We begin May with a little bit of good news – some separated families are finally being reunited after years apart! Read on to learn more about the reunification, why the idea of “good immigrants” is harmful, and efforts to gain bipartisan support for immigration reform.
This week, four families from Honduras and Mexico that were separated under the Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance Policy” will be reunited in the United States. Some of these families have been separated for almost four years, and the parents will be granted “humanitarian parole” which allows the parents to temporarily enter the U.S. to reunite with their children. While this is certainly great news, many immigration advocates say it is not enough. While the Trump administration is believed to have separated at least 1,000 families, many advocates believe that due to inaccurate record-keeping, this number could be as high as 5,500. Many are pushing the Biden administration to grant these families permanent legal status and financial compensation for the thousands of families that have been separated. We fully support family reunification and a path to status for everyone who was impacted by these unspeakably cruel policies.
“They are children who were 3 years old at the time of separation. They are teenagers who have had to live without their parents during their most formative years. They are mothers who fled extremely dangerous situations in their home countries, who remained in dangerous environments in Mexico, holding out hope to reunite with their children.”
—Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
2. Maeve Higgins: Why is the “Good Immigrant” Narrative Dangerous? – Friday, April 30
Fellow Irish Immigrant, Maeve Higgins, delivered a TEDTalk recently on the treatment that many immigrants receive when coming to the United States. Maeve came here on an O-1 visa, also known as the “extraordinary ability” visa. She talks about how when France won the soccer World Cup in 2018, the narrative that emerged was that immigration was great because without the immigrants on the team, the French may have never won the World Cup. Maeve argues that even narratives that seem positive can be negative in the long run by promoting the idea that some immigrant lives are worth more than others. She says that immigrants should not have to “prove [themselves] worthy of basic human dignity.” At McEntee Law, we believe in the inherent worth of all people regardless of national origin. To watch the TEDTalk, click here.
“People should not be considered valuable just because they do something of value to us, like pick our fruit or perform our life-saving surgery or win our soccer game. People are valuable because they are people. And I think that we need to hold that close because if we forget that or if we deny it, then terrible things happen.”
3. Schumer Readies Plan B to Push Immigration Changes Unilaterally – Tuesday, May 4
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has reportedly been considering attaching immigration reform legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants to President Biden’s new infrastructure plan through “budget reconciliation,” which would allow the immigration measures to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes, potentially avoiding waiting for bipartisan support of said measures. Schumer is considering this because he fears that current talks between Democrats and Republicans could stall in trying to reach a compromise. The plan that is being debated would affect around 11 million undocumented immigrants, providing them with a potential pathway to citizenship. However, some Senate Republicans argue that before we focus on the undocumented immigrants in the country, we need to focus on “securing the border.” Senate Democrats argue that allowing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and their children would also help border security, and are cautiously optimistic that these measures can pass.
“We ought to take this opportunity, this term, to finally do what the American people want us to do, which is to pass immigration reform. I don’t think the Republicans should be able to run the clock out on this term before we pass meaningful immigration reform through the Senate.”
—Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s ‘News Review’ from McEntee Law! Want daily immigration news updates? Follow us on Twitter.