U.S. Plans to Step Up Detention and Deportation of Migrants

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McALLEN, Tex. — The Obama administration, stepping up efforts to reduce the influx of Central American migrants crossing the Southwest border illegally and saying that misinformation about its border policies may have helped spur it, will detain more of those migrants and accelerate their cases in immigration courts so they can be deported more quickly, officials said. Continue reading

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update – June 10, 2014

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New series of fact sheets note brain waste in the workforce, describing U.S. and state characteristics of college-educated native-born and immigrant adults. A new series of fact sheets from the Migration Policy Institute focus on the U.S. and twelve key states with the largest college-educated immigrant populations. The fact sheets assess the extent of “brain waste”: “the number of college-educated immigrant and native-born adults ages 25 and older who are either unemployed or have jobs that are significantly below their education and skill levels.” These fact sheets also describe the “underutilization of education among immigrant and native-born professionals with engineering, nursing, and teaching degrees at the undergraduate level.” 

High-skilled visa denials slowed U.S. tech sector growth, depressing wage and job growth for U.S.-born workers. new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy finds that 2007 and 2008 H-1B visa denials in cities across the U.S. cost U.S.-born workers hundreds of thousands of jobs and nearly $3 billion in missed wages. Specifically, “the high number of H-1B visa applications that were eliminated in the 2007-2008 visa lotteries represented a major lost opportunity for U.S.-born workers and the American economy overall.” Vox.com summarized the report’s findings, stating “when companies have worse luck in getting high-skilled visas, it’s bad news for the tech sector in their city—and especially for US-born computer workers who don’t have college degrees.” John Feinblatt, Chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy, said“This report shows that the existing cap on H-1B visas is directly undermining our technology industry’s ability to grow and create new jobs for U.S.-born workers.”  Continue reading

Migrant Children Flee Violence in Home Countries

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The U.S. is experiencing a growing humanitarian crisis as thousands of children arrive at our southern border after making the harrowing journey from Central America and Mexico to the north. The number on unaccompanied minors arriving has risen at a concerning rate in the past few years and data shows us that the “push” factors that force them out of their home countries are the most likely explanation for why these kids make such a risky journey north.

A report released by the Assessment Capacities Project in May contrasted the homicide rate in Afghanistan with that of the three countries where the vast majority of unaccompanied minors  are coming from. In 2012, Afghanistan’s homicide rate was 6.5 per 100,000 people. In Honduras, it was 90.4. Murder rates in El Salvador and Guatemala were 41.2 and 39.9, respectively. These unaccompanied children are as much victims of the violence of their countries as Afghan children in refugee camps on the other side of the world. Continue reading

Over 100 Cities and Counties Now Riding the Anti-Detainer Wave – American Immigration Council IMMIGRATION IMPACT

There have been four recent federal court decisions ruling that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents cannot require local jurisdictions to detain someone and that local law enforcement can be held liable for holding someone for no reason other than an ICE detainer.

ICE detainers are written requests for local jails or other law enforcement agencies to hold a person for an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after the release date so that ICE agents can decide whether to take the person into federal custody and begin formal deportation proceedings. A judge does not review the requests, and as the ACLU explains, detainers have led to “the illegal imprisonment of countless individuals—including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Latinos in particular—without any charges pending, sometimes for days or weeks after they should have been released from custody.”

The court rulings have fueled a wave of localities ending or limiting their detainer policies. Nearly 100 cities and counties across the country have decided to restrict situations in which they comply with detainer requests. That’s in addition to more than 20 states, cities, and counties that already had such policies. Continue reading

The DACA Renewal Process: Everything You Need to Know – American Immigration Council IMMIGRATION IMPACT

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the renewal process for hundreds of thousands of young noncitizens who received a grant of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Renewal of DACA ensures current DACA holders will continue to be safe from deportation for another two year period.  In addition, they will continue to have work authorization and to be eligible to receive a social security number, and, in nearly every state, a driver’s license.

The renewal announcement comes not a moment too soon. Because DACA recipients are encouraged to request renewal between four to five months ahead of their expiration date to avoid a lapse, the earliest major wave of DACA recipients – who received their DACA grants in September and October of 2012 – will need to act right away. Although DACA recipients who seek to renew must complete multiple applications and submit to a background check, most will be pleased to discover that the renewal process is relatively straightforward and that most DACA recipients should qualify for renewal.

USCIS has made clear that individuals who initially qualified for DACA will be eligible to renew unless they engaged in certain criminal activity, departed the country without the government’s permission, or stopped residing in the United States. No one with DACA will be too old to renew – indeed, as previously explained, it is impossible to age-out of the DACA program. Moreover, individuals enrolled in school at the time of their initial application will not be disqualified if they had to stop attending to see to other life responsibilities. Continue reading

District Court Rules Grant of TPS Is an Admission for Adjustment of Status Purposes

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update

June 5, 2014

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council welcomes last week’s ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, which held that a noncitizen’s grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) qualifies as “inspection and admission” into the United States. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, inspection and admission are eligibility requirements for lawful permanent residence (LPR). Jesus Ramirez, the plaintiff in Ramirez v Dougherty, was granted TPS in 2001 following the devastating earthquake in El Salvador, his home country, and has renewed this status ever since. He now seeks to become an LPR on the basis of his marriage to a United States citizen. The American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, and subsequently NWIRP became counsel for the plaintiff.

The court based its decision on the language of the TPS statute. However, the court also noted important policy reasons supporting its interpretation, stressing that Mr. Ramirez had been in the United States for approximately fifteen years, had established roots here, and “has waited his turn for an independent, legal, and legitimate pathway to citizenship, through the immediate relative visa application.” Relying on a decision from the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the court found that the government’s solution – which would require Mr. Ramirez to leave the country, be readmitted, and then go through the immigration process all over again – was a “waste of energy, time, government resources, and will have negative effects on his family.”

To view the decision in its entirety, see: