Annnd... Arizona's anti-immigration campaign hurtles still further into red-state ridiculousness.
This morning, Governor Jan Brewer announced her latest, greatest battle plan in the war against illegal border-crossers: collect Internet donations to build a massive fence across the Arizona-Mexico line. (And what'll donors get in return? Why, an "I Helped Build the Arizona Wall" keepsake T-shirt, of course!)
In support, State Senator Russell Pearce squeezed in a few words of pro-fence propaganda on L.A.'s KNX news radio this morning. Here's the pile of steaming misinformation he dumped from his politickin' piehole:
Pearce claimed that illegal immigrants commit 2.5 times more violent crime than any other demographic.
He also used a Sin City analogy as a fear tactic to garner out-of-state support ("Unlike Vegas, what goes into Arizona doesn't stay in Arizona") and called the immigrant influx from Mexico an "invasion," but we'll let all that slide in the interest of clearing up this crime thing once and for all.
In response to Pearce's theory, we can almost see Wendy Sefsaf of the Immigration Policy Center roll her eyes over the phone.
She recommends we speak to the Department of Homeland Security about the fence idea (which, amusingly, cites prisoners as the perfect candidates for erecting the thing), but guesses it's "unprecedented, and probably illegal" for a state to evade federal strategy and take something so controversial into its own hands.
A Homeland Security rep will only say, "My apologies, DHS does not comment on state legislation." Ironically, President Obama is headed to the South tomorrow to push a more progressive (read: fenceless) U.S. immigration policy.
But as for the violent-crime statistic: The Immigration Policy Center released a March 2008 report that showed just the opposite, and Sefsaf says the trend has stayed consistent. An excerpt: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 Yohei Nagata as July'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, explore American culture or share in his/her own culture. Read more...
Mandatory E-Verify opponents do not propose eliminating an employee verification program, but say businesses need one that works well for employers — especially small companies — and workers.
Analysts and business organizations have argued that E-Verify alone would hurt Florida and the U.S. economy, but those same organizations say that a program that allows employers to verify a workers immigration status must be part of federal immigration reform.
The Immigration Policy Center compares the “Legal Workforce Act of 2011″ of Rep. Lamar Smith’s R-Texas, which would make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers within three years, and Sen. Robert Menendez’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011,” which also includes mandatory E-Verify. The bill filed by Menendez includes a program to require immigrants who were undocumented as of June 1 to register with the government, learn English and pay fines and taxes on their way to becoming Americans.
The Policy Center explains that:
Like all comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bills since 2005, the Menendez bill allows for a mandatory E-Verify system only in context to other elements of comprehensive immigration reform, like a generous legalization program, reforms to family- and employment-based systems, border and interior enforcement and integration programs. Under Menendez’s bill, current unauthorized workers would have a chance to legalize their status, and future workers could come through newly created legal channels.
The Policy Center adds that, although some groups will continue to oppose mandatory E-Verify even as part of comprehensive immigration reform, “others have realized that if E-Verify isn’t going anyway, it had better work well and provide strong protections for workers.”Read more...
Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 548 U.S. 30 (2006)Read more...
In a decision dated June 22, 2006, the Supreme Court held that INA §241(a)(5) – the reinstatement of removal provision – may be applied to persons who reentered the U.S. prior to the effective date of IIRIRA (April 1, 1997) and who did not take any affirmative steps to legalize status before that date.
Carla Parzianello is a J-1 trainee in Human Resources Management from Brazil. During her time at YMCA of the Rockies in Colorado, Carla has reached out to local Americans to share her culture. She has organized events for adults and spoken to kids in local schools. Check out her tips on how you can do the same!
On June 20, 2011, Pennsylvania State Rep. Tony Payton Jr. (D-Philadelphia) introduced the Pennsylvania Dream Act, HB 1695, which mirrors the failed national-level bill that would have granted undocumented youth in-tuition rates at public universities. If the bill is passed, Pennsylvania would become the 12th state, following the recent Illinois passage, to sign such legislation.
Presently, in Pennsylvania, in-state tuition costs for the 2011-2012 school year are $6,240, while out-of state tuition ranges from $9,360 to $15,600, according to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Undocumented students are not eligible for these in-state tuition rates, even though many of them have been residing in the state of Pennsylvania for significant periods of time.
The Pennsylvania legislation, like other state-level bills, builds a series of strict residency guidelines that undocumented students who request in-state tuition rates must demonstrate.
These guidelines, published by Dream Activist Pennsylvania, the main pro-immigration organization in Pennsylvania sponsoring the bill, include the requirement that students must have attended a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth for at least three years. They must also have graduated from a public or nonpublic secondary school in the Commonwealth. And, in an often overlooked provision, students or their parents must have filed Pennsylvania income taxes annually for three years while attending school to qualify.
It's important to note that while the bill mirrors national-level legislation, states do not have the power to afford citizenship; only the federal government has that legal authority. Due to this fact, the Dream Act grants undocumented youth only the ability to attend college at in-state tuition rates, meaning that legally securing a job after receiving a degree is not possible.Read more...