A. Guiding Questions
- Have you ever supported a cause to make a change or improve something in your community? What was it and how did you work together with others to make it happen?
- This month, families and community leaders from across the country are fasting in New Orleans because they or their loved ones are waiting to apply for DACA+/DAPA, programs that would protect them from deportation and allow them to better provide for their families by getting better paying jobs, driver licenses, and an affordable education. Our community members can’t wait any longer. We need DACA+/DAPA now.A) Why do people fast?
B) What can we [in Virginia or as NAKASEC] do to support immigrant families? And the fasters?
- What is DACA?
Have you or someone you know benefited from DACA? How has it impacted your life or their lives?
What is DAPA? / expanded DACA?
Would you or someone you know benefit from DACA+/DAPA?
- How would you like to see your community respond to this situation?
- Why are some politicians spreading negative messages about immigrants? What can we do to change their minds and create a positive narrative about immigrant communities in the US?
- What kinds of laws would you like to see enacted in order to hold our government accountable for caring for the community?
- 안녕하십니까. 오늘 여러 분들과 이민 이슈에 대해 같이 이야기 나누고 싶습니다.
이번 10월 14일 부터 9일 동안 미 전역의 이민자들이 뉴올리언즈 연방 5지구 항소 법원 앞 노상에서 금식을 시작합니다.
금 식을 하는 이유는 오바마 대통령의 확대된 추방 유예 시행 자격 조건을 갖춘 5백 여 만 명의 서류미비자들이 이 땅에 살 수 있는 권리를 요구하는 것이고, 더 나아가서는 1천 1 백 만 명 이상의 서류미비자들이 추방의 공포에서 벗어나, 그들이 사랑하는 가족과 함께 살 수 있는 이민법 개정을 요구하는 것이기도 합니다.
먼저 여러분들과 같이 이야기 나누고 싶은 것은, 몇 백년 전, 유럽에서 배를 타고 미국 대륙에 도착한 이민자들과 현재 미국에 살고 있는 서류미비자들을 비교하면서 유사한 점은 어떤 것이 있고, 다른 점이 어떤 것이 있을까요?
- 이번 10월 14일부터, 전국에서 모인 이민자들이 뉴올리언즈 연방 제 5지구 항소 법원 앞에서 추방 유혜 확대에 대한 결정이 조속히 내려 질 것을 촉구하는 “9일 동안의 금식”을 시작합니다.
추방 유예 확대란 작년 11월 오바마 대통령이 발표한 행정 명령으로 자격 조건을 갖춘 5백 만 여명의 서류미비 이민자들이 추방 당하지 않고, 미국에 거주 할 수 있도록 합니다. 구체적 대상은 어릴 때 미국에 입국 해와 살고 있는 서류미비자, 또한 미국에서 태어난 자녀나 영주권자의 자녀를 둔 서류미비 부모입니다. 그러나 현재 추방 유예 확대는 이를 반대하는 주 들의 법정 소송에 휘말려 실행이 임시 중단 되고 있는 상황입니다. 올 7월 연방 제 5지구 항소 법원은 이에 대한 법정 증언을 열었으나 이에 대한 결정을 아직 내리지 못하고 있습니다. 어떠한 결정이 연방 제 5지구 법원에서 내려지든지 “추방 유예 확대”가 실행 되기 위해서는 대법원의 결정이 필요합니다. 이번 10월 중순 전까지 연방 제 5지구 항소 법원의 결정이 내려지지 않으면 대법원의 법정 일정 문제로 추방 유예 실행 결정은 1년 이상 지연될 수 도 있습니다.
가족 이나, 주변에 친구나 아시는 분 중 추방 유예 행정 명령을 통해 혜택을 받고 계시거나, 추방 유예 확대로 혜택 받을 수 있는 분들을 알고 계십니까?
- 추방 유예 프로그램이 필요하다고 생각 하십니까?
- 추방 유예가 조속히 실현되기를 호소하는 차원에서 많은 사람들이 뉴올리언즈 지역 연방 항소 법원 앞에서 금식을 시작 했습니다. 우리 지역 사회는 이들의 노력에 대해 어떻게 생각하는 것이 좋을까요?
- 최근 여러 언론을 통해 대통령 선거 후보자들이 이민자들에 대해 부정적인 언급을 하는 것이 보도 되었습니다. 왜 대통령 선거 후보자들이 이민자에 대한 부정적인 발언을 할까요?
