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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka To Demand An End To Deportations At Pasadena’s Worker Center

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

During the event, day laborers, elected officials and immigrant and community leaders will highlight how failed enforcement policies undermine workers’ rights  

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will be at a worker center in Pasadena, Calif., today where he will oppose the ongoing deportations that undermine family unity and weaken rights for all workers. He will be joined by Los Angeles Labor Federation of Labor President Rusty Hicks; Pasadena City Mayor, Terry Tornek; Pasadena Councilmember, District 5, Victor Gordo; California State Labor Commissioner, Julie Su; and dozens of day laborers and workers who will share their experiences as immigrant workers.

During the event President Trumka plans to deliver the following remarks [Excerpts]:

“America’s deportation crisis is a bipartisan failure. 

“And I could not come here today without saying how disappointed I am with the Obama Administration’s recent decision to send women and children back to dangerous Central American nations.

“I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for President Obama, yet the plague of immigration raids in America is nothing less than a travesty.  A human travesty.

“All over our country, those who fled violence and poverty to come here for a better life are being forced to live in fear.  This is wrong and today we say once again: stop the era of deportations!

“It’s time for us to ramp up the pressure on our elected leaders.  Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s labor movement and our allies, we are going to protect all working people.

“We demand an end to deportations and safe haven for workers who speak up on the job.

“We call on the Supreme Court to give DAPA and DACA the green light.  But no matter what the justices decide, we will keep mobilizing and keep organizing.

“We shouldn’t be building walls.  We should be building bridges—to security and prosperity and a better life.

“The future of immigrant workers is not in detention centers.  It’s in worker centers like this one.

“So brothers and sisters, continue to stand up when your communities are under attack.  Your bravery is inspiring.  Your courage lifts us all.”

Central American Mothers Targeted in Immigration Raids and Still Detained Pen Letter to President Obama

 Not 1 More 2014 (Image LBJ Foundatio FLIKR)

Not 1 More 2014 (Image LBJ Foundatio FLIKR)

DILLEY, Texas — Seven women picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in early January in widely publicized raids have made a direct and personal plea to President Barack Obama to allow their release while they pursue ongoing appeals of their deportation orders.

The women and their children, representing 33 people in 12 families, were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in raids over New Year’s weekend. The families obtained temporary stays of their deportation orders with the help of attorneys from the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project based at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

Some of the 121 people ICE picked up were brought to the Dilley facility for processing The majority have been deported to their home countries. But the 12 families who received stays remain in detention, some at Dilley and others at the Berks Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

Despite the fact that all of these women and children appeared at their hearings and consistently abided by the conditions of their release, DHS refuses to release them from custody while the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) considers their legal claims.

Now in their fourth week in detention, the women expressed their frustrations in a handwritten letter to President Obama, pleading with him to release them from detention and allow their children to return to their schools while their legal appeals proceed.

“Why did you choose us to…frighten other Central American families, with no regard for the suffering it causes us and our children?” they ask.

The women say that by trying to make an example of them, the U.S. government has made them more vulnerable. They note further that by seeking asylum they are following the law, but that their due process rights have been violated: “We complied with everything that was asked of us, but it was the system that failed us,” they continue.

In asking the President to hear their pleas, the women said that some in their group are “sick with depression and in psychological crisis.” Protesting their unjust treatment, the women asserted, “We are not criminals who you have to keep locked up. We have not committed any crime and it is unjust that our children, at such an early age, know what it’s like to be in a jail under guard 24 hours, when at this moment they should be in school living life with dignity like every child deserves to.”

The CARA Pro Bono Project continues to provide legal assistance to families held at the Dilley facility, while advocating for an end to family detention.

View text of the letters in English and Spanish.

New Report On The Horrible Conditions Inside Border Patrol Detention Center In Texas

Detention Center

Image from Jerry Doyle

Hieleras (Iceboxes) in the Rio Grande Valley Sector:
Lengthy Detention, Deplorable Conditions, and Abuse in CBP Holding Cells

Washington D.C. – Today, the American Immigration Council releases Hieleras (Iceboxes) in the Rio Grande Valley Sector: Lengthy Detention, Deplorable Conditions, and Abuse in CBP Holding Cells, by Guillermo Cantor, Ph.D.

Each year, the Border Patrol—a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—holds hundreds of thousands of individuals, including women and children, in detention facilities near the U.S. southern border. These facilities are meant to hold individuals for a short time while they undergo initial processing and a decision is made about where they go next, taking into account whether they are adults or children. The holding cells are not designed for overnight or extended detention, and yet the research shows they are routinely used in this way.

