Week Ending May 8
This week in immigration reform: NCLR continues our blog series on deferred action recipients; developments on lawsuits challenging executive action; and great news for DACA recipients in Arizona.
NCLR Blog features DACA recipient: This week’s installment of our ‘Living the American DREAM’ blog series features Nadia, a DACA recipient from Tennessee who plans to attend Christian Brothers University this fall to pursue a degree in education. Nadia told us “Thanks to DACA, I can go to college and be anything I want. I would love to be a history teacher because history has helped me understand who I am.” While Nadia is working to be able to save for college, she remains active in her community working with NCLR Affiliate, Latino Memphis.
DACA recipients in Arizona eligible for in-state tuition: This week the Arizona Board of Regents announced that DACA recipients will be able to receive in-state tuition rates at Arizona public universities. The announcement followed a court ruling that DACA recipients are lawfully present in Arizona and eligible for in-state tuition. For more information about in-state tuition policies and access to higher education for undocumented students, check out this map from United We Dream.
Update on lawsuits: This Monday, Texas and its fellow states challenging expanded DACA and DAPA filed documents with the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reiterate their challenge of deferred action. The 5th Circuit is expected to rule any day on the Department of Justice’s request the programs be allowed to move forward while the appeals process plays out. Oral arguments regarding the Department of Justice’s appeal on Judge Hanen’s ruling regarding implementation are slated for the week of July 6.
Also this week, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard arguments regarding an appeal by notorious Arizona Sheriff Arpaio. Arpaio claims that the president’s deferred action policies are requiring his jails to expend millions of dollars housing undocumented immigrants that Obama refuses to deport. A Politico article notes the three-judge panel will likely affirm the lower court’s decision that tossed out the suit on standing grounds.
Week Ending April 17
This week in immigration: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments in case on administrative relief; Taskforce on New Americans releases recommendations; NCLR continues blog series featuring DACA recipients.
Update on lawsuits challenging executive action: This week, a panel of three judges from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the preliminary injunction halting the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) on April 17. The panel was announced earlier in the week leading some analysts to speculate that the two conservatives on the panel may vote to uphold the district court’s ruling. Advocates and families (including from NCLR Affiliates TIRRC, Latin American Coalition, and others) are gathering outside the courthouse to demonstrate support for administrative relief and to show that the president’s actions are in the best interest of the country.
White House Task Force on New Americans Releases Recommendations: On April 14, a Task Force that was created as part of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration in November released its plan to strengthen integration efforts. The Task Force solicited input from a wide array of stakeholders, including NCLR and its vast Affiliate Network. Among the report’s key recommendations are enhancing the capacity of the AmeriCorps VISTA program to build more welcoming communities, promoting citizenship and naturalization through public awareness campaigns and direct outreach to eligible Lawful Permanent Residents, increasing access to housing, expanding Small Business Administration tools, and increasing access to English-as-a-second-language and early learning resources. The report also commits to launching a Welcoming Communities Challenge to encourage local governments to implement tailored integration strategies for their communities. “We are pleased with the Task Force’s initial set of recommendations to promote the successful incorporation of millions of new immigrants into the fabric of our society, and we are anxious to see them turned into action,” said NCLR Senior Legislative Analyst Victoria Benner. “While federal agencies and community-based organizations stand ready to do their part, ultimately we need Congress to pass bipartisan legislation like the New American Success Act and the private sector to step up in helping our nation meet this important challenge,” concluded Benner.
NCLR features DACA recipient Katherine Perez: This week’s installment of our ‘Living the American DREAM’ blog series features the story of Katherine Perez, who arrived from Colombia as a young girl and worked hard to do well in school. Her hard work paid off as she was able to continue her studies as a result of a private scholarship that allowed her to enroll at Montgomery College. She is a DACA recipient and as a result she now looks to her future with renewed hope and resolve. She has transferred to the University of Maryland College Park and is majoring in science. “I have a job and I am in the process of getting my driver’s license. I can now save money to pay for next semester and help out at home with the expenses. I feel more empowered and in charge of my life,” said Katherine.