This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending March 13


This week in immigration reform: Texas court battle on immigration continues; Republicans again perpetuate anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric; and NCLR continues our blog series on deferred action recipients.

NCLR kept the community informed on immigration with staff quoted in El DiaroLaOpinion andEFE.

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The Department of Justice Seeks to Lift the Order Halting Administrative Relief: This week the Obama Administration filed for an emergency stay in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans to lift the suspension of implementation of President Obama’s November executive actions on immigration. A New York Times article notes that the Fifth Circuit could lift the injunction for the nation as a whole, or severely limit it to only the state of Texas, who is spearheading the lawsuit effort. The Administration also suggested lifting the injunction for states who aren’t participating in the lawsuit. 14 of those states and the District of Columbia filed a brief with the court to ask for an exemption from the injunction. The attorney general of one of those states, Washington, wrote an op-ed highlighting the benefits of President Obama’s actions, noting “Our amicus brief urges the appeals court to allow these reforms to take effect, and I encourage Congress to put divisive politics aside and recognize our shared interest in common-sense immigration reform.”

Study shows current top GOP tactics on immigration could harm them in the future: A study by the University of Southern California highlights the impact of DAPA on U.S. citizen children and emphasizes that that population can vote: “nearly 600,000 children of DAPA parents currently have the right to vote. If we include those who are younger and will age into voting by 2020 – that is, over the course of the next Presidential term during which the DAPA program would have to be renewed, assuming that comprehensive immigration reform does not take its place – we are talking 1.7 million U.S.-born citizens who will be able to express their electoral views about leaders and decisions that could improve or worsen the lives of their parents and families.” The Republican Party should be conscious of how their actions will affect the lives of these young Latino voters. Read the report from the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

In spite of this study, Congressional Republicans continue to attack immigrant families. This week, Senator Vitter (R-La.) introduced an unrelated amendment to a human trafficking bill that would alter the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to only give automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. if they have a parent who was in the military, is a lawful permanent resident, or is a U.S. citizen. This amendment is slated to fail, as the Supreme Court has affirmed that the 14th Amendment means what it says – that the fundamental measure of citizenship in the United States is rooted in the soil on which an American is born and has rejected the argument that children born in the United States could be denied citizenship based on their parents’ immigration status.  NCLR joined with over 20 other advocacy groups and signed a letter to Senators opposing the Vitter amendment. Read more on the amendment here.

Next week the new Republican majority in the Senate will continue to spend time on hearings like this one in the Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Court titled “Reining in Amnesty: Texas v. United States and Its Implications” presided over by Senator Cruz (R-Texas).  Meanwhile the House Judiciary Committee will continue its work on bills that pursue a mass deportation strategy.

NCLR Blog profiles National Latino Advocacy Days participants: This week’s installment of our ‘Living the Dream’ series highlights last week’s National Latino Advocacy Days. The blog mentions three young Latinas who have received DACA and shows how they have continued to advocate for their communities. Samantha received DACA in 2012 and has been working with an NCLR Affiliate, TODEC, for more than five years. Maria attended National Latino Advocacy Days with another Affiliate, the Latin American Community Center in Delaware, and now she works with survivors of domestic violence. Andrea is a high school student from Chicago who wants DACA to remain in place, allowing her to continue her education.

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