- 이민자에 대해 잘 모르는 주위 사람들에게 이민자란 어떤 사람들이라고 이야기 하고 싶으십니까?
B. Conversation Troubleshooting
Argument #1: Immigration reform will harm working-class and middle-class Americans. [Source: CAP]
Response: The reality is that economists have repeatedly found that immigrants do not bring down the wages of lesser-skilled Americans and instead find that immigrants actually have small but positive effects on native workers’ wages and job prospects. These positive effects arise because immigrants tend to complement, rather than compete with, native workers; are consumers who spend money in the economy, stimulating business demand; and are entrepreneurial, starting businesses and helping to employ American workers.
Cost and Bauer also fail to take into account the fact that immigration reform itself will improve the American economy, creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans. Studies have found that legalized workers earn higher wages, which in turn means they pay more in taxes. These higher wages circulate through the economy: Providing legal status to the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country would create 121,000 jobs each year, raise the wages of all Americans by $470 billion, and increase our gross domestic product by a cumulative $832 billion over a decade.
Legalizing immigrants would also support the solvency of the Social Security system during its period of greatest strain over the next three-and-a-half decades, as the Baby Boomers—America’s largest generation—retire and begin to claim their benefits. During this period newly legalized immigrants would add a total of $606 billion to the system, supporting 2.4 million American retirees.
Finally, as the Congressional Budget Office points out, S. 744 would also go far in reducing the deficit, saving $158 billion over the first decade and $685 billion over the second decade.
Argument #2: Offering a path to citizenship would reward people who broke the law. [Source: Bustle]
Response: In a sense, that’s true. Similarly, ending prohibition, eliminating anti-sodomy laws, and giving black people the right to sit wherever they wanted to on the bus also rewarded people who broke the law. Reaching back a bit further, France’s recognition of the United States as a sovereign nation during the Revolutionary War most certainly rewarded lawbreakers. The point here is that when a law itself is unjust and harmful to the country as a whole, following that law isn’t a good thing.
Argument #3: Immigrants reap the benefits of the U.S. education system without paying into it. [Source: Bustle]
Response: You’re probably referring to the 1972 Supreme Court casePlyler v. Doe, which found that states can’t deny free public education to its residents on the grounds of their immigration status.
If you disagree with that finding, you have reason to support legal immigration, not oppose it. Allowing more immigrants to obtain legal status means that more people who reap public education’s benefits willalso be paying into the system. Opposing legalization, on the other hand, means more people will be doing the exact thing that you’re saying is bad. It’s a no-brainer.
Argument #4: Immigrants will make Social Security even worse than it is now by collecting more in benefits than they pay into the system.
Response: Well, first of all, undocumented immigrants already pay billions in Social Security taxes, despite being ineligible to receive Social Security benefits. But furthermore, offering legal status to immigrants will strengthen Social Security, not hurt it. Baby boomers are about to place enormous pressure on Social Security, but increasing legal immigration to the U.S. offers a way to offset those costs. That’s because immigrants tend to be young — the average adult immigrant in the U.S. is only 36-years-old — and as such, they immediately pay a whole lot into Social Security.
A 2013 study found that granting legal status to just 60 percent of undocumented immigrants in the country would increase net contributions to Social Security by over $486 billion. Give legal status to 85 percent of immigrants, and that number shoots up to $606 billion.
Argument #5: The Majority Of People Are Economic Migrants (Source: Huffington Post]
There’s a prominent claim among immigration opponents that the majority of people who are entering Europe through irregular means during this crisis are not refugees, but rather economic migrants searching for economic opportunities.
Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban has claimed that economic migrants constitute the “overwhelming majority” of those who are seeking to enter the bloc, while characterizing the current crisis as a “rebellion by illegal migrants.” Orban’s sentiment was echoed by other hardline conservative politicians, including Britain’s Nigel Farage and Slovakia’s Robert Fico.
Yet the idea that the majority of those arriving in the EU — 95 percent by Fico’s calculation — are economic migrants is not borne out by reality. While there is no definitive proof of the background and origin of every migrant and refugee entering Europe, UNHCR estimates that just over 50 percent of the people who have arrived to Europe by sea so far in 2015 are from Syria, a country ravaged by civil war where bombings and violence are a daily threat.
