This week's immigration blog roundup discusses last week's White House meeting on immigration reform, police chiefs speaking out for reform, a new study about stress on immigration judges, and noteworthy editorials.
Last Thursday’s White House meeting marked what many immigration reform advocates are hoping will be a crucial turning point toward comprehensive immigration reform. President Obama sat down with members of Congress from both parties to discuss next steps about immigration reform. For the past three years with different issues on the agenda, immigration reform has challenged both parties. However, because of an energized campaign and push by many groups invested in comprehensive reform the momentum has finally culminated to a commitment from the administration. The New York Times noted that it now seems more likely than before that President Obama and the administration’s working group on immigration reform are ready to lead the way.
Big-city police chiefs from around the country urged Congress on Wednesday to draft measures that would improve public safety by integrating undocumented immigrants into the legal system. Chiefs John Timoney of Miami, Florida, Art Acevedo of Austin,Texas, and former Chief Art Venegas of Sacramento, Calif., participated in a panel discussion in Miami organized by Americar's Voice. The Chiefs updated recommendations made in 2006 by the leaders of more than 50 urban police departments. The police chiefs have spent most of their careers in cities with large immigrant communities, and know first hand the need to reform the current immigration system.
A new study called "Inside the Judges' Chambers: Narrative Responses from the National Association of Immigration Judges Stress and Burnout Survey" finds that many immigration judges trying cases of asylum seekers suffer from symptoms of secondary traumatic stress and job burnout. According to the researchers from UC San Francisco, these symptoms may shape their judicial decision-making processes.The unique study uses direct quotes from judges themselves (immigration judges are prohibited from speaking with outsiders about their nature of their work without Department of Justice permission). The study also includes recommendations for additional resources for the nation's immigration courts, including improving education and training for judges, and adding adequate support staff and tools.
New America Media's editorial"Time for Immigration Reform is Now" delivers a poignant message that brings with it a strong sense of urgency.
"Our nation needs comprehensive immigration policies that will replace a broken system of raids and roundups with one that protects all workers from exploitation, improves America's security and builds strong communities. It's time to end the division between workers, which has allowed big business to exploit both sides. Clearly, working-class citizens and immigrant workers have much in common; dreams of better homes, education for their families and quality healthcare. There is more that brings us together, than separates us."
Another editorial by Walter Ewing, a senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center, discusses the persistent blame from local and state governments facing budget deficits placed on immigrants in the current economic climate. Ewing comments on the studies that fail to account for the incomes and tax contributions of immigrants over time, and the various other economic contributions of immigrants, and their children.
Note: The Opportunity Agenda has done work on this issue. We believe to address the economy, we need workable solutions to immigration that move us all forward together. For talking points about addressing immigration in the current economic climate, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's website.