Category: immigration

SCOTUS, Deportation, and Jobs

SCOTUS, Deportation, and Jobs

This blog covers two important topics, SCOTUS and Jobs.

First, the Supreme Court took up the divisive political issue of immigration agreeing to rule by June on the Obama administration’s stalled plan to defer deportation of more than four million illegal immigrants.

The justices also asked the parties to address whether President Barack Obama violated his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

We have blogged on the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). The latter is under scrutiny here. The plan sought to prioritize the removal of serious criminals while allowing parents of these children to work without fear of deportation.

Congress has only appropriated the funds to remove only a fraction of that population in any given year. Texas, along with 25 states, filed suit to invalidate the program, and so far has prevailed in the courts.

In February 2015, a federal district judge in Brownsville, Texas, halted the program, a decision upheld by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

So who will be injured” if this case is upheld? Texas has said the deportation reprieve would force it to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants currently ineligible for the privilege, costing the state money because license fees don’t cover the cost of issuing licenses.

Some supporters of this view have suggested President Obama wants amnesty for these people. Others claim that the presence of undocumented workers affect jobs of native born workers.

A summary report** provides an overview of research since the mid-1990s studying these factors. Unfortunately there is mixed results. Earlier studies indicate that immigration has little to no impact on the wages of natives, but recent analyses  finds that recent scholarship on wage impacts have been divergent.

Some studies have shown substantial negative wage effects, particularly among African American and Latino immigrant workers. Other studies suggest that complementarities between high-skilled immigrants and similarly skilled natives, as well as between low-skilled immigrants and more highly skilled native workers, contribute to higher wages for natives. These studies lack consensus and still are largely up for debate.

So why does the NA care about this subject? Well, we can turn to the concept enunciated by Coretta Scott King that  “freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others”.

We care for the lives of Black people if they are harmed by social injustice but should we not care for others at the margin? In an earlier blog we talked about  “..building bridges not fences. Strive for a multicultural world to fight racism, homophobia, sexism and the like. The NA has done this in the past and can do it now and in the future”.




Immigration Reform Part 2 : LGBT Immigrants

Immigration Reform Part 2 : LGBT Immigrants

So far, so good. President Obama has given opportunity to immigrants to “come out” (see earlier blog), but how about those that have to come out as immigrants and queer? As a gay man and a first generation immigrant I applaud him. LGBT people who were deported and returned to the US will not have to fear being stuck in a revolving door. 

The president has previously given Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At least 200,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants are now eligible for legal status.  An estimated 10 percent of DACA recipients identify as LGBT. The President’s new plan will make an estimated 300,000 more people eligible for DACA. LGBT citizens and lawful permanent residents no longer need to live in fear that their parents will be deported. This is particularly risky for same-sex couples since nearly 80 countries criminalize being LGBT. (see for example, NABWMT Board Press Release). It also saves same-sex binational couples from years of painful separation.

The President’s plan is temporary during his last years in office and would be subject to possible rejection afterwards. Long term policies should recognize LGBT folk and their families, in immigration and also in our asylum and refugee systems.

The action also ends Secure Communities and prevents police profiling of LGBT people from ending in deportation. 73 percent of LGBT people report encountering police in the last 5 years.

The President took the first step, but it’s up to Congress to pass legislation to fully protect LGBT immigrants.

Source: LGBT Progress.

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