This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending May 20


Week Ending May 20

This week in immigration: states like California and New York roll out policies that strengthen immigrant integration; Judge Hanen seeks personal information of some DACA recipients through an order issued this week; University of Chicago law professor and students analyze the arguments in U.S. v Texas

California and New York roll out policies that advance immigrant integration: This week California took steps to accomplish the goal of allowing children to grow up healthy by providing all children who are income-eligible the opportunity for full coverage through Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) regardless of immigration status. Thanks to the bold leadership of State Senator Ricardo Lara as well as a tremendous organizing effort from health, immigrant rights, and children’s groups, as well as others in the advocacy community, children will have greater academic success and economic opportunities in their lifetimes. To learn more about Medi-Cal coverage and the incredible work that NCLR Affiliates are doing to implement this policy, check out our blog post highlighting the California Affiliate Network.

In New York, the state licensing board agreed this week to allow DACA recipients to receive teaching and medical licenses benefiting communities throughout the state by allowing people to use their training and pursue their dreams.

Unusual order issued by Judge Hanen roundly criticized: On Thursday, the District Judge who blocked the implementation of expanded DACA and DAPA issued an order that was described by Lyle Denniston on SCOTUSblog this way:

“The federal judge who first shut down President Barack Obama’s sweeping immigration policy gave himself another controversial role on Thursday: overseeing required ethical schooling of every Washington-based Justice Department lawyer who appears in any court — federal or state — in twenty-six states over the next five years.” The order not only seeks to sanction the Department of Justice, Judge Hanen is requesting the personal information of DREAMers who are protected from deportation and obtained work permits through the Obama administration’s DACA program. The Justice Department responded on Thursday that it disagrees with the judge’s order. To read some of the responses to this order and the possible next steps, read the blog post by the editor of ThinkProgress Justice. 

University of Chicago law professor and students analyze the arguments in U.S. v. Texas: As we prepare for a decision from the Supreme Court, check out the analysis of the case written by University of Chicago Law Professor, Geoffrey R. Stone with help from his law students in this blog post. The post includes a summary of the questions asked during oral arguments last month focused on lawful presence and issuance of work permits and concludes: “DAPA is advantageous to the nation in the sense that once recipients receive work authorization, they can start contributing to the tax base. Perhaps most fundamentally, these aspects of DAPA do nothing more than ensure that those who are authorized to live here are allowed to earn a living. Justice Samuel Alito wondered during oral argument how it is possible to lawfully work without being lawfully present. Perhaps a better question would be to ask how a nation could with one hand offer a man a home, and with the other punish him for wanting to pay the rent.”