Local & national immigrant rights round up!

In case you missed it…below are links to some important happenings related to immigration reform, education, immigrant rights, farm workers, and the border:

1. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services department is thinking about increasing immigration application fees. Keep in mind that just two years ago in 2007, they increased fees by 69% to $695. The high cost in the path to citizenship is already blocking too many low-middle income immigrants from obtaining citizenship – another fee increase will make the situation worse for our community.

2. LUPE Committees have been fighting for water & sewer systems for colonias for years and have seen many victories. However, the projects have been found to be extremely behind schedule. The report cites that the average completion date of a project was more than five years behind schedule and the average cost was 31% more than originally budgeted for.

3. The ACLU has joined a long list of voices and organizations against Texas Rangers being deployed to the border. They have requested more transparency from the Governor’s office and the Dept. of Public Safety regarding documents & records on the initiative’s strategy & goals.

4. Students are forced to prove their residency in order to attend public schools. This is simply unconstitutional, not to mention extremely xenophobic.

5. In some hopeful news, Congressman Ciro Rodriguez has filed legislation that would require DHS to address the environmental impacts of the border wall. For more on the border wall, check out No Border Wall’s blog.

6. Rep. Hinojosa supports the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act) that will “strengthen our nation’s child labor laws and ensure that no child suffers from cruel labor practices.” Young migrant workers deal with appalling working conditions in fields and studies have also started to show correlations between health problems that are field-related including back injuries.

Which Way Home documents the journey of children who migrate to the U.S. to find work, giving voice to the very real dangers they face in order to work:

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