Detractors of immigration reform legislation managed to defeat an effort to get it through Congress in 2006 and 2007 partly through publicly deriding the proposals as "amnesty bills," defining the legislation as efforts to give illegal immigrants a penalty-free opportunity to remain in the United States.
Washington D.C. - In a blow to the state anti-immigration movement, the Supreme Court ruled today that the authority to enforce immigration laws rests squarely with the federal government, limiting the role that states may play in crafting state-level answers to immigration enforcement. By a 5-3 margin, the Court struck down three of the four provisions of SB 1070 that were challenged by the Obama administration as pre-empted under federal law. While the Court agreed that Arizona’s attempt to limit immigration by creating new laws and new penalties to punish undocumented immigrants was pre-empted, it found that a provision requiring local police to investigate the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants was not pre-empted on its face. The court read this provision very narrowly, however, leaving open the door to future lawsuits based on racial profiling and other legal violations. Read more...
Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the issuance of a new practice advisory, Reinstatement of Removal. A person who has been removed and illegally reenters the United States may be subject to reinstatement of removal under INA § 241(a)(5). This Practice Advisory provides an overview of the reinstatement statute and implementing regulations. It also addresses federal court review of reinstatement orders and potential arguments to challenge the legality of reinstatement orders, including challenges to the underlying removal order.
This practice advisory includes a sample reinstatement order, a sample letter to DHS requesting a copy of the reinstatement order, a checklist for potential challenges to reinstatement orders, and an appendix of published reinstatement decisions. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
U.S. immigration officials put an unprecedented 1,000 businesses — including 42 in the Houston metro area — on notice Thursday that their paperwork would be inspected to make sure they don't employ illegal immigrants.
Since 9/11, Congressional appropriations for border security have skyrocketed. This influx of resources to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has corresponded with increased reports of pretextual arrests, racial profiling, excessive use of force, and coercive tactics to aid immigration enforcement along both borders. Although these enforcement practices often violate the constitutional, statutory or regulatory framework governing the conduct of CBP officers, they are rarely challenged in immigration court.
The LAC’s new practice advisory discusses some of the factual scenarios that may give rise to successful motions to suppress evidence obtained unlawfully by CBP officers, including CBP inspectors stationed at ports of entry and Border Patrol agents, who operate between ports of entry. It also addresses some of the legal issues specific to motions to suppress evidence obtained at and near the border. If successful, a motion to suppress can prevent the government from using unlawfully obtained evidence to prove alienage, which may result in the termination of removal proceedings. Read more...
Congress has a 41st Republican senator, but Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is challenging that notion. Yes, Graham does gain a new Republican colleague on Capitol Hill very soon (Senator-elect Scott Brown, of Massachusetts). In response to that, though, Graham announced on Friday his “willingness to tackle tough issues, including immigration” by breaking from partisan politics and finding a way to cooperate with the Democrats.
Of the Senator’s announcement, Immigration Impact’s Travis Packer quoted Graham as saying:
“Is the message that Democrats shouldn’t take on anything controversial and is the message that we should not work with them on anything controversial? … How much risk aversion does it create in the United States Senate to deal with tough issues like energy independence, climate change and immigration? … I hope that’s not the message. It’s not the message to me. The real reason we’re all here is to govern the country and do hard things.”
You might not realize it when you get a new job, but soon your name may be checked against a government database to answer the question: Are you an illegal immigrant?
Thousands of employers in Florida and tens of thousands nationwide have enrolled in a voluntary government program known as E-Verify, which allows them to find out whether their new hires are entitled to work in the U.S.
According to a DC-based think-tank, when Arizona’s new immigration law goes into effect in three months, residents of a state still struggling with a three-billion dollar deficit will discover that SB1070 comes with an unexpected consequence: a price tag that could run into the tens of billions.
Red State Blues
“At a purely administrative level, Gov. Brewer should take into consideration the potential costs of implementation and defending the state against lawsuits,” concludes the Immigration Policy Center (IPC).
Arizona's controversial new immigration law reflects a sharp political response to long-simmering conflict over immigration policy in a nation that takes pride in its history as a society built with the help of people from many lands.
Wharton faculty say the timing of the legislation is in part a reaction to stress brought on by the economic downturn, even as declining demand for labor has slowed immigration into the United States. While the statute has drawn widespread attention, faculty contend that it is unlikely to spur major change in broader immigration policy, at least in the near term. "It seems odd to me that this issue came up in Arizona now, given that the economy is so flat," says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, who suggests that Arizona politicians are looking for a "scapegoat" by "saying there are no jobs because of illegal workers. It's easy to blame immigrants."