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Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel

Released on Fri, Jul 12, 2013

Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel
Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel

A federal district court recently issued an opinion addressing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) failure to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  According to the court, ICE did not show that it had conducted an adequate search for records in response to the American Immigration Council’s (Council) FOIA request regarding noncitizens’ access to counsel in interactions with the agency.  The court also rejected ICE’s justifications for withholding numerous records. 

Under the U.S. immigration system, many decisions impacting the lives of noncitizens are made by ICE officers at field offices, detention centers and arrest sites nationwide.  Reports from immigration lawyers across the country indicate that the actions of ICE officers routinely impact attorneys’ efforts to represent their clients.  Yet, ICE’s policies about access to counsel have not always been easy to ascertain and appear to vary by location.  Through its FOIA request, the Council hopes to shed light on these policies.

After waiting more than a year for ICE to respond to the request, the Council’s Legal Action Center and co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed a FOIA suit on behalf of the Council, alleging that ICE had failed to turn over records responsive to the FOIA request.  After filing suit, ICE released 1084 pages, many of which were heavily redacted or withheld entirely.  It subsequently released several thousand records related to detention facilities, which the Council is not challenging. Read more...

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Benjamin Johnson Makes Economic Case for Immigration Reform

Published on Mon, Jan 11, 2010

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, makes the economic case for comprehensive immigration reform.

Published in the Fox News

The U.S. Must Not Lower the Bar on Protecting Children Fleeing Violence

Released on Wed, Jul 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over the role immigration plays in our country. Rather than respond to the arrival of children and young families as refugees fleeing violence and crime, and appropriately fund our ability to prioritize the health and well-being of these individuals, Washington has yet again become mired in anti-immigration rhetoric. As the Senate and House take up supplemental funding bills, this debate is likely to involve numerous attacks on existing protections for children, including rolling back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), accelerating court proceedings to limit the due process available to children, and other measures that will in essence blame the children for needing protection. Read more...

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Report: Immigration cases at record levels in 2009

Published on Thu, Mar 25, 2010

Immigration prosecutions rose to record levels in 2009 as the Obama administration kept up aggressive enforcement that began under President George W. Bush.

Immigration cases increased by about a fifth over the previous year and made up a third of all new criminal filings in U.S. district courts in the government spending year that ended Sept. 30. The statistics were compiled by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.


Published in the Associated Press

The American Immigration Council Unveils a New Logo and More

Released on Wed, Jul 15, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The American Immigration Council (Council) announces the official debut of its redesigned logo. A reinterpretation of the organization’s familiar brand, it is the first offering in a series of significant updates the Council’s audiences will see in the year to come.

The Council has spent the first half of this year in research and discovery to effect a strategic unification of its four main programs—Immigration Policy Center, Legal Action Center, International Exchange Center, and Community Education Center. The Council will continue to provide the same broad-based scholarship, policy expertise, legal analysis, international exchange, and education work to its core audiences, including attorneys, academics, advocates, policymakers, and educators, but continue doing so under a single banner identity—the American Immigration Council.

The Logo

The Council worked with D.C.-based designer Anastasia Miller to conceptualize and render the new design. The new logo plays on the "I" and "C" in the old motif and introduces a “road” element to emphasize the Council’s mission and vision. The road connotes a journey with purpose, with a nod to our motto "honoring our immigrant past and shaping our future," which distills the essence of the Council's work.

Coming Soon: A Content-Rich, Easy-to-Use, Responsive Web Presence

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More undocumented workers are filing returns, advocates say

Published on Mon, Apr 26, 2010

Americans angry about the current immigration morass utter a common complaint: “Illegal aliens don’t pay taxes.”

But many undocumented workers have taxes taken out of their checks and an increasing number are filing tax returns, according to IRS statistics, local undocumented workers and immigrant advocates.

President Obama’s promise of an immigration overhaul is a major reason for the increase in returns. That change could open a path to legal status for about 12 million people currently illegal.

Published in the The Palm Beach Post

Delaware: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the First State

In Delaware, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to Delaware’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 3,320 new immigrant business owners in Delaware and in 2010, 10.5 percent of all business owners in Delaware were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $261 million, which is 12.6 percent of all net business income in the state.
  • Delaware is home to many successful companies with at least one founder who was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, including well-known companies such as the chemical giant DuPont, which brought in $39.5 billion in revenue in 2012 and employs 70,000 people worldwide.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to Delaware’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

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Don't Reject. Assimilate!

Published on Thu, May 06, 2010

Here we go again. It seems like an eternity since immigration reform was part of the national dialogue: Back in 2006-2007, George W. Bush was president, and Senator Ted Kennedy was leading the push for a bipartisan immigration reform package in the Senate with the collaboration of Senator John McCain of Arizona. Their proposal ultimately failed, and the 2008 presidential campaign halted all forward movement to reform our outdated immigration system.

Published in the Memphis Flyer

Immigrants & Community

Immigrants & Community teaches middle grade students through literacy-based activities about various types of community and about how immigrants contribute to the communities of which they are a part.

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Experts Find Fault with U.S. Border Strategy

Published on Sat, Jun 12, 2010

Benjamin Johnson, a researcher with the American Immigration Institute, said the immigration debate in the United States has become entirely fixed on the issue of “securing the border.” He cited the recently signed Arizona state law that gave police greater power to enforce federal immigration laws. Fear and uncertainty about the border led to the passage of that law, Johnson insisted.

“This appetite for enforcement at the border seems almost insatiable,” he said. “The focus of legislative efforts and debate seem to always come back to this question of border enforcement.”

Published in the Valley Morning Star (TX)