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NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Already known as a refuge for people from other lands, New Haven and its mayor are seeking to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants and other noncitizens.

Mayor John DeStefano, a Democrat, introduced four years ago a first-of-its-kind program to give noncitizens, legal or not, city resident cards. Despite crackdowns elsewhere, he has forged ahead with proposals that he says encourage differences.

“We’re a place of differences,” he said. “We’re a place that sees a strength and places a value on welcoming folks from all over.”

Dozens of American cities including New York, San Francisco and Cambridge, Mass., take a hands-off approach to pursuing illegal immigrants. While advocates say they are distancing themselves from a broken immigration system, critics accuse them of flouting federal law as “sanctuary cities.”

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has vowed to cut off federal funding for such cities. Texas Gov. Rick Perry pushed a bill this year that would have prohibited cities from acting as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants and get local law enforcement more involved in immigration enforcement. Mitt Romney has said he opposed sanctuary cities as Massachusetts governor and, as president, he would “find the right approach” to ending them if legally possible.

President Obama has resisted calls from some Republicans to crack down on sanctuary cities. As a Democratic candidate in 2007, he said the U.S. government should address the issue by providing a rational immigration system, not by withdrawing funds from such cities.

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Washington Times | 12/20/11

Last night, Stephen Colbert gave a shout out to the Immigration Policy Center's blog in a segment called "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger." Steven Colbert gave a shout out (video below), in his own unique way, to the IPC for lifting up the problems with the original definition of “anchor baby” released in the latest edition of the American Heritage dictionary.

Watch:

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Colbert Report | 12/12/11

What does a tenure “anchor baby” mean? If we were to demeanour it up
in a American Heritage Dictionary, we would find a new
definition given final week.

The tenure was among some 10,000 new difference and phrases in the
fifth book of a dictionary, published in November. It was
defined as: “A child innate to a noncitizen mom in a nation that
grants involuntary citizenship to children innate on a soil,
especially such a child innate to relatives seeking to secure eventual
citizenship for themselves and mostly other members of their
family.”

But when Steve Kleinedler, a executive editor of the
dictionary, review that clarification during a radio talk last
month, it uneasy Mary Giovagnoli, a executive of a Immigration
Policy Center, a pro-immigration investigate organisation in Washington.

The once-obscure tenure has been used frequently in a recent
debate over either to change a Constitution to repudiate automatic
U.S. citizenship to children innate in this nation to illegal
immigrant parents.

Last Friday morning, Giovagnoli posted an indignant object on the
center’s blog, observant a compendium “masks a unwholesome and
derogatory inlet of a term, a tenure that demeans both primogenitor and
child.”

On Monday, a compendium posted a new definition. It started
with “offensive,” in italics: “Used as a adverse tenure for a
child innate to a noncitizen mom in a nation that grants
automatic citizenship to children innate on a soil, generally when
the child’s hearth is suspicion to have been selected in sequence to
improve a mother’s or other relatives’ chances of securing
eventual citizenship.”

Kleinedler said, “The tenure is now treated likewise to how the
dictionary treats a far-reaching operation of slurs.”

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Washington Investment | 12/11/11

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: In October, the U.S. Department of Justice challenged South Carolina's immigration law in federal court, charging that parts of the law are "unconstitutional and interfere with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy."

In April, the Justice Department succeeded in blocking some provisions of the newly enacted Arizona immigration law, and in October, some of Alabama's controversial provisions were temporarily blocked. Last month, the federal government sued Utah.

"A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Nov. 22. "The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws, and while we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy."

South Carolina officials, including Gov. Nikki Haley, echoing the concerns of leaders in other states, say that local authorities cannot wait any more for the federal government to institute comprehensive immigration reform and must act now to secure borders and protect citizens and legal residents.

"If the Feds were doing their job, we wouldn't have had to address illegal immigration reform at the state level," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said recently.

The Obama administration has ramped up deportation actions.

About 1.1 million illegal immigrants have been deported since the beginning of 2009, and the Department of Homeland Security is dealing with a backlog of about 300,000 cases. By comparison, a total of 1.57 million were deported during President George W. Bush's two terms.

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Post and Courier | 12/11/11

A decision by the American Heritage Dictionary to revise its definition of "anchor baby" -- labeling it an offensive and disparaging term -- is an attempt to manipulate the "linguistic landscape" and push a leftist agenda, some opponents of illegal immigration say.

"Anchor baby" was among roughly 10,000 words -- including "hoodie" and "babydaddy" -- added to the dictionary's fifth edition last month. The hot-button term, a noun, was initially defined as: "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."

That definition caught the attention of Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center, who heard American Heritage Dictionary executive editor Steve Kleinedler read it during a radio interview last month. Giovagnoli blasted the definition on the organization's blog last Friday, saying it masked the "poisonous and derogatory" nature of the term.

By Monday, the term had been changed. It is now defined as such: "Offensive  Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

The revision is now a "well-crafted" definition of how the term is used, Giovagnoli said.

