Tory Johnson recently reported on Immigration Impact that in the Rust Belt region of the United States, for example, owe much of their economic and population growth in recent years to immigrants, according to a recent report by the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and New American Economy (NAE), a non-partisan coalition of mayors and business leaders from across the United States. Research has repeatedly found that population decline, due to aging and native residents moving away, hurts local economies by shrinking the tax base and hampering business and job creation.
Many cities in the Great Lakes region—comprising Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York (excluding New York City metro area)—have experienced this economic and population decline. Whereas the U.S. population grew 14.2 percent between 2000 and 2015, the overall population of the Great Lakes region only increased by 4.3 percent during that time. And yet much of this growth was driven by immigrants.
A handful of officials in the White House, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security have spent the past year attempting to realize President Trump’s vision of an America that is less welcoming of foreigners. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff; Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General; and Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser, have led this effort. A crucial role has also been played by a lesser-known figure: Gene Hamilton, a lawyer in his mid-thirties who works as a top aide to Sessions at the Justice Department. Federal officials, congressional staffers, advocacy groups, and think-tank researchers know that Hamilton has helped shape Trump’s various travel bans, changes to refugee policies, and the implementation of an aggressive new approach to immigration enforcement. And yet, as one immigration lawyer told me of Hamilton, “he’s had such a light footprint.” Hamilton has rarely spoken to the press, and his relatively short career means that few can claim to know the exact nature of his beliefs or goals.
Last week, I obtained a two-hundred-and-thirty-five-page transcript of a deposition that Hamilton was compelled to give, in late October, as part of a federal lawsuit over the Administration’s handling of DACA, the Obama-era program that protected from deportation some eight hundred thousand undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the U.S. as children. The lawsuit was brought by Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. The groups’ argument is that, while the government may have been within its power to cancel DACA, the manner in which it did so—suddenly, and without warning—violated the rights of the people who relied on DACA for work permits, student loans, and other benefits. During the proceeding, Hamilton was pushed to describe the part he’d played in various Administration decisions. Over four hours, he detailed his interactions with senior officials such as Kelly and Miller, shared his personal views on immigration policy, and acknowledged, notably, that he’d been the author of the September 5th D.H.S. memo that formally terminated DACA. And, while Hamilton was careful not to answer more than he had to, the transcript offers a rare glimpse of an Administration official candidly discussing the development of a major area of policy.
Stephanie Saul of the New York Timesreports that the first new college class since the election of Donald J. Trump has arrived on campus, and new numbers confirm what the higher education industry had feared: Fewer foreign students are coming to the United States.
The number of newly arriving international students declined an average 7 percent in fall 2017, with 45 percent of campuses reporting drops in new international enrollment, according to a survey of nearly 500 campuses across the country by the Institute of International Education.
Experts cited an uncertain social and political climate in the United States as part of the reason for the decline in enrollment.
“It’s a mix of factors,” said Rajika Bhandari, head of research for the institute, which collects data on international students in cooperation with the State Department. “Concerns around the travel ban had a lot to do with concerns around personal safety based on a few incidents involving international students, and a generalized concern about whether they’re safe.”
Another reason for the decline is increasing competition from countries like Canada, Britain and Australia, said Allan E. Goodman, president of the institute.
The figures released Monday also included final numbers for 2016-2017, which show robust international enrollment, with a record 1.08 million international students in the United States, an increase of 85 percent from a decade earlier.
Much of the record was driven by 175,000 students who have remained in the United States after completing their degrees, in internship-type programs known as “optional practical training.”
The 2016-2017 figures, though, revealed that first-time international students dropped 3 percent, indicating that the decline had begun before President Trump took office.
The drop in new students signals potential financial difficulties for some small universities that have come to rely on money from foreign students, who provide an infusion of $39 billion into the United States economy each year.
Particularly hard hit are campuses in the Midwest, according to the institute.
At the University of Iowa, overall international enrollment this fall was 3,564, down from 4,100 in 2015.