This paper zeros in on CBP holding facilities—often referred to as “hieleras”—in the Rio Grande Valley. The Rio Grande Valley sector reports the highest number of apprehensions, including a disproportionately high share of women and minors apprehended and held there compared to all other southwest border sectors.

Using various sources of data, this new report takes a deep look at two aspects of detention in CBP facilities in the sector. First, based on never-before-released government data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, it reveals that individuals are detained for unconscionably long periods of time in facilities that are not designed nor equipped for overnight sleeping.

In addition, analyzing new survey data from the Binational Defense and Advocacy Program (Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional), as well as declarations from a sample of women who were recently detained in the facilities, the paper sheds light on the deplorable conditions of detention that are prevalent in CBP holding cells, including extreme temperatures, overcrowding, and inadequate meals.


To view the paper in its entirety, see:

After Refusing To Criticize Donald Trump, Trump Begins Fundraising For Ayotte

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Image curtesy of American Bridge

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s newly minted Donald Trump koozies are being hocked to fundraise on behalf of their slate of Senate candidates for 2016, including Senator Kelly Ayotte. This is the second time in two weeks that the NRSC’s Trump strategy has been revealed.  Last week, a leaked confidential NRSC memo detailed instructions to Senate incumbents and candidates on implementing Trump-like strategies for their 2016 campaigns.  Trump called the NRSC candidate guide a “compliment.” 

“Donald Trump’s hateful, divisive rhetoric and policies are as un-American as they are incendiary. Fundraising on Trump’s hate speech to re-elect Sen. Ayotte is desperate and outrageous. Sen. Ayotte has already said that the former reality star’s campaign is ‘a positive thing,’ and refuses to ‘criticize Trump directly,’ even after his call to ban Muslisms. Trump and Sen. Ayotte’s policies would hurt the Granite State. Their agenda would make it harder for New Hampshirites to get a quality education, crush women’s access to healthcare, and take away insurance coverage for children of low income families,” said Jessica Mackler, president of American Bridge 21st Century. “Just like the NRSC koozie says, Sen. Ayotte’s  policies show she’s ‘with Trump.'”

In June, Senator Ayotte said Donald Trump’s candidacy for President was “a positive thing.”

As reported by BuzzFeed, “Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire said Tuesday that Donald Trump running for president is ‘a positive thing’ because it gives people more choices. ‘Well I think I said before, anyone has a chance to win in New Hampshire,’ Ayotte told Boston Herald radio on Tuesday morning when asked about his chances to win the Granite State. ‘The thing about the Republican field right now is it’s obviously a very broad field and it’s got a lot of depth. So I think the more individuals that get in so that the people of New Hampshire and the country have a choice, I think that’s a positive thing.’” 

Last week, NHPR reported that Senator Ayotte would not rule out supporting Trump is he became the nominee. “When asked whether she would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Ayotte wouldn’t rule it out. ‘Well, at this point, we’re going to let the people of New Hampshire sort this out. I’ll support the Republican nominee.’”

Also last week, the Associated Press reported that Ayotte also refused to criticize Trump over his “religious based tests for immigrants.”

“New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said she opposes any ‘religious-based test for our immigration standards,’ but she declined to criticize Trump directly when pressed by reporters.”

Religious based persecution is outright wrong. Donald Trump’s rhetoric against the Muslim community is fascist and all to reminiscent of the persecution of Japanese Americans and Jews in Europe.  By refusing to condemn Trump for his remarks, Senator Ayotte is essentially saying that is acceptable to have a fascist dictator in the White House.

“We know that Kelly Ayotte has vowed to back Donald Trump for President if he wins the nomination. Does she also condone her Washington backers raising money off of his hateful and un-American comments to support her campaign?” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “No amount of koozies will make voters forget Kelly Ayotte’s real Washington record of siding with her special interest backers against New Hampshire families and small businesses.”

Labor And Civil Rights Groups Urge Supreme Court To Take Immigration Case From Texas

Supreme Court of the US (Image Mark Fischer Flickr)

Supreme Court of the US (Image Mark Fischer Flickr)

Coalition of Immigration, Civil Rights, Labor, and Social Service Groups Urges
Supreme Court to Protect President’s Executive Actions on Immigration

Legal Brief Filed by 224 Groups Pushes High Court to Hear Landmark Immigration Case, Texas v. U.S.

Washington, D.C. — A coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups has filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief, urging the Supreme Court to review the case, Texas v. U.S., that has blocked some of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The filing comes less than a month after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction put in place by a Texas federal district court that blocked implementation of protections for millions of immigrants across the country.

