Weekend Reading: Highlights from this week’s immigration news (July 4-8)

Just about every day in towns and cities across America, immigrants are becoming naturalized citizens. But what is it like to pledge allegiance to America and become a U.S. citizen on July 4, our nation’s birthday? Vice’s Serena Solomon writes about the unique experience here.

This week in the Tallahassee Democrat, immigration attorney Elizabeth Ricci expresses disappointment in the Supreme Court’s recent 4-4 tie in the United States v. Texas case, which effectively blocked the Obama administration’s expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) programs. “…The Supreme Court’s tie,” Ricci writes, “represents another problem that must be addressed: Congress’ inability to find a workable solution to the problems faced by immigrants, businesses, employers, and state and local governments.” She notes that the court decision means Florida’s economy will fail to see $100 million in tax revenues over the next five years.

On the campaign trail, the debate over whether to automatically grant green cards to foreign students who’ve earned advance degrees in science, engineering, technology, and math—or “STEM”—fields has resurfaced. This proposal has received some bipartisan support in the past several years, but BloombergView writer Paula Dwyer advises policymakers to proceed with care. Critics worry that an influx of foreign students to U.S. universities “without safeguards…would turn U.S. colleges into green-card factories that crowd out American students.” Still, Dwyer notes, “In the near future, it will be a lot harder to claim there is no shortage of qualified STEM workers in the U.S. The number of American students in these fields is growing at less than 1 percent a year…” Some kind of cap that is perhaps pegged to the economic cycle and better reflects market needs seems reasonable, she writes. ​

After coming home one day from high school to discover that her parents had been deported back to Colombia, “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin” actress Diane Guerrero is speaking out on the need for immigration reform. Learn more about her story in this week’s Boston Globe.

In case you missed it:

This past July 4th weekend, more than 7,000 immigrants became American citizens during nearly 100 naturalization ceremonies across the country. PNAE looks at one special ceremony that took place at Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson.

About NAE

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…