Wednesday, September 10, 2014

136 Leading Experts on Immigration Law Agree:
President Has Legal Authority to Expand Relief to Immigrants
For Immediate Release

September 3, 2014 from the American Immigration Council

Washington D.C. —U.S. law professors sent a letter today to the White House stating that President Obama has wide legal authority to make needed changes to immigration enforcement policy. The president is considering how to use his authority to mitigate the damage caused by our dysfunctional immigration system and protect certain individuals from deportation.

The letter was written by Stephen H. Legomsky, John S. Lehmann University Professor at Washington University School of Law and former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Chief Counsel; Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor at UCLA School of Law; and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar at Penn State Law. It was signed by professors from 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

“As part of the administration’s legal team that ironed out the details of DACA, I can personally attest that we took pains to make sure the program meticulously satisfied every conceivable legal requirement,” said Legomsky. “In this letter, 136 law professors who specialize in immigration reach the same conclusion and explain why similar programs would be equally lawful.” (DACA is the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program the president initiated in June 2012.)

In their letter, the law professors point out that “The administration has the legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for managing resources and protecting individuals residing in and contributing to the United States in meaningful ways.” The letter goes on to explain that presidents from both parties have used prosecutorial discretion to prevent specific, and often large, groups of immigrants from being deported.

“Our letter confirms that the administration has specific legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for protecting an individual or group from deportation,” said Wadhia. “This legal authority served as foundation for prosecutorial discretion policy across several administrations. Historically, this policy has been premised on the twin policy goals of managing limited resources and shielding people with compelling situations from removal.” 

This is the second major letter about prosecutorial discretion that law professors have sent to President Obama. The first letter, sent in 2012, outlined the legal argument for expanded administrative relief, which later became the blueprint for the president’s DACA program. That program allows qualifying noncitizens who came to the United States as children to apply for relief from deportation and work authorization.

“This letter reflects a clear, broad, and informed consensus on two key points,” said Motomura. “First, the president has the legal authority, exercising his discretion as the nation’s top immigration prosecutor, to establish enforcement priorities. Second, the president’s lawful discretion includes the authority to set up an orderly system, modeled on DACA, for granting temporary relief from deportation.”

A copy of the letter is available at

The National Immigration Law Center and the American Immigration Council  helped to distribute the White House letter. Recently, the American Immigration Council also released a report by Professor Motomura, “The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law,” which provides further legal and historical background on this issue.

To learn more about how President Obama can restore order to our dysfunctional immigration system, visit NILC’s Administrative Relief & Prosecutorial Discretion webpage.
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For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524

The American Immigration Council Launches Its Annual Multimedia Contest for 14-25 Year Olds, With $1,000 First Prize.

The American Immigration Council is seeking submission for its national multimedia competition. The contest, "Change in Motion," challenges young adults to explore the role immigration plays in their everyday lives and communities through creative multimedia projects. Projects should focus on celebrating the diversity of the United States and explore the commonalities that bind our “nation of immigrants” together. Please share these guidelines with those who are interested.

Who is eligible?

Young adults between the ages of 14-25 are eligible. Individual or group entries are permitted; however, there is a single cash prize for first, second and third places.

What do we mean by “multimedia?”

Acceptable entries are videos, photo essays or slideshows. Presentations (video or photographic) should focus on the benefits of immigration.

How technical does my project need to be?

Your story and the way you tell it matter more than how sophisticated your technical abilities are. We encourage you to tell your story and not let a lack of technological expertise prevent you from doing so.

Is there a time limit?

Entries should be no more than five minutes long.

How do we enter the contest?

There are two ways to submit entries.

1) Submit a copy of the multimedia file on a CD or DVD to the American Immigration Council “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest , 1331 G Street N.W. Suite 200, Washington, DC  20005, OR

2) You can also use YouTube to submit your video entry via your own YouTube account. Simply email with the submission date and a link to the submission on your YouTube account, make sure to put 2015 MULTIMEDIA Contest in the subject line. We will add the content on the American Immigration Council’s page on YouTube.

When submitting your videos and pictures, please tag the content with the following tags: “American Immigration Council’s “Change in Motion” Multimedia contest 2015. Please remember to tag your videos, so we are able to find your content.

How will the contest be judged?

The winners will be chosen by the American Immigration Council and a panel of judges.

What criteria will be used to select the winner?

