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Aiding and Abetting as an Aggravated Felony

Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183 (2007)Read more...

  • In a January 17, 2007 decision written by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court found that a person who aids or abets a theft falls within the scope of the generic definition of theft. The Attorney General had sought certiorari in this Ninth Circuit removal case. The respondent, a permanent resident, was convicted of violating section 10851(a) of the California Vehicle Code. He was placed in removal proceeding and charged with removability based on an aggravated felony conviction, to wit, a theft offense as defined in INA § 101(a)(43)(G). The Ninth Circuit, relying on Penuliar v. Gonzales, 435 F.3d 961 (9th Cir. 2005), which held that the California statute is broader than the generic definition of theft, reversed the finding of removal.

ACLU slams Texas bill allowing indefinite detention of immigrants

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

There's no sugarcoating the destructive effect that Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-Texas) bill will have on people's lives. H.R. 1932 imposes indefinite detention on immigrants who have been ordered removed but cannot be deported through no fault of their own.

The House Judiciary Committee has debated H.R.1932. This bill would strip individuals of the right to appear before a neutral arbiter to argue that their detention is unjustified. It directly contradicts recent Supreme Court decisions reiterating that the fundamental guarantee of due process applies to all individuals present in the United States.

A recent Physicians for Human Rights report documents the severe and long-lasting effects of holding people in indefinite detention, noting that "without any information about or ability to control the fact or terms of their confinement, detainees develop feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that lead to debilitating depressive symptoms, chronic anxiety, despair, dread of what may or may not happen in the future, as well as to [post-traumatic stress disorder] and suicidal ideation." Rep. Smith has provided no compelling justification to support subjecting thousands of individuals to such debilitating conditions of confinement.

Rep. Smith said last week: "Just because a criminal immigrant cannot be returned to their home country does not mean they should be freed into our communities." But no one is arguing that dangerous criminals may never be detained, only that categorically locking up dangerous and non-dangerous immigrants forever is legally wrong and inhumane.

Both the criminal justice system and civil commitment systems are in place to protect our communities from truly dangerous people. Instead of attempting to amend or reform these systems to achieve Rep. Smith's goals, this bill creates a new Guantanamo-esque legal limbo where immigrants are detained indefinitely without charge.Read more...

Published in the Press TV

New Government Regulations for J-1 Programs

Final regulations for the J-1 Trainee and Intern programs will take affect on September 10, 2010.

New regulations clarify the eligibility requirements for J-1 trainees, interns, and host organizations. Additional changes include:

  1. Elimination of the requirement that sponsors secure a Dun & Bradstreet report on all host companies.
  2. Clarification that social work falling under Public Administration and Social Service Professions is allowed; clinical social work is not allowed.
  3. Clarification that telephone interviews are appropriate when video conferencing is not available for the purpose of screening English language proficiency.

Final regulations are posted here.

Quick Fact: The importance of unauthorized immigrants in California

If all of the unauthorized immigrants in California were removed, the state would lose $301.6 billion in economic activity, decrease total employment by 17.4%, and eliminate 3.6 million jobs.

Harsh Immigration Policies Push Latino Majority Into Federal Prisons

Published on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

Deportation is clearly not punishment enough for the Obama administration. Not only has President Obama deported more people in his tenure than in any of his predecessors, his administration is responsible for the most aggressive spike in federal prosecutions of immigration offenses. Now, Latinos are the majority of those who are sent to federal prison for felonies, according to a new report (pdf) from the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

The spike, other numbers show, has been driven in large part by the federal government’s aggressive prosecution of immigration offenses.

Where once people who were caught trying to enter the country without papers were allowed to opt for voluntary removal and kicked back across the border, today the federal government is choosing to file charges against people and incarcerate people before deporting them. It’s a profound enough change in policy that it’s changing the demographics of incarceration rates.

