This week's Immigration Blog Roundup covers comprehensive immigration reform and more.
In the biggest immigration news this week, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has introduced his proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. Some features of the bill:
-A legal path to citizenship: in order to gain legal status undocumented immigrants would have to show that they are working, pay a fine, learn English and undergo a criminal background check (Unlike previous proposals they would not have to return to their homeland first).
-Increased border security: the bill calls for additional training and equipment for border guards but also to improve immigrations jails and eliminate the 287(g) program.
-The establishment of the Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to provide recommendations for future flows of workers.
While the introduction of the bill has breathed new hope in the prospect of comprehensive immigration reform, many are disappointed in the lack of a temporary worker program.
In what the ICE calls their largest operation ever aimed at illegal immigrants with criminal records, nearly 300 illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes were deported or detained last week in California. While President Obama's new approach to immigration enforcement focuses on felons and employers who deliberately hire illegal workers, immigrant advocates remain skeptical questioning the numbers of undocumented immigrants without felony convictions who get caught in the mix as well as the ability to implement due process.
A revision in detention policies: the Obama administration said it will stop detaining asylum seekers who can establish credible fear, their identities, and show that they are not dangerous or a flight risk. Currently, foreigners who come to the U.S. without valid documents can be immediately removed without a hearing.
The Census Bureau has released population projections that reflect four different immigration scenarios (high, low, constant, and zero). Experts say a falling immigration rate would mean fewer workers paying into Social Security and Medicare as well as a decreased workforce to replace the nation's baby boomers.
Two Asian American civil rights groups have issued a Freedom of Information Act Request to understand how Border Protection agents may single out and interrogate individuals that are from "special interest countries."
In their on-going research of the economic and political impact of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians on a state level, the Immigration Policy Center has released their findings from Nebraska:
-Nebraska was home to 98,512 immigrants in 2007, 37.0% of whom (36,423 people) were naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to vote.
-The 2008 purchasing power of Latinos totaled $2.8 billion and Asian buying power totaled $1.0 billion in Nebraska in 2007.
-If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nebraska, the state would lose $852.4 billion in expenditures, $378.6 million in economic output, and approximately 5,400 jobs.
Lastly, on December 4th, 2000, the General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed December 18th International Migrants Day. On that day, in 1990, the Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.