The Week Ahead: Sept. 28-Oct. 2

Communications Associate

September 28, 2015


“The force of integration is strong. However we do it, we are good at it.”

— Mary C. Waters, Harvard sociologist and chair of a National Academies panel that released a report on immigrant integration, Sept. 21


Immigration and Nationality Act Marks 50 Years
Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act, legislation that changed the essence of America.

Fifty years later, our immigration debate continues to challenge policymakers at every level, offering a prime opportunity to reflect on how immigrant contributions have moved the country forward and will continue to do so in the next 50 years.

Tomorrow the National Immigration Forum hosts “America’s Potential: The Next 50 Years of the 1965 Immigration Act.” The event takes place amid a roiling immigration debate, but also the week after Pope Francis’ moral clarity and the scientific rigor of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine outlined a compassionate, constructive path forward.

The pope urged a “humane, just and fraternal” response to immigrants, while the National Academies released an exhaustive 432-page study showing that today’s immigrants to the U.S. integrate at least as well as preceding generations.

The report will be one topic of conversation during tomorrow’s event. Panelists include Harvard sociologist Mary C. Waters, who chaired the panel that completed the report. Additional details and other events marking the anniversary are listed below.

In addition, today Pew released a report on the growth in the foreign-born population since 1965, and the projected growth over the next 50 years. Their findings suggest that America’s foreign-born will continue to grow, from 13.9 percent today to 17.7 percent by 2065. Such growth will be crucial for bolstering America’s workforce and communities in the decades to come.

“The pope’s clarion call for civility, the Academies’ findings and the potential of our country provide the ideal foundation from which to look forward,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “This past week has shifted the tide. As Congress looks for new leadership following Speaker Boehner’s resignation, they would do well to seek conservatives who understand how important immigrants and immigration are to our success now and in the future.

“Our nation will thrive when new Americans have the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential.”

All times Eastern unless noted.

Monday, September 28
• 9 to 11 a.m. The National Academy of Sciences hosts a public briefing on its new study, “The Integration of Immigrants into American Society.” Members Room, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington. A webcast will be available here.

Tuesday, September 29
• 9 to 10:30 a.m. The National Immigration Forum hosts “America’s Potential: The Next 50 Years of the 1965 Immigration Act.” Speakers include Fernand Amandi, principal at Bendixen and Amandi International; Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio correspondent and author of A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story; Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino; Mee Moua, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC; Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum; and Mary C. Waters, M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. National Press Club, Holeman Lounge, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. Live stream available here.

Wednesday, September 30
• 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Migration Policy Institute hosts “The Immigration Act of 1965: Then and Now.” 50 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Registration required. For more information contact Lisa Dixon, 202-266-1929.

Thursday, October 1
• 10 a.m. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on S. 1814, the “Stop Sanctuary Cities Act.” 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
• 2 p.m. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest holds a hearing, “Oversight of the Administration’s FY 2016 Refugee Resettlement Program: Fiscal and Security Implications.” 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Friday, October 2
• 9 a.m. The Cato Institute hosts ““Fifty Years after Reform: The Successes, Failures, and Lessons from the Immigration Act of 1965.” Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. Register here or contact or 202-789-5229 for more information.

Saturday, October 3
• 9 a.m. CDT. Education Austin, Univision 62, NALEO Educational Fund and AILA host a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English and Spanish. Allan Elementary, 4900 Gonzales Dr., Austin, Texas. For more information contact Liliana Mireles, 210-815-4791.
• 9 to 11:30 a.m. CDT. OCA – Greater Houston hosts a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English, Spanish and Mandarin. Hope Clinic, 7001 Corporate Drive Ste. 120, Houston. For more information contact Aarica Chambers, 281-968-9131.
• 10 a.m. NALEO Educational Fund CIMA hosts a Citizenship Assistance Workshop in English and Spanish. Kendall Library, 15205 SW 88th St., Miami. For more details or registration please call 305-416-7902 or 786-346-3828.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


