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Let illegals, other noncitizens vote, New Haven mayor says

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven and its mayor are seeking to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens.

Mayor John DeStefano, a Democrat, introduced four years ago a first-of-its-kind program to give noncitizens, legal or not, city resident cards. Despite crackdowns elsewhere, he has forged ahead with proposals that he says encourage differences.

“We’re a place of differences,” he said. “We’re a place that sees a strength and places a value on welcoming folks from all over.”

Dozens of American cities including New York, San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass., take a hands-off approach to pursuing illegal immigrants. While advocates say they are distancing themselves from a broken immigration system, critics accuse them of flouting federal law as “sanctuary cities.”

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has vowed to cut off federal funding for such cities. Texas Gov. Rick Perry pushed a bill this year that would have prohibited cities from acting as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants and get local law enforcement more involved in immigration enforcement. Mitt Romney has said he opposed sanctuary cities as Massachusetts governor and, as president, he would “find the right approach” to ending them if legally possible.

President Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans to crack down on sanctuary cities. As a Democratic candidate in 2007, he said the U.S. government should address the issue by providing a rational immigration system, not by withdrawing funds from such cities.Read more...

Published in the Washington Times

Where are our participants?

Have you ever wondered if there are other exchange visitors in your area? If so, we've created a map showing the distribution of J-1 trainees and interns currently sponsored by the International Exchange Center throughout the United States.

Want to connect with them? Check out and "like" our Facebook page.



Appeals Court Blocks Controversial Sections of Tough Alabama Immigration Law

Published on Fri, Mar 09, 2012

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked two key sections of Alabama’s immigration law, HB 56.  Thursday’s ruling came the same week that thousands of Latinos marched with African American leaders to commemorate the bloody civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery 47 years ago.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined sections 27 and 30 of the state law until legal challenges brought by the federal government and a coalition of church and civil rights groups are resolved. Read more...

Published in the Feet in Two Worlds

My Grand Father Ben: 2011 National Grand Prize Winning Entry

From China sailed my Grandfather Ben.
He came to America when he was four plus ten.
His Guangzhou village was small and poor
And he helped his mother with farming chores.
Every morning he gathered bits of firewood
And drew water from the well as much as he could.
From morning to night he slaved like an ox.
But it was never enough to fill the rice box.
So his parents said, "You'd better leave home
And go to America where you can roam.
Until you find  a great place of your own.
America, Gold Mountain, is the place to go
Big and wide, and high and low.
Everything is yes, and there are never any nos."

But here in America life was hard
And it wasn't like a birthday card.
Golden Mountain didn't have jobs
For Chinese men, and that made them sob.
From San Francisco to Saint Louis
Chances for Chinese were least to fewest.
Still his heart never gave way
Cause he knew hard work always pays.
So Grandpa Ben worked hard again.
Slaving in a laundry from five to ten.
And he lived in important USA times
Starting from cool Jazz Age crime
Right on down to the Great Depression's
Brother can you spare a dime.
Until finally his big chance came
To show America Chinese are the same.
He joined the army in World War II
And fought in Europe for the red, white and blue.
All over he fought bringing supplies
To American soldiers on the lines.
Until one day he was shot in the back
And his jeep flipped over and he got smacked.
He didn't win any fame or medals
Just came back home to wed and settle.

Still to me he is The Greatest Hero.
Cause he never gave up and never said no.
He loved America both good and bad
And taught his 5 kids not to be sad.
Work hard, dream big, and never give up.
And one day Gold Mountain will live up
To what is written on the Statue of Liberty
Chances for all and the gift to be free.

Hispanic Vote in North Carolina Has Doubled in Last 4 yrs

Published on Thu, May 24, 2012

An IPC analysis was used in a Fox News Latino article about the power of the Hispanic vote in North Carolina: Read more...

Published in the Fox News Latino

Guidelines for entering the "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest

Past winners have used the theme “Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants” to discuss their personal immigration experiences, learn about and share family histories or write about the broader questions of the challenges facing immigrants in a new land. Fifth grade students enter their work in local contests which are sponsored by chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Each chapter forwards the local winning entry to the National Competition where entries are reviewed by a distinguished panel including U.S. senators, award-winning authors and noted journalists. Winning entries are to be printed in the Congressional Record. The grand prize winner and two guests (including one parent/guardian) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Council’s Annual Benefit Dinner where the winner will be recognized and will recite the winning piece. Local and national judges are looking for student writing that is original, thoughtful and speaks to the Council’s mission to educate the public about the benefits of immigration to our society.

Check for a local contest and local deadlines.  The national deadline for local winners is April 12, 2013.

CWC 2012 logo


Theme: "Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants"

Entrants: 5th graders


  • Any written entry (essay, poem, story, interview, etc.) that reflects the theme
  • Entry should be submitted to your contest coordinator (some local contests require electronic submissions, so please check with your coordinator).

Word count: Up to 500 words

For Chesapeake immigrant in limbo, a brief reprieve

Published on Mon, Sep 03, 2012

IPC numbers were used in this Virginian-Pilot article about Maricruz Valenzuela, a Mexican-born immigrant living in Virginia: Read more...

Published in the The Virginian-Pilot

Shahriar Pourdanesh

Shahriar Pourdanesh (known as Shar Pourdanesh to his many Redskin fans), was born in Iran. He came to the United States with his family after leaving Iran during the Iranian revolution in 1979. He attended University High School in Irvine, California where he was an all-league offensive lineman and was the fourth-ranked heavyweight wrestler in the state. He attended college at the University of Nevada in Reno where he was a dominant offensive lineman. As a senior in 1992, he was named to the first team All-Conference for the Big West Conference.

Shar joined the Redskins after two seasons with the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and is the first Iranian to play NFL football. In 1994 Shar was named CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year for the Baltimore Stallions and was named to the CFL all-star team in 1994 and 1995. During the 1996 Redskins' season Shar proved a very versatile player, playing both left tackle and right tackle.

IPC's Amanda Beadle Featured in National Journal Article

Published on Sun, May 26, 2013

The IPC's Research & Communications Associate, Amanda Peterson Beadle, was singled out in a National Journal article for her comprehensive Twitter coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on S.744.  From the Article:

"When in doubt, follow Twitter. It's hard to keep track of what's happening, even when you're in the room. Senators offer amendments but sometimes forget to tell everyone which ones they're talking about. The committee gets tired and sometimes passes big amendments by voice vote with barely a whimper from the opposition. Some senators say the same thing over and over and over again, regardless of the issue at hand. Don't be afraid to look at your neighbor's notes or computer to figure it out. Hell, you're sitting close enough."

Published in the National Journal

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D.

Kristin Johnson, Ph.D., joined the Political Science Department at the University of Rhode Island as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2007. She received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. Her current research interests include the relationship between state capabilities and internal conflict, and resource distribution and development. She is the former Co‐Editor of International Interactions and a member of the TransPacific Consortium. At URI, Kristin teaches courses in International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, and Civil Conflict.