UPCOMING EVENT: MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA

The Policy Circle is excited to launch our new brief and a Move the Needle Virtual Experience to address Mental Health in America, featuring Dr. Bobbi Wegner and Andy Keller. Please join us on June 23rd at noon CST, and RSVP today!

The Immigration Debate

The debate over U.S. immigration policies has intensified over the last week due to a surge of migrants at the U.S. border. As local organizations face a growing humanitarian crisis in their communities, and FEMA has been dispatched to the border to help manage the influx, the House is set to take up two immigration bills this week.

Recent administrations have all endeavored to address U.S. immigration policy, but there have been few lasting changes, a testament to the complexities of immigration reform. The Biden administration has listed immigration as a top priority issue, calling for creating an eight-year earned path to citizenship for immigrants who were present in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021, and can pass a background check and pay taxes.

House Republicans unveiled a rebuttal to Biden’s plan this week, which would boost funding for border security, protect undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children, known as “Dreamers,” and provide a 10-year path to a renewable legal status for undocumented immigrants who have not committed any crimes.

It is unlikely that any comprehensive immigration proposal will pass in Congress – Biden’s proposal doesn’t have the votes to pass even in the Democrat-led House in its current form, some say. House Democrats are focused on two piecemeal bills instead: One would grant Dreamers a path to citizenship, and one would expand the number of seasonal farmworkers allowed to enter the U.S. and work legally. Both proposals are likely to pass the House, but again face long odds in the Senate because of the 60-vote hurdle and Republican opposition.

Digging Into the Data 

  • The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 puts more Dreamers on a path to citizenship largely by expanding eligibility requirements. An estimated 2.3 million Dreamers are expected to be eligible, should the legislation pass. 
  • In the month of February, southern border migrant encounters are up 28% from the month prior, and a staggering 174% from the same time last year. 
  • 69% of American adults support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in a late January 2021 poll by Vox and Data for Progress, with a jump in support (72%) when addressing Dreamers. 
  • 77% of Republicans said in a Feb. 18-24 poll that they want more fencing along the southern border with Mexico, up six points from 2015. And 56% do not want illegal immigrants to have a path to citizenship, which is up 18 percentage points from a 2018 survey.
  • The last comprehensive immigration bill, sponsored by a group of bipartisan senators, was brought up in 2013. That legislation, which included a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and tighter border security, passed the Senate with bipartisan support but died in the House. 

Take Action

  • Take it local. Talk to your neighbors to understand how immigration affects your community. Identify opportunities to work with other community members in your area on this topic.
  • Explore the impact of immigration policies in your community. Search for your state’s laws on Ballotpedia, or see if your county or nearby cities are sanctuary jurisdictions.
  • Research your elected representatives’ positions on immigration, and their vision for how to tackle immigration-related challenges facing Americans and your community. 

Other News

Deb Haaland Confirmed As 1st Native American Interior Secretary

The Senate voted to confirm the Democratic congresswoman to lead the Interior Department, an agency that will play a crucial role in efforts to combat climate change and conserve nature.

Meet the rest of Biden’s cabinet


Microsoft breach ramps up pressure on Biden to tackle cyber vulnerabilities

The Biden administration is coming under increasing pressure to address U.S. cybersecurity vulnerabilities following the Microsoft breach that has quickly been viewed as a massive threat to the U.S.

Take action: Learn more big tech, privacy, and innovation at our discussion on March 24th


Clubhouse: The Hot New Social Network Has Big Privacy Problems

It’s the invite-only social network that people are clamoring to join at the start of 2021, but Clubhouse is already raising privacy concerns – even for those who haven’t joined!

Take action: Attend our virtual discussion to learn more about privacy and technology.


Biden may propose $1 trillion in new taxes

Now that the coronavirus relief package is actually law, it is onto infrastructure. But infrastructure legislation will come with strings attached — very hefty new taxes.

Take action: Learn more about taxes in our Policy Circle Brief


Police reform is shaping the race for mayor

The rush to slash police funding and add new limits on use of force in the wake of George Floyd’s death hasn’t stopped policing from emerging as a top issue in big city mayoral contests across the country.

Take action: To better understand law enforcement dive into our Policy Circle Brief.

Interested in diving deeper into these issues? Check out our latest events on Big Tech, censorship, free speech, and more.


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