The Week Ahead: April 11-15

Communications Associate

April 11, 2016


“One million people are on non-immigrant visas and can’t start companies. Anyone with an iota of intelligence would be able to see that the immediate, fastest, and easiest way of encouraging entrepreneurship would be to give these people who have graduated from public schools and top MBA programs a path to permanent residence.”

–         Seshank Vemuri, immigrant entrepreneur, April 11


House to Consider Bill on Southwest Border Wednesday
H.R. 4482, the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016, will come up Wednesday on the House floor.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Arizona), would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to prepare a southwest border threat analysis. The legislation also would require the U.S. Border Patrol to design a new strategic plan based on Department of Homeland Security’s threat analysis.

The legislation, which has endorsements from both sides of the aisle, moves on to the floor this week after passing the Committee on Homeland Security last month.

Innovative Program Extends English Training to Retail Employees
Nearly 1.5 million retail workers have limited English language proficiency, which can hinder businesses’ competitiveness and keep employees from advancing to more skilled and better-paid jobs.

To address this concern, the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce program has launched Skills and Opportunities for the New American Workforce, which started offering classes in Houston, Miami and New York City this month.

The program is partnering locally with Kroger and Lone Star College in Houston; Publix and Miami Dade College in Miami; and Whole Foods, Westchester Community College and LaGuardia Community College in New York City to offer contextualized English language training for the retail sector.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


THE HILL (Hemphill Post): The importance of the H-2B program
By Carl Hemphill
April 8, 2016
As an employer, I rely on seasonal H-2B visa employees to sustain my small business during the busy season so we are able to keep the doors open year round.  Unfortunately, government bureaucracy has made it more difficult for me to get those workers and as a result, my business is struggling to stay open.
My busy season started on April 1st and I only had two men working. I usually have 47 workers and a full time supervisor, but due to processing delays, those additional workers never arrived.
That was because the Federal government has failed to move quickly to approve our requests for these workers.
You might say that I should hire local workers, but believe me I have tried.  In fact, that’s a requirement in the law.  You have to prove that you have tried to hire Americans to do these tough, but temporary jobs, which I did and I continue to do.
The simple fact is that most Americans don’t want these kinds of temporary jobs.  And that is why I have used the H-2B visa program, which not only helps to grow my business, but also helps to sustain American jobs.  Indeed, studies show that for every H-2B visa processed, close to five American jobs are sustained.
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Hemphill is president of Three Seasons Landscape Contracting Services, Inc.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Civil-Rights Groups Allege Some U.S. Authorities Steal from Deportees
Department of Homeland Security says it will investigate
By Kate O’Keeffe
April 6, 2016
Mexican and American civil-rights groups urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to investigate the alleged looting of deportees by some U.S. Customs officials along the southwest border.
The advocacy groups said in a letter to DHS dated Wednesday that Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials sometimes violate deportees’ rights and agency policies by confiscating and failing to return items such as cash, legal documents, phones, eyeglasses and medicine, as well as sentimental articles such as wedding rings and religious objects.
The alleged abuses can affect deportees long after they return to Mexico, say the complaining groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Ciudad Juárez-based Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional, which documents violations of the civil rights of Mexicans in the U.S.
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