The filing from the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Advancement Project, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, among others, comes only ten days after the formal request, known as a petition for writ of certiorari, from the Department of Justice to the Supreme Court to review the case. Amicus briefs in support of a cert petition are usually due 30 days after the petition is filed. The amici coalition acted swiftly given that the Department of Justice has requested a briefing schedule that would allow the Supreme Court ample time to hear the case during the current term and issue a decision by June 2016.

“The breadth and depth of support for the President’s executive actions is clear,” said Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center. “It’s now up to the Supreme Court to take the case up this term and put the legal questions to rest so that the over 5 million U.S. citizen children whose parents are eligible for DAPA, can finally have stability and be free from the fear that they will one day be separated from their parents.

“With more than 200 organizations joining this amicus, including labor groups that represent millions of immigrant workers, there’s no question that the president’s immigration initiatives are necessary and backed by the majority of the American public,” said Rocio Saenz, executive vice president of SEIU International. “The Supreme Court has a responsibility to take this case, just as we have a duty to mobilize our communities to continue to defend the immigration action and push lasting immigration reform to the forefront of the agenda with our vote.”

The brief provides personal stories and testimonials about potential beneficiaries of expanded DACA and DAPA and explains how these deferred action initiatives would positively impact millions of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children, family members, employers, employees and other community members. The groups explain that the sweeping injunction upheld in the lower court directly harms individuals who have either been in the U.S. since they were children or are the parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

“The individuals profiled in the brief illustrate the havoc this case has wreaked on the lives of millions of immigrants who remain in legal limbo,” added Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. “We urge the U.S. Supreme Court to take up this case and give hard working immigrant families the chance to live and work without fear of deportation.”

The immigration programs, which were announced by the President last November, would expand eligibility for the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and expand protections for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents through a program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Together, the programs would allow millions of undocumented individuals to remain in the United States without fear of deportation and apply for work authorization permits for a period of three years, with the possibility of renewal. 

“The DAPA and expanded DACA policies will help ensure that families are not needlessly separated and that immigrant workers can speak up for basic safety and fairness on the job without facing retaliation,” said Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO.  “We urge the Supreme Court to take up this case right away.” 

  • Click here to see the full legal brief.
  • Click here for more background on the legal challenges to executive action on immigration: 
  • Click here to see an interactive timeline outlining the process for review of the case by the Supreme Court:

Candlelight Vigils Tuesday In Support Of Refugee Resettlement

Candlelight (Lisa Widerberg FLIKR CC)

Candlelight (Lisa Widerberg FLIKR CC)

Candlelight vigils will be held tomorrow, November 24, outside the offices of U.S. Senators in Manchester, Nashua, and Dover and at Four Corners in Conway to call for New Hampshire’s elected officials to keep our doors open to refugees fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq, and other war-torn areas of the world. 

The vigils, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee and the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, will take place from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM at the following locations:

MANCHESTER – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s Manchester office at 2 Wall Street, moving to Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office at 1200 Elm Street.  Local contact:  Eva Castillo, (603) 661-2873.

NASHUA – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office at 60 Main Street, moving to Senator Kelly Ayotte’s office at 144 Main Street.  Local contact:  Sylvia Gale, (603) 557-8417.

DOVER – Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office at 340 Central Avenue.   Local contact: Maggie Fogarty, (603) 988-7115.

CONWAY – Corner of Route 16 and Route 153.  Local contact: Andrea Walsh, (603) 447-2113.

The solemn vigils were motivated by passage last week of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives which adds serious obstacles to the refugee resettlement process, said Maggie Fogarty of the American Friends Service Committee.  The Senate is expected to vote on a similar measure during the first week of December, she added.  

The vigils will include songs, prayers, and periods of silent reflection.

“Turning our backs on refugees is a betrayal of our nation’s highest values,” said Eva Castillo of the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees. 

Participants have been asked to bring candles and signs with respectful messages welcoming refugees.

Labor Continues Fight for Justice for all Immigrant Working Families

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

A year after the executive action on immigration,
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement:

Today should have been a day of celebration for working families across the nation. Instead, thanks to partisan legal obstructionism of the DAPA and expanded DACA policies, millions of people continue to live and work in fear in our country. Nonetheless, we continue to press forward.

This year working people have been standing together to fight for just wages and fair treatment in communities across the country. Millions of workers of all immigration statuses have been negotiating with a collective voice for a better life; and we have seen how labor unions have embraced the Adelante! We Rise! campaign by opening their halls to empower immigrant working families.  Our movement, including community allies and worker centers, is more energized than ever.

