Thursday, March 31, 2016

How Americans View Immigrants, and What They Want from Immigration Reform: Findings from the 2015 American Values Atlas

Public Religion Research Institute
March 29, 2016

Americans overall are more likely to say that newcomers from other countries strengthen American society (50%) than they are to believe that they represent a threat to American customs and values (34%). Sixteen percent affirm or reject both statements, or offer no opinion. While there was some fluctuation in attitudes about immigrants over the past year, no weekly survey conducted between May and December 2015 registered more than four in ten Americans agreeing that immigrants represent a threat to American culture.

There are striking generational differences in attitudes about immigrants. More than two-thirds (68%) of young adults (age 18 to 29) say that immigrants coming to the U.S. strengthen the country, while fewer than one in five (19%) say that immigrants threaten traditional American customs and values. In contrast, only 36% of seniors (age 65 and older) believe that newcomers strengthen American society, while close to half (44%) of seniors believe that immigrants coming to the U.S. are a threat. Notably, 12% of seniors offer no opinion on this issue.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

4 Reasons Why States Suing to Stop Immigration Actions Stand to Lose Big

By Tom Jawetz, Center for American Progress
March 28, 2016

On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit, United States v. Texas, brought by more than two dozen states challenging an immigration enforcement policy by the secretary of homeland security. If successful, the lawsuit could tear apart millions of American families, while at the same time greatly undercutting the U.S. economy.

Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit challenging the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, initiative along with the expansion of the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, initiative. Under DAPA, DACA, and expanded DACA, certain unauthorized immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years and who either came to the country as children or are the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents can come forward, register with the government, pass background checks, and request deferred action—a temporary protection from the threat of deportation. With deferred action, such people are also eligible to request permission to work in the country legally. The implementation of both DAPA and expanded DACA has been temporarily placed on hold while the case works its way through the courts.[...]

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Trumpian Fantasies: How Many Presidents Does It Take to Deport 11 Million People?

By Tanya Golash-Boza, TomDispatch via Truthout
March 25, 2016

In 2006, when I first began researching deportations, George W. Bush was president and quietly building a deportation machine in the Department of Homeland Security. Outside of small activist circles, few Americans knew that deportations had been rising since 1996 due to legislation signed by President Bill Clinton. Nor could anyone then have imagined that the next President would be a Democrat, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, and would make Bush look like a piker when it came to record-high deportations. Nor, for that matter, would anyone have dreamed that deportation would become a -- possibly the -- signature issue of the 2016 presidential campaign.

And yet, all of this and more has come to pass in a blistering season of demagoguery, nativism, and outright racism. As again would have been unimaginable a mere decade ago, Republican front-runners Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have both promised to deport every last one of the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants in the United States, the whole lot of them, while as a bonus banning Muslims from the country. Trump gave his particular proposals a special twist by labeling Mexicans coming across the border as "rapists," and immigrants more generally as "snakes."[...]

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Friday, March 25, 2016

US Welcomes Cubans While Deporting Vulnerable Latin American Migrants

No other group of migrants from Latin America receives the same special treatment from the US government as the Cubans do.

By Adriana Maestas, teleSUR via Truthout
March 23, 2016

While President Obama is in Cuba this week to rebuild bilateral relations and encourage business opportunities on the island, there's an immigration crisis brewing along the southern border highlighting how Cuban immigrants are privileged over Mexican and Central American migrants.

In the last fiscal year, 43,124 Cubans entered the country according to the US Customs and Border Protection. From Oct. 1, 2015 through Feb. 24, 2016, an additional 25,805 Cubans have entered. In the past 17 months, 68,930 Cubans have come to the US where they are processed and become eligible for food stamps, Medicaid, and eventually a work permit and legal residence.

Most of the Cuban migrants are coming through the border crossing in Laredo, Texas, where they have come up through Central America.[...]

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Border Wall (HBO)

March 20, 2016

A TV comedian has a more realistic critique of border wall proposals than most of the mainstream media.

Watch the segement:

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bernie Sanders on Immigration: The So-Called Problem Is Trumped Up

By Justin Streight, Inquisitr
Photo: Associated Press
March 20, 2016

Bernie Sanders took swipes at both sides of the aisle over immigration reform, declaring the problem “trumped up.” He vowed to end the “deportation regime,” in which he claims even President Barack Obama is a participant.

On Saturday, Sanders spoke next to the U.S.-Mexican border near Nogales, Arizona, according to ABC News. He took time on the campaign trail to speak with people whose families had been torn apart by deportations, and who have suffered hardship to live in the U.S.

The Vermont senator said, “the so-called immigration problem we face today at this particular moment, is a trumped up and exaggerated problem.”

Bernie Sanders used data from Pew Research to show that more people were crossing the border to go to Mexico, rather than the other way around. He still insisted that having 11 million undocumented immigrants in America is a problem, but not one that requires a wall, instead, one that required, as he quoted from Pope Francis, “compassion not hatred. Good public policy, not bigotry.” [...]

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

From Scapegoating to Solidarity: 2016 Is the Year to Turn the Immigration Debate Around

By David L. Wilson, Truthout
March 15, 2016

There are two surprising facts that most mainstream US media outlets have studiously ignored in their coverage of immigration and the 2016 presidential campaign:

First, the Republican candidates are promising to end a wave of unauthorized immigration that actually ended eight years ago.

And second, the same working-class white people who cheer billionaire candidate Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rants would themselves benefit from legalizing the immigration status of the approximately 11 million people who currently lack legal papers.

We'd be well on our way to ending the current anti-immigrant frenzy if only we could get these two facts across to a majority of the US population - and this might be the year to do it.[...]

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Failing to Connect the Dots on Immigration: The Democratic Debate in Miami

As investigative journalist Allan Nairn said on Democracy Now! in January: "Well, you know, if you go and burn down your neighbor's house, don't complain when, as they run from the flames, they come onto your lawn."

By David L. Wilson and Jane Guskin, MRZine
March 13, 2016

The March 9 debate in Miami between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was the first chance the two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination had to discuss immigration and its connections to trade and U.S. policy in Latin America. Unfortunately, neither candidate took advantage of the opportunity.

The mainstream "immigration debate" generally avoids mentioning the forces that have driven millions of Latin Americans to move here without legal authorization over the past forty years. The media and the politicians treat the migration either as a natural disaster ("flooding over the border") or as a second-rate science fiction movie ("the aliens are invading") -- with either scenario seen as deserving an aggressive response.[...]

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Rethinking Sanctuary Cities in an Age of "Targeted" Deportation

Many organizers are now realizing that official sanctuary city policies are not enough to keep ICE out of our communities. Community groups across the country have started building grassroots defense committees against ICE and cop watch-inspired programs (Migra Watch) that seek to actively monitor ICE.

By Eve Mitchell, Truthout
March 12, 2016

Since the historic immigrant-led general strike in 2006, US immigration policy has been thrown into a frenetic tug-of-war between an enforcement iron fist and a diplomatic velvet glove.

Immigration enforcement strategies under President George W. Bush's iron fist included full-on attacks against immigrants, such as attempts to control immigration through deportation, militarization and large-scale raids. These tactics are generally pushed by capitalists and politicians who believe they would benefit from eliminating immigration completely, playing into right-wing white supremacist populism.

More recently, the Obama administration, while detaining and deporting more people than Bush, has focused on "targeted enforcement," which relies heavily on agreements with local police.[...]

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

ICE Targets Women and Children in Raids

ICE is increasingly targeting young people: This high school student was detained on her way to school

By Katie Levingston, Salon
March 7, 2016

In her homeland of Honduras, Kimberly Pineda Chavez and her family got late night calls threatening to rape her and her siblings if her family did not pay the police the money they wanted. They looked to America for refuge — in 2014 they entered the country.

In January, Kimberly was stopped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents on her way to school in Atlanta. She was arrested, detained and is currently awaiting possible deportation, according to the Georgian Latino Alliance for Human Rights, who has created a petition for her release.[...]

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4 Shady Ways That Immigration Agents Are Arresting Moms and Kids

BY Esther Yu-Hsi Lee, ThinkProgress
February 18, 2016

Since early January, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has been conducting a series of deportation raids to apprehend immigrant women and children and send them back to Central America. The raids have left Latinos across the country afraid to leave their homes, sometimes forgoing doctor’s appointments and skipping classes at school.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said this month that ICE agents will continue those immigration operations. But he also reiterated an ICE policy to avoid arresting immigrants in sensitive locations, like churches, hospitals, and schools.

However, there’s some evidence that ICE agents may be trying to work around these policies.[...]

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Black and Brown Power Unite to Stop Deportation Raids

By Kelly Hayes, Truthout
March 4, 2016

With issues of mass incarceration and deportation hanging heavy over the current presidential race, both Black Lives Matter activists and immigration rights activists have had a great deal to say about the policies and commentaries of each potential commander in chief. But while hashtags like #SuperTuesday go viral and problematic award shows drag up questions about Black and Brown solidarity, some young people are forging ahead on the front lines, arm-in-arm with those whose issues many would divide from their own.


On February 15, a bold act of protest brought traffic to a standstill outside the Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office in downtown Chicago. During rush-hour morning traffic, protesters raised a pair of ladders in the crosswalk of Congress Avenue, blocking inbound traffic to a major expressway, as a row of participants locked themselves together in the streets. Within moments, a local activist was secured to the top of each ladder, creating a spectacle of rage and resistance to the deportation raids that have terrorized immigrant communities.

While opposition to recent raids targeting Central American families in the United States have been widely discussed, they have not always been linked with the broader spectrum of structural violence that threatens Brown and Black people in the United States. The recent Chicago protest represented a convergence of radical perspectives on issues of policing and deportation - intersections that are frequently erased in national policy discussions.[...]

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

‘You’re Fired!’ The Abuses of ‘Skilled’ Worker Visa Programs

“When they bring in these foreign workers, they don’t believe they have rights,” says [attorney James] Otto. “Every employer who imports these foreign workers, what they want, what they demand, is subservience.”

By Sarah Jaffe, The Progressive
February 22, 2016

Stuart Zwicke lasted eight years in the information technology department at Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, where he watched everyone on his original team let go.

“I did not apply to Molina,” he says. “They reached out to me because of my job skills and technical skills. They brought me in to design and build their data center, the heartbeat of the entire company here in New Mexico.”

The data center was miles from the company’s main headquarters in Long Beach, California, and Zwicke and two others were the only ones working there. Instead of bringing in permanent help, he said, the company would rotate in groups of workers for a week or so at a time, to be trained at the center.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DAPA Families Could See a 10% Income Gain as a Result of Work Authorization, New MPI, Urban Institute Report Finds

February 25, 2016
Contact: Michelle Mittelstadt

Report: More than 10 Million People Live in Households with Potential DAPA Recipients

WASHINGTON – With the Supreme Court poised to deliberate the fate of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, a new report by the Migration Policy Institute and the Urban Institute finds that work authorization could increase the average DAPA family’s income by 10 percent. The program could also lead to reductions in poverty and other measurable gains for millions of people living in DAPA households, including nearly 4 million children under age 18 who are U.S. citizens.

Using an innovative MPI methodology that permits analysis of the unauthorized population using U.S. Census Bureau data, the report estimates that as many as 3.6 million unauthorized immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) would be eligible for DAPA. The program, which would provide temporary relief from deportation and eligibility for work authorization, was announced by the Obama administration in November 2014. It was temporarily blocked pending resolution of a legal challenge filed by 26 states, and the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case in April, with a ruling expected by the end of June.

In the report, Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents: Analysis of DAPA’s Potential Effects on Families and Children, MPI and Urban Institute researchers describe the population potentially eligible for DAPA and estimate the effects of work authorization and relief from deportation on family income, poverty and child well-being.

Among the key findings of the report, which draws from analysis of 2009-2013 Census Bureau data:

  • Controlling for other measureable factors, the average family could expect to see a $3,000 (10 percent) income gain if potentially DAPA-eligible parents obtained work authorization and earned the same as LPR parents with comparable characteristics such as age, educational attainment, English proficiency and length of U.S. residence. As a result, 6 percent fewer DAPA families would be living in poverty.
  • Although the labor force participation of potentially DAPA-eligible fathers exceeds immigrant fathers overall and the U.S. born, nonetheless DAPA families have lower incomes (in part because potentially DAPA-eligible mothers’ labor force participation is lower): $31,000 versus $43,000 for all families with immigrant parents and $47,000 for families with U.S.-born parents. The poverty rate for potentially DAPA-eligible families is 36 percent, compared with 22 percent for all immigrant families and 14 percent for families with U.S.-born parents. The report finds DAPA would not have any significant impact on labor force participation rates.
  • Of the 3.6 million unauthorized immigrants potentially eligible for DAPA, 3.3 million are parents of U.S.-citizen or LPR children under age 18 who are living with them. Another 340,000 parents of adult children would also potentially be DAPA eligible. An estimated 85 percent of all minor children in potential DAPA households are U.S. citizens.
  • More than 10 million people live in households with at least one potentially DAPA-eligible adult. Beyond the 3.3 million potentially DAPA-eligible parents of minor children, an estimated 2.3 million other adults and 4.3 million children under 18 reside in these households. Together with 340,000 DAPA-eligible parents of adult children, as many as 10.2 million people could be affected.
  • -Sixty-nine percent of the potentially DAPA eligible have lived in the United States ten years or more, and 25 percent at least 20 years.

The report builds on previous research by MPI and the Urban Institute describing the effects of parental unauthorized status on these children, finding that deferring deportation would protect children and families from potentially substantial economic and other harm.

“When parents lack legal status, their children – who are often U.S. citizens – are harmed. A strong body of evidence demonstrates that parents' unauthorized status reduces the well-being and development of children due to increased family stress, fear of deportation, poor work conditions, lower income, inferior housing and reluctance to access community supports for children,” said Heather Koball, an Urban Institute senior fellow who co-authored the report.

Said co-author Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at MPI: “If the Supreme Court permits DAPA to go forward, the program has the potential to improve the incomes and living standards for many unauthorized immigrant families through protection from deportation and eligibility for work authorization.”

The report can be downloaded at:

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The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, visit