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Gov. Perry and Those DREAM Act Kids

Published on Tue, Oct 11, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been beaten up in recent GOP presidential primary debates over his signing of a bill in 2001 giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrant kids in Texas. Look for the issue to come up again at tonight’s debate in New Hampshire.

In a free society, so-called DREAM Act legislation would be unnecessary. Opportunities for legal immigration would be open wide enough that illegal immigration would decline dramatically. And higher education would be provided in a competitive market without state and federal subsidies. But that is not yet the world we live in.

On the federal level, the proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act would offer permanent legal status to illegal immigrant children who graduate from high school and then complete at least two years of college or serve in the U.S. military. Legal status would allow them to qualify for in-state tuition in the states where they reside, and would eventually lead to citizenship.

Those who respond that such a law would amount to “amnesty” for illegal immigrants should keep a couple of points in mind.

First, kids eligible under the DREAM Act came to the United States when they were still minors, many of them at a very young age. They were only obeying their parents, something we should generally encourage young children to do.

Second, these kids are a low-risk, high-return bet for legalization. Because they came of age in the United States, they are almost all fluent in English and identify with America as their home (for many the only one they have ever known). “Assimilation” will not be an issue.Read more...

Published in the The Cato Institute

IPC Staff

Beth Werlin, Director

Beth Werlin directs the Council’s policy and research program.  Prior to assuming the position of Director of Policy, Beth worked for over 13 years in the Council’s legal department and was involved in nearly every major legal issue the Council tackled over the last decade.  She has worked to protect the rights of noncitizens and ensure that the immigration agencies are held accountable for violations of the law.  She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae in immigration litigation in the federal courts and before the Board of Immigration Appeals and is the author of numerous practice advisories.  Beth first joined the legal team in 2001 as a NAPIL fellow and before that was a judicial law clerk at the immigration court in Boston, Massachusetts.  She earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.A. from Tufts University. 

Wendy Feliz, Communications Director
202-507-7524
wfeliz@immcouncil.org
Read more...

Quick Fact: DREAM Graduates

Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school.

Letter to the editor: by Mary Giovagnoli

Published on Fri, Jan 06, 2012

The POLITICO article “Obama: We Can’t Wait on Immigration” (Jan. 6) suggests that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement of streamlined processing for certain immigration waivers is part of a “war on GOP members of Congress.”

This is an unfortunate characterization of a long-overdue regulatory change. It is designed to correct a decade-long problem that has unnecessarily separated families and caused undue hardship to thousands of U.S. citizens and their loved ones.

The proposed rule would permit “in-country processing” of family unity waivers. This changes regulations that now require applicants to leave the country before they can apply for a waiver.

The current system has become increasingly burdensome, because of processing backlogs, uncertainty of outcomes and violence in key U.S. consulates, such as the one in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It creates unnecessary hardship for applicants who are eligible to receive a legal status but must first obtain a family unity waiver.

This waiver can now only be obtained abroad. But leaving the U.S. may trigger a bar of three years to 10 years if the applicant has been unlawfully present.

Many applicants fear that they might be permanently separated from their families and so never apply to become lawful permanent residents. Though applicants would still have to depart the U.S., under the new proposal they would do so knowing that their waiver had been provisionally approved — reducing waiting time and hardship for all.

All members of Congress — Republican or Democrat — have likely seen the compelling cases raised by the three year-to-10 year bar problem. Resolving it is not a partisan issue. It is instead an example of immigration service acting responsibly to address a problem of its own regulatory making.

Mary GiovagnoliRead more...

Published in the Politico

Immigration advocates march to support immigration reform

Published on Mon, Mar 12, 2012

Immigration advocates continue to march to oppose enforcement-only state laws, deportation proceeding and to support immigration reform measures.

The recent deportation proceedings against Miami student Daniela Pelaez and her sister have sparked outrage in South Florida, with thousands taking to the streets last week to protest.

Speaking on the Spanish-language news show Al Punto on Sunday, Pelaez told reporters that her lawyer had obtained a deferred action – a step that effectively halts deportation proceedings against her, and grants her two years to adjust her residency status in immigration court.

Congressman David Rivera, R-Florida, who met with Pelaez on the heels of the Miami protest, announced Friday that he would file the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status Act, or S.T.A.R.S. Act, which would allow undocumented immigrant youth who meet certain criteria to adjust their residency status.

But according to DRM Capitol, an organization that supports the DREAM Act, Rivera’s S.T.A.R.S. Act “is far from the more comprehensive DREAM Act that many undocumented youth organizations are fighting for.”

“This proposal is an orchestrated attempt to appeal to the important Latino voting block that will be critical to the 2012 elections,” adds DRM Capitol.

In its March/April issue, Mother Jones published its Immigration Hardliner Family Tree, a chart showing the links between organizations that support self-deportation or attrition through enforcement immigration policies and several GOP politicians, including Florida congressman Allen West.

GOP presidential candidates have said they support controversial immigration enforcement laws that currently exist in Alabama, Arizona and Georgia. Those candidates have also voiced their opposition to the DREAM Act, which polls show the majority of Latino voter support.Read more...

Published in the The Florida Independent

Mission

International ExchangeAbout the International Exchange Center

The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council firmly believes that the movement of people across borders improves quality of life worldwide. When international trainees on J-1 visas improve their career skills through training in the United States, they are better equipped to take care of their own families and communities.  On a larger scale, the positive ties created between US hosts and international trainees lead to a more stable world. When J-1 interns learn and share cutting edge technologies through internships with American companies, we all gain.

International trainings and internships provide the opportunity to combine the best ideas from two or more countries. J-1 trainees and interns return home with new career skills and a greater appreciation for American people and culture; the U.S. host company gains greater knowledge and appreciation for the J-1 visa holder's business practices, country and culture. Participating in international training is taking part in direct diplomacy and vitally important cultural exchange – strengthening positive ties with other parts of the world.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:

The purpose of the International Exchange Center is to create educational resources and opportunities that recognize our immigrant heritage.  Dedicated to respecting, valuing, and celebrating cultural differences, the International Exchange Center programs create a synergy of the best ideas from many cultures for the benefit of all.

Download a brochureRead more...

Report: Biometric Data Being Collected with 'Little to No Standards, Oversight, or Transparency'

Published on Wed, May 23, 2012

A report released by the IPC was highlighted and summarized by Security Management: Read more...

Published in the Security Management

Resources


Resources for Current J-1 Interns and Trainees

Is the American Immigration Council is currently sponsoring your J-1 Intern or Trainee program? Look here for information on what information you need to send us when you arrive, obtaining a Travel Validation signature, applying for a Social Security number and tax information, and replacement Evaluation forms.


Application Resources

Are you applying to one of the International Exchange Center’s J-1 programs? Click here for information on how to write a DS 7002 Training Plan and instructions on filling out our application.Read more...