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The Uncertain Future of Pennsylvania's Dream Act Legislation

Published on Wed, Sep 14, 2011

On June 20, 2011, Pennsylvania State Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-Philadelphia) introduced the Pennsylvania Dream Act, HB 1695, which mirrors the failed national-level bill that would have granted undocumented youth in-tuition rates at public universities. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania would become the 12th state, following the recent Illinois passage, to sign such legislation.

Presently, in Pennsylvania, in-state tuition costs for the 2011-2012 school year are $6,240, while out-of state tuition ranges from $9,360 to $15,600, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Undocumented students are not eligible for these in-state tuition rates, even though many of them have been residing in the state of Pennsylvania for significant periods of time.

The Pennsylvania legislation, like other state-level bills, builds a series of strict residency guidelines that undocumented students who request in-state tuition rates must demonstrate.

These guidelines, published by Dream Activist Pennsylvania, the main pro-immigration organization in Pennsylvania sponsoring the bill, include the requirement that students must have attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth for at least three years. They must also have graduated from a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth. And, in an often overlooked provision, students or their parents must have filed Pennsylvania income taxes annually for three years while attending school to qualify.

It's important to note that while the bill mirrors national-level legislation, states do not have the power to afford citizenship; only the federal government has that legal authority. Due to this fact, the Dream Act grants undocumented youth only the ability to attend college at in-state tuition rates, meaning that legally securing a job after receiving a degree is not possible.Read more...

Published in the Truth Out

IEC will not review new applications for J-1 sponsorship (September 1-7, 2014)

The IEC will not review applications during the first week of September (09/01/2013 - 09/07/2013).

New applications received during this week will not be looked at until September 9 at the earliest, and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Expedited applications received on or before 08/23 will be reviewed by 08/30. Non-Expedited applications received on or before 08/16 will be reviewed by 08/30. Staff will not be available to conduct Skype webcam interviews during the week of 09/01 - 09/07.

This crucial break during the first week of September will allow the International Exchange Center to conduct an internal review of our procedures in anticipation of some new changes that we hope will improve the programs we offer to J-1 Trainee/Intern participants, host organizations, and AILA attorneys who utilize our services.

Staff will not be available to make exceptions. Thank you for supporting us through this exciting transition!

-The International Exchange Center Staff

Quick Fact: Immigrants make up the majority of computer science students

Two-thirds of electrical engineering and computer science graduate students at U.S. colleges are foreign nationals

American Heritage Dictionary Revises "Anchor Baby" Definition; Clarifies Offensive, Derogatory Nature

Published on Mon, Dec 05, 2011

Steven Kleinedler, executive director of the American Heritage Dictionary, took note when Immigration Policy Center criticized its definition of "anchor baby."

 Kleinedler says American heritage will tweak the definition of the phrase for the third printing of the dictionary's Fifth Edition by noting that it is an offensive and derogatory term. He acknowledges that it "should have been done in the first place."

 He wrote on New Times' initial blog post the other day that he'd been in contact with the executive director of the Immigration Policy Center "to discuss her very valid points" and that "a revision to the definition is in order, and the editorial staff and I are working on this."

"When I first read the blog post at Immigration Impact, I knew immediately that a revision would be order," Kleinedler says. "I didn't need anyone to convince me. It was an obvious error that needed to be rectified, and so that is what we did."

 The revised definition:

n. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship.

 The original definition:

n. A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.

 Immigration Policy Center director Mary Giovagnoli first blogged at immigrationimpact.com criticizing the definition of "anchor baby."Read more...

Published in the Phoenix New Times

Board

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Paul L. Zulkie, President
Robert E. Juceam, Secretary
Warren R. Leiden, Treasurer     
Benjamin E. Johnson, Executive Director

Doug Stump, AILA Immediate Past President
William A. Stock, AILA 1st Vice President
Annaluisa Padilla, AILA 2nd Vice President
Lori Chesser, Chair, Board of Trustees
Crystal Williams, AILA Executive Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Lori Chesser, Chair (2014) 
F. Dan Siciliano, Vice-Chair (2014)Read more...

