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Tens of Thousands March for Workers’ Rights, Immigration Reform

Published on Mon, May 02, 2011

Across the country, tens of thousands marched and rallied May 1, May Day, to call for national immigration reform and to support all workers’ rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people declared: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a crowd of about 100,000 in Milwaukee that “May Day is our day to stand together shoulder to shoulder for immigrant and worker rights.”

Gov. Scott Walker…has declared war on Wisconsin workers and, like you did before, you joined in a peaceful protest to say “No! No!” We reject the idea that America can no longer be a great nation and that we’re too broke to treat people fairly. We reject the notion that America can’t be the land of shared prosperity.

The crowd marched 2.5 miles across Milwaukee chanting, “this is what democracy looks like,” “sí, se peude,” “Walker eschuca estamos en la lucha” and “Wisconsin no es Arizona.”

Read Trumka’s entire speech here and click here to read more about the Milwaukee march.

On the other side of the country, nearly 10,000 people in Los Angeles rallied for good jobs that include a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants.

According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center, if federal immigration reform included a path to legalization, California would add 633,000 jobs and increase tax revenue by $5.3 billion.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler spoke at a mass rally in Chicago and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker spoke at a rally in New York City.

Cory McCray, president of the Young Trade Unionists in Baltimore, spoke to Young Democrats from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania about the importance of collective bargaining. Check out a video of some of the discussion here.

Here are some other major May Day events:Read more...

Published in the AFL-CIO Blog

Justice Breyer Grants Stay of Deportation; Cert Petition Later Denied

Rashid v. Gonzales, 549 U.S. 1212 (2007)Read more...

  • On Tuesday February 20, 2007, the Court denied Haroon Rashid’s petition for certiorari. The Tenth Circuit had upheld a finding that Rashid was removable because his misdemeanor assault conviction constituted an "aggravated felony." On December 6, 2006, Justice Breyer had stayed the deportation pending the Supreme Court's ruling on his petition for certiorari.

ICE issues memo on ‘prosecutorial discretion’

Published on Thu, Jun 23, 2011

John Morton, executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE), issued a memo (.pdf) last Friday that provides ICE personnel “guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement resources are focused on the agency’s enforcement priorities.”

The memo is one among several issued over the past 30 years by federal immigration authorities on how to exercise prosecutorial discretion. This latest memo explains that “the term ‘prosecutorial discretion’ applies to a broad range of discretionary enforcement decisions” that can include deferred action but also the execution of a deportation order. It offers guidelines on how to use discretion on a case-by-case basis and states that “decisions should be based on the totality of the circumstances, with the goal of conforming to ICE’s enforcement priorities.”

According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are factors that lead to the use or exercise of prosecutorial discretion in an immigration case, “with respect to investigations, arrests, detention, parole, the initiation of removal proceedings, continued litigation of removal proceedings, and even the execution of final removal orders. Examples of the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context include a grant of deferred action; a decision to terminate removal proceedings; a stay of removal; or a decision not to issue a charging document in the first place.”

The Morton memo adds that “when weighing whether an exercise of prosecutorial discretion may be warranted for a given alien, ICE officers, agents, and attorneys should consider all relevant factors.”

The memo lists a series of factors that would allow ICE officials to use discretion:

• If the alien came to the United States as a young child.

• Whether someone has graduated from a U.S. high school or has successfully pursued or is pursuing a college or advanced degree.Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

2010 American Heritage Awards

2010 American Heritage Awards to Honor Outstanding Immigrant Women

 Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center

National Harbor, MD

Friday, July 2, 2010

Read More...

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.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month: Latinos Are The Majority In Federal Prison

Published on Thu, Sep 15, 2011

This year, we’re kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with the disheartening news that Latinos, for the first time in American history, comprise the majority of inmates in federal prison. One reason for this, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, is the unprecedented amount of undocumented immigrants being arrested and charged rather than deported. The trend is a tactic on the part of the Obama administration, (and the Bush administration before them), says Walter Ewing, senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center, to butter up conservative litigators for immigration reform.

“It’s a losing strategy because it’s never going to be enough for them,” Ewing told political watchdog site Colorlines, referring to members of Congress who demand “a secure border” before they can consider immigration reform.

Meanwhile, those sneaking into the United States to willingly perform labor for minuscule wages are finding themselves involved in a far more diabolic system than they bargained for. Namely, privatized prisons motivated by profit.

