You are hereImmigration News

Immigration News

Potential legalization for students: DREAM Act Coming to the Senate Floor

By Tatiana - Posted on 17 September 2010

September 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Yesterday, 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.

International Adoption Harmonization Act of 2010 Passed by House of Representatives

By Tatiana - Posted on 21 July 2010

On July 20, 2010, the House of Representatives passed, by voice vote, the International Adoption Harmonization Act of 2010, to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to adopted alien children.

The International Adoption Harmonization Act of 2010, HR 5532, will allow an adopted child to legally immigrate so long as the adoption is completed and the petition is filed before the child turns 18. The current age limit is 16. The bill would also restore an international adoption exemption that was inadvertently eliminated when the U.S. joined the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions.

Rupert Murdoch calls for immigration reform

By Tatiana - Posted on 28 June 2010

The CEO of News Corp, the parent company of Fox News, has joined forces with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to call for comprehensive immigration reform that includes putting the estimated 12 million people illegally residing in the United States on a path to citizenship. Rupert Murdoch and Bloomberg went on Fox News this morning to explain their plan, which is called the Partnership for a New American Economy, and includes the CEOs of Boeing, Disney and Hewlett-Packard.

Clinton: Obama wants immigration reform passed this year

By Tatiana - Posted on 12 June 2010

"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week told an Ecuador television reporter that President Barack Obama is courting lawmakers' support for immigration reform and wants it to happen this year." The Hill, June 12, 2010.

April 29, 2010 Statement by President Obama on Immigration Reform Proposal

By Tatiana - Posted on 01 May 2010

“It is the federal government's responsibility to enforce the law and secure our borders, as well as to set clear rules and priorities for future immigration. The continued failure of the federal government to fix the broken immigration system will leave the door open to a patchwork of actions at the state and local level that are inconsistent and as we have seen recently, often misguided.

The proposal outlined today in the Senate is a very important step in the process of fixing our nation’s broken immigration system. I am especially pleased to see that this detailed outline is consistent with the bipartisan framework presented by Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham last month, and is grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability. What has become increasingly clear is that we can no longer wait to fix our broken immigration system, which Democrats and Republicans alike agree doesn’t work. It’s unacceptable to have 11 million people in the United States who are living here illegally and outside of the system. I have repeatedly said that there are some essential components that must be in immigration legislation. It must call for stronger border security measures, tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants and clearer rules for controlling future immigration. And it must require those who are here illegally to get right with the law, pay penalties and taxes, learn English, pass criminal background checks and admit responsibility before they are allowed to get in line and eventually earn citizenship.

The outline presented today includes many of these elements. The next critical step is to iron out the details of a bill. We welcome that discussion, and my Administration will play an active role in engaging partners on both sides of the aisle to work toward a bipartisan solution that is based on the fundamental concept of accountability that the American people expect and deserve.”

Statement by President Obama on March 11, 2010 Meetings on Immigration Reform

By Tatiana - Posted on 13 March 2010

Today I met with Senators Schumer and Graham and was pleased to learn of their progress in forging a proposal to fix our broken immigration system. I look forward to reviewing their promising framework, and every American should applaud their efforts to reach across party lines and find commonsense answers to one of our most vexing problems. I also heard from a diverse group of grassroots leaders from around the country about the growing coalition that is working to build momentum for this critical issue. I am optimistic that their efforts will contribute to a favorable climate for moving forward. I told both the Senators and the community leaders that my commitment to comprehensive immigration reform is unwavering, and that I will continue to be their partner in this important effort.

Immigration Reform Is Next on President Obama’s Agenda

By Tatiana - Posted on 08 March 2010

NY Mag
Next week President Obama plans to bring attention to the immigration issue by meeting with Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham to discuss an immigration-reform bill they've been working on for a few months. Obama's hoping to get Congress moving on a bill before the midterm elections. According to the L.A. Times, the outline of a Schumer-Graham bill would include creating a "path toward citizenship" for the almost 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. The path would include registering with the government, paying a fine, and paying taxes.

President to meet with key senators on immigration

By Tatiana - Posted on 08 March 2010

President Barack Obama plans to focus attention on immigration next week by meeting at the White House with two senators crafting a bill on the issue. White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro said Obama will meet with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Monday. The president is "looking forward to hearing more about their efforts toward producing a bipartisan bill," Shapiro said Friday.

Senators Kerry and Lugar Introduce the StartUp Visa Act of 2010

By Tatiana - Posted on 24 February 2010

On 2/24/2010, Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lugar (R-IN) announced the introduction of legislation, the StartUp Visa Act of 2010, which will allow immigrant entrepreneurs to receive a two year visa if they can show that a qualified U.S. investor is willing to invest a minimum of $250,000 in the immigrant's start-up venture.

What the President Really Said about Immigration Reform

By Tatiana - Posted on 02 February 2010

In the State of the Union Address, the President reaffirmed his commitment to fixing our broken immigration system. His commitment wasn't as specific as many of the things he has said about immigration reform in the past. In fact, this glancing mention of immigration reform has already caused a backlash among activists--many of whom are disappointed that the message was too muted. But upon closer inspection, we might find the President's message of bipartisanship, American values and the importance of diversity translates into moving forward on immigration reform.