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Just the Facts

Immigration Fact Checks provide up-to-date information on the most current issues involving immigration today.

The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program: A Fact Sheet

Immigration law is highly complex. Determining which non-citizens are “lawfully” or “unlawfully” present and whether they should be allowed to stay in the United States are complex matters which involve the interpretation of a range of federal laws and regulations, broad policy considerations, and prioritization of existing resources, to name just a few considerations. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 | Download File

Secure Communities: A Fact Sheet

Updated 11/29/11 - While the implementation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the state/local partnership agreements known as the 287(g) program has been a source of great controversy, it is far from the only tool ICE uses to engage state and local law enforcement in immigration control.  Most notably, the Secure Communities Program, which launched in March 2008, has been held out as a simplified model for state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. This fact sheet lays out the basics of Secure Communities program, how it works, key areas of concern and recommendations on how to improve the program. Read more...

Published On: Tue, Nov 29, 2011 | Download File

Bad for Business: How Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law Stifles State Economy

Although key provisions of Alabama’s HB 56 are on hold while its constitutionality is being tested in the courts, evidence is mounting of the growing fiscal and economic impact of the new law. State economic experts and business leaders agree that the law has already caused hardship for Alabama’s businesses and citizens.

Published On: Wed, Nov 09, 2011 | Download File

Checklist for Estimating the Costs of SB 1070-Style Legislation

(Updated November 2011) - Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, has spawned many imitators.  In a growing number of state houses around the country, bills have been passed or introduced which—like SB 1070—create new state immigration crimes and expand the power of police to enforce immigration laws.  Some state laws would make E-Verify mandatory for all businesses, require schools to check students’ immigration status, or make it a crime to “harbor or transport” unauthorized immigrants.  State legislators who are thinking of jumping on the immigration enforcement bandwagon, however, would be wise to consider the costs of such legislation.  State immigration enforcement laws impose unfunded mandates on the police, jails, and courts; drive away workers, taxpayers, and consumers upon whom the state economy depends; and invite costly lawsuits and tourist boycotts.  These are economic consequences which few states can afford at a time of gaping budget deficits. Read more...

Published On: Tue, Nov 08, 2011 | Download File

Fiscally Irresponsible: Immigration Enforcement without Reform Wastes Taxpayer Dollars

Many political pundits, GOP presidential aspirants, and Members of Congress want to have it both ways when it comes to federal spending on immigration. On the one hand, there is much talk about the need for fiscal austerity, and a Congressional “super-committee” is currently working on slashing federal spending in order to reduce the deficit. On the other hand, even though the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just announced a record high number of deportations, some still want to increase federal spending on immigration enforcement; putting more Border Patrol boots on the ground, completing the border fence, and deploying an array of high-tech gadgetry. However, they miss one very important fact: piling on more immigration enforcement without immigration reform is a practical and fiscal dead-end. Read more...

Published On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 | Download File

Immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): A Q&A Fact Check

Q: What is the Defense of Marriage Act?
A: In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. At the time DOMA was enacted, no state permitted same-sex marriages. Today, six states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriages; several other states honor out-of-state marriages and/or recognize civil unions. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Aug 18, 2011 | Download File

Mexican Migration Patterns Signal a New Immigration Reality

Fewer Mexicans are Entering the U.S., Fewer Are Leaving, and Mexican American Births Now Outpace Immigration from Mexico

Much of what we thought we knew about immigration is changing, and the new reality means we need to think differently about how we approach immigrants and immigration reform in the United States.  Unauthorized immigration has clearly paused, and three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade.  Immigrants are becoming more integrated into U.S. communities.  Given these trends, now is the time to seriously consider comprehensive immigration reform. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Aug 01, 2011 | Download File

So Close and Yet So Far: How the Three- and Ten-Year Bars Keep Families Apart

Most Americans take it for granted that marriage to a U.S. citizen and other family relationships entitle an immigrant to a green card, but there are barriers that often prevent or delay these family members from becoming lawful permanent residents, even if they are already in the United States.  Among these barriers are the “three- and ten-year bars,” provisions of the law which prohibit applicants from returning to the United States if they were previously in the U.S. illegally. Thousands of people who qualify for green cards based on their relationships to U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relatives leave the U.S. to obtain their green card are caught in a Catch-22—under current law they must leave the country to apply for their green card abroad, but as soon as they leave, they are immediately barred from re-entering the U.S. for three or ten years. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 | Download File

Dissecting the HALT Act: The Impact of Eliminating Discretion from Our Immigration System

Immigration restrictionists on Capitol Hill are attempting to move legislation through Congress that would prevent the Obama Administration from exercising the executive branch’s long-held power of prosecutorial discretion.  The “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act" (HALT Act) is a bill introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) that would suspend certain discretionary forms of immigration protections and relief until January 21, 2013—the day after the first Obama administration comes to an end.  The bill would also revoke any of the specified protections and relief that are granted between the date of the bill’s introduction (July 12, 2011) and the date of its enactment.  According to a letter circulated by Rep. Smith to solicit support for the HALT Act, its purpose is to “remind the Obama Administration that the founding fathers put Congress in charge of setting the nation’s immigration policy.”  What Rep. Smith seems to forget is that the American system of justice has long granted the executive branch of government the discretion to decide how, and against whom, to enforce federal immigration laws. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 | Download File

The Impact of E-Verify on Minnesota’s Economy

Some members of Congress have proposed making it mandatory for all employers to use E-Verify—the federal, web-based program through which U.S. businesses can verify the work authorization of new hires.  However, mandatory E-Verify without immigration reform is not a solution to the problem of unauthorized immigration.  Addressing the reality of a workforce that relies on unauthorized immigrants requires a more comprehensive package of reforms—including a legalization program that brings unauthorized workers out of the shadows, and the creation of sufficient legal visas for the immigrant workers America needs.  Mandatory E-Verify alone is likely to harm the economy and U.S. workers.

Immigrants in Minnesota

Published On: Wed, Jul 20, 2011 | Download File