In thousands of local jails and prisons across the country, federal agents use computer databases to look for possible undocumented immigrants, then file what’s known as a detainer a document requesting that local authorities notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement before releasing an alleged immigrant and delay his or her release for up to 48 hours so ICE agents can take custody of them. In Travis County, where an average of almost three undocumented immigrants have been deported every day since 2009, making it one of the busiest deportation sites in the country, Sheriff Greg Hamilton has said federal regulations require him to comply with those detainers. But Hamilton has recently come under increasing pressure from critics, including his opponent in the Democratic primary, who contend the detainers aren’t mandatory and urge the sheriff to follow the lead of a growing number of other urban areas that have stopped automatically honoring all of them…
The descendants of Abraham are still living into the promise he received, that his offspring and his very name would bless the nations. Our immigration policy is not living up to that promise of blessing. While we have learned to speak of undocumented migrants rather than the oxymoronic “illegals,” there remains some deep irony in insisting that mi
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You thought the healthcare case created a storm. Well you haven’t seen anything yet. Next week the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law. Any case that involves race creates political fireworks. The Arizona law is a constitutional nightmare. One part of the law allows the police to
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PHOENIX — Miguel Guerra has a wife, three children and a house. He has a car, but no driver’s license. He has business cards, but no immigration papers. He got into the habit of keeping his cellphone close when he drives so he can quickly call a cousin, the only legal resident among his relatives in the United States, in case he gets pulled over.
If he does not call again within an hour, he said, the cousin knows to look for him at the county jail.
Mr. Guerra, 36, moved here 13 years ago, before Arizona made illegal immigrants a target, turning once mundane tasks like driving to the grocery into a roll of the dice. Protesting the state’s strict immigration laws “hasn’t changed anything,” he said, so one recent evening he took a more pragmatic approach. He filled out an affidavit designating his cousin to care for his children, his money, his house and everything else he owns should he be arrested.
Students at the University of California Los Angeles walked out as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addressed the immigration controversy. Expanding on national security issues spanning from international threats to natural disasters, Napolitano said the government prioritizes issues of homeland security, border security and immigration. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t need immigration reform, I’ve spoken about that, the President has. That doesn’t mean we weren’t disappointed that the Dream Act wasn’t passed by the Congress. I testified in favor of it. And we worked very hard to get it passed and it failed by just a couple of votes. We need to keep those efforts ongoing. That’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint. But in the meantime, we can do smart effective enforcement.” Students then began changing chanting, “Education, not deportation,” after Napolitano’s speech, and were escorted out.
Rep. Gutierrez focused particularly on the impact of enlisting state and local police in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law. This situation has been exacerbated by the proliferation of “show me your papers” laws like the anti-immigrant measures adopted in Alabama (HB 56) and Arizona (SB 1070) and by the expansion of federal programs like “287(g)” and “Se Communities.” The following is Rep. Gutierrez’ opening statement, as prepared for delivery: Thank you Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Graham for inviting me to testify today. I have traveled from coast to coast to visit dozens of cities and communities and to listen to immigrants’ stories. Immigrants everywhere tell me that they are regarded with suspicion. They tell me they are frequently treated differently, because of the way they look, sound or spell their last name. In Alabama, I met 20 year old Martha, a young mother raised in the U.S. One late afternoon while driving she was pulled over…
What part of “illegal” don’t you understand? Those who ask this question profess a deep devotion to law and order. But “solutions” to illegal immigration that rely on self-deportation (Mitt Romney) and attrition through enforcement (Russell Pearce) represent a very real threat to public safety. That’s the message from former Arizona Attorneys
The Obama administration has criticized the GOP’s “attrition through enforcement” immigration policy framework while adopting it in practice. Undocumented activists have reduced their reliance on politicians and the advocacy community by strategically creating a quasi-legal status for people who publicly identify themselves as undocumented. Immigration restrictionists have promoted an “attrition through enforcement” policy as a purportedly more humane alternative to mass incarceration and deportation. Instead of identifying, arresting, imprisoning, and deporting every undocumented immigrant in the U.S., the objective of attrition through enforcement is to make life in the U.S. so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they leave on their own. An aggressive campaign to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to live in the U.S. would be logistically and fiscally unworkable and would necessitate massive human rights violations.