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11/19/15 | At One-Year Anniversary of Immigration Actions, Administration Must Vigorously Defend Authority

Washington D.C. - Friday, marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of his executive actions on immigration, which at their heart, are first steps towards common-sense reforms to an outdated immigration system.

The series of reforms range from temporary protections for an expanded group of unauthorized young people (expanded DACA) and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA), to modernizing and streamlining the visa application process, tonew guidance to better prioritize the immigration agencies’ use of their limited enforcement resources.

While the centerpiece of the executive actions—expanded DACA and DAPA—remains tied up in litigation, the Administration can and should use its uncontested authority to continue refining enforcement priorities and improving the operations and functions of the visa system.  As the deferred action initiatives have become highly-politicized and are yet to achieve their intended goal—keeping families together while ensuring that the government’s enforcement resources are targeted toward real security threats—there is one aspect of these measures that remains unassailable: the President’s authority to take such actions.

11/12/15 | Council Statement of CBP's Body-Camera Policy Announcement

Washington D.C. – Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, responded to the announcement that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff will expand the agency’s camera review with the following statement:

"Today's decision to not broadly implement body-worn cameras is a significant step backwards for CBP. For an agency that has significant problems with transparency and accountability, the excuses provided to not move forward in a bold and comprehensive way will only deepen that perception. CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, and it seems they are out of step with other agencies that are moving forward to implement body cameras in an effort to protect both officers and those they serve.

“The first phases of CBP’s assessment of cameras were focused on body-worn cameras and had clear start and end dates. Today’s announcement has no timeline for moving forward, and it attempts to shift the focus away from body-worn cameras to looking at “mobile,” “fixed,” and “maritime cameras” along with body-worn cameras. This appears to be nothing more than an attempt by Customs and Border Protection to run down the clock on this administration and pass the buck.”

To view other resources on publications related to CBP policies and activities see:

11/09/15 | Council Urges Prompt Appeal to the Supreme Court of Flawed Fifth Circuit Decision

Washington D.C. – In a disappointing but unsurprising decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has temporarily stopped President Obama’s latest deferred action initiatives from being implemented. This decision clears the way for the Obama Administration to take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The American Immigration Council urges the Administration to act promptly and seek immediate Supreme Court review. 

The deferred action initiatives, announced almost one year ago, in November 2014, include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Together, these initiatives could provide as many as 5 million immigrants with temporary relief from deportation. The decision today means that the initiatives remain suspended. 

Last November, after decades of congressional neglect, President Obama took a crucial, courageous and practical step toward reforming our immigration system. Using the executive’s well-established authority to regulate immigration and determine enforcement priorities, he adopted policies that would allow millions of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children to remain with their parents, while at the same time ensuring that the government’s limited enforcement resources could be targeted toward real security threats. The Obama Administration should aggressively challenge the opinion in this case that states have standing—or legal authority—to file suit when they disagree with federal immigration policies. This sets a dangerous precedent.


The Council in the News

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Donald Trump's immigration platform, Univison anchor Jorge Ramos cited data from the American Immigration Council's report "The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States" which notes that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native-born population.

Watch the exchange below:

Examiner | 08/17/15

CNN cited the American Immigration Council's recent report The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States and by quoting Senior Researcher Walter Ewing in "Immigrants and crime: Crunching the numbers":

"'Government statistics on who is being removed from the country can be somewhat deceptive,' says Walter Ewing, a senior researcher for the American Immigration Council who helped author a report released this week that argues immigrants are less likely to be criminals than native-born U.S. citizens."

The article went on to point out figures from the Council’s recent report which dispells anti-immigrant rhetoric through facts, noting:

…the percentage of foreign-born men in the United States who are incarcerated (1.6%) is less than the percentage of U.S.-born men who are imprisoned (3.3%). And the reason they're behind bars is often tied to immigration offenses.”

CNN | 07/08/15

Patrick Taurel, Legal Fellow and the American Immigration Council, provides an in-depth look into the implementation of President Obama’s executive order on immigration and the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs.

Watch the C-Span segment below:

C-Span | 02/09/15