The multimedia entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, story-telling ability and personal impact. The judging panel will also look for the most creative and original entries with the most engaging use of media.

What is the prize?

There will be first ($1,000), second ($500) and third place ($250) winners.

What is the deadline?

The deadline is 11:59 EST, January 15, 2015. Winners will be notified on or around March 2, 2015.

For more information, including the rules and terms of the contest, please visit the Multimedia Contest webpage.

Watch the previous award-winning video “Two World’s, One Heart” by Shireen Alihaji.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law

For Immediate Release
August 26, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law by Hiroshi Motomura, a Professor of Law at UCLA.

Professor Motomura’s paper discusses the President’s broad legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation. He makes clear that the President has broad prosecutorial discretion as to setting enforcement priorities, given our current enforcement system in which all 11 million unauthorized immigrants could not practically be deported. Moreover, Motomura shows that providing a system for applying prosecutorial discretion—with formal criteria and a process—is more consistent with the rule of law. Doing so makes discretionary enforcement decisions more uniform and predictable, and forestalls individual agent’s actions based on discrimination or race. The paper rebuts critics that have accused President Obama of overstepping his authority as he considers measures to defer the deportation of millions of families.

To read the paper in its entirety, see:
The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law (August 26, 2014)
For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obama Expected to Take Executive Action on Undocumented Immigrants

The President might use Executive Action, since the legislators have done nothing.    - - Donna Poisl

Michael Bowman

WASHINGTON—  In coming weeks, President Barack Obama is expected to take executive action to address the plight of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States — provoking cheers from immigrant rights groups and condemnation from those who see it as amnesty for law-breakers.

Congress has not passed comprehensive immigration reform or approved funds to deal with a surge of child migrants at America’s southern border.

Immigrant activists have demonstrated outside the White House and engaged in civil disobedience demanding an end to deportations of the undocumented.
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Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim launches website to help immigrants succeed

Acceso Latino, a free website in Spanish.   - - Donna Poisl

By Lorena Figueroa, El Paso Times

Méxican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, one of the world’s richest men, has launched a new website targeting Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.

The website aims to provide readers with every piece of information they need to succeed in this country.

The Carlos Slim Foundation last week launched Acceso Latino, a free website in Spanish that provides readers with information on topics such as education, health care, job training and culture.

The site also has other pertinent features, such as English online-courses and information on the federal Dream Act.

“Acceso Latino will put valuable knowledge at the fingertips of everyone who wants to learn new skills and engage with their community. It is a simple but powerful resource that can potentially help millions of people improve their lives,” Slim Helú said in a written statement.
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Unauthorized Immigrants Today: A Demographic Profile
For Immediate Release

August 19, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases Unauthorized Immigrants Today, A Demographic Profile. With Congress gridlocked on immigration reform, all eyes have turned to the White House to implement administrative reforms that will address some of the consequences of years of legislative stalemates. While it remains to be seen what those fixes will be, the central question—as always—will be what to do about some or all of the estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States. Tackling this issue effectively involves overcoming a common misperception that unauthorized immigrants consist primarily of single young men who have recently crossed the southern border and live solitary lives disconnected from U.S. society. The truth, however, is that unauthorized immigrants include adults and children, mothers and fathers, homeowners and people of faith, most of whom are invested in their communities.

To view the fact sheet in its entirety, see:
Unauthorized Immigrants Today, A Demographic Profile (IPC Fact Sheet, August 2014)

To share our infographic on the topic, click here.


For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at
or Amanda Beadle at

Fifty for Fairness **Lawsuit Update!**

from Ben Johnson, Executive Director

A few weeks ago I emailed you about nationwide class-action lawsuit we filed on behalf of thousands of children, challenging the federal government’s failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.

We filed this lawsuit because it is unacceptable to force thousands of immigrant children each year to navigate our immigration court process alone. The government’s failure to provide legal representation to children deprives them of a fair hearing and violates both the U.S. Constitution and the immigration laws.

UPDATE: We’ve just been notified that our first hearing is scheduled for September 3, 2014. We are busy getting ready to stand up for children who are being funneled through the complex immigration court system without representation, but we need your help!

Show your support of the Immigration Council’s litigation strategy and join our “Fifty for Fairness” campaign today!

The American Immigration Council exists to ensure that immigration agencies do not lose sight of the human toll of their inactions and that our nation’s moral and ethical values are reflected in the way we treat immigrants.

