This Week in Immigration

Recognizing Immigrant Women’s Needs in Immigration Reform

While the recent debate over reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act may have reminded the nation that there are “women’s issues” in immigration law, it doesn’t necessarily follow that most people regard immigration reform as a woman’s issue. Despite the fact that immigrant women make up a growing share of workers, entrepreneurs, single heads of households, and new voters—while remaining primary caregivers in families—the laws we craft to reform our broken immigration system have often been insensitive to the obstacles and challenges immigrant women face in applying for immigration status.

State Level Immigration Legislation and the Essential Economy

We often take for granted the important role “behind the scenes” workers – farm labor, restaurant work, and home health care – play in driving our economy. That’s one of the many conclusions of a new report from the Essential Economy Council, which studied the economic and social value of industries that make up what they have coined  the “essential economy.” The report identifies six industrial sectors important to our daily way of life, including: agriculture and poultry; hospitality and restaurants; light construction and landscaping; personal care and assisted living; building maintenance and facilities service; and distribution and logistics.

Jeb Bush Backs Away From Mainstream With His Opposition To A Path To Citizenship
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been a longtime supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, so it caught many off guard this week when, in his new book, Bush came out against a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences — in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship,” Bush argues in the book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, which was co-authored with lawyer Clint Bolick. “To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship.”

Skilled Immigrants Come Through All Immigration Channels

The widespread recognition of the important role of immigrants in creating jobs and building communities has led to a surge in welcoming and recruitment campaigns in states like Michigan and cities like Dayton, Detroit, and St. Louis where they are actively seeking to bring more immigrants into their communities.  Unfortunately, these efforts are being frustrated by our immigration system.

Building Bipartisan Bridges in Congress for High-Skilled Immigration and Entrepreneurship

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives held a hearing to discuss, “Enhancing American Competitiveness through Skilled Immigration.”  The hearing highlighted both the bipartisan support for high-skilled immigration reform, and a series of new bills that would increase the supply of STEM visas.

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