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Illinois Backs Out Of Federal Immigration Program

Published on Thu, May 05, 2011

In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Pat Quinn said Illinois would stop participating in a federal program that requires authorities to run the fingerprints of anyone arrested through a federal immigration database.

The program, called Secure Communities, is in effect in more than 1,000 jurisdictions in 40 states. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to rollout the program nationwide by 2013.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Quinn withdrew the state from the program because he had concerns that it was veering from its stated mission to deport convicted criminals:

Nearly a third of all illegal immigrants deported out of Illinois under the program have never been convicted of any crime, the letter stated, citing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures. Quinn's office suspended the state's role in the program in November amid concerns about its effectiveness.

"During the suspension, we voiced our concerns to ICE and asked them to prove that Secure Communities can and will be implemented as agreed to," the governor's office said in a statement. "After review, we were not satisfied and determined that ICE's ongoing implementation of Secure Communities is flawed."

One key thing to remember is that when a person comes into the country illegally, they are guilty of a civil infraction, not a criminal one. According to the Immigration Policy Center, one common objection to the program is that if local officers are seen as immigration officials, they'll lose the trust of their community and would make their jobs harder.

The program, however, has been popular among those who seek tougher enforcement of immigration laws.

The New York Times reported another interesting angle in March: Whether the federal government can force local jurisdictions to participate in the program is up for debate.Read more...

Published in the National Public Radio

Detention, Challenging the Legality of Detention

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2011)

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...

Dear Mr. Smith, Our Broken Immigration System Requires Solutions That Embrace Discretion, Not Eliminate It

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

Over the last six months, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), along with other members of the House Judiciary Committee, have engaged in an all-out effort to turn back the clock on our immigration laws through a series of bills that may tackle one issue at a time, but equal a comprehensive overhaul. This week, the restrictionists' Comprehensive Immigration Reform package (RCIR, as we call it) became complete with the introduction of the "Hinder the Administration's Legalization Temptation Act" (HALT Act), a bill that would suspend discretionary forms of immigration relief until January 21, 2013. Yes, until the day after the next inauguration.

Just yesterday, Congressman Smith inched a bit closer to RCIR when the full Judiciary Committee voted to advance the "Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011" (H.R. 1932) -- a bill that authorizes indefinite detention for immigrants. Apparently Smith is not content with the current mandatory detention laws because they include some provisions for release of immigrants, such as asylum seekers and others who have committed no crimes. His bill, however, would create a penal system for immigrants far more restrictive than the current detention system, which has generally been under fire from all sides.

And it doesn't stop there. Other bills in the RCIR package include mandatory E-verify with no provisions for current undocumented workers to become legal, elimination of the diversity visa, expanded authority for the Secretary of Homeland Security to revoke visas issued by the Department of State, the elimination of review for those visas, suspension of waivers for the 3 and 10 year bars, suspension of cancellation of removal, suspension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS), suspension of virtually all parole authority, deferral powers, and work authorization, and a revocation of any such benefits that are awarded between the date of introduction of the HALT Act and its enactment.Read more...

Published in the Huffington Post

Remand Rule

Gonzales v. Tchoukhrova, 549 U.S. 801 (2006)

  • In a summary order dated April 17, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case “for further consideration in light of Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. ___ (2006).” In Thomas, the Court held that the Ninth Circuit should have applied the “ordinary remand rule,” and remanded the case to the BIA for further analysis.
  • The Court’s ruling in Tchoukhrova indicates that the Ninth Circuit erred by reaching issues that the BIA had not ruled on in the first instance.

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!

Read more...

What Would Your Immigrant Ancestors Think of the I-Word?

Published on Sat, Sep 10, 2011

Ready to talk about immigration and the i-word?

In the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I walked around New York City with Nayana Sen and Leigh Thompson, asking people what they thought about immigration and the slurs too often used to describe immigrants today. We started out at Battery Park, where people take ferries out to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The site is part of the Immigration and Civil Rights Sites of Conscience Network, committed to use historical perspective in order to stimulate ongoing local and national conversations on immigration and its related issues, promote humanitarian and democratic values, and treat all audiences as stakeholders in the immigration dialogue.

Inspired by the Sites of Conscience’s work, we asked people what they knew about their families’ roots in the U.S., what they thought about how immigrants are treated now and whether or not they agree with use of the i-word to describe people.

In most of our pre-interviews, people wanted to be on camera—but as soon as we said “immigration,” we got confused looks, artful turn-downs and fast walkers. It was a reality check about how unprepared and uncomfortable a lot of people feel when faced with this urgent topic.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines

Annual Allotment Tip Sheet – July 13, 2012 Update

July 13, 2012-- Annual Allotment/Sponsorship Priority Policy

Every J-1 sponsor designated by the US Department of State is given an allotment of DS-2019 forms for the calendar year.  This Certificate of Eligibility form is the required document for the J-1 visa applicant.

In January 2012, the US Department of State announced that the annual allotments for each designated sponsor would be based on the number of J-1 participants who entered the United States on the respective program in 2011.  Sponsors would be able to request program expansions in addition to this base number.

Read more...

American Heritage Dictionary adds 'offensive' to 'anchor baby'

Published on Tue, Dec 06, 2011

The American Heritage Dictionary has added "offensive" to the definition of "anchor baby" in the dictionary after criticism from Latino groups.

Immigrationimpact.com, a project of the nonprofit American Immigration Council, questioned the inclusion of the "anchor baby" definition. On their website, they describe the new definition as "one that was crafted to reflect more accurately just how artificial a term it really is."

The online version of the American Heritage Dictionary now defines "anchor baby" as:

"Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship..."

In January, lawmakers in Washington pushed to change the law so babies born to illegal immigrants could no longer be given automatic citizenship.

Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce paved the way for Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law supported the legislation in a bill he proposed in 2010.

In May, when CBS 5 Investigates showed Pearce an email referring to "anchor babies" that he forwarded, he said he didn't find anything wrong with the language.

"It's somebody's opinion … What they're trying to say is it's wrong, and I agree with them. It's wrong," said Pearce.

Published in the KPHO Phoenix