Archive for the ‘Immigration Reform legislation’ Category

Dreamer wins Rhodes Scholarship

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Jin Park flew with his parents from Korea to the U.S. in 1997. We settled in a Korean enclave in Flushing, Queens. The language, people, smells and flavors reminded us of home, and that helped ease our transition into our new life. My mother found work in a beauty salon, providing manicures and facials. My father was hired as a line cook in a Korean restaurant, working 12-hour shifts six days a week. I started going to a school in a nearby Korean church. I slowly began adapting to my new life. I found comfort in learning how to speak English.” A graduate of Harvard, Park begins his Rhodes Scholarship in the Fall.

The formal title of the Dreamer executive order is DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, signed June 15, 2012.

Selected findings from a 2017 survey of Dreamers:

Has an American citizen as spouse, child or sibling: 73%.
Employed: 91%
Got driver’s license for first time: 80%
Impact of DACA on employment: about 60% say that it led improved job prospects, more income, get a credit card, etc.
Bilingual is an asset to employer: 80%
Pursued education blocked in the past: 65%
In school now: 44%, of which half are in college bachelor’s program
Residence: about 25% in CA, 15% in Texas.
Hispanic: 93%
Median age: 25 (youngest is 16, oldest is 35)
Age when came to U.S.: median 6 years old.

Some popular conceptions on illegals, crime and the wall

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Around a third of U.S. adults (35%) incorrectly said that most immigrants are in the country illegally, while 6% said about half of all immigrants are here illegally and half legally. (Right answer: one quarter.)

A majority of non-college grads of both Republican and Democratic leanings said in June 2018 that most immigrants are here illegally. The lowest number of the majority-are-here-illegally opinion were Democratic college grads, and even that was 20%.

About half of conservative Republicans (47%) believe that unauthorized immigrants commit more crimes. Of all Americans, 26% believe they commit more crimes, and only 6% of liberal Democrats believe they do.

In a mid 2018 survey, Nearly three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (74%) support expanding the wall, while an even larger share of Democrats and Democratic leaners (83%) oppose it.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%), including 89% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans, said in June 2018 that they favor such permanent legal status.

From Pew Research

 

A Comprehensive Immigration Policy: internal immigration law enforcement

Friday, December 14th, 2018

A New Center policy on internal immigration law enforcement:

Implement and require a universal E-Verify system that would assist employers in ensuring that they only employ individuals who are authorized to work in the United States. Potential employers have an essential role to play in enforcement. If undocumented immigrants can’t work, many will return home. E-Verify should continuously be improved in order to limit false negatives and false positives. This system should be implemented only after a registration period, during which unauthorized individuals living in the U.S. can apply to become Registered Provisional Immigrants.

Get serious about visa overstays.  A robust and fully funded biometric entry and exit system—which would include regular text and email communications to visa holders from the DHS about departure deadlines—should be implemented immediately. In addition, foreign countries should be incentivized to educate their citizens about U.S. visa requirements.

End the practice of separating children from their families on the border, and stop subjecting families to lengthy detention under any circumstances. Establish a legal mechanism for enforcing higher civil detention standards in ICE detention centers, and allow for more frequent inspections that increase both accountability and transparency. Discontinue the use of private prisons and county jails for immigrant detention, thus reducing the financial corner cutting

that causes deaths, suicides, sexual abuse, and lack of access to medical care. End mandatory detention. Ensure that individuals are not placed in detention centers unless they are deemed a threat to the public or a flight risk.

 

A Comprehensive Immigration Policy: The Mexican border

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

A New Center policy on the Mexican border:

Both sides of the immigration debate should be able to agree that it is essential to have a fortified border that allows for the U.S. to reliably and consistently prevent unauthorized entry. On some parts of the border, a wall or fence may make the most sense; on others, private property, mountain ranges, national parks, and reservations make a physical border impractical. Here, emphasis should be placed on electronic surveillance as a better tracking method. This should be coupled with revised legal measures that quicken deportation proceedings in order to deter crossings.

Build physical barriers along the border where they are effective and economical.

Shift towards a focus on technological improvements along the border, such as the implementation of the Integrated Fixed Towers System, which relies on sophisticated cameras, sensors, and radar to detect border crossings.

Renovate infrastructure at land ports of entry and ensure that they are adequately staffed by officers and agents.

A Comprehensive Immigration Policy: Legal Immigration

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

A New Center policy on legal immigration:

The U.S. currently admits almost five times as many immigrants for family-based reasons as employment related ones. We should shift our targets closer to those from countries like Canada, which currently has an almost equal split—letting in 27% of refugees for family based

reasons and 32% for employment-based ones. Like Canada, the U.S. could use multiple criteria to determine which immigrants qualify for merit-based entry, including: a. Education.

