Immigration Update: November 2011
Click here to see the most up-to-date list of immigration bills still working their way through Congress and what FCNL thinks about them.
Although several immigration related bills have been introduced in the 112th session of Congress, none have been taken to the floor of either the House or the Senate for a vote. As a result of the lack of action in Congress on immigration, several states have begun to implement their own immigration laws. In response, the US Department of Justice has taken a proactive stance by filing lawsuits against several states already (Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina). Read more about what is happening at the state level here.
Department of Homeland Security’s ICE deports record numbers in 2011
For the second year in a row, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has reported record deportation numbers: 400,000 for fiscal year 2011, which is the highest annual level in US history. Despite the Morton memo in June and Obama’s statement in August asking Secretary Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security to suspend deportations of those who do not pose a threat to national security, there have still been reports of DREAM-ers (youth and students who were brought to the US at a young age and know nothing of their ‘home’ country) being deported since then.
Feinstein to introduce bill to temporarily legalize undocumented farm workers currently in the US
In a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on October 4, 2011, Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA) said that she will introduce a bill that will provide undocumented farm workers currently in the US with at least a five year temporary legal residency as well as a blue card to allow their families a legal way to live with them while they are working in the US. FCNL favors legislation that provides a path to eventual citizenship as opposed to temporary legal residency. However, Feinstein believes that is not a viable option in the political climate of the current Congress.
Interfaith Immigration Coalition organizes to support the DREAM Act
In order to create more awareness and support for the DREAM Act, the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and faith communities all across the U.S. organized DREAM Sabbath Services that took place from September 16th through October 9th, 2011. Click here to view a video of some DREAM-ers and their stories.