As the congressional Super Committee struggles to cut the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion by next Wednesday, pro-immigrant advocacy groups are amplifying their calls to dial back on border security as a way to reap savings.
The federal government stands to save $2.6 billion a year by deporting only violent criminals, capping yearly border patrol budget increases, and ending a government program to level minor criminal charges against people crossing portions of the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, according a National Immigration Forum report released Tuesday.
The latest iteration of the 2012 Department of Homeland Security budget calls for spending $5.5 billion on Immigration and Customs Enforcement and $11.8 billion on Customs and Border Protection. That’s nearly double the spending levels for both compared to fiscal 2000, and up from $5.1 billion and $9.3 billion in fiscal 2008. Declining numbers of arrests along the Southwest border are evidence that this ramped-up spending is an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars, the report concluded. According to government data, border patrol arrests fell about 28 percent between October 2010 and August 2011 in California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona.
“The number of people arrested for trying to cross the border illegally, used as a proxy for measuring the total number of people trying to cross illegally, is at its lowest point since 1972,” the report said. “We are spending more and more money so that we don’t have to apprehend fewer and fewer people.”Read more...
Are you a potential J-1 intern or trainee? A US company, institution or organization looking to host an international exchange visitor? An immigration attorney representing a host company or individual foreign national interested in the J-1 visa? The International Exchange Center is here to assist you in navigating the J-1 process whatever your role in the exchange. To begin, download our application package or read through our quick tip sheets to learn more about the process.
For more information and resources, please see below:
When it comes to immigration policy, the candidates vying for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination agree: the first imperative is to halt the flow of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Immigration has proved to be a contentious issue in the Republican primary. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was lambasted for signing a bill offering in-state tuition to some undocumented students, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich drew criticism from his right flank for suggesting that immigrants with deep roots and family ties should have a path to legalization. But throughout this discord, every candidate has invoked the need to "secure the border" before pursuing any other reforms.
Before suspending her candidacy, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., proposed building a "double fence" that spanned "every mile, every foot, every inch" of the border. Perry has vowed to police the border by fortifying the U.S. Border Patrol, which already deploys a record number of agents. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has embraced the border-first approach, and his focus on enforcement helped him win the endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the harsh Arizona immigration law that became a model for other states.
"What I support is focusing on securing the border, and when we secure the border and have convinced the American people that we do not have a flow of illegal aliens coming into the country, then we can address what we're going to do with the 11 or 15 million that are here," Romney told the Washington Examiner.
It costs roughly $166 per day for ICE to detain one person. ICE spends $5.5 million per day to detain 33,400 people in over 250 facilities. Furthermore, over half of detainees did not have criminal records and traffic offenses accounted for roughly 20 percent of those who did have criminal records.
The city of Austin didn’t like Arizona’s controversial immigration-enforcement law — SB1070 — when it first passed in 2010, and it still doesn’t like the measure today as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments for and against it.
In 2010, the city of Austin quickly passed a resolution that urged city departments to sever ties with businesses in that state.
Council members said then they wanted to send a message that they opposed racial discrimination of any kind, and they didn’t want to risk subjecting city employees to “unfounded detentions while on official city business” in Arizona.
Now, Austin — along with the city of Laredo and Dallas County — is again expressing dismay over the measure in an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for April 25.
Meanwhile, a leading immigration-policy think tank has issued a report stating that if the justices rule in Arizona’s favor, individuals may still bring additional legal claims to halt the policy depending on how it is enforced.
The court will review four provisions of the Arizona law, which has been enjoined by a federal district court. They include a requirement that police officers attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped if they suspect the person is in the country illegally; a requirement that immigrants register with the federal government and carry a registration card with them; a provision that makes it a crime for an unauthorized immigrant to work, apply for work or solicit work; and a provision that allows officers to arrest immigrants without a warrant if probable cause exists that they have committed a deportable offense.
The amicus brief, joined by 41 cities, the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, argues that the law, and others like it, open the door for racial profiling and adversely affect community policing efforts.Read more...
The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council firmly believes that the movement of people across borders improves quality of life worldwide. When international trainees on J-1 visas improve their career skills through training in the United States, they are better equipped to take care of their own families and communities. On a larger scale, the positive ties created between US hosts and international trainees lead to a more stable world. When J-1 interns learn and share cutting edge technologies through internships with American companies, we all gain.
International trainings and internships provide the opportunity to combine the best ideas from two or more countries. J-1 trainees and interns return home with new career skills and a greater appreciation for American people and culture; the U.S. host company gains greater knowledge and appreciation for the J-1 visa holder's business practices, country and culture. Participating in international training is taking part in direct diplomacy and vitally important cultural exchange – strengthening positive ties with other parts of the world.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
The purpose of the International Exchange Center is to create educational resources and opportunities that recognize our immigrant heritage. Dedicated to respecting, valuing, and celebrating cultural differences, the International Exchange Center programs create a synergy of the best ideas from many cultures for the benefit of all.
Remembering the American Immigration Council when you travel with American Airlines will earn us rewards and benefits that we can use to support our work.
Simply enter the American Immigration Council’s Business ExtrAA number (815300) in the proper field (see below) when booking your flight with American Airlines®, American Eagle®, and AmericanConnection.
And don’t worry, you will still earn your individual AAdvantage miles (you enter that code in a separate field.)