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A Conversation with Helle Goller

August, 2012
Helle Goller Munksgard Nielsen EVOM August 2012

We spoke with Helle Goller Munksgard Nielsen, our Exchange Visitor of the Month for August 2012, about her training at LEGO Education in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Read the full interview. Read more...

Economists say Alabama's tough new immigration law could damage state's economy

Published on Sat, Jul 16, 2011

MONTGOMERY -- Supporters of the state's new immigration law called it a jobs program when it was being debated in the Legislature, but some economists predict it will put the stigma of the 1960s back on Alabama.

In enacting what has been described as the nation's toughest immigration law, some fear the Legislature's action will backfire, possibly driving away industrial prospects as it promises to chase away thousands of Hispanics holding jobs in construction, food service, manufacturing and agriculture.

Dr. Keivan Deravi, an economics professor at Auburn Montgomery and budget adviser to the Legislature, says the law wasn't supported by facts and wasn't based on "real economic theories and research."

"It is the wrong message sent to the rest of the nation and the business world, especially considering the degree of ongoing globalization," he said.

But Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the Senate sponsor of the immigration bill, called that view a wish of "something bad on the state."

"A business invests where it gets a good quality product and work force," he said. "I don't believe for a minute that it (immigration law) will keep them from coming here. I do not believe it hurts us on the world stage."

Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, the House sponsor of the bill, did not return a phone call.

The law is scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, although a coalition of civil rights groups filed a federal class-action lawsuit that asserts it is unconstitutional because it interferes with federal authority over immigration matters.

Dr. Chris Westley, associate professor of economics at Jacksonville State University, said the law raises the "perception factor" about the state and that capital investment "will tend to avoid Alabama relative to other Southern states."Read more...

Published in the Alabama.com

Court Finds Tax Crimes Are Aggravated Felonies

Kawashima v. Holder, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1166 (2012).

In a 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision holding that convictions for committing and aiding tax evasion in which the Government’s loss exceeds $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies under INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and therefore, are deportable offenses. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit split between the Third and Ninth Circuits in favor of the latter. Compare Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. 2004) with Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).

The Court began its analysis by stating that it will employ the categorical approach by looking to the statutory definition of the crime rather than the specific facts of the case. See Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 186 (2007). First, the Court found that the elements of the tax crimes at issue, 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and (2), clearly establish that commission of the crimes involves fraud or deceit. Second, the Court addressed the Petitioners’ argument that INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) must be read in conjunction with INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(ii), and because clause (ii) references a specific tax crime (not at issue here), Congress did not intend clause (i) to cover tax crimes as well. The Court rejected that argument, concluding that the two clauses are not mutually exclusive and thus tax crimes are not excluded from clause (i).

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan, issued a dissent in which she challenged the Court’s “dubious” statutory interpretation.

Rick Perry, immigration enforcement and the Florida Legislature

Published on Fri, Sep 30, 2011

GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s statements on immigration in Florida last week and the reaction of immigration enforcement only policy supporters seems to be having an impact on the Florida Legislature.

According to The Miami Herald:

Florida’s Tea Party activists say they will accept nothing short of requiring every employer to check the immigration status of their workers through the federal E-verify program in January when legislators convene in regular session. But armed with the support of Florida’s powerful agriculture and business groups, the same legislative leaders who last year promised Arizona-style immigration reform are now barely offering tentative support for it.

The Herald adds: “House Speaker Dean Cannon, whose chamber proposed but never passed an Arizona-style immigration enforcement plan last year, said that immigration reform may take a back seat to balancing the budget, reapportionment and strengthening the economy.”

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolis, R-Merritt Island, said last week that his chamber would pass the same immigration bill it passed in the 2011 session. At this year’s RedState Gathering, Gov. Rick Scott said that an immigration enforcement bill “will happen this session.”

According to Numbers USA — an organization that wants “lower immigration levels” — Perry’s results in the Florida straw poll can be blamed on his weak stance on immigration enforcement. The group writes that “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is proving that appearing to be more concerned about illegal-alien workers than about unemployed Americans doesn’t work in Republican primaries.”Read more...

Published in the The Florida Independent

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

Quick Fact: More immigrants start businesses

In 2010, Immigrants were more than twice as likely to start businesses each month than were the native-born.

Anchor Baby: A Term Redefined as a Slur

Published on Thu, Dec 08, 2011

What does the term “anchor baby” mean? If you were to look it up in the American Heritage Dictionary, you would find a new definition since last week.

The term was among some 10,000 new words and phrases in the fifth edition of the dictionary, published in November. It was defined 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.”

But when Steve Kleinedler, the executive editor of the dictionary, read that definition during a radio interview last month, it troubled Mary Giovagnoli, the director of the Immigration Policy Center, a pro-immigration research group in Washington.

The once-obscure term has been used frequently in the recent debate over whether to change the Constitution to deny automatic American citizenship to children born in this country to illegal immigrant parents.

Last Friday morning, Ms. Giovagnoli posted an angry item on the center’s blog, saying the dictionary “masks the poisonous and derogatory nature of the term, a term which demeans both parent and child.” Her item soared into the blogosphere. By Friday afternoon, Mr. Kleinedler had called Ms. Giovagnoli.Read more...

Published in the New York Times

Board

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Paul L. Zulkie, President
Robert E. Juceam, Secretary
Warren R. Leiden, Treasurer     
Benjamin E. Johnson, Executive Director

Doug Stump, AILA Immediate Past President
William A. Stock, AILA 1st Vice President
Annaluisa Padilla, AILA 2nd Vice President
Lori Chesser, Chair, Board of Trustees
Crystal Williams, AILA Executive Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Lori Chesser, Chair (2014) 
F. Dan Siciliano, Vice-Chair (2014)Read more...

Report urges alternative to mass deportation of illegal immigrants

Published on Sun, Feb 12, 2012

BISBEE — A special report issued earlier this month by the Immigration Policy Center called “Discrediting ‘Self Deportation’ as Immigration Policy” argues that forcing all illegal immigrants to leave the United States would make life difficult for everyone.

The strategy called “attrition through enforcement” was conceived by national immigration restrictionist organizations, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Center for Immigration Studies and Numbers USA.

“While these groups favor severe restrictions on all immigration and support mass deportation, they are also proponents of this strategy. Recognizing the current political reality, they have sought to market the idea of attrition through enforcement as a kinder, gentler alternative to the harsh, expensive, and unworkable strategy of mass deportation,” states the Immigration Policy Center report.

“According to CIS (Center for Immigration Studies), attrition through enforcement involves reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., and deterring future unauthorized immigrants from coming, by stepping up enforcement of existing laws and increasing the incentives for immigrants to ‘deport themselves.’ As Numbers USA puts it: ‘There is no need for taxpayers to watch the government spend billions of their dollars to round up and deport illegal aliens; they will buy their own bus or plane tickets back home if they can no longer earn a living here,’” it continues.

According to its Web site, the Immigration Policy Center is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC’s mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. In its report, the group points out that attrition through enforcement has not resulted in a significant reduction in the unauthorized immigrant population, and it has had a devastating impact on communities.Read more...

Published in the The Sierra Vista Herald