Andrea Christina Nill: Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion
Andrea Christina NIll: Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — which helped draft the language of SB-1070 — has stated that he has been “approached by lawmakers from four other states who have asked for advice on how they can do the same thing.” Hethmon boasts that “what’s happening in Arizona just didn’t pop out of nowhere. It’s the latest step in a fairly deliberate process.”
Andrea Christina Nill: Since the Arizona legislature passed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” a bill which will probably end up establishing the harshest set of state immigration laws in the country, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s phone has been reportedly ringing off the hook with residents encouraging her to either sign or veto Senate Bill 1070. Though Brewer has refused to comment on which action she plans on taking, she did assure attendees of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Black and White Ball this Saturday that she will do what is fair.
Andrea Christina Nill: Now, we have the highest percentage of Americans who have been out of work for six months or more than we’ve had in decades. This is disorientating and people are looking for anchors to make life simple and understandable and digestable again and sometimes with the idea that they need to go back to an idyllic time that never existed. That’s a big part of the explanation for this anti-immigration law that Arizona just passed or the idea that we out to bring back Confederate month in Virginia without saying anything about slavery.
Andrea Christina Nill: Though Reid has by no means tabled immigration reform, getting a bill won’t be easy. The legislative calendar is packed and leaves little room for obstacles or distractions. Reid seems confident that he already has 56 votes, but he may be pressed to find the last few supporters he’ll need to get a piece of legislation past cloture. And while his statements seem to have left the prospects for reform unchanged, of more significance might be the fact that Graham was quoted today saying: “immigration is going nowhere this year.”
Andrea Christina Nill: If Obama decides to tackle immigration reform next, some have wondered what the tea party response would be. Interestingly, it may not be an issue for most rank and file tea party members. When asked whether immigration was an issue that motivated how they voted, tea parties responded that it was just as low on their priority list as the average population.
Andrea Christina Nill: Immigrant and civil rights activists have long claimed that the program leaves all brown-skinned residents vulnerable to racial profiling and other civil rights abuses, regardless of their immigration status. The inspector general’s assessment largely concurs with observations made by groups on the ground and goes further in pointing out that the program is inefficiently administered and failing to meet its goals
Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps for the sake of sense of consistency, Beck has essentially drawn a line in the sand between immigrants who emigrate to the U.S. legally, and those who do not. Yet, what Beck either ignores or doesn’t realize is that the “front door” is slammed in the face of most people who would like to live and work in the U.S.
Andrea Nill: Friday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report estimating that a strategy aimed at deporting the nation’s population of undocumented immigrants would total approximately $285 billion over five years. According to the report, a deportation-only policy would amount to $922 in new taxes for “every man, woman, and child in this country”
Andrea Christina Nill: Poizner has proposed deploying the California National Guard and California Highway Patrol to secure the border with Mexico if the federal government doesn’t. Poizner has adamantly argued that undocumented immigrants should be denied emergency health care and that public schools should shut their doors in the face of undocumented children.
Andrea Nill: The majority of Americans, including Republicans and independents, support a solution to the nation’s broken immigration system that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Chances are, many would also be turned off by ALIPAC and Tancredo’s impractical “deport them all” strategy and nativist vitriol.
Andrea Christina Nill: While many remain hostile towards immigrants, Armey likely belongs to the camp of conservatives who are urging their members to adopt a more inclusive immigration approach that will likely score much-needed political points with the indispensable Latino electorate.
Andrea Christina Nill: A study by Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California found that immigration reform would increase California’s “state and local tax base by about $350 million in the short run.” A separate study by Raul Hinojosa of the University of California, Los Angeles similarly found that immigration reform which includes a path legalization could generate at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years.
Andrea Christina Nill: despite his concerns relating to foreign workers, Grassley has already asserted that he isn’t interested in working towards a productive solution that involves even touching a “general immigration reform bill” with a ten-foot pole.
Andrea Christina Nill: Local news outlets are reporting that last week, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio disseminated a stinging letter urging Republican primary voters to support right-wing shock jock and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in his bid for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat.
Andrea Nill: A study by Human Rights First showed that immigration law has instead created a situation in which refugee and asylum seekers who pose no risk to the U.S. are unfairly denied U.S. residency due to the “pervasive, unintended consequences of the ‘terrorism’ provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
Andrea Nill: This week, a judge will decide on whether the federal government bears culpability for another immigration detention slip up: the August 2008 death of Chinese immigrant, Hiu Lui “Jason” Ng. ICE is also arguing that this case should be dismissed on grounds that staffers at the jail at which Ng died are contractors — not government employees.
Andrea Christina Nill: Nonetheless, whether it’s explicitly spelled out in the Constitution or not, U.S. citizens shouldn’t have to worry about being locked up by immigration officials for seven months until they can scrounge up the money to hire an attorney who can prove their legal status. Reporter Raul A. Reyes further warns that, “if ICE believes you are in the country illegally, you can be arrested without a warrant and deported without a hearing.”
Andrea Nill: Gingrich aptly points out that the nation is currently operating under an inefficient, outdated, and ineffective visa system. While many immigration hawks demand that undocumented immigrants go “to the back of the line,” Gingrich speaks to fact that there isn’t really a line for them to get in.
Andrea Christina Nill: According to Gibbs, the question isn’t whether President Obama still supports passing comprehensive immigration reform, but rather, whether the White House can be convinced that there is enough bipartisan support to get it passed. A recent affirmative statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicates that at least one key GOP member is reaching out to his colleagues and encouraging them to embrace the immigration issue. Meanwhile, themajority of Republican and Independent voters already support comprehensive immigration reform.
Andrea Christina Nill: Though Kellar insists his remarks weren’t intended to “express animosity towards non-whites,” local Democrats describe Kellar’s comments as “symbolic of the Republican Party’s attitudes toward immigration in general.” The rally was organized by several California anti-immigrant groups including the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutemen, the Santa Clarita Tea Party, and designated hate group Save Our State.