Prior to yesterday’s midterm elections, immigration remained at the forefront of campaign discussions. Now that votes have been cast, political decisions remain to be made that could impact millions of migrants and refugees.
- Executive Action – President Obama announced earlier this year that he would delay his highly anticipated Executive Action on immigration until after Election Day. Now that the elections are over, we anxiously anticipate the president’s plan, while still working with Congress to pass long-term, legislative changes to our broken immigration system. For more information on potential actions the president could take and the number of migrants and refugees these actions could affect, please read our blogpost on Executive Action.
- Budget Considerations – The short-term continuing resolution that Congress enacted in September only funds the federal government through December 11, 2014. When Congress returns next week, they will begin budget discussions for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015. It is important that all budget negotiations include adequate funding for the government agencies that serve vulnerable migrants and refugees, including children and families seeking refuge from Central America. We will continue to urge Congress and the Administration to ensure proper funding to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. For more information, please read our blog post on advocating for appropriate funding in Fiscal Year 2015.
- Migrant Family Detention – Prior to elections, members of both the House and Senate wrote letters to President Obama, calling on the Administration to stop detaining Central American mothers and children who are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. These families are mostly fleeing El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, where the prevalence of drug cartels, gang violence, and human trafficking has made living conditions unsafe. LIRS and the Women’s Refugee Commission last week released a report entitled “Locking Up Family Values, Again,” an update to our 2007 report, “Locking Up Family Values: The Detention of Immigrant Families,” documenting the practice of family detention. We found that there is simply no humane way to detain families and will continue to advocate for Congress and the Administration to end this atrocious practice.
Here at LIRS, we look forward to working together with the lame duck Congress for the rest of this year, and the newly elected Congress next year, to ensure the end of family detention, and that migrant and refugee programs receive adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2015.
Just as you voted yesterday, we urge you to continue to make your voices heard now by visiting our Action Center to send a message to Congress and stand for welcome.
Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB