January 2013 Archives

The National Employment Law Center has released a useful summary of immigration reform legislation since 2004, with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) included as a baseline. The most recent bills listed may give us an idea of the contours of the bills Congress is working on now.

One provision in several of the bills that I've been scratching my head about is the requirement to be employed at the time of application for legalization, when by definition, applicants are prohibited from working lawfully. This as much as anything else captures the public confusion about immigrants that has made it so difficult to improve the laws. How do you write a bill that reconciles the fear that immigrants are taking jobs with the fear that they are living off welfare?
I'm going to start publishing lawmaker's statements here on Citizen Orange more regularly. I use SCOUT from the Sunlight Foundation to follow what lawmakers say about the DREAM Act, and am going to start doing so for "immigration" more broadly.

Rep. Yvette Clarke, a Democrat congresswoman from New York's 9th district had this to say about what she thinks priorities should be for the 113th Congress:
UPDATE: I just spoke with a member of the Immigrant Youth Justice League who has that I identify her only by her first name, Cindy. From what little I was able to speak to her, it sounds to me like she personifies what I think the story of this year is going to be as undocumented youth who have won some small measure of safety through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program work to protect friends and family around them. Cindy is eligible for a regular driver's license after receiving deferred action under DACA, but her parents and other members of her community are not, and that's why she's in Springfield fighting for the passage of S.B. 957.

According to IYJL the bill just passed out of committee but there about 5 votes short in the House. Speaker Madigan, as far as I can tell has not yet publicly said whether he publicly supports or opposes the bill. Cindy said to keep pushing Speaker Madigan, and if you live in Illinois to contact your legislators. If your legislator already supports the bill, ask them to move other legislators.

ORIGINAL POST: It looks like it's going to come down to the wire, but there's a real chance that 250,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois could be able to drive without fear coming out of this legislative session in Illinois.

This is bigger than Illinois. It could reverse a national trend that the pro-migrant movement has been on the losing side of for some time.

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