The Week Ahead: Aug.14-19

Communications Associate

August 14, 2017


“Trump’s immigration plan may seem to be a politically expedient way to reach older whites who are fearful of the nation’s changing demography. But … as more white baby boomers retire, the nation’s labor force and economic vitality will increasingly depend on [growingly] non-white immigrants and their children. They will be prime contributors to Social Security and Medicare.”

William Frey, demographer, Aug. 10


On DACA’s Anniversary, America Is in Need of a Legislative Solution

Tuesday will mark five years since the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This Department of Homeland Security action has allowed thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children to stay in the United States without fear of deportation, temporarily.

On July 20, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) reintroduced the DREAM Act. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Diane Feinstein (D-California), Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) are also among the sponsors. The following week, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-California) introduced a companion version in the House, now co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) and Zoe Lofgren (D-California).

The DREAM Act has drawn support not only across the aisle in the Senate and House but also within the faith, law enforcement and business communities. The legislation includes strict criteria for eligibility and would provide these young people, known as Dreamers, with a path to legal status and, eventually, citizenship. This would, in turn, allow them to continue their education, work and contributions to a healthy economy for American workers.

Leaders in 10 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, are threatening to sue the Trump administration if DACA is not rescinded by Sept. 5. Other state leaders have written in support of DACA, citing its economic benefits. While DACA provides a temporary solution that helps immigrants contribute to their fullest potential, the DREAM Act would provide a much-needed legislative solution.


Please note: For the month of August, the Forum will release legislative bulletins on Aug. 11 and 24 only. Our most recent summary of legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WASHINGTON POST: Trump wants to emulate Canada’s immigration system. Here’s why it won’t work.
By Tracy Jan
August 11, 2017

The Trump administration hailed Canada and Australia as models when the president endorsed legislation to curb legal immigration by instituting a points-based system that rewards high-skilled English speakers.

But copying those countries won’t work, according to a new paper from the National Immigration Forum and the National Foundation for American Policy.

There are vast differences between their immigration systems and what Trump is advocating.

“The point of the point system in those countries is to attract more immigration, not reduce it,” said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy who authored the paper.

Read more:

USA TODAY (Noorani Op-ed): Immigrant Families Make America Great
Ending family emphasis in immigration would undermine U.S. prosperity: Opposing view
By Ali Noorani
August 8, 2017

In America, we care about and support strong families, no matter where you were born.

The RAISE Act, introduced by Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., with resounding applause from President Trump, would have you think otherwise. It is based on the faulty assumption that immigrant families merit minimal consideration.

Ending the emphasis on family relationships as a basis for immigration — deprioritizing the unity, values and strength that a supportive family provides — undermines the prosperity of American workers and their families.

Studies have found that social networks, such as family, help immigrants find jobs and facilitate economic integration.

Read more: