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Prospects Remain Grim for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Published on Mon, Aug 30, 2010

The best bet for reforming the immigration system this year lies with smaller bills, and immigrants rights groups have attempted to push for these measures instead. If this happens, the future of comprehensive immigration reform is still unclear, according to Mary Giovagnoli, director of Immigration Policy Center.

“We don’t have a good measure anymore of what will happen once we get something discreet like the DREAM Act passed,” she says. “But when the sky doesn’t fall in and if people still get re-elected after supporting DREAM, it may show members of Congress that leaning into the immigration issue and voting for comprehensive immigration reform could help them politically.”

Published in the The Washington Independent

The Criminal Alien Program (CAP): Immigration Enforcement in Prisons and Jails

The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) is an expansive immigration enforcement program that leads to the initiation of removal proceedings in many cases. While CAP has existed in one form or another for decades, there is still much to be learned about the program, how it is organized, and how it works. What is known is that CAP extends to every area of the country and intersects with most state and local law enforcement agencies.

For years, the CAP program has operated with little public attention and many of its elements have only recently come to light following FOIA litigation against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The information obtained through the lawsuit regarding CAP’s current organization and staffing suggests CAP is not a single program, but a loose-knit group of several different programs operating within ICE. Other than a small number of staff responsible for the administration of CAP at ICE headquarters, there is no dedicated CAP staff. Rather, ICE pulls personnel and resources from across the agency to perform CAP-related functions.  

The ICE declarations and deposition also explain how CAP functions within prisons and jails. There appears to be little consistency in, and little or no policy governing, how CAP cooperates with state and local law enforcement agencies in different regions and in how CAP interacts with detainees in different facilities. Instead, CAP appears to function as an ad hoc set of activities that operate differently across the country and across penal institutions, raising questions about the adequacy of oversight, training, and accountability of the personnel implementing CAP.

This information confirms that there is still much about CAP that remains unknown or unclear.  Given the breadth of CAP, the centrality of its role in immigration enforcement, and its large impact on the immigrant community, it is critical that ICE clarify how CAP operates.Read more...

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Groups Mobilize NY Immigrant Vote

Published on Tue, Oct 19, 2010

Their coordinated efforts have been a success, with more than 280,000 new citizens being registered to vote. This year, with tight congressional races for state Assembly and Senate elections, their goals are to demonstrate the impact of that voting bloc, which already counts more than 1 million registered voters in New York, according to a new study by the Immigration Policy Center.

Published in the Epoch Times

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 1

This issue covers a recent SIJ decision enjoining the government from requiring specific consent for minors in federal custody, a Supreme Court update, an update on mandatory detention litigation, cases rejecting the BIA precedent Matter of Shanu, and a Q&A on a recent court decision addressing the ABC settlement.

Published On: Thursday, January 24, 2008 | Download File

State rep. pushing Ariz.-style immigration law has ties to organization working to repeal 14th Amendment

Published on Mon, Jan 10, 2011

Michelle Waslin, an Immigration Policy Center senior policy analyst, tells the Independent that “SLLI wants to spark a legal challenge that goes all the way to the Supreme Court. They want to set up a system for citizens and another for people who can be discriminated.”

Waslin also says that amending the 14th Amendment is not a solution for illegal immigration. “Under the current system, you’re born here, you get a birth certificate,” she says. “If we didn’t have that system we would need a bureaucracy to determine citizenship.”

She points out that if automatic citizenship is eliminated, all U.S. citizens would be affected. She compares the outcome to the current situation of a U.S. serviceman in Germany, married to a German woman, who together have a baby. That couple has to hire an immigration lawyer have to clarify if the baby if a U.S. citizen.

Published in the Florida Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 6

This issue covers litigation over naturalization delays, subpoenas when FOIA requests are delayed, and developments concerning mandatory detention.

Published On: Thursday, March 2, 2006 | Download File

Chairy Saidjan Embraces American Culture

March, 2009
Chairy Saidjan

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Chairy Saidjan as March's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

GOP Tries To Scare Minorities Into Supporting Anti-Immigration Policies

Published on Thu, Mar 03, 2011

On Tuesday the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a meeting that purported to explore the effects of undocumented workers on the labor market. “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities” included prepared statements from the President of the San Antonio Tea Party and a professor representing the abjectly titled—and thoroughly unprogressive—Progressives For Immigration Reform (PRIF), among other specialists.

There were few surprises during the hearing—the subcommittee chair, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) began with a statement that read, in part, “Virtually all credible studies show that competition from cheap foreign labor displaces American workers, including legal immigrants, or depresses their wages.”

His references include a Pew Hispanic Survey that shows seven million undocumented immigrants have jobs in the U.S. and a study conducted by the risibly partisan The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that determined undocumented workers depress wages for all low-skilled workers by $1,800 a year. Rep. Smith then cites a Harvard research paper by George Borjas that found undocumented workers reduce the wages of low-skilled American workers by 7.4 percent.

I’ll get to the findings in a moment, but I think it’s bedeviling Rep. Smith relies on two studies that view undocumented immigrants in a negative light, and stops right there. Doing more to cement anti-immigrant advocates as purveyors of hyperbole and anecdote, Smith says:

“But research is not the only proof. After illegal workers are arrested and detained during Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) worksite enforcement actions, many businesses replace them with American minorities.”

A footnote? A statistic? He doesn’t even offer a number pulled from the firmament. Instead, he entreats lawmakers to fix an immigration system that hurts “American workers” and particularly “African Americans.”Read more...

Published in the Campus Progress