But not everyone agrees.

"That's a political statement and it's not even accurate," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "[An anchor baby] is a child born to an illegal immigrant."

Krikorian said the revised definition makes a political statement and is much more than neutral, "just the facts" reference material.

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Fox News | 12/08/11

What does the term “anchor baby” mean? If you were to look it up in the American Heritage Dictionary, you would find a new definition since last week.

The term was among some 10,000 new words and phrases in the fifth edition of the dictionary, published in November. It was defined as: “A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”

But when Steve Kleinedler, the executive editor of the dictionary, read that definition during a radio interview last month, it troubled Mary Giovagnoli, the director of the Immigration Policy Center, a pro-immigration research group in Washington.

The once-obscure term has been used frequently in the recent debate over whether to change the Constitution to deny automatic American citizenship to children born in this country to illegal immigrant parents.

Last Friday morning, Ms. Giovagnoli posted an angry item on the center’s blog, saying the dictionary “masks the poisonous and derogatory nature of the term, a term which demeans both parent and child.” Her item soared into the blogosphere. By Friday afternoon, Mr. Kleinedler had called Ms. Giovagnoli.

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New York Times | 12/08/11

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries -- and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term "anchor baby" as "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."

The original definition did not include any indication that the phrase is offensive, as it does for other words.

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word's inclusion on its blog on Dec. 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the "poisonous and derogatory nature of the term."

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.

The current wording was added to the online dictionary on Monday. It flags the word as "offensive" and defines "anchor baby" as being "used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."

Kleinedler told Colorlines, a blog that reports on issues of race, ethnicity and social justice, that changing the word was more about accuracy than outrage.

"Personally, this was not a reaction that we have to fix it because people are angry," Kleinedler told Colorlines. "We fixed it because we were wrong. And I, as the executive editor, acknowledge the fact that this was an error and I take responsibility for that."

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CNN | 12/08/11

Recently, controversy erupted over the American Heritage dictionary’s definition of “anchor baby” as a neutral term. Jorge Rivas gave us an overview earlier this week. The act prompted immigrant rights advocates to reach out for institutional change. Here’s how the dictionary’s new edition originally defined “anchor baby:”

Anchor Baby, n. A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”

Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center pushed back on the term’s definition, acknowledging that it’s politically loaded language and not neutral. She’s right. The term is racially charged and hurtful, much like the term “illegal immigrant,” which Giovagnoli ironically did use in her piece. It’s no surprise that dehumanizing and criminalizing people by describing them as “illegal immigrants” has paved the way for “anchor baby,” which suggests that supposedly “illicit” people who have families and settle down are conniving and dangerous. 

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Colorlines | 12/07/11

The U.S. Supreme Court will meet later this week to decide whether the justices will hear Arizona's case with the Department of Justice over its stringent anti-immigration law.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, petitioned the high court in August to take its case in an effort to get an early injunction blocking the law's more onerous provisions overturned.

Expectations that the justices take Grand Canyon State's case are low. There are pending cases from the Justice Department challenging Arizona-style anti-immigration laws in other states and there has yet to be a split among the appellate courts that the high court needs to address.

But the fact that Arizona has already reached a petition stage is a sign that an immigration battle could end up on the Supreme Court docket in the near future. A case over these new laws, which grant local police power to detain and check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the country without authorization, would be new terrain for the Supreme Court.

Several years ago, states never attempted to pass such tough immigration laws, says Ben Winograd of the American Immigration Council Legal Action Center.

Can-You-Top-This-Conservatism Laws

Now, states seem like they are trying to compete with one another to devise the toughest law to drive out largely Hispanic immigrant population. This can be attributed in part to Kris W. Kobach, an Ivy League-educated constitutional lawyer who is currently serving as Kansas' Republican secretary of state and is of counsel to the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

He is the brain behind Arizona's anti-immigration law, SB1070, and also a hand in Alabama's HB56, considered one of the harshest anti-immigration laws in the nation.

Such laws are now in six states, including Utah, South Carolina, Indiana and Georgia.

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International Business Times | 12/06/11

The American Heritage Dictionary has added "offensive" to the definition of "anchor baby" in the dictionary after criticism from Latino groups.

Immigrationimpact.com, a project of the nonprofit American Immigration Council, questioned the inclusion of the "anchor baby" definition. On their website, they describe the new definition as "one that was crafted to reflect more accurately just how artificial a term it really is."

The online version of the American Heritage Dictionary now defines "anchor baby" as:

"Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship..."

In January, lawmakers in Washington pushed to change the law so babies born to illegal immigrants could no longer be given automatic citizenship.

Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce paved the way for Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement law supported the legislation in a bill he proposed in 2010.

In May, when CBS 5 Investigates showed Pearce an email referring to "anchor babies" that he forwarded, he said he didn't find anything wrong with the language.

"It's somebody's opinion … What they're trying to say is it's wrong, and I agree with them. It's wrong," said Pearce.

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KPHO Phoenix | 12/06/11