The net cast for illegal immigrants in Sonoma County shrank dramatically in the past year — with far fewer people turned over to the federal government for being in the country without permission. The reasons for that change are hard to pinpoint. But it corresponds chronologically to a decision that local law enforcement agencies — urged on by advocates for illegal immigrants’ rights — made last year to accept Mexican consular cards as valid identification. That meant officers in the field who were confident of the identity of a person they contacted could check them against records, and did not always have to take that person to jail to find out if they were wanted or otherwise posed a threat. Since the new policy took effect, local authorities have turned over just under half as many people as they previously did to Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the federal agency’s Se Communities program, according to data the agency provided.
The chief goal of the federal Se Communities program, in place in Sonoma County since March 2010, is to identify, detain and deport dangerous illegal immigrants. But since the program took effect, critics have said that it actually catches up as many, if not more, people guilty of offenses that most consider minor, such as driving without a license or lifting. Such was the case of Jacobo Farias-Chavez of Santa Rosa, who was pulled over for a traffic violation. Sonoma County advocates for illegal immigrants’ rights are heartened by a steep drop in the number of people handed over to immigration authorities, a drop coinciding with local police agencies’ decisions to accept Mexican consular cards as valid identification.
Federal officials are scaling back a program that enlists the aid of local police and sheriff’s offices to identify people who are in the country illegally, pharm in favor of a national program that uses fingerprints collected by the FBI. U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement officials say the so-called 287(g) program that includes Wake County will continue at least until the end of the year. But ICE says the program is under review, order and that it will no longer train local police under the program or give them the authority to question, investigate and arrest people they suspect are in the country illegally. The change moves the government away from an approach to immigration enforcement that has been popular among some law enforcement agencies but has drawn fire from civil rights groups, who say it encourages local police and sheriff’s deputies to unfairly target Latinos. The Department of Homeland Security is still reviewing 57 complaints against the Wake County program
Funny how quickly some principles collapse when given the right kind of shove. One day, the Republican Party is rock-ribbed restrictionist, order dedicated to the proposition that unauthorized immigrants are an invading army of job stealers, site welfare moochers and criminals whose only acceptable destiny is to be caught and deported — the border fence forever, “amnesty” never. The next day: never mind. The party suddenly discovers the merits of a working immigration system. Senators like John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who once bravely supported bipartisan reform but slunk away late in the last Bush administration, are scratching at the door again, as if the last five years never happened. This poses an opportunity and a challenge for Mr. Obama, who promised to tackle immigration reform in his first term and did not, and is firmly on the hook to do so now. He says he will push reform early, and he looks well positioned to get something done.
My main goal for this year was driving a car. I had been practicing with my husband for about two months and I was able to pass the road test and se my driver’s license. Being it was my first time to drive a car by myself and I was so excited, ed I rushed to my car and drove to my night class at Prince George’s Community College, without turning on my headlights. I was pulled over by a police officer, 60mg and issued a warning. At this moment, one thing crossed my mind: If this happened to me when I was an illegal immigrant, I would have faced se system database scanning and I would have been given to federal agencies and deported. It is hard to imagine how shocking this might be, but it is a real story for many Prince George’s residents. Numerous families in Prince George’s County have faced this situation.
Juana Islas, a New Haven resident and undocumented Mexican immigrant, broke down in tears before a crowd gathered at City Hall Thursday evening as she recounted the story of how her brother Josemaria Islas may now face deportation after having just settled felony charges. Josemaria Islas, who is currently in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, was arrested last July by the Hamden police investigating an attempted armed robbery. Though the victim identified Islas as the perpetrator, he was not convicted of any crime due to a lack of evidence, and instead he enrolled in a state rehabilitation program allowing individuals charged with non-serious crimes to have charges waived after a period of probation. But rather than releasing Islas to move forward with rehabilitation, judicial marshals continued to detain him in voluntary compliance with an ICE hold request, which may lead to his deportation. But immigrant rights advocates are criticizing the judicial marshal
This week the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) and the ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The suit seeks public records documenting the effects of Georgia’s increasing involvement in immigration enforcement, find including information that will shed light on increasing reports of racial profiling and police abuse. The two organizations requested the records over six months ago. With representation by the ACLU of Georgia, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, the lawsuit alleges that DHS and ICE have failed to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, and demands the release of the requested records. Azadeh Shahshahani, counsel for the ACLU of Georgia commented, “Transparency is integral to a democratic society. Yet by withholding the records, ICE is preventing the shining of much needed light on the extent of the collaboration between this…”
Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto of the Trust Act late Sunday raised some interesting questions. Brown said he supported the goal of the bill, site which would have set some limits on a controversial federal immigration enforcement program. But the governor said he could not support the Trust Act because of a fatal flaw that would have required police to release some immigrants who may be involved in serious crimes, site such as child abuse or s, s before they were taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security. Whether Brown’s concern is valid is up for debate. Some advocates say those immigrants with serious criminal histories or facing serious charges would not be protected by the Trust Act and would remain in custody. Under the now-vetoed bill, police would have detained only those immigrants for federal officials who were convicted or accused of serious offenses; it required that all others be released.
This year’s legislative battle over immigration seemed to come to a draw when Gov. Jerry Brown signed one key bill but vetoed another. Immigration rights advocates, however, said Monday that the political give-and-take was largely an illusion. They lost. The bill that Brown signed, which lets some young immigrants have driver’s licenses, allows nothing beyond what is permitted under a new federal program granting a two-year reprieve from deportation. But the bill that Brown vetoed — the Trust Act — was among the most closely watched pieces of immigration legislation in the country. It would have barred local law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal authorities in detaining suspected illegal immigrants, except in the cases of serious or violent crime.
El veto del gobernador de California Jerry Brown al proyecto de ley TRUST, que hubiera limitado la cooperación de la policía local al programa federal Comunidades Seguras, ha logrado que sus usuales amigos en las agrupaciones proinmigrantes lo llamen traidor y que tradicionales críticos, como la organización antiinmigrante FAIR, lo elogien calurosamente. “El veto del gobernador es una rara victoria para los ciudadanos amantes de la ley sobre el poderoso ‘lobby’ (cabildeo) de los protectores de los ilegales”, dijo Dan Stein de FAIR, organización que lucha contra cualquier semblanza de reforma migratoria. “Por una vez, el sentido común ha prevalecido sobre un acto sin consciencia de la Legislatura que hubiera puesto en peligro la seguridad pública de California”. Para Pablo Alvarado, director de la Red Nacional de Jornaleros (NDLON), el veto de Brown al proyecto de ley AB1081 fue una “traición” a los grupos proinmigrantes y latinos que lo han apoyado en sus campañas.