The Week Ahead: Jan. 29 – Feb. 2

Communications Assistant

January 29, 2018


Trump to Focus on Immigration at First State of the Union

President Trump will give his first State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. Just over a week after the government shutdown, Trump is expected to strike a more cooperative, bipartisan tone, particularly on immigration.

Amid continuing negotiations, the release of a White House immigration framework last week, a legislative solution for Dreamers remains one of the most urgent issues facing Congress. While the State of the Union provides Trump with a chance to highlight his achievements during his first year in office, much of the focus of his address is expected to be on the administration’s hopes for an immigration deal in the near future.

The State of the Union is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday.

Momentum Builds for Bipartisan Dreamer Legislation

With bipartisan activity on Capitol Hill advancing the conversation on Dreamers, opportunity is mounting for Republican leadership to forge an immigration deal that balances border security with a solution for Dreamers.

Several bipartisan bills have been introduced that include a solution for Dreamers, including the USA Act and an updated version of the DREAM Act with new supporters on both sides of the aisle, as well as a proposal from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus introduced today.

The immigration framework the White House released last week signals an opportunity for continued constructive dialogue. The framework pairs a solution for Dreamers with proposals for substantial border wall funding and restrictions on legal immigration, leaving Congress with a number of questions to address.

TPS Decision for Syria Expected this Week

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make a decision this week on whether Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be extended for recipients from Syria. A decision is due by Tuesday.

The State Department has a travel warning in place for Syria, advising that no part of the country is safe from violence. Syria’s initial TPS designation was put in place in 2012, a year after the country’s ongoing civil war began.

The decision will affect around 6,000 Syrians, who could lose work authorization and face possible deportation back to a dangerous, war-torn nation if TPS is terminated. Additionally, advocates are concerned that a termination could encourage other nations with large Syrian populations to follow suit, potentially forcing millions to return to a country where the State Department warns that “kidnappings, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury.”


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


BUSINESS INSIDER (Noorani Op-Ed): Amazon’s finalist cities have one trait in common that few are talking about
By Ali Noorani
Jan. 29, 2018

Amazon’s Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos made headlines a few years ago when he predicted his own company’s eventual demise: “Companies have short life spans … Amazon will be disrupted one day.” According to Bezos, even the most iconic businesses in a given era have to iterate, constantly change course, and position themselves for the future in order to remain competitive.
Which is what makes the 20 cities Amazon has chosen as finalists for its second headquarters so noteworthy. Despite differences in geography, industry expertise, population density, transportation capabilities and more, these 20 cities share one thing in common: Immigrants play a key role powering their economies.
It’s no surprise that Amazon sees its own competitive future in a city that harnesses the cultural diversity, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work of men and women from around the world.Studies show that cities with a higher share of foreign-born residents experience increased economic output, higher wages and higher income levels.

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WASHINGTON POST: Anti-immigration Republicans have a decision to make about America’s future
By Fred Hiatt
Jan, 28, 2018

Message to Republicans: You can be pro-growth. You can be anti-immigration. But, honestly, you can’t be both.
Now, within the immigration debate, there are a lot of questions with no obvious right answers.
What’s the right balance of immigrants admitted for their skills and those allowed in because they have relatives here?
How much effort should be devoted to tracking down the undocumented, and how much to punishing companies that hire them?
What should we do about the millions of immigrants who came here illegally a decade or more ago and have become established members of their communities?
And — what is the right number of legal immigrants every year from now on?

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NEW YORK TIMES: The Facts Behind the Weaponized Phrase ‘Chain Migration’
By Linda Qiu
Jan. 26, 2018

As Congress considers a deal to provide relief for young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, President Trump and his Republican allies are demanding an end to what they call “chain migration,” or family-based immigration.
The term itself has become a point of contention. Democrats and immigration advocates claim it is a pejorative phrase that demeans recent arrivals. Republicans argue it’s a useful shorthand for family sponsorship.
Below is a look at the facts behind recent family/chain immigration patterns, the underlying federal policies that govern them, and a look at how use of the phrase “chain migration” itself has very suddenly become a contentious and polarizing part of the debate.

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BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Immigration Didn’t Have to Tear America Apart
By Peter Coy and Sahil Kapur
Jan. 25, 2018

The standoff over immigration in the U.S. Congress that shut the government for three days looks strange to a world that sees the U.S. as a nation of immigrants fighting over immigration. “America was a model for immigration, but that image has collapsed,” says Hidenori Sakanaka, head of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, which promotes more newcomers to insular Japan.
Americans with a sense of history find it odd, too. That’s because the deep partisan split over immigration is actually quite new. Anti-immigration sentiment has waxed and waned over the centuries, to be sure. But as recently as 2006, Democratic and Republican voters were only 5 percentage points apart in their favorability toward immigrants, according to Pew Research Center. Back then—just a dozen years ago—­business advocates of more open borders found a warmer welcome in the Republican Party. And on the Democratic side, a first-term senator named Barack Obama could write, “When I see Mexican flags waved at pro-immigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment.”

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DESERET NEWS: LDS Church statement on DACA calls for ‘hope and opportunity’
By Scott Taylor
Jan. 26, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — As immigration, amnesty and “Dreamers” return to this week’s headlines, the LDS Church released a statement Friday on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, calling for immigration provisions to strengthen and maintain families and to allow hope and opportunities for undocumented immigrants who have grown up in the United States and call it home.
In the statement, the LDS Church says it is not advocating for any specific legislative or executive solution, and it acknowledges each nation has a right to enforce its laws and secure its borders, with all people accountable for their actions in relation to those laws.
DACA, an Obama-era U.S. immigration policy, provided some protections for young immigrants — known as “Dreamers” — who either entered or remained in the country illegally. President Donald Trump ended the program last September.

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