Some of the other prevalent nationalities arriving in Europe are from similarly war-torn states, like Afghanistan and Iraq. Many others are fleeing repression and sometimes forced conscription under regimes in Eritrea and Gambia.
In an analysis of migrant and refugee arrivals, The Economist estimates that 75 percent of people who take irregular sea routes to Europe are from countries whose citizens are usually granted EU protection in some form.
General Concern #1:“What does this have to do with me? Why should I care?” [Source: Night of 1000 Conversations]
Response: When we let the government violate the Constitution and deny due process for some, all of our freedoms are at risk. This is not just about immigrants; it’s about all of us.
General Concern #2: “It’s hopeless.” “What does this have to do with me? Why should I care?” [Source: Night of 1000 Conversations]
Response: If that’s true, then what do we do? Where does it leave us? We have two choices:
1) Go home, lock the doors, put our heads under the covers, or
2) Try something. If we try something and it works, that’s terrific. If we try something that doesn’t work, we are no worse off. And in fact, even if it doesn’t “work” as well as we hope, we are still getting stronger, more skilled, and better prepared to try again next time. Perhaps we can’t change things, but we can prevent these abuses from changing us for the worse.
- Tips for a Successful Conversation
- Don’t prepare too much – keep it simple, pick & choose from the reading materials provided to best fit your need
- Don’t worry about how many people come
- Encourage conversation, but stick to agenda
- Be Open and Honest: Share your thoughts and feelings honestly with your allies in this conversation. Try not to be shy or withholding.
- Remain Respectful: Be polite, considerate, and understanding of other peoples’ feelings during the discussion.
- Safe Zone: Remind participants that this is safe space for everyone to openly share their stories and thoughts on the issues presented
Note: DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is program announced on June 15, 2012 allowing certain people who came to the U.S. as children who meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization and in many states, driver licenses and in-state tuition. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) is a deferred action program for parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents announced on November 20, 2014. [Source: USCIS]
- Bati from Arlington, VA:
Bati moved to the United States with his parents at the age of 10 from Mongolia. Before DACA, Bati worked at two jobs while attending school part-time in order to cover the cost of tuition. His parents, who work hard to support Bati and his younger brother who is a U.S. citizen, would greatly benefit from DAPA because they could get a social security number and a better paying job. Bati shared how DACA has opened doors to make life better and how DAPA would do the same for his parents: “DACA has allowed me to work legally and drive and made school more affordable. With DAPA, my parents would be able to work legally, like me, which means they can get better paying jobs and take care of my brother. Life would be better for all of us because my whole family could stay together in the United States legally. I told the President that I want others to experience these same benefits and am committed to working with NAKASEC and my community to protect DACA and DAPA. No hard working family deserves to live a life in fear being separated by deportation.” [Source: NAKASEC]
- Jung Bin from Annandale, VA:
Jung Bin, who came to the U.S. with his parents from Seoul, South Korea in 2001, shared: “DACA opened doors for me to do things I was unable to do before and my family didn’t have to work as much to help me achieve my goals. With DACA, I am able to pursue a degree in Business Information Technology at Virginia Tech. Although DACA didn’t solve all of my problems, it gave me some of the tools I needed to become independent and self-reliant. The more our undocumented community steps out and applies for programs like DACA, the less power our political opponents will have to take away these executive actions that benefit up to 5.5 million undocumented community members. DACA and DAPA aren’t permanent solutions, but they are a step in the right direction. I want more of our community members to apply so they can work, go to school, and walk down the street without fear of deportation, just like me.” [Source: NAKASEC]
D. Migration Issues: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Position: USCCB has endorsed the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. Any legislation should include 1) a path to citizenship for the undocumented in the country; 2) reform of the legal immigration system so that families can be reunited more expeditiously; 3) a program that permits migrant workers to enter legally and work in the United States with appropriate wages and worker protections; 4) the restoration of due process protections for immigrants, such as elimination of the 3 and 10-year bars to re-entry, the restoration of judicial discretion in immigration proceedings, and elimination of the one-year asylum filing deadline; and 5) policies which address the root causes of flight. USCCB also supported the President’s executive actions creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.
