Immigrant Rights Publications

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Access to Higher Education

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SB 1070

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What is the SB 1070?

A legislative act in the U.S. state of Arizona that is the broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in decades.  

What does it do?

The act makes it a state crime for an undocumented immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying registration documents required by federal law, authorizes state and local law enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting undocumented immigrants.  

What does it mean?

The passage of this act has prompted 17 other states to consider adopting similar legislation. The law only allows police to ask about immigration status in the normal course of "lawful contact" with a person, but there is concern that racial profiling will occur. Further, the act gives police authority to conduct warrantless arrests for immigration purposes as well as allows police to transport noncitizens even outside jurisdiction of local agency. Law enforcement officials are required by the law to have "reasonable suspicion" that a person is an illegal immigrant before asking that person about immigration status,

Why does it matter to the Korean American community?

Not only does the passing of this bill serve as initiative for other states to enact harsher immigration laws, but it also encourages racial profiling by allowing local law enforcement to judge status based on outward appearances. This bill does not just affect Arizonians but all immigrants nationwide. Without Comprehensive Immigration Reform, laws like SB 1070 will persist and affect all immigrant and Korean American communities.

Reactions

Current law suits are calling the provision into question by citing the Supremacy Clause which states that federal law preempts state law, equal protection which states that discrimination against non citizens and deprivation of equal protection are impermissible, First Amendment which states restrictions on the right to free speech and assembly unconstitutional and the Fourth Amendment which protects people from unreasonable search and seizure.

Injunction

SB 1070 was scheduled to go into effect on July 29, 2010. However, on July 28, US District Judge Susan Bolton blocked the most controversial parts of the act by putting into effect a partial temporary injunction. The injunction strips the most controversial pieces of the law such as requiring officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times and making it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places


What is CIR ASAP? What does it contain?

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Legalization

Qualified undocumented immigrants could apply for conditional nonimmigrant visa to legally work and travel. To qualify, an applicant must have been in the U.S. without status before December 15, 2009, show their contribution to the U.S. through work, education, military service, or community service, pay an application fee and $500 fine, and not have any convictions for a felony or for three or more misdemeanors. Within a minimum of six years and under the condition that the existing immigration backlogs have been cleared, qualified conditional immigrants can adjust their status to legal permanent residents and eventual citizenship.

The DREAM Act provisions are included in CIR ASAP enabling undocumented individuals who entered the U.S. before 16 years of age to adjust their status. They would exempt from paying fines, be eligible for accelerated legal permanent resident status and later for citizenship.

Visa Reform

CIR ASAP would address current family and employment visa backlogs by recapturing unused visas from past years, and by removing annual caps for immediate relatives, increase the number of visas which may be issued per country per year, exempt U.S. educated foreign nationals in critical fields from the skilled worker numerical cap, exempt foreign nurses from numerical limitations, and permit workers qualified for an employment based petition to receive work authorization until a visa is available.

In order to promote family unity, CIR ASAP, among other provisions will reclassify spouses and children of legal permanent residents as immediate relatives, grant government greater discretionary authority to waive unlawful presence and other bars in order to reunify families, and include protections for refugees and asylees who fled persecution before 12 years by prohibiting their removal.

Employment verification

CIR ASAP would establish a new employment verification system, to be rolled out gradually and tied to severe penalties for hiring undocumented immigrants. The system includes privacy protections, prohibits the creation of a national ID card, and anti-discrimination provisions.

Enforcement

CIR ASAP would require that the Secretary of Homeland Security formalize a national strategy, ensures humane treatment of detainees, expands U visa protections for whistleblowers, repeals 287(g) program clarifying that only the federal government has the authority to enforce federal immigration laws, and establishes oversight over the Department of Homeland Security and a new ICE Ombudsman.

America’s Workforce

Create an independent federal Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets that will develop employment based policies that promote economic growth, competitiveness, and wage and labor protections.

Integration

CIR ASAP would promote citizenship by putting greater scrutiny on future fee increase requests and make citizenship more affordable and accessible. Citizenship would be encouraged by providing uniform administration of the naturalization exam, adjusting the age requirement for English language exemptions for elderly applicants, timely background checks, and a grant program for community based organizations that help immigrant naturalize.

Source: "Summary of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP)." Immigration Policy Center. Web. <http://www.immigrationpolicy.org>.


How does CIR benefit our Economy?

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Immigrants are part of America's workforce
  • The National Dairy Industry confirmed the importance of immigrant labor in its sector. Losing 50% of the immigrant dairy workers would lower dairy sales by $6.7 billion and reduce total economic output by $11.2 billion. Removing all immigrant dairy workers would cost America nearly 133,000 U.S. jobs, affecting both immigrant and U.S.-born workers.
  • Mass deportation would reduce America’s economic productivity by 1.46 percent, amounting to a cumulative $2.6 trillion loss in economic output over 10 years, not including the actual cost of deportations. The Center for American Progress has estimated that mass deportations would cost $206-230 billion over five years.
  • Approximately 800 farms would be at high risk of closure in New York alone; meaning $700 million in forgone production and the loss of 23,000 farm and farm-related jobs.
Immigrants Benefit The Economy
  • Legalization of undocumented immigrants will result in $1.5 trillion increase in economic productivity over the next 10 years.
  • The wages of less-skilled, newly legalized workers would increase by roughly $4,500 per year, while higher-skilled workers would see their income increase by $6,000 per year. The rising of the wage floor would also increase the wages of U.S.-born workers.
  • Increased personal income of newly legalized immigrants would drive consumer spending upward—enough to support 750,000–900,000 new jobs in the U.S.
  • The higher earning power of newly legalized workers would mean increased tax revenues of $4.5-5.4 billion in the first three years.
  • Legalized workers would invest more heavily in their human capital (e.g. education, job training, and English-language skills) making them more productive workers and higher wage earners.
  • For California alone, legalization would generate 25,000 additional jobs in the state, $310 million in additional state income taxes, and $1.4 billion in additional federal income taxes.

STRIVE Act (2007)

The Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act of 2007 (STRIVE Act of 2007, H.R. 1645) is a bill introduced by Rep. Gutierrez (IL-4) and Rep. Flake (FL) in March 22nd of 2007. It is currently (as of 3-26-07) in the Committee on the Judiciary and Cte on Homeland Security and has 30 co-sponsors - Southern California co-sponsors include Reps. Becerra, Napolitano, Roybal-Allard, and Solis. More...

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