This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending August 28


Week Ended August 28

This week in immigration reform: Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) visits NCLR Affiliate to discuss immigration; NCLR President and CEO laments “Trumpification” of Republican Party; Citizens for Tax Justice corrects inaccuracies in Trump immigration, tax plans; and Gallup poll finds ties between immigrant status, discrimination. 

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NCLR kept the community informed with staff quoted in Buzzfeed.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) talks immigration with Friendly House: During his visit to Phoenix, Arizona this week, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) spoke with leaders from Friendly House, an NCLR Affiliate focused on the betterment of immigrants in the Phoenix area. “Immigration is a bedrock service of the organization and the reason for Friendly House’s start 95 years ago. As the state’s oldest immigration service provider we appreciate the opportunity to share the valuable role we play in integrating new citizens into America and Arizona’s communities,” said Leticia de la Vara, COO of Friendly House. Talks focused on immigration’s impact on direct service providers, as well as the challenges the immigrant community faces in acclimating to a new country. Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and State Representative Reginald Bolding were also in attendance.

NCLR President calls past week’s immigration talk “turning point” in election: In a post on NCLR’s blog, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía wrote about Donald Trump’s effect on the presidential race, saying his immigration plan, “put[s] his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy.” Unfortunately, the effect of Trump’s rhetoric extends beyond politics, as evidenced by the beating of a homeless Latino man in Boston whose attackers were motivated by Trump’s policy stance on undocumented immigrants. “Much of the responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of not only Trump, but of a Republican Party whose leadership has so far refused to publicly and unequivocally denounce Trump and his extreme rhetoric,” says Murguía. “When the election rolls around next November, there is no question in my mind that we will look back at this week as a turning point in the election. It will be known as the week when Trump’s dominance of both the campaign and the direction of the Republican Party on the immigration issue turned a dark and dangerous turn. It will be remembered as the week that Republicans not only started to lose the Latino vote, but also the election.”

Trump’s immigration, tax flaws highlighted by Citizens for Tax Justice: Donald Trump’s framework for immigration reform is full of misleading statements and inaccuracies, writes the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ). The article states, “Trump claims that ‘illegal immigrants’ received $4.2 billion in ‘free’ tax credits in 2011 and proposes to pay for part of his immigration proposal by accepting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)’s ‘recommendation’ to eliminate tax credit payments to these individuals,” but upon digging into the TIGTA report tells a different story. First, CTJ notes, the word “free” is misleading because the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012. The $4.2 billion figure is also called into question, as is the “recommendation” by TIGTA to eliminate tax credit payments to “illegal immigrants.”

Poll finds immigration status tied to discrimination among Hispanics: Gallup released a new poll this week finding that about 25 percent of all U.S. Hispanics say they have been on the receiving end of discrimination because of their ethnicity at least once in the past month. These instances occurred in a variety of settings, including their place of work, in dealings with police, while getting healthcare, at an entertainment venue, or while shopping. Additionally, the poll finds that for Hispanics born outside the U.S., those feelings of discrimination jump by as little as 50 percent and as much as 500 percent. For treatment in the workplace, for example, 5 percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. said they had faced discrimination in the past month compared to 18 percent of Hispanics born outside the U.S. One factor for this difference that Gallup cites is language: “The poll included interviews with Hispanics in both English and Spanish, with those born outside the U.S. much more likely to be interviewed in Spanish than native-born Hispanics. In turn, the analysis shows that reports of discrimination are much higher among foreign-born Hispanics who are interviewed in Spanish than those interviewed in English. This indicates that language, in addition to ethnicity, may be a key factor in Hispanics’ reports of discrimination and in any actual discrimination that occurs.” This data is taken from Gallup’s June 15-July 10 Minority Rights and Relations poll, which included a sample of 508 Hispanic adults.

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