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  1. Bloggings: Arnold Schwarzenegger Weighs in on Immigration Reform Against the Terminators. By Roger Algase

    Everyone who cares about immigration reform should read Arnold Schwarzenegger's article in the April 30 Politico entitled: The immigration solution the nation needs.
    Amid all the distortions by the anti-immigrant, white supremacist lobby, all the elaborate political and economic theorizing on both sides, all the confusion generated by the mass of detail in the 844 page Senate bill, and all the needs to cater to a great variety of interest groups with a stake in the reform debate, the immigrant, and former California governor's, article stands out as a clear affirmation of what immigration really means to America. 
    Governor Schwarzenegger writes: 
    "It is also important to remember that in the United States, we aren't just affected by the immigrants coming in. 
    We're hurt by the immigrants we are sending away."
    He concludes:
    "If the Gang of Eight is successful, we'll confront the dangers of our border while reminding the world that we are still the shining city on the hill that captured my imagination and harnessed my dreams. We will continue to be the world's great launching pad for achieving the impossible."
    All Americans should take these words to heart as we move toward enacting reform, despite all the difficulties still ahead. Arnold Schwarzenegger's message should encourage everyone who is battling for CIR against its would-be Terminators.
  2. Letters of the Week: Apr 29 - May 3

    Please email your letters to editor@ilw.com or post them directly as "Comment" below.
  3. Supreme Court Strikes Another Nail in the Coffin of Alabama Immigration Law

    by , 04-29-2013 at 10:19 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    From the National Immigration Law Center:

    Supreme
    Court Rejects Alabama's Request to Review the State's Anti-immigrant Law



    Eleventh Circuit Appeals
    Court Ruling Blocking Law's Criminalizing Acts of Kindness Remains in Place
    WASHINGTON --
    The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected the state of Alabama's request to review
    a provision of the state's anti-immigrant law that was blocked by the U.S.
    Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last year.



    In February, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange petitioned the Supreme
    Court to consider the provision of the law that criminalizes neighborly acts of
    kindness, or Section 13, the "harboring and transporting" provision. This
    provision criminalized individuals who engaged in routine daily activities with
    undocumented immigrants.



    The circuit court has blocked most of Alabama's anti-immigrant law as
    unconstitutional, including provisions that would have chilled Latino student
    access to Alabama elementary schools.



    Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona's SB 1070, which
    served as a model for the Alabama law. The Court ruled that much of the Arizona
    law was unconstitutional because it interfered with federal authority over
    immigration.



    "The Supreme Court has rightly struck another nail in the coffin of laws that
    attempt to sanction racial profiling," said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for
    the National Immigration Law Center. "Alabama's legislators, both at the state
    and at the federal levels should take note: they, like the rest of the country,
    should move forward, not backward, to bring our immigration laws in line with
    our societal and economic needs."



     "The Supreme Court's decision to not hear the case was expected," said
    Sam Brooke, staff attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The high court
    invalidated most of Arizona's immigration law last year, stating unequivocally
    that immigration is a federal issue and states may not create their own
    enforcement schemes. That is why the lower courts already blocked Alabama's
    law." Mr. Brooke further noted, "We need meaningful and comprehensive
    immigration reform from Washington, D.C. Hopefully the lessons learned from
    H.B. 56 will motivate Congress to act quickly to address this pressing issue."
    "The Supreme
    Court made the right decision not to hear this case," said Cecillia Wang,
    director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "All the lower federal courts
    - and the court of public opinion - have said no to divisive state laws like
    this one, and Americans have moved on  to support immigration reform that
    creates a new common sense immigration system."



    The Eleventh Circuit has also blocked the following provisions of the law:

    Section
    10, which criminalized failing to register one's immigration status
    (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);
    Section
    11(a), which criminalized the solicitation of work (blocked by the
    Eleventh Circuit);
    Sections
    11(f) and (g), which criminalized day laborers' first amendment right to
    solicit work (blocked by the District Court in Birmingham and not
    appealed); and
    Section
    27, which infringed on the ability of individuals to contract with someone
    who was undocumented (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit);
    Section
    28, which requires the immigration verification of newly enrolled K-12
    students (blocked by the Eleventh Circuit).


    Today's order from the Supreme Court came in the
    parallel case of United
    States v. Alabama, but the provisions were also challenged by
    private plaintiffs in HICA
    v. Bentley.  The civil rights organizations involved in HICA v. Bentley, the
    class-action challenge to Alabama's anti-immigrant law, include the Southern
    Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama,
    the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American
    Justice Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the
    National Day Laborers' Organizing Network, and LatinoJustice-PRLDEF.
  4. Bloggings: A Voice of Reason on the Right Supports Immigration Reform. Will Republicans Listen? By Roger Algase

    During the 2012 presidential campaign, there was no writer who was more of a pro-Romney partisan than Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin. Her "Right Turn" blog followed the Republican party line so slavishly that her columns read like Romney campaign press releases. 
    Needless to say, there was little, if any, criticism of Mitt Romney's "self-deportation" disaster in Rubin's comments. But all of this changed on November 7. Jennifer Rubin was one of the very first Republican columnists to come out and say that if the party hoped to win national elections in the future, it would have to change, not just its marketing and its candidates, but its policies.
    Nowhere has Jennifer Rubin made this point more clearly than on immigration reform. The following is from her post: Why should Republicans favor immigration reform? (www.washingtonpost.com April 28):
    "Immigration reform is the most important of the current debates for Republicans, more so than taxes or entitlement reform, as its outcome will set the trajectory for the party for years to come. Will the GOP innovate, ignore reactionary voices, pursue a reform agenda and embrace 21st-century America? Or will it hunker down and insist that the only problem is insufficient volume and ferociousness, entranced by the illusion that all it needs to survive as a national party is turning out more and more older, white men?"
    The future of immigration reform may depend on how many Republicans in Congress, and especially in the House of Representatives, are willing to listen to Jennifer Rubin's advice.



  5. Miami on Track to Create Third Government-owned Regional Center

    The city of
    Miami is currently working on creating the third government-owned Regional
    Center in the United States. The Regional Center will bring EB-5 capital and
    economic growth to the city and its surrounding counties. Miami has not yet
    announced when it will be submitting its application for Regional Center
    designation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, but the
    city already has its first EB-5 project underway. The project is Panorama
    Tower, a 830-foot-tall structure on Brickwell Ave, developed by Tibor Hollo.
    The project is in a Targeted Employment Area and plans to create 2,000 jobs.
    Miami's
    plans for Regional Center designation became popular amongst investors after a
    press conference. Attorney Mikki Canton is spearheading the project and has
    already been contacted by County Mayr Carlos Gimenez last month who has pledged
    $50,000 to $100,000 in support of the project. The Miami Regional Center plans
    to charge developers an application fee and a percentage on each development
    project. At the request of Mayor Tomas Regalado, the Regional Center will
    designate profit to the fire and police departments of the city of Miami each
    year.
    The plans
    for the Miami Regional Center are an excellent example of the potential the
    EB-5 Program has to improve the economy of a community through the raising of
    funding and the creating of jobs. The city also opened a department for
    international business development with Canton in charge.
    Last week,
    the Gang of 8 Senators revealed long-awaited proposals that would enact some
    very important changes to the EB-5 Program and would augment the program's
    potential for benefitting the U.S. economy. First, the Senators are proposing
    to increase the number of visas reserved for the program each year. Currently,
    this number is capped at 10,000 and also includes visas assigned to the family
    members of each EB-5 investor. Under the proposal, this number would be increased
    and visas given to family members would no longer go towards this count. With
    more available visas the program would be able to raise more capital each year.

    To put the numbers
    into perspective, 3,463 EB-5 visas were issued by USCIS in 2011 and 7,641 were
    issued in 2012. The program has become more popular in China; 80% of EB-5 investment
    comes from China. Real estate projects make up 80% of EB-5 funded projects and
    the approval rate for EB-5 visas is at 80%; meanwhile, 92% of petitions for
    permanent green cards are approved.
    Other key
    changes proposed by the Senators include the permanent establishment of the
    Regional Center Pilot Program, which has historically been renewed since its inception
    by Congress in 1992.
    Regional
    Centers benefit from specific privileges, such as being able to count directly
    and indirectly created jobs, access to low-interest financing for projects and
    they are able to inject direct foreign investment into a community.
    The EB-5
    Program attracts the brightest and best business-minds from other countries;
    EB-5 investors have typically been successful in their own countries and bring
    this drive to the United States. Moreover, EB-5 is attractive to would-be
    immigrants because it does not require sponsorship from within the U.S. and the
    entire process typically takes one year (while other forms of obtaining a U.S.
    green card can take as long as five to ten years).
    To learn
    more about the EB-5 visa, visit EB5Investors.com.
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