- More than 11 million undocumented in country; (Pew Research Center)
- Over 2 million deported over past six plus years, with 75,000 U.S. Citizen children separated from parents each year; (Department of Homeland Security;
- 7-year wait for legal permanent residents to reunify with immediate family members from Mexico; (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service)
- $18 billion spent per year on immigration enforcement, more than any federal law enforcement agency. (Department of Homeland Security)
Position: USCCB is the largest private refugee resettlement agency in the United States and the world, helping to resettle close to one-quarter of the number of refugees resettled in the United States each year (15-20,000 a year). Since 1975, the USCCB and the church nationwide have resettled 1 million refugees in the United States. USCCB advocates for increased funding for refugees in both the State Department (overseas assistance) and Health and Human Services (HHS) (domestic resettlement) budgets, plus for increased admissions to the United States as a refugee protection tool. USCCB supports the resettlement of 100,000 refugees per year to the United States and the resettlement of 65,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years.
- Less than 2,000 Syrian refugees resettled in the United States to date out of a total of 3 million Syrian refugees; (Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration)
- Less than 1 percent of the world’s refugees are resettled to third countries each year; (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees)
- According to the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 60 million persons are displaced in the world in 2015, an all-time high.
Unaccompanied Children and Families from Central America
Position: The USCCB sent a delegation, led by the Committee on Migration, to Central America in November, 2013, to look at the plight of children and families facing violence in their communities. USCCB subsequently issued a report (link) with recommendations and testified before Congress on the issue. USCCB opposes attempts to repeal protections for unaccompanied children arriving in the United States which allow them to tell their stories before an immigration judge and be placed in a least restrictive setting. The root causes of the violence should be addressed and the United States should not encourage Mexico to interdict these children without providing them protection as well. USCCB has also strongly opposed the detention of families from Central America.
- Unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States in 2014: approximately 69,000; Family members arriving in the United States in 2014: app. 69,000. 2015 (est): 40,000 in each category; (Department of Homeland Security; Office of Refugee Resettlement, Health and Human Services);
- Deportations from Mexico to Central America have jumped 400 percent over the last year; 112 percent increase in asylum claims in other Central American countries. (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama); (U.N High Commissioner for Refugees; Jesuit Refugee Service)
- 95 percent of unaccompanied children from Central America who have legal representation have won asylum in the United States. (Kids in Need of Defense, Executive Office of Immigration Review, Department of Justice)
Position: In May 2015, USCCB, in conjunction with the Center for Migration Studies, issued a report calling for the dismantling of the immigrant detention system in the United States. Immigrant detention is a growing industry in this country, with Congress allocating as much as $2 billion a year to maintain and expand it. Detention centers are being increasingly operated by for-profit companies. Due to mandatory detention laws and the improper use of discretion, persons who are not flight risks or risks to national security and are extremely vulnerable, such as asylum-seekers, families, and victims of human trafficking, are being held in detention. USCCB favors alternatives to detention, particularly community-based programs that provide case management services to released detainees.
- An average of over 400,000 persons is detained in immigrant detention centers each year, up from 95,000 in 2001; federal law requires that 34,000 beds are filled each day. (Department of Homeland Security)
- Over 200 county and city prisons contract with the federal government to detain immigrants and account for 67 percent of the population. (Department of Homeland Security)
- Community-based alternatives to detention programs cost as little as $12 per person a day, as compared to $164 a day per person for detention. These programs have ensured a 93% appearance rate at court hearings. (Detention Watch Network, Department of Homeland Security)
Position: USCCB was instrumental in supporting and enacting the original Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000 and its subsequent re-authorizations. USCCB also operated the federal program assisting child trafficking victims for five years, with stellar reviews. USCCB supports legislation to increase care for trafficking victims, especially children, and to ensure that they receive legal protection in the United States. USCCB supports the passage of supply chain legislation, which requires that businesses monitor their supply chains for child or slave labor as well as policies that ensure that children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border are properly screened as potential trafficking victims. USCCB also supports the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report as a tool for forcing nations to improve their anti-trafficking efforts.
- Although estimates vary, as many as 13,000 persons are trafficked into the United States each year. (Department of Homeland Security)
- The two largest trafficking cases in the United States involved labor trafficking, in Guam and in New York (Long Island). (Office of Trafficking in Persons, U.S. State Department)
- Despite the large numbers, only 1,000 trafficking victims have been identified and assisted in the United States since 2000. (Department of Health and Human Services)
Position: USCCB supports a permanent reauthorization of the Special Immigrant Religious Worker program, which allows 5,000 religious and lay workers each year to enter the United States, work, live, and provide pastoral duties for faith-based organizations. The program is set to expire on September 30, 2015.