broken immigration system

Shapiro discusses Immigration and Health Care Reform on CNBC

Last week I wrote about how Immigration Reform is NOT Health Care Reform.  Yesterday, NDN fellow Dr. Rob Shapiro was on CNBC discussing undocumented immigrants and health care reform, and set Mark Krikorian from CIS straight:


White House Reiterates Commitment to Fixing the Broken Immigration System

Today's White House meeting demonstrates that President Obama understands the need and urgency for an overhaul of our broken immigration system.  Importantly, the process is beginning, there is interest at the top levels, and today provided stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in.  Below, Secretary Napolitano's statement:


"Today's meeting on comprehensive immigration reform was an important opportunity to hear from stakeholders and build on the significant time I've spent on the Hill meeting with members of Congress on this critical subject. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress and representatives from law enforcement, business, labor organizations, the interfaith community, advocacy groups and others as we work on this important issue." 


"La reunión de hoy sobre la reforma integral de la inmigración fue una oportunidad importante para escuchar a las partes interesadas y sumar al tiempo significativo que he pasado en el Capitolio reunida con miembros del Congreso sobre este importante tema. Anticipo con entusiasmo trabajar con el Presidente Obama, mis colegas del Congreso y los representantes de las agencias de la ley, empresas, sindicatos, grupos religiosos, grupos que abogan por la comunidad, y otros a medida que trabajamos sobre este importante asunto." 


For additional information on this issue, access NDN's Backgrounder: Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

9500 Liberty Visits NDN: What is It Like to Be Caught in a Microcosm of the Immigration Debate?


Last night, NDN was honored to host a private select preview of the film 9500 Liberty.  With the filmmakers, Annabel Park and Eric Byler, we examined the political intrigue of one of the most infamous immigration battles ever conducted at the local level.  We discussed the incessant nature of the work that is fighting bigotry - in Virginia and everywhere - and the very real and socio-economic impact of policies intended to alienate immigrants.  

Because it is likely that immigration legislation will be introduced this fall, the premiere of this film on October 1st will provide an invaluable tool for moderates and progressives on this issue, with unprecedented access to the inner workings of the anti-immigrant lobby and its strategic approach to electoral politics. The film also reveals the social and economic fallout when local governments resort to harsh immigration enforcement measures.

In July 2007, Prince William County, VA became ground zero in America's explosive battle over immigration policy when elected officials adopted a local ordinance requiring police officers to question individuals that they considered to be "probably" undocumented.  In the battleground county of a key battleground state, the "Immigration Resolution" became the central issue in a local election held one year before the 2008 Presidential Election.

9500 Liberty is a riveting documentary by two individuals who were caught in the crossfire of these events.  You must see the trailer, and hopefully you will support 9500 Liberty and continue to share this story - it must be told.  And don't forget to stay tuned for the October 1st premiere.  


Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

Since 2007, NDN has a demonstrated commitment to achieving a sensible immigration system that reflects the needs of the 21st century. NDN began to fight for reform by investing in a Spanish-language radio and television media campaign designed to counter anti-immigrant campaigns.  In addition to reaching out to media outlets, NDN has regularly hosted forums with members of Congress to discuss proposals to fix our current broken immigration system. Through research and polling, conducted most recently among voters in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico, NDN has found that a majority of Americans support a legislative overhaul to fix the broken immigration system, as opposed to passing limited enforcement measures.  

Below, please find some past highlights of our work on immigration reform:



NDN's Immigration Blog

2010 Highlights

Senator Robert Menendez's Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 Summary

NDN Statement on New Immigration Framework

Immigration Reform Enters a New Phase by Simon Rosenberg

Commentary on Arizona Bill by Alicia Menendez

2009 Highlights

Presentation: Making the Case for Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year

7 Reasons Why Congress Should Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform this Year by Simon Rosenberg

Video: Simon Rosenberg makes his case on why congress should pass CIR

Event: Politics & Policy: What to Expect from the Immigration Debate

Video: NDN Forum on Immigration Reform

The Census and Immigration Reform by Simon Rosenberg

Senator Kennedy and CIR by Andres Ramirez

2007 - 2008 Highlights

Event: "Immigration Reform and the Next Administration" - at the DNC in Denver

Polling: Immigration Polling in battleground states

A Responsible Immigration Policy by Simon Rosenberg

Can Democrats Seize the Opportunity the Immigration Debate Offers Them? by Simon Rosenberg

Event: NDN Bicameral Event for CIR


Immigration is not going away as an issue. From observing the Presidential campaign in 2008 and watching the news every evening, it is clear America will be debating this issue intensely in 2009.

Why DHS Fees Are So Unjust - GAO Finds DHS Did Not Adhere to Federal Accounting Standards and Principles

We knew there was something very wrong with the new fee schedule released in Summer of 2007, now GAO explains why these fees, in fact, have no basis.   

In February 2007, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) completed a study to determine the full costs of its operations and the level at which application fees should be set to recover those costs.  Based on its analysis, in June 2007 USCIS's new fee schedule increased the cost of some applications by over 300%!  For e.g., the cost of applying for Legal Permanent Resident status went from around $300 to $675 ($595 plus an $80 biometric fee) - and that does not include the cost of hiring a lawyer to assist throughout the application process, which most immigrants can't afford (and people wonder why immigrants fall out of status).  The cost of applying for citizenship went from around $192 plus a few additional fees, to $460, plus additional exams and fees.

This GAO report, released today, to investigate USCIS fee review found that the costing methodology USCIS used to develop the fees for each application type did not consistently adhere to federal accounting standards and principles and other guidance (surprise surprise).  The GAO reports:

While federal accounting standards allow flexibility for agencies to develop managerial cost accounting practices that are suited to their needs, they also provide certain specific guidance based on sound accounting concepts. USCIS's methodology was not consistent with federal accounting standards and principles and other guidance in the following aspects: (1) costs paid by other federal entities on behalf of USCIS were not included in its estimates of costs, (2) key assumptions and methods used for allocation of costs to activities and types of applications were not sufficiently justified, (3) assumptions about staff time spent on various activities were not supported by documented rationale or analysis, (4) the cost of premium processing services was not determined, and (5) documentation of the processes and procedures was not sufficient to ensure consistent and accurate implementation of the methodology.

USCIS charges fees for processing the millions of immigration applications it receives each year, and intends to fund the cost of processing and adjudicating them directly through fees paid by applicants.  We hope the Obama Administration reviews this GAO data closely, and that under Secretary Napolitano, one of the first actions taken by this administration is to return fees to a schedule that is affordable and stops serving as an obstacle for people to renew or adjust their legal status.
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