This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending July 15


Week Ending July 15

This week in immigration: New toolkit released for schools to welcome immigrants and refugees; New York announces it will cover citizenship application fees for 2,000 immigrants; and Federal Reserve presidents call for immigration reform to boost the economy.

White House releases resources for educators on immigrant integration: In coordination with the White House’s announcement of “Bright Spots” on welcoming and expanding opportunity for Linguistic Integration and Education, the Department of Education released a guide for schools to support immigrants, refugees, and their families with a successful integration process. The Newcomer Toolkit provides information, resources and examples of effective practices that educators can use to support newcomers in our schools and communities. Lessons include understanding legal obligations to newcomers, providing welcoming schools and classrooms for newcomers and their families, and supporting students’ social emotional skills.

New York to pay citizenship application fee for 2,000 immigrants: A yearlong initiative announced Wednesday aims to help New York immigrants cover the $680 United States citizenship application fee. Governor Andrew Cuomo released plans to cover the fee for about 2,000 residents whose incomes are above the fee waiver threshold but are still considered to be working poor. Winners will be selected through a lottery; an estimated 160,000 New York green card holders will be eligible for the program. “From my experience in the Latino community, people love lotteries, people love contests, and so this allows us to bring attention to the issue and gets people excited,” noted Rossana Rosado, the New York secretary of state. “And while we’re there, we can tell them, ‘This is not as hard as you think it is, and we have help to get you through this.’”

Federal Reserve officials urge action on immigration reform for renewed economic growth: This week, Federal Reserve presidents in both Dallas and Minneapolis explained once again why immigration reform as a way to ensure future economic growth. “If you believe the population is aging, and it is, and the (labor force) participation rate is going to decline further, and that’s going to create headwinds for the potential GDP, we can do some things about that,” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said in Houston on Wednesday. “One thing is we could have immigration reform in the United States so that people can come here easily and we can continue to grow the workforce in a safe and secure way. And that will be a horribly difficult debate but we’ve got to have it.” Speaking Tuesday evening in Marquette, Michigan, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari shared that view, saying increased immigration would lead to positive outcomes: “My personal view is we should utilize immigration to our advantage as a source for economic growth. If we have a population that’s not growing, it’s much, much harder to have economic growth.”

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