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Georgia State Legislature Pursuing Budget Busting Solutions to Immigration

Anti-Immigrant Bill HB 87 Could Cost the State Millions

Released on Tue, Mar 01, 2011

Washington D.C. – In the face of a $1.7 billion budget shortfall in fiscal year 2011, Georgia state legislators are currently pursuing anti-immigrant legislation that could further damage the state’s bottom line.  House Bill 87, a copycat of Arizona’s SB1070, is currently working its way through the state legislature without the benefit of a fiscal note or other data to show the public the costs of the bill.  However, other states pursuing similar proposals, like Kentucky and Utah, have measured the costs which they estimate reach into the tens of millions of dollars. Aside from the costs of implementation, the expected price tag for defending these measures in court would likely cost the state millions of dollars that it doesn’t have. Georgia legislators should consider the following evidence before final votes are taken on HB 87. Read more...

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Mark Noferi, Esq.

Mark Noferi, Esq. was formerly the Enforcement Fellow at the American Immigration Council. His research has focused on immigration enforcement, detention, and due process, criminal-immigration connections, and executive action. Mark has published several articles, advised an economic cost-benefit study of a national immigration appointed counsel system, and testified to the New York City Council on local immigration representation funding and municipal IDs. Mark was previously a fellow at the Center for Migration Studies of New York, and taught civil rights and immigration at Brooklyn Law School and the Seton Hall School of Law Center for Social Justice.  Mark clerked for the Hon. Harold Baer, Jr. in the Southern District of New York.  Mark earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School and B.A. from Boston College.Read more...

The Case for Discretion and Proportionality in Our Immigration System

Released on Mon, Jul 18, 2011

Washington D.C. - It has long been the case that those responsible for carrying out and enforcing our nation's laws do so with a measure of discretion and proportionality.  Every day, law enforcement officials and judges exercise discretion in charging and sentencing decisions, weighing differing priorities and social values, and matching punishments with crimes.  Consequently, minors are treated differently in the criminal system, and traffic violators and murderers receive different punishments. The use of judgment and proportionality is so ingrained in our legal system—with the exception of immigration law—that we take it for granted. Today, the need for discretion and proportionality is needed more than ever in our antiquated and over-burdened immigration system to ensure that the government spends its limited resources on high priority cases, and that immigrants who have a strong case for remaining in the U.S. are able to do so if current law provides for an avenue of relief.  

To that end, a wide range of organizations, including the American Immigration Council, have been asking the Obama Administration to use its executive authority to exercise discretion in the immigration context. In June, Director John Morton of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a memo outlining new guidance on the use of prosecutorial discretion in a wide range of circumstances.  The memo signals a greater commitment to using limited resources to enforce immigration law with an understanding of the need for measured action and fairness in the immigration context. Read more...

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Voters: Gaining Clout

Published on Tue, Aug 25, 2009

Their views may not be readily apparent in opinion surveys, but last fall, increasing numbers of minorities and immigrants spoke loudly at the polls that really counted.

Published in the Florida Times-Union

Mocking Humane Immigration Detention Standards

House Hearing Makes Light of Necessary Detention Reform

Released on Wed, Mar 28, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on new immigration detention standards recently issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Cynically entitled “Holiday on ICE,” the hearing reflects Chairman Lamar Smith’s allegation that the new standards—which set minimum requirements for medical care, access to counsel, and other living conditions—are a “hospitality guideline” for detained immigrants. Roughly 34,000 immigrants, including lawful permanent residents, and many immigrants who have never been convicted of a crime, are detained under civil immigration laws each day. It is anticipated that the hearing will be a vehicle for promoting mandatory detention proposals sponsored by Chairman Smith, who maintains that more detention, rather than less, should be the goal of our civil immigration system.  Read more...

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Report: Purchasing power of Latinos, Asians almost $26 billion in Colorado

Published on Tue, Aug 04, 2009

An immigration policy group says Latinos and Asians in Colorado have a buying power of nearly $26 billion and their businesses employ more than 53,000 people.

Published in the San Francisco Examiner

The American Immigration Council Welcomes Senate's Bipartisan Principles on Immigration Reform

Released on Mon, Jan 28, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, a bipartisan group of eight Senators unveiled a new set of comprehensive immigration reform principles, adding to the growing body of evidence that legislation to fix our nation’s broken immigration system is not only necessary, but possible. Although the framework offers only a very rough outline of what comprehensive immigration reform legislation might look like, the principles are a very strong starting point for legislative negotiations that should now begin in earnest.     

In presenting their proposal, the Senators reflect an understanding of the important role immigrants play in shaping our social and economic futures, and the critical need to create a fair and workable roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals living and working in the United States. Many issues remain to be debated and refined, and elements of the principles raise some real concerns that will need to be addressed in the months ahead.

The following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:


“The American Immigration Council congratulates Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennett and Flake for reaching across the aisle and beginning an honest, bipartisan effort to confront the many difficult issues that must be resolved for immigration reform to become a reality. With the addition of a renewed commitment from President Obama, and the strengthened voices of those whose lives and livelihood have been damaged by the failure to act, the environment is better than it has been in many years for restoring fairness and integrity to our broken immigration system.”

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Immigration vital to economy: Google founder's mom says we need a flow of fresh talent from overseas

Published on Thu, Nov 12, 2009

Immigrants - and immigration - have provided significant fuel for America's growth and prosperity since the beginning days of our country. American values and beliefs; businesses and homes, and military and infrastructure have been shaped by the millions of immigrants who have arrived on our shores over the centuries. Unfortunately, the current national debate over immigration often has become so bitter that an important fact has been obscured: Immigrants contribute a wealth of new strengths and ideas to America.

Published in the The New York Daily News

How DACA is Impacting the Lives of Those Who Are Now DACAmented

Preliminary Findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project

Released on Thu, Aug 15, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, on the one-year anniversary of USCIS’ implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Immigration Policy Center, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California, releases early findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP)—a longitudinal mixed-methods study of the impact of DACA on the educational, labor market, health, and civic engagement outcomes of young adult immigrants.

While the DACA program does not provide permanent legal status or a path to citizenship, it does provide a two-year renewable grant of deferral from deportation for certain young immigrants and allows them to apply for work permits and social security cards. The research finds that DACA is increasing their opportunities for economic and social incorporation. According to the survey, many recipients also seek further social integration beyond DACA. In fact, almost all DACA recipients indicate that they would apply for U.S. citizenship if given the opportunity. The study also shows that DACA recipients are often fearful that family members and friends could be deported at any time.

Overall, the research indicates that although DACA opens up some economic opportunities for young aspiring Americans, it does not address the constant threat of deportation still facing those closest to them, including mothers, fathers, and siblings.

To view the research summary see:

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Immigration Reform Will Ease Economic Decline, Study Says

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

WASHINGTON--A new study by a leading academic researcher contends that legalizing undocumented workers through comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over a 10-year period, generate billions of dollars in additional tax revenue, increase wages and consumer spending, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The study, “Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” was conducted by Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Hinojosa presented the findings during a telephonic press conference moderated by Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress.

Published in the New American Media