Prisonomics 101: How ALEC and the Prison Industry Got Arizona’s SB1070 onto Gov. Jan Brewer’s Desk

jan brewer signing

Seth Hoy: private prison corporations, who stand to make hundreds of millions in profits from the detention of immigrants, not only had a hand in drafting Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law, SB1070, but contributed millions to the bill’s cosponsors and continue to push the legislation in other states.

Jan Brewer Showcases Empty Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in Gubernatorial Debate

Seth Hoy: While Governor Brewer’s opening remarks meltdown is at least understandable, her inability/refusal to defend controversial anti-immigrant statements—which has become the centerpiece of her re-election platform—is not.

How Immigration Reform Could’ve Helped Prevent The ‘Massacre’ Of 72 Migrants

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Andrea Nill: Fixing the broken immigration system by creating a flexible number of opportunities for economic migrants to work in the U.S. without sacrificing border security is a much more practical and realistic solution.

Restrictionists Confounded by Increased Deportations and the Administration’s Defense of the Constitution

Michele Waslin: ICE expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, which is nearly 10 percent more than the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007.

J.D. Hayworth Challenges Administration on Immigration Enforcement Weeks Before National Guard Deploys to Border

j.d. hayworth

Seth Hoy: Campaign politics aside, challenging the Obama Administration on immigration enforcement—an issue that immigration advocates have criticized the President as being too heavy-handed on, in fact—just doesn’t make sense.

Arizona Senators Decry DOJ Lawsuit Yet Won’t Support Immigration Reform

mccain kyl

Seth Hoy: The point is that the “federal government’s responsibility”—a government which Sens. McCain and Kyl are certainly a part of—to reform our broken immigration system is being thwarted by the same senators who complain that the government isn’t doing enough.

Border More Secure than Ever: Now What?

Michele Waslin: Once again, those who call for “enforcement first” have been put on the spot. Will any amount of enforcement ever be enough to move them to the next step? Will they continue to move the goalposts? Or will they finally recognize that comprehensive immigration reform is ultimately about securing our borders?

SB 1070 “Gets Tough” on Arizona’s Housing Market

moving day

Seth Hoy: According to the Arizona Republic, housing experts anticipate that SB 1070 will not only drive illegal immigrants out of the state, but legal residents and potential new homebuyers with them—“departures from a state where growth is the economic foundation.”

When Does Border-First Become Border-Only?

border fence

Seth Hoy: While President Obama and Gov. Brewer agreed that “federal inaction on a comprehensive immigration overhaul is unacceptable,” she has done nothing to substantiate that notion. Meanwhile, Gov. Brewer admits that crime is down in Arizona (as well as other border towns), even though she has repeatedly claimed that her state is “under siege” from border crime

DeMint Introduces Border Security Amendment To Derail Financial Regulatory Reform

senator jim demint

Andrea Christina Nill: Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said that President Barack Obama “thinks Americans are stupid” for trying to “convince” voters that Republicans are trying to obstruct financial reform. It turns out that DeMint is the one who is insulting the intelligence of the American people by suggesting that Republicans aren’t pulling every stop to try to derail a bill that has receivedwidespread public support.

ICE Slip Up Casts Serious Doubt on Immigration Enforcement Strategy

Immigration

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.

The Criminal Alien Program: Big, Old, and Misunderstood

San Diego Border

Michele Waslin: Of course, identifying and removing dangerous criminal threats must be a priority for ICE. However, time and time again data show that their methods for prioritizing these individuals are flawed and have negative consequences for noncriminals who get caught in the system.

New Report Details the Chilling Effects of Immigration Enforcement on Workers’ Rights

Dishwasher

Our broken immigration system gives unscrupulous employers an incentive to hire unauthorized workers and exploit them—often resulting in depressed wages and working conditions for all workers in that workplace.

Report Says Immigration Enforcement Creates ‘Perverse Economic Incentive’ To Hire Undocumented Immigrants

raids

Ten years later, ICE’s preoccupation with immigration enforcement was blatantly undermining the work of those trying to enforce labor laws.

‘Hispanic-Hunting’ Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says He Will Deport Immigrants Himself If Feds Refuse

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Arpaio seems to believe that the White House is going out of its way to single him out and curb his immigration-policing powers for “political reasons.”

Louisiana Senator Says Health Care Reform Will Benefit Undocumented Immigrants Because ‘It Always Does’

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., with wife Wendy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

At a town hall meeting in Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) promoted the myth that undocumented immigrants will reap the benefits of health care reform by reasoning that “they always do.” He also proclaimed that what the nation is really facing is an immigration enforcement problem (as opposed to a health care problem) because “a quarter” of the “45 or 48 million” who are uninsured in the US are undocumented immigrants

Senate Hearing on Employment Verification System Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

id-card

While employment verification is viewed as an immigration enforcement tool, it is a program that affects every person working in the U.S.—including U.S. citizens.

Condoleezza Rice Breaks With Right Wing And Says We Should Be For ‘Welcoming’ Immigrants

condiobama

Last Sunday, on a trip to Sacramento, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice briefly praised the nation’s history of welcoming immigrants, saying that it’s a tradition that should be preserved.

Republicans Try To Derail Immigration Reform By Bringing Piecemeal Amendments To DHS Bill

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there’s an undeniable steep learning curve for conservative lawmakers who are slow to realize that they can no longer rely on an enforcement-only approach to immigration when the majority of their frustrated constituents want immigration laws overhauled inside and out.

Another U.S. Citizen ‘Accidentally’ Deported

Despite her birth in Louisiana, Diane Williams was recently deported to Honduras by the U.S. government.

Earlier this month, U.S. citizen, Irving Palomo, was detained and put in a van headed for Mexico due to an ICE mix-up. A few months ago Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen who suffers from mild retardation, was deported to Mexico. Mexican officials then deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala. After spending [...]

Local Police Report Makes the Case for Federal Enforcement of Immigration Laws

arrest

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 [...]

Obama’s Controversial Two-Step Moves in Direction of Immigration Reform

Photo by Callie Shell from Time magazine.

After boosting border enforcement, the Obama Administration recently announced that it will also increase funding for a troublesome program started by George W. Bush. The controversial program gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unregulated access to the immigration information of every person in local prisons across the United States. Although Obama may be sending mixed [...]

Obama Budget Not a Replacement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama reflects during a budget meeting in the Roosevelt Room.  Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

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 [...]

Sheriff Joe Arpaio to Recruit and Arm Citizens, Neo-Nazis Have His Back

Photo by barjack.

Rather than cleaning up his police department and addressing allegations of racial profiling and discrimination, Arpaio has decided to recruit and arm more Maricopa citizens in the absence of state funds. Back in April, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona voted to postpone the acceptance of $1.6 million from the state to help [...]

Human Rights Organizations Say Immigrants Caught in Detention Dragnet

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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 – [...]

Mexicans Choosing to Weather Economic Storm in Home Country

leaving-us

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered reviews of many operational aspects of the immigration and border security system and has even delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces. Yet while many of the Bush administration’s “attrition through enforcement” tactics are being re-evaluated and scaled-back, potential [...]

Citizen Children Neglected and Deserted in Wake of Immigration Raids

michele waslin

Miguel is a US citizen child who grew up in Minnesota like any other little American boy. But his parents are undocumented workers from El Salvador who worked at the Swift plant in Worthington, Minnesota. On December 12, 2006, the plant was raided by ICE, and more than 200 workers were detained, including Miguel’s mother. [...]

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