Join our “Fifty 4 Fairness” campaign and help us continue our work as the immigration watchdog.

Thank you in advance for your support of our mission and our work. I look forward to updating you on this lawsuit as things develop.

Ben Johnson, Executive Director
Good afternoon and welcome to EnglishClub

Check this site out! It has lots of things to help you learn English or teach English. Everything from lessons for learners to jobs for teachers, including fun pages like games, videos, quizzes and chat

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Immigrants Work in More Arduous Jobs than U.S. Natives, New Study Shows

This proves that immigrants work different (harder) jobs than native born and don't compete for the same jobs.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by Guillermo Cantor

One of the reasons often cited to explain the importance of immigrant workers to the U.S. economy is the presumption that immigrants perform jobs that U.S. natives are unwilling to take. Numerous studies show that immigrant workers complement the native-born in various ways. But in spite of the growing evidence, restrictionist groups recurrently argue that inflows of immigrants negatively affect the native-born labor force as a whole, and less-educated working-class individuals in particular.

The reality is that, in general, native-born workers do not compete with immigrants for the same jobs. And to a large extent that is because “unemployed natives and employed recent immigrants tend to have different levels of education, to live in different parts of the country, to have experience in different occupations, and to have different amounts of work experience.” In particular, immigrant workers tend to specialize in occupations intensive in manual, physical labor, while natives tend to work in jobs more intensive in communication and language tasks.
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5 Things to Know About Immigration and the U.S. Economy

A very interesting list and information about each item. Click the headline to read the report.  - - Donna Poisl


A pending decision by President Barack Obama on whether to use his executive powers to make interim immigration reforms because Congress failed to could make the already heated immigration issue even more volatile. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal leaning, non-profit think tank, released a report Thursday aiming to dispel many myths and provide some fundamentals before politics sends things into a frenzy. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the institute's report on immigrants:

1. Less than half of all immigrants are Hispanic or Latino.
2. Immigrants don’t just take low-paying jobs, and they’re not all poor.
3. Unauthorized immigrants are good for state and federal budgets.
4. Deporting undocumented immigrants would be costly for multiple reasons.
5. Immigrants do affect employment and wages – but not always in the ways that you’d think.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the information about all FIVE things to know.

DC school educates parents alongside children

When parents can read to their kids in English, it helps the kids and the parents.    - - Donna Poisl

from the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The images in the book were bright and the words simple, but many of the women in the classroom hesitated as they sounded out each sentence.

“If you can’t read the words, can you talk about the pictures?” teacher Elizabeth Bergner coached. The goal for the women enrolled in Bergner’s adult-education class in the District of Columbia is to learn English, but an equally important target is to help their children learn to read.

In a preschool classroom down the hall a few minutes later, the mothers had a chance to practice. They pulled their daughters and sons onto their laps and opened the book.
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Judge tells California to teach English learners

The ACLU says California is not teaching English to enough of their students.   - - Donna Poisl


LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge Tuesday ordered the state of California to educate all children who don't speak English, saying it needs to take action after reports showed a quarter of school districts failed to meet that state and federal requirement.

Judge James Chalfant said the California Department of Education needed to figure out the best way to enforce the law and make sure English instruction is provided in a state where more than a fifth of students are deficient in English.

"You've got to go ferret this out because you can't have even one child that isn't getting their instructional services," Chalfant said. "You have a report that 20,000 aren't getting their instructional services. That's not good enough."
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You Say You Want Immigrants to Learn English? Put Your Money Where Your Boca Is

There aren't enough classes for all the people who want to learn English. They want to learn it, but can't find a class.   - - Donna Poisl

by Ian Reifowitz

People are lined up, waiting, sometimes for many hours just to get a seat. Are they waiting for Katy Perry tickets? For the new iPhone? Nope. They wait in the hope that they'll be able to register for English classes offered by the New York Public Library, classes that will give non-English speakers the single most important key to unlocking success in this country.

"I need to learn English," said Rafael Villeta, one of 153 people waiting to register for classes at the Bronx library on a hot Tuesday afternoon in July. "Every job, the first question is, 'You know English?'"

