Immigration News Update February 2
ICE Begins Action Against Employers
Over the past year, raids and arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Removal Operations have become a consistent story in the news. ICE is targeting individuals with criminal records that are subject to deportation, and non-criminal undocumented individuals have been detained as well. ICE deportation officers carry out daily enforcement operations.
It now appears that employers that hire undocumented workers are also being put under scrutiny. A report by U.S. News & World Report described a series of raids at nearly 100 7-Eleven stores around the country. While not the first large-scale workplace crackdown by ICE, it was the most widely publicized and it appeared aimed at employers.
The U.S. News & World Report article by Alan Neuhauser noted: “Some see a deliberate message in broad sweeps conducted this month, both in how ICE executed the recent raids and in its choice of targets. The 7-Eleven stores that were targeted tended to be in visible locations in cities and suburbs.”
The message echoes President Donald J. Trump’s orations about U.S. businesses hiring and employing U.S. workers. Those who do otherwise will face consequences.
Legal Immigration Under Attack
It appears that President Donald J. Trump is attempting to trade giving legal status to the “Dreamers,” undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their families, for an overhaul to the country’s immigration system.
As reported on NBCNews.com, the White House has proposed to Congress a legal path to U.S. citizenship for approximately 1.8 million “Dreamers” in exchange for funds to build the President’s desired border wall as well as ending the diversity visa lottery program.
Also at stake is legal family-based immigration. The proposal is to limit family-based petitions to spouses and minor children. Petitions for parents of adult U.S. citizens, adult children (both married and unmarried) of U.S. citizens and permanent residents and siblings of U.S. citizens would be eliminated.
Researchers and immigration advocates have countered that family-based immigration is at the heart of this country.
Democrats will oppose such radical revisions to immigration, but it is still of crucial importance that people who favor the continuation of family-based immigration contact their representatives in federal and state government to make their voices heard.