Political Promises Not to Deport Children. Should We Cheer?

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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at the Univision/ Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Julianne Hing writes in The Nation:

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos got what he came for at last Wednesday night’s Democratic debate. After aggressive questioning, Ramos compelled both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to pledge not to deport children if either is elected president. The candidates made news with this stunning campaign commitment, that’s for sure.

This is how it went down:

RAMOS: And can you promise that you won’t deport immigrants who don’t have a criminal record?

CLINTON: Here’s what I can promise, Jorge; I can promise that I will do everything possible to provide due process.

RAMOS: But will you deport children?

CLINTON: Let me say this. I would give every person, but particularly children, due process to have their story told. And a lot of children will, of course, have very legitimate stories under our law to be able to stay.

They went back and forth a few more times, and Clinton spoke at length about the distinction she makes between deporting undocumented immigrants who are here and those who have arrived, especially in recent years due to the child migrant crisis, seeking asylum.

CLINTON: Yes, you can because the question you were asking me were about children seeking asylum. And we have laws. That was the most critical thing I said. Under our laws. I would like to see those laws changed. I would like see added to them, a guaranteed counsel and other support for children.

CLINTON: But if you are asking about everyone who is already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety. So I do not have the same policy as the current administration does. I think it’s important that we move to our comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, stop the raids, stop the roundups, stop the deporting of people who are living here doing their lives, doing their jobs, and that’s my priority.

Hilary was very careful with her words and relented on the issue with lawyerly sophistication during the Democratic Debate. nyone who’s paid attention to the immigration debate of the last half decade knows that President Obama is still paying for campaign promise he made to get immigration reform passed. More on the story here.

Black and undocumented: ‘I didn’t know anybody else like me’

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Photo courtesy of Dorian Merina/KPCC Rhea Lambey, 39, is now a community college student who hopes to pursue counseling. She secured her legal status in 2014 after spending nearly three decades undocumented. She was brought to the US as a child in the 1980s from her native Belize.

As the debate on immigration heats up, some are hoping to inject a new perspective into the conversation: that of those who are both black and undocumented. The Southern California Public Radio reports on undocumented Black immigrants.  Latinos make up the majority of the undocumented population.  However, according to estimates from the Migration Policy Institute, nearly 600,000 people are also from Caribbean and African countries. And the overall black immigrant community is growing rapidly. As the debate on immigration heats up, some are hoping to inject a new perspective into the conversation: that of those who are both black and undocumented.

Most estimates do not make a distinction of who is a Latino of African descent, also known as Afro-Latinos. Many of those who are undocumented and Black say their experience adds an important dimension to the discussion – especially at a time when the country is grappling with a renewed discussion about race.

New Report Calls into Question CBP’s Use of Force Policy

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Immigration Impact provides a recent report that once again places Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) use-of-force policies into question.  The new report is by former Baltimore police commissioner and Justice Department official Thomas Frazie. First reported by the Center for Investigative Journalism’s Reveal, Frazier’s scathing review of CBP policy was done at the request of the family of José Alfredo Yañez Reyes, who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol Agent in June 2011 after he and another man tried to flee from agents into Mexico. More on the story here.

CMS Reports DAPA and DACA Populations Part of American Society

A report released today by the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) offers a statistical portrait of the potential beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented in 2012 (“original DACA”), and the expanded DACA program announced in 2014 (“DACA-plus”). The report illustrates the degree to which these populations have become embedded in US society, finding that the great majority of DAPA and DACA recipients enjoy strong family ties, long tenure, and high employment rates in the United States.

Major findings in the report include:

Of the DAPA-eligible

  • 89% are parents of US citizens only
  • 7% have lawful permanent resident children only
  • 4% have both US citizen and lawful permanent resident children
  • 20% are married to a US citizen or legal non-citizen

DAPA and DACA recipients who have lived in the US for 10 years or more

  • DAPA: 81%
  • Original DACA: 85%
  • DACA-plus: 72%

DAPA and DACA recipients in the labor force that are employed

  • DAPA: 94%
  • Original DACA: 89%
  • DACA-plus: 90%

DAPA and DACA recipients who have at least a high school degree

  • DAPA: 47%
  • Original DACA: 93%
  • DACA-plus: 95%

DAPA and DACA recipients who speak English well, very well or exclusively

  • DAPA: 49%
  • Original DACA: 91%
  • DACA-plus: 83%

DAPA and DACA recipients with access to a computer and internet

  • DAPA: 68%
  • Original DACA: 74%
  • DACA-plus: 73%

CMS derived its estimates on the DAPA- and DACA-eligible from statistics on the foreign-born population collected in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). It first derived detailed estimates for all undocumented residents, and then used the characteristics of this population (e.g., year of entry, age at entry, etc.) to tabulate the numbers who would be eligible for DAPA and DACA in 2014, which is the most recent year available.

H1B Fireworks at GOP Debates

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At the Republican debate last week, both Rubio and Trump weighed in on the Disney H1B issue. IDisney let go tech of some workers, replaced the unit with an outsourcing company, and that company brought in H1B workers who the original (USC) workers were asked to train.

Marco Rubio called it illegal.

“If there’s an American working at Disney, and they bring in someone with an H-1B visa to replace their direct job, that is a violation of the law”, Rubio said.

Donald Trump said that he shouldn’t have been allowed to use the H-1B program the way he has.

“I’m a businessman and I have to do what I have to do, but it’s sitting there for you to use”, said Trump. “But it’s very bad”

Republicans and Democrats in Florida will have a chance to vote for their preferred presidential candidate on Tuesday.

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