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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

Staff

DIRECTORS

Executive Director
Benjamin E. Johnson

Policy Director
Beth Werlin

Legal Director
Melissa Crow

International Exchange Director
Lois C. Magee

Finance & Operations Director
Wilma Linares

Communications Director
Wendy Feliz

Fundraising & Development Director
Megan Hess

STAFF

Legal 
Melissa Crow, Director
Emily Creighton, Senior Staff Attorney
Leslie Dellon, Business Litigation Fellow
Lindsay M. Harris, Legal Fellow
Mary Kenney, Senior Staff Attorney
Kristin Macleod-Ball, Staff Attorney
Catalina Restrepo, Legal Assistant

Policy
Beth Werlin, Director
Guillermo Cantor, Deputy Director of Research
Walter Ewing, Senior Researcher
Amy Grenier, Administrative & Research Assistant

International Exchange
Lois Magee, Director
Colleen Tomlinson, Exchange Program Manager.
Moksheda Thapa, Exchange Program Specialist
Joanna Quiambao, Exchange Visitor Program Associate 

Community Education 
Claire Tesh, Senior Manager
Sara Burnett, Education Associate

Fundraising and Development
Megan Hess, Director
Claudia Ornelas, Development AssociateRead more...

U.S. Immigration Services Improves Access to Legal Counsel for Immigrants

Published on Sun, Jan 22, 2012

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 non-citizens 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 non-citizen 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 non-citizens 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. 

The American Immigration Council looks forward to commenting on the new guidance and working with the agency to make sure it is followed.  The other immigration agencies – Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – should take note of USCIS’s commitment to improving access to counsel and take similar steps to recognize the meaningful role that attorneys play in protecting noncitizens’ rights. 

Published in the Hispanically Speaking News

Organizations in Your Community

Educators, community organizers and civic leaders interested in engaging your community with service learning projects? Find local organizations committed to immigrant rights, integration and social justice. Read more...

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Win Politically

Published on Wed, Apr 11, 2012

President Obama’s inability to pass much-needed comprehensive immigration reform could cost him the 2012 election.

Though recent news of a rebounding economy, coupled with Republican Party infighting suggest otherwise, the Hispanic vote is neither uniform nor clearly aligned with the Democratic Party. If Hispanics fail to support the president in four key swing states — Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado — the election could go to the likely Republican candidate, former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Time magazine kicked off the topic of Hispanic electoral power with their March 5 cover story “Yo Decido.” The author noted demographic trends that favor Hispanic predominance in certain places in the nation, and last week, it was widely reported in the U.S. media that about one in six Americans are Hispanic. Additionally, one in six workers in the U.S. are Hispanic and of legal status.

While the Republicans may have learned from earlier egregious mistakes, like former candidate Herman Cain’s jocular comment about electrifying the fence between the U.S. and Mexico, they seem to have a collective tin ear when it comes to Hispanic culture, issues, voting patterns and history. They don’t understand the importance of Hispanics among us, and, surprisingly, they don’t seem to really care.

Romney is hardly progressive or nuanced when it comes to Hispanic issues; he opposes the critically important DREAM Act, which would allow people who arrived in the U.S. as children to earn an education in America beyond high school. Common sense suggests we support a policy whereby our nation, struggling to compete in an increasingly technical, global environment, supports the education of young people who want to contribute to the social and economic development of the U.S.Read more...

Published in the Tennessean

Leadership Roster

American Immigration Council 2014-2015 Leadership Roster


Lori Chesser, Chair

Davis Brown Law Firm

Lori Chesser is a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm and the chair of the Firm's immigration Department. She has a background in finance and corporate law, but has been practicing primarily in immigration law for 20 years.

Lori represents individuals and companies in employment-based immigration applications for both temporary and permanent positions, assists in making visa applications, trains and advises companies on I-9 compliance and audit response, and helps plan immigration strategy for business owners and entrepreneurs. She also assists in family-based immigration, including fiancé(e) visa applications and marriage-based and other family-related immigration issues. Finally, she advises clients on maintaining permanent residence and applying for naturalization, and works in conjunction with the firm's tax and estate planning departments to optimize immigration status for financial planning purposes.

Read more...

Arizona Immigration Law Critics Split On Court Ruling

Published on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

American Immigration Council director Ben Johnson was quoted in an article discussing reactions to the SB 1070 ruling:

Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said it "makes clear that the federal government — and only the federal government — has the power and authority to set the nation's immigration policies."

IPC staff lawyer Ben Winograd was also quoted in the article:

"The fact that Kennedy wrote the majority opinion is itself kind of a firewall," said Ben Winograd, an attorney with the American Immigration Council. Kennedy is widely recognized as the court's key swing vote.

Published in the Investor's Business Daily

Mr. Moreno Carrasco

The ninth of eleven children, Moreno E. Carrasco was born in the Dominican Republic. When he was five years old, his father passed away leaving his mom to care for him and ten other children.

In 1978, he came to the United States with the intention of staying permanently. However, after learning English for one year, Moreno returned home to go to college because his mother was afraid he would get "corrupted" in the United States. He missed the U.S. dearly and returned after the first semester. His first intentions were to go to California to become an eneologist (wine producer). However, he started to tutor foreign students in English and developed a love for education. His French advisor suggested that he obtain his teaching certification, in case the "wine "thing didn't work out. He graduated in 1983 from The University of Maryland at College Park with a degree in French and Spanish Education. That summer he had the opportunity to attend summer classes at La Sorbonne in Paris. In 1984, Moreno started teaching in the Howard County Public Schools system. He became an assistant principal in 1992, and 1996, he joined the Montgomery County Public Schools system as principal at Eastern Middle School. Later in 2003, he would become principal of Richard Montgomery High School. Under his leadership, Robert Montgomery High School has been ranked as the number one school in the State of Maryland and as high as number 11 in the United States.

In 1988, he received a Master's degree in Supervision and Public Administration and has been serving as an adjunct professor of Diversity and Education at Johns Hopkins University since 1994.Read more...

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson in ABC-Univision Report

Published on Mon, Jan 14, 2013

AIC's Executive Director, Ben Johnson, was quoted in this recent ABC-Univision article:

"Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will remain at her post during President Obama's second term, a development that could have implications for the debate over immigration reform.

Officials from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed to ABC/Univision on Monday that Napolitano will stay in her current job...

'I think with Secretary Napolitano as the head of the Department of Homeland Security, it certainly is very hard to argue that the Obama administration isn't serious about enforcement. She has been very aggressive in enforcing the law,' said Benjamin Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Council in Washington, D.C. 'She's bringing a lot of credibility and a lot of experience in making the case that we've done enforcement, and it's time to start thinking about other areas of immigration policy that have to be changed.'"

Read more here.

Published in the ABC News-Univision

Roxanne Lynn Doty

Roxanne Lynn Doty joined the ASU faculty in 1990. She received her BA and MA for Arizona State University and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Professor Doty has contributed articles to International Studies Quarterly, Review of International Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, Alternatives, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Millennium‐Journal of International Studies, and International Political Sociology. She is the recipient of a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation grant 1997‐1998. Her current research interests include international relations theory, border studies, and the politics of writing.