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Quick Fact: Unauthorized immigrants 5.2% of the workforce

At last count, unauthorized immigrants comprised 5.2% of the U.S. workforce.

Former Ariz. Attorney General proposes new approach to border

Published on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

In a paper published today by the Immigration Policy Center, former Arizona Attorney General and 2010 Democratic candidate for governor Terry Goddard strikes out at the state’s current border enforcement strategies and attempts to lay out what he sees as a superior binational approach to border security.

In criticizing Arizona’s current approach to border enforcement, Goddard writes, “Again and again, symbols trump reality, misinformation buries the truth.” Goddard is referring to recent efforts to build a massive wall, stretching the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border, an effort derided by many as simultaneously impractical and ineffective. Goddard is similarly critical of the federal Secure Communities program, in which local law enforcement is employed to enforce immigration law. He argues that these largely symbolic and rhetorical efforts at securing the border could in fact be making current problems worse.

Goddard’s solutions to solving current problems at the Arizona-Sonora border focus not on undocumented immigrants but rather on what he sees as the larger issue in this region: Mexican drug cartels. He argues that the U.S. and Mexican governments must approach the cartels as business enterprises. In order to disable them, Goddard writes that the countries must work together to stanch the flow of money into these criminals’ hands.

For Goddard, because the Tucson Sector is the primary locus through which people and resources are smuggled back and forth across the border, it is here where any successful effort to abolish border violence must begin. This means that Tucson must serve as a model to the rest of the border region of how effectively securing the border starts not with capturing and deporting undocumented migrants, but with capturing and arresting the criminals that facilitate these individuals’ cross-border movement and propagate the border region’s larger criminal environment.Read more...

Published in the Examiner: Tucson AZ

IEC News Room

Alabama immigration law: Long waits face many who wish to immigrate

Published on Sun, Dec 04, 2011

WASHINGTON -- The idea that prospective immigrants simply wait their turn to enter the U.S. legally, as advocates of Alabama's immigration law suggest, would apply to only a few because the legal paths for entering the country permanently are selective, limited and backlogged.

There are 4.7 million people from around the world already in line waiting for a chance to move in, according to the latest figures from the U.S. State Department. And the law, as set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act, does not let just anyone get in line.

 The law is specific about who is allowed in on a permanent basis, coinciding with four general objectives of federal immigration policy: to reunite families, attract workers with special skills, increase diversity from countries that don't usually have high numbers of immigrants to the U.S., and protect people who are fleeing persecution in their home countries.

 If someone wants to immigrate permanently, they have to fall into one of those four categories. Even then, the wait can last years or decades. For example, applications filed by Mexican unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens before April 1993 are the ones being considered now, according to a monthly update from the State Department.

 In other words, the proposal that illegal immigrants should have just waited for their turn is not even possible.

 "When there is no line to get into, those are times when people feel they don't have options," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center and former associate chief counsel for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 There are 12.6 million legal permanent residents currently living in the United States plus millions more who have long since become naturalized citizens.Read more...

Published in the Birmingham News

New York Immigration Achievement Awards

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Kan. plan: Allow illegal immigrants to stay, work

Published on Tue, Jan 31, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A coalition of business groups will propose Kansas start a new program to help some illegal immigrants remain in the state so they can hold down jobs in agriculture and other industries with labor shortages, coalition representatives disclosed Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Washington-based Immigration Policy Council called the proposal "unprecedented" and questioned whether the federal government would allow such a program, though she was sympathetic toward supporters' goals. Utah has set up a guest-worker program, but it doesn't take effect until 2013 and was part of a broader package of initiatives on immigration.

The Kansas proposal also is notable because it complicates the debate over immigration issues in the home state of Kris Kobach, a former law professor who helped draft tough laws against illegal immigration in Alabama and Arizona. Kobach, known nationally for advising state and local officials across the nation on immigration issues, is secretary of state, the chief elections official in Kansas.

The proposal is likely to stir controversy in the Kansas Legislature and divide the Republican majority, some of whose members are pursuing proposals to crack down on illegal immigration. Representatives of the business coalition, which includes agriculture groups and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, provided a draft copy of their proposed legislation to The Associated Press ahead of its formal introduction in the House and Senate.

Supporters of the proposal acknowledge they're trying to protect industries heavily reliant on laborers, particularly agriculture. But state officials and backers don't have any hard numbers for how many jobs are in danger of going unfilled. Kansas has an estimated 45,000 illegal-immigrant workers.Read more...

Published in the Associated Press

The LAC Docket

The LAC Docket is the newsletter of the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center. To view individual editions of the newsletter, please click the links below. Archives of our former newsletter -- the Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter -- can be found here.

The LAC Docket | Vol. V, Issue 4 (October 8, 2015)

This issue of the Docket highlights the recent denial of the government’s motion to dismiss in our nationwide class action lawsuit challenging CBP FOIA delays; developments in our national class action lawsuits challenging USCIS delays in adjudicating EAD applications and seeking recognition of unrepresented children’s right to appointed counsel in immigration proceedings, as well as ongoing discovery efforts in our class action lawsuit challenging unconstitutional conditions in CBP detention facilities.  It also discusses ongoing advocacy efforts to end family detention and various amicus briefs that were filed by the American Immigration Council and its partners.

The LAC Docket | Vol. V, Issue 3 (June 17, 2015)

This issue of the Docket highlights our class action lawsuit challenging unconstitutional conditions in CBP detention facilities; our national class action lawsuit challenging USCIS delays in EAD adjudication; the Supreme Court decision in Mata v. Lynch; our ongoing work in a recently filed class action against CBP over its failure to timely respond to FOIA requests; continued efforts to ensure legal representation for children in removal proceedings; and our collaborative efforts to end family detention and provide legal services to women detained in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas.Read more...

Arizona Immigration Law: What The Supreme Court Is Considering, And Why It Matters

Published on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

In January, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona made headlines when she was photographed thrusting an accusatory finger in President Barack Obama's face during a confrontation on a Phoenix tarmac. Brewer later explained that the president was "a little disturbed" about her book, in which she described Obama as weak on immigration.

The fleeting exchange filtered quickly out of the news cycle, but the image encapsulated the underlying legal issue as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up Arizona's new immigration law on Wednesday. Fundamentally, the case pivots on the relationship between states and the federal government when it comes to enforcing immigration law. Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

Fundamental Principles of J Sponsorship

PRINCIPLES OF J SPONSORSHIP

We are frequently asked by interested members of the immigration law community what are the basic principles which we use for strategic planning in the development of the International Exchange Center.

Here are the ten principles that guide our planning and decision making: Read more...

Undocumented youth laud ‘Deferred Action’ policy

Published on Wed, Jun 27, 2012

The Asian Journal highlighted the IPC's Q&A Guide to the President's deferred action policy:

Meanwhile, many organizations have formed seminars and briefings to help people better understand the Deferred Action Policy, how the process will work and who will benefit from it. One such organization is the Immigration Policy Center which held a tele-briefing on June 21 with experts who discussed the Administration’s legal authority behind this move, what’s currently known about the process and how politics are shaping up around the decision. Read more...

Published in the Asian Journal