U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed new regulations regarding DACA and is accepting comments on the proposed rule. USCIS claims that the new regulations will preserve and fortify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy. As well as respond to President Biden’s memorandum from January 20, 2021, where Biden states in support of DACA, that “these immigrants (DACA recipients) should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves, and contribute to our economy, while they remain(in the U.S.)” USCIS further claims that DACA has been economically and socially beneficial to undocumented communities. It reiterates their “consistent judgment” that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal citing Secretary Napolitano’s 2012 memorandum that DACA recipients lacked the intent to violate the law as children. Further, “removing productive young people (unless justified)” is not a prudent way to spend border resources. The agency continues to provide that the proposed regulation does not provide lawful status or path to citizenship. Despite the use of language that speciously centers on DACA recipients, the proposed provisions are at best superficial and continue to leave undocumented young people in a state of uncertainty.
The Public Charge Rule perpetuates anti-immigrant sentiment and keeps poor, disabled migrants who were often Black, Brown, and ethnically oppressed out of the United States. It makes pathways to citizenship contingent upon wealth and the absence of disability. As the Autistic Self Advocacy Network puts it, the Public Charge Rule is a “clear echo of the racist and ableist policies of the eugenics era.”
Texas Senate Bill 8 (“SB 8”), also known as “The Texas Heartbeat Act,” went into effect on September 1, 2021, banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy or after the fetus’s heartbeat has been detected. Additionally, it awards any civilian who successfully reports someone for aiding, abetting, or performing an abortion after the six-week mark with $10,000. The United States Supreme Court, as Justice Sotomayor described, “buried their heads in the sand” and decided not to comment on the abortion ban’s constitutionality under the guise of a technicality. Historically, abortion bans have been death penalties to many people seeking abortions and contribute up to thirteen percent of pregnancy-related deaths. Abortion bans do not reduce the number of abortions, but rather reduce the number of safe abortions while increasing avoidable deaths. Abortion bans work as a form of dangerous regulatory mechanisms that function as the state-sanctioned killing of poor people who are often Black, Brown, and indigenous who cannot travel outside the state to receive care.
Every time we turn on the news, someone is either talking about immigration reform or health care reform. Health care and immigration are two major areas that President Trump promised to address and is attempting to tackle within his first two years in office. Although most would not consider that these two issues would overlap, in today’s American health care system, Americans need immigrants. Immigrants contribute a great deal to our medical research, make up a large percentage of our health care providers, and subsidize health insurance premiums.