When Gov. Nathan Deal signed his state’s punitive HB 87 immigration law at noon today, Georgia took Arizona’s place on the nation’s fast track to penal profiteering from immigration crackdowns.
So much for colonial Georgia founder James Oglethorpe’s legacy, who railed against the British prisons, and launched the Great Seal of Georgia in 1733 with the motto: “Not for ourselves, but for others.”
Georgia’s new motto: “Not less than three nor more than 15 years.”
All civil rights violations aside, Georgia’s Arizona copycat “show me your papers” law not only grants widely denounced authority for unprecedented police investigations, but also calls for unabashed long-term prison sentences for numerous violations.
For starters, read this section of HB 87:
Said article of said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-126, relating to penalties for violations, as follows: “16-9-126.
(a) A violation of this article, other than a violation of Code Section 16-9-121.1 or 16-9-122, shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both. Any person who commits such a violation for the second or any subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both.
(a.1) A violation of Code Section 16-9-121.1 shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and such sentence shall run consecutively to any other sentence which the person has received.Read more...
ICE has expanded its enforcement activities, resulting in many highly publicized and criticized enforcement actions at workplaces and in homes and local communities. ICE also is employing local and state officers in some of these actions. This Litigation Issue Page highlights litigation challenging the legality of enforcement activities.
Unlawful Searches and Seizure (outside the workplace)
Suit Challenged Unlawful Stop; Alleged Ethnic Profiling Mora v. Arpaio, No. 09-01719 (D.Ariz. dismissedJuly 13, 2011) (CASE CLOSED)
An LPR and his U.S. citizen son filed a suit against Sheriff Joseph Arpaio and several other Maricopa County officials, charging that sheriff’s deputies unlawfully stopped their vehicle on a public street, then searched and detained them for several hours during an immigration-related raid at a worksite 100 yards away. Plaintiffs charge, inter alia, that they were targeted because of their ethnicity and/or perceived national origin and were subjected to unreasonable search and seizure. Plaintiffs claim that the deputies’ actions in this case form part of a pattern or practice of constitutional violations by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in its conduct of immigration enforcement raids. Plaintiffs are seeking declaratory relief and compensatory and punitive damages.Read more...
The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Chairy Saidjan as March's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...
Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton issued a memo to the agency’s employees urging the use of prosecutorial discretion in the cases of certain immigrants, among them people who grew up in the United States after arriving here as children, and those who have served the military and their families.
It’s a directive that will be put to the test, as U.S.-raised young people continue to land in deportation proceedings. And just how it changes things remains a bit of a mystery.
For those who are unfamiliar with what prosecutorial discretion is and how it’s exercised, the Immigration Policy Center recently updated its guide to understanding how it works in immigration law. Among the basics that are covered:
What is Prosecutorial Discretion?
“Prosecutorial discretion” is the authority of an agency or officer charged with enforcing a law to decide whether to enforce the law in a particular case. A law-enforcement officer who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion.
The authority to exercise discretion in deciding when to prosecute and when not to prosecute has long been recognized as a critical part of U.S. law. The concept of prosecutorial discretion applies in civil, administrative, and criminal contexts. The Supreme Court has made it clear that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal process, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion.” Heckler v. Chaney 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985).
When is Prosecutorial Discretion Used in Immigration Enforcement?Read more...
On 9-11, three sixth-graders along with their teachers were among the passengers killed on American Flight 77 when terrorists crashed the plane into the Pentagon.
I remember later that month dropping in on a class of sixth-graders at May Street Elementary School here in Worcester to get a sense of how they saw themselves and their lives.
That trek ended up being a heartening experience, because in those students, during what was a bleak moment in this country’s history, I found hope, optimism and a hunger to be neighborly.
“What I have learned from this is that we should help each other,” Suzanna, one of the students, told me.
I can only hope now, 10 years after, that Suzanna and her classmates of that year are hanging on to their hopeful and neighborly sixth-grade badges.
Yet, if some of them have lost faith, I wouldn’t be surprised because the billowing dark clouds of that horrific day are still chasing the good in us, still stirring in us a growing hardness, and a crassness in behavior that is threatening to be the norm.
Although many think it is a good and even a righteous battle, there is hardness in the never-ending and costly war we have launched on terror.
We know of the 3,000 innocent lives that perished in those 9-11 attacks, but how many of us have reflected on, according to some estimates, the almost 1 million U.S., Afghan, Iraqi and coalition troops and civilians who have been killed over the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars?
We talked about ending these wars, but primarily the debate seems to be over the amount of money we will save, and not the number of lives.
Although many think it is necessary, there is hardness in how we engage one another.Read more...
The International Exchange Center and the American Council on International Personnel are hosting a joint happy hour event in Manhattan, NY.
The event is a chance for you to connect with other J-1s living in the Greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area and share some of the experiences that are unique to exchange visitors currently living in the United States. We are all very excited to meet some of the participants in our programs and to hear about your adventures, so please come and join us for our first meet up of the New Year!
There will be food, many opportunities to share your stories, and hopefully lots of laughter and great conversation all around. If you plan to attend, please send a short email to J1Program@immcouncil.org so we can get an idea of how many people are coming.
Thank you for being part of the International Exchange Center and we can’t wait to see you there!
A decision by the American Heritage Dictionary to revise its definition of "anchor baby" -- labeling it an offensive and disparaging term -- is an attempt to manipulate the "linguistic landscape" and push a leftist agenda, some opponents of illegal immigration say.
"Anchor baby" was among roughly 10,000 words -- including "hoodie" and "babydaddy" -- added to the dictionary's fifth edition last month. The hot-button term, a noun, was initially defined as: "A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."
That definition caught the attention of Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center, who heard American Heritage Dictionary executive editor Steve Kleinedler read it during a radio interview last month. Giovagnoli blasted the definition on the organization's blog last Friday, saying it masked the "poisonous and derogatory" nature of the term.
By Monday, the term had been changed. It is now defined as such: "Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."
The revision is now a "well-crafted" definition of how the term is used, Giovagnoli said.
But not everyone agrees.
"That's a political statement and it's not even accurate," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "[An anchor baby] is a child born to an illegal immigrant."
Krikorian said the revised definition makes a political statement and is much more than neutral, "just the facts" reference material.Read more...