One of the most difficult issues facing America today is the question of how to address illegal immigration.  There is the very human aspect of deportations and families being broken apart, of people dying in the desert on the Southern border in their effort escape poverty, and of people who are working hard and contributing to this country.  At the same time, there are those who want to uphold the rule of law, who see America's way of life being eroded by the influx of eleven-plus million illegal immigrants, and who are concerned about securing the border.

The White House: Immigration

June 15, 2012 Deferred action status for qualifying young people.
Aug. 18, 2011 Change in policy on deportations.
Transcript May 10, 2011 Remarks on comprehensive immigration reform.
Transcript July 1, 2010 Remarks on comprehensive immigration reform.

U.S. Senate Committee on Judiciary - Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security

U.S. House Committee on Judiciary - Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law

Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus (Rep. Brian Bilbray, Chair)

Congressional Hispanic Caucus (Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Chair)

Department of Homeland Security
-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
"responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation’s border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security."
-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

"responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization adjudication functions and establishing immigration services policies and priorities."

National Conference of State Legislatures
Arizona S.B. 1070:

    U.S. Supreme Court: Arizona v. United States - oral arguments, decision. [PDF]
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: USA v. State of Arizona.
    U.S. District Court-District of Arizona: SB 1070 Case Information.
    Arizona files a countersuit against the federal government, Feb. 10, 2011.
    DOJ press release on challenging constitutionality of S.B. 1070, July 6, 2010 |  response.
    Gov. Jan Brewer's remarks on signing S.B. 1070, April 23, 2010.
    Some responses: NDLON, NCLR
    Arizona Border Security Information Center


Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC: List of Sanctuary Cities

think tank/policy

Center for Immigration Studies

" independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States...  It is the Center's mission to expand the base of public knowledge and understanding of the need for an immigration policy that gives first concern to the broad national interest. The Center is animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted."

American Immigration Council (formerly American Immigration Law Foundation)

"honoring our immigrant history and shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future..."  Educating citizens about the enduring contributions of America's immigrants; Standing up for sensible and humane immigration policies that reflect American values; Insisting that our immigration laws be enacted and implemented in a way that honors fundamental constitutional and human rights; Working tirelessly to achieve justice and fairness for immigrants under the law.
Immigration Policy Center - the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council.

Migration Policy Institute

"an independent non-partisan, non-profit think-tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide."

Pew Hispanic Center

"a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation." 

controlling the border
Federation for American Immigration Reform

"FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest—more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year."

Numbers USA

"on-line action tool to limit U.S. overpopulation and over immigration"

"A Minuteman believes in a strong, safe and secure America that begins with borders open only to those who have a legal right to enter, and who have met all the lawful criteria to cross into our territory established by the sovereign American people.  Minutemen vow to use every legal means at our disposal to assist law enforcement authorities in identifying and apprehending those who violate our borders, whether they are illegally trafficking people, weapons, arms, property, sexual slaves or any other contraband."

Let Freedom Ring's

"promoting a state-of-the-art border fence between the U.S. and Mexico."

Immigration Reform Law Institute

"a public interest legal education and advocacy organization dedicated to advocating for the rights and interests of United States citizens in immigration-related matters.

comprehensive immigration reform
Campaign to Reform Immigration for America

"The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is a united national effort that brings together individuals and grassroots organizations with the mission to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform. The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is, in part, a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund."

America's Voice

"The mission of America’s Voice is to realize the promise of workable and humane comprehensive immigration reform."

Fair Immigration Reform Movement

"the meeting place and united voice of the dynamic grassroots movement advocating for comprehensive immigration reform and the civil rights of immigrants in America...  FIRM is a project of the Center for Community Change, a national organization dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people and people of color."

National Immigration Forum

"The mission of the National Immigration Forum is to embrace and uphold America’s tradition as a nation of immigrants. The Forum advocates and builds support for public policies that welcome immigrants and refugees and are fair and supportive to newcomers in the United States."

"a multicultural, migrant youth-led, social media hub for the movement to pass the DREAM Act and pursue the enactment of other forms of legislation that aim to mend the broken immigration system."

