Republicans submit faux-DREAM Act proposal, the Plight of Domestic Workers, and the History of US Immigration Laws

1 Dec
Senators Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Getty Images)

Senators Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison (Getty Images)

Post-presidential election paths to immigration reform are emerging

In the presidential election Mr.Obama won the Latino and Asian vote by a large margin. Post-election analysis has suggested that Mr. Romney’s hard line approach to immigration was a major factor for the gap. He was never able to present a convincing argument to these constituencies and maintain his “self-deportation” strategy. There now appears to be consensus between the two major political parties that immigration reform should be a priority. Democrats may feel like they have a mandate, while Republicans understand they won’t be able to win elections without receiving more of the Latino and Asian vote.

Republicans are pushing forward two immigration measures, the ACHIEVE ACT and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Bill. The ACHIEVE Act was introduced by Jon Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison and would create a new visa for undocumented youth. The ACHIEVE act requires that applicants arrive before the age of 14, instead of age 16 as specified in the DREAM act. The visa holders would also be prohibited from federal student loans or any other kind of public benefits. Another bill the Republicans are pushing is the STEM Bill which would create visas for advanced degree graduates. These visas would be taken from another program that promotes immigration from low-immigration countries. There will likely be many months of wrangling between Republicans and Democrats before we see the new immigration reforms. These policies continue to offer minimal relief, and would end up causing many more problems in the long term.

Immigration status and affects domestic workers’ pay

A new report on pay and working conditions from the National Domestic Workers Alliance has found that undocumented domestic workers are worse off than citizen domestic workers. Undocumented workers on average receive 20% less pay, are more likely to be required to do strenuous work, more likely to be injured on the job, and more likely to work while injured. The current immigration policies weaken worker protections and create situations across the country where immigration status is exploited by employers.

23 moments of immigrant policy in the United States
ABC News and Univision have created summary of 23 pieces of legislation that have shaped the US’s current immigration policy, starting with the Naturalization Act of 1790. The article is a glimpse into the complicated and shameful history of US immigration law.

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