The purpose of the International Exchange Center (IEC) 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.
WHAT WE DO
The International Exchange Center fosters the exchange of culture, ideas and knowledge through sponsorship of the J-1 visa in the trainee and intern categories and the organization of periodic study tours to various cities around the world.
About the J-1 visa: The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work and study based exchange visitor programs, which enable foreign nationals to visit the United States in order to experience life in the U.S. The U.S. Department of State designates sponsors to oversee J programs.
It is the sponsor’s responsibility to vet both the international applicant and U.S. Host Organization for J-1 visa eligibility. It is necessary for an applicant to have a sponsor before applying for the J-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country.
Once the accepted trainee or intern has arrived in the United States, the International Exchange Center serves as a support system and resource. The goal of the IEC is to ensure that the J-1 visa regulations are fully satisfied and the exchange experience is positive and rewarding for all involved.Read more...
Last week we looked at information about the role of immigrants in the U.S. and on the East End. This week we hear from government officials, and from groups that welcome immigrants, or want them all to go away.
Witness For Peace (“a politically independent, grassroots organization”) advocates immigration reform that guarantees equal rights for all families, clear and non-discriminatory pathways to citizenship, children’s rights to education regardless of immigration status, and an end to collaboration between police and immigration enforcers which erodes immigrant trust in the police. Some years ago, the NY Civil Liberties Union said that numerous towns in Suffolk County were selectively using housing codes and traffic enforcement to target immigrants.
In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), after a two-year investigation, advised Suffolk County officials to improve police relations with immigrants. The investigation was prompted in part by the 2008 fatal stabbing in Patchogue of an Ecuadorian immigrant by local teenagers. The recommendations include outreach programs in Latino neighborhoods, investigation of possible hate crimes, and revision of procedures that discourage Latinos from interacting with police. The Suffolk police commissioner’s advisor on minority affairs said community meetings have been valuable in sharing information and gaining understanding of immigrants’ concerns.Read more...
From 2006-2012, the Legal Action Center maintained several issue-specific webpages focused on topics being litigated in courts nationwide. These issue pages are no longer updated. Please see our litigation and advocacy for current information on the Legal Action Center's ongoing work.
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.
Twin Cities jazz pianist and Cuban immigrant Nachito Herrera has been named one of three recipients of the 2012 American Heritage Award, the highest honor granted by the American Immigration Council. The award will be presented at the American Immigration Lawyers Association Convention in Nashville on June 15th. Few musicians have received this honor--the last was Carlos Santana.
Over the past decade, Nachito Herrera has burrowed his way into the hearts of Twin Cities’ jazz fans with his monster technique, bottomless energy, and infectious enthusiasm for his homeland and its eclectic rhythms. Even fans of trad and polka now tap their Sorrel boots to montuno and clavé. Nearly monthly, Nachito spreads his artful fire across the stage at the Dakota Jazz Club in downtown Minneapolis, where he has presented sets of tunes ranging from Rachmaninoff to Ellington to Earth, Wind and Fire to Disney and more. Read more...
Matthew Baxter, Former Council Ambassador, AILA Chapter Chair, Colleague and Friend
On September 15, 2011, Philadelphia AILA member Matthew Baxter passed away from complications of liver disease. He was 53 years old.
Philadelphia’s AILA chapter treasured Matthew as a person who made membership in the association worthwhile. He took on many roles for the Philadelphia Chapter, serving as a Chapter Officer and Chapter Chair, committee chair, mentor, speaker and friend. He was always willing to teach his fellow members, whether at a CLE, on a phone call, or in the hallway outside immigration court. He was deeply involved with education, advocacy and practice support. He served as Chapter Liaison to USCIS and EOIR, working tirelessly on behalf of the Chapter and cooperatively with the agencies to develop solutions to everyday challenges.
He also served two years as Ambassador for the American Immigration Council (AIC), formerly known as AILF. He was a model Ambassador, raising awareness about the organization and its work, touting the accomplishments of the Legal Action Center and Immigration Policy Center, promoting the Creative Writing Contest, attending events as a representative of the AIC and raising money for the organization. His work, his drive and his commitment as an Ambassador helped strengthen the AIC.
Matthew cared deeply about his clients and doing the best job possible for them. His cases were meticulously prepared and elegantly argued. He loved the law and he understood how to use it as a tool for justice.Read more...