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A new report by a University of Rhode Island professor concludes that remittances sent by foreign workers from the United States to their home countries “yield surprising benefits” to the U.S. economy, rebutting critics who say they are a drain because the money is not spent in the United States.

The report, “Many Happy Returns: Remittances and their Impact,” by political science professor Kristin Johnson, was released Tuesday by the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council in Washington.

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The Providence Journal | 02/12/10

States like California with large immigration populations likely benefit from remittances abroad because of an increase demand in U.S. exports, a report released today shows.

The Immigration Policy Center released the report. The center is the search policy arm of the American Immigration Council in Washington D.C., whose mission is to shape the national conversation on immigration..

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The Desert Sun | 02/10/10

Comprehensive immigration reform made it into the State of the Union speech last week. The Middle East, a hardy annual, and indeed Northern Ireland, did not.

But President Obama's focus on reform during the lengthy address to both houses of Congress struck many observers as being little more than perfunctory.

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THE IRISH ECHO ONLINE | 02/03/10

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the State of the Union Address last night, President Obama made clear his ongoing commitment to immigration reform noting “we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.” Some may continue to argue that immigration reform is too politically risky to move on this year and that we should focus instead on rebuilding our economy. However, comprehensive immigration reform is compatible with economic reform as it would generate needed economic growth, create jobs and increase tax contributions by ensuring that everyone working in the United States is doing so legally. In fact, immigration reform would allow us to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic growth that immigrants bring.

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Hispanic Online Magazine | 01/29/10

In his White House press briefing yesterday, Robert Gibbs seemed to suggest that President Obama would address the subject of immigration reform in his speech tonight. Why he would introduce such a polarizing topic into the already toxic atmosphere in Washington is unclear to me, but if, in fact, he does, I think it's safe to assume he won't be dwelling on it very long. The chances of getting an immigration-reform bill passed this year, which were iffy to begin with, faded to near black in the wake of the Massachusetts Special Election That Changed Everything. If the message from the Bay State was that the administration needs to focus on repairing an economy that has shed millions of jobs, it's hard to imagine selling the country on the need to legalize millions more workers. But that's not to say the administration won't try.

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Newsweek | 01/27/10

WASHINGTON - The head of U.S. immigration enforcement on Monday announced plans for an overhaul of the government's controversial detention system for people who face deportation.

The moves described by John T. Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, address oversight, medical care and tracking of detainees at facilities in Arizona and across the country.

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Arizona Republic | 01/26/10

Congress has a 41st Republican senator, but Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is challenging that notion. Yes, Graham does gain a new Republican colleague on Capitol Hill very soon (Senator-elect Scott Brown, of Massachusetts). In response to that, though, Graham announced on Friday his “willingness to tackle tough issues, including immigration” by breaking from partisan politics and finding a way to cooperate with the Democrats.

Of the Senator’s announcement, Immigration Impact’s Travis Packer quoted Graham as saying:

“Is the message that Democrats shouldn’t take on anything controversial and is the message that we should not work with them on anything controversial? … How much risk aversion does it create in the United States Senate to deal with tough issues like energy independence, climate change and immigration? … I hope that’s not the message. It’s not the message to me. The real reason we’re all here is to govern the country and do hard things.”

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The E xaminer | 01/24/10

“Immigrants don’t want to learn English.” “Immigrants don’t pay taxes.” “Immigrants increase the crime rate.” “Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.” “Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy.” “Illegal immigrants are a burden on the U.S. health care system.”

Americans have been using these generalizations for 150 years to stigmatize members of every ethnic group that has traveled to these shores seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

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Kansas City Star | 01/23/10

Comprehensive immigration reform would produce at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years, according to a new report by a UCLA professor. Based on this report and other studies, Illinois would see significant economic gains from legalizing undocumented immigrants.

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Medill Reports | 01/14/10

IF CONGRESS has any sense, it will pass immigration reform this year. That's the topic of this week's column.

A new report from the Centre for American Progress, an Obamaphile think-tank, finds that comprehensive immigration reform would add $1.5 trillion to America's GDP over ten years.

Not everything that raises GDP is a good idea. Reihan Salam, a conservative writer, pointed out to me yesterday that annexing Canada would raise GDP by a lot. But it would have serious downsides, such as Americans having to find out where Canada is.

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The Economist | 01/13/10