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Immigration News, January 6-January 10

Immigration stories this week centered on the speculation of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. The US Chamber of Commerce is determined to pressure law makers into passing a bill in 2014 and the Secretary of Commerce emphasized the importance of immigrants to the US economy. Other stories focused on immigrant rights as news broke out of ICE’s practice of detaining pregnant women and how the inability to vote has affected a town in New Mexico. Also, anti-immigrant sentiment rises in the UK. • The president of the US Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobby, vowed to “pull out all the stops” to pass immigration reform in 2014. “Chamber of Commerce plans big push on immigration”. Fredreka Schouten. USA Today.

• The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency detained 13 pregnant women in 2013 at an El Paso detention center despite the fact that ICE has said that pregnant women shouldn’t be detained. “ICE Admits to Detaining 13 Pregnant Women”. Cristina Costantini. Fusion.

• Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and other GOP House leaders plan to announce their vision for immigration reform in the coming weeks. “House GOP plans Immigration ‘principles’”. Russell Berman. The Hill.

• Starting January 1, Romanian and Bulgarian citizens could enter the UK and other EU member countries and work. In the weeks leading up, the British press and politicians warned that the newcomers would flood the country and take jobs from the British. Despite these dire warnings, evidence of a new wave of immigrants was hard to find. Unfortunately, anti-immigrant sentiment seems to be on the rise in the UK and northern Europe. “British welcome of immigrants wears thin”. Griff Witte. The Washington Post.

• A look at a small, rural border town in New Mexico that’s home to many immigrants and has little political power and influence because the majority of its residents cannot vote. “Immigrant Voting: Not a Crazy Idea”. Daniel Weeks. The Atlantic.

• The US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, said immigration reform must be a top priority, citing that 40% of Fortune 500 companies have been started by immigrants or the children of immigrants. “Immigration reform must be top priority, Commerce secretary says”. James Barragan. The LA Times.

• Before bridgegate was even a thing, NJ Governor Chris Christie signed a law that would extend in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students who arrived in the United States as minors. “Chris Christie signs, lauds NJ DREAM Act” Jose Del Real. Politico.

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