This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending January 15

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Week Ending January 15

This week in immigration: No decision yet from the Supreme Court; Ready America conference provides immigration integration strategies; new report examines children with unauthorized immigrant parents.

No decision yet from the Supreme Court on DAPA and expanded DACA: The Supreme Court could still agree to hear the case at their next meeting on Friday, January 22.  While we wait to hear if the Supreme Court will take the case, take a moment to read the op-ed written by Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) describing the work of her late father, Rep. Roybal and others pushing for executive action that would protect spouses and children of people gaining legal status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Under the Family Fairness policy, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) ultimately made up to 1.5 million unauthorized spouses and children of those legalized under IRCA eligible for temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. Rep. Roybal-Allard writes “It is my hope that once DAPA and expanded DACA are permitted to take effect and millions of Dreamers and parents of American citizens are permitted to come forward, pass background checks and more fully participate in our communities, Congress will act consistent with the will of the American people and enact sensible immigration reform legislation. Doing so will honor the legacy and the principle of family unity that my father, as well as Reagan and Bush, championed.”

Ready America conference brings together immigration leaders: Grassroots organizers, advocacy groups, and legal experts will gather in Arlington, Virginia next month to collaborate on immigration integration strategies at the 2nd annual Ready America conference. The focus will be on preparing organizations to assist Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Additionally, participants will discuss policies and procedures to enact should the Supreme Court uphold Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded DACA. Individuals or groups looking to register for the conference can do so here, and an outreach flyer providing exact dates, times, and locations is available here.

Migration Policy Institute examines outcomes for children with unauthorized immigrant parents: The Migration Policy Institute this week released a fact sheet titled “A Profile of U.S. children with Unauthorized Immigrant Parents.” This publication finds that children growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents face lower preschool enrollment, reduced socioeconomic progress, and higher rates of linguistic isolation and poverty. By middle childhood, research shows that the estimated 5.1 million children living with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent face lower academic achievement. By adolescence, these same youth suffer from higher anxiety and depressive symptoms, and by young adulthood have completed an average of 1.25 to 1.5 fewer years of schooling than their peers. Despite the fact that 79 percent of children with unauthorized immigrant parents are U.S. citizens themselves, they still suffer the consequences of our broken immigration system.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending October 30

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Week Ending October 30

This week in immigration: NCLR participates in American Constitution Society event on 1965 Immigration Act; NC Governor signs anti-immigrant bill despite pushback across the state; and still waiting for a decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 NCLR senior advisor participates in event on 1965 immigration act: Earlier this week, Charles Kamasaki, NCLR Senior Advisor, moderated a panel discussion hosted by the American Constitution Society and the Economic Policy Institute. The expert panel discussed the legacy of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Earlier this month marked the 50th anniversary of the legislation that opened immigration to the U.S. to people who had previously been excluded. A video of the panel discussion is available on the ACS website.  

 Despite pushback from across the state, North Carolina governor signs HB 318: Previous updates reported that the North Carolina legislature had passed HB 318, legislation that would ban North Carolina cities from adopting community trust policies and prohibit government officials from accepting consular identification. Earlier this week, Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill despite opposition from groups across the state including NCLR Affiliates, El Pueblo, El Centro Hispano, and the Latin American Coalition. Angeline Echeverria, Executive Director of El Pueblo, said to The Huffington Post: “In the medium to long term we’re looking at repeal, what are our possibilities of mobilizing a lot of voters in the election to make sure that the people who are running for office understand how important an issue this is to our communities and they take that into account.”

 5TH Circuit Court of Appeals still has not issued a decision on administrative relief: This week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, spoke at the 12th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington, DC and expressed frustration that the expansion of DACA and DAPA are being held up in the courts, but said DHS will continue to defend the program. Asked about the administration’s plans to request review by the Supreme Court, he stated that they are taking it “one day at a time.” NPR has a story on the delay here and what it means for millions of families.   

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