Kansas Immigration Hardliner Fights Plan to Allow Undocumented Workers

Published on Thu, Feb 02, 2012

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, architect of some of the most controversial anti-illegal immigrant state laws, now is fighting a proposal in his own state that would allow undocumented immigrants to work in hard-to-fill jobs.

The proposal, by business groups, calls for undocumented immigrants to be able to remain in Kansas if they work in jobs in agriculture and other industries that are struggling through labor shortages.

Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona, is denouncing the new Kansas proposal as "amnesty" for people who've come to the U.S. illegally. A spokeswoman said Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican, isn't supporting the measure.

But Brownback's agriculture secretary has acknowledged having several conversations with federal homeland security officials about potential labor shortages. The coalition pushing the new program includes agriculture groups with memberships that traditionally lean toward the GOP, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, another stalwart supporter of conservative Republicans.

Utah has a guest worker program, but it isn't set to start until January 2013, and its enactment was part of a legislative package that included initiatives in line with Kobach's thinking on immigration. States with large populations of undocumented immigrants -- including California, Florida and Texas -- don't have their own programs.

The Kansas proposal was described as "unprecedented" by Wendy Sefsaf, director of communications at the American Immigration Council.

State officials and supporters of the business groups' plan don't yet have hard numbers on how many jobs are in danger of going unfilled, but unemployment rates in the western half of the state were mostly less than 4 percent in December, well below the statewide figure of 5.9 percent.Read more...

Published in the Fox News Latino

Attorney FAQs

ATTORNEY FAQs:

1. What types of J-1 exchanges can the American Immigration Council sponsor?

2. What occupational categories can the American Immigration Council sponsor?

3. What are the minimum qualifications for program participants?

4. What are the fees for sponsorship?

5. What is the refund policy?

6. Does the International Exchange Center accept electronic signatures on application materials?

7. What is the Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number and is it an absolute requirement for potential host companies?

8. Can potential exchange visitors change status to a J-1 trainee or intern visa?

 

ATTORNEY FAQs:

 1. What types of J-1 exchanges can the American Immigration Council sponsor?

The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council is designated by the Department of State to sponsor intern and trainee J-1 programs.

2. What occupational categories can the American Immigration Council sponsor?

The American Immigration Council is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 programs in the following occupational areas:

• Arts and Culture

• Social Sciences, Library Science, and Social Services

• Tourism

• Information Media and Communications

• Management, Business, Commerce and Finance

• Public Administration and Law

• The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations

3. What are the minimum qualifications for program participants?Read more...

U.S. Supreme Court Ready to Tackle Controversial Arizona Immigration Law

Published on Tue, Apr 24, 2012

A clash over immigration law will go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 25), pitting the state of Arizona against U.S. President Barack Obama in a case with election-year political ramifications for him and Republican rival Mitt Romney.

In its second-biggest case this term, the court -- fresh from hearing the Obama healthcare overhaul case -- will consider whether a tough Arizona immigration crackdown strayed too far into the federal government's powers.

A pro-Arizona decision would be a legal and political setback for Obama, who has criticized the state's law and vowed to push for immigration legislation if re-elected on November 6. Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

Order your Copy of Green Card Stories Today!

The American Immigration Council is proud to support the publication of Green Card Stories. Green Card Stories is an incredible tribute to the diverse backgrounds that make up our immigrant population in America today. We can’t think of a better way to serve our mission to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history than by highlighting this incredibly beautiful and touching book.

You can order books for yourself, your office, family members, clients, etc. as well as donate a book to your local school, library or community center or to one of the Council’s designated “hot spots” where education on immigration is needed most. Could your Member of Congress use a thank you or a gentle reminder of who our immigrant population is? Donate a copy of Green Card Stories to a Congressional office. All donated books will be delivered free of charge with a note indicating your generous gift.

To order your copy, fill out an order form.

Click on the book above to get a slideshow preview!

The American Immigration Council would like to thank the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers for providing the initial efforts and funding of Green Card Stories.

Ten Way Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy

Published on Thu, Jul 12, 2012

The White House Blog cited IPC statistics about the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians to highlight how immigrants help strengthen our economy.

Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015. Read more...

Published in the The White House Blog