The students don't have to pay a dime, and the people who register them don't ask about immigration status. About 60 percent of the $5 million annual cost comes from donated funds, with the rest coming from the federal and city government. Anthony Marx, the library's president, provided the numbers: The program currently offers just under 8,000 seats, compared to 2,500 three years ago. If they had the funding, the library would double its offerings, according to Marx.
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Monday, August 04, 2014

Check out the new HIAS website

from Mark Hetfield, President & CEO, HIAS

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and feel, user-friendly navigation, and updated with the latest information about our work aiding refugees around the globe.

Check Out Our New Website!

We look forward to keeping you informed through our regular communications. Please be sure to add to your contacts to ensure the deliverability of our emails. (Gmail users: Be sure to add us to your "Primary" tab to avoid missing any emails.)

And we urge you to connect to our work in the field on social media by following @HIASrefugees on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

All of us at HIAS know that we would not be able to fulfill our urgent mission without the assistance of people like you. Together we will make a difference.

Mark Hetfield
President & CEO
Immigrants at the border: What would Jesus say?

A good question, I think I know the answer.   - - Donna Poisl

By STEVE and COKIE ROBERTS, Guest columnists

Conservatives are quick to embrace religious figures who agree with them on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and the right of business owners to deny contraception coverage to their employees.

“God is a Republican” might as well be their slogan, and church attendance is one of the best indicators of partisan loyalty. In 2012, 58 percent of voters who attended worship services weekly voted for Mitt Romney.

But there’s a catch. Faith leaders are certainly not immune to political calculation, but they tend to be more interested in principle than partisanship. And during the current crisis on our southern border, with more than 50,000 minors seeking refuge here this year, most religious voices have supported the liberal view: Be humane. Be charitable. Take care of the children first.
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More Immigration, Stronger Economy

Our economic and budget problems could be solved with immigration reform being enacted. We need more young people working here legally.   - - Donna Poisl

By Jason Russell

Debate rages in Congress over what to do with the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are trying to join their relatives in America. There can be no clearer sign of the need for immigration reform than children putting themselves in physical peril for a better life in the U.S. Increased legal immigration and a simpler, shorter process for crossing the border would have enormous humanitarian benefits.

But these reforms would also help solve America's economic and budgetary problems. The weak recovery and an aging population have labor-force participation hovering around its lowest rate in 35 years. America's birth rate is less than half of what it was a century ago. The cost of programs such as Medicare and Social Security is projected to raise publicly held federal debt to over 100 percent of GDP by 2036. And there is good evidence that immigration could help to address all of this.
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Long lines for classes in English

Americans say "why won't they learn English?" Here is one reason; immigrants often see two to three year waiting lists. It's not as easy as people think.  - - Donna Poisl

By Katheleen Conti

 Upon his arrival in Brockton from Haiti last year, McGinley Paul wasted no time carving his own path to a better future.

He completed a high school equivalency program and immediately began the process of becoming a permanent resident, which will make him eligible to receive financial aid so he can attend college.

Not one to sit idly by during the lengthy visa process, Paul decided he would spend part of his days taking free English classes locally along with his mother and younger sister. It was at that juncture, however, that Paul’s fast-tracked plans nearly derailed.
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Colorado to begin licenses for immigrants

Driver licenses are being issued to immigrants, which will make the roads much safer for everyone. They cannot be used for voting and certain other purposes unless the person is here legally.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by: Colin Jeffery

DENVER (AP) – Colorado will begin issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards to immigrants who are in the country illegally or have temporary legal status.

The documents will start being issued Friday amid high demand. About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days, with more people getting scheduled every day.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story and to see a sample license!

Pittsburgh’s New Immigrants: Tough as nails, Vu finds home, career in Pittsburgh

Vietnamese immigrants are an important part of Pittsburgh, owning businesses and employing many workers.   - - Donna Poisl

By Phuong Tran / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Binh Vu is a pioneer in a business that is now synonymous with Vietnamese immigrants.

She operates a beauty salon and cosmetic nail business, B&T Salon & Spa, Downtown, employing as many as eight people at a time, and during the past 21 years, she has found herself becoming a Pittsburgher.

"This is a beautiful city with a great landscape," she said in a recent interview. "People are friendly. There is less competition, and the income is steady."

Ms. Vu is part of a 40-year-old tradition in America that began when the first Vietnamese immigrants arrived in California after the Vietnam War ended in 1973. Some of the women in those families learned how to apply artificial nails as a way of helping support their families and then got a big boost from actress Tippi Hedren (star of "The Birds"), who volunteered as a relief worker and helped teach manicuring to Vietnamese women in one of California's refugee camps.
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