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09/02/10 | 14th Annual Creative Writing Contest Launched

The American Immigration Council's Community Education Center has launced the 14th Annual "Celebrate America" creative writing contest.  Every year thousands of 5th graders from across the country participate in local contests.

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08/11/10 | Pew Report Sheds Little Light on Birthright Citizenship

Washington D.C. - Over the last several weeks, a handful of elected officials have re-ignited a call for the repeal of birthright citizenship. Claiming that countless unauthorized and temporary immigrants are coming to the United States solely to give birth, some are suggesting changing the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, thereby forcing the U.S. government to individually determine the citizenship of every single child born in the country.

A new report from the Pew Hispanic Center is intended to provide data on the numbers of children born to unauthorized immigrants each year. However, the report offers no real clarity on the question of birthright citizenship. Limitations in the Census data upon which the report is based make it impossible to determine how many children are born into families in which both parents are unauthorized or temporarily in the United States. As a result, the report is only able estimate that 340,000 of the 4.3 million children born in the United States in 2008 had at least one unauthorized parent. In other words, this figure includes families in which one parent is unauthorized and the other a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant, so we still have no idea how many children would be affected by a change to the Fourteenth Amendment. If anything, the Pew report highlights how complicated this issue is given that so many unauthorized immigrants live in "mixed status" families that also include U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.

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07/28/10 | Arizona Judge Delineates Between State and Federal Authority

Washington, D.C. - Today, Phoenix district court judge Susan Bolton enjoined key provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB1070. The judge recognized that the federal government has primary authority over making and enforcing immigration law, and that while states have limited authority in this arena, they cannot interfere with federal enforcement or undermine federal priorities. The decision acknowledges the complex nature of immigration law and the harmful consequences of local police attempting to make immigration determinations. The judge also recognized the serious strain that the Arizona law would place on federal resources, which would detract from the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws in other states and target resources toward serious criminals.

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07/20/10 | Lawsuit Filed Against DHS and USCIS Seeks Transparency Promised by Obama Administration

The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures for the "H-1B" visa program - a program which allows U.S. businesses to temporarily employ highly-skilled foreign workers.

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07/19/10 | AIC/AILA Litigation Institute

Strengthen your litigation skills in Leesburg, Va., this fall, via our hands-on, educational format! Now more than ever immigration lawyers need to be equipped to litigate issues on behalf of their clients. This Institute will enable both neophytes and experienced practitioners to acquire new skills, to practice their technique, and to become confident and knowledgeable about litigation in immigration court and in the federal courts. Please see http://www.aila.org/li for registration information.

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07/06/10 | FAIR's Distorted Fiscal Snapshot of Unauthorized Immigrants

Washington D.C. -  Today, Fox News is reporting on data provided to them by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which amounts to a highly misleading fiscal snapshot of the costs allegedly imposed on U.S. taxpayers by unauthorized immigrants.  However, in its rush to portray unauthorized immigrants as nothing more than a drain on the public treasury, FAIR completely discounts the economic contributions of unauthorized workers and consumers.  Moreover, FAIR inflates their cost estimate by indiscriminately lumping together native-born, U.S.-citizen children with their unauthorized parents.


FAIR's report suffers from three fatal flaws:

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07/06/10 | The United States v. Arizona: Drawing a Clear Line Between Federal and State Immigration Authority

Washington, D.C. - Today, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona in federal court. The lawsuit, prompted by passage of SB 1070 in the Arizona legislature, will argue that federal law trumps the state statute and enforcing immigration law is a federal responsibility. The Department has requested a preliminary injunction to delay enactment of the law, arguing that the law's operation will cause "irreparable harm."
 
"The federal government is taking an important step to reassert its authority over immigration policy in the United States," said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. "While a legal challenge by the Department of Justice won't resolve the public's frustration with our broken immigration system, it will seek to define and protect the federal government's constitutional authority to manage immigration."
 
Although states have always played a role in federal immigration enforcement, over the last 10 years more and more states have chosen to impose their local policies, priorities, and politics on our national immigration system. America can only have one immigration system, and the federal government must make clear where states' authority begins and where it ends. The federal government must assert its authority to establish a uniform immigration policy that it can be held accountable for. In the current environment it is unclear who is responsible for setting immigration enforcement priorities and who is responsible for their success or failure.

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06/30/10 | President Obama’s Moment to Reassert Federal Leadership on Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C. - Tomorrow, Thursday, July 1st, President Obama will make what is being described by the New York Times as “a major speech on immigration” at American University in Washington, D.C. The President is expected to step forward to reassert the leadership of the Federal Government on the issue of immigration.

While a federal lawsuit against Arizona’s SB1070 now seems imminent, the President must address the underlying issues that led to passage of the Arizona law. We hope the President will squarely address the public’s frustration with a lack of workable solutions on immigration.  He must place this frustration in context—lack of federal action leads to growing impetus in the states to pass laws, no matter what their cost, simply to try to resolve the impasse. The President should address this frustration, but should also address the undisputed polling that shows that Americans want comprehensive immigration reform. This can be his moment to bring people together by laying out a framework that will actually move Congress to complete workable legislation.

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06/22/10 | Defining Roles: Federal vs. State Immigration Authority

Washington D.C. - Today, the small town of Fremont, Nebraska is in the headlines after passing an ordinance that requires among other things that renters apply for an occupancy license - which also requires a legal immigration status check - before renting an apartment or home.

Although Fremont, Nebraska, and Arizona are the latest localities to propose measures designed to control and manage immigration, there have been many more attempts over the past seven years to pass similar bills. Like the other efforts before them, there will be rationalizations for their passage and legal challenges to their implementation. Millions of dollars will be spent as these laws are battled in state houses, city halls, and the courts. However, the larger question is whether the federal government will continue to sit idly by as a patchwork of legislation proliferates around the country or will it finally assert its role, as defined by the Constitution, and delineate local authority with respect to federal immigration law?

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06/15/10 | Supreme Court Injects Reason into Immigration Felony Definition

On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder that a lawful permanent resident who is convicted of minor drug possession offenses does not warrant classification as having been convicted of an "aggravated felony." As a result, the Court held that Mr. Carachuri-Rosendo cannot be deported without an opportunity to make a case for why he should be allowed to remain in the United States. Please view the press release directly below, and you can also read about this case on our Supreme Court Update page.

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