USA TODAY: U.S. foreign-born population nears high
By Alan Gomez
Sept. 28, 2015
The foreign-born population living in the USA has increased so rapidly that it could break a 125-year-old record within the next decade, according to a Pew Research Center report out Monday.
The percentage of people living in the USA who were born outside the country reached 13.7% in 2015 and is projected to hit a record 14.9% in 2025, the report said. The country’s previous high of 14.8% was set in 1890, when waves of Irish, Italian, Polish and other immigrants were coming to the USA.
The findings come at a critical time in the presidential campaign as candidates from both parties debate the proper role of immigration in the country. The foreign-born population represents a growing share of the electorate that Democrats and Republicans court because that voting bloc is big enough to tip presidential elections.
Leading Republicans, including front-runner Donald Trump, say legal and illegal immigration have gotten out of control. Trump and others say the country needs to limit legal immigration, and all the GOP candidates push for increased border security.
Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, have adopted a more welcoming message, calling for protections for undocumented immigrants living in the country and an immigration system that helps some groups of immigrants enter the country.
The term “foreign-born” includes naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, visa holders and undocumented immigrants.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a group that supports immigrant rights in the USA, said the influx of foreigners proves the USA remains a beacon of hope across the world, and politicians should accept that role for the country.
Read more here:

NEW YORK TIMES: Newest Immigrants Assimilating as Fast as Previous Ones, Report Says
By Julia Preston
Sept. 21, 2015
The newest generations of immigrants are assimilating into American society as fast and broadly as the previous ones, with their integration increasing over time “across all measurable outcomes,” according to a report published on Monday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Immigrants’ education levels, the diversity of their jobs, their wages and their mastery of English improved as they lived for more time in the United States, and the gains were even greater for their American-born children, the report concluded.
“The force of integration is strong,” said Mary C. Waters, a sociologist at Harvard who led the panel of 18 immigration scholars who wrote the more than 400-page report. “However we do it, we are good at it,” she said.
The report is an effort by scholars not engaged in politics to summon the latest research to address many contentious issues in the increasingly heated immigration debate. It is the first major report by the national academies on the integration of immigrants since a similarly sweeping overview in 1997. Its timing is linked to the 50th anniversary in October of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 1965 legislation that abolished restrictive national quotas and opened legal immigration to all countries.
The study was initiated at the request of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a federal agency, and the National Science Foundation as well as private foundations. The scholars drew on their own work and also conducted a wide-ranging review of recent research by others.
Read more here:

WASHINGTON POST (Sargent Post): Pope Francis issues a moral challenge to Trumpism
By Greg Sargent
Sept. 24, 2015
Pope Francis’ speech to Congress today was notable for all kinds of reasons, but his words about immigration were particularly striking, because they came amid an intense argument over the issue among Republican presidential candidates in which the loudest voice is the one whipping up anger and hatred and xenophobia.
To me, the Pope’s treatment of immigration is important not because of who he is (though countless people around the world see him as a moral authority). Rather, it is noteworthy because he captured one of the most fundamental dilemmas we face on immigration with a striking moral clarity that could assist our understanding of the debate. Here’s what he said:
In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants…
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.
Read more here:

COMMENTARY MAGAZINE (Chavez Op-Ed): Donald Trump’s America
By Linda Chavez
Sept. 23, 2015
It is a frightening place, Donald Trump’s America is—a nation in decline, invaded by foreign criminals and welfare scammers, competing in a world where the rules are stacked against us and where our competitors in China, Mexico, India, and elsewhere are fleecing us.
In Donald Trump’s America, Mexicans and other foreign workers are to blame for declining labor-force participation, unemployment, and stagnating wages among the native-born population, especially among blacks. “For black Americans without high school diplomas,” his official immigration policy paper notes, “the bottom has fallen out: more than 70 percent were employed in 1960, compared to less than 40 percent in 2000. Across the economy, the percentage of adults in the labor force has collapsed to a level not experienced in generations.” Trump either doesn’t realize or chooses to ignore that declining labor-force participation by black men predates the influx of millions of low-skilled immigrant workers by several decades and that its causes are far more complex.
No matter. Trump’s message is clearly striking a chord, and the chord is growing louder and the audience larger. The problem is that Trump is saying things that are not true, and even more surprising, he is taking wisdom and guidance from people whose ideological goals extend far beyond the control of our borders into areas that ought to horrify those who think he provides the path away from Barack Obama’s America.
He also wants to toughen the rules for refugees and asylum seekers, eliminate funding for refugee programs, and end the J-1 visa program that allows some foreign youth to come on a temporary basis as au pairs, camp counselors, and the like but also brings teachers, physicians, and foreign-exchange students to the United States.
Read more here: