The Week Ahead: June 12-16

Communications Associate

June 12, 2017


“It’s entirely understandable why any population, any community, would be concerned by a large influx of people who are very different from them. That’s a legitimate and understandable concern. But at least in the United States, we have no evidence of adverse effects, either economically or socially.”

— Nancy Qian, Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, June 6


Faith Leaders Voice Support for Refugees as Congress Considers Troubling Bills

Members of Congress will consider bills this week that would restrict the ability of refugees to make their case for staying in the United States.

The House Judiciary Committee will mark up two refugee-related bills Wednesday: the Protection of Children Act of 2017 (H.R. 495) and the Refugee Program Integration Restoration Act (H.R. 2826). The Protection of Children Act in particular would facilitate expedited removal of unaccompanied migrant children who are unable to prove within 48 hours that they are victims of trafficking or fear returning to their countries.

Meanwhile, faith leaders across the country are taking a stand to welcome refugees and other immigrants in their communities.

The Stand with Refugees campaign this week will highlight support for welcoming refugees to the U.S. The campaign, which will include thousands of calls to Congress and engagement on social media, will run through World Refugee Day on June 20.

And today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling blocking the Trump administration’s executive order that would ban refugee admissions, as well as ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries. The blocked executive order would suspend entry of all refugees for 120 days and reduce the cap on refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.

Workforce Skills Program Funding Allows American Workers and Immigrants to Thrive

The House of Representatives may vote to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act this week.

Most federal funding for secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs comes from the Perkins Act and allows American workers, including immigrants, to develop the skills necessary to fill labor shortages and address employers’ needs, contributing to an economy that benefits workers and employers alike.

In addition to skills training, Perkins funds also can go toward career and technical education programs that integrate English-language learning, which would provide opportunities for immigrants who have limited English proficiency to thrive as they contribute to the American workforce.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WALL STREET JOURNAL (Sartwell Op-Ed): Fiestas and Apple Orchards: Small-Town Life Before Trump
By Crispin Sartwell
June 9, 2017

York Springs, Pa.

President Trump has had a difficult time getting much of his agenda off the ground. But one thing I’ve already seen change under his administration: Immigration law is being enforced more aggressively. Out in rural Pennsylvania, in a county Donald Trump carried with 66% of the vote, this is already having a devastating effect on the economy and culture.

I live in York Springs, a no-stoplight town near Gettysburg, in the middle of what’s known as the South Mountain Fruit Belt. Adams County grows more apples than any other in Pennsylvania and is fourth-highest producer in the nation. The fruit belt is not the Rust Belt, but the biggest employers are canning plants: Knouse, Rice and Mott’s . Down the road in Biglerville, they call the high-school teams the Canners.

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THE STATE (South Carolina): Worker shortage puts a pinch on SC restaurants
By Jeff Wilkinson
June 10, 2017

Each summer, Ted Stambolitis, owner of the Flight Deck restaurant in Lexington, waits for the flood of applications coming in from high school and college kids looking for summer jobs.

“We didn’t have that flood this year,” said Stambolitis. “There are just so many jobs in other industries.”

Throughout the state, restaurants are struggling to find workers, from line cooks to wait staff to dishwashers. An improving economy, the growth of restaurants throughout the state and tightening immigration policies have put restauranteurs in a pinch.

“It’s one of the top issues facing our industry at this time,” said John Durst, president of the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. “There are more opportunities than there are people to fill them.”

The unemployment rate in South Carolina dropped to 4.3 percent in April, down from a high of near 12 percent in 2010. That translates into more options for not only young people, but all workers.

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REUTERS: Exclusive: Trump targets illegal immigrants who were given reprieves from deportation by Obama
By Mica Rosenberg and Reade Levinson
June 9, 2017

In September 2014, Gilberto Velasquez, a 38-year-old house painter from El Salvador, received life-changing news: The U.S. government had decided to shelve its deportation action against him.

The move was part of a policy change initiated by then-President Barack Obama in 2011 to pull back from deporting immigrants who had formed deep ties in the United States and whom the government considered no threat to public safety. Instead, the administration would prioritize illegal immigrants who had committed serious crimes.

Last month, things changed again for the painter, who has lived in the United States illegally since 2005 and has a U.S.-born child. He received news that the government wanted to put his deportation case back on the court calendar, citing another shift in priorities, this time by President Donald Trump.

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