In case you missed the compelling image of 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache standing at attention with a tear streaming down his cheek during the commencement ceremony at West Point’s U.S. Military Academy going viral on social media this week, check out the Washington Post’s feature on Idrache, who immigrated to America from Haiti in 2009, one year before an earthquake leveled much of Port-au-Prince. “He chose to become a pilot because it seemed like something he never would have been able to do without West Point, he said. ‘People where I’m from don’t grow up to be pilots, right?’ Idrache said. ‘Like they don’t dream of flying a helicopter, that’s not something you do. You don’t just say I’m going to be a pilot and make it happen. There’re no aviation, there are no helicopters, no flight schools. There’re none of that.’”
Another 2016 graduate who made the news this week, Norma Torres Mendoza, drove her mother 2,000 miles—from Texas to Massachusetts—so that she could attend her daughter’s graduation from the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where Mendoza studied public policy. Despite Mendoza’s achievement in the American school-system, the 25-year old is burdened by the lingering fear of her mother’s—and her own—deportation. “It makes me sad to think that the country we have come to love as our home, we may one day have to leave,” she said. “Especially because we have so much to contribute.” Read more in the Boston Globe.
On Wednesday, Indiana’s Senate reviewed a report produced by the Republican-led Office of Senate Fiscal Policy (Indiana Business Journal) stating that illegal immigration costs the Hoosier state $131 million annually through such costs as healthcare, K-12 public education, and incarceration. Critics argue that the report fails to account for the tax revenue that undocumented immigrants contribute to state and local coffers. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “Indiana immigrants who are here illegally paid $108.9 million in state and local taxes in 2010….But were they to have legal status, they would have paid $141.7 million in state and local taxes.” Similarly, though it accounts for both legal and unauthorized immigrants, PNAE finds that foreign-born Hispanic residents in Indiana paid $251.4 million in state and local taxes.
In case you missed it:
Check out this week’s “Reason for Reform” feature on Ohio County Commissioner Tom Dunlap. According to Dunlap, “Agriculture is probably our number-one industry in the county….I’ve talked to several farmers who are stretched for manpower. They’re having a terrible time getting the product out of the field.” This story appears as part of PNAE’s Reason for Reform campaign, which features hundreds of stories from individuals around the country sharing their reasons for immigration reform.