Right now, the Texas AFL-CIO and the Workers Defense Project are holding a three day pilgrimage to Austin to remind the nation that in Texas immigrant families are a vibrant part of the community and that they refuse to remain in the shadows. Our movement has been at the forefront of a wide range of issues related to bettering conditions for workers and their families. Last week the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the National Day Labor Organizing Network and community groups gathered outside Los Angeles’ downtown immigrant detention center to honor all the families that have suffered unnecessary separations as a result of our nation’s broken immigration system. 

The AFL-CIO was pleased to see the Administration file a formal request today for the Supreme Court to hear the case on DAPA and expanded DACA.  We remain deeply committed to ensuring that the promise of these programs to improve the lives of millions of working people is realized, and we intend to make our support clear in the streets, at the polls, and to the Court directly.

Meanwhile, we will press forward in the struggle for equal rights for all working people. Roadblocks test our determination, but we will not rest until families can remain united and all working people are treated with respect and dignity.

Deferred Action Initiatives Headed To Supreme Court

American Immigration Council Urges Prompt Appeal
to the Supreme Court of Flawed Fifth Circuit Decision

Washington D.C. – In a disappointing but unsurprising decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has temporarily stopped President Obama’s latest deferred action initiatives from being implemented. This decision clears the way for the Obama Administration to take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The American Immigration Council urges the Administration to act promptly and seek immediate Supreme Court review. 

The deferred action initiatives, announced almost one year ago, in November 2014, include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Together, these initiatives could provide as many as 5 million immigrants with temporary relief from deportation. The decision today means that the initiatives remain suspended. 

Last November, after decades of congressional neglect, President Obama took a crucial, courageous and practical step toward reforming our immigration system. Using the executive’s well-established authority to regulate immigration and determine enforcement priorities, he adopted policies that would allow millions of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children to remain with their parents, while at the same time ensuring that the government’s limited enforcement resources could be targeted toward real security threats. The Obama Administration should aggressively challenge the opinion in this case that states have standing—or legal authority—to file suit when they disagree with federal immigration policies. This sets a dangerous precedent.

As Judge Carolyn Dineen King, stated succinctly in her dissent, “a mistake has been made.” It now is up to the U.S. Supreme Court to correct this grave mistake—a mistake that sets not only a dangerous precedent, but one that is bad for families, bad for our communities, and bad for the future prosperity of our country. 

This Info-Graphic Dispels The Myth That Immigrants Don’t Pay Taxes

Nevada is a key state in the 2016 election and thanks to Donald Trump insulting immigrants he has pushed immigration reform to one of the top three issues in this election.

Tonight, Democrats will face off in Las Vegas in the first Democratic debate and there is no doubt that immigration will be one of the questions candidates will be forced to discuss.  The American Immigration Council posted this info-graphic about how much immigrants contribute to the Nevada (and US) economy.

From the American Immigration Council

There are few states where the growing political and economic clout of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians is as apparent as in Nevada. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up roughly 1 in 5 Nevadans, and 47.4% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants and the children of immigrants account for just over 20.8% of all registered voters in the state. Immigrants are not only essential to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield over $24.9 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $7 billion and employed more than 45,000 people at last count. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs are integral to Nevada’s economy and tax base—and they are an electoral force with which every politician must reckon.

We all know that evicting 11 million aspiring Americans is not feasible but it would also do massive damage to our economy and how we fund our government.

  • “If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nevada, the state would lose $9.7 billion in economic activity, $4.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 45,533 jobs.”
  • “Latinos in Nevada paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes and $627 million in state/local taxes in 2013.”

Full details and citations from the AIC are below the image.

Nevada immigrants 2015

 

Nearly 1 in 5 Nevadans are immigrants.

  • The foreign-born share of Nevada’s population rose from 8.7% in 1990, to 15.8% in 2000, to 19% in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada was home to 529,164 immigrants in 2013, which greater than the total population of Tucson, Arizona.
  • 47.4% of immigrants in Nevada (or 250,949 people) were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 7.6% of the state’s population (or 210,000 people) in 2012, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • 20.8% (or 244,551) of all registered voters in Nevada are “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data by the American Immigration Council.

Latinos and Asians make up one-third of all Nevadans—and they vote.

  • The Latino share of Nevada’s population grew from 10.4% in 1990, to 19.7% in 2000, to 27.5% (or 767,054 people) in 2013. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.9% in 1990, to 4.5% in 2000, to 7.7% (or 215,121 people) in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos comprised 14.9% (or 157,000) of Nevada voters in the 2012 elections, and Asians 6.4% (or 67,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Nevada, 86.8% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 90.6% of children in Asian families in Nevada were U.S. citizens, as were 90.2% of children in Latino families.

Immigrant, Latino, and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Nevada’s economy.

