I’m signing off until after the holiday weekend, so I’ll start with two stories that inspire thanks. The first: One more study documents the motivation, success, and contribution to the U.S. economy of undocumented students. Some 86 percent of those surveyed are DACA recipients.
The second: a profile and interview of one of Minnesota’s new immigrant legislators from Sahan Journal.
Also — if you are interested, this will be my seventh year writing weekly “Advent Riffs” in my Fragments blog. I should have the First Sunday of Advent post up some time on Saturday, November 26. Comments welcome!
[The Hill] “Undocumented college graduates who take part in two major scholarship programs have a higher workforce participation rate than graduates in the general population, according to a new survey of the programs’ alumni.
“A report by TheDream.US and Golden Door Scholars — two groups that finance and mentor undocumented students — shows their graduates have a 94 percent workforce participation rate, compared to the 84 percent rate for college graduates nationally. ..
“The report also found that alumni of the two programs are overwhelmingly employed in high-demand sectors: 22 percent of graduates are in the health and medical field; 19 percent in business; 18 percent in education; 17 percent in public and social services; and 13 percent in science, math and technology.”
Susan Pha, a refugee who came to the United States as a child, was the first person of color to serve on the Brooklyn Park City Council. Now she’s headed for the Minnesota State Senate.
[Sahan Journal] “When she joins the Senate in January to represent Brooklyn Park and other nearby suburbs, she wants to ensure that her constituents have the same support her family received when she first came to the United States as a three-year-old war refugee. Pha, who is Hmong American, said her constituents in District 38 make up the most diverse Senate district in Minnesota. …
“Pha’s childhood experiences influenced her eventual turn to politics. She grew up in poverty in California after her family fled Laos in the wake of the Vietnam War. As they settled in San Diego, Pha experienced firsthand how simple acts of community care can impact people’s lives. …
“’Through policy, I can make a real change and make sure that we are still providing those services that can truly uplift people’s lives and give them opportunities,’ she said. ‘People need opportunities to thrive, to reach their dreams, to become financially stable for them and their families. And that’s what the state has to provide: opportunities for people to thrive.'”
And in other news
Fifteen states with Republican attorneys general are suing to keep the Title 42 ban on asylum seekers in place. Of course they are. But with their motion filed before Judge Emmett Sullivan, who threw out the Title 42 ban, it has little chance of succeeding.
[CBS] “The states said the expiration of Title 42 will lead even greater numbers of migrants to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. A sharp increase in migration, the Republican attorneys general argued, would harm their states financially, citing the costs of social services for migrants.
“The states’ motion was opposed by the Biden administration and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit challenging the Title 42 expulsions.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to ratchet up anti-immigrant measures, including official attacks on shelters housing immigrant children.
[ABC] “His House in Miami is one of 17 Florida-based shelters contracted by the federal government to temporarily care for migrant kids who arrive in the U.S. without a legal guardian before they’re reunited with family.
“It’s also the state’s largest shelter of its kind and has helped more than 20,000 migrant children since it opened in 1996, according to the complaint.
“But after 26 years of operating in Florida, DCF recently denied the shelter its license renewal because of the new DCF rule.”
Some migrants waiting for the end of Title 42 have already camped in Mexico for months. They are still waiting, still need food and water and shelter, and circumstances have not gotten any better.
[Border Report] “’I’ve been coming for three weeks to bring them blankets, socks and other things they need. Some (volunteers) from Oklahoma City came the other day to bring them bread and oatmeal,’ said Gregorio Ramirez Sosa, pastor of a Juarez evangelical church. ‘If I can help them a little, I will. […] It is sad to see them in these tents. I hope (the United States) will open the doors so all of them can achieve the American Dream and go wherever they want to go.”
“Ramirez said the migrants now in Juarez are facing a conundrum. They still risk expulsion to Mexico if they turn themselves in before Dec. 21, but if they stay they’ll have to brave cold seasonal weather in Northern Mexico for which they are not prepared for.”
Texas just sent a second busload of migrants to Philadelphia—and Philadelphia welcomed them again, As has been its practice, Texas refused to coordinate with Philadelphia officials to enable them to better prepare for the arrival of the asylum seekers.
[NBC] “Advocates greeted asylum seekers who came off the bus and handed them welcome materials.
“‘Philadelphia is a proud welcoming city,’ Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said after a similar migrants bus arrived last week. ‘For those arriving in Philadelphia please know you are welcome here.’
“People on board included migrants from Ecuador, Colombia and other countries, advocates told NBC10’s Miguel Martinez-Valle. A 4-year-old girl made the journey with her family.”