The Mass Deportation Caucus Fails to Address the Astronomical Cost of Deporting Millions at Third GOP Debate

Posted on 10/28/2015

The mass deportation caucus failed once again to credibly address the astronomical cost of “rounding up” 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America in the first immigration exchange at tonight’s debate, while some Republican candidates thankfully and aggressively refuted the idea of mass deportation. Here are the five things you need to know about the absurd and anti-American policy of mass deportation, that some Republican presidential candidates are still advocating for:

  • The conservative American Action Forum recently released a study showing that deporting 11.5 million people would cost U.S. taxpayers $400 to $600 billion dollars, and would take at least 20 years to complete.
  • Even worse, the effects of mass deportation would reduce our GDP by $1.7 trillion – over 5%. Many industries would be hit hard, others – like agriculture, construction and hospitality – would be devastated. Try imagining California or Florida without their agricultural industries.
  • Beyond this morally reprehensible idea of breaking apart millions of families – removing a population equivalent to 12 states and the District of Columbia – this number doesn’t include the harm to the roughly 4 million U.S. citizen children with an undocumented parent.
  • 9 in 10 Americans agree that rounding up and deporting those who came here as kids is wrong.

These are the real facts on mass deportation that the American people deserve to know.

As GOP Hopefuls Take the Debate Stage for the Third Time, Many Immigration Questions Still Unanswered

Posted by Todd Schulte on 10/28/2015

To #cnbcGOPdebate candidates: What is your plan for the 11M undocumented living in U.S.? #immigration Click To Tweet

As the Republican presidential hopefuls take the stage for the third primary debate on Wednesday, we wanted to remind you that many of them have not addressed some of the most critical questions on immigration.

While some have made clear that they support a plan to round up and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants plus U.S. citizen family members, others have failed to denounce it, and by doing so, given this absurd so-called “policy” a place it does not deserve in political discourse.

It is no secret that the next president will be responsible for dealing with our broken immigration system. We hope that this debate will serve as a platform for these presidential hopefuls to provide specifics to their immigration plans by answer the following questions:

1. As President would you support mass deportation for the approximate 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living here? Even if it would separate some 4.5 million American citizen children from their parents?

2. If so, how will you pay for the $600 billion in new government spending needed to deport those 11 million individuals?

3. As President, would you support immigration policies that pair border security with legal status for the undocumented?

We look forward to candidates providing answers to these important questions tomorrow night.

Why Supporting Immigrant Families Strengthens Our City of Cambridge

Posted by Leland Cheung on 10/26/2015

Cambridge City Councillor Leland CheungFollowing post written by Cambridge City Councillor Leland Cheung 

Because of the court’s...inaction, millions of lives are in limbo. #immigration Click To Tweet

In March, I submitted a policy order that saw Cambridge stand with nearly 100 other cities nationwide in support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. President Obama’s actions would allow for millions of immigrants in our communities to work legally in the United States without the ever pending threat of deportation.

I was proud to see Cambridge join cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta in submitting an amicus brief to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking for the Court to not delay implementation of the executive actions while the court reviewed it. Unfortunately, in spite of widespread public support, and the clear need for implementation of the actions without delay, the 5th Circuit Court has neither made a decision on the case, nor allowed for the President’s actions to take effect as we await their decision.

Thousands of families in Massachusetts are affected by the inaction of the court. As the son of immigrants, I identify with the stress many families feel about uncertain futures. Immigrants, be they undocumented or documented, are integral to the fabric of our communities. These same immigrants who some would demonize are business owners, taxpayers, students, parents, and grandparents. These individuals share our same hopes and dreams: a brighter future for themselves and their children.

Despite strong public support across the country, many hard-working immigrant families live with the constant threat of deportation. Our friend-of-the-court brief argued that the court failed to consider the significant harms to America’s local governments caused by the delay to implementing President Obama’s executive actions. Not only did the court reject our arguments, but they have also still failed to rule in the case. Because of the court’s cowardice and inaction, millions of lives are in limbo, and the strength of communities across America suffers.