In the first nine months of the year Latinos were 50.3 percent of all those who were sentenced to federal prison for felony convictions. Blacks made up 19.7 percent and whites 26.4 percent. Latinos are just 16 percent of the general population though, according to the Census. This is the first year that Latinos have become the majority of those sent to prison for federal felonies.

The aggressive prosecutions are driven by a failed political strategy, immigration experts say. The Obama administration has stepped up its enforcement efforts with the hopes of encouraging a recalcitrant Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform. “They seem to be trying to look tougher and tougher on enforcement as a down payment on immigration reform in the future,” said Walter Ewing, senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Community Education Center News Room

Tough Arizona-Style Immigration Laws Pose New Issues for High Court

Published on Tue, Dec 06, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court will meet later this week to decide whether the justices will hear Arizona's case with the Department of Justice over its stringent anti-immigration law.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, petitioned the high court in August to take its case in an effort to get an early injunction blocking the law's more onerous provisions overturned.

Expectations that the justices take Grand Canyon State's case are low. There are pending cases from the Justice Department challenging Arizona-style anti-immigration laws in other states and there has yet to be a split among the appellate courts that the high court needs to address.

But the fact that Arizona has already reached a petition stage is a sign that an immigration battle could end up on the Supreme Court docket in the near future. A case over these new laws, which grant local police power to detain and check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the country without authorization, would be new terrain for the Supreme Court.

Several years ago, states never attempted to pass such tough immigration laws, says Ben Winograd of the American Immigration Council Legal Action Center.

Can-You-Top-This-Conservatism Laws

Now, states seem like they are trying to compete with one another to devise the toughest law to drive out largely Hispanic immigrant population. This can be attributed in part to Kris W. Kobach, an Ivy League-educated constitutional lawyer who is currently serving as Kansas' Republican secretary of state and is of counsel to the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

He is the brain behind Arizona's anti-immigration law, SB1070, and also a hand in Alabama's HB56, considered one of the harshest anti-immigration laws in the nation.

Such laws are now in six states, including Utah, South Carolina, Indiana and Georgia.Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

Who We Are

We strive 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 Council is committed to making immigration an “everybody issue.”  The Council also highlights the positive contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to American society through its programmatic work.

Staff

Claire Tesh
Senior Manager, Community Education
ctesh@immcouncil.org

Sara Burnett
Education Associate, Community Education
sburnett@immcouncil.org

 

 

 

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War against drug cartels needs new focus, strategy

Published on Mon, Feb 06, 2012

 

A bit of respect, please, for the drug cartels. For their ingenuity, technological shrewdness and ability to adapt their products and services to a changing marketplace.

It’s a perspective missed by both Democrats and Republicans. Politicians of both parties are too busy grandstanding about “securing” or “fixing” a border they fail fully to understand.

A series of position papers is being released by the nonprofit Immigration Policy Center detailing the failings at the U.S.-Mexico border in stark, necessary language. The author is former Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard, and his nuanced view is a corrective to the overheated rhetoric we usually hear on the subject.

Most Americans think the trouble at our southern border is just about guns, dope and meth. Goddard argues the Mexican drug cartels are more aptly described as “transnational criminal organizations.” They are branching to new lines of business like production and distribution of pirated music, movies and software, money laundering and hijacking.

“Rather than being just a line in the desert sand, the southwest border is a complex, multidimensional interrelationship of immigration laws, cyberspace money transfers and international business connections,” Goddard writes.

His second in a series of three reports, “How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source,” was released days ago. In almost every paragraph you can read Goddard’s exasperation with our wrongheaded border policy.

Politicians earn brownie points from voters by pumping up the rhetoric about needing “more boots on the ground,” but they are unlikely to catch a Zeta that way. “If we are serious about stopping the threat on the border, we have to dismantle the criminal organizations that carry the contraband and take away the tools that make them so effective,” Goddard writes. “Anything less will fail.”Read more...

Published in the Kansas City Star