By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 17, 2023: While immigration has been pushed off the front page by the war on Gaza, the issue remains a hot button one, especially as it relates to the broader national security funding package requested by President Joe Biden that includes aid to Israel, Ukraine and border security. Here are six major headlines you should know:
1: Bi-Partisan Deal?
A bipartisan Senate group, including Sens. Michael Bennet, James Lankford, Chris Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema, and Thom Tillis, is working on a compromise deal to reform asylum policies and address the surge in migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. The proposed compromise would be part of a broader national security funding package, including aid to Israel and Ukraine. The bipartisan talks aim to find common ground on issues like processing migrants, addressing border security concerns, and implementing asylum changes. The negotiations come amid heightened concerns about the porous border and the flood of migrants into many US cities, including New York.
2: TPS For Palestinians
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is spearheading an effort urging President Biden to grant temporary legal status to Palestinians living in the United States due to the ongoing violence in the Israel-Hamas war.
In a letter to Biden, Durbin asked the president to designate the Palestinian territories for Temporary Protected Status, (TPS), and to authorize Deferred Enforced Departure, (DED), for Palestinians living in the U.S., arguing that they should not be forced to return to Gaza in light of the escalating fighting.
3: Trumpeto Back To Pushing Deportation Mantra
Former President Donald Trumpeto declared at a rally in Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 8th, that, if elected, he would initiate extensive deportations of immigrants on his first day in office. Trump, who skipped the GOP debate in Miami for a Hialeah rally, criticized the Biden administration, alleging that the U.S. has become a global dumping ground. He claimed unprecedented levels of immigration, describing it as an “invasion,” and vowed to end every open borders policy on Day One and launch the largest domestic deportation operation in American history. Hialeah is home to over 90 percent of Hispanics and over 70 percent are foreign-born, according to U.S. Census data,
4: Texas Moves
A Texas House committee approved House Bill 4, a controversial border security measure allowing state law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law, typically a federal authority. The bill proposes making it a state crime for non-citizens to enter the U.S. illegally, empowering any state peace officer to arrest or order the return of individuals entering Texas unlawfully. Representative David Spiller, the bill’s author, argues that the federal government’s insufficient border security measures necessitate such state intervention.
Critics contend that the legislation may violate the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause, asserting federal authority over immigration enforcement.
5: Apple’s Immigration Fine
Apple Inc., (AAPL.O), will pay $25 million to settle U.S. Department of Justice claims that it unlawfully favored immigrant workers for specific jobs over U.S. citizens and green card holders.
The settlement, the largest ever for the Justice Department in citizenship discrimination claims, requires Apple to pay $6.75 million in civil penalties and $18.25 million to affected workers. Apple acknowledged unintentional non-compliance with DOJ standards, stating it has implemented a remediation plan to align with government requirements and continues to prioritize hiring American workers.
The Justice Department cited Apple’s failure to actively recruit citizens and residents for certain roles, violating federal law.
6: Cost of Backlog
The United States is potentially losing trillions in economic gains due to worsening green card backlogs, according to projections by the Bipartisan Policy Center. Around 7.6 million individuals are currently caught in queues for lawful permanent residency, with the majority being new potential immigrants stuck outside the country. The BPC estimates that easing green card barriers for both new entrants and existing workers on temporary visas could contribute $3.9 trillion to the gross domestic product over the next decade.
The report highlights the substantial economic growth potential, primarily driven by incorporating new immigrants into a labor force facing ongoing shortages and lifting job restrictions for green card seekers already working in the U.S.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com, the Black Immigrant Daily News.