Immigration Impact

How to Have a Productive Conversation on Immigration

In preparation for the August recess, the Immigration Policy Center released a new guide to answering the tough questions on immigration. This is perhaps a misnomer, as the issues we cover—the intersection of crime, the economy, integration, and immigration—aren’t so much tough as they are complicated. There is plenty of evidence available on the significant contributions immigrants make to the country, so providing that is easy. What’s tough is discussing the personal myths and misconceptions individuals carry with them on the topic.  Aren’t immigrants to blame for…?

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Steve King's Tall Tales about Immigrants Couldn't Be Farther From the Truth

There is no denying that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has a vivid imagination. As he sits in Border Patrol vehicles at night, he apparently sees hundreds of DREAM Act-eligible drug mules with muscular calves hauling heavy loads of marijuana across the border. How does he know these drug mules would meet the rather stringent criteria for legalization under the DREAM Act? Hard to say. How does he know these drug mules outnumber their valedictorian counterparts by a ratio of one hundred to one? No one can say. What is certain is this: when it comes to the topic of immigration and crime, nativists like King have no need for facts when there is so much fear and innuendo at their disposal. Perhaps this is because the facts are so stacked against them.

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Report: Immigrants Play Critical Role in Driving U.S. Talent and Economic Competitiveness

U.S. workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields have been important contributors to American innovation, job creation, rising incomes, and global economic competitiveness throughout the years. And not surprisingly, immigrants have played a critical role in American innovation through STEM fields and all parts of the U.S. economy. A new report by Gordon Hanson (University of California, San Diego) and Matthew Slaughter (Dartmouth) describes these important relationships between talent, economic competitiveness, and immigration in the United States. In their paper, the authors present data in support of three critical points: 

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Report: Immigrants and Their Children To Fill Workforce Gaps Left by Aging Baby Boomers

Over the next two decades, as the baby boom generation continues entering retirement, we will experience the largest exodus from the workforce by any generational cohort in American history. This wave of retirees will create a labor force deficit among the millions of jobs baby boomers depart from on top of new job growth industries create. Amid this great demographic shift, immigrants and their children are poised to play a critical role in filling workforce gaps left by massive baby boom generation retirements over the next twenty years, as a new forward-looking report from the Center for American Progress describes.

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Civil Rights Hotline Reveals 3 Dangerous Trends Following Alabama's Anti-Immigrant Law

According to a new report from the National Immigration Law Center, anti-Latino discrimination is alive and well in Alabama, and has gotten a seal of approval from the governor and the state legislature. HB 56, the state’s increasingly infamous anti-immigrant law, went into effect on June 9, 2011, and has since inspired all manner of bias aimed at Latino residents of the state. Stories abound of police pulling over and harassing Latino drivers for no justifiable reason; cashiers demanding proof of legal status before they will take the money of Latino customers; white shoppers telling brown-skinned shoppers to “go back to Mexico.” In short, more and more self-appointed defenders of the nation’s immigration laws are degrading and dehumanizing their fellow Alabamans. In the process, they are dehumanizing themselves as well.

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Center for Immigration Studies: Best Way to Deal With Latino Vote? Ignore It

The nativist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has an implicit message for the Republican Party heading into the 2012 elections: stop worrying about Latino voters and just play to your predominantly Anglo base. Such is the kamikaze message contained within a new CIS report, innocuously titled Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote. The report dismisses the claims of innumerable analysts that Latino voters could tip the electoral balance one way or the other in the so-called “battleground” states and, by extension, in the nation as a whole. After all, argues CIS, veterans and senior citizens outnumber Latinos in the national electorate, so why not focus on winning them over instead? This may seem comical to some observers, but CIS is saying it with a straight face.

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5 Ways Obama's Deferred Action for Dreamers Shifts the Conversation on Immigration Reform

There’s no doubt that recent implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative is the biggest thing to happen in immigration law in many years. While most of the attention is currently focused on how to make it work, how to apply and how to work out the kinks, it’s important to take a macro view at the ways this program can actually renew the entire conversation on immigration reform.

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Immigration Hardliner's Lawsuit Against Deferred Action is Unlikely to Stand Up in Court

Kris Kobach’s official job title is Kansas Secretary of State. But he is better known for drafting—and being hired to defend in court—state and local immigration laws designed to make undocumented residents “self-deport.” His two most notorious undertakings are Arizona SB 1070 and Alabama HB 56, which have largely been eviscerated by federal courts. Yesterday, Kobach embarked on a new legal escapade, filing a lawsuit to block the Obama administration from granting deferred action to so-called “DREAMERers,” undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. Fortunately, although sure to generate headlines, the lawsuit has little chance of standing up in court.

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Judge Strikes Down Most of Alabama's Extreme Anti-Immigrant Law

As with the Supreme Court’s recent opinion on Arizona SB 1070, initial media coverage portrayed the (technically) mixed rulings on the Alabama and Georgia immigration laws as a split decision. But do not be fooled: yesterday’s opinions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit represent a sweeping win for the immigrants’ rights movement and a crushing blow to the legal crusade led by Kris Kobach. While yesterday’s victory was not unqualified, the provisions struck down by the Eleventh Circuit were far more significant than those that were upheld.

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Sore Loser, Jan Brewer, Continues Anti-Immigrant Crusade

Despite losing both the legal and public relations battles in the fight over SB 1070, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer was anxious to put Arizona back in the spotlight this week. Although she can’t prevent people from requesting or receiving deferred action, she issued an executive order that attempts to prevent Arizona recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) from obtaining driver’s licenses in her state.  The order, which also banned access to public benefits (something DACA recipients are ineligible for, anyway) has been characterized as mean-spirited and belligerent, but it is also just wrong on the facts.

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