy of ignoring the human and economic toll of “enforcement only” policies and refusing to reform an outdated and dysfunctional immigration system must be put to rest once and for all.   The shrill voices of the nativist fringe must give way to the chorus of conservative and progressive voices that have long called for a path towards citizenship for the 11 million undocumented (including the courageous DREAMers who helped to shape this new political reality) and the creation of a 21st century immigration system that allows families and businesses to flourish and succeed.Read more...

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IPC Reports Highlight Gains Made From Legalization Programs Past

Published on Sun, Nov 08, 2009

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released three publications today discussing proposals for and gains made from a broad legalization program for those in the country without legal status.

Published in the The World Sentinel