  • The 2014 purchasing power of Nevada’s Latinos totaled $15.7 billion—an increase of 1,076% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $9.3 billion—an increase of 1,575% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Immigration boosts housing values in communities. From 2000 to 2010, according to the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, the value added by immigration to the price of the average home was $19,800 in Clark County.
  • Nevada’s 18,035 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.2 billion and employed 21,922 peoplein 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 17,542 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.8 billion and employed 23,862 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.
  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 20,000 new immigrant business owners in Nevada, and they had total net business income of $1.1 billion, which makes up 16.8% of all net business income in the state, according to Robert Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • In 2010, 20.2% of all business owners in Nevada were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. In 2013, 25.9% of business owners in the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area were foreign-born, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Furthermore, 37.4% of “Main Street” business owners—owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors—in the Las Vegas-Paradise metro area were foreign-born in 2013. 

Immigrants are essential to Nevada’s economy as workers and taxpayers.

  • Immigrants comprised 24.4% of the state’s workforce in 2013 (or 347,008 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos in Nevada paid $1.7 billion in federal taxes and $627 million in state/local taxes in 2013, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. In particular, foreign-born Latinos paid $914 million in federal taxes and $358 million in state/local taxes.
    • The federal tax contribution of Illinois’ Latino population included $1.3 billion to Social Security and $302 million to Medicare in 2013. Foreign-born Latinos contributed $723 million to Social Security and $169 million to Medicare that year.
  • Latino immigrants comprised about 16% of the state’s entire workforce in 2005, and an even higher share in select industries: 81% of the agricultural workforce, 47% of the construction and mining workforce, and 22% of the entertainment and tourist services workforce, according to a 2007 report from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Unauthorized immigrants are integral to Nevada’s economy as workers and consumers.

  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 10.2% of the state’s workforce in 2012 (or 150,000 workers), according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nevada, the state would lose $9.7 billion in economic activity, $4.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 45,533 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group. 

Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes.

  • Unauthorized immigrants in Nevada paid $93.9 million in state and local taxes in 2012, according to data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes $71.9 million in sales taxes and $22 million in property taxes.
  • Were unauthorized immigrants in Nevada to have lawful permanent residence, they would pay almost $103.3 millionin state and local taxes, including $79 million in sales taxes and $24.2 million in property taxes.

Immigrants are important to Nevada’s economy as students.

  • Nevada’s 2,336 foreign students contributed over $60 million to the state’s economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
  • Foreign students contribute to Nevada’s metropolitan areas. From 2008 to 2012, according to the Brookings Institution, 2,850 foreign students paid $48 million in tuition and $41 million in living costs in the Las Vegas-Paradise metropolitan area.
  • Foreign students also contribute to innovation in Illinois. In 2009, “non-resident aliens” comprised 29.1% of master’s degrees and 44.4% of doctorate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. 

Naturalized citizens excel educationally. 

  • In Nevada, 24.7% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2011 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 12.2% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 23.5% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 46.7% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in Nevada with a college degree increased by 140.9% between 2000 and 2011, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Nevada, 79.8% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Nevada was 90.6%, while for Latino children it was 81.3%, as of 2009.

The GOP’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Is Racist And Un-American

Image by Gage Skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

Enough is enough! 

We must stop praising these politicians who trying to win the nomination of the Republican Party by threatening to evict 11 million aspiring Americans and potentially millions more American citizens whose parents are not yet citizens.

It is disgusting, racist and un-American.  

By now you have already seen this video of the pompous asshat Donald Trump forcibly removing one of the nations most respected journalists from his press conference in an attempt to avoid answering questions regarding his immigration policies.

As if the actions of the Trump campaign were not enough, the story does not end there.

After being evicted from the press conference, an unidentified man tells Jorge Ramos (who is an American citizen) to “get out of my country.

Donald Trump is leading the charge against immigrants, specifically latino families by accusing them of being drug dealers & rapists, “and some I presume are good people.” Other GOP wannabe’s are also following Trump’s lead by promoting this idea that we should rescind “birthright citizenship.”  Some of these Presidential candidates are first generation Americans themselves.

I am appalled at what these people are saying about the millions of hard working people who have come to the United States in hope of finding a better life.

We need to fix our broken immigration system and never forget that we are a nation of immigrants.

We need more people like AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to speak out against this divisive, racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that flows from the political right.   Just listen to how President Trumka calls the GOP out for their racist anti-immigrant messaging.

For millions of immigrants the Statue of Liberty was the first thing they saw as they immigrated to the United States.  She was, and still is, the beacon of hope for the millions of aspiring Americans with her immortal words:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

To be anti-immigrant is to be anti-American.

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