Legislative Bulletin – Friday, November 11, 2016

Policy and Advocacy Associate

November 11, 2016

BILLS INTRODUCED AND CONSIDERED
LEGISLATIVE FLOOR CALENDAR
UPCOMING HEARINGS AND MARKUPS
THEMES IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK
GOVERNMENT REPORTS

BILLS INTRODUCED AND CONSIDERED

There were no immigration or workforce related bills introduced or considered for the last two weeks leading up to Friday, November 11, 2016.

LEGISLATIVE FLOOR CALENDAR

The U.S. House of Representatives will be in session from Monday, November 14, 2016, through Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The U.S. Senate will be in session the week of Monday, November 14, 2016.

UPCOMING HEARINGS AND MARKUPS

There are no hearings or markups scheduled for the week of Monday, November 14, 2016.

THEMES IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK

Federal

Donald Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election

In a close race with his democratic counterpart and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump earned 279 electoral votes. Anti-immigration rhetoric was one of the main pillars of Trump’s year-and-a-half long campaign.

Trump managed to win a key battle ground state Florida, where he attracted voters, who expressed deep disappointment with the ingrained Washington establishment. He also broke through the so called “blue wall,” the three battleground states that democrats had carried since 1992, winning the key races in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump also succeeded in other important swing states such as Ohio and North Carolina, securing his victory.

Trump Transition Team Mulls Candidates for DHS Secretary

President-elect Trump’s transition team is working to form his cabinet and fill top government positions that require Senate confirmation. Trump is reportedly looking at Senator Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama) and Representative Michael McCaul (R – Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary. Other names under consideration for DHS secretary include former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R – New York) and Governor Chris Christie (R – New Jersey).

On November 14, Trump selected Vice President-elect Mike Pence to lead the transition team efforts. Cindy Hayden, Director at Altria Client Services and former Chief Counsel in the Judiciary Committee for Senator Sessions, is in charge of leading the Trump transition team for DHS.  Meanwhile, Danielle Cutrona, Senator Session’s current counsel on the Judiciary Committee, is leading the “Immigration Reform & Building the Wall” component of Trump’s transition team.

Trump Prioritizes Immigration in the First 100 Days

After a meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan (R –Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky) on November 10, President-elect Donald Trump said that immigration and the border would be one of his top three priorities. President-elect Trump’s Contract with the American Voter, released in October, proposes to use the first day of his term to revoke unconstitutional executive actions issued by President Obama, cancel all federal funding to sanctuary cities, begin removing two million undocumented immigrants in the country with criminal convictions and suspend immigration from terror-prone regions. President-elect Trump also proposes to introduce the End Illegal Immigration Act in Congress, which would fund the construction of a wall in the U.S.-Mexico border with an understanding that Mexico will reimburse the United States for the full cost of the wall, establish a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for re-entering the United States after a previous deportation and visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying a visa.

However, public support for legal status for undocumented remains strong. National exit polls indicate than more than two-thirds (70 percent) of voters believed that “illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered legal status.” Only 25 percent believed they should be deported. On deportation, there is a wide gulf between the public and Trump supporters, 84 percent of whom support deportation.

Trump’s  Border Wall Plan

The former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich stated that the President-elect’s proposal to build a wall along the Southern border may have been  “a campaign device.” According to Gingrich, Trump will put a lot of effort to controlling the border but he won’t be able to spend much time attempting to persuade Mexico to pay for the wall.

Gingrich’s comments came simultaneously with statements from Trump’s advisor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said that the new administration could start building the wall without approval from Congress. He state President-elect Trump’s plan can be fulfilled by executive action and reallocation of funds that Congress already approved for other immigration enforcement activities. According to national exit polls, building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico lacks the support of a majority of voters, with 54 percent opposing the idea.

Pew: Size of Unauthorized Immigrant Workforce Steady Since 2009

The estimated number of unauthorized immigrant workers has stabilized since the great recession, the latest Pew Research Center analysis found. The data showed that unauthorized immigrants, who were working or looking for job in the U.S., comprised 8 million or 5 percent of the civilian labor force in 2014. After a steep spike between 1995 and 2006, the number of unauthorized immigrant workers had been hovering around the 8-million level for the seventh consecutive year. However, there were some shifts in allocation of this workforce. While eight U.S. states (Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, South Carolina and Rhode Island) experienced declines in their unauthorized immigrant workforce, seven states (Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Washington) saw increases since 2009. According to Pew, the recent stability in the number of unauthorized immigrant workers echoes the trend for the unauthorized immigrant population overall.

State & Local

Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio Loses Bid for Reelection

On Tuesday, November 8, in his seventh election bid for Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, incumbent Joe Arpaio lost to Paul Penzone. Arpaio had held the position of Maricopa County Sheriff since 1992. Arpaio’s defeat came two weeks after he was charged with criminal contempt of court for disobeying a federal district judge’s order in a racial profiling case.

Penzone won the election by a margin of 54.9 percent to 45.1 percent. Arpaio  faced opposition from Latinos, who comprise almost 20 percent of all Arizona’s registered voters.

GOVERNMENT REPORTS

There were no immigration or workforce related government reports published for the last two weeks leading up to Friday, November 11, 2016.

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