Legislative Bulletin – Friday, July 3, 2015

Assistant Director for Immigration Policy and Advocacy

July 2, 2015

Bills Introduced and Considered

H.R. 2942

This bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to detain any alien who is unlawfully present in the United States and is arrested for certain criminal offenses.

Sponsored by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) (10 cosponsors)

6/25/2015 Introduced in House by Rep. Salmon

6/25/2015 Referred to House Judiciary

H.R. 2794

Strengthen and Unite Communities with Civics Education and English Development Act of 2015

This bill is intended to strengthen and unite communities through English literacy and civics education.

Sponsored by Rep. Michael Honda (D-California) (16 cosponsors)

6/16/2015 Introduced in House by Rep. Honda

6/16/2015 Referred to House Education and the Workforce

6/16/2015 Referred to House Ways and Means

H.Res. 325

This resolution would recognize the month of June as “Immigrant Heritage Month,” a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions immigrants and their children have made in shaping the history, strengthening the economy, and enriching the culture of the United States.

Sponsored by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-California) (59 cosponsors)

6/17/2015 Introduced in the House by Rep. Linda Sanchez

6/17/2015 Referred to House Oversight and Government Reform

S.Res. 216

This resolution would recognize the month of June as “Immigrant Heritage Month,” a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions immigrants and their children have made in shaping the history, strengthening the economy, and enriching the culture of the United States.

Sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) (0 cosponsors)

6/25/2015 Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Feinstein

6/25/2015 Referred to Senate Judiciary

Nominations and Confirmations

There were no significant developments on nominations or confirmations this week.

Legislative Floor Calendar

The U.S. House of Representatives will be in session from Tuesday, July 7 to Friday, July 10, 2015.

The U.S. Senate will be in session from Tuesday, July 7 to Friday, July 10, 2015.

Upcoming Hearings and Markups

The 2014 Humanitarian Crisis at Our Border: A Review of the Government’s Response to Unaccompanied Minors One Year Later

Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 10:00 a.m. (Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee)

Location: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building


Juan Osuna, Director, Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice

Mark Greenberg, Acting Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Phillip Miller, Assistant Director of Field Operations, Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Joseph Langlois, Associate Director, Refuee, Asylum, and International Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Themes in Washington This Week

Trump Faces Fallout after Presidential Announcement

Backlash against real estate mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump (R-New York) has continued to mount after Trump asserted that Mexican migrants are “rapists” who “bring[ ] drugs” and “crime” to the U.S. in his controversial presidential announcement speech. This week, NBC — which airs “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice” which Trump hosts — ended its business relationship with Trump. Additionally, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim cut ties with Trump on a television production project, Macy’s terminated its 11-year relationship with Trump’s line of menswear, and singer Ricky Martin moved his annual charity golf tournament from a Trump-owned resort.

Trump’s remarks prompted a mass exodus from Trump’s Miss Universe pageant, as Mexico dropped out, Bogota withdrew its application to host the event, and co-hosts Thomas Roberts and Cheryl Burke resigned. Last week, Univision announced that it would end its business relationship with the Trump Company and would no longer broadcast the Trump-owned Miss USA or Miss Universe pageants, prompting Trump to sue Univision for $500 million dollars and bar its executives from a Trump-owned Miami hotel, including its golf course.

Trump has not backed down from his comments even as he has continued to face an onslaught of criticism. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Florida) condemned Trump’s remarks in Spanish before adding in English that “I don’t agree with him. I think he’s wrong.” Gov. Susana Martinez (R-New Mexico), a prospective presidential candidate, former Gov. George Pataki (R-New York), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) also panned Trump’s comments. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) defended Trump, telling Fox News “I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific. . . . I think he speaks the truth.”

Despite the controversy, recent polls show Trump in second place in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

More than 4,000 to Receive Citizenship in Independence Day-Related Ceremonies

In celebration of Independence Day, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is holding more than 50 naturalization ceremonies across the United States to welcome more than 4,000 new citizens on July 1-4.

