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J-1 Program: Holiday Closing Announcement (DEC 25th - JAN 2nd):

The American Immigration Council offices will be closed starting on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013 and will reopen on January 2, 2014. During this closing, it is important that you know how to reach the International Exchange Center staff in the event of an urgent situation:

If you have an urgent concern during the holiday break, you may contact Lois Magee (Responsible Officer) at (202) 329-3690. We will be checking the email inbox daily, so we will attempt to reply to the urgent emails that we receive during the break.

During that week, we will not be processing J-1 applications, signing documents, performing site visits, or responding to inquiries, except for those urgent issues that come from our J-1 Participants.


Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' offensive term

Published on Thu, Dec 08, 2011

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries -- and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term "anchor baby" as "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."

The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is offensive, as it does for other words.

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word's inclusion on its blog on Dec. 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the "poisonous and derogatory nature of the term."

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.

The current wording was added to the online dictionary on Monday. It flags the word as "offensive" and defines "anchor baby" as being "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."

Kleinedler told Colorlines, a blog that reports on issues of race, ethnicity and social justice, that changing the word was more about accuracy than outrage.

"Personally, this was not a reaction that we have to fix it because people are angry," Kleinedler told Colorlines. "We fixed it because we were wrong. And I, as the executive editor, acknowledge the fact that this was an error and I take responsibility for that."Read more...

Published in the CNN

Council Ambassadors


Maurice "Mo" Goldman
Heather N. Segal
Laura Burton
B. John Ovink
Ian David Wagreich
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Eric Fleischmann
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John A. Broyles
Greg Minter
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Mary Holper
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Diana Vellos Coker
Marcine Seid
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Quick Fact: DREAM Graduates

Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school.

Kris Kobach, Nativist Son

Published on Thu, Mar 01, 2012

If there's a controversial new anti-immigration law that's captured national attention, chances are that it has Kris Kobach's imprimatur. A telegenic law professor with flawless academic credentials—Harvard undergrad, Yale Law School—Kobach helped Arizona lawmakers craft the infamous immigration law that passed in the spring of 2010. He's coached legislators across the country in their efforts to pass dozens of similar measures, ranging from Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri to the small town of Fremont, Nebraska, pop. 26,000. His record has helped propel him into elected office, becoming Kansas' secretary of state just six months after the passage of Arizona's SB 1070.

Kobach routinely denies that he's the progenitor of the anti-immigration laws he's drafted or defended. Rather, he insists he simply assists officials already committed to tougher enforcement policies. "I did not generate the motivation to pass the law...I am merely the attorney who comes in, refines, and drafts their statutes," he says.

But advocates on both sides of the immigration debate agree that Kobach's influence has been far-reaching. Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group, calls Kobach "instrumental in helping states and localities deal with the federal government's authority." Vivek Malhotra, a lawyer who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union when it tussled with Kobach in court, says, "What Kris Kobach has done as a lawyer is really gone out to localities around the country and really used them as experimental laboratories for pushing questionable legal theories about how far states and local governments can go."Read more...

Published in the Mother Jones

Young illegal immigrants coming out

Published on Wed, May 16, 2012

IPC information on the DREAM Act was used in a CovNews Article about undocumented youth 'coming out' of the shadows: Read more...

Published in the CovNews

2013 Celebrate America Local Contest Coordinators

If you are interested in participating in the 2013 Creative Writing Contest and are the parent or educator of fifth grade students please contact your local coordinator to get started.  Or email for more information.


Theresa Bailey Kennedy

Los Angeles
Maggie Castillo

Los Angeles
Sam Garrett

San Diego
Kimberley Best Robidoux

San Diego
Linda H. Schweitzer

San Francisco
Brenda Boudreaux

Santa Clara Valley
Randall Caudle
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Sheriff Baca may defy proposed law easing immigration enforcement

Published on Sat, Aug 25, 2012

Wendy Sefsaf of the IPC was quoted in an LA Times article about L.A. County Sheriff Baca and California's Trust Act:

"This is one more fight between the federal government and local government because we continue to not solve the greater problem," said Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the Immigration Policy Center. Read more...

Published in the Los Angeles Times