The Red Card Solution

"Immigrants who want to become citizens and live in the U.S. permanently would have to comply with existing laws and procedures. The Red Card Solution creates a different system for the vast majority merely seeking work in the U.S."

see the list at Campaign to Reform Immigration for America
Casa de Maryland

CASA's primary mission is to work with the community to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos and their families. CASA also works with other low-income immigrant communities and organizations, makes its programs and activities available to them, and advocates for social, political, and economic justice for all low-income communities."

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

"...dedicated to promote the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.In partnership with our member organizations, the Coalition educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights; promotes citizenship and civic participation; monitors, analyzes, and advocates on immigrant-related issues; and, informs the general public about the contributions of immigrants and refugees."

Cato Institute
Center for American Progress
The Heritage Foundation

Democrats, Republicans and Major Third Parties

The immigration issue is highly politicized, and the two sides routinely talk past each other.  Frequently one hears straw arguments about the impossibility and consequences of suddenly deporting millions of people.  People who want to control illegal immigration are accused of being racist.  Discussion is often driven by political calculations rather than what is best for the country.  Potentially millions of votes are at stake.  Progressive and labor groups see the possibility of adding to their ranks.  Progressives argued that President Obama would lose votes if he failed to keep his promises.  Conservatives often seem to be seeking to out-tough their opponents on the immigration issue. (see for example Republican presidential primary ads from 2007
bottom of page or some of the rhetoric from the 2012 Republican presidential primary).

In 1994 California voters passed Proposition 187, which would have denied public services to illegal immigrants; the measure wound its way through the courts before dying in 1999 (1,2).  The issue was again brought sharply into focus by S.B. 1070, the tough measure signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on April 23, 2010.  The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's law on July 6, and half a dozen other lawsuits were filed as well.  In Phoenix on July 28, one day before the law was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton issued a preliminary injunction blocking major provisions of S.B. 1070 from being implemented.  In February 2011, the State of Arizona filed a countersuit against the federal government.  During 2011 other states including Utah, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina passed laws similar to S.B. 1070.  Meanwhile, the Arizona case was winding its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States on April 25, 2012.  On June 25 the Court issued an opinon striking down some portions of the SB 1070, but upholding the controversial "papers please" provision (>).

An August 2010 report (>) by the Pew Hispanic Center found that one in eight children born in the United States in 2008 had an "unauthorized immigrant parent [or parents]"  According to the report, "In total, 4 million U.S.-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents resided in this country in 2009, alongside 1.1 million foreign-born children of unauthorized immigrant parents."  This led to a discussion of "anchor babies" and whether the 14th Amendment needs to be revised. 

The most high profile piece of federal legislation in the past several years has been the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), which would provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented students.  First introduced in 2001, the bill fell short in the lame duck session of Congress following the 2010 mid-term elections.  On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced a temporary, and controversial, fix, a deferred action process on deportations for qualifying youths brought to this country illegally by their parents (>).


June 25, 2012--Scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day the Court issued its decision on Arizona v. United States.
April 25, 2012--Scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of oral arguments on Arizona v. United States.

July 28, 2010--Children's march against deportations.
July 20, 2010--DREAM Act mock graduation.
May 19, 2010--Visit of Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
May 1, 2010--Rally and civil disobedience for comprehensive immigration reform.
March 21, 2010--Reform Immigration for America March on Washington.

MORE OLDER PHOTOS [use "back" button on your browser to return to this page]
Sept. 7, 2006--Immigrant rights rally.
May 17, 2006--Lobbying (a) and immigrant rights mass rally and march (b).
May 12, 2006--Minutemen rally after cross country caravan.
May 1, 2006--"You Don't Speak for Me" press conference.
April 16, 2006--Former Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks on "Ending the Dishonesty: The Way Forward on Border Control and Patriotic Immigration."
April 10, 2006--"National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice" rally for comprehensive immigration reform.
April 4, 2006--Announcing the May 1 "The Great American Boycott 2006."
April 4, 2006--Immigration summit at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 16th Annual Legislative Conference.
Feb. 8, 2006--Rally on immigration organized by the Minuteman Project.