This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending March 25

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Week Ending March 25

This week in immigration: New report shows 6.1 million U.S citizens live with a DAPA-eligible family member; USCIS provides updated statistics on DACA recipients; and the American Action Forum looks at the costly proposal required to remove all undocumented immigrants within two years.

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This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending August 21

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Week Ended August 21

This week in immigration reform: We highlight new resources out this week; Migration Policy Institute releases a report on the most recent unauthorized immigration trends; The Pew Charitable Trusts examines states issuing driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants; The Center for American Progress determines how much it would cost to deport all 11.3 unauthorized individuals. NCLR kept the community informed with staff quoted in Politico, NBC News, CNN, and La Opinión.

Migration Policy Institute releases report on unauthorized immigration trends: This week, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a new report entitledAn Analysis of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States by Country and Region of Birth.” The report, looking at unauthorized immigration as a whole, found that unauthorized immigrants have shown more diffuse settlement trends in the past decade, as 41 states now have a “significant” population of unauthorized immigrants. Mexico is still the largest originating nation with 6.1 million unauthorized immigrants, followed by Guatemala (704,000), El Salvador (436,000), and Honduras (317,000). However, the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico has only increased by 29 percent since 2000, down from 136 percent growth during the 1990’s. MPI also notes that over 80 percent of unauthorized immigrants originating from Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras who were immediately eligible for DACA have applied for enrollment, which is attributed to strong outreach by consulates and extensive Spanish-language media and services. A new report looks at DACA’s economic benefit to Illinois and the critical role that service providers play in the success of the implementation of DACA.

Pew report looks at how states are handling driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants:  A new report released by The Pew Charitable Trusts examines the different policies and procedures of the ten states (plus the District of Columbia) that allow unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. In their report, Pew identifies four key areas for consideration for policymakers to decide whether and how to issue driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants: scope, eligibility standards, issuance procedures, and outreach and education. Pew also found that 37 percent of all unauthorized immigrants live in a state which allows them to obtain driver’s licenses.

The Center for American Progress puts price tag on deporting all unauthorized immigrants at $114 billion: Using an average cost of $10,070 per person, analysis by the Center for American Progress estimates that a mass deportation strategy for all 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants would be $114 billion. This includes costs to find each individual, detain individuals while waiting for removal, processing these individuals through the immigration courts, and transportation costs. Factoring in the cost to the overall economy, however, and that number swells to between $420 billion and $620 billion over the span, according to the American Action Fund (AAF).

The Bipartisan Policy Center calculates that deporting all 11.3 unauthorized immigrants would shrink the labor force by over 6 percent during those 20 years, and the AAF estimates that the US GDP would shrink by $1.6 trillion.

This Week in Immigration Reform – Week Ending June 19

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Week Ending June 19

This week in immigration reform: celebration of DACA’s anniversary; economic and electoral impact of deferred action; and lessons learned on how to appeal to the Latino community.

NCLR, Members of Congress, and Community Activists Celebrate three-year anniversary of live-changing DACA program: This Monday marked the third anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has helped over 650,000 aspiring Americans work toward the American dream. Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), highlighted the success of the program, saying, “Living without the constant fear of deportation empowers more people to pursue higher education, enter the workforce, contribute to our economy and create a brighter future for this nation. DACA has been one of the only successful and sensible immigration policies to come out of Washington in decades.”

NCLR has been producing a blog series titled “Living the American DREAM,” telling the stories of hard-working DREAMers. In celebration of DACA, we compiled the series into a publication to show the human element of immigration and the need for reform. This week, Congressman Cuellar (D-Texas) and Congressman Tonko (D-N.Y.) tweeted our blog sharing the story of DREAMer Katherine Perez.

Many Members of Congress shared DACA stories on the floor this week, including Senator Kaine (D-Va.), who shared the story of Hareth Andrade (included in our publication), and Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.). Congressmen Costa (D-Calif.), Polis (D-Colo.), Hoyer (D-Md.), and Cardenas (D-Calif.) spoke on the House floor and their colleagues in the Senate joined them with speeches by Senators Heinrich (D-N.M.), Murray (D-Wash.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Reid (D-Nev.), and Menendez (D-N.J.).

