The Week Ahead: August 17-21

Communications Associate

August 17, 2015


“Scripture teaches that when one part of the Church suffers, all parts suffer with it. None of us can stand idly by when our brothers and sisters are suffering under a broken system. Our immigration laws have failed to meet our labor needs, uphold the rule of law, and respect human dignity and family unity — values we as Christians hold steadfastly.”
– Pastor Diego Trujillo of the Centro de Victoria church in Las Vegas, Aug. 16


2016 Candidates Stake Out Positions on Immigration
The race to 2016 continued to make headlines this weekend as presidential candidates from both parties attended the Iowa State Fair to stump for their campaigns.

Although GOP candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham have spoken out in support of immigration reform on the campaign trail, Donald Trump built on his offensive and unrealistic remarks about immigrants in the United States. Speaking to NBC, Trump said he would reverse President Obama’s executive actions on immigration and deport all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. if elected president.

Trump’s rhetoric is good for headlines, but polls show that 65 percent of Americans favor providing the opportunity for immigrants without authorization to earn legal status and citizenship. In addition, changing demographics will continue to shape our nation’s future. Candidates need to answer serious questions about how their approach toward immigrants and immigration will strengthen families, our economy, our communities and respect for the rule of law.

All times Eastern unless noted.

Friday, August 22
• 10 a.m. The International Rescue Committee will host a CitizenshipWorks Workshop in English and Spanish. Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, N.Y. Register here.

Saturday, August 23
• 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 Ext. 1423.
• 10 a.m. The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit will host a Citizenship Clinic in English, Spanish and Arabic. 1927 Rosa Parks Blvd, Detroit. For more information call 313-841-2240.
• 10 a.m. CT. Bonding Against Adversity will host Citizenship Classes in English. East Aldine District, 5333 Aldine Mail Route Rd., Houston. For more information contact Mariana Sanchez, 281-799-9076.
• 10 a.m. PT. Cal-Pac NIC and La Puente United Methodist Church will host a Citizenship Clinic in English and Spanish. La Puente United Methodist Church, 15701 Hill St., La Puente, CA.

Last week’s summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


CONNEXIONW: Houston Can Help New Americans Thrive
What an exciting time to be in Houston: we live in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country with substantial demographic changes taking place within less than one generation. Houston, with its vibrant patchwork of immigrant communities, offers a glimpse of what the United States will look like in a not-too-distant future. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, immigrants make up more than 22 percent of Houston’s population, almost double that of 1990.
In view of that, the ways in which our community regards and welcomes immigrants will affect our overall success and growth.
Effective approaches will help build up our city’s economic competitiveness and community relationships. Immigrants in Houston must have the ability to participate fully in all these areas.
Leading up to the recent launch of a nationwide effort to build an Immigration 2020 agenda ensuring that new Americans have the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential, local leaders have been thoughtful in discussing the solutions that Houston needs to meet these challenges.
I’ve met with Houston leaders from faith, law enforcement, business and educational organizations, all of whom value moving this conversation forward and understand its high stakes in their sectors, in our city and in our country.
Read more here:

POLITICO: Obama plan leaves child migrants adrift
One year later, child migrants from Central America are still paying a heavy price for President Barack Obama’s decision last summer to rush them into deportation proceedings without first taking steps to provide legal counsel.
New government data this week offer a first, full-year tally for the immigration courts, and the numbers show that among the 13,451 cases completed since July 18, 2014, barely half the children had legal representation.
The picture has improved over time, but in 38 percent of the cases completed since last Christmas, the child was still without counsel. Even since mid-April, there have been an average of 100 case completions per week in which there is no record of a defense attorney.
At one level, this picture is skewed by the stubbornly high level of deportation orders issued by judges “in absentia” when the child defendant does not appear in court. But migrant rights attorneys argue that this is a Catch-22 situation: Without access to counsel, more children stay away and have no realistic chance of appeal.
Local governments, such as New York City, have stepped in to try to fill some of the holes. But Republicans in Congress are refusing to provide money sought by Obama for attorneys. And a bill introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) in March to require the Justice Department to appoint counsel remains buried in the House Judiciary Committee.
The political stalemate in Washington has driven Constitutional appeals to the federal courts but thus far, these have produced more promises than real relief.
Read more here:

FORBES: The Changing Patterns Of U.S. Immigration: What The Presidential Field Should Know, And You
Public concern about illegal immigration, particularly among older native-born Americans, as well as the the rising voting power of Latinos, all but guarantees that immigration is an issue that will remain at the forefront in the run-up to the 2016 elections. Nor is this merely a right-wing issue, as evidenced in the controversy over “sanctuary cities”; even the progressive Bernie Sanders has expressed concern that massive uncontrolled immigration could “make everybody in America poorer.”
Yet despite the political heat, there is precious little dispassionate examination of exactly where immigrants are coming from, and where in the U.S. they are headed. To answer these questions, we turned to demographer Wendell Cox, who analyzed the immigration data between 2010 and 2013 for the 52 metropolitan statistical areas with populations over a million.
One would think listening to the likes of Donald Trump that the country is awash with hordes of unwanted newcomers from Mexico and Central America. But sorry, Donald, the numbers show a changing picture in terms of who is coming, as well as the places that they choose to settle.
Perhaps due to Mexico’s stronger economy and lower birthrates, Mexicans are no longer as dominant in the ranks of new immigrants as in the last decade. Mexico is still the single largest place of origin of new immigrants, but from 2010 through 2013, Mexican migration to the U.S. dropped 17.7% to an average of 140,266 a year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile the inflow from Asia has increased: immigration from China is up 25.8% to 74,458 a year, and 10.7% from India to 65,336 a year. Asia now equals the Americas as a source of new immigrants, with each accounting for 40% of the annual total.
Read more here: