"A report released this month by the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council revealed that most of the people being deported are not dangerous criminals, as we have been led to believe. In fact, most have 'committed relatively minor, nonviolent crimes or have no criminal histories at all,' the report concluded.
Two thirds of all deportees were apprehended at or near the border, while one third was stopped and detained from the 'interior of the country.' Immigration lawyers say the arrests are happening everywhere: at bus and train stops, on the streets, in homes and in workplaces."
The article discusses the recent annoucement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that more than 34,000 immigrants were helped by the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) during its first year of operations.
"There are 4.2 million immigrants living in the state and one in four New Yorkers of working age are foreign- born, stated the release. Citing data from the Immigration Policy Center: In 2010, 31.2 percent of all business owners in New York State were foreign-born (36 percent in the New York City metropolitan area); these businesses had a total net business income of $12.6 billion, representing 22.6 percent of all net business income in the state; and New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in annual economic output."
Recently, the Huffington Post featured an Infographic from the Immigration Policy Center's Fact Sheet "The Cost of Doing Nothing". The article, titled "Why Can't A Nation That Calls Itself A Melting Pot Sort Out Its Immigration System?" highlights the problems with the current U.S. immigration system:
"Detaining and deporting people is extremely costly, and even those who support more deportations admit that deporting everyone isn't feasible. Plus, some reports have found that enacting reform could improve the economy, which means the U.S. could be losing money in two ways by maintaining its current policies. The Immigration Policy Center, the research arm of the advocacy group American Immigration Council, breaks down some of the numbers:
The article higlights grassroots efforts to hold law enforcement accountable for abuse and mistreatment.
"A New Mexico woman recently filed a lawsuit after she experienced a six-hour search trying to cross legally from Ciudad Juarez into El Paso. The search, which included anal and vaginal probes, found no drugs.
Nationally, of those who come into contact with CBP, 11 percent report experiencing varying degrees of physical abuse and 23 percent say they received verbal abuse, according to a recent report by the Immigration Policy Center.
Far from being isolated incidents, the report’s authors argued, the mistreatment they recorded corresponds to a well-documented pattern of behavior. Of deportees interviewed for a 2011 report by the humanitarian border organization No More Deaths, 10 percent said U.S. authorities physically abused them. A separate report looking at Salvadorans deported between 1999 and 2000 found that 16 percent experienced physical abuse.
Guillermo Cantor, senior analyst at the Immigration Policy Center, was recently featured in Voice of America's article titled "Experts Debate Economic Impact of US Immigration Reform".
Cantor provided insight on how deportations are impacting immigrant communities and the economic benefits of fixing our nation's broken immigration system.
"Experts said communities paid a heavy price when 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows. And for a country that prides itself in its humanitarian beliefs - fixing a broken immigration system should be a high priority.
'I think that each day that Congress delays this decision people are getting hurt, are getting hurt by the deportation machine, that is as I said before, separating families every day,' said Guillermo Cantor, a senior analyst at the Immigration Policy Center.
Cantor said there were other reasons why Congress should act.
'And one of them that sometimes gets overlooked is that it would result in enormous economic benefits for this country,' he said."
"A statement released by her office then said that the credit 'currently costs taxpayers billions', an assertion challenged shortly afterward by Univision analyst Fernando Espuelas in a column for the Hill. Espuelas pointed out that undocumented immigrants often pay taxes using the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), contributing what he described as a “net multibillion-dollar gain for the federal, state and local treasuries, even when factoring in the Child Tax Credit”. The Immigration Policy Center wrote in 2009 that in 2001, the ITIN brought in $300 million in taxes from undocumented filers."
Anissa is one of an estimated 1.8M undocumented persons living in the United States, the vast majority of whom were brought here illegally from Latin America while they were babies or young children. According to the Immigration Policy Center, nearly half of those individuals live in California and Texas."
The Dallas Morning News recently cited data from the IPC's report "Who and Where the DREAMers Are, Revised Estimates". The article, titled "Bipartisan Group Announces $25 Million Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students", covered the unveiling of a scholarship fund for undocumented students by San Antonio Democratic activist Henry Muñoz III, former Washington Post CEO Donald E. Graham, and Carlos Gutierrez, a Commerce Secretary under President George W. Bush
"1,000 high-achieving undocumented students will each receive a $25,000 scholarship from the initiative, called TheDream.US. The effort has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Inter-American Development Bank, the Graham family, and other philanthropies. Some of that scholarship money will go to students in Texas.
'In the state of Texas, we live with this every day,” said Muñoz, who serves as national finance chairman for the Democratic Party. 'You’re probably living down the street from someone who is a dreamer and you don’t even know it. They’re are neighbors, they’re the people who work with us.'
Texas has nearly 300,000 dreamers, according to estimates from the American Immigration Council."
A recent article in U.S. News and World Report, quoted Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the IPC. The article, titled, "The Republican Party's Impossible Immigration Balancing Act," said:
"When it comes to immigration reform, House Republicans are in an impossible spot: Members are left balancing congressional elections with the GOP's larger 2016 interests, reluctant to hand a Democratic president a victory while hoping to make up ground with the Latino community...
"In order to gain traction with Latino voters, they will have to do more than simply talk about a plan. They will have to enact one, take a comprehensive approach, shed the party's enforcement-only rhetoric and openly consider a path to legalization for the 11 million, an option that many lawmakers have struggled to publicly support. While Republicans nationally need Latino support to win elections, few members from GOP-controlled districts face a high volume of Latino voters back home to put pressure on them. Instead, it's anti-immigration reform activists who pressure sitting members to stay away from anything that resembles legalization for the 11 million.
"The policy solutions to the problem and the political viability of them are potentially miles apart," says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, a nonpartisan immigration research group."
Mary Giovagnoli, the Director of the Immigration Policy Center, was quoted in a recent Chicago Sun-Times article titled, "Keeping Immigration Reform Alive."
"“We are going to see it in 2014, a carefully orchestrated dance toward reform,” said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center. Politicians will have “breathing room after the primaries. We still have a chance at something decent.”
A path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants is a sticking point for Republicans, understandably since the party already has sent alienated Latino voters fleeing to the open arms of Democrats.
A New York Times article last week pointed out that for many, being able to drive and work legally in the U.S. is a bigger priority than citizenship. “What they really care about is a solution that allows them to overcome their greatest vulnerabilities,” Oscar A. Chacon, executive director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, told the Times.
Yet, withholding citizenship wouldn’t stand the test of time. As Benito of ICIRR and Giovagnoli noted, such a move would create an official second-class form of residency that runs contrary to the principles of a proud, democratic country."