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Family Unity: Escutia v. Reno

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

  • AILF and the INS have reached a final agreement to settle Escutia v. Reno, a case addressing the INS's failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.
  • AILF has filed a national class action lawsuit against the INS for its failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program. Click here to see the complaint and press release.

State likely to address more immigration issues in '12

Published on Tue, Jun 21, 2011

A Georgia federal judge heard arguments this week over whether Georgia's new Arizona-style immigration law should stand or fall. The judge heard arguments on both the constitutionality and the practicality of enforcing the law.

The law closely mirrors Mississippi's 2011 Senate Bill 2179 - which, like the Georgia law, would have required county and municipal law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects and to arrest and jail illegal immigrants. The bill failed in Mississippi when House and Senate negotiators could not agree on the law.

Those disagreements were heightened when the Mississippi Municipal League raised legitimate concerns that the bill was an "unfunded mandate" from the Legislature that would increase costs on county and municipal governments and could raise taxes.

The Mississippi bill required housing illegal immigrants in county jails and transporting them to the nearest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Louisiana. But the bill provided only $20 a day for local governments to pay the costs of incarceration and no funds for transportation, medical expense and host of other potential costs.

Texas state legislators are voting this week on similar legislation. With almost 9.5 million Hispanic residents comprising nearly 38 percent of the state's population, the outcome of this law in Texas will be closely watched nationally.

If adopted, Texans would join citizens in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama and South Carolina as states that have adopted broadly scaled state laws addressing the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Clearly, immigration is not a problem in Mississippi of the size and scope that it is in Texas and Arizona.Read more...

Published in the Clarion Ledger

Criminal Sentencing Decision

United States v. Rodriquez, 553 U.S. 377 (2008)

The Court examined whether a state drug-trafficking offense, for which state law authorizes a ten-year sentence because the defendant was a recidivist, qualifies as a predicate offense under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). In a 6-3 decision, the Court concluded that it does. The decision is available on the Supreme Court’s website. Read more...

Jo Oyanagi Pedals Toward Success

December, 2009
Jo

Jo Oyanagi, 23, of Tokyo, Japan is a J-1 trainee at Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Jo works for Trek in Japan and is taking part in a J-1 exchange program in order to learn an American perspective on customer service and sales techniques that he will bring back to the Japanese side of the company when his training in the US is complete. Read more...

Noncitizens won’t be informed of their rights before questioning, says Obama administration

Published on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

Under a new decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals made on Thursday, immigrants arrested without a warrant will not be read their rights until they are placed in formal deportation proceedings. The Board argued that its decision (PDF) was based on changes to regulations stating that immigrants arrested without a warrant need not be informed of their rights before being questioned.

Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council, said in a press release, “The Board’s ruling renders the advisals practically meaningless and makes immigrants less likely to remain silent when questioned and less likely to assert their right to counsel.”

The new decision makes it harder for immigration attorneys to successfully file motions to suppress evidence acquired while violating an immigrant’s rights. Such motions are being used more often in deportation cases, which are themselves occurring at record levels.

Although people arrested for immigration violations don’t have “Miranda rights” per se, arresting immigration officers were required to inform immigrants of their right to an attorney and that anything they say can be used against them. Now, Crow told TAI, that protection is rendered less effective because officials can inform immigrants of their rights after they given incriminating testimony while under warrantless arrest.

Technically, the decision only affects arrests by federal immigration officials. However, Secure Communities, the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement program in which local law enforcement give the fingerprints of people they arrest to federal immigration officials, could reinforce the effects of the decision.

That’s because immigrants can potentially give incriminating testimony well before federal officials place them in deportation proceedings but after they have been flagged by Secure Communities.Read more...

Published in the American Independent

New Hope for Haiti, via Charlotte (Charlotte Examiner)

J-1 Intern Josue Jeanty is making news in Charlotte. The full article was featured in the Charlotte Examiner on Saturday, October 2, 2010, and tells the story of Jeanty's journey from Haiti to the United States.

Immigration activists slam Gingrich on ‘Red Card Solution’

Published on Wed, Nov 23, 2011

Newt Gingrich is trying to carve out a middle way on illegal immigration, pushing a “Red Card Solution” that would essentially expand the guest-worker program without giving those immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

But Gingrich’s compromise isn’t eliciting much praise within the immigration community: Activists on both on left and right say that Red Carding fails to address fundamental problems with the U.S. immigration system.

On the right, advocates who want greater restrictions on immigration say the Red Card Solution simply gives businesses a pool of cheap labor at the expense of native-born workers. The Kriebel Foundation, which developed the idea, “has an interest in a modern-day form of slavery while wages have atrophied for less-skilled American workers,” says Dan Stein, president of the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform. “This is effort to create a stratified labor force that provides wealthy employers with a way to get employees at below-market rates.” What’s more, he warns, guest workers with Red Cards might simply overstay their visit when their work permits expire.

Pro-immigration advocates argue that the Red Card plan would undermine the rights of immigrants and would be massively difficult to put in place. “It virtually guarantees that we create second-class status for workers and their families — lawful but with no real rights,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center. She described plan’s the elimination of birthright citizenship for Red Card workers as “eradicating rights.” She also says the proposal ignores the need to reform the legal immigration system.Read more...

Published in the The Washington Post

About the Community Education Center

Who We Are

The Community Education Center strives to promote a better understanding of immigrants and immigration by providing educational resources that inspire thoughtful dialogue, creative teaching and critical thinking.  Dedicated to the American values of fairness, social justice and respect for all people, the Center is committed to making immigration an “everybody issue.”  The Center also highlights the positive contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to American society through its programmatic work.

Download our brochure.

What We Do

Educational Resources

The Community Education Center provides youth, education and community leaders with the tools and resources they need to prepare informative and effective immigration programming. Created by educators, for educators, our annual Educators’ Immigration Resource Guide offers new and informative lesson plans, book/film reviews and other valuable resources that support the value of immigration to the United States. The Center also offers additional educational ideas, lesson plans, immigration history, book/film reviews, and links to other educational resources on our website.