  1. English language ability. c. Work experience. d. Age. e. Arranged employment (those who already have job offers), and f. Adaptability, which includes previous experience living legally in the United States, or personal connections that would make assimilation easier.

Temporary visas should become portable after an initial period so individuals aren’t forced to stick with one employer to maintain legal status and can change jobs to maximize their contributions to the economy. The government should create a new system for provisional visas.

The diversity immigrant lottery should be eliminated in favor of immigrants who possess functional English language skills, have achieved superior education or employment experience, or have American family members.

Family-related immigration should be limited to nuclear families. Specifically to spouses, minor children, and parents of U.S. citizens and the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents (LPRs).

The U.S. should consider fear of persecution from organized gang violence as a legitimate claim to asylum.

There should be toughened language requirements for naturalization.

A Comprehensive Immigration Policy: Oversight

Monday, December 10th, 2018

A New Center, a part of Brookings, offers a comprehensive plan for immigration reform. I will describe over six brief postings.

A New Center policy on immigration oversight:

Congress should establish two new federal commissions that inform the executive branch on immigration related policymaking: A Standing Commission on Immigration and an Office for New Americans. The U.S. immigration system was last seriously revised 53 years ago, and the world is changing too fast for Americans to go decades without adapting to changing circumstances. The Standing Commission should be an independent commission that advises

Congress and the president on immigration in addition to producing an annual report, while the Office for New Americans should oversee state-wide efforts to integrate immigrants into American society.

 

Legal grounds for denying entry to US.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

This section of immigration law is fascinating. This section may be Trump’s best tool to radically restrict immigration flows without having to consult Congress. His just announced decision to refuse to hear certain asylum petitions, and his impending changes to public charge criteria, arise from this section.

The law is found in Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, § 1182.

1.Health issues (communicative disease, insanity, drug abuser)

2. Crime (including criminal convictions, drug trafficking, prostitution, money laundering)

3. Security and related grounds (including overthrow of government, terrorist activity, member of terrorist organization, “proposed activities…potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States”, member of totalitarian organization, current member of Communist party, affiliation with Nazism.

4. Public Charge (“Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”)

5. Labor certification (“(i) In general, Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that— (I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, (II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

6. Illegal entrants and immigration violators (including “Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this chapter is inadmissible.”)

7. Without documentation

8. Ineligible for citizenship (“Any immigrant who is permanently ineligible to citizenship is inadmissible.”)

9. Those previously removed.

10. Miscellaneous (including polygamists)

Visa denial rate is up under Trump

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

In 2018, the D.H.S. turned away 10% of applicants for employment authorization documents compared with 6% in 2016, and it rejected applications for advanced parole — which gives temporary residents the authorization to travel internationally and return — at a clip of 18%, more than doubling the rate in 2016. Even skilled workers are being rejected at higher rates. The denial rate for petitions for temporary foreign workers shot to 23% from 17%. The application for permanent workers saw denials rise to 9% from 6%.

The largest increase in the denial rate for family-sponsored applications, for petitions for fiancés, rose to 21% from 14%.

A new analysis for the Cato Institute has found that the Department of Homeland Security rejected 11.3% of requests, including for work permits, travel documents and status applications, based on family reunification, employment and other grounds, in the first nine months of 2018. This is the highest rate of denial on record and means that by the end of the year, the United States government will have rejected around 620,000 people — about 155,000 more than in 2016.

This increase in denials cannot be credited to an overall rise in applications. In fact, the total number of applications so far this year is 2% lower than in 2016. It could be that the higher denial rate is also discouraging some people from applying at all.

From the NY Times

Migrant Justice Suit against ICE

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Federal immigration authorities used a civilian informant to infiltrate meetings of Migrant Justice, which advocates for Vermont’s immigrant farmworkers, the group contended as it filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Wednesday November 14, 2018.

Migrant Justice alleges that group members were targeted and detained as part of a national effort against immigrant rights advocates.

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security to engage in an “unlawful, multi-year operation to surveil, harass, arrest and detain” farm worker activists, Migrant Justice said in a statement. Its suit names ICE, DHS and the DMV as defendants.

Documents obtained through public records requests show that the DMV forwarded the plaintiffs’ personal information to ICE when they applied for the state’s driver privilege card, the group asserts. Immigration enforcement officers also engaged in the electronic surveillance of one Migrant Justice member, the suit alleges.

About 40 Migrant Justice members have been arrested in the last two years, and the majority of them have been deported, said Will Lambek, the group’s spokesman. At least 10 of those arrested are believed to have been targeted because of their activism, Lambek said.

