Joan Friedland, Esq., was Managing Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center in Washington, D.C. until July 2011. She worked for many years with non‐profits and in private practice in New Mexico and Florida, practicing primarily in the areas of civil rights, immigration and criminal law. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and currently lives in New Mexico.
Recently, the Huffington Post featured an Infographic from the Immigration Policy Center's Fact Sheet "The Cost of Doing Nothing". The article, titled "Why Can't A Nation That Calls Itself A Melting Pot Sort Out Its Immigration System?" highlights the problems with the current U.S. immigration system:
"Detaining and deporting people is extremely costly, and even those who support more deportations admit that deporting everyone isn't feasible. Plus, some reports have found that enacting reform could improve the economy, which means the U.S. could be losing money in two ways by maintaining its current policies. The Immigration Policy Center, the research arm of the advocacy group American Immigration Council, breaks down some of the numbers:
Kavitha Sreeharsha is a Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Momentum’s Immigrant Women Program. Her work focuses on immigration policy advocacy and technical assistance relating to immigrant women issues. Her advocacy includes co‐chairing the Freedom Network (USA), the only human‐rights based anti‐trafficking coalition in the United States. Kavitha received her J.D. from U.C. Hastings and her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley. She is a recipient of several awards including the 2004 Unity Award from the Coalition of Minority Bar Associations and the 2007 Tanya Nieman Award from Partners Ending Domestic Abuse in San Francisco. Kavitha is based in Washington, D.C.
Immediately after the Presidential election of 2008, it was quickly apparent through exit polling that Latino, Asian, and African-American voting had expanded dramatically compared to the 2004 election. Census Bureau data released late last month confirms the tremendous growth in voting among these groups. Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases a fact check, Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth, which shows how much the electoral power of racial and ethnic minorities increased in just four years.
In recent days, leaders from both sides of the aisle indicated that comprehensive immigration reform is a legislative priority for the 111th Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reassured the public that Congress will move forward and pass immigration reform legislation. Meanwhile, renowned Republican strategist Karl Rove included immigration reform as part of a roadmap for the future survival of the GOP. Read IPC's comments.
Newspapers are reporting today that during the official Q&A session following the Chicago bid for the Olympic Games, I.O.C. member, Syed Shahid Ali, from Pakistan, asked President Obama how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Olympic Games because doing so can sometimes be "a rather harrowing experience." While this I.O.C. member's concerns raise a red flag about the need for a change in our immigration policies, a litany of voices have been warning for years that the U.S. is slowly adopting an anti-visitor policy that is harming business, higher education and families.
On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder that a lawful permanent resident who is convicted of minor drug possession offenses does not warrant classification as having been convicted of an "aggravated felony." As a result, the Court held that Mr. Carachuri-Rosendo cannot be deported without an opportunity to make a case for why he should be allowed to remain in the United States. Please view the press release directly below, and you can also read about this case on our Supreme Court Update page.