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Supreme Court Rulings

Friday, March 7, 2014

House Hearing on Foreign STEM Graduates

On October 5, 2011, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing  to discuss whether the U.S. should reform its immigration policies to retain more foreign graduates of American universities’ advanced degree programs in the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and math.    

Inside Higher Ed’s article, “Reverse Brain Drain,” provides coverage of the hearing:  
...foreign students are dramatically outpacing their American counterparts in the STEM fields.  In 2009, half to two-thirds of all Ph.D.s in related fields and almost half of all engineering and computer science master’s degrees awarded by American colleges were earned by foreign students...
Because only 140,000 total employment-based immigrant visas are available each year, with only 7% of that number available to each country, the United States is not absorbing these foreign graduates into its workforce.  Backlogs have grown to the point that some green card seekers could spend a lifetime waiting for permanent residency.  According to the article:


Read more . . .


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Supreme Court Limits Arizona's Overreach on Immigration, Leaves Door Open to Future Challenges

Courtesy of the American Immigration Council

Washington D.C. - In a blow to the state anti-immigration movement, the Supreme Court ruled today that the authority to enforce immigration laws rests squarely with the federal government, limiting the role that states may play in crafting state-level answers to immigration enforcement. By a 5-3 margin, the Court struck down three of the four provisions of SB 1070 that were challenged by the Obama administration as pre-empted under federal law. While the Court agreed that Arizona’s attempt to limit immigration by creating new laws and new penalties to punish undocumented immigrants was pre-empted, it found that a provision requiring local police to investigate the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants was not pre-empted on its face. The court read this provision very narrowly, however, leaving open the door to future lawsuits based on racial profiling and other legal violations.

“Today’s decision makes clear that the federal government—and only the federal government—has the power and authority to set the nation’s immigration policies,” said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. “Despite its strongly worded rejection of Arizona's effort to set its own immigration policies, the Court adopted a wait-and-see approach to the controversial racial profiling section of the law. There is already ample evidence of discrimination and abuse in Arizona, and many communities in the state will bear the brunt of the Court's unwillingness to face that reality. It's time for Congress to heed the dire warnings contained in this opinion and recommit to fixing our broken immigration system.”


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama Statement on SB 1070 Supreme Court decision

I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law. What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it’s part of the problem.


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Monday, August 29, 2011

nextgov.com: Say Goodbye to Traditional Immigration Processing Forms

In preparation for a long-delayed transition to online processing of immigration applications, the Homeland Security Department has released new rules for describing forms and filing procedures in official policies.

The 43-page federal notice published Monday instructs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of DHS, to stop typing on documents the traditional numbers and titles for various benefit claims, such as "Application for Naturalization, form N-400." Instead, to accommodate the new computerized Transformation system, USCIS policies and rules will carry more generic phrases, such as "the form designated by USCIS."


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYT: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

By JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS

Published: June 22, 2011 But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.

Jose Antonio Vargas (Jose@DefineAmerican.com) is a former reporter for The Washington Post and shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. He founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform.

 


Thursday, February 17, 2011

How to Fix the Flawed Startup Visa Act

by Vivek Wadhwa

Many foreign-born techies in the U.S. and abroad are pinning their entrepreneurial hopes on the passage of a bill, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), to create a startup visa. Tech-industry notables such as Paul Graham, Eric Ries, Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, and David McClure have lobbied for this. I, too, lent this my support. In fact, I have been advocating such a visa since 2007—when my team’s research revealed that 52% of Silicon Valley’s startups from 1995 to 2005 were founded by immigrants. We also learned that a million skilled workers and their families were stuck in “immigration limbo” and that many were beginning to return home—causing America’s first brain drain.

Link to article which appears on TechCrunch.com.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Deeper into the Shadows: The Unintended Consequences of Immigration Worksite Enforcement

by Jeffrey Kaye via Immigration Policy Center

When President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech last month, he repeated a theme that’s been a constant in his references to immigration reform: “I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws, and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows,” he said, pausing for applause. The phrase I’ve emphasized is one that has resonated for Obama in the past. Bringing workers “out of the shadows” and showing concern for immigrants living “in the shadows” has been a regular refrain in Obama’s immigration lexicon. But intentions and rhetoric don’t appear to match policy. Current immigration-enforcement strategies are backfiring and, contrary to the President’s stated goals, are forcing more people into the shadows. As a result, underground economies and communities are growing, not only harming workers (many of whom have been here for many years and are settled members of our society and labor force), but also their families and the public at large.

Link: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/deeper-shadows


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Students who came out to support failed DREAM Act now fear deportation

After a False Dawn, Anxiety for Illegal Immigrant Students

By JULIA PRESTON

New York Times

Published: February 8, 2011 The president says he supports their cause, and immigration officials say illegal immigrant students with no criminal record are not among their priorities for deportation. But federal immigration authorities removed a record number of immigrants from the country last year, nearly 393,000, while the local police are rapidly expanding their role in immigration enforcement. Students often get caught.

Illegal immigrants also face new restrictions many states are imposing on their access to public education, driver’s licenses and jobs. And for those like Ms. Aguilar who came out last year to proclaim their illegal status, there is no going back to the shadows.

 


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