This Week In Immigration – Week of April 26, 2021

This Week In Immigration

4-26-21 Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday evening that the US will send an additional $310 million to Central America “for humanitarian relief and to address food insecurity.” $255 million will go to humanitarian relief and $55 million will go toward addressing food insecurity in the region. “In light of the dire situation and acute suffering faced by millions of people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Vice President Harris announced an additional $310 million in U.S. government support,” a fact sheet released by the White House said.

04-28-21 President Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to pass bipartisan immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  “Immigrants have done so much for America during this pandemic and throughout our history. The country supports immigration reform, we should act. “Let’s argue over it, let’s debate it, but let’s act.” ” said Biden in his first speech before a joint session of Congress. Democrats passed Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan using reconciliation, a budgetary process that bypasses the Senate legislative filibuster. Biden centered his speech on defending the core of his social proposals, from jobs and infrastructure, education and childcare, taxation, climate, foreign policy and race, but didn’t get to immigration until about an hour into his speech.  “Let’s end our exhausting war over immigration,” said Biden as he laid out a baseline on who should receive legalization with a path to citizenship. “Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for Dreamers, the young people who’ve only known America as their home and permanent protections for immigrants who are here on Temporary Protected Status [TPS], who came from countries beset by man manmade and natural-made violence and disaster, as well as a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers who put food on our tables,” he continued.

04-28-2021 A coalition of immigration advocacy groups is launching a $50 million effort aimed at defending President Joe Biden on immigration and pressuring lawmakers from both parties to pass a pathway to citizenship.  The effort includes a $30 million commitment from a group of advocacy organizations calling themselves We Are Home, in addition to a $20 million commitment from a handful of other immigration groups, including the Mark Zuckerberg-backed  It kicks off with a $1.5 million television and digital ad campaign from We Are Home launching across five states and Washington, D.C., starting Saturday, and digital ads running in six more states.  The coalition of groups, which includes Community Change Action, the Service Employees International Union and the United Farm Workers, among others, is also planning nearly 60 events on May 1 for May Day. Additionally it is launching a paid field effort aimed at defending Democrats in difficult seats and supporting pro-immigrant “champions” in the House and the Senate to make sure they maintain strong support for a pathway to citizenship.

4-27-21 President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated the sheriff of one of the nation’s most populous counties to lead the agency that deports people in the country illegally, picking a seasoned law enforcement official who sharply criticized Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, whose jurisdiction includes the Houston metropolitan area, was nominated director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since 2017. After his election in 2016, Gonzalez fulfilled a campaign promise to withdraw Harris County from a federal partnership that authorizes sheriff’s deputies to enforce immigration laws, ending an agreement that had been in place since 2008. “I do not support ICE raids that threaten to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom do not represent a threat to the U.S.,” he wrote on Facebook in July 2019. “The focus should always be on clear & immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats.”

4-30-2021 Deportations have already fallen sharply under Biden’s watch. There were 2,214 immigration arrests in March, down 67% from 6,679 in December, Trump’s last full month in office.

5-1-2021 Dozens of immigration advocates marched at the Des Moines, Iowa Statehouse on Saturday in support of immigration reform. LULAC Political Director Joe Henry said people are tired of delays which was the cause of the rally.

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