Migrant Legal Action Program
Migrant Legal Action Program

What's New?

Immigration Reform

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), with a 68-32 vote on June 26, 2013. An excellent summary of the Committee passed bill can be found here in English and here in Spanish.

The House has not yet voted on the bill passed in the Senate. There are currently five separate bills dealing with immigration that have been passed in the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) was passed in June 2013 and requires employers to check the work eligibility of all future hires through the E-Verify system. The Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 1773) amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish an H-2C nonimmigrant visa for an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he or she has no intention of abandoning and who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services. The House Judiciary Committee also passed the Strengthen and Fortify Enhancement SAFE Act (H.R. 2278), which grants states and localities the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Additionally, the SKILLS Visa Act (H.R. 2131) seeks to enhance U.S. competitiveness in the global economy by encouraging high-skilled immigration. Finally, back in May 2013, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Border Security Results Act (H.R. 1417), which requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a comprehensive strategy to secure and maintain operational control of U.S. borders.

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The “sequestration” for the 2013 federal fiscal year (a reduction of approximately 5 per cent for most domestic programs) has taken effect. For the Title I, Part C Migrant Education Program that has meant a 5 per cent loss of funds allocated to the states starting July 1, 2013 for the 2013-2014 school year. A reduction of services for that program, Head Start, food and nutrition programs, and many other programs is beginning to occur.

The sequestration process approved by Congress and the President includes a 10 year plan of cuts. It remains to be seen whether this multi-year plan of cuts will continue or be curtailed. A chart displaying the projected spending cuts between 2014 and 2021 can be found here.

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Reauthorization of SNAP

The Senate voted to reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly called the Food Stamp Program) under the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954—its version of the Farm Bill) on June 10, 2013 with a 66-27 vote. The bill included $4.1 billion of cuts to SNAP benefits over ten years. On July 11, the House, for the first time in 40 years, passed its version of the Farm Bill without SNAP benefits included. The Agriculture Committee had proposed $20 billion in cuts over ten years but the bill was defeated on the floor of the House in June. Nevertheless, in September 2013 a majority in the House of Representatives approved a $40 billion cut to the program.

Issues in the News

Time to Remember Farmworkers - 11/20/12

Constellation Wines Settles EEOC National Origin Lawsuit - 10/10/12

Egg Giant National Food Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment - 10/4/12

America's Largest Onion Grower Sued by EEOC for Harassment and Retaliation - 10/3/12

Schools Falter at Keeping ELL Families in the Loop - 10/2/12

OCR to Investigate Wake County Discrimination Claim - 7/5/12



© 2013 Migrant Legal Action Program