The Week Ahead: September 8-11
September 8, 2015
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Immigration is one of the biggest reasons for America’s economic success. [The] ability to integrate immigrants has been, and remains, one of our key competitive advantages over the other advanced industrialized economies of Europe and East Asia.”
– Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations, Sept. 1
As Congress Returns, Questions on Immigration Remain
Congress returns from its August recess this week, and questions remain as to which direction it will take on immigration: Will members follow the campaign trail’s path of hardline rhetoric or instead have a constructive conversation?
Some members of Congress and especially the GOP presidential hopefuls seem determined to inflame passions, but even voters in conservative battleground states such as Iowa aren’t buying it. And last week, the County Sheriffs of Colorado, representing all 64 county sheriffs, signed a letter opposing a U.S. House bill on so-called sanctuary cities and addressing ICE holds and detainers in general.
Repeatedly, farmers, economists, law enforcement, business leaders, border mayors, pastors and others from across the country have called for commonsense immigration reform that best benefits our families, communities, workforce and economy.
Whichever path politicians choose to take, the presidential candidates and members of Congress alike must answer five key questions regarding immigrants and immigration.
Immigration Looms Large This Fall
As refugees continue to flee war and other turmoil, pressure will increase on the Obama administration and GOP candidates to come up with a humane response. The U.S. and Europe should treat these refugees and other migrants with the dignity that all people deserve.
Given the crises that are triggering migration, the U.S. should expand the number of refugees it takes in — taking all necessary measures to ensure national security.
The conversation around refugees and immigration more broadly will be focused later this month by the pope’s visit and the likelihood immigration will be a central focus for him.
Pope Francis has urged European religious communities to take in refugees, and he has made the plight of all immigrants a central focus of his papacy. Immigration advocates also are hoping that his visit to Washington will help move the debate forward on ending immigrant detention.
All times Eastern unless noted.
Wednesday, September 9
• 10 a.m. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing, “Violence on the Border: Keeping U.S. Personnel Safe.” Room 2154, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington D.C.
Thursday, September 10
• 8 a.m. CT. Bonding Against Adversity will host a CitizenshipWorks Workshop in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Lone Star College Greenspoint Center, 250 N. Sam Houston Pkwy, Houston. For more information call 281-799-9076.
• 10 a.m. PT South Asian Network will host a Citizenship Clinic in Hindi, Urdu, Bangla and Gujarati. South Asian Network Office, 18173 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA. For more information call 562-403-0488 ext 100.
Saturday, September 12
• 10 a.m. CIMA Organization will host a Citizenship Clinic in English and Spanish. Kendale Lake Public Library Branch, 15205 SW 88 St., Miami. For more information contact German Barriga, 305-416-7902.
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:
BLOOMBERG VIEW (Editorial): The True Immigration Crisis
September 3, 2015
Anchor babies, birthing centers, giant walls, mass deportations: The debate over immigration in the U.S. presidential campaign often calls to mind a hyperventilating Hollywood drama rather than a calm, intelligent discussion.
The most urgent issue is not the cost of illegal immigration, because that cost is modest at worst. The challenge is to reform the country’s immigration system — which still labors under principles from the 1950s — so that it works for the 21st century.
The Swerving Path to Citizenship
It’s wrong to call for this discussion to be postponed until the border is secure, as some Republicans wish, since securing the border (insofar as that’s possible) goes hand in hand with fixing the system. And it’s simply delusional, as some Republicans also wish, to think that the roughly 11 million unauthorized immigrants already in the country can be deported or somehow wished away.
As a practical matter, and putting humanitarian considerations aside, deportations on anything like that scale would take years and involve prohibitive expense — both directly and through their wider economic effects. It isn’t going to happen. In most cases, some way to render the presence of unauthorized immigrants lawful will have to be found.
Read more here: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-03/the-true-immigration-crisis
NEW YORK TIMES: Iowans Question G.O.P. Talk on Illegal Immigration
By Julie Bosman
September 4, 2015
Like many voters in Iowa, Ben Hoopes has been listening closely to all the tough talk about illegal immigration coming from the Republican presidential candidates who have crisscrossed his state every week.
There was Donald J. Trump’s plan to build an impenetrable wall across the border and force Mexico to share the cost. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said that immigrants who do not fully integrate and learn English are guilty of “invasion.” Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, last weekend suggested tracking new immigrants like human FedEx packages.
Mr. Hoopes, 33, a salesman and Republican voter in Muscatine, believes something needs to be done about unauthorized workers in Iowa, so he welcomes the attention to the issue. But he worries: Are the candidates telling the crowds only what they want to hear? Is a complicated issue becoming oversimplified?
“It’s just a show right now,” Mr. Hoopes said, pausing from his job at a carpet store downtown. “I heard today that Scott Walker might want to build a wall on the Canadian border. I didn’t realize illegal Canadian immigration was such a big problem.”
Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/05/us/politics/iowans-question-republican-talk-on-illegal-immigration.html?_r=0
REUTERS: As Europe handles waves of Syrian refugees, U.S. is slow to help
By Doina Chiacu
September 8, 2015
WASHINGTON As Europe grapples with a flood of refugees from the Syrian war and the pope urges Catholics to help them, the U.S. government may lack the political appetite to offer American soil as a safe haven to more than the current trickle of Syrians.
Refugee and immigrant groups had urged the United States to admit more Syrian refugees long before the crisis erupted this summer in Europe.
Some hoped global outrage over images of a drowned Syrian toddler in Turkey last week, and Pope Francis’ call on Sunday for European parishes to take in refugees – coming just two weeks before a trip to the United States – might help prod the United States into action.
“The U.S. could and should be doing more. The silence of the White House on this is unacceptable,” said Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission.
A White House spokesman said on Monday the Obama administration “is actively considering a range of approaches to be more responsive to the global refugee crisis, including with regard to refugee resettlement.”
Spokesman Peter Boogaard said in an emailed statement that the United States had provided over $4 billion in humanitarian assistance since the Syrian crisis began and more than $1 billion in assistance this year.” He added: “The U.S. is the single largest donor to the Syrian crisis.”
Read more here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/08/us-europe-migrants-usa-idUSKCN0R725O20150908