The Week Ahead: March 20-24

Communications Associate

March 20, 2017

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We will lose our food security, we will lose a major piece of our rural economies, and we will lose jobs.”

— Craig Regelbrugge, National Co-Chairman of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, about the importance of foreign workers, March 13

SUMMARY

Congress Considers Enforcement and Border Funding

As Congress continues to address the federal budget and discuss President Trump’s proposed budget, they will grapple with proposed spending related to the presidential administration’s executive orders related to interior immigration enforcement and border policies.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on staffing resources and requirements for the Department of Homeland Security.

A budget supplemental request includes $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, including for the wall and for enforcement, which Congress likely will consider before the end of April.

A recent blog post addresses the cost of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and roadblocks the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would face to construct the barrier. With its limited authority to pay for it using funds that Congress already has appropriated, DHS could pay immediately for only about 2.1 percent of the total cost.

ICE Publishes First Weekly Detainer Report amid Controversy

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its first weekly report today publicizing jurisdictions that reject immigration detainers, federal requests to state and local law enforcement agencies to hold individuals suspected of being in the country without authorization. These reports follow guidelines from the Trump administration’s executive order on interior immigration enforcement.

Some see the Declined Detainer Outcome Reports as an attempt to pressure jurisdictions to enforce immigration detainers, while the Trump administration states that the effort is to provide the public with information regarding criminal actions committed by undocumented immigrants and regarding which jurisdictions do not honor detainers.

A policy paper, “A Path to Public Safety: The Legal Questions around Immigration Detainers,” examines problems associated with immigration detainers. Legal and constitutional concerns often prevent cities and counties from honoring immigration detainers, which are voluntary.

Polling Highlights Continued Support for Broad Immigration Reform

A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicates that the majority of Americans disagree with the Trump administration’s immigration plans.

Ninety percent of respondents — and 87 percent of Republicans polled — support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have resided in the United States for many years, have jobs, speak English and are willing to pay back any taxes they owe.

About 60 percent expressed greater concern that the administration’s deportation efforts would be overzealous than that it would disregard violent criminals.

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:

http://immigrationforum.org/blog/legislative-bulletin-friday-march-17-2017/

 MUST READS:

CNN.COM (Noorani Op-Ed): Hawaii judge upholds America’s ‘Golden Rule’
By Ali Noorani
March 16, 2017

My parents immigrated to America from Pakistan in the early 1970s. They worked hard, they saved money, they raised a family. They started a successful physical therapy practice that served everyone from farm workers to minor league baseball players to people with disabilities.

Growing up, I remember the patients who came to their office as much as I remember my father making house calls to help those who couldn’t leave their beds.

But indelibly seared into my mind is the painting that greeted each who walked through the office doors: Norman Rockwell’s “Golden Rule.”

The diversity of people and religions Rockwell depicted, the introspection required by the injunction “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” left a deep imprint. It was a principle that our nation’s leadership at the time held dear. In fact, none other than First Lady Nancy Reagan had presented the restored original mosaic to the United Nations in 1985 as a gift on behalf of the United States.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/16/opinions/travel-ban-golden-rule-noorani/index.html

DENVER POST: How immigrants are vital to the Colorado and U.S. economy
By Aldo Svaldi
March 13, 2017

As a Mexican native and U.S. citizen, Luis Estrada initially viewed President Trump’s stance on immigration as political posturing, an effort to score points with his base of supporters.

But he glimpsed a darker attitude toward immigrants when a friend without legal status asked him to serve as guardian of his young son if the time came he were suddenly deported to Mexico.

“They don’t know what is going to happen to them,” Estrada said of people living in the U.S. without proper documentation. Reports of recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids followed by quick deportations have left immigrants without legal status on edge. How do they plan to stock their businesses and create their budgets when living with such uncertainties?

Estrada, a clean-cut and soft-spoken accountant by training, worked his way up from a laborer to a supervisor at a Denver-area landscaping firm. He said he has stopped watching TV news to avoid getting even more discouraged about dialogue that increasingly paints immigrants and immigration as bad for the country.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/03/11/immigrants-us-colorado-economy/

THE GUARDIAN: Undocumenteds fade from the city they helped build
By Amanda Holpuch
March 17, 2017

It becomes easier every week to imagine America’s cities without undocumented workers.

Consider Charlotte, North Carolina, where the construction industry has relied on them in the past couple of decades as both its skyline and its appeal to business have grown. But now they are vanishing from its building sites, fearful of Donald Trump’s expansion of the deportation net.

Some retreat from their commutes after spotting an undercover police car; others take a sick day after seeing a Facebook post about an immigration raid. Like the undocumented in other sectors, they stay at home and when they miss work, there are no citizens to replace them.

David, a builder from Mexico, is one of more than 20 people the Guardian spoke with about the undocumented community in Charlotte, where 5.44% of people in the county are undocumented. Nationwide, 3.5% of the population is undocumented. In a three-part series, we will examine how a city would be affected if such workers were no longer there. This article looks at David’s industry – construction – while pieces to follow will focus on the food sector and education.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/mar/17/undocumented-immigrants-charlotte-north-carolina-construction