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Legalization

Bloated Estimate of Legalization Costs Ignores Immigration Reform's Broader Economic Benefits

Released on Mon, May 06, 2013

Washington D.C. – Today, the Heritage Foundation released a report which attempts to assess the fiscal costs associated with legalizing the 11 million unauthorized individuals living in the United States. The new report is similar to a 2007 study, which was widely criticized at the time of publication and continues to be re-rejected today by conservatives. As such, this report serves as a reminder of why fiscal cost analyses cannot replace broader economic analyses.

The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:Read more...

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Immigration bill backers try again despite jobless rate

Published on Tue, Dec 15, 2009

Arizona tops the list, with unemployment at 293,000 as of October and with 300,000 illegal immigrants either working or seeking work as of 2008, according to a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report. New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland and Texas round out the top five states.

Published in the Washington Times

Legal Action Center Issues Updated FAQ on the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement

Released on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce an update of Frequently Asked Questions About the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement.  This updated FAQ answers questions about the benefits provided under the settlement of the nationwide class action, ABT v. USCIS, which challenged policies related to employment authorization for asylum applicants.  For more information about the ABT case, see the LAC’s Asylum Clock webpage.  The FAQ is released in coordination with co-counsel in the lawsuit, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Gibbs, Houston and Pauw.  

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For more information, contact asylumclock@immcouncil.org or call 202-507-7516.

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Program that IDs jailed illegal immigrants sought for deportation gets high marks

Published on Mon, Feb 22, 2010

For nearly a year, Fairfax County's Adult Detention Center has quietly helped pilot a far-reaching program designed to identify criminal illegal immigrants and assist the federal government in removing them from the United States.

For nearly a year, Fairfax County's Adult Detention Center has quietly helped pilot a far-reaching program designed to identify criminal illegal immigrants and assist the federal government in removing them from the United States.

Published in the Washington Post

Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Failures of CBP to Respond to FOIA Requests

Released on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed by three immigration attorneys and eleven noncitizens challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA gives an individual the right to access information that the federal government possesses about him or her within 20 business days of making the request. CBP routinely fails to provide requested documents within 20 days, but instead takes months—and in many cases more than a year—to provide documents. Plaintiffs and others like them are forced to delay filing applications for lawful permanent residence while they wait for necessary documents from their own case files. By bringing this case as a class action, the plaintiffs seek to remedy CBP’s system-wide failures in its management of FOIA requests. The case was filed by the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the American Immigration Council.

The complaint in Brown et al. v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges that such routine and excessive delays are unjustified from CBP, the agency with the largest budget within the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit was filed on Friday, March 13, in federal court in San Francisco.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are asking the Court to issue a nationwide injunction ordering CBP to respond to pending FOIA requests within 60 business days of the Court’s order and to respond to future FOIA requests within the statutory period. Read more...

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Migrant filing of taxes up, Illegal immigrants can file returns with ITINs

Published on Sat, Apr 10, 2010

Alondra Velasco is part of the underground economy, but she's a legitimate taxpayer in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

The 22-year-old Rialto resident works at a Mexican restaurant. She gets paid in cash because she's in the country illegally and doesn't have a Social Security number.

Like millions of Americans, Velasco will file a tax return this year, reporting her income and earnings to the Internal Revenue Service.

Published in the Contra Costa Times

US immigration: Flagged up

Published on Sun, May 02, 2010

Brandon Hernandez is a typical American teenage boy. Clad in sneakers and baggy sweatshirt, the ninth-grade student is standing outside Central High School in Phoenix with a friend, flirting in vain with groups of girls passing by.

School has finished for the day and Brandon, who was born in Arizona to Hispanic parents, should be looking forward to the weekend. But the 14-year-old is worried: the state’s new immigration law could make him a target of police searching for illegal immigrants, he says.

Published in the The Financial Times

Is immigration enforcement a waste of money?

Published on Wed, May 26, 2010

The United States has spent billions to try to stop illegal immigration over two decades, yet the population of unauthorized foreign residents has grown dramatically.

Those who back other ways to deal with the problem raised this point on Wednesday while President Obama and Congress prepare to send additional personnel to the borders and spend millions more for detention, technology and enforcement.

“All of this attention on resources for the border ignores the fact that border enforcement alone is not going to resolve the underlying problems with our broken immigration system,” says the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy group that favors comprehensive reform.

Published in the Sun Sentinel

New Book Reviews

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Check out new book reviews on immigrant stories from the Community Education Resource Center.

We welcome book reviews from students! Email teacher@immcouncil.org for more information.

Immigrant Cycle Familiar To United States

Published on Sat, Jul 03, 2010

"When we look at history, you see that immigration goes up in times of economic prosperity and down when the economy is not doing so well," said Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. The influx spurred opposition from many citizens, who said Irish immigrants were taking Americans' jobs and opposed the immigrants' religion. Politicians demanded laws to make it harder for foreigners to become U.S. citizens.

In 1875, the U.S. passed its first restrictive immigration law. It prevented prostitutes and convicts from entering the country.

"Throughout history, it is the laws that really define who is legal and who is illegal," Waslin said. "At different parts of U.S. history, different groups have been illegal depending on what law there was at the time."

Published in the Arizona Republic