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Contact Us: (617) 714-4375

May 2021

Immigration and the United States 2020 Census

 

The 2020 United States Census has raised alarms for economists. Population growth is slowing, and projections do not see the trend changing anytime soon. Economists agree that population growth fuels economies, and some parts of the country are already experiencing negative effects. Shrinking tax bases in rural areas has made it harder to fund public services like infrastructure and education. In addition, the aging population poses a serious dependency problem, placing a major economic strain on the working population. 

While the government is pondering family-planning solutions, it is overlooking the best option–increased immigration. Immigration has historically been a major accelerator of population growth. It is a far easier and simpler way to fix the population problem, and would benefit more lives. Many immigrants populate large metro areas, which would have otherwise lost population in recent years. Furthermore, many of these immigrants are younger than the median American, adding supply to the labor force.

While there are many humanitarian reasons to support immigration, this new economic angle should silence all critics. It is time for Congress to work together and open up the country to more immigrants, for the benefit of all.

Indigenous Guatemalans Face Communication Challenges At Border

Indigenous people have faced major hurdles in their migration to the United States. Language and cultural barriers add extra challenges and stress, as they grapple with an unfamiliar asylum system. 

El Paso Times talked with 26-year-old Melinda and her family about the difficult journey the Guatemalan family made to the U.S.-Mexico border. Speaking only the Indigenous language of K’iche’, Melinda was entirely reliant on another Guatemalan migrant for all communication. Melinda did not speak directly with any United States Customs and Border Protection Officer upon reaching the border. She was extremely confused and scared, and considered herself lucky to be assisted by the Mexican government agency Grupo Beta. 

Another Indigenous Guatemalan immigrant, Alma, shared Melinda’s grief with the process. Her son, Salvador, fainted in the extreme conditions of the journey. At the border, according to Alma, “no one came near” to explain the asylum process in the United States.

These experiences are not uncommon. Recent studies discovered that one in five detainees in the United States are Indigenous. It is essential that the United States allocate resources to expand language services at the border, in order to effectively explain the asylum process to migrants. Failure to do so would be a failure in justice.

Read El Paso Times’ Story Here: https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2021/05/11/el-paso-juarez-us-immigration-system-mexico-border-untracked/5004407001/

Biden Administration Resurrects Entrepreneurship Program for Immigrants

 

President Biden announced last Monday his intent to revive an Obama-era program that allowed immigrant entrepreneurs to work in the United States. Titled the International Entrepreneur Rule, it allowed foreign entrepreneurs to work in the country up to five years, given they met certain criteria, including the ownership of at least 10% of a startup and the attraction of at least $250,000 in United States venture capital. 

The Trump administration published a notice intending to suspend the policy before it went into effect, citing its parole benefit as grounds for opposition. Parole allows the United States to admit migrants without visas, provided there is a significant public benefit. Ultimately, the program was not officially terminated by Trump, but withered away regardless, since investors and entrepreneurs believed the notice indicated Trump’s intent to deny applications.

The new attention to the program and increased resource allocation will likely sponsor a new influx of immigrant entrepreneurs. This is a major benefit to the country as a whole, and hopefully will offer new opportunities to immigrants.

Biden Selects Trump-Era Hires for Immigration Court

President Biden has upset many immigrant advocates this past weekend by hiring several immigration judges previously selected by former President Trump. Many of these judges are former prosecutors and counselors for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Almost none have experience representing migrants in court. This move by the Biden administration has puzzled many voters, as it stands at odds with Biden’s stated commitment to reverse the harm the previous administration inflicted upon the immigration system. There should be far more immigration advocates within the court system, which would provide an important counter to the influx of deportation advocates that began filling the benches during the Trump presidency. Biden’s budget allows for a total of 100 immigration judge hires. Now that seventeen with questionable motivations have already been appointed, it is time to place pressure on the administration to ensure that court selections uphold the values Biden promised.

US Withdraws Biometrics Proposal

The United States government withdrew a Trump-era proposal last Friday. The measure sought to collect biometric details from all individuals applying for immigration or naturalization benefits, an expansion of previous biometric policy. While supporters of the rule argued it would improve security vetting and reduce fraud, many critics saw it as another unnecessary step in an already inefficient immigration process. The withdrawal is part of a wider effort to “restore faith” in the immigration system in the wake of the Trump presidency, an initiative set into motion through President Biden’s February Executive Order “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration System.”

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