This week, we read about a new immigration advocacy campaign, how immigration reform may help the United States keep its technological edge, and the fight for legal representation in immigration court.
Immigration groups are working together to share legal resources with undocumented immigrants. Advocates are helping undocumented immigrants prepare for possible changes in the law that will give them a pathway to citizenship. President Biden announced a plan to do so earlier this year, so efforts have been building up.
Immigration groups across the country have come together to create the “Ready to Stay” campaign. “Ready to Stay” started a website where immigrants can search for legal help in their area. The campaign also lists trustworthy organizations so applicants can avoid notario fraud.
Democrats and immigration advocates are hopeful that immigration reform is coming soon. In the meantime, they advise immigrants to prepare by getting their documents in order.
“The time is now to pass a new, bold, generous path to citizenship for millions,” said Angelica Salas, the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.
Congress fears the U.S. will lose its lead in the tech world. Government-funded research and development has been decreasing for decades, and Congress is searching for solutions.
“We have a very large and promising crop of international scientists that are coming to the U.S. every year, but due to our immigration laws we can only keep some small fraction of them,” said Caleb Watney director of innovation policy at the Progressive Policy Institute.
Caleb Watney argues that policymakers should consider immigration reform as a solution. Watney spoke with Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour about why immigration reform is essential to maintaining the U.S.’s technological edge. In their conversation, Watney explains how international scientists are leaders in their field. However, current U.S. immigration policy only allows a select few of these promising scientists to stay and work in the U.S. Instead of forcing talent to return to their home countries, Watney argues, the U.S. should be making it possible for them to stay here and create new jobs and build businesses.
Watney explains to Ben-Achour the limitations of certain visas, such as the H-1B. He also thinks of solutions to create more stability for international graduate students looking to work in the U.S. Additionally, Watney explains why bringing in more international scientists won’t take away from opportunities for U.S.-based scientists.
Watney also celebrates the decision to bring back the International Entrepreneur Rule, (IER). The IER is an Obama-era option for immigrant entrepreneurs that was recently re-introduced by the Biden Administration. He explains the rule and says the program is only a first step.
Watney ultimately argues that the U.S. is losing out on top talent if it continues to shut its door on international applicants. To read their entire conversation, head here. To read more about the IER, read our recent blog post about it.
House Democrats are fighting to expand access to justice for immigrants facing deportation.
Rep. Normal Torres wrote a letter to Republican lawmakers to extend funding for a program that gives minors and people with mental disabilities access to legal representation.
In most cases, immigrants do not receive government-funded legal representation in immigration court.
However, the outcome of immigration hearings can be devastating and determine whether immigrants can work and stay with their families in the U.S.
Rep. Torres argues that legal representation is the best way to guarantee that removal cases are judged fairly. She also adds that legal representation will help the cases run faster, noting the extensive backlog in immigration cases.
“Legal representation is the most determinative factor in ensuring people facing removal have a fair day in immigration court. If represented by counsel, people are five times more likely to obtain legal relief compared to those who are unrepresented,” wrote Torres.