July 18 – Texas Border Bill, Child Migrants and Foreign Employees

Texas Legislators To Offer Border Bill

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) will introduce a bill intended to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and make it easier to return immigrant children from Central America back to their home countries, reports the New York Times.The bill would allow Central American children to choose to be sent home voluntarily as children from Mexico and Canada can currently select.

The bill would also authorize up to 40 new immigration judges to speed up the process. The bill’s sponsors say they expect the legislation would be added to President Obama’s recent request for $3.7 billion in supplemental spending on child migrant initiatives.

New York City Would Like To Offer Aid To Child Migrants

New York City officials have formed a task force to respond to the overwhelming surge of child migrants, the New York Times reports. Over 3,000 of child migrants were sent to the city since October of last year by federal officials to be reunited with their families, and the city expects about 7,000 more by the end of the fiscal year. The federal officials have also asked the city to find additional housing capacity to accommodate child migrants currently detained at the border. This surge of child migrants has overwhelmed city agencies and immigration organizations. According to immigration advocates, the most pressing need is to provide children with legal counsel for immigration court appearances.

U.S. Towns Oppose Efforts To House Child Migrants

Some small U.S. towns where immigration officials are attempting to find shelter to house the child migrants are opposing the efforts. With some residents citing such issues as safety and health concerns, others state that federal officials often fail to seek local input or worry that local taxpayer money will be used to fund the shelters. However, the shelters are typically run by contractors who are paid by the federal government and operate at little or no cost to local government. While under current immigration policy federal officials usually try to place the children with any relatives in the U.S., Obama has recently announced that he will try to stem the influx of children by streamlining their deportations more quickly.

Growing Sentiment Among U.S. Workers Against Employment-based Immigration

A federal lawsuit was filed by several U.S. workers who were allegedly laid off and replaced by temporary workers on an H-1B program. Kelly Parker and Brenda Koehler, along with other plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit against Infosys Technologies in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Wisconsin. Parker and Koehler were former IT contractors for Harley-Davidson, and were later replaced by temporary H-1B workers through Infosys, a global staffing firm that ran Harley-Davidson’s tech support. The lawsuit alleges discrimination based on national origin. Infosys denies any wrongdoing, alleging there is a shortage of specialized workers in the U.S. According to USA Today, the lawsuit is part of a growing backlash by U.S. workers who worry that companies will prefer to hire skilled immigrant workers because it is more cost-effective to employ them.