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Advocates & Opponents Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Criticize Obama

Published on Fri, Apr 15, 2011

SAN DIEGO — The Washington-based Immigration Policy Center advocates a centrist policy of enforcement coupled with a path to citizenship. It has released a report card on the Obama Administration.

The center cites tension between enforcement and reform priorities, and calls out Obama's failure to fulfill his promise of comprehensive reform.

"While the president on the one hand is saying that he understands that we need immigration reform, his focus has been deporting people," said Michele Waslin, a senior policy analyst with the center. "And in some cases, deporting those very people that he really hopes to legalize someday."

The center cites a record number of deportations under Obama and criticizes the lack of effort to find ways for longtime, productive undocumented immigrants and their children to remain in the country.

"The president has said several times that all he can do is enforce the law. When we think that the president certainly has other executive powers--there are things that can be done administratively within current law that would also help to reform the system from within," Waslin said.

She added the chances of an Obama-led immigration reform by the end of his first term are minimal.

On the other hand, summarizing the president's performance on immigration issues, the conservative Center for Immigration Studies believes it's been all for show.

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, said that the Obama administration has increased deportations and security at the border. But it has not gone far enough given the reality of increasing violence in Mexico.

"The unspoken factor underlying much of the immigration debate is the ongoing, low-level civil war within Mexico," said Krikorian. "Every time another ditch full of 100 bodies is found, makes the cause of weakening enforcement that much more difficult."Read more...

Published in the KPBS

BRAND X IN IMMIGRATION CASES

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JULY 2012)

The Supreme Court's Brand X decision allows agencies to offer an interpretation of a statute that differs from a published circuit court decision. An agency may do so, however, only where the underlying statute is ambiguous. This Litigation Issue Page provides an overview of the Supreme Court's holding and identifies circuit court immigration decisions that have applied Brand X and immigration agency decisions that have addressed Brand X.

What is Brand X?|Application of Brand X in Circuit Court Immigration Cases|Discussion of Brand X in Agency Cases and Rules|Court Remands and Brand X

What is Brand X?

Brand X is a Supreme Court decision that deals with whether the courts must defer to an agency interpretation of a statute that conflicts with a circuit court's prior interpretation of a statute. The full case name and citation is National Cable & Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967 (2005). According to Brand X, in limited circumstances, an agency may disagree with a circuit court decision and offer a different interpretation of a statute. However, it may do so only where the statute is ambiguous. In a situation where the court of appeals' decision is based on the unambiguous reading of the statute (decided under step I of the Chevron analysis), an agency interpretation that is contrary to a prior circuit court decision will not trump the circuit decision in that circuit.Read more...

Tania Calvao Celebrates the J-1 AND J-2 Experience

November, 2008
Tania Calvao

Contrary to the visa title, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program isn't all about the J1, but the J2s, too!

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Tania Alves Calvao AND her son, Olivio, as November's Exchange Visitors of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

Educated Immigrants Outnumber Low-Skilled Ones in U.S.

Published on Fri, Jun 10, 2011

The word "immigrant" often conjures up the negative images of low-skilled and likely illegally residing workers. As Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Council tells the Washington Post, "too often the immigration debate is driven by images on television of people jumping over fences." Yet a new report from the Brookings Institution pushes back against this stereotype, showing there are actually more college-educated immigrants of working age in the United States than those without high-school degrees.

To help understand the chart above, it's useful to look at Brookings terminology. Low-skilled immigrants are those that do not possess a high-school diploma, while high-skilled immigrants are those with a college degree, or more. The shift in the past few decades has been significant: "In 1980, just 19 percent of immigrants aged 25 to 64 held a bachelor's degree, and nearly 40 percent had not completed high school," the report states. By 2010 that 40 percent was down to 28 percent, while the percentage of immigrants holding BAs rose to 30. Mid-skilled immigrants--those that have a high school diploma or some college and no degree--are still the largest group, though the percentage has held pretty steady since the early 90's. It's worth adding that Brookings methodology did not distinguish between illegal and legal immigrants; birthplace was the sole determination of immigrant status.

It looks like good news, but not everyone sees the report as encouraging. "New college graduates are faring very poorly on the labor market, and what the report is telling us is that we're bringing in a high number of workers to compete with them," Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, a self-described "pro-immigrant, low-immigration," think-tank in Washington D.C told the Post.

Published in the Atlantic Monthly

Prevailing Party May Recover Paralegal Fees Under EAJA

Richlin Security Service Co. v. Chertoff, 553 U.S. 571 (2008)

The Court held that under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) a prevailing party may recover its paralegal fees from the government at the prevailing market rates. The government had argued that paralegal services are recoverable only at “reasonable cost” and that such costs should be measured from the perspective of the attorney rather than the client. The Court rejected the government’s arguments. In so doing, it reversed an underlying Federal Circuit decision and reached a decision that is consistent with the majority of circuits to have addressed the issue. The decision is available on the Supreme Court’s website. Read more...

Photography by Sharon Panackal

January, 2013
Sharon Panackal, IEC Exchange Visitor of the Month, 2013

In November of last year, the International Exchange Center began publicizing our Annual Photo Contest. We received an email from Sharon Panackal:

“I am attaching the photograph with this email, and below is the caption I have written about the photograph...
Read more...

Deportation reviews raise some immigrants' hopes

Published on Sun, Aug 28, 2011

Hilda Jauregui and dozens of women at an Orange County immigration detention center recently gathered to hear the news on television that the Obama administration will review thousands of deportation cases with an eye closing those considered "low-priority."

FOR THE RECORD:

Deportation order: An article in the Aug. 29 LATExtra section about the Obama administration's plans to review 300,000 deportation cases was missing the word "toward" in the first paragraph. The paragraph should have said: Hilda Jauregui and dozens of women at an Orange County immigration detention center recently gathered to hear the news on television that the Obama administration will review thousands of deportation cases with an eye toward closing those considered "low-priority." Also, an earlier version of this online article stated that the Jauregui family had ignored a deportation order issued more than 10 years ago. The family actually appealed the order.

"Everyone was shouting and hugging each other," Jauregui said in a telephone interview from the James A. Musick jail facility last week. "One woman said 'I'll qualify because I'm older,' another said she had children who were born in the country. Everyone was trying to find something positive that would make them qualify."

U.S. Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano announced the review Aug. 18 as the administration was seeking to counter criticism that it has been too harsh in its deportation policies. The case-by-case review is intended to refocus efforts on felons and other public safety threats, officials said.

Now immigrants around the country are trying to find out how the review of nearly 300,000 deportation cases will actually work. The administration has said it would try to identify immigrants considered low-priority — including students, the elderly, victims of crime and people who have lived in the U.S. since childhood.Read more...

Published in the Los Angeles Times

IEC Comments on Proposed Regulatory Changes

The International Exchange Center of the American Immigration Council has respectfully submitted comments on proposed regulatory changes to Sub-Part A, General Provisions, Exchange Visitor Programs. Read the full text of our comments.


The proposed change, as published in the Federal Register, is available here.