The plaintiffs seek a federal injunction to stop the defendants from “targeting, surveilling, infiltrating, spreading misinformation, arresting and detaining Migrant Justice members,” as well as prohibiting DMV employees from sharing information with federal immigration enforcement agencies, according to a statement from Migrant Justice.

From Seven Days

 

Time line of the citizen census question

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

 

The Census Bureau’s current plan

The Census Bureau plans to use the same wording as what is already used in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which asks respondents to check one of five categories to describe their citizenship status. Three categories apply to people who are U.S. citizens at birth: born in the U.S., born in a U.S. territory, or born abroad with at least one U.S. citizen parent. People who say they are a naturalized U.S. citizen are asked for their naturalization year. The fifth category is “not a U.S. citizen.” The survey does not ask whether noncitizens are legally in the country.

1880 – 1950 Census includes question about citizenship. Question then was dropped.

January 20, 2017.  Trump Administration begins.

May 2017. Commerce Secretary Ross expresses frustration that his plans to introduce a citizenship question are not being supported (reported by NY Times). “I am mystified that nothing has been done in response to my months-old request that we include the citizenship question,” he groused in a May 2017 email to an aide tapped out on his iPhone. “Why not?”

July – November 2017. Ross conversed with Stephen Bannon and Kris Kobach. Koback recommends that the Census use the same question as that used in the American Community Survey. Sept. 17, Justice Dept responded to Ross that “the AG is eager to assist.” On Nov. 23, Ross joined Mr. Trump for Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, Upon his return, he fired off another message to his general counsel. “We are out of time,” it read. “Please set up a call for me tomorrow with whoever is the responsible person at Justice. We must have this resolved.” (per NY Times)

September 20, 2017. Internal Census Bureau memo discusses respondent confidentiality concerns.

November 2, 2017. Internal Census report warned of adverse impact of citizenship questions.” CSM researchers have noticed a recent increase in respondents spontaneously expressing concerns about confidentiality in some of our pretesting studies conducted in 2017. We recommend systematically collecting data on this phenomenon, and development and pretesting of new messages to avoid increases in nonresponse among hard-to-count populations for the 2020 Census as well as other surveys like the American Community Survey (ACS).”

December 12, 2017. Justice Department wrote the Census asking that a citizenship question be re-instated in the 2020 census.

December 29 2017 Pro Publica reported that The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them.

March 20, 2018 Ross told the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee that the insertion of the question had been initiated “solely” by officials at the Justice Department, with no involvement from officials in the White House. “Has the president or anyone in the White House discussed with you or anyone on your team about adding the citizenship question?” asked Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York. “I am not aware of any such,” Mr. Ross testified.

March 26, 2018 Department of Commerce announced that a question on citizenship status will be reinstated to the 2020 decennial census questionnaire to help enforce the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Press release said that “Secretary Ross’s decision follows a request by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 decennial census.”

March 26, 2018 The state of California sued the Trump administration Monday night, arguing that the decision to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census violates the U.S. Constitution. The state’s attorney general acted just after the Commerce Department announced the change in a late-night release. The lawsuit is here.

April 3, 2018 The District, Virginia, Maryland and 15 states filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block the Trump administration from adding a last-minute citizenship question to the 2020 decennial Census. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also includes six cities and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors and comes a week after California sued the administration over the same issue.

July 3, 2018 Judge Jesse Furman of Manhattan’s Southern District allowed a multistate lawsuit to move forward amid “strong” evidence that the Trump administration acted in bad faith in its push for a controversial citizenship question to be added to the 2020 Census, plaintiffs in the case said. Furman also granted a request for discovery, according to New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, whose office filed the case on behalf of 18 states, the District of Columbia, nine cities, four counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

July 17, 2018 Furman allowed a lawsuit to move forward against the Trump administration over its controversial decision to add a question about citizenship in the 2020 Census.

Furman ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did in fact have the authority to add a citizenship question on the census. But the way in which he carried out that authority, the judge said, may have violated the plaintiffs’ rights to equal protection under the law. Ross’s decision to add the citizenship question, the judge said, “was motivated at least in part by discriminatory animus” and by President Trump himself.

Furman said the plaintiffs gave plausible evidence that U.S. officials intended to discriminate against immigrant communities, driven by President Trump’s incendiary statements about immigrants of color.

September 21, 2018 A federal judge ordered Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to sit for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging Ross’s addition of a question about citizenship to the U.S. census.

November 2, 2018 The Supreme Court refused to delay a trial in which a number of states and civil rights organizations allege there was an improper political motive in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

November 5, 2018 Trial began.