Lancaster County to Host Refugee Center

More than 300 refugees — from Burma, Cuba, Somalia, and Bhutan — settled in Lancaster County during the first six months of 2014; now plans are under way to create a permanent refugee center in the county. The center would be located at Reynolds Middle School in Lancaster; the children of refugees account for 8 percent of the student body there. The Lancaster County Refugee Coalition is overseeing efforts. Read more »

Pa. Republicans Now Afraid Immigrant Kids Are Gang Members

Remember when Gov. Tom Corbett worried that immigrant kids coming north from drug-war-torn countries south of the border might bring diseases with them? Remember how he was really silly to think so?

Well that kind of “let’s needlessly panic the masses about immigrants” leadership just may end up looking like the good old days. Soon.

The Patriot-News reports that Pennsylvania Republicans are now expressing concern that these young immigrants are actually … gang members.

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Interview: Adam Solow on the Immigration Crisis

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

Adam Solow, by Dan Doran Photgraphy.

The debate over illegal immigration has taken a new turn in recent months, as thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America have appeared at the U.S. border — presenting officials here with challenges on how and whether to deport them, and how to humanely hold and track them while awaiting processing.

The crisis has reached into Pennsylvania. Some children have family in the state and are sent here while waiting process. And the federal government, after all, operates only one immigrant family detention center, in Berks County — but it can only house 96 people at most, and only for weeks or months at a time. There’s also been talk of opening a new center in Hazelton, Pa. The whole situation is increasingly becoming a political hot potato in Washington D.C.

Adam Solow is a Philadelphia immigration attorney who has seen the crisis begin to manifest itself in his practice. He spoke to Philly Mag recently about the situation. Some excerpts:

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Immigrants Seek PA Driver’s Licenses

The Patriot-News reports: “With discussions of comprehensive immigration reform stalled, if not dead, in Congress, a group of undocumented immigrants rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday to ask support for House Bill 1648, which would allow them to receive licenses. Under the proposal, residents who do not have a social security number could receive a license by providing Tax ID number, a valid passport from their native country or other documents like a birth certificate that would verify their identity.”

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