Things That Matter

Both The Left And Right Are Coming For Rep Omar After Her Latest Tweet About Immigration

Rep. Ilan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, is receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle after she tweeted that Latinos wouldn’t benefit from a merit-based immigration plan.

Many on the left are upset with her for seemingly have implied that the Latino community wouldn’t qualify based on merit. While many on the right are just hungry for more misinformation and drama surrounding the freshman Congresswoman.

In a now-deleted tweet, the Congresswoman was appearing to question the real reasoning behind a merit-based immigration policy.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

Often times, the Trump administration has used this coded term to refer to a system of stopping immigration from brown and black countries, or shithole countries as he once referred to many of them.

She clearly stated that immigration policies should be humane, legal, and fair. And welcome people of all sorts of backgrounds.

The Trump administration’s recently released immigration plan doubles down on a merit-based policy, one that research shows is inherently racist.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

Currently, only 12% of immigrants to the US qualify based on skills and very few Latinos are ever awarded visas of this type.

However, many on the left, including Latinos, are very upset with the Congresswoman’s choice of words.

Some on Twitter did come to the Congresswoman’s defense and noted that a merit-based system would likely work against Latinos. The problem is, she didn’t exactly get the wording right.

Credit: @IlhanMN / Twitter

With the rhetoric from the Trump administration, it’s safe to say this policy wouldn’t be applied equally.

But overwhelmingly, Latinos on Twitter were just sick and tired of being underestimated.

All too often, Latinos of all backgrounds are thought of as impoverished, undereducated, or underskilled immigrants. We are often described as migrant workers or refugees, all of us lumped into the same category.

Yes, there are communities in urgent need of relief from persecution in their home countries, including refugees. But it’s simply not true that they couldn’t qualify under a merit-based system.

Many immigrants from all over Latin America are doctors, engineers, lawyers, with so much to offer the US. This is the point that was lost on many across social media.

And, of course, Sen. Ted Cruz had to chime in and offer his two cents.

Though many were quick to point out that Cruz’s family emigrated to Canada before arriving in the US. And that he himself was born in Canada, making it a lot easier to gain legal status in the US.

All of this just shows how important it is to choose your words very carefully unless you want to invite a firestorm from both sides.

READ: The Latino Community Overlaps With Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Identity And We Need To Support That Community

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

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Biden Says He Will Introduce An Immigration Bill “Immediately” But What Will Be In It?

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

During the 2020 election, Latinos were a massive electoral voting bloc. In fact, for the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbered the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are now 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. 

And, Latinos helped deliver the presidency to Joe Biden. So it can be expected that the community has high expectations for Joe Biden to deliver on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

During a recent speech about his first 100 days in office, Joe Biden outlined his priorities once he’s sworn in on January 20th, and said he would “immediately” send an immigration bill to congress.

Joe Biden promises swift action on immigration reform as soon as he takes office.

Over the weekend, President-Elect Joe Biden promised he would take swift action when it comes to immigration reform and rolling back many of the cruel and dangerous policies put into place by the Trump administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately,” he said in a news conference on Friday.

Although he didn’t go into detail regarding the proposed legislation, he’s previously committed to ending Trump’s ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations, and that he wants a path to citizenship for Dreamers, and an increase in guest worker permits to help bring undocumented agricultural workers – many of whom are now considered “essential workers” – out of the shadows.

Biden had already promised an immigration overhaul within the first 100 days of his presidency but this commitment definitely increases the pressure on him and congress to get things done.

Biden also said his justice department will investigate the policy of child separation.

During the same press conference, Biden said that his Justice Department will determine responsibility for the family separation program, which led to more than 2,600 children being taken from caregivers after crossing the U.S. southern border, and whether it was criminal.

“There will be a thorough, thorough investigation of who is responsible, and whether or not the responsibility is criminal,” Biden said. That determination will be made by his attorney general-designate, Merrick Garland, he added.

During the campaign, Biden finally took responsibility for many of his administration’s immigration failures.

Nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief,” Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history with over 3 million deportations during his time in office. 

But as part of that administration, Joe Biden is also complicit. That’s why during the campaign he seemed to acknowledge at least some of the pain the duo caused.

“Joe Biden understands the pain felt by every family across the U.S. that has had a loved one removed from the country, including under the Obama-Biden Administration, and he believes we must do better to uphold our laws humanely and preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers,” Biden’s immigration plan reads. 

While Obama’s methods pale in comparison to the cruel tactics like family separation, inhumane conditions, and targeted raids, the impact the deportations have had on families is cannot be quantified.

Biden, like any Vice President, is put in the position of having to defend his president, but also himself as the future president. This isn’t a bad thing, Biden must distinguish himself from his predecessor but if the shadow of Obama’s legacy is buying him goodwill, it might be difficult to undermine that administration’s stances.

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