Skip to Content



Somy Ali honored for helping immigrant women

Published on Fri, May 20, 2011

Plantation resident Somy Ali, founder of No More Tears, a nonprofit that helps rescue immigrant women from domestic abuse, will receive an American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Council in June in San Diego.

The mission of the American Immigration Council is to recognize the contributions of American’s immigrants, honor immigrant history and shape how Americans think and act towards immigration.

Past honorees include tenor Placido Domingo, musician Carlos Santana, Nobel Prize winning physicist Daniel Tsui, former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili, baseball player Sammy Sosa and therapist Ruth Westheimer.

Born in Pakistan, Ali, a former Bollywood actress, has helped 85 women since 2006

. Ali and supporters find the women apartments and help them with legal matters and relocation. They secure donations of food, clothing, household goods and funds to help the women make a fresh start.

Ali’s line of socially-conscious clothing, So-Me Designs, also contributes 10 percent of its profits to No More Tears.

Published in the Miami Herald

Detention, Challenging the Legality of Detention


This archived litigation issue page focuses on four areas of detention litigation:

  1. Challenging Matter of Rojas: does mandatory detention apply if ICE does not take custody “when the alien is released” from criminal custody?
  2. Matter of Garcia-Arreola: the BIA’s 2010 decision overturning Matter of Saysana, and holding that mandatory detention does not apply where the release from incarceration is unrelated to the ground that triggered mandatory detention
  3. Challenging prolonged mandatory detention pending a final decision on removal
  4. Post order prolonged mandatory detention for individuals deemed “specially dangerous”

For more information about challenging the legality of detention, see the Resources section.Read more...

Yohei Nagata Ken-do Anything!

July, 2008
Yohei Nagata

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Yohei Nagata as July's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community, explore American culture or share in his/her own culture. Read more...

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

Court Vacates Injunction Against Hazleton Ordinances, Remands for Further Consideration

Hazelton v. Lozano, 563 U.S. __, 131 S. Ct. 2958 (2011)

In early June, the Court granted the petition in Hazleton v. Lozano, vacated the judgment of the Third Circuit, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, No. 09-115, 563 U. S. __ (2011).  The Third Circuit had upheld an injunction against the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, prohibiting the implementation of a pair of controversial ordinances designed to prohibit employers and landlords from employing and renting to undocumented residents. 


Exchange Visitor of the Month

April, 2013

Carla Parzianello is a J-1 trainee in Human Resources Management from Brazil. During her time at YMCA of the Rockies in Colorado, Carla has reached out to local Americans to share her culture. She has organized events for adults and spoken to kids in local schools. Check out her tips on how you can do the same!


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

IEC will not review new applications for J-1 sponsorship (September 1-7, 2014)

The IEC will not review applications during the first week of September (09/01/2013 - 09/07/2013).

New applications received during this week will not be looked at until September 9 at the earliest, and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Expedited applications received on or before 08/23 will be reviewed by 08/30. Non-Expedited applications received on or before 08/16 will be reviewed by 08/30. Staff will not be available to conduct Skype webcam interviews during the week of 09/01 - 09/07.

This crucial break during the first week of September will allow the International Exchange Center to conduct an internal review of our procedures in anticipation of some new changes that we hope will improve the programs we offer to J-1 Trainee/Intern participants, host organizations, and AILA attorneys who utilize our services.

Staff will not be available to make exceptions. Thank you for supporting us through this exciting transition!

-The International Exchange Center Staff

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