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Colorado Latino lobby day underlines lopsided nature of immigration debate

Published on Thu, Mar 03, 2011

DENVER– When hundreds of Coloradans flocked to the capitol here Monday for the state’s fifth-annual Latino Advocacy Day, it was a rare recent instance in the state and around the country where support for policies that embrace immigration, U.S. Latino communities and the rights of undocumented residents stole the spotlight from support for policies that set deporting “illegals” and establishing border security as top priorities.

Attendees rallied on the west steps of the capitol and then fanned into lawmaker chambers to talk about the issues that matter most to them this legislative session. Top of the list was opposition to the Arizona-style immigration laws introduced this year, which have mostly failed to gain traction, and support for a bill that would offer in-state college tuition to undocumented students.

“I came here today because I know how much what goes on in this building can affect my life, my family’s life and my friends’ lives,” event speaker Cecelia Rodriguez told the Colorado Independent. “The most pressing and necessary bill we can pass is SB 126, the Colorado ASSET bill, which would make it possible for more graduating [high school] seniors in Colorado to attend colleges here.”

The ASSET bill is the work of Pueblo Democratic Senator Angela Giron, who received a hero’s welcome Monday as she moved through the capitol halls toward a committee room. The crowd cheered and Giron waved and then posed briefly for snapshots with supporters.

A young woman named Laura from Durango came to see Republican Ellen Roberts, her district representative. Laura said she came to relate her experience as an undocumented Colorado high school graduate who now attends university in New Mexico, where she and all undocumented Colorado residents can pay in-state tuition.Read more...

Published in the Colorado Independent

Video Hearings in Immigration Court

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In 1995, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) introduced the use of video hearing equipment in immigration courts across the country.  As a result, noncitizens facing removal are frequently deprived of the opportunity to appear in person before an immigration judge.  Video hearings are more common where a noncitizen is detained, though many non-detained individuals are subjected to video hearings as well.  EOIR uses video hearings for both preliminary hearings (“master calendar hearings”) and merits hearings (“individual hearings”).

FOIA l Advocacy l Resources

FOIA

In February 2012, the American Immigration Council submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to EOIR asking for records related to video teleconferencing (VTC).  EOIR produced two sets of records.

First Production (November 23, 2012)

            Index of First Production

Second Production (January 30, 2013)

            Index of Second ProductionRead more...

A Conversation with Klaas Frese

April, 2011

Congratulations to Klaas Frese, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! Klaas came to Pennsylvania from Germany to train in the area of freight forwarding. We caught up with Klaas after a recent trip to Las Vegas to learn more about his experience in the United States.

Read more...

Illegal immigrants pay $11 billion in taxes a year

Published on Mon, Apr 25, 2011

Unlike certain corporate powers that make billions of dollars and pay no taxes, illegal immigrants generate billions of tax dollars for state governments. allgov.com

The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has concluded that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in taxes last year. This total included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. allgov.com

The U.S. Immigration Policy Center says these figures should be kept in mind as politicians and commentators continue with the seemingly endless debate over what to do with unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States. sun-sentinel.com

The Washington-based research group says in spite of the fact that they lack legal status, these immigrants -- and their family members -- are adding value to the U.S. economy; not only as taxpayers, but as workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs." sun-sentinel.com

HIGHLIGHTS

California gets the most out of its undocumented workers, pulling in $2.7 billion in taxes from households headed by illegals in 2010. laweekly.com

Other states that gained the most revenue from illegal immigrants paying taxes were Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($807 million), New York ($662 million), and Illinois ($499 million). allgov.com

They were followed by Georgia ($456 million), New Jersey ($446 million) and Arizona ($433 million). allgov.com

Some undocumented workers in California say they are filing income tax returns, hoping that playing by the rules will be an eventual path to citizenship. UPI

FACTS & FIGURES

An estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States. That's roughly one in every 20 workers. Reuters

The Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants from the U.S. than ever before. NPRRead more...

Published in the Press TV

Supreme Court Holds that Fifth Circuit Misapplied Fedorenko v. United States

Negusie v. Holder, 555 U.S. 511 (2009)

In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit misapplied the Supreme Court case, Fedorenko v. United States, 449 U.S. 490 (1981), to find that the persecutor bar at INA § 208(b)(2)(A)(i) applies even if a person's assistance in persecution was coerced or the product of duress. Read more...

Let Alabama take the heat for migrant law

Published on Thu, Jun 16, 2011

Alabama now has the nation's toughest immigration law. Arizona should not compete to take back that title.

Our Legislature gave the state a break this year. No controversial immigration law was passed. No new spotlight fell on Arizona.

Yet the adjective phrase "Arizona-style" is still used to describe extreme, enforcement-heavy immigration measures such as the one just passed in Alabama.

In addition to mimicking most of the provisions of Arizona's infamous Senate Bill 1070, Alabama's law builds on Arizona's employer-sanctions law and its voter-identification law.

Alabama also goes after schoolchildren with a requirement that schools report on the immigration status of students. The idea, which has been proposed in Arizona, is to create a record of the cost of educating undocumented children as a basis for challenging the 1982 Supreme Court ruling that all children should be educated, regardless of immigration status.

Checking the status of schoolchildren will mean that kids - even some who were born in this country - will be kept out of school by undocumented parents who fear questions at school will lead to deportation. Alabama's school provisions would create a permanent uneducated underclass.

Like SB 1070, the Alabama law is built around a strategy called "attrition through enforcement." The aim is to make things so uncomfortable that undocumented immigrants self-deport.

Research by the Immigration Policy Center found that undocumented migrants often just go further underground as a result of get-tough measures. They become more vulnerable and less likely to report crime, making local law enforcement more difficult.

Other provisions in the Alabama law, such as making it a crime to knowingly rent to an undocumented immigrant and barring undocumented people from enrolling in postsecondary institutions, are also part of this strategy.Read more...

Published in the Arizona Republic

Court Finds that Fifth Circuit Has Jurisdiction to Review Denial of Equitable Tolling of Motion to Reopen Deadline

Reyes Mata v. Lynch, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2150 (2015)

In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court overturned the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and held that federal courts have jurisdiction to review Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denials of requests to equitably toll the deadline for filing motions to reopen removal orders. The decision strongly reaffirmed the importance of federal court review of motions to reopen.

By statute, individuals who have been ordered removed have the right to file one motion to reopen which, in most cases, is subject to strict filing deadlines. Nine Courts of Appeals already recognize that the deadlines are subject to equitable tolling, a long-recognized principle through which courts can waive the application of non-jurisdictional statutes of limitations if a plaintiff was diligent but nonetheless unable to comply with the filing deadline. In contrast, the Fifth Circuit determined that it lacks jurisdiction to even consider denials of requests for equitable tolling. In this case, Petitioner Noel Reyes Mata sought equitable tolling of the motion to reopen deadline based upon prior ineffective assistance of counsel. After the BIA denied his request, the Fifth Circuit held that, under its binding precedent, the court lacked jurisdiction to review the decision. Before the Supreme Court, the government agreed with Mr. Reyes Mata that the Fifth Circuit erred, and the Supreme Court appointed amicus to argue in support of the Fifth Circuit’s judgment.Read more...

Quick Fact: Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes

At last count, households headed by unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes.