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History of Executive Branch Authority in Immigration

Published on Fri, Sep 02, 2011

Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases Using All the Tools in the Toolbox: How Past Administrations Have Used Executive Branch Authority in Immigration by Mary Giovagnoli, Esq. The paper examines the political battle over implementation of provisions of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) during the late 1990s.

It also looks at the role of executive branch authority during a key moment in the Bush Administration’s work on comprehensive immigration reform. Using the tools of executive branch authority, both the Clinton and Bush Administrations made the most of what the law had to offer, staying within the letter of the law, but opting for interpretations that reflected differing, but legally permissable, readings of the law. This lesson is worth recalling in the fight over prosecutorial discretion and administrative relief today.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to review 300,000 immigration cases to assess whether they fall within the Administration’s enforcement priorities has already inflamed critics. Because the Administration may close some low priority cases in order to focus its limited resources on more serious cases, critics are immediately claiming this is an “amnesty.” But the DHS announcement is about using executive branch authority—in this case, prosecutorial discretion—to carry out its policy priorities.Read more...

Published in the Hispanically Speaking

2012 Winter Holiday Closing Announcement: December 24th - January 1st

November 28, 2012-- The American Immigration Council's offices will be closed from 12/24/12 - 1/1/13

The International Exchange Center will be closed during the week from Christmas Eve through New Years Day.

All applications that we receive in our office after December 18th will not be reviewed until January 2nd at the earliest. Applications received on or before December 18th will be reviewed by December 21st, but our staff will not be conducting webcam interviews or issuing DS 2019 forms during the period of December 24th - January 1st. Read more...

Quick Fact: U.S. naturalization fees extremely high

U.S. naturalization fees are now higher than in 25 of the 30 other MIPEX countries.

New American Heritage Dictionary Defines ‘Anchor Baby’ as Neutral

Published on Mon, Dec 05, 2011

The Houghton Mifflin publishing company recently released the fifth edition of the New American Heritage Dictionary with 10,000 new words—including the term “anchor baby.” The dictionary offers a matter-of-fact definition for a term many consider to be a racist and deliberate effort to dehumanize immigrant children.

Here’s how the dictionary’s new edition defines “anchor baby:”

“Anchor Baby, n. 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.”

Steve Kleinedler, the executive editor, was well aware “anchor baby” is used as a pejorative term. “The trick is to define them objectively without taking sides and just presenting what it is,” Kleinedler said in an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

“Anchor baby is definitely a very charged, politically charged word,” Kleinedler said before going on to say the term “falls into a gray area where we felt it was better just to state what it was, and then people can filter their own life experiences through the word and judgments on it as they see fit.”

The New American Heritage Dictionary’s “anchor baby” definition is 41 words long but the first sentence in Wikipedia’s definition at just 29 words manages to provide a similar definition with a disclaimer that the word is indeed offensive. Wikipedia.com definition with more context:

“Anchor baby” is a pejorative term for a child born in the United States to immigrant parents, who, as an American citizen, supposedly can later facilitate immigration for relatives.” [29 words]Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

News & Media

Kan. plan roils debate in immigration guru's state

Published on Wed, Feb 01, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An architect of state and local laws cracking down on illegal immigration is a leading Republican officeholder in Kansas, but business groups in his home state are asking legislators to move in the opposite direction by starting an unusual program designed to give illegal immigrants hard-to-fill jobs.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona, criticized the new Kansas proposal Tuesday as "amnesty" for people who've come to the U.S. illegally. A spokeswoman said Gov. Sam Brownback, a fellow Republican, isn't supporting the measure.

But Brownback's agriculture secretary has acknowledged having several conversations with federal homeland security officials about potential labor shortages. The coalition pushing the new program includes agriculture groups with memberships that traditionally lean toward the GOP, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, another stalwart supporter of conservative Republicans.

Utah has a guest worker program, but it isn't set to start until January 2013, and its enactment was part of a legislative package that included initiatives in line with Kobach's thinking on immigration. States with large populations of illegal immigrants- including California, Florida and Texas- don't have their own programs.

It would be "unprecedented" if Kansas implemented the program proposed by its business groups, said Wendy Sefsaf, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center. She said she is skeptical that the federal government would allow such a program, though she's sympathetic toward its goals.

"Maybe it's a good thing to have a counterbalance to Kris Kobach," she said.Read more...

Published in the Associated Press

FAQs




Prospective Applicant FAQs:
[top]

1. What occupational categories can the American Immigration Council sponsor?
The American Immigration Council is designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 intern and trainee programs in the following occupational areas:

• Arts and Culture
• Information Media and Communications
• Management, Business, Commerce and Finance
• Public Administration and Law
• Social Sciences, Library Science, Non-clinical Counseling, Social Services
• The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics and Industrial Occupations
• Tourism

2. How long can the internship or training program be?
Intern programs have a maximum duration of 12 months. Trainee programs have a maximum duration of 18 months.

3. What are the minimum qualifications for an international intern?
Potential J-1 interns must be able to document and/or demonstrate the following to meet basic eligibility requirements:

• Sufficient English language fluency (to be determined by American Immigration Council staff)
• Current enrollment at a post-secondary, degree-granting academic program outside of the United States or
• Graduation within the past 12 months from such post-secondary academic program outside of the United StatesRead more...

Facts? Or Factors

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

I have a dear friend who disagrees with me about the immigration issue -- she's a fence-sitter mostly, not sure that the state should or should not be passing legislation restricting access of undocumented immigrants to public services.

"I've got to think and pray about it more, and I'm not sure I know enough about the issue," she told me this morning.

I applaud her candor, and her willingness to suspend judgment until she has all the facts.

Unfortunately, facts have very little to do with the issue. Read more...

Published in the Huffington Post

Green Card Stories

The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. The new Arizona immigration law makes it clear that we must find a way to connect on a human level.

Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives of about 1,000 words each, accompanied by artistic photos. Rather than couching immigration in terms of economics or politics, these stories appeal to the heart.

Each story is as old as the foundation of this immigrant nation, but also reflects the global trends and conflicts of the 21st century: the aspiring dentist who fled war-torn Sudan with just three T-shirts and a pair of shoes; the Caribbean-born orthopedic surgeon facing deportation; the Iraqi bodyguard for U.S. troops blinded by a car bomb; a former Mexican farm worker and school dropout turned high school principal. Arriving from all corners of the globe, coming for work, love, to study or escape persecution, they all share a steely resourcefulness and a fierce love for America. Green Card Stories tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum--out of many, one.Read more...

Time to stop overgeneralizing about immigrants

Published on Wed, Jul 11, 2012

IPC's senior policy analyst Michele Waslin was quoted in a Washington Post article about the complexity of immigration law and the dangers of overgeneralizing:

"The confusion with the military aspect has been troubling these last couple of weeks because so many people get it wrong. It really shows the need for education on how immigration rules really work," said Michele Waslin, the senior policy analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. "Immigration law is really, really complex and people think you're either legal or you're not, even though there are lots of different types of statuses." Read more...

Published in the The Washington Post