Assistant Secretary, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Eva M. Plaza, the current Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, brings over 15 years of experience to her position as a lawyer, manager and policy-maker.
Eva Plaza came to the United States from Mexico when she was two years old with her parents and three siblings. Ms. Plaza was admitted to Harvard University and graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor's Degree in Government. Ms. Plaza went on to study law at the University of California Berkeley (Boalt Hall) where she served as Associate Editor of The California Law Review and as Editor-in-Chief of La Raza Law Journal. After law school, Ms. Plaza was selected to the highly acclaimed Honors Program of the Department of Justice in 1984, where she worked as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Division's Commercial Litigation Branch.
Subsequently, Ms. Plaza entered private practice in Washington, DC. While her private practice focused on government contracts, she also served as one of the lead counsel in the well-known class action immigration litigation initiated as Ayuda v. Meese. Under the Clinton administration, Ms. Plaza joined the Department of Justice, where she managed and supervised a legal staff consisting of 254 employees specializing in all areas of tort law, including aviation, admiralty, constitutional torts, environmental torts, medical malpractice, AIDS litigation, banking litigation, vaccine and radiation litigation. She also chaired the Torts Branch's Representation Committee where it was her responsibility to ensure uniformity and equal treatment for federal employees in providing representation. Ms. Plaza briefed the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General on complex landmark cases that had fallen under media and congressional scrutiny.Read more...
Vivek Wadhwa, an advocate for reform of America's high-skilled immigration system, cited the IPC in a Washington Post article focusing on DREAMers:
"There are an estimated 1.8 million children in the U.S. who could be classified as “illegal aliens”, according to the Immigration Policy Center. They didn’t knowingly break any laws. Their parents brought them to this country to give them a better future. These “DREAMers” as they are called, grew up as Americans, believing they were entitled to the same rights and freedoms as their friends. But, because they don’t have the proper paperwork, they are forced to live in the shadows of society—as second-class human beings with limits on where they can work and study, and what they can do. Until recently, they would also fear being rounded up in the middle of the night to be deported to a land that they don’t even remember."
Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, Ph.D. is the founding director of the North American Integration and Development Center and associate professor in the Division of Social Sciences and the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Born in Mexico and raised in Chicago, he received a B.A. in economics, an M.A. in anthropology, and a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Chicago. Professor Hinojosa-Ojeda has held various academic and policy research positions in a variety of universities and public institutions, including the World Bank, InterAmerican Development Bank, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the United States Trade Representative, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
"Between 1996 and 2007, foreign-born Michiganians were three times as likely as nonimmigrants to start a new business, according to the Immigration Policy Center. And they’re six times as likely to start a high-tech firm."
As the New York Times reported today, the Obama administration has reiterated its intention to tackle comprehensive immigration reform this year. Recent statements from Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid have also signaled their support. Yet some observers had assumed that the promise President Obama made during his campaign to reform the dysfunctional U.S. immigration system during his first year in office would be sidelined by the current recession. But, as the White House made clear today, the President intends to make good on his promise. The following is a statement by Angela Kelley, Director of the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) in Washington, DC.
On Thursday, May 22, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing on "The Border Security Challenge: Recent Developments and Legislative Proposals."
Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a piece penned by journalist George Will on the topic of birthright citizenship. Will highlights a scholar who argues against giving those born in the United States birthright citizenship and characterizes the repeal of a 150 year-old constitutional tenet as "a simple reform." Normally, the idea of stripping those born in America of their right to citizenship has been relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians who try to exploit it for electoral gains. In endorsing this argument, Mr. Will has looked past a whole body of research which examines the dramatic and far- reaching consequences this would have on American society.
The arguments about birthright citizenship revolve around the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which affirms that all persons born in the United States (and subject to its jurisdiction) have a birthright to citizenship. A repeal of the 14th amendment is sometimes raised as a "cure" to our current broken immigration system, when in reality it takes us further away from the larger conversation that must be had about how we can fairly and efficiently revamp American immigration. Proposing solutions to the symptoms, rather than the root causes of a broken system, do nothing to solve our overall immigration problems and create divisions and dysfunctions in our society at all levels.