Migration Information Source “Spotlight” on Haitian Immigrants in the United States reports that the number of Haitians in the United States has tripled since 1990, reaching 676,000 in 2015. Most Haitians entered the United States before 2010, the year of a devastating earthquake from which Haiti is still working to recover. This Spotlight article offers the latest data on Haitian immigrants, including the number holding Temporary Protected Status, top states and cities of residence, demographic information, and more.
In response to general lack of first-hand knowledge regarding the experience of deportation and removal, and the consequent dehumanized narratives on the topic, we are producing an online open access archive of personal stories about deportation. Policy debate on deportation tends to be driven by statistics, with little attention to human experience. This project will make visible a range of humanitarian issues that mass human displacement has generated as the result of its management on both sides of the US-Mexico border. It employs digital storytelling, a digital genre that puts control of content and production in the hands of community storytellers (deportees and others affected by deportation and deportability), to produce a public archive that will give a human face to the deportation crisis.
The New York Times editorial boardin “Trump Embraces a Senseless Immigration Proposal” outlines its displeasure with the proposed RAISE Act and his attempt to appeal to his supporters.
President Trump has endorsed legislation that would slash legal immigration by half, mainly by cutting the number of visas granted to relatives of citizens, while favoring people who speak English and have advanced degrees. The bill, which would do nothing to solve the country’s immigration and economic challenges, is unlikely to become law. The only way to understand Mr. Trump’s vocal support of an obvious turkey is as yet another attempt to energize his dwindling base of right-wing and nativist supporters.
Daniella Diaz and Laura Jarrett from CNN report that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel defends the city’s lawsuit on the DOJ over their sanctuary city status. The City of Chicago escalated its months-long battle with the Trump administration over immigration enforcement Monday, asking a federal court to block Attorney General Jeff Sessions from imposing several new conditions over certain federal grant money.
The suit revolves around specific conditions Sessions announced in July for a federal program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, or Bryne JAG, which provides federal funding to support local law enforcement efforts. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his city’s lawsuit Monday, telling CNN the DOJ’s new stipulations against so-called sanctuary cities “undermines our actual safety agenda.”
“We want you to come to Chicago if you believe in the American dream,” Emanuel, a Democrat, told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “Newsroom.” “By forcing us, or the police department, to choose between the values of the city and the philosophy of the police department, in community policing, I think it’s a false choice and it undermines our actual safety agenda.”
Emanuel’s office said in a statement over the weekend that the Trump administration’s “latest unlawful misguided action undermines public safety and violates” the Constitution. He said the city is challenging the administration “to ensure that their misguided policies do not threaten the safety of our residents.”
NPR’s Code Switch looks at the U.S. Census. As NPR describes the Census, “It’s about what we call ourselves, the ways we see ourselves and how we’re represented.” On this episode they ask the former head of the Census bureau why he quit. They talk about how the Census helped create ‘Hispanic’ identity. Also, there is talk through some of the proposed race and ethnicity categories that may show up on the 2020 questionnaire.
Cindy Carcamo for the Los Angeles Times reports that, in California, most of the meatpacking industry is located in the Central Valley. It has become one of the biggest employers for refugee resettlement agencies and other nonprofits aiding the population in those areas. Middle Eastern refugees are now an important part of the meatpacking industry’s workforce. The article focuses on several poultry workers including Al Souki who fled war-torn Syria and worked backbreaking 12-hour shifts in his home country and Jordan before making his way to the United States.
Refugees have increasingly become vital workers in an industry with high turnover. And the growing unrest and bloodshed in the Middle East and elsewhere have readily supplied them in places like the Central Valley.
The refugee and immigrant populations ”certainly have been a significant part, an integral part of our workforce for decades,” said Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council.
It’s difficult to know exactly how many refugees work in this occupation but roughly one-third of workers in the industry in 2010 were foreign-born, according to a peer-reviewed article in Choices, a publication of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Assn., a nonprofit that serves those who work in agricultural and broadly related fields of applied economics.
Most of the meatpacking industry is located in the California’s Central Valley. It’s become one of the biggest employers for refugee resettlement agencies and other nonprofits aiding the population in those areas. Immigrants have long been integral to the meatpacking industry, but refugees surfaced as a key labor force starting in 2006, according to experts who study the phenomenon. For more on this story, click here.