Weekend Reading: Highlights from this week’s immigration news (April 18 – 22)

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court (WSJ) began hearing oral arguments in the state-led effort to block President Obama’s expanded executive orders, DAPA and an expanded DACA program. With the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the high court could end in a 4-4 deadlock, effectively halting the programs until the next administration.

This week also kicked off with Tax Day, and Juan Escalante wrote an op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat calling attention to the $11.64 billion undocumented immigrants pay in state and local taxes each year. He says, “As an undocumented immigrant, paying taxes is an interesting experience. Personally, I have never failed to file my taxes. In fact, paying my taxes is one of the few experiences that makes me feel unbound to the constraints of my lack of legal status.”

It is clear that the negative rhetoric coming out of the presidential election season has struck a chord with immigrants. The Chicago Tribune’s Jeanne Kuang reports, “From August to January, applications for citizenship throughout the country have increased more than 14 percent compared with the same period a year before, according to the most recent data from Citizenship and Immigration. Not only are more immigrants seeking citizenship, but unions and advocacy groups are ramping up their outreach efforts as the political climate brings immigration issues to the forefront.”

At the state level, Celia Llopis-Jepsen of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports, “Kansas may join more than a dozen states in offering a certificate to students who can demonstrate strong or fluent skills in more than one language.” Referring to a State Seal of Biliteracy, the report features Abilene High junior Dustin Wilson, who also has studied German. He asks, “Why would you not want to be able to offer a tangible reward to those students who do go the extra mile to take that second language?” The report concluded that members of the Kansas State Board of Education appeared open to the proposal and that a vote is possible as early next month.

In case you missed it…

This week began with Tax Day and concluded with Earth Day. Learn more about immigrant tax contributions and how some immigrants are paving the way for the future of the green economy.


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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…