Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data. Following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, in response to “Catch and Release: Interior Immigration Enforcement in 2013”
“A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) makes a range of false claims about deportation data. First their claim that out of 722,000 “potentially deportable aliens” encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement only 195,000 were charged is completely misleading. As a result of dragnet programs like Secure Communities, any foreign-born individual that that comes into contact with law-enforcement likely falls into 722,000 number cited by CIS. Thus, this number includes immigrants (including long time permanent residents) whose interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal. In fact, that data likely includes U.S. citizens as well. CIS is essentially asserting that a legal-permanent resident or a recently naturalized citizen with a broken tail light should be charged by ICE and removed from the country although there is no basis in law for such action.
Washington D.C. -Tonight, President Barack Obama pressed the reset button and laid out his priorities for 2014—and, ultimately, the final leg of his presidency. During the State of the Union address, the President discussed the need to create jobs and greater opportunity for all. He also made it clear that immigration reform and economic recovery go hand-in-hand, and he expects the House of Representatives to make the next move on immigration reform. The President said:
“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.”
Washington D.C. - Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner reassured the far-right wing of the Republican Party and anti-immigrant activists that he would never agree to a conference to hammer out an agreement on a House immigration bill and S. 744, the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that passed in June. While that statement may have been reassuring to a few die-hard anti-immigration reform activists, it had the opposite effect for the vast majority of Americans. The Speaker’s statement does not stop the clock on the economic, social, and societal costs of doing nothing on immigration. It also does not honor the hard work of Democrats and Republicans who have worked in good faith to pass the Senate bill and negotiate on various fronts in the House.
However, what Speaker Boehner's statement does do is open the door to more protests and public outrage, encourage states to continue to take the lead on immigration policy and leave the administration in the difficult situation of deciding how long they will let Congressional inaction continue before they will intervene. When Congress refuses to act they make themselves less relevant and reinforce the idea that they cannot work constructively to fix our nation's most pressing problems.
Thus, rather than tamp down the flames of reform, the Speaker’s statements will embolden those who will work to fix immigration policy on their own - for better or worse. It’s inevitable that immigration reform will happen it’s just a matter of how much our economy, communities, and the Republican Party will lose in the meantime
"A report released this month by the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council revealed that most of the people being deported are not dangerous criminals, as we have been led to believe. In fact, most have 'committed relatively minor, nonviolent crimes or have no criminal histories at all,' the report concluded.
Two thirds of all deportees were apprehended at or near the border, while one third was stopped and detained from the 'interior of the country.' Immigration lawyers say the arrests are happening everywhere: at bus and train stops, on the streets, in homes and in workplaces."
The article discusses the recent annoucement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that more than 34,000 immigrants were helped by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) during its first year of operations.
"There are 4.2 million immigrants living in the state and one in four New Yorkers of working age are foreign- born, stated the release. Citing data from the Immigration Policy Center: In 2010, 31.2 percent of all business owners in New York State were foreign-born (36 percent in the New York City metropolitan area); these businesses had a total net business income of $12.6 billion, representing 22.6 percent of all net business income in the state; and New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in annual economic output."
Recently, the Huffington Post featured an Infographic from the Immigration Policy Center's Fact Sheet "The Cost of Doing Nothing". The article, titled "Why Can't A Nation That Calls Itself A Melting Pot Sort Out Its Immigration System?" highlights the problems with the current U.S. immigration system:
"Detaining and deporting people is extremely costly, and even those who support more deportations admit that deporting everyone isn't feasible. Plus, some reports have found that enacting reform could improve the economy, which means the U.S. could be losing money in two ways by maintaining its current policies. The Immigration Policy Center, the research arm of the advocacy group American Immigration Council, breaks down some of the numbers: