News Clips Jan. 15, 2010

Special status will halt deportations from U.S.

Lawmakers and immigration groups are calling on the Obama administration to grant Haitians in the USA, including those here illegally, a special temporary legal status that would protect them from deportation and allow them to take jobs.

That would be a step beyond what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced: a halt in deportations “for the time being.” About 30,000 Haitians now in the USA had been ordered deported.

White House pressed to OK immigration change for Haitians

Haitian-American activists, immigrant advocates and South Florida lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are intensely lobbying the Obama administration to keep undocumented Haitian immigrants from being deported to an island nation whose economy is in ruins following Tuesday’s horrific earthquake.

On Thursday, all three groups will be holding news conferences in Miami to press their case to the public.

Obama pledges campaign for health-care bill and Democrats

With unemployment hovering in the double digits and House Democrats eager to move on to the politically crucial task of job creation, President Obama pledged Thursday to publicly champion the health-care legislation that in the past year has consumed much of their attention and often made them targets.

Arizona has become ‘ground zero’ of immigration fight

PHOENIX — When activists from around the country rally for immigrants’ rights Saturday, it’s no coincidence that they’ll converge here.

Arizona is the flash point of the immigration debate, a place where high levels of illegal immigration have led to state and local restrictions, most recently a law that requires government workers to report illegal immigrants seeking public benefits.

Immigration reform advocates seek plan

Immigration reform advocates urged Rep. Mary Bono Mack on Thursday to support an overhaul that would legalize the nation’s undocumented workers.
The coalition of business, labor and community leaders who met with the Palm Springs Republican’s staff was part of a national strategy to press legislators across the nation this week, seizing on the president’s promise to tackle immigration reform in 2010.Advocates said they hope to see the draft of a proposed bill by the president’s state of the union address next month.

How Immigration Reform Would Help the Economy

Fact Sheet on the Benefits of Legalization
A new report, “Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” by Dr. Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, finds that comprehensive immigration reform that includes a legalization program for unauthorized immigrants and enables a future flow of legal workers would result in a large economic benefit—a cumulative $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. In stark contrast, a deportation- only policy would result in a loss of $2.6 trillion in GDP over 10 years.

City Immigration Firms Charged With Fraud

Two firms offering services for immigrants in Manhattan and the Bronx have been charged with fraud.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is suing two non-profits — International Immigrants Foundation and International Professional Association — for allegedly scamming immigrants by making false promises of citizenship and charging exorbitant fees.

The suit also says the organizations are practicing law without authorization.

Cuomo says the law protects someone who blows the whistle on immigration scams, but many immigrants are afraid of exposing themselves to prosecution.

Irish American community leaders push for new immigration bill

Irish community leaders are being asked to give their support to the push for a comprehensive new immigration bill. The White House recently sent out invitations to Irish American community leaders nationwide to attend a special briefing on comprehensive immigration reform this week.

Obama administration officials will host the briefing on Friday January 15 in Washington where the Irish American attendees will hear from the National Security Council on US-Irish Relations. Also scheduled is a briefing from the Domestic Policy Council on immigration reform.

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