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04/09/10 | Immigration Reform with Legalization Does Help U.S. Economy and Newly Legalized

Washington D.C. - A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), entitled Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects, yields both some enlightening and some potentially misleading results about the likely impact of a legalization program.  Because the PPIC report focuses on legal status acquired under current immigration law, it does not reflect the long-term benefits and gains that follow from a comprehensive immigration reform package which includes legalization.

While the PPIC report dovetails with other reports when it concludes that legalization would not have a negative impact on native workers' wages and employment, their findings on the wages and mobility of the newly legalized differ from other academic studies on how immigrants fare after legalization.  This difference can be attributed to the fact that PPIC looks at legalization only, and how the newly legalized are doing just 4-13 months after becoming legalized. Almost all other previous studies haven take a longer term view of their success.

PPIC relies upon data from the New Immigrant Survey (NIS), a sample of foreign-born individuals who acquired legal permanent resident (LPR) status between May and November 2003.  It is important to keep in mind that the NIS is not representative of the unauthorized-immigrant population as a whole.  As opposed to the individuals captured in the NIS, most unauthorized immigrants do not have a means of acquiring legal status.  Moreover, individuals in the NIS were interviewed 4-13 months after acquiring LPR status.

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04/02/10 | Enforcement Gone Wild

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a long-awaited report that offers a damning critique of the 287(g) program, confirming many of the criticisms levied against the program by community leaders, law enforcement officials, and immigration groups, including the Immigration Policy Center. Despite problems with the 287(g) program, it has recently been expanded to additional jurisdictions.

The report, The Performance of 287(g) Agreements, identifies numerous shortcomings that lead to abuse and mismanagement and raises serious questions about the wisdom of state and local immigration enforcement partnerships with ICE.

According to the report, the 287(g) program:

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03/31/10 | Supreme Court Decision Protects Right to Immigration Advice

The American Immigration Council applauds today's Supreme Court decision on the right to counsel for noncitizens charged with committing a crime. The Court held that criminal defense lawyers must advise their noncitizen clients about the risk of deportation if they accept a guilty plea. The Court recognized that current immigration laws impose harsh and mandatory deportation consequences onto criminal convictions, and that Congress eliminated from these laws the Attorney General's discretionary authority to cancel removal in meritorious cases. The Court said, "These changes to our immigration law have dramatically raised the stakes of a noncitizen's criminal conviction. The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important."

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03/30/10 | The Folly of Repealing Birthright Citizenship

Washington D.C. - This Sunday, the editorial pages of the Washington Post included a piece penned by journalist George Will on the topic of birthright citizenship. Will highlights a scholar who argues against giving those born in the United States birthright citizenship and characterizes the repeal of a 150 year-old constitutional tenet as "a simple reform." Normally, the idea of stripping those born in America of their right to citizenship has been relegated to the domain of immigration restrictionists and select politicians who try to exploit it for electoral gains. In endorsing this argument, Mr. Will has looked past a whole body of research which examines the dramatic and far- reaching consequences this would have on American society.

The arguments about birthright citizenship revolve around the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which affirms that all persons born in the United States (and subject to its jurisdiction) have a birthright to citizenship. A repeal of the 14th amendment is sometimes raised as a "cure" to our current broken immigration system, when in reality it takes us further away from the larger conversation that must be had about how we can fairly and efficiently revamp American immigration. Proposing solutions to the symptoms, rather than the root causes of a broken system, do nothing to solve our overall immigration problems and create divisions and dysfunctions in our society at all levels.

In the spirit of balance, the Immigration Policy Center is re-releasing our four-part series originally released in September, 2009 on birthright citizenship entitled:  Made in America, Myths & Facts about Birthright Citizenship.

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03/18/10 | Senators Issue Promising, but Vague Immigration Reform Plans

Washington D.C. - Today, in the Washington Post, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laid out their blueprint for immigration reform legislation, noting that the American people want Congress to reform the badly broken immigration system. Their framework, welcomed by the President in a statement also released today, rests on four pillars: ending illegal employment through biometric Social Security cards, enhancing border and interior enforcement, managing the flow of future immigration to correspond to economic realities, and creating a tough but fair path toward legalization for the 11 million people currently in the U.S. without authorization. While there will undoubtedly be intense debate over the specifics of each component, the framework marks an important bipartisan step forward on an issue that has been mired in political controversy and held up by both parties for too long.

"Today's statements mark renewed commitment to providing immigration reform that will bolster the economy and provide for America's future," said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. "We encourage the President and Senators Schumer and Graham to go beyond words and produce legislation that will finally fix our broken immigration system once and for all." 

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03/04/10 | Court of Appeals Agrees with the Legal Action Center that USCIS Imposed Arbitrary Requirements for Workers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the arguments of the Legal Action Center (LAC), of the American Immigration Council, that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unlawfully imposed extra-regulatory requirements on a petition for a worker of "extraordinary ability" (EB-1).

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02/23/10 | 2010 Immigrant Achievement Awards!

The American Immigration Council invites you to join us as we honor

African Americans, Civil Rights and Immigration: A Legacy of Inspiration and Leadership

at our 15th Annual Washington, DC Immigrant Achievement Awards

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02/12/10 | New Report on Asylum Work Authorization “Clock” Released

Washington, D.C. - Today, Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights and the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center released a new study, "Up Against the Clock: Fixing the Broken Employment Authorization Asylum Clock." The report examines the laws, policy, and practice of the “Employment Authorization Document (EAD) asylum clock”— a clock which measures the number of days after an applicant files an asylum application before the applicant is eligible for work authorization. The law requires asylum applicants to wait 150 days after filing an application to apply for a work permit and in some instances, permits the government to extend this waiting period by “stopping the clock” for certain incidents caused by the applicant. Nevertheless, the report reveals that applicants often wait much longer than the legally permitted timeframe to receive a work permit.

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01/27/10 | President Declares Ongoing Commitment to Immigration Reform

 
Washington D.C. - In the State of the Union Address this evening 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.

 Immigration Yields Tremendous Economic Benefits to America

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01/20/10 | The Bay State's New Senator Gains Diverse Constituents

Massachusetts Senator-Elect Scott Brown will shortly step into the Senate seat held for nearly half a century by one of the most loyal champions of immigrants to ever sit in Congress. Because of that history, Bay Staters have come to expect that their Senators will understand the important contributions of immigrants to the growth and well-being of their state.  Regardless of politics or ideology, as the new Senator gets down to the business of representing his entire state, understanding the significant role of immigrants will become essential. 

Of all the New England states, Senator Brown's immigrant and new American constituents are  perhaps the most diverse and numerous, continuing the tradition of generations of immigrants who helped build Massachusetts. The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research that shows immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a political and economic powerhouse in Massachusetts, contributing billions to the state economy, and are part of the very economic engine that keeps the Bay State running strong.

IPC research finds: 

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