Michele Waslin: Immigrant advocates will be asking themselves what role immigration played in the primaries. The fact is that the immigration issue probably plays a small role, if any. Quite frankly, Members don’t have much of a record on the issue for voters to base their votes on because Congress has been too scared to take on the issue and see what their constituents say about it. But the sentiments behind the immigration debate echo what we saw in the polls—the public has grown tired with inaction.
Michelle Waslin: However, the timing and tone-deafness of this action could not have been worse. ICE has a history of conducting raids just as state or local governments are contemplating critical immigration-related policies. At best, the action left the impression that ICE wants to influence those policy decisions; at worst ICE left the public with the impression that local law enforcement is the same thing as an ICE officer.
Michele Waslin: Until we have comprehensive immigration reform, ICE is going to be saddled with an enormous list of targets, and many people watching to see how they’re going to tackle it. If they want big numbers, they can achieve big numbers. But that won’t make us any safer or make the system any better. In any case the Administration and ICE have to figure out what their enforcement strategy is, articulate it clearly and consistently, and resist the urge to change it on a dime to please “enforcement-only” types who will never support comprehensive reform.
Michele Waslin: Today, most Americans are familiar with the Brown v. Board of Education decision. However, the link between Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in the struggle for desegregation is not well known. The Mendez case and the relationship between the two cases is an important piece of U.S. history that deserves to be more widely acknowledged.
Michele Waslin: Those inaccuracy rates are huge because they mean that U.S. citizens and other legal workers are losing their jobs because E-Verify made a mistake—and, consequently, that unauthorized workers are working because E-Verify made a mistake. Of course, many more unauthorized workers are working “off the books” and never getting checked by E-Verify.
Michele Wasdin: It is simplistic to argue that remittances are bad because money is leaving the U.S., but upon further analysis, it becomes clear that remittances return to the U.S. in the form of increased exports. Remittances give individuals in foreign countries the ability to buy U.S. goods and the ability to invest in themselves which, in turn, allows them to buy even more U.S. goods.
There are additional hidden costs of the status quo—a broken immigration system. Employers pay for complying with harsh enforcement strategies, illegal immigrants endure exploitation because of their lack of legal status, and state and local governments disproportionately bear the burden of any related fiscal costs.
A new IPC report, The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, released today highlights early evidence from Secure Communities—and experience with other ICE programs—that suggests this new program may not be living up to its name and may not be effectively making our communities more safe.
House members, particularly Rep. Nydia Velazquez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were able to successfully block an immigration-related motion to recommit by House Republicans—a motion with the intention of forcing a tough vote on immigration that, if passed, may have resulted in the bill’s defeat.Health care reform now moves to the Senate, where battles over the 5-year bar, verification systems, and unauthorized immigrants’ ability to purchase health insurance are likely to continue.
In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and in anticipation of a new round of legislative debates on comprehensive immigration reform, DMI’s report makes a rational, concise argument for why comprehensive immigration reform is needed to improve the conditions for middle class Americans.
Earlier this week, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released a new housing report which provides a rather grim analysis of the current housing crisis. Real home prices continue to fall and foreclosures continue to mount despite recent federal interventions. Because of job losses, decreased home prices, and tougher credit eligibility requirements, [...]
This week, the Obama administration took another step toward restoring fairness and humaneness to the immigration system. On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she would grant a two-year reprieve to immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens but did not complete the permanent residency process because their American spouses [...]
A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that Latino children now make up 22% of all children under the age of 18 in the U.S.—a huge increase from 9% in 1980. A majority of these kids (52%) are “second generation,” meaning that they are the U.S.-born children of at least one foreign-born parent. [...]
This week the Police Foundation issued a long awaited report, The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties. The Police Foundation found that because Congress has failed to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have spent more time and resources curbing immigration themselves at the high [...]
The Obama Administration appears increasingly poised to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform, as promised. Last Thursday, the White House announced budgetary initiatives that signal a change in priorities and pave the way for immigration reform. At the same time, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, testified before the Senate yesterday about her plans to [...]
This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a new report entitled “Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South.” SLPC report adds to the mounting evidence pointing to the harmful impact that the absence of a functioning immigration system is having on Latinos and immigrant communities. SPLC investigators interviewed and surveyed 500 [...]
On any given day, more than 30,000 immigrants are detained in the U.S. More than 300,000 men, women, and children are detained by U.S. immigration authorities each year. ICE reported that the average stay in detention was 37 days; however many immigrants and asylum seekers are detained much longer – months or even years – [...]