The Week Ahead: July 11-15

Assistant Director of Communications

July 11, 2016


“As law enforcement leaders dedicated to preserving the safety and security of our communities, we have concerns about legislative proposals that would attempt to impose punitive, ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies on state and local law enforcement. … Attempts to defund so-called sanctuary cities regularly sweep too broadly, punishing jurisdictions that engage in well-established community policing practices or adhere to federal court decisions that have found federal immigration detainers to violate constitutional protections.”

—Letter to senators from Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force members, July 6 


On Capitol Hill, a Conversation on Welcoming Refugees

Improving the conversation around refugees and refugee resettlement was the focus of a Capitol Hill briefing this morning.

Speakers included Canadian Member of Parliament Arif Virani, the Parliamentary Secretary of Immigration; Wendy Young, President of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND); and Bill Canny, Executive Director of Migration and Refugee Services for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. David Rennie, Washington Bureau Chief for The Economist, moderated.

Speakers highlighted the need for compassion and innovation as the world addresses the largest displacement crisis on record.

For updates from the event, visit @NatImmForum on Twitter.

Network Focuses Attention on International Student Retention

On Tuesday, the Welcoming Economies Global Network will highlight the importance to our economy of retaining international students who come to the U.S. to study.

Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) make up a crucial and rapidly growing segment of the economy, but researchers estimate that by 2020 the nation will face a shortfall of 1.3 million workers in these fields.

International students, whose studies comprise STEM and business fields disproportionately, could help fill that gap. But because of outdated immigration policies, too many talented students are unable to stay in the country and get jobs following graduation.

Follow #ImmigrantImpact on Tuesday for more.

Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


THE HILL: Bipartisan House group asks for lower immigration fees
By Rafael Bernal
July 7, 2016

A bipartisan group of legislators is petitioning immigration authorities to reconsider a hike in naturalization fees proposed in May.

Led by Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the group on Wednesday wrote to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Leon Rodríguez, saying fees have “nearly tripled” in the past decade, leading to “a sharp drop in applications for naturalization.”

“It is imperative that we lower the cost of the naturalization process. When millions of law-abiding people achieve citizenship, our communities benefit and the U.S. economy grows and strengthens,” Cárdenas wrote.

Read more:

NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM BLOG (Tran Post): Perkins Act Reauthorization Would Help Labor Market, Including Immigrants
By Kathy Tran
July 7, 2016

Today the House Committee on Education and the Workforce marks up an important bill for building the skills of workers, including immigrants, to meet the needs of employers and growing our economy.

The “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act” would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins Act). The Perkins Act is the main source of federal funding for secondary and postsecondary career and technical education (CTE) programs, and its reauthorization is important.

Occupations requiring “middle skills” — a higher level of education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree — currently represent the biggest portion of the U.S. labor market and are projected to grow. Moreover, wages and salaries of some middle-skill occupations, such as aircraft mechanics and electricians, can actually exceed those of college graduates. Middle-skill workers such as dental hygienists, building instructors, computer support specialists and others may earn a median salary of more than $50,000. In 2012, middle-skill jobs accounted for 54 percent of all jobs in the U.S.

To address employers’ needs and grow our economy, it is important to build the skills of workers, including immigrants, to fill these jobs. CTE programs can help adult workers prepare for middle-skill jobs. About 36 million adults in the U.S. would benefit from upskilling by improving their literacy, numeracy and occupational skills through workforce training programs, according to data from 2012. Immigrants comprised one-third of adults with low literacy and one-quarter of adults with low numeracy skills. Furthermore, foreign-born individuals accounted for about 87 percent of the 22.8 million people who live in the U.S. and are considered limited English proficient.

Read more: