BROWNSVILLE, Texas—Each morning well before sunrise, dozens of immigrants line up on the international bridge here to enter a recently erected tent facility at the U.S. border.
Inside a large wedding-style tent, the government has converted shipping containers into temporary courtrooms, where flat screens show the judge and a translator, who are in front of a camera in chambers miles away.
Members of Gen Z are more likely to have immigrant parents than even millennials when they were the same age.
The big picture: Gen Zers were born and are growing up in an era of booming immigration. But they are less likely to be immigrants themselves than millennials were, making a larger percentage of them automatically eligible to vote at 18.
By the numbers: 29% of Gen Z are immigrants or the children of immigrants, compared to 23% of millennials when they were the same age, according to analysis by Pew Research Center’s Richard Fry.
13.7% of the total U.S. population is foreign born today — up from 9.7% in 1997, when the first Gen Z-er was born. That’s an increase of around 17 million immigrants.
The share of immigrants in Generation Z could grow as they get older and reach ages that immigrants would typically come to the U.S. As was the case with millennials, high levels of immigration could grow the youngest generation for decades.
Why it matters: The racial and ethnic diversity of Gen Z, increased by immigration, not only distinguishes the generation, but influences its political and social views, Brian Schaffner, a political scientist at Tufts University, told Axios.
“Some of the rhetoric of Trump, and the Republican party in general, in recent years is something that’s obviously going to sort of turn off not just the young voters who are racial and ethnic minorities, but also people who are growing up with those much more diverse group of peers,” he said.
Having an immigrant background also comes with its challenges. Language barriers and intimidation at polls because of race or ethnicity can prevent some from voting.
The big picture: Foreign-born people made up similarly high shares of the population in the late 1800s through the start of the 1900s. But the vast majority of those immigrants came from European nations.
After restrictive immigrant quotas were lifted in 1965, immigrants began flocking to the U.S. from Latin American and Asian nations instead.
A look at the role of ICE agents and the rights of immigrants during typical encounters. Nashville Tennessean
A city immigration task force issued a series of recommendations Friday that would require schools, courts and other city departments to report all contact from federal immigration officials to the Nashville mayor’s office.
The task force, formed in October, had two months to create a blueprint for the city’s interactions with federal immigration authorities. It was convened, in part, as a response to a series of of controversial actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Nashville.
In one instance, ICE agents shot at a Mexican national in an Antioch parking lot in September. In another, neighbors in Hermitage aided a man and his son who sat outside their home in a pickup truck for hours as ICE agents sought to apprehend them in July. The agents eventually left.
In August, reports that Nashville’s probation director and his staff were working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to arrest and detain individuals under probation supervision prompted some Metro Council Members to call for an investigation.
The immigration task force recommended every city department issue monthly reports that would be made public by the Mayor’s Office of New Americans of interactions with federal immigration officials.
City departments would also be required to report any requests by federal authorities to change their policies or procedures. Any communication with federal immigration officials that was not routine, or wasn’t in line with policies, should be reported as soon as possible — and no later than three business days.
Mayor John Cooper said in a news release that he will “carefully review the task force’s report as we consider policy decision related to federal immigration enforcement actions moving forward.”
The 10-member task force found a limited number of city departments and offices had created any formal policy for how to respond to requests from federal immigration authorities, and most departments had no policy requiring communicating those requests to the mayor’s office or the public.
Each department should “adopt a uniform policy for reporting about such communications to the Mayor’s office,” the report said.
Many departments have never received a known request from immigration authorities, the task force noted.
Those that have include the police department, the sheriff’s office, state trial courts, General Sessions Courts and, potentially, Metro Nashville Public Schools.
In October, school district officials described “two men in official-looking uniforms” ”stating that they were government agents” with “official-looking IDs” arrived at Una Elementary School seeking student records. Immigration officials denied any of its agents had approached the school.
The five-page task force report outlined existing policies about interactions with federal immigration authorities within some departments, including General Sessions Court, which issued monthly reports to ICE. State trial courts provide names, inmate ID numbers and a date of birth in response to ICE requires.
Unless a subpoena is served, school officials are barred from providing information about a student’s undocumented status without permission from the student’s parents, the report noted.
The report mirrors, in part, an executive order by former Mayor David Briley that Cooper rescinded in October, shortly before appointing the task force. The executive order outlined that Metro departments and employees report any requests received from U.S. immigration authorities. It also called on state lawmakers to repeal an anti-sanctuary law enacted by state lawmakers that went into effect this year.
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