When Immigration Matters

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Fights For DREAM Act | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 @ 7:56 AM

A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, has just announced that he is an undocumented immigrant in a major article that just went up on the New York Times website.  Tomorrow evening ABC News will be devoting its Nightline program to the story.  Here are the links:

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Announcing “The Art of Survival” (a Documentary Film) | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Tue, Jan 04, 2011 @ 8:59 PM

The Project:

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IMMIGRATION MYTH: Arizonans Need SB 1070 to Fight Crime & Kidnappings

Posted by Karen Pollak on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 12:25 PM

Supporters of Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070 claim that the residents of the Grand Canyon State need to be protected from crime and kidnapping perpetrated by illegal immigrants. But, the truth is, rising immigration is responsible for crime reduction and in Arizona the people most likely to be kidnapped are undocumented immigrants themselves! Before throwing your hands up in frustration and defeat when you hear this myth about the need to have SB 10170, and laws like it, for the sake of public safety, consider responding with these quick mythbusting facts!

FACT:Statistical models suggest that cities with the largest increases in immigration between 1990 and 2000 experienced the largest decreases in homicide and robbery during the same time period. According to sociologist Tim Wadsworth, the findings offer insights into the complex relationship between immigration and crime and suggest that growth in immigration may have been responsible for part of the precipitous crime drop of the 1990s.

FACT:Some police chiefs believe that crime will actually go up if SB 1070 becomes law in Arizona or in any other state. They believe that diverting resources away from the fight against violent crime and breaking down the hard-won trust between cops and the communities where they work will make it harder to keep people safe. Police chiefs have argued that, “This is not a law that increases public safety. This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

FACT: Most of the kidnappings that do occur in Phoenix are of undocumented immigrants. As Terry Greene Sterling describes in her book Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone, most of the kidnapping victims in Phoenix are unauthorized immigrants held for ransom by the smugglers (coyotes) they hire to bring them to the United States. These are “drop house” kidnappings in which “incoming migrants at the border are baited with low smuggling fares. Those low fares are ramped up by thousands of dollars once the migrants are held at gunpoint in a drop house.”

More mythbusting facts on this issue can be found in Separating Fact from Fiction: The Truth about Kidnapping in Arizona, a report from the Immigration Policy Center.

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Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform

Posted by Karen Pollak on Wed, Dec 15, 2010 @ 12:10 PM

Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform was crafted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to show that a solution to our nation's immigration problem does exist and can be achieved. Each section of this policy manual summarizes a key component of the existing immigration system, identifies its deficiencies and offers workable solutions that when applied together, will fix the totality of the broken, outdated, and inadequate system. AILA believes that for lasting and meaningful reform to take hold, these various components must be addressed in a comprehensive immigration reform package.

The Policy Manual explains how any effective, long-term solution to the immigration problem must: 1) require the unauthorized population to come out of the shadows, register their presence with the government, and give them the opportunity to earn legal status; 2) provide fair and lawful ways for American businesses to hire much-needed immigrant workers who help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition and all workers from exploitation; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment-based immigration; 4) ensure the permanent immigration system provides adequate visas to meet the needs of American families, businesses, and communities; and 5) preserve and restore the fundamental principles of due process and equal protection while protecting our national security.

Review and download AILA's newest advocacy resource, Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform.

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How Will Arizona SB 1070 Affect State Law Making On Immigration?

Posted by Karen Pollak on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 @ 11:52 AM

With the Republicans claiming sweeping victories in the midterm elections, politicians in more than 25 states have promised to introduce Arizona-like immigration enforcement bills when their state legislatures convene in 2011. What impact will this have on the rest of the country?

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Martinez v. Regents of University of California | Immigration Law

Posted by Karen Pollak on Sun, Dec 12, 2010 @ 8:44 AM

The California Supreme court holds that undocumented alien students do not have to pay non-resident tuition to attend University.

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S.B. 1070 Proving Costly | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Sat, Dec 11, 2010 @ 8:38 AM

Arizona's notorious anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, is proving to be a costly mistake. That is the message of a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) which estimates some of "the economic and fiscal consequences of the tourism boycott that occurred in response to the passage of S.B. 1070" in April of this year. More precisely, the report quantifies "the effects of lost tourism from meetings and conventions" that were cancelled as a result of the boycott. The report, entitled Stop the Conference, concludes that the cancellation of conventions alone "has produced or will produce hundreds of millions of dollars in lost direct spending in the state and diminished economic output. That, in turn, will lead to thousands of lost jobs and more than $100 million in lost salaries."

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DREAM Act Delayed in Senate | Immigration Reform

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 @ 9:04 AM

Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate voted 56 to 43 against proceeding to the Defense Authorization Act. This procedural vote, which basically followed party lines, ends consideration of critical social issues that affect the military and were to be offered as amendments to the bill. Among the amendments not considered is the DREAM Act, an immigration bill that would provide legal status to young people who graduate from high school and pursue college or military service. 

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Immigration | DREAM Act Coming to the Senate Floor

Posted by Karen Pollak on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 @ 10:48 PM

Washington, D.C. - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would attach the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the Department of Defense authorization bill expected to come before the Senate as early as next week. The vote will be an important test of whether Congress can transcend partisan politics and work together on crafting solutions to the broken immigration system that both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge is in desperate need of reform. That the proposal will be considered as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill is appropriate, given the Department of Defense's support for DREAM Act as a way to improve military readiness. 

First introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act would address the plight of young immigrants who have been raised in the U.S. and managed to succeed despite the challenges of being brought to the U.S. without proper documentation. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high-school, have stayed out of trouble and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.
 
Each year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, many at the top of their classes, but cannot go to college, join the military, work, or otherwise pursue their dreams. They belong to the 1.5 generation - any (first generation) immigrants brought to the United States at a young age who were largely raised in this country and therefore share much in common with second generation Americans. These students are culturally American, growing up here and often having little attachment to their country of birth. They tend to be bicultural and fluent in English.

Research has shown that providing a legal status for young people who have a proven record of success in the United States would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce.  University presidents and educational associations, as well as military recruiters, business and religious leaders have added their voice to those calling for passage of the bill. Foreign-born students represent a significant and growing percentage of the current student population. Unfortunately, immigration status and the associated barriers to higher education contribute to a higher-than-average high dropout rate, which costs taxpayers and the economy billions of dollars each year. 

The DREAM Act would eliminate these barriers for many students, and the DREAM Act's high school graduation requirement would provide a powerful incentive for students who might otherwise drop out to stay in school and graduate. This will help boost the number of high skilled American-raised workers.  As they take their place in the workplace as hard working, taxpaying Americans, they will contribute a lifetime of revenues at the local, state and federal level.
 
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, Bill Carr, supports the DREAM Act and stated that the law would be "good for readiness" and would help to recruit "cream of the crop" students. The DREAM Act is part of the Department of Defense's 2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in it's recruiting efforts.
 
For more information on the DREAM Act see:

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Where Does Immigration Fit into the Congressional To Do List

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sun, Sep 12, 2010 @ 9:19 AM

Here is an interesting article by Mary Giovagnoli that appeared in the Immigration Impact.

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