Category Archives: Immigration

DACA Rescission: Legal Issues and Litigation Status

Source: Ben Harrington, Congressional Research Service, CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10136, May 23, 2018

…. Collectively, the lawsuits to preserve DACA and to force its termination raise the related issues of whether DHS offered an adequate justification for the DACA rescission and whether DHS lacks, as Attorney General Sessions concluded, statutory and constitutional authority to administer DACA.

Enactment of statutory protections for certain childhood arrivals would likely moot the lawsuits in substantial part or entirely, but a range of legislative proposals to this effect—including those considered during open debate on the Senate floor in February 2018 in the wake of a government shutdown over the childhood arrivals issue—have not resulted in new law. Some Members have continued to pursue similar legislative efforts, however. ….

Why and How Do Low-income Hispanic Families Search for Early Care and Education (ECE)?

Source: Julia L. Mendez, Danielle A. Crosby, National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, Publication number: 2018-15, May 2018

From the introduction:
Child care assistance for low-income families is intended to reduce the cost of care for working parents, encourage children’s participation in high-quality child care arrangements, and increase stability in parents’ employment and children’s care arrangements. Children from low-income backgrounds who access high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs fare better on many developmental outcomes than children who do not. Common forms of child care assistance include federal subsidy programs, ECE programs such as Head Start/Early Head Start, and publicly funded universal pre-kindergarten programs.

Understanding how low-income families search for and locate ECE programs that meet their needs, and how they obtain assistance to pay for ECE, is a critically important issue for researchers and policymakers.
Historically, Hispanic families have underutilized government assistance programs aimed at serving families who experience poverty, reporting that they do not need them or do not have knowledge of the assistance available or eligibility requirements. Research has also found that Latino and other immigrant groups may not use federal assistance, due to a belief in helping their larger group (collectivist orientation), which could result in families foregoing support so that others may benefit, even when they themselves are eligible for assistance.

Because the Hispanic population is growing rapidly and often faces considerable economic need—and because ECE can play an important role in reducing racial/ethnic disparities in early learning and later school outcomes—it is important for the research and policy community to better understand how and why low-income Hispanic parents search for ECE. This study takes a closer look at low-income Hispanic parents’ reported reasons for conducting a search for an ECE provider or program for their young children.

This brief uses data from the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) to describe why low-income Hispanic parents with young children (birth to age 5) report searching for child care; comparison data for low-income non-Hispanic black and white parents are also reported. Prior research involving low-income families from various racial/ethnic backgrounds showed that parents report a variety of reasons for their ECE searches. There are also several important barriers to low-income families’ use of care, including lack of availability, low affordability, and poor alignment with parents’ work schedules. Understanding similar or shared concerns about ECE across U.S. racial and ethnic groups—along with differences across these groups—can guide outreach by programs and inform policy adjustments that might better serve diverse groups…..

Mapping State Interference

Source: Partnership for Working Families, 2018

What is State Interference? While attention focuses on Washington, aggressive corporate and special interests are systematically working at the state level to close critical avenues of power-building for poor people, people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, and immigrants. Their strategy: targeting local governments, which provide essential hubs of innovation, protection and progressive political power. The Koch Brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the architect of this strategy, has moved state legislators and courts to gut the ability of local governments in a vast number of states to alleviate unemployment, poverty and residential displacement and to protect their residents from threats to their health, safety and civil rights. In many cases such state interference laws are being used as a tool through which largely white state legislatures both deny cities of color of self-determination and preserve longstanding racial inequities.

To help shed light on this development, we created the interactive map below. Click on any of the nine issues to see which states block local standards and laws on that issue. Click on a state to see whether local authority has been preserved or preempted across all nine issues. For further information, you can click through to the actual text of the statute.

Our partners at Grassroots Change have a companion map that covers issues related to public health. Please visit that site to learn more.

Key Facts on Individuals Eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Fact Sheet, February 2018

From the summary:
In September 2017, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Without legislative or administrative action, individuals will lose their DACA status. Based on Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Current Population Survey data, this fact sheet examines key characteristics of young undocumented individuals eligible for DACA. It shows that most individuals eligible for DACA are healthy and have health coverage, reflecting that the large majority live in a family with at least one full-time worker. Loss of DACA status would result in individuals losing work authorization and potentially being targeted for deportation. Employers would likely terminate individuals as they lose work authorization, leading to job loss along with loss of health coverage. Without access to coverage through an employer, many individuals would likely become uninsured since they are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP or to purchase coverage through the Marketplaces. Employment and coverage losses would lead to increased financial pressure and reduced access to care for individuals and their families, who may include citizen children.

The Economic Effects of Providing Legal Status to DREAMers

Source: Francesc Ortega, Ryan Edwards, Amy Hsin, IZA – Institute of Labor Economics, IZA DP No. 11281, January 2018

This study quantifies the economic effects of two major immigration reforms aimed at legalizing undocumented individuals that entered the United States as children and completed high school: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the DREAM Act. The former offers only temporary legal status to eligible individuals; the latter provides a track to legal permanent residence. Our analysis is based on a general-equilibrium model that allows for shifts in participation between work, college and non-employment. The model is calibrated to account for productivity differences across workers of different skills and documentation status, and a rich pattern of complementarities across different types of workers. We estimate DACA increased GDP by almost 0.02% (about $3.5 billion), or $7,454 per legalized worker. Passing the DREAM Act would increase GDP by around 0.08% (or $15.2 billion), which amounts to an average of $15,371 for each legalized worker. The larger effects of the DREAM Act stem from the expected larger take-up and the increased incentive to attend college among DREAMers with a high school degree. We also find substantial wage increases for individuals obtaining legal status, particularly for individuals that increase their educational attainment. Because of the small size of the DREAMer population, legalization entails negligible effects on the wages of US-born workers.

