Thanksgiving is a national U.S. holiday commemorating the Pilgrims’ celebration of the harvest in 1621. The first Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington as a “national day of thanksgiving and prayer” on November 26, 1789. Thanksgiving, also referred to as “Turkey Day,” has come to be seen as a time to gather with family and friends in our homes and it falls on November 26th this year. This November we’ll also celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th where we honor those who have served the country in the military and worked to protect our freedom.
WHO IS HISPANIC?
The United States government has two approaches to answering the question of who is Hispanic. The first definition is anyone whose ancestry dates back to twenty Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America and including Spain (but not including Portugal or Brazil). The second approach is defining anyone as Hispanic who considers themselves Hispanic! This second approach is the method that the U.S. Census Bureau takes and that is how Census numbers have come about. It also shows how skewed that data can be because individuals who are ethnically Hispanic may not identify as such.
IMMIGRANT DEPORTATIONS ARE DOWN IN THE U.S.
Deportations are the lowest that they’ve been in the U.S. since 2006 and criminal deportations are the lowest that they’ve been since 2009. In the last 12 months, 231,000 immigrants have been deported and that number includes 136,700 convicted criminals. From 2014 to 2015, deportations have declined by over 84,000. Many are surprised by the decline in criminal deportations, especially since President Obama’s administration has made deporting illegal immigrants with serious criminal records a priority. In addition to low deportation numbers, arrests of border crossers from countries other than Mexico have declined too.
WHERE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES STAND ON IMMIGRATION
All of the Democratic presidential candidates have expressed that they are in strong favor of comprehensive immigration reform. Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley would like to extend deportation relief to even more immigrants than President Obama has with his executive action. Clinton also has a strong focus on helping Dreamers. However, commentators for the first Democratic debate noted that there were few mentions of Latinos and of immigration that evening. When it comes to the Republican presidential candidates, Jeb Bush supports a path to citizenship for Dreamers but has also spoken of wanting to “secure the border first.” On the other end, frontrunner Donald Trump has made incredibly offensive comments about immigrants and would like deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants and several million U.S. citizens who were born to immigrant parents.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our experienced New Jersey Immigration Lawyers!