The Week Ahead: Nov. 28- Dec. 2

Communications Associate

November 28, 2016


“My position is the same as most sheriffs in the country. We’re not going to flip our nose at the Constitution. We’re not going to become sanctuary counties. But we don’t want to be federal agents running around going into homes and grabbing people based on their immigration status.”

— Lake County (Ill.) Sheriff Mark Curran, Nov. 24


Poll Indicates Most Support Yet for Pathway to Citizenship

In a Quinnipiac University poll last week, 60 percent of respondents indicated support for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country with a pathway to citizenship. This level of support is the highest the group has found since it first asked the question four years ago.

The poll indicates that an additional 12 percent of voters would support the opportunity for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and eventually gain legalized status but not become citizens. Only 25 percent think undocumented immigrants should be deported.

A majority of respondents (55 percent) oppose building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Possible Federal Intervention in ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Raises Local Officials’ Concern

The incoming administration has threatened to deny funding for so-called sanctuary cities. But “sanctuary city” has no agreed-upon definition, and the policies many cities have in place are rooted in constitutional principles.

This past week, a proposal Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach brought to a meeting with the president-elect included plans to deputize state and local police officers to track down undocumented immigrants living in their communities. But immigration enforcement always has been first and foremost a federal responsibility. Federalism principles in the U.S. Constitution restrict the ability of Congress to require that state and local law enforcement implement federal programs on immigration.

In the meantime, governors and mayors across the country continue to weigh in on whether they will uphold or oppose so-called sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration. The bulletin was not published last week as Congress was out in observance of Thanksgiving. The latest:


SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS (Noorani Op-Ed): Build bridges, not walls
By Ali Noorani
November 27, 2016

Every time I visit South Texas I am struck by how little America understands it.

From its people to its economy, it is wide-ranging in riches. From the Spurs’ roster representing countries from around the world to the diversity of the region’s civic and economic leadership, it is a part of the nation that depends on bridges, not walls.

Unfortunately, the 2016 presidential campaign did not represent this reality. And early signs suggest President-elect Donald Trump wants to close America, and Texas, off from the world.

Most Texans know smart, fine and hardworking people who are contributing to our economy. American workers across the state are benefiting. From the expertise of skilled farmworkers in the Rio Grande Valley to the creativity of engineers in Austin, the Texas economy is healthier because of bridges with Mexico and the rest of the world.

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NBC NEWS: Educator Eduardo Padrón Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
By Brian Latimer
November 22, 2016

Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his work in higher education and for making it accessible and inclusive.

Padrón joined a distingushed group of Americans including Motown soul singer Diana Ross, TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, veteran actress Cicely Tyson, and artist and architect Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam War Memorial.

The president said Tuesday that the honorees had impacted him in a “a very powerful, personal way”.

“These are folks who have helped make me who I am,” Obama said, gesturing at the gathering. “This is what makes us the greatest nation on earth, not because of our differences but because in our differences we find something common to share.”

Padrón, who immigrated from Cuba as a young man, is credited with strengthening Miami Dade College and raising its national status. The college enrolls and graduates more minority students than any other institution in the United States.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL: Small Businesses Lament There Are Too Few Mexicans in U.S., Not Too Many
By Miriam Jordan and Santiago Perez
November 28, 2016

As the labor market tightens and the population of undocumented immigrants shrinks, employers in low-skill industries such as hospitality, construction and agriculture scramble to fill jobs

In Dallas, the King of Texas Roofing Co. says it has turned down $20 million worth of projects in the past two years because it doesn’t have enough workers.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Hargrave is expanding his successful Tacolicious chain of restaurants, but says he is building smaller ones due to “a massive shortage of restaurant workers.”

And in Florida, Steve Johnson, who harvests oranges for the citrus industry, says, “Right now, if I had 80 guys, I could put every one of them to work.”

As hiring accelerates and the labor market tightens thanks to a steady U.S. recovery, employers who need low-skilled workers are increasingly struggling to fill vacancies. One big reason: Mexican workers, who form the labor backbone of industries like hospitality, construction and agriculture, are in short supply.

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