The Week Ahead: August 10-14

August 10, 2015


“It felt like I could be part of the society I’ve always grown up in.”
– Yajaira Gonzalez, 20, who obtained a Nebraska driver’s license days after a new state law let Dreamers apply, Aug. 10


Immigration Remains Central as Campaign Focus Shifts to Iowa
Between Thursday and Aug. 22, no fewer than 18 presidential candidates will bring their messages to Iowa during the State Fair.

The Des Moines Register is sponsoring a “Soapbox” at which individual candidates will speak for 20 minutes apiece. So far, Republican and four Democratic candidates are confirmed.

The appearances follow last week’s Republican debate, at which the candidates addressed immigrants and immigration. Iowa voters care about the tone of the debate. From agriculture to technology, immigrants are important to Iowa’s economy. Evangelical Christian pastors in the state are among those speaking out for a respectful conversation as well as for immigration reform.

For more on Iowa’s changing demographics and the importance of immigration, please see the Forum’s Iowa primer.

Feds Respond to Family Detention Ruling
Late Thursday, the Obama administration filed its response to U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee’s July 24 ruling that family detention violates a 1997 settlement agreement establishing the treatment and care of immigrant children.

The Department of Justice asked Judge Gee to reconsider her decision. The response, which has already received significant criticism from immigration advocates and congressional Democrats, argued that family detention is necessary to deter undocumented immigrants from coming to the United States.

The 1997 settlement requires that immigrant children be placed in “the least restrictive setting appropriate” and promotes a presumption of release for immigrant children.

Attorneys representing immigrant families had reported that large numbers of women and children were being released on bond or are placed on electronic monitoring devices at detention facilities in both Texas and Pennsylvania.

Many advocates, as well as congressional Democrats and other prominent voices, have called on the federal government to end family detention.

All times Eastern unless noted.

Thursday, August 13
• 10:30 a.m. The Bipartisan Policy Center will host “Post-Debate: A National Conversation on Immigration” with Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center, and Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Bipartisan Policy Center, 1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, August 15
• 9 a.m. CT. Proyecto Inmigrante will host a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English and Spanish. St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 202 South MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX. For more information contact Bryan Miller, 888-793-2182.
• 9 a.m. CT. Catholic Charities Of Dallas will host a Citizenship Clinic in English, Spanish, Arabic and Burmese. Catholic Charities Of Dallas, 9461 LBJ Freeway, Ste 100, Dallas. For more information contact Luis Arango, 214-634-7182.
• 9 a.m. PT. NALEO will host a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English and Spanish. Salt Lake Park Recreation Center, 3401 E. Florence Ave, Huntington Park, CA. For more information contact 888-839-8682

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WALL STREET JOURNAL: Majority of Republicans Backs a Legal Status for Immigrants — WSJ/NBC Poll
By Laura Meckler
August 3, 2015
A majority of Republicans support some sort of legal status for people in the U.S. illegally, amid heavy campaigning against illegal immigration by many GOP presidential candidates, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.
Poll participants were given three options for policy regarding illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Among Republicans surveyed, the poll found 36% support a pathway that eventually allows people in the U.S. illegally to become citizens, and 17% favoring a legal status short of citizenship, for a total of 53%.
Read more here:

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: Two Utah ‘top cops’ oppose forcing police to enforce immigration laws
By Lee Davidson
August 5, 2015
Two top cops in Utah joined a letter Wednesday urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject legislation this week that they say would require local police to help enforce federal immigration laws — and create distrust with local immigrants.
Utah Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires and Salt Lake City Interim Police Chief Mike Brown joined 16 other national law enforcement officials in the letter organized by the National Immigration Forum.
It opposes the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act” scheduled for debate on Thursday by the Judiciary Committee, where both Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are members.
The House passed similar legislation on July 23. Reps. Mia Love and Jason Chaffetz, both R-Utah, voted for it. Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, both R-Utah, were absent.
Read more here:

HUFFINGTON POST (Burke Op-Ed): Legal Immigration Key Driver of Economic Growth in U.S.
By Dick Burke
August 5, 2015
Once again the topic of immigration is dominating the news and as usual, the noise is drowning out the truth.
As the CEO of a company that works on a daily basis with U.S. companies seeking to hire foreign nationals, I can say with certainty three things. First, we should never, ever confuse legal immigration with illegal immigration. Second, legal immigration programs have resulted in thousands of U.S. companies being able to hire key employees who have helped them grow their business. Third, the current system is frustrating, confusing, stressful and inefficient – and for the sake of our economy it needs to be improved.
Nationwide, our company has worked with more than 3,300 U.S. companies on their immigration and visa needs. We’ve filed nearly 5,000 cases this year alone. Our clients tell us that the foreign individuals they are trying to hire are key to the success of their business, which is why they put forth significant time and investment in the process. They also tell us that a diverse workforce is increasingly a competitive advantage for them.
Read more here: