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Ishwinder Kaur Explores the United States

January, 2010
Ishwinder Kaur

Ishwinder Kaur, 23, hails from New Delhi, India. She is currently training in Chicago in the field of business research and administration. She feels welcome in the US, and affectionately refers to Chicago as “a city of cold winds and warm hearts." Read more...

Obama raises false hope on immigration

Published on Wed, Aug 24, 2011

If there was ever any doubt that the only thing President Obama is truly gifted at is getting people to hope for change, we need look no further than his recent announcement to review the cases of up to 300,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation.

Too bad it's false hope.

Despite initial excitement of the immigrant advocacy organizations who are fighting for nothing less than a full 1980s-style amnesty -- and the correlated anger from conservatives who believe that last week's decision to re-evaluate the existing enforcement priorities is just that -- this is not a big step in immigration policy.

This latest Obama re-election campaign stunt won't affect 97 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in our country. It is causing a lot of confusion within the very communities it is supposed to assuage, and it is further alienating those who must come to the negotiating table to hammer out a compromise for our immigration quagmire.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer chimed in quickly after the news broke, denouncing this plan as a "backdoor amnesty." She and others can be forgiven for initially thinking that. At first blush it sounded as though, at the very least, 300,000 lucky souls who were close to being deported had gotten a reprieve.

Many immigration experts and advocacy organizations are urging caution. They're scrambling to tell the immigrant community to not turn themselves in to authorities or try to get themselves detained for the purposes of becoming "legal." The possibility -- and it is just a possibility -- of getting a slate cleaned is open only to the 300,000 already in the pipeline for deportation. Each case will be reviewed by a panel and, if the case is closed, legal resident status will not be granted.Read more...

Published in the Herald Extra Utah Valley News

Court to Hear Child Status Protection Act Case

Mayorkas v. DeOsorio, No. 12-930 (cert. granted June 24, 2013)

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on December 10, 2013 in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) case Mayorkas v. DeOsorio.  The Court will consider whom Congress intended to benefit by INA § 203(h)(3), a provision which allows beneficiaries of certain visa petitions to retain earlier priority dates after “aging-out” (turning 21) and losing child status.  The government sought Supreme Court review of an en banc decision of the Ninth Circuit holding that § 203(h)(3) applied to derivative beneficiaries of the Family 3d and 4th preference categories, as well as those in the Family 2A category.  DeOsorio v. Mayorkas, 695 F.3d 1003 (9th Cir. 2012).  In so holding, the Ninth Circuit rejected the Board of Immigration Appeals’ interpretation of § 203(h)(3) as applying only to derivative beneficiaries of the Family 2A preference category.  Matter of Wang, 25 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2009). 

The American Immigration Council is amicus in this case.  Read more about our CSPA litigation on our Child Status Protection Act website.

Exchange Visitor of the Month

April, 2013

Carla Parzianello is a J-1 trainee in Human Resources Management from Brazil. During her time at YMCA of the Rockies in Colorado, Carla has reached out to local Americans to share her culture. She has organized events for adults and spoken to kids in local schools. Check out her tips on how you can do the same!

Read more...

Undocumented College Students Rally For Public Financial Aid

Published on Wed, Sep 28, 2011

Two dozen college students rallied Werdnesday afternoon outside the San Francisco office of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until Oct. 9 to either sign or veto a bill that would allow undocumented students to receive public financial aid for higher education.

The students, joined by a member of the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, took part in a statewide day of action designed to pressure Brown into signing the bill, AB 131, the second half of the California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act.

In July, Brown signed AB 130, a bill allowing undocumented students to receive private scholarships.

If he signs the second bill, undocumented students attending public higher educational institutions who qualify for the exemption from non-resident tuition would be eligible to receive financial aid at the state's public colleges and universities.

Currently, undocumented students cannot receive state or federal financial aid.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, although some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, only 5 to 10 percent continue onto college, with many unable to continue for financial reasons or because schools do not allow them to enroll.

Several students, identified only by their first names for their protection, shared stories at the rally about their college experiences.

Through choked tears, Catherine spoke of how she had been a fourth-year political science student at the University of California at Berkeley but had to drop out the semester she was to graduate because she could not afford to finish.

"Sign this bill as if your own children needed it," she said, urging Brown to take action. "Undocumented students are under attack and California can be the beacon of hope."Read more...

Published in the The San Francisco Appeal

Impact on J-1 Programs in the Event of a Federal Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013 - As the US Congress delays approving a budget for FY 2014, it is possible that tax funded “non-essential” services will be suspended.  “Non-essential” services are those that are not considered to be a health or security concern.

Read on to learn areas that may impact our exchange visitors in J status: Read more...

Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' offensive term

Published on Thu, Dec 08, 2011

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries -- and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term "anchor baby" as "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."

The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is offensive, as it does for other words.

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word's inclusion on its blog on Dec. 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the "poisonous and derogatory nature of the term."

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.

The current wording was added to the online dictionary on Monday. It flags the word as "offensive" and defines "anchor baby" as being "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."

Kleinedler told Colorlines, a blog that reports on issues of race, ethnicity and social justice, that changing the word was more about accuracy than outrage.

"Personally, this was not a reaction that we have to fix it because people are angry," Kleinedler told Colorlines. "We fixed it because we were wrong. And I, as the executive editor, acknowledge the fact that this was an error and I take responsibility for that."Read more...

Published in the CNN

Board

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

Laura Lichter, AILA Immediate Past President (2014)
Victor D. Nieblas Pradis, AILA 1st Vice President (2015)
William A. Stock, AILA 2nd Vice President (2016)
Robert Cohen, Chair, Board of Trustees (2014)
Crystal Williams, AILA Executive Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Robert Cohen, Chair (2014)
Lori Chesser, Vice Chair (2014) Read more...

Quick Fact: DREAM Graduates

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