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The Council In the News

The New York Times article "Complaints of Abuse by Border Agents Often Ignored, Records Show" features the Immigration Council's "No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse" report, which examines one of the few avenues available for people to report mistreatment by Border Patrol agents - namely, the complaint system.

The report found that among cases in which a formal decision was issued, 97 percent resulted in “No Action Taken.”

“These stark findings exemplify the culture of impunity that prevails at C.B.P.,” said Melissa Crow, director of the council’s Legal Action Center. “Given the tremendous resources appropriated to C.B.P., the agency must do a better job of holding its officers accountable.”

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New York Times | 05/07/14

The Latin Times recently cited the IPC report "Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law" in an article titled "ICE Data Says Agency Rarely Uses ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ To Close Cases Against Immigrants".

"The Immigration Policy Center notes that discretion can be used at any stage of an immigration case, from the apprehension phase – when it comes to stopping, questioning and arresting particular people, focusing resources on certain violations or conduct, or detaining people already in police custody or under supervision – to referring cases to courts to begin deportation proceedings.  In most of the country, it appears that authorities rarely practice such discretion after proceedings are already opened: between October 2012 and March 2014, the group reports, ICE intervened to close only 6.7 percent of cases they’d earlier referred to the courts.  The percentage varied widely by region; in Tucson and Seattle, it was around 30 percent."

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Latin Times | 04/24/14

AIC Executive Director Benjamin Johnson was recently quoted in the New Republic article "Who's the Real Deporter-In-Chief: Bush or Obama?" Johnson emphasized the need to not only review deportation numbers but the results of current enforcement policies.

I don’t know why we’re having a conversation about the numbers—the question is, what are the results?” said Benjamin Johnson of the American Immigration Council. “As somebody who cares about immigration policy, it’s a weird and unfortunate construct. I think the people calling him deporter-in-chief are doing it because he’s punishing them through the immigration system.”

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New Republic | 04/17/14

An editorial by The Detroit News recently highlighted an IPC report on immigrant entrepreneurship in Michigan from a report titled "Michigan: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives". The editorial stated:

"Between 1996 and 2007, foreign-born Michiganians were three times as likely as nonimmigrants to start a new business, according to the Immigration Policy Center. And they’re six times as likely to start a high-tech firm."

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The Detroit News | 04/12/14

Astrid Silva, the 2014 receipent of the American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award, was recently featured in a Las Vegas Sun article titled "Las Vegas immigration advocate Astrid Silva earns national honor".

"A prominent immigration reform advocate and community organizer from Las Vegas who has helped influence Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid garnered more national recognition this week.

The American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award winner is Astrid Silva, an organizer for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Silva has been on of the most visible faces of Las Vegas’ immigration reform movement, going public with her undocumented status before getting a work permit through the deferred action for childhood arrivals program."

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Las Vegas Sun | 04/08/14

IPC Director Mary Giovagnoli was recently quoted in The Fiscal Times article "A Republican Path to Citizenship – Via Boot Camp". The article covers Rep. Jeff Denham's (R-CA) ENLIST Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants to become legal permanent residents upon service in the U.S. military

“It’s not surprising that Republicans would dip their toes in the water with these types of bills,” said Mary Giavagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center at the American Immigration Council. “There’s overall consensus that people are who are willing to serve their country should be able to have the benefits of citizenship.”

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The Fiscal Times | 04/08/14

The IPC's March 2014 report "Misplaced Priorities: Most Immigrants Deported by ICE in 2013 Were a Threat to No One" was recently featured in a Latin Post article "Immigration News 2014: Hispanic Community Unites On Saturday For Nationwide Anti-Deportation Rally".

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Latin Post | 04/05/14

Ben Johnson, the Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, was recently featured in a Fox News Latino article titled "Think Tank Says DHS Releases Criminal Immigrants, But Critics Counter Numbers Are Skewed". 

Johnson highlighted the misleading methodology used in a recent publication from the Center for Immigration Studies that stated 68,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records were released from detention instead of being deported.

"Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, said that the people released were not all actually 'set free.'

'Being released from ICE custody often means being issued a notice to appear in court, released with an ankle bracelet or released under an order of supervision,' he said. 'These details were conveniently left out of the CIS analysis.'

Also, Johnson said, 'the 195,000 [of people charged] is completely misleading. Sadly, it isn’t necessary to be 'charged' by ICE in order to be removed from the country.'

He further explained: 'For instance, this 'charged' number does not include the 160,000 people who were removed based on the reinstatement of a prior removal or the 23,000 that were voluntarily returned to their country of birth,” he said.

'And, the number likely does not include the additional 101,000 that were removed from the U.S. based on an expedited removal order, where they were summarily removed without ever having a chance to take their case before a judge or receive any meaningful due process.'"

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Fox News Latino | 04/01/14

Ben Johnson, the Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, responded to the misleading deportation numbers in a recent Washington Times article titled "68,000 Illegal Aliens with Criminal Records Caught and Released".

"The American Immigration Council, though, said the numbers were 'completely misleading' and that many of those ICE agents encountered were likely kicked out of the country even if they weren’t officially put into deportation proceedings.

The AIC said the more than 720,000 immigrants ICE encountered also likely included many legal immigrants whose 'interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal.'

'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,' said Benjamin JohnsonAIC’s executive director."

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Washington Times | 04/01/14

The IPC's "Misplaced Priorities: Most Immigrants Deported by ICE in 2013 Were a Threat to No One" report was recently cited in an opinion piece by the Miami Herald's Mirta Ojito. This piece highlights the impact deportations have on families across the country.

"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."

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Miami Herald | 03/29/14