Follow NCLR on Twitter @NCLR and on Facebook for updates on congressional floor speeches, DACA facts, shareable graphics, and informative videos.

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New reports demonstrate economic and electoral impact of deferred action programs: This week the Center for American Progress updated a previous report on the national economic benefits of expanded DACA and DAPA that showed DACA, expanded DACA, and DAPA would grow the US economy by $230 billion over 10 years. The new interactive report posted this week shows state-level benefits for 37 states and Washington, DC. Texas, which is currently leading the charge to end the deferred action programs, would benefit the most from the programs, with an estimated $38,271,000,000 cumulative increase in state GDP. Of all 26 states who are suing the Obama Administration to eliminate expanded DACA and DAPA, CAP has state-level data for 18 of them. In total, those 18 states would see a cumulative increase in GDP of almost $92 billion.

President Obama’s deferred action programs would have a significant economic impact on states, but they also have political and electoral implications. A piece written by Latino Decisions outlines the impact of DACA, including its rise as a litmus test for candidates on immigration reform and the boost original DACA gave to President Obama en route to reelection.

Former Romney campaign staffer warns GOP of past missteps: In a piece published in Politico, Katie Packer Gage, deputy campaign manager of Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency in 2012, reflects on how rhetoric on immigration during the GOP primary harmed the party in the general election. Gage cites research from her firm that found hardline immigration positions cost more general elections votes for a candidate than they earn in the primary. Gage writes:

Voters under age 35 and college-educated white women are most turned off by the hottest anti-immigrant rhetoric. Since Hillary Clinton has the clearest path to the Democratic nomination, Republicans can’t afford to surrender a single vote in these groups, which President Barack Obama won handily, without a fight. They will be pivotal to winning the White House next year.

The numbers don’t lie. To grow our party — and win the White House in November 2016 and beyond — Republican candidates need to resist the temptation to characterize one another as soft on immigration.

Instead, they should stake out specific, realistic, pro-immigration reform plans that demonstrate to all voters the Republican Party’s commitment to making the American Dream a reality for all.

Congress Wants You to Believe Dodd-Frank is the Problem. Don’t Fall For It.

By Nancy Wilberg Ricks, Senior Policy Strategist, NCLR

At a the National Journal event this week,  experts discussed the state of sustainable homeownership, housing finance reform, and potential solutions to systemic problems in housing. Reforming Fannie and Freddie is of critical importance to the Latino community, who will comprise half of the housing market by 2020—but we wonder why the National Journal is leading the discussion and Congress isn’t. These topics should be the central focus in Washington when it comes to improving the housing market. Instead, Congress is trumpeting this misinformed notion that Dodd-Frank is the cause of all our problems.

Dodd-Frank was the comprehensive legislation that was passed to prevent total economic collapse seven years ago. It stopped the bleeding and helped lay the foundation for a better economic system for consumers and honest dealers. To build on its successes, we must now direct our attention to how the secondary housing market is managed. That is, how do Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and thus taxpayers, avoid being left with all the liability and none of the benefits should another crisis rear its head?

Congress has attempted to take on housing finance reform in several iterations only to be stymied by gridlock. We know there is a way. In its joint report with the Center for American Progress, Making the Mortgage Market Safe for America’s Families, NCLR outlined a research-based roadmap to a broad, accessible, and affordable housing market. For example, there is a dire need for a fully funded Market Access Fund (MAF) to promote broader access to mortgage credit and to foster new and safe mortgage products as a way of increasing access. The MAF would also fully fund the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)—a state block grant program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, designed to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for very and extremely low-income families. We finally saw advances in this department late last year when the FHFA announced plans to fund both the NHTF and the Capital Magnet Fund. This is just the beginning, though.

Along with adequate funding, a new housing finance system needs a robust regulatory mechanism to monitor for safety and soundness, consumer protection, and access and affordability. While national experts grasp the importance of an improved housing finance reform system, Congress continues to use Dodd-Frank as a scapegoat. They are wasting time and taxpayer dollars, while never getting to the real issue at hand.