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For Sen. Alex Padilla, the first Latino Senator from California, finding a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants hits a personal chord. Asked how he and his late wife arrived in the United States, Padilla’s father, Santos Padilla, said “Ilegales.” Sen. Padilla, along with others, have unsuccessfully tried twice to convince the Senate parliamentarian to allow a path to citizenship in a budget bill Democrats want to pass this year. Padilla, in an interview with the Washington Post said that he is “not giving up” on citizenship. “I don’t give up that easy,” Padilla said. A Washington Post article takes a look at Padilla’s community in the Los Angeles neighborhood where he grew up, in the context of a pathway to citizenship. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
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Advocates Ask Newsom to End Contract with Company That Helped Build Border Wall
In California, immigration advocates are calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to end a $350 million Covid-19 response contract the state gave to a company that built parts of Trump’s border wall in California. An investigation published last week by CapRadio shows that the California Department of Public Health gave the contract to a subsidiary of SLSCO, a company that “earned hundreds of millions of dollars building walls along California’s southern border,” according to Jefferson Public Radio. Immigration advocates said the the move was antithetical to Newsom’s “commitment to support immigrant and undocumented communities, especially during the pandemic.” Jefferson Public Radio
Sudanese Immigrants in Tennessee Worried for Families Amid Military Coup
In Tennessee, Sudanese immigrants are concerned about their families back home in Sudan as a military coup takes over the country. A community of about 70 families in Chattanooga are trying to get in touch with individuals in Sudan who may be able to help their family members, but communication has been difficult amid sparse internet and phone access in Sudan, community members say. “It’s personal because our families are there,” Wafaa Mohamedahmed, an immigrant from Sudan, said. “We expect them to stay until they restore the government. We’re expecting a civilian disobedience. We expect everyone to stay home and not go to work, not do anything,” Mohamedahmed said. WRCBtv
Fewer Foreign Workers Leave Gap in Workforce
Amid the coronavirus, fewer foreign workers have been able to work in the United States, creating a gap in the workforce, the New York Times reports. Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers have “gone missing from the labor market” while the pandemic continues, creating gaps for white-collar jobs, and for various service-oriented jobs. Former President Donald Trump’s executive actions slowed down several kinds of legal immigration, which meant that applicants for temporary visas were limited by his administration’s policy changes. Following these policy changes, pandemic travel restrictions as well as bureaucratic backlogs “caused immigration to drop precipitously, threatening a long-term loss of talent and economic potential.” The New York Times
Texas Congressional Candidates Share Immigration Views
Congressional candidates running for the Texas district that includes much of the border city of El Paso shared their immigration policy views with Border Report. The Republicans who are challenging Democratic incumbent Veronica Escobar say they support legal immigration, while Escobar says that “hardening rules won’t solve the humanitarian crisis” at the border. The two Republican challengers point to their own personal experiences with immigration to show that they support legal immigration — one has Mexican immigrant parents, while the other spoke about his wife’s efforts to immigrate from South Korea. Border Report
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