Black Thursday – A Bad Week for Immigrants

Immigrants: We Get the Job Done

by Wendy Rosen

Before you read this post, take five-minutes to watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s piercing rap-music video, “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done).”

 

Miranda vividly reminds us of the contributions immigrants make to our country and the injustice they endure. After you watch, consider donating to the “Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition,” which provides legal representation and advocacy for “…immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who come to us in search of the American Dream.” Do this because it’s been a tough week for immigrants and refugees within or across our borders.

A partial travel ban took effect Thursday, 6/29, at 8 p.m. The 90-day travel ban bars some people from getting visas if they come from one of six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It also bans an undetermined number refugees from entering the country for the next 120 days. The rules determining who is allowed in are based on the hazy determination of an “bona fide” relationship with someone or something in the U.S.  Vox tries to make sense of these rules with a concise explainer.

The U.S. House of Representatives also passed a pair of immigration enforcement bills Thursday: “Kate’s Law” and “No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act,” giving the Trump administration a legislative win after major setbacks with the health care reform bill. These two immigration bills punish sanctuary cities and boost penalties for immigrants who re-enter the U.S after being deported.

These policies will not only harm immigrant families, they will also harm our country’s economy, according to Bloomberg. The loss of immigrants is fueling a labor shortage for U.S. businesses. And fearful immigrant consumers are staying home instead of shopping.

The Trump administration’s claims that connect immigration to crime are proven false by a recent meta-analysis that scanned decades of data. This analysis shows overwhelming consensus that there is no link between crime and immigration.

These administrative policies are nothing more than thinly-veiled racism aimed at spreading chaos and fear. They target hard-working men and women, mothers and fathers, and daughters and sons who arrived on our shores seeking better lives. As we are about to launch fireworks into the night sky to celebrate our nation’s independence, let’s remember those immigrants who came before us to shape our future. We can, and must, do better than this.