Related:
‘Dreamers’ could give US economy – and even American workers – a boost
Source: Amy Hsin, IZA Newsroom, January 24, 2018

Local policy proposals can bridge Latino and (most) white Americans’ response to immigration

Source: Yuen J. Huo, John F. Dovidio, Tomás R. Jiménez, and Deborah J. Schildkraut, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS 2018, published ahead of print January 16, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In the past 15 years, the adoption of subnational immigration policies in the United States, such as those established by individual states, has gone from nearly zero to over 300 per year. These include welcoming policies aimed at attracting and incorporating immigrants, as well as unwelcoming policies directed at denying immigrants access to public resources and services. Using data from a 2016 random digit-dialing telephone survey with an embedded experiment, we examine whether institutional support for policies that are either welcoming or hostile toward immigrants differentially shape Latinos’ and whites’ feelings of belonging in their state (Arizona/New Mexico, adjacent states with contrasting immigration policies). We randomly assigned individuals from the representative sample (n = 1,903) of Latinos (US and foreign born) and whites (all US born) to consider policies that were either welcoming of or hostile toward immigrants. Across both states of residence, Latinos, especially those foreign born, regardless of citizenship, expressed more positive affect and greater belonging when primed with a welcoming (vs. hostile) policy. Demonstrating the importance of local norms, these patterns held among US-born whites, except among self-identified politically conservative whites, who showed more negative affect and lower levels of belonging in response to welcoming policies. Thus, welcoming immigration policies, supported by institutional authorities, can create a sense of belonging not only among newcomers that is vital to successful integration but also among a large segment of the population that is not a direct beneficiary of such policies—US-born whites.

Significance:
Subnational immigrant policies (i.e., those instituted at the state level in the United States) are not only key to successful integration, they send a message about who belongs. Our evidence suggests that welcoming state-level immigrant policies lead to greater belonging among foreign-born Latinos, US-born Latinos, and even US-born whites. Only self-identified politically conservative whites showed depressed feelings of belonging when state policies support immigrants. Patterns remained constant across states that vary in their historic reception of immigrants (Arizona and New Mexico). These findings suggest that debates about the polarizing effects of immigration policies by racial group are misplaced. With a majority of whites nationally identifying as either liberal or moderate, welcoming immigration policies have direct and spillover effects that can further national unity.
Related:
Immigrant-friendly policies make most whites feel welcomed, too
Source: John Timmer, Ars Technica, January 17, 2018

Only Caucasian conservatives feel uncomfortable in a state that welcomes immigrants.

Florida’s disposable workers: Companies profit from undocumented laborers, dump them after injuries

Source: Maria Perez, Naples Daily News, December 14, 2017

Florida law makes some immigrants in high-risk jobs disposable, allowing businesses and insurers to benefit from their work without covering injuries. …. Some Florida businesses profit from the labor of unauthorized immigrants after accepting phony identification when hiring them, and then the employers or their insurers report them after a work injury for using false documents, a yearlong Naples Daily News investigation found. ….

Employment Authorization, Alienage Discriminiation and Executive Authority

Source: Leticia M. Saucedo, Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law, Volume 38 Issue 2, 2017

Employees, regardless of immigration status, have rights and protections that come from employment and labor laws. This proposition, while established doctrinally, continues to be highly contested and questioned, in part because it seems to contradict congressional intent to control the flow of undocumented labor in the workplace. As history suggests, however, Congress intended to make employers accountable for pulling undocumented workers into the labor market, and the protections in employment and labor laws were meant to continue to apply to all who are eligible for the status of employee. This Article calls for a doctrinal shift in employment law that removes considerations of immigration status in enforcement. Not only does keeping immigration status out of issues of employment protection benefit all workers, but the separation of immigration status from employment enforcement adheres to long-held principles of equal protection based on alienage, and to congressional intent to hold employers accountable for exploitative treatment of the most vulnerable workers. The Obama administration’s attempt to provide employment authorization to undocumented individuals can be viewed as an attempt to use its authority under the immigration statute to keep faith with these alienage anti-discrimination principles and to ensure equal treatment by providing legal status in the workplace. As the Trump administration uses this authority in its immigration policy, it should heed the same anti-discrimination principles….

How ‘dreamers’ and green card lottery winners strengthen the US economy

Source: Ethan Lewis, The Conversation, September 15, 2017

…The commonplace argument that increases in the volume of immigration, by themselves, lower wages and take jobs from Americans – an argument which Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to defend ending DACA – has neither empirical nor theoretical support in economics. It is just a myth.

Instead, both theory and empirical research show that immigration, including low-skill and low-English immigration, grows the pie and strengthens the American workforce…..