Melissa Cruz

Melissa Cruz is the Communications Associate at the American Immigration Council. She oversees media relations and content creation for ImmigrationImpact.com, the Council’s daily online publication. Previously, she worked as a political reporter for RealClearPolitics and Bustle, as well as a writer for the Human Rights Campaign. Melissa received her B.A. in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Georgia State University.

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Immigrants Denied Citizenship for Working in the Legal Marijuana Industry

Written by on April 5, 2019 in Enforcement, State and Local with 0 Comments
Immigrants Denied Citizenship for Working in the Legal Marijuana Industry

Oswaldo Barrientos has lived as a legal immigrant in Denver, Colorado for almost his entire life. Now 30, he and his mother immigrated to the United States from El Salvador when he was a year old. But in his recent interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), he was denied American citizenship—simply because he […]

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‘We Just Heard Screaming.’ ICE Arrests 280 Workers in the Largest Immigration Raid in a Decade

‘We Just Heard Screaming.’ ICE Arrests 280 Workers in the Largest Immigration Raid in a Decade

The scene outside a technology repair company in Allen, Texas on Wednesday was bleak. In the aftermath of an immigration raid, family members gathered to make phone calls, connect with attorneys, and give support to the workers arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that afternoon. ICE agents arrested more than 280 employees suspected of […]

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How Can U.S. Blue-Collar Industries Thrive Again?

How Can U.S. Blue-Collar Industries Thrive Again?

For the first time in two decades, the U.S. workforce has more jobs than people willing or able to fill them. Labor shortages are impacting almost every field in the country. But employers are now struggling to find one type of worker more than others: blue-collar workers. Analysts largely point to two reasons for this […]

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Liberia’s DED Status Is Extended for Another Year

Liberia’s DED Status Is Extended for Another Year

The White House announced Thursday afternoon that it will extend Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) protections for Liberians living in the United States. DED will be extended through March 30, 2020. It was set to expire on Sunday, March 31, 2019. This is welcome news for thousands of Liberians who have been lawfully living in the […]

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The Pentagon Is Transferring $1 Billion to Trump’s Border Wall at the Expense of Military Readiness

Written by on March 26, 2019 in Asylum, Border Enforcement, Enforcement with 0 Comments
The Pentagon Is Transferring $1 Billion to Trump’s Border Wall at the Expense of Military Readiness

In an ongoing battle over President Trump’s border wall, the Pentagon is authorizing the transfer of $1 billion from planned military readiness projects to build fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan announced the decision Monday evening. The Department of Defense (DOD) funds will now go to construction contracts. The Pentagon gave […]

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America’s Asylum System Must Ensure the Protection of LGBTQ People

America’s Asylum System Must Ensure the Protection of LGBTQ People

A group of drag queens—clad in feathered boas and wigs—gathered at a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas last week to protest construction of President Trump’s border wall. Lip-syncing to the tunes of Lady Gaga, they hoped to raise money in support of LGBTQ asylum seekers. Though the performance was meant to be lighthearted, […]

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Border Towns Are Among the Safest in the United States

Written by on February 12, 2019 in Border Enforcement, Enforcement, State and Local with 0 Comments
Border Towns Are Among the Safest in the United States

On Monday evening in El Paso, Texas, two very different images of the U.S.-Mexico border emerged. President Trump held a rally to make the case for his border wall again, repeating his usual talking points on the supposed dangers lurking in the region. Just a block away, former Democratic Representative from El Paso, Texas Beto […]

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How Trump Can Use Immigration to Make the State of the Union Stronger

How Trump Can Use Immigration to Make the State of the Union Stronger

Immigration will undoubtedly be a central issue during President Trump’s State of the Union address. However, it’s unlikely that any of the proposals the president advances will move us closer to a policy breakthrough. It’s more likely the president will propose ideas that make our immigration system less effective and do little to keep us […]

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Trump’s Travel Ban Leaves Thousands of US Citizens Separated from Their Families

Written by on January 29, 2019 in Enforcement, Humanitarian Protection, Refugee Status with 0 Comments
Trump’s Travel Ban Leaves Thousands of US Citizens Separated from Their Families

It has been two years since the Trump administration’s travel ban went into effect. Aside from multiple court challenges, the ban has largely disappeared from American headlines. And yet the ban continues to affect American families every single day. While this policy may be a quieter form of family separation than what has been seen […]

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The Trump Administration Loses Fight to Add Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

The Trump Administration Loses Fight to Add Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

A federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s plan to add a question on U.S. citizenship to the 2020 Census on Tuesday, ruling that the controversial move “violated the public trust” and would be damaging to immigrants. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the administration’s intention to add the question – “Is this person a citizen […]

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