The Week Ahead: March 26-30

Communications Assistant

March 26, 2018


With No Solution in Omnibus, Dreamers Remain in Limbo

After a last-minute threat to veto the bill over its lack of a solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and full funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill Friday, funding the federal government for the remaining six months of fiscal year 2018.

Despite multiple bipartisan proposals and negotiations, the omnibus bill ultimately included no provisions for the hundreds of thousands of recipients left in limbo after the Trump administration ended the DACA program last September. Previously, the White House rejected proposed bipartisan compromises that would have traded DACA protections for wall spending.

While the initial injunctions blocking the full termination of the program remain in place as lawsuits play out in lower courts, the question is not whether the administration can end the program, but how. The program could end at any time, either judicially or administratively, leaving hundreds of thousands of Dreamers with DACA at risk. New DACA applications continue not to be accepted.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION (Opinion): The Bible commands us to care for Dreamers
By James Merritt
March 23, 2018

Immigration has been in the headlines almost every day recently, with many strong opinions about how to address “Dreamers,” the roughly 800,000 young people across the nation — including roughly 25,000 here in Georgia—who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
After the Trump administration announced that the program would be rescinded, strong feelings on all sides of the debate emerged. I’ll let others debate the political and economic ramifications of the announcement, but as a pastor, I come at the issue of immigration first and foremost from the perspective of Scripture.
When I talk to Christians, I remind them that we are all immigrants. The Bible calls Christians aliens, strangers and exiles in this world (1 Peter 2:11). The people of Israel were sojourners in Egypt, and when God delivered them from bondage, God reminded them that they were to love the sojourner and consider them as native-born, because they too were once sojourners in Egypt (Leviticus 19:33-34).

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WASHINGTON POST: As a lawyer, he worked for immigrants. As a lawmaker, he works against them.
By Steve Hendrix
March 23, 2018

A lot has changed in this hilly railroad town since the early 1990s, when Bob Goodlatte was the go-to guy if you were an immigrant who needed help in western Virginia.
Back then, before Goodlatte was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1992, he was the region’s only immigration lawyer. Mostly he secured visas for foreign workers at the General Electric plant in neighboring Salem.
He also helped some of their extended family members — parents, siblings and adult children — join them in the United States. Today, immigration opponents call that “chain migration,” and now Goodlatte wants to ban it. As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he’s at the center of Washington’s immigration fight and the author of a bill embraced by many hard-liners that would cut legal immigration by 25 percent.

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NEW YORK TIMES: When the Elderly Call for Help, a ‘Chain’ Immigrant Often Answers
By Miriam Jordan
March 25, 2018

Irma Mangayan was lathering and rinsing a 92-year-old woman in Room 413 one recent afternoon when she received a page from another room. An incontinent resident had an accident, and Ms. Mangayan would have to clean it up.
Before her shift was over at Belmont Village Senior Living, Ms. Mangayan would hoist women and men into their wheelchairs, escort residents using walkers downstairs to the dining room and then back and perform myriad other tasks that they once could do for themselves.
Ms. Mangayan is a personal care aide, a grueling and low-paid profession that happens to be one of the country’s fastest growing. It is also increasingly filled with foreign-born, low-skilled workers like Ms. Mangayan, the kind now at the center of a national debate on immigration.
A proposal favored by a number of Congressional Republicans and the Trump administration would replace the current family-preference immigration system, which critics call “chain migration,” with one that favors skilled immigrants, while reducing admissions over all.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS: Keeping refugee families apart, reuniting others next door
By Adam Geller
March 26, 2018

Sitting in apartment complexes on opposite sides of town, the women — one a former shopkeeper from Somalia, the other a teacher from Bhutan — waited for children to come home.
Only the teacher, Devi Gurung, was rewarded for her patience.
On the landing outside an apartment decorated with Buddhist prayer flags, she watched as a school bus turned down the block and the niece she had not seen in four years, hopped to the curb.
“I am lucky,” said Gurung, reunited with her sister’s family just a few days earlier after spending more than half her life in a refugee camp.
The next morning, Amina Olow smiled, too, but faintly, as she recalled the daughters she has not seen in nearly a decade. Then she unfolded a letter from U.S. immigration officials, dated more than a year ago, that seemed to promise the two girls would join her soon. She’s heard nothing since.

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