Immigration News: November 16, 2022

Can any immigration bill pass a Republican-majority House of Representatives? House Democrats doubt it, so they are preparing to pass immigration legislation now, and hope that the Senate will also pass it before the end of the year and the inauguration of a new Congress. It’s not at all clear that any Republicans in the Senate would vote for even a DACA bill with massive public support. 

Which brings the next question: can any immigration bill garner enough Republican votes in the Senate to defeat a filibuster and actually get to a vote? 

[The Hill] “The DACA bill is separate from a House-passed bill to grant a path to citizenship to millions of farmworkers, and a broader immigration proposal to implement a rolling registry – a sort of statute of limitations on illegal entry – for immigrants.

“The House approved the farm workforce bill in March, 2021, meaning the Senate could take it up before the current Congress ends in January, and a registry bill was introduced in both the House and Senate.”

For Congress, the next six weeks include many crucial decisions. A pathway to citizenship for Dreamers leads the list of immigration bills that have a chance of passage. I’d say that the farm workforce bill and the Afghan Adjustment Act also have a chance of passage. So – call your Senators, email your Senators, and tell them you want a path to citizenship for Dreamers … and you want it this year. 

And in other news

Denouncing Philadelphia as a sanctuary city, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he is adding Philadelphia to a list of drop-off cities where he will send immigrants. Texas has already bused more than 13,000 migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago

[CBS] “In a statement late Tuesday, Kenney called Texas’ busing efforts a ‘disturbing policy,’ but he said officials in Philadelphia and local humanitarian groups were prepared to welcome migrants ‘with dignity and respect.’

“‘Philadelphians know that diversity is our strength, and we want to acknowledge the generosity and compassion we have already seen from residents and community partners since we were alerted to a possible bus arriving in Philadelphia,’ Kenney said.”

The first bus carrying migrants from Texas to Philadelphia arrived on Wednesday. Among the passengers was a 10-year-old girl who had a high fever and was severely dehydrated. She was immediately taken to a Philadelphia hospital. 

[CBS] “Advocates who welcomed them as they arrived before dawn said the families and individuals came from Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. The city and several nonprofit groups were ready to provide food, temporary housing and other services.

“‘In general, people feel relieved. We want them to know that they have a home here,’ said Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gym, who accompanied several of the migrants onto a second bus taking them to a site where their needs could be assessed.”

Canada recognizes that it needs more immigrants, not less. The United States also needs more immigrants, not less. The difference: Canadian policy and systems actually welcome immigrants.

[Washington Post] “Meanwhile, in Canada, the share of foreign-born residents — approaching one-quarter of the population — is markedly more than in the United States, and also at a more than 150-year high; few Western countries have a higher proportion of immigrants. Despite that, Canadian officials recently announced a substantial increase in immigration over the coming three years. In 2025, the goal is to admit 500,000 newcomers, a 23 percent increase from last year’s record total. The news prompted no widespread outcry.

“The many differences between the two countries discourage facile comparisons. But one critical contrast is worth noting: Canada has a relatively functional immigration system that responds rationally to its economic needs. The United States does not. …

“There are now 10.7 million jobs available in the United States, nearly two for every unemployed worker, and an ever-increasing share of the openings are for skilled employees. As a proportion of population, more jobs are vacant in the United States than Canada. Canada is wisely opening the door wider to the legal immigrants that its economy needs, while Congress, politically paralyzed, has proved itself unable to fix the United States’ broken system.” 

Mauritanian asylum seekers have been routinely denied and deported, despite severe persecution of Black Mauritanians in their homeland. Many were deported despite living in the United States for years, and having U.S. citizen family members. 

[Columbus Dispatch] “In Ohio, at least 50 asylum seekers were deported to dangerous living conditions in the past four years, according to Maryam Sy, an organizer at the Ohio Immigrant Alliance. Many still have family members here. Lam’s children, for example, all were born in the U.S., and his wife, who is from Mauritania, has a pending asylum application.

“More than half of these Ohio deportees came from Mauritania, where Black residents have been stripped of citizenship, detained, tortured, sometimes even killed. But for a variety of reasons that could range from lack of legal representation to judges’ unsympathetic attitudes, they did not receive asylum status, Sy said. …

“Lam used to be the main provider for his family. In Columbus, he worked two jobs to put himself through college and earned a $75,000 yearly salary as a data analyst by the time of his deportation. 

“With Lam now in Senegal and barely getting by, his wife, Vatimou Mikaill, is struggling to raise their three kids on her own.”

Abdoul Mbow has lived in the United States for 24 years. He writes in the Columbus Dispatch about the plight of his fellow Mauritanians as they try to reach safety in the United States, and tells is own story of persecution, genocide, and flight. 

[Columbus Dispatch] “A. Faye died in Guatemala, after a journey that started in Senegal. He was 29 years old. Another young man, from Mauritania, died in Colombia. Solo Ndiaye died in Mexico just this month.

“He was 36. 

“So many others, whose names are never reported, are literally dying to live.

“To many people, it doesn’t make sense. Why would a young person leave Africa for Brazil, then travel through South and Central America for a slim chance at freedom in the United States? …

“Even I have said this to people leaving Mauritania, my home country, and I know the apartheid that suffocates Black people there. ‘Please don’t go,’ I beg. ‘Don’t make this dangerous journey.’ And what do they say to me?

“’We are dead already.’”

More evidence continues to emerge in the ongoing investigation of children working overnight to clean slaughterhouses in Minnesota and Nebraska. They were employed by the Kieler, Wis.-based company Packers Sanitation Services Inc. (PSSI). While limited daytime work is legal for people under 18, none are allowed to work overnight or in hazardous worksites, and slaughterhouses are defined as hazardous. The children, like most of the slaughterhouse workers, are immigrants. 

[Star Tribune] “According to court records, one high school student in Marshall told investigators ‘everyone there knew’ at the plant that the student was underage. In Worthington, a 16-year-old cleaned machines and conveyor belts all night in the ham department and attended school in the morning.

“The ninth-grader in Worthington told investigators that they were 18, but subpoenaed school records revealed the child was actually 17. This student used a pressure hose to “pick up meat from the floor,” according to Labor Department officers. Company logs revealed the child had been working the midnight shift since age 15.”

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s