ICE Issues New Guidance on Transgender Care

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) issued a memorandum on Monday on caring for transgender individuals in immigration detention. The 18-page guidance provides ICE personnel with protocols on intake processing and assignment of clothing options, housing assignments and medical care for transgender individuals in ICE custody.

The announcement follows the June 23 letter from more than 30 congressional Democrats calling for an end to the detention of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) immigrants as well as the appearance of an undocumented transgender heckler at a White House event for LGBT Pride Month.

New Report Suggests Collusion between Anti-Immigrant Organizations and DHS Employees

The Center for New Community released a new report on Tuesday alleging that anti-immigrant organizations colluded with leaders of unions representing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees. The report finds that union leaders and border patrol agents have developed close relationships with three key organizations: Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA.

As an example of collusion, the report asserted that large anti-immigrant protests at a facility in Murrieta, California resulted after a senior border patrol agent leaked non-public information regarding the transport of migrant families to the facility.

Delaware Approves Driver’s License Legislation

On June 30, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) signed legislation that would permit undocumented state residents to receive driver’s licenses. The bill passed the Delaware House of Representatives 22-15 earlier on June 30, a week after the bill passed the Delaware Senate by a 17-1 margin.

To receive the licenses, which would be marked “Not Valid for Identification” and “Driving Privileges Only,” applicants would have to sign an affidavit confirming their identity, establish proof of foreign nationality, demonstrate at least two years of residency in Delaware, submit fingerprints to police, provide state tax returns, and meet existing driving and licensing requirements applicable to legal residents.

Pope Francis to Address Plight of Immigrants in September U.S. Visit

The schedule for Pope Francis’s September 2015 visit to Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia has been released. According to reports, the Pope will highlight immigration and religious liberty, focusing on the plight of immigrants and prisoners.

Government Reports

Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman: USCIS Ombudsman 2015 Annual Report to Congress, June 29, 2015

This annual report by the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman evaluates the key developments of USCIS operations for Fiscal Year 2015. The report also aims to identify the problems facing individuals and employers who interact with USCIS and offer recommendations for future improvements.

For Fiscal Year 2015, the report covers issues in four areas: 1) Families and Children; 2) Employment; 3) Humanitarian; and 4) Interagency, Customer Service, and Process Integrity. The report highlights delays in processing of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal applications and USCIS handling of provisional waivers, EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programs, and humanitarian efforts under the Refugee/Parole Program for Central American Minors (CAM).

The report raises concerns regarding USCIS delays in processing visa and DACA renewal applications and in adjudicating asylum cases. The report urges USCIS to adopt more efficient practices to improve processing times and eliminate asylum backlogs.

Homeland Security Advisory Council: Interim Report of the CBP Integrity Advisory Panel, June 29, 2015

This report issued by the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) identifies several problems within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on a range of issues including corruption within the agency and the use of excessive and/or deadly force against migrants.

The report calls for CBP to implement recommended plans of action with the goals of “assuring integrity,” “preventing unauthorized use of force,” and “improving transparency.” HSAC recommends that CBP hire 350 full-time equivalent employees to combat the vulnerability of the agency to corruption and bribes.

The report further recommends that CBP revise its use-of-force policy guidelines to emphasize the importance of preserving human life and restrict the use of firearms in response to rock-throwing and other non-life threatening situations. Other recommendations include posting CBP policies on the internet and making these policies openly available for public inspection, as well as evaluating the effectiveness of body-worn cameras on CBP officers.

Congressional Research Service: Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures, June 23, 2015 (by Andorra Bruno)

This report examines the Department of Homeland Security’s worksite enforcement strategies to enforce Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which prohibits employers from employing individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. The report includes immigration-related worksite enforcement data on civil and criminal penalties, administrative fines, criminal arrests, criminal indictments and prosecutions from FY2009 to FY2014. Generally, the data indicates that civil and criminal penalties have increased significantly since new guidance was issued in 2009 calling for more DHS worksite enforcement efforts.

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*This Bulletin is not intended to be comprehensive. Please contact Larry Benenson, National Immigration Forum Policy and Advocacy Associate, with comments and suggestions of additional items to be included. Larry can be reached at lbenenson@immigrationforum.org.  Thank you.