Skip to Content



Obama's Immigration Rhetoric at Odds with Record

Published on Tue, Jul 26, 2011

WASHINGTON, Jul 26, 2011 (IPS) - "Our American family will only be as strong as our Latino community," U.S. President Barack Obama said in his address at the National Council of La Raza's annual conference in Washington on Monday.

"We're going to keep working with you because for more than four decades, NCLR has fought for opportunities for Latinos from city centres to farm fields and that fight – to get a decent education, to find a good job, to make of our lives what we will – has never been more important than it is today," he said.

Obama thanked the NCLR – the country's largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organisation – for allowing him to "poach" its alumni, naming Cabinet Secretary Hilda Solis and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as just two of the hundreds of Latinas and Latinos currently serving in his administration.

The president also blasted the Republican Party for backpedaling on its policies of five years ago, reminding the gathering that 23 Republican senators supported comprehensive immigration reform in 2006 because it was the "right thing to do".

"Today, they've walked away," he said.

Obama also lamented the fate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act – a 2001 legislative proposal that would grant conditional permanent residency to immigrant students who graduate U.S. high schools or arrived in the country as legal minors – which passed through the House earlier this year only to be blocked by fierce opposition from Senate Republicans.

The Immigration Policy Center held a briefing Monday on the Republicans' latest opposition to immigration reforms.

If passed, the 'Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation' (HALT) Act – which the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement debated Tuesday – would suspend all discretionary forms of immigrant relief until Jan. 21, 2013, a day after the next presidential inauguration.Read more...

Published in the Inter Press Service

New Hope for Haiti, via Charlotte (Charlotte Examiner)

J-1 Intern Josue Jeanty is making news in Charlotte. The full article was featured in the Charlotte Examiner on Saturday, October 2, 2010, and tells the story of Jeanty's journey from Haiti to the United States.

Quick Fact: Foreign students contribute to the economy

The 690,923 foreign students who were in the country during the 2009-2010 academic year contributed $18.8 billion to the economy.

Small-town crash sparks calls for illegal immigration crackdown in Mass.

Published on Thu, Sep 29, 2011

An apparent drunk-driving fatality in the small Massachusetts town of Milford has ignited a state-wide campaign to crack down on illegal immigration.

Last month, Ecuadoran Nicholas Guaman was charged with vehicular homicide for allegedly running down 23-year-old motorcyclist Matthew Denice in his truck while drunk. Guaman didn't have a driver's license.

The victim's family began advocating for Massachusetts to begin using the federal Secure Communities program. Denice's surviving family members maintain that tighter immigration enforcement could have prevented the fatal crash, since Guaman had a prior arrest and a Secure Communities review of his record would have resulted in his deportation.

A few thousand Ecuadorans, many of them undocumented, live in Milford, a town of 25,000 about 40 miles southwest of Boston. The immigrants work primarily in roofing and service jobs, according to radio station WBUR.

"If one of those factors had been different my son would still be here," Denice's mother told the local Fox station. "If we had the Secure Communities . . . he would have been deported."


Research from University of Colorado sociology professor Tim Wadsworth found that in U.S. cities with at least 50,000 people, an influx of immigrants was correlated to a decrease in crime between 1990 and 2000. But because the U.S. Census doesn't distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants, it's difficult for researchers to know the specific effect of illegal immigrants on crime. The Immigration Policy Center said in a report in 2007 that incarceration rates for young men of every ethnic group are lowest among immigrants, legal and illegal.

Published in the Yahoo News

Community Education Center News Room

Immigration showdowns: Federal government challenging state laws in court

Published on Sun, Dec 11, 2011

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: In October, the U.S. Department of Justice challenged South Carolina's immigration law in federal court, charging that parts of the law are "unconstitutional and interfere with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy."

In April, the Justice Department succeeded in blocking some provisions of the newly enacted Arizona immigration law, and in October, some of Alabama's controversial provisions were temporarily blocked. Last month, the federal government sued Utah.

"A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Nov. 22. "The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws, and while we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy."

South Carolina officials, including Gov. Nikki Haley, echoing the concerns of leaders in other states, say that local authorities cannot wait any more for the federal government to institute comprehensive immigration reform and must act now to secure borders and protect citizens and legal residents.

"If the Feds were doing their job, we wouldn't have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said recently.

The Obama administration has ramped up deportation actions.

About 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been deported since the beginning of 2009, and the Department of Homeland Security is dealing with a backlog of about 300,000 cases. By comparison, a total of 1.57 million were deported during President George W. Bush's two terms.Read more...

Published in the Post and Courier

Who We Are

We strive to promote a better understanding of immigrants and immigration by providing educational resources that inspire thoughtful dialogue, creative teaching and critical thinking.  Dedicated to the American values of fairness, social justice and respect for all people, the Council is committed to making immigration an “everybody issue.”  The Council also highlights the positive contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to American society through its programmatic work.


Claire Tesh
Senior Manager, Community Education

Sara Burnett
Education Associate, Community Education





Spanish language media: GOP presidential candidates move forward with immigration policies despite Latino disapproval

Published on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

GOP presidential candidates have voiced their support for immigration policies that leave out most Latino voters, who are looking for a common sense solution to the issue, but Democrats are not doing much better, participants in Spanish language Univision news show Al Punto said Sunday.

Immigration policies supported by GOP presidential candidates “do not articulate a poltical or economic position that is realistic,”said Viviana Hurtado, of the Wise Latina Club, on Al Punto.

According to TIME magazine’s Tim Padgett, ”the Latino community, especially the Mexican American community, do not want an open door policy that lets anybody in.” What they want, said Padgett, “is a common sense policy” – something neither Democrats nor Republicans have offered.

Padgett added that “Democrats are doing well with Latinos only because Republicans are doing so badly.”

Sylvia Manzano, of Latino Decisions, wrote Sunday that “Republican candidates have devoted quite a bit of time to issues disproportionately affecting Latinos, asserting their party and ideological bona fides on topics like official English language laws, immigration, Mexican border control, the DREAM Act, bilingual education and various identification laws. From the vantage point of most Latino voters, the Republican party champions positions opposite to their interests.”

According to the The Guardian, Kris Kobach, author of the controversial immigration enforcement laws in Arizona and Alabama, ”has been in direct discussions with [Mitt Romney] the presidential candidate about possible changes to federal policy should Romney win the Republican nomination and go on to take the White House.”

Kobach, current Kansas Secretary of State, is a long-time supporter of “attrition through enforcement” policies, which Romney himself has called “self-deportation.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Institute & Meetings (2011 Litigation Meeting)

Litigation Meeting Materials

Folder Materials

How do we stop states and localities from adopting and enforcing local immigration measures? (Arizona copycat bills)

Prolonged detention/detention conditions

Outline of questions for discussion in the detention small group session

1. Larger perspective discussion