Tag Archives: Economic Justification

ACA Denied for Deferred Action Applicants, DNC Convention, Economic Impact of Immigration Relief, 8/27- 9/3

5 Sep
Caduceus Crossed Through in front of Chicago Deferred Action Applicants

Original Photo by Nathan Weber for NY Times

Deferred Actors need not apply for health coverage through Affordable Care Act

Department of Health and Human Services made a ruling this past week that deferred action applicants would not be eligible to participate in the programs of the Affordable Care Act. Although the ACA has stated that it would be open to those who are “lawfully present,” it will exclude the 1.7 million young people who may request deferred action. The announcement comes in response to Republican criticism that deferred action would cost the country due to services it would provide to those with this new status. With this decision from the Dept. of Health and Human services, the Obama administration has made it clear that undocumented people, even those young people who submit form I-821D, will continue to be dealt a diminished set of rights.

Two weeks ago, in Arizona Jan Brewer issued  a more startling executive order that explicitly bans deferred action applicants from receiving drivers licenses, state id cards, and other local benefits.
Although there are many working to limit the rights of the deferred action applicants, there has been a flurry of fliers, handouts and websites to provide information for those who are considering pursing the process. Here are is a Fotonovela from the Rural Women’s Health Project describing deferred action, in Spanish and in English.

Immigration Rights at the DNC

The Democratic convention to nominate President Obama on the Democratic ticket is set to begin today. Although there were several prominent Latino speakers at the Republican National Convention, immigration as a topic was largely avoided. At the Democratic National Convention, we will likely likely hear more favorable arguments for immigration, especially from the likes of keynote speaker Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Immigrants rights groups, such as the Undocubus: No Papers, No Fear, Ride for Justice have targeted the convention as a more receptive setting to air their concerns. Here you can see a inspiring photo album of the riders.

Economic contributions of immigrants in red states are substantial

Center for American Progress has released a report examining the economic role of immigrants in states where there has been wide support for anti-immigrant laws. The report profiles Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia and asks: What would happen if all undocumented immigrants in the respective state were deported? and What would happen if undocumented immigrants were given legal status? They conclude that deportations would lead to lost revenue and fewer jobs, whereas legalization would brings more money into the state.

Often anti-immigrant arguments are flung from a place of emotion. When the right-wing academics get involved, they usually cite economic reasons, jobs, services, etc.as they reason why immigrants are bad for the economy. CAP’s report undercuts those lines of reasoning and provides evidence that the restrictive and severe immigration and enforcement policies are what actually hurts the economy.

In comparison to the states included in CAP’s report, California’s legislature has considered a long list of pro-immigrant bills: the TRUST Act that would weaken S-COMM, drivers licenses for deferred action applicants, work permits for farmworkers, and protection for taxpaying undocumented immigrants.

Immigration courts pose yet another challenge for immigrants 4/4-4/10

10 Apr

Immigration courts: troubled system, long waits, SFGATE, 4-4-11
This article in the SFGATE covers several common experiences within the immigration courts. The average length of an immigration case to be resolved is 639 days. Many of the troubles are due to lack of time, and intensified pressure from ICE to increase deportation rates.
In addition to fears of deportation, anti-immigrant attitudes, the immigration courts are another way in which undocumented immigrants are reminded of their second-class status in this country. The article reports many inadequacies of the immigration courts such as long waits, and inadequate preparation by attorneys, that often lead to decisions before all the facts are in. In several circumstances, individual’s medical conditions were not attended to in detainment. One man, a diabetic from Guinea, was denied medical attention and was given spoiled food. This is the collateral damage, of the Obama administration’s increase in the number of deportations.

CA anti-immigrant bills die in committee, SFGATE, 4-5-11
Assemblymember Tim Donnelly from San Bernardino tries to get two pieces of legislation through committee but fails. The first would have required identity check for any one applying for public benefits; the second would have allowed cities to be sued for Sanctuary city policies.

Unfair to immigrants, costly to tax payers, NYTIMES, 4-4-11
Opinion piece by Scott Stringer and Andrew Friedman that suggests that the money spent on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants is misspent. The authors notes that over half of the people held at Rikers with immigration related charges do not have criminal charges.

Alabama house passes Arizona style immigration law, AL.com, 4-5-2011
Not to be outdone by their counterparts in the Arizona, many representatives are pursuing anti-immigrant policies in their own states. In this article the republican sponsor of the bill explained: “…bill attacks every aspect of an illegal alien’s life.” The ultimate purpose of these new sets of laws is to make life so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they leave on their own accord. Little regard is taken for the fact that these laws often impact all brown people, those with and those without the right documents.

7 Students arrested for protesting anti-immigrant laws in Georgia, CNN, 4-5-2011
Students blocked traffic at an Atlanta intersection to draw attention to immigration reform, and specifically the DREAM act. Of note: according to recent census data ¼ of children under 18 are Hispanic. Included in the article  was Obama’s reaction to the failure of the DREAM act, to make it clear that he had not completely forgotten about the Latino vote: “We didn’t get it passed this time, but I don’t want young people to be giving up because if people in the past had given up, we probably wouldn’t have women’s rights, we wouldn’t have civil rights,” Obama said during a Univision-sponsored town hall meeting at a High School in Washington.