"Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens," said Ben Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council.
Johnson said the share of immigrants in federal prisons may seem alarming but that only 8 percent of all U.S. prisoners are in such facilities. Most are in state and local prisons, where incarceration rates for immigrants are lower than average.
He also pointed out that many immigrants in the federal system may simply be there because they lack legal immigration status -- not for having committed flagrant criminal offenses.
"No community is immune from the ravages of drugs and sexual violence. But the overwhelming majority of those crimes are not done by immigrants," Johnson said. "We don't ask criminals about their political affiliation or their religion. So why should we focus on their immigration status?"
This Practice Advisory discusses the types of Affirmance Without Option (AWO) challenges that have failed and those that remain available. The advisory also includes a chart identifying the primary cases in each circuit and how they have decided various AWO issues.
The nonpartisan Washington D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center, for instance, says legalizing undocumented workers is the way to go.
On its website, the center says, “Comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to legalization for undocumented workers would pay for itself through the increased tax revenue it generates, in contrast to the failed and costly enforcement-only policies that have been pursued thus far.”
According to a new report, the center says, immigration reform that includes a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants and enables a future flow of legal workers would result in a big economic benefit.
In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. With the end of DOMA, married LGBT binational couples can access the panoply of marriage-based immigration benefits and forms of relief from removal. This practice advisory provides an overview of the agencies’ initial responses to Windsor and highlights some of the issues LGBT families will face in a post-DOMA world. It also includes information about the guidance USCIS issued on Friday, July 26.
The Wagner-Rogers Bill - Debate lesson allows students to develop and hear the arguments for and against the Wagner-Rogers bill by taking part in a mock Congressional debate on the bill. Students are encouraged to develop and listen to persuasive testimony and speeches, and to come up with creative strategies to change the legislation in ways in which it might be more acceptable.
Ben Johnson, the executive director of the Washington-based American Immigration Council, says Hatch’s bill is simply more of the same rhetoric that’s been tossed around for a while and does nothing to move the debate forward.
“The reality is that there too many politicians, and I think, unfortunately, Senator Hatch is beginning to fall into that category, introducing legislation not in any effort to actually get it passed but to send messages to their constituents,” Johnson said.
Johnson added some parts of Hatch’s legislation are already addressed in existing law.
“Declaring that we should deny visas to gang members and members of organized crime is like outlawing dinosaurs in Utah,” Johnson
District Court Jurisdiction over Non-Removal Cases
The Legal Action Center (LAC) urges a narrow interpretation of the statutory bars to review of discretionary issues in district court cases where discretionary relief may have been sought, but the cases themselves present legal or constitutional issues. This situation arises when, for example, a noncitizen seeks district court review of USCIS’s denial of an application for adjustment of status on non-discretionary grounds. This issue has become increasingly important as more noncitizens seek review of erroneous USCIS denials of applications for immigration benefits.
The LAC maintains that district courts do have jurisdiction over these cases and can review them under the Administrative Procedures Act. We argue that the bar to review of discretionary judgments found in INA § 242(a)(2)(B)(i) is inapplicable to a court’s review of non-discretionary statutory eligibility for an immigration benefit. We also argue that INA § 242(a)(2)(D) does not limit the jurisdiction of a district court to review constitutional and legal issues in a non-removal case.
Alla Barenboy v. Secretary of DHS et al., No. 10-1802 (3d Cir. amicus brief filed June 7, 2010) (court denied the petition on other grounds in a non-precedential decision).Read more...
Coan's collection of 'new beginning' stories captures the spirit of new Americans. Each story frames a different period of history but the drive, dreams, passion and pride of the subjects hasn't changed over time. Immigrants often leave so much behind in order to bring so much forward. The author organized the stories by decade and included a background of each era. With the perfect dose of history the book moves forward and the readers will feel like they get to know the storytellers. This book is the perfect companion to any educator who is teacing their students about immigration to the United States because it puts both the historic and contemporary issues of immigration into perspective.
As the Immigration Policy Center, organizers of the letter out it, “By failing to offer these young people a place in America, we are cutting them off from the very mechanisms that would allow them to contribute to our economy and society.”