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The Coming Battle Over the Undocumented

December 23, 2016
Plain English Version
An undocumented woman and her niece in Worthington, MN. Photo credit: Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin

An undocumented woman and her nephew in Worthington, MN. Photo credit: Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin

There are millions of foreign-born people in the U.S. who do not have a legal right to be here. Still, they call America home. Most crossed the border from Mexico. Many came on visas and did not leave when their visas expired.

Many American workers believe the undocumented took jobs away from them. It was because they will work for low wages. Some of the jobs were in construction. Others worked as farm hands in the fields. Still, others worked in restaurants and hotels.

As a result, the wages in some jobs stayed lower than they should have. Some experts say that low-wage jobs help the economy. Businesses invest and communities prosper. This helps all Americans.

President Obama did what he could to help the new arrivals stay in the U.S. The courts stopped his efforts. President-elect Trump was harsh about the undocumented during the campaign. He wants them out of the country. He says perhaps they could return one day.

People without papers were welcome in many places. Some cities called themselves ‘sanctuaries.’ They offered help in any way they could. One popular idea was to provide identification cards.

The people without papers would register in a sanctuary city and receive an ID card. It gave the people who were here almost a legal status.

The local police would respect the cards. The cards meant that the cardholders would help the police keep the community safe.

New York is one such city. It wants to make it hard to deport the undocumented. It said it was destroying the information provided by people to get the cards. A court is holding up New York’s program for the moment.

The stage is being set. Millions of people here in the U.S. are in danger of removal. They are men, women, and children. Deportation may well become the civil rights issue of our time. Many people will resist and disrupt attempts to remove them. Many officials will not cooperate with federal agents attempting the removals.

Will President-elect Trump try to remove people in the U.S. who do not have proper papers? We will soon find out.

Source: The New York Times December 21, 2016

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