• Our Responsibility to Climate Migrants

    By any moral calculation, the United States should be weighing its responsibilities to Central Americans displaced by climate disasters. And, whether migrants cross international borders or not, it should be US policy to make their journeys as safe and humane as possible.

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  • Danny Glover on George Floyd and Possibly Reviving ‘Lethal Weapon’

    In an exclusive interview with Nick Vivarelli from Variety magazine, Glover discusses immigration, the murder of George Floyd, the fight for racial justice, and how these narratives can be democratized through “cultural production.”

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  • History Has Taught Us That Concentration Camps Should Be Liberated. We Can’t Wait Until 2020.

    Few of us have fully considered what we would do if concentration camps were built and operated in our nation, by our government, on our watch, on our dime.  King is a regular contributor to The Intercept.

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  • California Defies Trump Policies by Giving Medicaid to Some Undocumented Young Adults

    The Real News Network’s Marc Steiner interviews Lighty on California’s new law that would use state and federal funds to provide Medicaid to undocumented adults between 19-25 years-old.

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  • Civil Rights, Immigration & Human Dignity

    Civil rights, immigration, climate change, and the economy - all are connected and tied directly to the issues of justice and human rights.

    At the Sanders Institute Gathering, Dr. Jim Zogby moderated a panel on civil rights, immigration, and human dignity with Dr. Radhika Balakrishnan, Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Susan Sarandon, and Ben Jealous. The panelists talked about how climate change and economic injustice are creating conflicts across the world and contributing to mass migration. This in turn has impacted several countries fostering xenophobic far-right movements. They discussed the importance of judging a country's economy, not on how large it is, but on whether it is just and meets the test of providing equal opportunity for all. And they talked about the history of the United States and how genocide against indigenous peoples, indentured servitude, slavery, and disenfranchisement defined the United States' beginning and still shapes our social and our political realities.

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  • Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

    In 1998 Robert Reich wrote this piece about the growing inequality between the rich and the poor and how walls do not help fix the problem. As President Trump shuts down the government to fund a border wall, it is important to this argument.

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  • 7 Truths About Immigration

    A record high of 75% of Americans now say immigration is a good thing for the country. 

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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls to Keep Families Together, Sustainable Solutions to Broken Immigration System

     “The Trump Administration’s use of children as pawns in the immigration debate is despicable and must end now."

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  • An Interview with Nina Turner

    In this interview with Jacobin [2018], Our Revolution president Nina Turner discusses the Democratic Party, immigration reform, democratic socialism, and a Sanders 2020 presidential run.

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  • The Unconstitutional Census Power Grab

    The Trump administration’s decision to alter the 2020 Census to ask people if they are American citizens is an unconstitutional power grab that would hurt many disadvantaged Americans.

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  • The Immigration Debate We Must Not Lose

    In this article, Dr. James Zogby describes his family's immigration story. During the 1920s, "he US Congress was in the grips of a nativist xenophobic fervor. Congressional debates termed Syrians as "parasites" with one Senator saying "we don't need any more Syrian trash coming here". Visas for Syrians and other "undesirable countries" were to remain frozen for almost three decades." 

    Zogby links his father's inability to get a visa to the current political situation of many undocumented immigrants - facing racism from elected officials. 

    "In the past, because of hard work and the fact that some leaders listened to "the voices of our better angels", the vision of the welcoming "Lady in the Harbor" has won out. It is our fight today to make sure she wins again. The soul of America is at stake. We dare not lose."

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  • Why We Must All Fight for the Dream Act.

    By repealing DACA - Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals – Trump has endangered both these young immigrants and the economic security of America.

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  • Why We Need Sanctuary States

    California lawmakers have just passed “sanctuary state” legislation - the first state since Oregon, which 30 years ago passed a law preventing state agencies from targeting undocumented immigrants solely because of their illegal status. 

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  • Immigration Fact Sheet

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  • DACA Explained

    This Vox video gives an overview of DACA: Its history, who is eligible for DACA, and the protections that those individuals receive when they become DACA recipients.

    It also describes the events that led to the Trump Administration revoking the program in September of 2017.

    The video ends with a few statistics describing how DACA has changed the lives of those involved in the program:

    • 69% got a job with better pay

    • 61% opened their first bank account

    • 65% bought their first car

    • 65% pursued educational opportunities they previously couldn't

    "When those protections expire over the next weeks, months or years, they will be back where they started before 2012: unable to work legally and constantly at risk for deportation." 

    Tags: Immigration, DACA
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  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Discusses DACA with Maui Recipients, Examines Eroding Maui Infrastructure

    Immigration reform has been one of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s top priorities throughout her time in Congress. On Friday, she held a roundtable discussion with Maui recipients of DACA to discuss upcoming changes to the program. 

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  • Do Immigrants “Steal” Jobs From American Workers?

    This article from the Brookings Institution looks at the facts of illegal immigration to test President Trump's assertion that immigrants to the U.S. are " taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

    Brookings asks - is this really the case?