Corrections Corp. of America, (it sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit, but it’s sadly very real), runs more than 60 prisons and immigrant-detention centers across the country. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the effect of money on U.S. politics, CCA has spent more than any other corrections company–$17.6 million– lobbying politicians, contributing to their campaigns and hiring their former staff. They also lobby the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement division which just so happens to contract with CCA and other private companies for immigration-detention centers.

Though CCA says they only lobby to educate policy makers, one can’t help but notice that what they lobby for is tougher prison sentences. After all, it’s how they make their money.Read more...

Published in the Texas Observer

Get Involved

CONTACT US

Whether you are an educator, librarian, museum curator, immigration attorney, community activist or just someone who is interested in the unique ways immigrants and immigration touch our lives, we believe you have something valuable to add to the immigration dialogue. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to get involved in this pivotal topic. If you have an idea or would like to make a suggestion on how we can make immigration more accessible to your community, please email us at teacher@immcouncil.org

Community Grants

The Community Education Center awards educational  grants of $100 to $500 to fund educational projects about immigrants and immigration.  No deadline available on rolling basis.

"Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest

The American Immigration Council is proud to sponsor the annual “Celebrate America” Creative Writing Contest in an ongoing effort to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.

"Change in Motion" Multimedia Contest

The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce a call for submissions to the 2013 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The competition challenges today’s young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities through video and other multimedia projects.

 

Gingrich: Cut ‘baloney’ costs and build fence

Published on Fri, Dec 02, 2011

Newt Gingrich continued his full-throttle emphasis on immigration on Thursday in Iowa, countering opponents who have accused him of embracing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Gingrich signed a pledge to build a fence along the entire 2,000-mile stretch between Mexico and the United States by the end of 2013.

Building the fence could cost taxpayers billions of dollars, not including annual maintenance expenses. But Gingrich told The Des Moines Register in an interview that those costs could be trimmed as much as 95 percent by simply eliminating all federal regulations for the fence’s construction.

He did not explain how he arrived at that estimate and his staff was unable to pinpoint the information Thursday.

“Remember, we built the Pentagon for almost nothing because we didn’t go through all the modern baloney,” Gingrich said.

Such federal regulations are intended to protect water quality, prevent ground pollution and ensure worker safety — all items generally seen as critical to human health.

Several immigration reform advocates said Thursday that while they agree with Gingrich that action is needed, they doubt his cost-saving ideas and whether such a fence would be effective.

A better idea would be to invest the billions of dollars in increased security and screening at the nation’s ports of entry, where the majority of illegal immigration and drug smuggling occurs, said William Moore, a spokesman for the Texas Border Coalition. The nonpartisan group of mayors and local officials represents more than 6 million people living along the border.

Moore also contends that building the fence would be difficult if not impossible because of the region’s harsh landscape. Because of flood plains, some U.S. farmers and their homes would likely be on the Mexican side of the fence, creating numerous safety and property rights issues, he noted.Read more...

Published in the Des Moines Register

2006 Winner, Jasminh Duc Schelkopf

My Mom “Thuy”

By Jasminh Duc Schelkopf

International School of Indiana

 

My mother’s name is Thuy. She was born in Saigon, South Vietnam. Her father was a 3-star Lieutenant General for the South Vietnam military and her family had almost everything that you could possibly think of before the civil war of Vietnam. However, when they lost their country, they lost everything. After the war, all they had left was their hope and beliefs.

 

In 1975, North Vietnam won the war. When my mother was only twelve years old (8th Grade), she and her brother and sister were forced to go to Canada. The rest of her family was then scattered around the world in places like France, Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. They all had a very tough time there because they had no support and no money as new immigrants.

 

For seven years after the war, my mother went to school and worked during the evening to help out my grandfather. My mother attended college for only two years because she needed a full time job to support her family. She also went to beauty school, graduated, and worked for the family. Then, having lived in Canada for ten years, my mother realized there was a better future for her in the U.S.A. -- “The Land of Opportunity.” She decided to move to Pennsylvania in 1985.

 

My mother began hard work at a beauty shop near Philadelphia and she worked hard everyday. Her dreams were to “ONE DAY” create her own salon and reach her many dreams. Due to her talents, she developed many clients and made a lot of friends. She saved as much money as she could and even avoided eating out or going to the movies or doing anything fun that might cost money.

 Read more...