The Week Ahead: Feb. 20-23

Communications Assistant

February 20, 2018


Congress Enters Recess as Dreamer Deadline Looms

Following the Senate’s failure to pass immigration legislation last week, the Senate and House are in recess until Feb. 27, leaving just five working days until the March 5 deadline for a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) solution — a deadline President Trump set when he rescinded the program last September.

The Senate rejected all proposed immigration bills Thursday, including two bipartisan proposals, leaving the fate of Dreamers in limbo after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) opened the floor to debate on major immigration legislation for the first time in nearly five years.

If Congress does not reach and pass a bipartisan agreement before March 5, thousands of Dreamers each week could lose their work authorization and protection from deportation.

Supreme Court May Decide Whether to Hear DACA Case

The Supreme Court could decide this week whether or not it will review a case that would determine the legality of President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.

After a federal district court in California issued an injunction that makes DACA renewals possible, the Trump administration appealed the decision directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will decide as early as Friday whether to review the case with or without the nationwide injunction in place, or refuse to consider the appeal and allow the lower court process to play out. Last week, a second federal district court in New York issued a similar injunction (not part of the administration’s current challenge).

If the justices agree to hear the appeal, they likely would not rule on the case until late June. If the lower court’s decision remains in place, DACA beneficiaries would be able to reapply for protections past March 5, but new applications will continue not to be processed.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: The Uprooting: Tight clamp on immigration hits Missouri farm town
By Jesse Bogan
Feb. 19, 2018

A legacy of civil war lives here on English Avenue, and her name is Alma Quinteros.
The rural Missouri street is a far cry from the one in El Salvador that she walked down in 1987 for her brother’s funeral procession. A driver for the U.S. Embassy, he was shot several times and his American vehicle was torched by young men with guns.
The attack was a mere drumbeat in the war between leftist guerrillas and the Salvadoran government and right-wing paramilitary groups that killed and displaced thousands of people from 1979 to 1992.
Quinteros was a prison guard and a member of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, or ARENA, party during the unrest. Her siblings also fought for the Salvadoran army.
She said she fled the first time in 1989 for safety concerns. She eventually returned, only to leave again when somebody threatened to kidnap her infant daughter.

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NPR: Why Employers In Georgia Are Watching The Immigration Debate Closely
By Joel Rose
Feb. 19, 2018

As the Senate tries to hash out a deal on immigration, it’s not just immigrants that have a lot at stake. So do the businesses that hire them.
“We are suffering very much from shortage of labor — skilled labor — here in Dalton,” said Ahmed Salama, the CEO of Oriental Weavers USA, the American branch of a giant Egyptian company. Salama recently showed me around his factory in Dalton, Ga., where hulking machines weave bright-colored yarn together.
Dalton bills itself as the “carpet capital of the world.” Wall-to-wall carpeting was basically invented here after World War II. Today, Dalton is ringed by big factories that make most of the carpet sold in the U.S.
It’s a conservative corner of northwest Georgia where Donald Trump won more than 70 percent of the vote. But even here, some employers are nervous that the Trump administration’s immigration policies will make it harder to find enough workers.

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MEDIUM (Noorani Post): What America’s Olympic Team Tells Us About a Changing America
By Ali Noorani
Feb. 16, 2018

Fox News made the correct decision to take down a recent column that argued the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change its motto to “Darker, Gayer, Different.” Because when they marched onto the field together, in the bitter cold of PyeongChang, the U.S. Olympic team stood out on the world stage. Not because of the delegation’s record size, boasting 242 members. And not because of its especially high-caliber athletes who are poised to compete for the most medals.
But because this U.S. Winter Olympic team is starting to, slowly, look more like the country it represents. That’s something to celebrate, not mock.
Maame Biney, was born in Ghana and is the first African-American woman to represent the U.S. in speed-skating. She told the Washington Post, “I was born in Ghana, so I am Ghanaian,” she said. “But I identify myself as American, because I’m here to represent America and do great things for America.”

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