A large basis of the arguments against support for immigrant families is the concern that they will “take American jobs.” I wonder if the court and those who propagate these arguments realize that the simplest, and most effective course of action would be to enable immigrants to be paid legally, require employers to provide the same prevailing wages and benefits as they do to documented employees, and report those earnings for taxes. Not only would this be the decent human approach, but it would also help to level the playing field for all workers.

The City of Cambridge has long prioritized a decent, humanizing approach for immigrants in our community, from adopting a sanctuary city ordinance, to establishing community organizations to serve immigrant youth. I have seen firsthand how Cambridge’s culture of inclusivity allows for our city to thrive. President Obama’s order takes an evenhanded approach to fixing our broken system, cracking down on criminals and instituting background checks, all while helping those who contribute to our communities come out of the shadows.

I believe that the President’s actions will help clear the path for every community in America to see their immigrant residents openly contribute and thrive. It is time for the court to uphold President Obama’s actions and stop standing in the way of progress.

New York & Los Angeles Call for 5th Circuit Court Decision on DACA & DAPA

Posted by Catherine Lyons and Dara Adams on 10/23/2015

court decision daca dapa


Families who could benefit from DACA + DAPA are in limbo. #FamiliesFightBack Click To Tweet

Earlier this week, New York and Los Angeles chapters partnered with immigrant groups and city governments to call on the 5th circuit court to deliver a decision on the proposed expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs set forth in President Obama’s executive actions. More than 100 days have passed since arguments closed on the 5th circuit case, yet the court still has not acted. If this delay continues, the window for appealing to the Supreme Court during an Obama presidency will close, leaving millions of families who could benefit from this action in limbo.

New York joined with immigration reform groups and Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal at a rally in New York calling on the 5th circuit court to issue a decision on DACA and DAPA. More than 50 people turned out to demand a decision from the court, including several affected immigrants who bravely stood up and shared their stories. Among those immigrants was New York chapter member Cris Mercado. Cris is an undocumented immigrant entrepreneur who, through his startup Grant Answers, has helped more than 150 students get scholarships and grants for college.

...this inaction wastes our potential to do so much more for a country that we love. –Cris M. Click To Tweet

“The 5th Circuit Court’s inaction is a painfully ironic response to an appeal of President Obama’s executive action for DACA extension and DAPA,” said Cris in a speech at the rally. “There are millions of immigrants, like myself, who already positively contribute to their communities, millions of immigrants who already pay their taxes, millions of immigrants who already possess high-level skills – and this inaction wastes our potential to do so much more for a country that we love.”

Los Angeles

On Wednesday, the LA Chapter joined with immigration reform coalition partners – including CHIRLA, SEIU State Council, KIWA and Children Over Politics – at a march, press conference, and 24-hour fast and vigil in Los Angeles to stand up for expanded DACA and DAPA and call on the 5th circuit court to act. The event was held on the steps of the US District Court, and was timed in solidarity with advocates in New Orleans who were also fasting outside the 5th circuit.

At the press conference, several advocates and affected immigrants bravely stood up and demanded that the court act. One of our supporters, Carol Gonzalez, a graduate of UC Riverside and student at Codesmith who hopes to one day be a software engineer at a tech company, spoke out about the economic and moral imperatives for these programs and comprehensive immigration reform.

Immigration reform is invaluable and not only is it the right thing to do, it is a necessity... –Carol G. Click To Tweet

“Growing up, I saw the challenges and consequences that many families had to face because of a broken immigration system – including my own,” said Carol. “Immigration reform is invaluable and not only is it the right thing to do, it is a necessity in order to create thriving communities and a stronger economy. If the growth and change that we are seeing in our socio-economic landscape is not met with the due care and attention that it deserves, we risk undermining these individuals’ dedication, their potential to create jobs and their desire to invest in the country they love.”