Monday November 25, 2013
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told ABC's This Week he believes comprehensive immigration reform is "one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time."
During an interview Sunday, the 29-year-old billionaire said Congress must move forward with reform, including DREAM Act provisions, and correct a social injustice.
"When you meet these children who are really talented, and they've grown up in America and they really don't know any other country besides that, but they don't have the opportunities," Zuckerberg said. "It's really heartbreaking - right? That seems like it's one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time."
Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley business leaders started the group FWD.us to push the government toward reform that includes more visas for highly skilled immigrants with advanced the degrees, especially in math and science. FWD.us supports the path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants and the DREAM Act, as well as improving border security.
Last week, Zuckerberg assembled a group of unauthorized immigrants for a "hackathon" that called on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
He said in the ABC interview that too many Americans just don't understand why 11 million immigrants are living in the country illegally.
"A lot of them came here because they just want to work," he said "They want to help out their families and they want to contribute."
Monday November 18, 2013
Rock legend Tina Turner is giving up her U.S. citizenship, according to the U.S. State Department.
Turner, 74, who has lived in Europe for decades, announced her intention to become a Swiss citizen at the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. Earlier this year, she married her longtime boyfriend, German music producer Erwin Bach.
At the embassy in Bern, Turner submitted a "Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Citizenship," a provision of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, Section 349, that deals with renouncement.
Relinquishing U.S. citizenship is a less formal approach to renouncing it, but just as consequential. The U.S. government takes citizenship renouncement very seriously and under U.S. law it is virtually irreversible.
Turner has said she has no plans to return or live in the United States.
A number of Hollywood celebrities have given up their U.S. citizenship over the years for political reasons, or to avoid U.S. taxes. The State Department reports that renouncements have risen dramatically in recent years as wealthy people have left the country to dodge their tax bills.
Congress is considering new penalties for those who renounce their citizenship to avoid paying taxes.
Monday November 11, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is celebrating Veterans Day by naturalizing more than 8,000 new American citizens between Nov. 7 and Nov. 13.
In all, more than 120 naturalization ceremonies will be held across the country, from New York City to Sacramento, Calif., and on Guam, too. Many of new citizens are serving in the U.S. military or are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since 2002, USCIS has naturalized more than 92,000 U.S. military members, including about 11,000 who became citizens while serving overseas.
USCIS is using social media to follow the week of naturalizations. The government wants you to share your ceremony experiences and photos via Twitter, using the hashtag #newUScitizen. You can follow the ceremonies at @USCIS on Twitter and Facebook.com/USCIS.
Monday November 4, 2013
Deportations in the Obama administration have fallen to the lowest level since the president took office and are poised to hit the government's lowest level since 2007, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
About 364,700 unauthorized immigrants were deported during the 2013 fiscal year, down 11% from the roughly 410,000 that the government deported in 2012.
The CIS obtained internal numbers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and says the decline in deportations comes because the administration has changed its policy about what immigrants the government should remove.
President Obama's deferred action program, the DREAM Act alternative for childhood arrivals, has enabled many young unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country legally. Also, more than a year ago, the administration announced it was shifting enforcement efforts to make unauthorized immigrants with felony records and those with violent offenses the priority.
Immigrant advocates have argued that the Obama administration is still deporting too many immigrants and should pull back until Congress acts and passes comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
The CIS has argued that the administration hasn't done enough to stop illegal immigration and should continue to deport as many unauthorized immigrants as it can.