The Week Ahead: Nov. 13-17

Communications Assistant

November 13, 2017


“It’s just common sense, if you do what’s in the best interest of the United States to allow the DACA students to stay in the United States and earn a path first to legal status and then a path to citizenship if they so choose.”

        —Joe Barton (R-Texas), Nov. 9


Republicans Reportedly Near Dreamer Proposal as Deadline Looms

After more than a dozen House Republicans held a press conference last week to urge Congress to pass a permanent legislation for Dreamers before the end of this year, the Republican working group in the House is reportedly close to finalizing an immigration package that would couple enforcement measures and protections for Dreamers.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Virginia) said Thursday that House conservatives would be willing to support legal protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients if they were part of a package that also included measures such as a mandatory E-Verify system and the elimination of the diversity visa program.

While other issues continue to be at the forefront of Congress’ agenda, a legislative solution for Dreamers is increasingly urgent — estimates indicate that a solution, once enacted, would take a minimum of seven months to set up and implement, a time frame that already would extend far beyond the administration’s March 5 deadline for the complete phaseout of DACA.

Temporary Protected Status Decision for Haiti Expected Next Week

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to decide by the end of next week whether to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians. More than 58,000 Haitians could lose legal status in January after a six-month extension was approved in June.

On Oct. 31, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke recommending the termination of the program for Central American and Haitian recipients, claiming that the conditions in these countries no longer necessitate protection from deportation.

However, prominent voices from business and faith communities have expressed serious concern about the implications of terminating the program, arguing that that the loss of employment authorization for recipients would seriously affect key local industries and inflict dramatic human and economic costs on all Americans.

In October, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida) introduced a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), among others, that would provide a path to permanent residency for TPS recipients who arrived before Jan. 13, 2011. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-New York) has introduced similar legislation, while Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-New York) is expected to introduce legislation that would allow TPS holders to stay for a longer period of time and provides permanent residency only to those who can prove “extreme hardship.”


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WACO TRIBUNE-HERALD (Noorani Op-Ed): A waiting field of recruits for our armed forces
By Ali Noorani
Nov. 9, 2017

One of the first U.S. servicemen to give his life in battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 was a rifleman with the Marines, Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez. The story of this young recruit who fought with heroism and courage on behalf of our country and who lost his life in a firefight close to Umm Qasr, Iraq, didn’t begin in an American city or town.

Lance Cpl. Gutierrez was born near Guatemala City, Guatemala, orphaned at 8 years old, and grew up as a “street child.” Seeking a better life, he trekked 3,000 miles as a teenager to America where he lived as a foster child and dreamed of a new beginning. Gutierrez “wanted to give the United States what the United States gave to him.” He signed up to fight for his adopted country. He was granted citizenship posthumously.

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CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE (Jerman Op-Ed): Dreamers are key to our future
By Wayne Jerman
Nov. 8, 2017

With 38 years of policing experience, I have learned the value of trust.

When law enforcement establishes trust with residents, an entire community is safer. With trust, residents are more likely to cooperate with police to report suspicious or criminal activity. Trust is key to the flourishing of Cedar Rapids, where our 130,000-plus residents enjoy relative safety and stability.

The importance of trust is one reason I and other police chiefs nationwide are asking Congress to pass broad immigration reform, and right now to focus on a legislative solution to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. We are urging our nation’s leaders to work across the political aisle to allow Dreamers — the hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought to the U.S. as children — to stay in Cedar Rapids and elsewhere without fear or threat of deportation.

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NBC NEWS: Veterans, Policy Experts Call for More Immigrants, Dreamers in U.S. Military
By Sierra C. Jackson
Nov. 10, 2017

Erick Ruiz, who immigrated from Brazil with his mother when he was 11 years old in 1997, is one of many immigrants in the United States who wanted to join the armed forces but was unable to because of his citizenship status.

“When I hit high school and the reality of being undocumented [sank] in, I realized that my opportunities and my dreams were very limited because of my legal status,” Ruiz said during a press call. “I could not join the military as I always hoped for.”

But Ruiz, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, was later able to join the military under Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) — a program that accelerates the naturalization process for individuals with special skills — which was suspended last fall.

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THE SEATTLE TIMES: A Washington county that went for Trump is shaken as immigrant neighbors start disappearing
By Nina Shapiro
Nov. 9, 2017

LONG BEACH, Pacific County — Named after a character in a cowboy book, Police Chief Flint Wright describes himself as pretty conservative.

A portrait of Ronald Reagan hangs in his office, along with photos of John Wayne, and his father and grandfather on horses — capturing the rural lifestyle of Pacific County, which curves around Willapa Bay in the state’s southwest corner.

He doesn’t talk about it much, but he voted for Donald Trump, helping Pacific County go with the Republican presidential candidate for the first time in decades. Among other things, he liked Trump’s promise to secure the borders. Economic migrants are not a problem in his mind — he’s seen how hard they work — but he wondered, “who’s coming with them?” Terrorists, he feared.

Then came the July arrest of Mario Rodriguez by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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