Experts Describe the Real Sources of Violence and How We Can Best Respond
Released on Tue, Jun 08, 2010
Washington D.C. - On Monday, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) hosted a teleconference with border and national-security experts who dissected the myths linking immigration and border violence. These experts shared their analyses of the reality of crime and violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, what the real sources of violence are, and how the U.S. should respond. They all made the point that nearly twenty years of immigration policy focusing on "securing the border first" has failed to address the underlying issues and criminal cartels that are the real cause of violence along the border. The experts noted that immigration laws and policies of the past two decades have, ironically, made the border less safe and have actually benefitted the traffickers and smugglers who operate at the border.Read more...
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...
In order to better serve our clients, we are changing the way we process J-1 visa applications. Effective January 1, 2014, we will no longer accept the paper version of our application.
We will be eliminating non-expedite service, and changing our processing times to 5 business days to review your application materials after you have submitted the completed online application and made payment. All applications will now be processed on an expedited timeline. This change in application processing corresponds with an increase in our fees. Our program fee will increase to $1,450, and we will charge an additional $450 as a non-refundable review fee that will be paid regardless of whether or not we issue the DS 2019. As is our current policy, if we deny your application and do not issue the DS 2019, we refund you all program fees ($1,450), insurance fees ($57/month per person), or the SEVIS fee ($180), but as of January 1, 2014 we will NOT refund the $450 application review fee.
We are also making several changes to the group insurance policy we offer to our J-1 participants and their dependents. Read the Insurance Group Policy Changes section below for more information.
Below is a summary of the different changes that will go into effect on January 1, 2014:
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...
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...
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.”