Washington, D.C.—One month ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Arizona v. United States, which invalidated three provisions of the immigration law known as “SB 1070” and left a fourth open to future challenges. More than any matter in recent history, the case settled a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. As a result, the ruling will affect not only SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws passing around the country.
Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases an updated version of its Q&A on Arizona v. United States, which discusses how the Supreme Court decided the case and what the ruling means for immigration laws in other states. As debates over the ruling continue, understanding the basis for the Court’s opinion will prove critically important in furthering a rational discussion on the implications of the decision.
Those much ballyhooed public state House-Senate conference committee hearings designed to end the long budget impasse were quickly suspended last week. And, as predicted here, a whining Gov. Rendell took the talks back behind closed doors. It's another exercise in screw-the-public politics.
Washington, D.C.—Last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder, holding that a state drug conviction is not an aggravated felony when the statute of conviction extends to the social sharing of a small amount of marijuana. The case has important implications not only for noncitizens charged with drug trafficking, but also for the application of the categorical approach in immigration proceedings.
Yesterday, the Legal Action Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild issued a Practice Advisory, “Moncrieffe v. Holder: Implications for Drug Charges and Other Issues Involving the Categorical Approach.” The advisory discusses the holding of the case, the decision’s potentially broader implications, strategies for representing noncitizen criminal defendants, and steps that lawyers should take immediately in pending or already concluded removal proceedings affected by Moncrieffe.
The government has beefed up border security and workplace immigration enforcement, and now should begin the work of overhauling immigration laws, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.
Washington D.C. - Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner reassured the far-right wing of the Republican Party and anti-immigrant activists that he would never agree to a conference to hammer out an agreement on a House immigration bill and S. 744, the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that passed in June. While that statement may have been reassuring to a few die-hard anti-immigration reform activists, it had the opposite effect for the vast majority of Americans. The Speaker’s statement does not stop the clock on the economic, social, and societal costs of doing nothing on immigration. It also does not honor the hard work of Democrats and Republicans who have worked in good faith to pass the Senate bill and negotiate on various fronts in the House.
However, what Speaker Boehner's statement does do is open the door to more protests and public outrage, encourage states to continue to take the lead on immigration policy and leave the administration in the difficult situation of deciding how long they will let Congressional inaction continue before they will intervene. When Congress refuses to act they make themselves less relevant and reinforce the idea that they cannot work constructively to fix our nation's most pressing problems.
Thus, rather than tamp down the flames of reform, the Speaker’s statements will embolden those who will work to fix immigration policy on their own - for better or worse. It’s inevitable that immigration reform will happen it’s just a matter of how much our economy, communities, and the Republican Party will lose in the meantime
In his White House press briefing yesterday, Robert Gibbs seemed to suggest that President Obama would address the subject of immigration reform in his speech tonight. Why he would introduce such a polarizing topic into the already toxic atmosphere in Washington is unclear to me, but if, in fact, he does, I think it's safe to assume he won't be dwelling on it very long. The chances of getting an immigration-reform bill passed this year, which were iffy to begin with, faded to near black in the wake of the Massachusetts Special Election That Changed Everything. If the message from the Bay State was that the administration needs to focus on repairing an economy that has shed millions of jobs, it's hard to imagine selling the country on the need to legalize millions more workers. But that's not to say the administration won't try.
The Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C., released on Friday what it called a “damning critique” of the federal 287(g) program.
The report on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program issued by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General highlights what the IPC calls “numerous shortcomings that lead to abuse and mismanagement and raises serious questions about the wisdom of state and local immigration enforcement partnerships with ICE.”
Now that Arizona has enacted the most xenophobic anti-immigration law in this country, get ready for the big Hispanic exodus.
But it won’t be an exodus back to Mexico or to Central America. It will be a stampede toward Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities with huge Hispanic populations, where Latinos will be able to live without fear of being stopped by police because of the color of their skin or for speaking Spanish.
According to a bill passed by the Arizona legislature and signed into law Friday, police officers would have to arrest anyone when they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person does not have valid immigration papers. And it would allow anyone to sue local or state officials who they believe aren’t carrying out the law.
He cites a report out early this year by the left-leaning Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council. It concluded that if illegal immigrants were granted legal status, their wages would go up, as would their earning power, meaning increased tax revenues of $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in the first three years.