    It finds that "by cutting on immigration, the country will miss an opportunity for new inventions and ventures that could generate the jobs that the president is so committed to bring back. Thus, if the current administration wants to create jobs and ‘make America great again,’ it should consider enlisting more migrants.”

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  • DACA Survey Results

    This survey from Wong et. al, specifically focuses on DACA recipients. DACA recipients are individuals younger than 35 who were brought into this country as minors and who have applied for and become a part of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

    It gives a broader picture of the changes that DACA recipients have experienced including: the ability to earn more money to support themselves and their families, pursuing educational opportunities, receiving a driver's license, and becoming employed.

    The survey also investigates the citizenship status of DACA recipient's families, and demographics of the DACA recipients themselves.

    DACA Survey 1

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  • How Sanctuary Cities Actually Work

    This video from Vox explains what sanctuary cities are. Sanctuary cities are: “Cities and counties in the US that limit their  cooperation with immigration enforcement.” But what does that mean?

    It explains that there are a number of different policies in cities that make them "sanctuary cities" but to truly understand the situation, you must look at the choices that a local police officer must make when handling an undocumented immigrant that he has already arrested for some other reason.

    Local police officers have the choice to either 1. Honor requests from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to hold the undocumented immigrant so that ICE can pick the immigrant up and begin the deportation process, or 2. Let the immigrant go.

    Both choices come with consequences. If local police assist ICE in deportation "word gets out in the immigrant community and immigrants become scared to interact with the police if they are a victim of crime or a witness to it." In contrast, if local police do not assist ICE "The state can also step in and take away the funding streams from the local police." President Trump has also recently signed an executive order "that opens the door to withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities."

    Ultimately, this situation "puts local law enforcement in a lose-lose situation. For them it could be between choosing financial security on one hand and public safety on the other.”

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  • Immigration And Public Safety

    This report from the Solutions Project looks at the crime rates within the immigrant community to allow readers to educate themselves about the facts and statistics in the context of the political discussion around immigration

    It finds that: "Foreign-born residents of the United States commit crime less often than native-born citizens. Policies that further restrict immigration are therefore not effective crime-control strategies. These facts-supported by over 100 years of research—have been misrepresented both historically and in recent political debates."

    The four points of evidence that the paper specifically points to are:

    1. Immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born citizens.
    2. Higher levels of immigration in recent decades may have contributed to the historic drop in crime rates.
    3. Police chiefs believe that intensifying immigration law enforcement undermines public safety.
    4. Immigrants are under-represented in U.S. prisons.


    Figure 1 immigration


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  • Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

    "Threaded throughout the history of the United States, immigration has taken on greater prominence in political and policy conversations amid debate over possible reforms to the immigration system, border and national security, and the U.S. role in resettling refugees at a time of record global displacement."

    This article from migration policy institute answers some of the key questions about immigration issues. Those specific issues are:

    Current and Historical Numbers and Shares
    Demographic, Educational, and Linguistic Characteristics
    Immigrant Population Change Over Time: Top States
    Mexican Immigrants
    Health Insurance Coverage
    Workforce Characteristics
    Children with Immigrant Parents
    Permanent Immigration
    Temporary Admission
    Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    Unauthorized Immigrants
    Immigration Enforcement
    Naturalization Trends
    Visa Backlogs

    Tags: Immigration
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  • How America's Idea Of Illegal Immigration Doesn't Always Match Reality

    This article from NPR points out a number of common misconceptions about unauthorized immigrants in the United States.

    A couple of the key facts include:

    • About 11 million people live in the U.S. without authorization

    • Longtime residents outnumber new arrivals

    • Mexicans make up a dominant - but declining — share of this population

    • Hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants entered with valid visas

    • 61 percent of unauthorized immigrants live in 20 metro areas — but most live in the suburbs, not the city

    • Most are working in service and construction jobs

    • Many have children who are U.S. citizens

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  • Visual Report: 2015 Immigration Benefits

    Immigration Benefits

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  • Visual Report: 2015 Refugees and Asylees

    This infographic is produced by the Office of Immigration Statistics to make data provided by the Department of Homeland Security more readily available to the public.

    Immigration Refugees and Asylees

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  • Visual Report: 2015 Immigration Enforcement Actions

    Immigration Enforcement

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  • Immigration and Naturalization Law Through The Years

    This article from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services gives an overview of immigration law in the United States from the initial "relatively free and open immigration" during the 18th and early 19th centuries, through the changes to the policy based on internal views on immigrant in the United States, and the changes that were in response to international events like World War I, World War II, and September 11.

    Each legal element changed the makeup and experience of immigrants entering the United States, as well as the focus of immigration services. The USCIS states that after 9/11, "The emphasis of American immigration law enforcement became border security and removing criminal aliens to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. At the same time the United States retained its commitment to welcoming lawful immigrants and supporting their integration and participation in American civic culture."

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  • 2016 Immigration Enforcement Actions

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "engages in immigration enforcement actions to prevent unlawful entry into the United States and to apprehend and repatriate aliens who have violated or failed to comply with U.S. immigration laws."

