Jeff Sessions: DACA Deal “Last Real Opportunity’ to Enact Immigration Agenda That “Serves National Interest”
In an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Sessions said the White House-backed immigration plan that business-first Republicans and Democrats blocked was a missed chance for Americans to see relief in an immigration system that would have eventually ended the mass importation of more than one million mostly low-skilled foreign workers every year.
Sen. Chuck Grassley’s immigration plan, blocked by Democrats and a number of Republicans, mirrored the White House’s immigration framework in that it down-the-road ended the process of “chain migration,” ended the Diversity Visa Lottery program, and funded a border wall along the U. S.-Mexico border.
Like the White House’s immigration framework, the Grassley plan would not have immediately ended chain migration, though, allowing the roughly four million chain migrants in the backlog to continue entering the U. S. Despite the Republican establishment and Democrats’ demand to give amnesty to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal aliens, the political establishments have remained steadfast in their support for mass immigration.
Overall, including all legal immigration and not just chain migration, the U.S. is on track to bring in about 15 million new foreign-born voters in the next 20 years, as the country continues admitting more than one million legal immigrants every year.
Immigration Advocates Hold On to Hope After Senate DACA Failure
Although Catholic immigration advocates are disappointed that the Senate on Feb. 15 voted down multiple proposals for protecting young immigrants who were brought illegally to the U. S. as children, they say they are still holding on to hope and committed to working for a solution.
Advocates had urged the Senate to pass a bill last week that protected Dreamers without including major anti-immigrant provisions, but even bipartisan compromises failed after the Trump administration attacked all proposals that did not fund a border wall, terminate the diversity visa program and sharply cut family-based immigration.
Advocates decried the Senate’s failure to pass a compromise, and the role that President Donald Trump’s administration played in discouraging consensus.
Trump Revives Push for Limits On Immigrants Bringing Family
For the past 50-plus years, family reunification has been central to U.S. immigration law. Those who become naturalized citizens can bring spouses and minor children and petition for parents, adult children and siblings to get their own green cards and become Americans in their own right, with their own ability to sponsor. Immigration advocates want a reassessment of the quotas on how many people can come from a given country in a given year, which has created decade-long backlogs for citizens of some countries.
In his State of the Union speech last month, as proof of the need to curtail what he and others term “chain migration” in favor of a more skills-based system. “This vital reform is necessary not just for our economy, but for our security and for the future of America,” Trump said, referring to an attempted bombing by a Bangladeshi immigrant in New York in December
Proposals to scale back the number of immigrants allowed into the country will end up dividing families and drive more people to enter the country illegally, making them vulnerable to exploitation, said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles. “The idea someone came before us and wanted to work hard and bring their family is actually a very unifying value, a very bipartisan value,” she said. “Wanting to reunify families should be common ground, and we’re struggling against this hostile branding to make it something that it’s not.”
Immigration Activists Slam DOJ for Proposed Census Addition
Immigration activists are slamming the Department of Justice (DOJ) over a proposed addition to the United States census. The proposal would add a question of one’s citizenship status to the next census survey, which is in 2020.
Activists say that question can deter countless people from answering the survey, arguing that noncitizens may fear retribution for answering negatively and could skip the census entirely. If that happens, they say immigration clusters like those in New York would suffer. The census would count fewer people and, in turn, lead to fewer resources.
The census is overseen by the Department of Commerce. Because of that, more than two dozen advocacy organizations have penned a letter to commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to reject the DOJ’s proposal. Meanwhile, the DOJ states that the data is critical to protect all American citizens’ voting rights.
University Continues Efforts to Protect Students Impacted by Immigration Laws
The Catholic University of America has recently been providing support for students impacted by both immigration laws such as Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals and natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. This is in large part due to a strong presence of Puerto Rican students and citizens from foreign nations currently studying or working on campus, as well as social teaching from the Catholic Church.
On Tuesday, February 13th, University President John Garvey announced that Catholic Charities and CASA will offer assistance and support to the immigrant communities on campus.
“I want you to know that the University has established a working group (from Human Resources, Campus Ministry, Student Affairs, the Provost’s office, and the General Counsel’s office) with responsibility for keeping current on immigration matters, and ensuring that we are doing all we can to support and provide resources to our faculty, staff, and students,” Garvey said in the email.