Protecting Rights of Detained Immigrants & Asylum Seekers
This UICHR initiative will educate students and community members about the status of detained immigrants in Iowa, detention standards and issues; facilitate advocacy and research on immigration and detention policy and undertake data collection; provide resources for networking and coalition-building; and assist legal-service providers in informing detainees about their legal rights and remedies. Find information below on immigration, detention and other related topics, and ways to make a difference in Iowa.
Resources for Action in Iowa
*Active Voice-This organization made the screening of The Visitor possible in Iowa City. Visit their website to learn more about the role of films, television anddigital media in creating positive social change. Also find useful information on detention, deportation and other immigration topics from this organization and take part.
* Take Action in Iowa - Links to organizations providing education, volunteer opportunities, statistics and research information, etc.
*10 Myths about Immigrants - This material is adapted from the Justice for Immigrants Website (www.justiceforimmigrants.org)
Myth: Immigrants don’t pay taxes. Immigrants pay taxes, in the form of income tax, property tax, sales tax, and other taxes at the federal and state level. Even undocumented immigrants pay income taxes, as evidenced by the Social Security Administration’s “suspense file” (taxes that cannot be matched to workers’ names and Social Security numbers), which grew by $20 billion between 1990 and 1998.
Myth: Immigrants come here to take welfare. The ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S. In one estimate, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.
Myth: Immigrants send all their money back to their home countries. In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to federal, state, and local governments in the United States.
Myth: Immigrants take jobs and opportunity away from Americans. The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s coincided with the lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic growth.
Myth: Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually.
Myth: Immigrants don’t want to learn English or become Americans. Within 10 years of arrival, more than 75 percent of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply.
Myth: There are many more immigrants today than there were 100 years ago. The portion of the U.S. population that is foreign born now stands at 11.5 percent; in the early 20th century, it was approximately 15 percent.
Myth: Most immigrants cross the border illegally. Around 75 percent of today’s immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25 percent that are undocumented, 40 percent overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas.
Myth: Weak U.S. border enforcement has led to high undocumented immigration. From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol’s budget increased six-fold, and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The undocumented immigrant population doubled in that period, to 8 million. An insufficient number of legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S., compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to the current situation.
Myth: The war on terrorism can be won through immigration restrictions. Since Sept. 11, the many measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make us less safe, since targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.
* Watch the trailer for AbUSed the Postville Raid, a documentary by Luis Argueta showing the human face of immigration in the United States.
*The Advocates for Human Rights- Find an online immigration resource guide by visiting this website.
*Information on the ISNET (Immigrant Safety Network) activation plan coming soon!