    This report outlines the results of immigration policy put into place in 2014."The 2014 priorities emphasize criminal convictions over criminal arrests, and focus on felonies and significant or multiple misdemeanors over minor infractions of the law. The priorities also focus on forward-looking efforts to further reduce unlawful migration by targeting recent border crossers and those who significantly abuse the visa system."

    It finds that the vast majority of actions taken by the DHS and ultimate deportations can be categorized as "Priority." These reasons include: national security and border security (priority 1A and 1B) through to   significant visa abuse (2D) and Removal Order after January 2014 (3). "Virtually all (99.7 percent) removals and returns were classified within one of the three enforcement priority categories. 94 percent were classified within a Priority 1 category."

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  • Largest U.S. Immigrant Groups over Time, 1960-Present

    In recent years, immigrants from Mexico are the largest immigrant population in the United States.  In 2015 they made up over a quarter (26.9%) of legal immigrants. However, that has not always been the case. In 1960, Italians and Germans were the largest populations of immigrants in the United States (12.9% and 10.2% respectively).

    This article from the Migration Policy Institute uses pie graphs to demonstrate the composition of immigrant population. 

    Immigrants 1960

    Tags: Immigration
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  • Refugee Crisis: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

    In this video released after terrorist attacks in Paris in 2016, John Oliver looks at how refugees and specifically those from Syria, can be admitted to the United States. 

    He lists the steps:

    1. Apply through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (less than 1% end up being recommended for resettlement)

    2. Vetting process at the State Department including screenings through  the National Counter Terrorism Center, the FBI, and The Department of Homeland Security.

    3. If you are a Syrian Refugee. You get the “Syria Advanced Review”

    4. Interview with the USCIS offices and fingerprinted to run through the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense databases.

    5. Health screenings

    6. Enrolled in cultural information classes while your information is checked again.

    Ultimately, Oliver argues that while there is no way to guarantee that a terrorist would not be able to somehow make it through this screening process, that risk is very low while the benefits for those refugees are very high. In reality, of the 784,000 people who have entered the United States, only 3 have been arrested for planning terrorist activities - Oliver jokes that more people in the U.S. are killed in cars, by peanuts, drowning, and by cows, than by refugees.

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  • DACA at Four: Participation in the Deferred Action Program and Impacts on Recipients

    This issue brief looks at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program is "an Obama administration initiative that began on August 15, 2012." It is designed to help individuals who were children when they were brought to this country and "since its launch, DACA has provided a two-year reprieve from deportation and temporary eligibility to work legally in the United States to more than 728,000 unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children."

    This report looks at the population that would be able to apply for this program and "presents trends in application rates nationwide and by state, as well as by country of birth." In addition, it looks at the outcomes of this deferred action on the individuals who have received it. 

    Some key findings are:

    • As of 2016, 1.3 million young adults ages 15 and older were immediately eligible to apply for DACA.

    • The number rises to 1.7 million when including an additional 398,000 unauthorized immigrants who met all criteria but for high school graduation or current school enrollment. 

    • 63% of the immediately eligible population had applied as of March 2016;

    • The rate fell to 48 percent when including the share that did not appear to meet the educational criteria but may have enrolled in a qualifying adult education population.

    The report concludes that DACA is working for individuals who are using it. In fact, "the vast majority eligible to renew the two-year DACA grant have done so-93 percent MPI estimates. These near-universal renewal rates suggest the initiative is providing valuable benefits to participants."

    Tags: DACA, Immigration
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  • What Does It Mean To Be A Refugee?

    This video from Ted-Ed describes the difference between migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees:

    Migrants: "Refers to people who leave their countries for reasons not related to persecution such as searching for better economic opportunities or leaving drought ridden areas in search of better circumstances."

    Refugees: "International law, rightly or wrongly, only recognizes those fleeing conflict and violence as refugees."

    Asylum Seeker: "Once in a new country, the first legal step for a displaced person is to apply for asylum. At this point they are an asylum seeker and not officially recognized as a refugee until the application has been accepted." 

    The video also describes the experiences of many refugees from being displaced from their homes through violence, through their stays in refugee camps, applications for asylum, and then relocation in other countries.

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  • Effects Of Unauthorized Immigration On The Actuarial Status Of The Social Security Trust Funds

    This report from the Social Security Administration looks at the affect that undocumented immigrants have had on the Social Security funds. 

    It begins with a short overview of the different types of immigrants who may be contributing to the fun. Then it delves into a discussion of how and how much those immigrants contribute and take from Social Security. It finds that "While unauthorized immigrants worked and contributed as much as $13 billion in payroll taxes to the OASDI program in 2010, only about $1 billion in benefit payments during 2010 are attributable to unauthorized work." Therefore, the authors estimate that "earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010."

    The report ends with an overview of the laws that affect undocumented immigrants in regards to Social Security and frequently asked questions about the issue.

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