The Week Ahead: Oct. 13-16

Communications Associate

October 13, 2015


“While there are many different perspectives on the topic of immigration reform, it is critical that we continue to have constructive debate. Now is not the time for bitter rhetoric or divisive politics. Congress must come together to do what’s best for the American people.”
– Rep. David Valadao (R-California), Oct. 9


Democratic Presidential Candidates to Debate
Tonight, the top five Democratic presidential candidates will partake in their first debate.

CNN is hosting the debate, which begins at 8:30 p.m. Eastern and will include Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee. Anderson Cooper will moderate.

As both parties look ahead to their primaries, voters will be watching to see how candidates answer the five important questions on immigration.

National Immigration Forum to Honor Leaders in Immigration
The National Immigration Forum will host its annual Keepers of the American Dream awards Wednesday to honor individuals who embody the spirit of immigrant achievement, contribute significantly to the well-being of immigrants in the United States, and advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.

This year’s honorees are Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell Technology Group; Diane Portnoy, Founder and CEO of The Immigrant Learning Center; and Lorella Praeli, a Dreamer and immigrant rights advocate.

All times Eastern unless noted.

Tuesday, October 13
• 8:30 p.m. Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, hosted by CNN.

Wednesday, October 14
• 6:45 p.m. The National Immigration Forum will host the annual Keepers of the American Dream awards. W Hotel, 515 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C. Click here to register. For questions about tickets or sponsorships, please contact Robin Metalitz.

Thursday, October 15
• 9 a.m. PT Rock Harbor Church will host a pastors conference, “Cultivate” with the Global Immersion Project, Solidarity, Trellis and World Relief. Rock Harbor Church, Costa Mesa, CA.
• 12 p.m. Harvard University will host “The Patchwork Within: Variation in Local Government Responses to Immigrants Across Local Actors,” with Abigail Fisher Williamson, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law at Trinity College. Department of Sociology, William James Hall, Room 601, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA.
• 1:30 p.m. The Pew Charitable Trusts will hold a panel discussion, “Deciding Who Drives,” on policy approaches to providing driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants. To register, click here. 901 E St. NW, Washington, D.C. The event also will be streamed live online.
• 4 p.m. The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility will host a lecture on“Securitized Immigration and the Electronic Surveillance of Workers in the United States” with Daniel M. Goldstein, Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School, 6 East 16th Street, New York, N.Y.
• New Life Community Church will host “UNITY 2015,” a two-day pastors conference in Aurora, CO. Local evangelical leaders will speak about immigration and the church’s role in welcoming immigrants. New Life Community Church, 17690 E. Iliff Avenue, Aurora, CO.

Saturday, October 17
• 10 a.m. Hispanic Unity of Florida will host a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English, Spanish and Creole. Hispanic Unity Of Florida Casa Sanjuan Educational Center, 5811 Johnson Street, Hollywood, FL. For more information call 954-964-8884, ext. 216.
• 3 p.m. CT. “Remember Immigration Reform?” one of several immigration panels at the Texas Tribune Festival, will feature Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum; José Menéndez, State Senator; Bill Hammond, CEO of the Texas Association of Business; Rebecca Acuña, Executive Director of the Latino Center for Leadership Development; Hope Andrade, Former Texas Workforce Commissioner and former Texas Secretary of State; and moderator Julián Aguilar, Border Bureau Chief for The Texas Tribune. The panel will be held at 3pm in AT&T Center, Amphitheater 204, 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WALL STREET JOURNAL (Editorial): Those Assimilating Immigrants
By the Editorial Board
October 7, 2015
Sorry to break the good news to some of our conservative friends, but it turns out that most immigrants to America are assimilating as their forebears did. That’s the gist of a new 400-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which looks at everything from English proficiency, education levels and family structure to health, crime and employment.
Here’s the money sentence: “Across all measurable outcomes, integration increases over time, with immigrants becoming more like the native-born with more time in the country, and with the second and third generations becoming more like other native-born Americans than their parents were.”
Across all measurable outcomes. That bears repeating, especially when so many are painting immigrants who come here to work as criminals or welfare mooches. To take one example, the Donald Trump brain trust at the Center for Immigration Studies recently found “significantly higher welfare use associated with immigrants.”
But even CIS admits they didn’t measure individuals. To get to the headline-grabbing result, CIS had to measure households. Given that immigrant households are typically larger than those of native-born Americans, simple arithmetic means that the more people you have in a home, the more likely one of these people will receive some sort of government benefit.
This kind of political spin makes the National Academies report so welcome. Their scope was large. The panel notes that if you add up immigrants here legally and illegally, and then throw in the children of both groups, it works out to about 78.1 million people. That’s one of four members of the U.S. population, so it’s important to know how well they are integrating.
The report finds that roughly 85% of America’s foreign-born population speak a language other than English at home. For most of these, that language is Spanish. But that’s not the whole story. English-language proficiency, it says, may be happening even “faster now” than it did for earlier waves of mainly European immigrants. Today many people arriving already speak English, and second and third generations grow in proficiency.
Read more:

POST INDEPENDENT (Colorado) (Editorial): We need immigration law grounded in reality
October 5, 2015
We — the Post Independent, Garfield County, Colorado and the nation — are not done talking and even arguing about immigration.
It’s a healthy and necessary conversation.
Last week’s editorial, “We stand in support of immigrants,” generated vigorous, mostly civil discussion among our readers, who shared the English and Spanish versions more than 1,500 times on Facebook.
This is good, because Congress, which has become accomplished at not addressing critical issues such as the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, mass killings and even the budget and successful small programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, has put immigration reform on the shelf in favor of strident political polarization.
This is despite the fact that a majority of Americans want to fix an immigration system widely seen as broken. According to Gallup and Pew polls this summer, more than two-thirds of Americans believe that people in the country improperly now should be allowed to stay for work and/or to become citizens.
Following Barack Obama’s re-election, the Republican National Committee did deep naval-gazing to determine what went wrong. Among its conclusions: “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.”
And yet conservative zealots blocked efforts to bring reform forward, and today Donald Trump has polluted our political discourse with preposterous calls to deport the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally. He even said last week that, in the nightmarish world in which he imagines being president, he would deport Syrian refugees the United States might take in.
Trump, who loves the spotlight and knows it shines anew with each outlandish statement, is not going to be president. His support is flat at 20-25 percent support among Republican voters, who make up about 25-30 percent of the electorate. In other words, his poll support really reflects less than 10 percent of the full electorate, and he has no broader appeal.
We believe that instead of being cowed by the extreme minority on immigration (and other issues) the United States should pursue policy grounded in reality that would live up to its purported values as a beacon of human hope and decency.
Read more:

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER (Editorial): What N.C. Republicans get wrong about sanctuary cities
October 5, 2015
If you believe – as many conservatives do – that the power of government should be concentrated whenever possible at the state and local level, then you should raise an eyebrow yet again at a bill passed last week by N.C. Republicans.
House Bill 318 would forbid local governments from ordering their police forces to de-emphasize or stop the enforcement of federal immigration laws. Such “sanctuary city” provisions are in place formally and informally in dozens of cities and counties across the country, including Charlotte.
It’s not news that Republican lawmakers in North Carolina want to tell cities how to do their business. But the bill, which Gov. Pat McCrory is likely to sign into law this month, also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of immigration law and how it’s enforced.
Sanctuary cities have become a flashpoint in the immigration debate in recent months, thanks in part to some misinformed rhetoric that the governor parroted last week. Said McCrory: “As governor, I believe that every law enforcement officer is sworn to uphold not only the laws of North Carolina, but also the laws of the United States … including our immigration laws.”
But police in sanctuary cities aren’t ignoring the law, and they’re not hiding undocumented immigrants from the clutches of federal agents. What those cities have chosen to do is not use their resources – meaning officers and jails – to serve the purposes of federal programs. That means officers are not asking people their immigration status at traffic stops – and therefore not being obligated to bring undocumented workers in. It also means when undocumented immigrants are arrested for unrelated crimes, many of these cities have chosen not to keep them jailed solely to wait for federal agents to arrive.
Read more: