On the face of an increase in the number of parents deported from Maricopa County, a local church decided to organize a Christmas gift-giving event for the first time this year.
Tag: Criminalization of immigration
This month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) celebrated one year of Secure Communities, a program dangerously misnamed since it actually endangers rather than improves community security.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Most of the thousands of New Yorkers who walk by the Varick Federal Detention Facility every day are probably unaware of its existence, but the immigration jail on Hudson Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village holds thousands of detainees every year.
Over one third of those detainees “had reasonable claims” for being released, but most didn’t have access to legal counsel –not guaranteed to immigrants under U.S. law– and many were shipped away from New York, some before a “volunteer lawyer could finish researching the case,” says a report released Monday by the New York City Bar Association’s Justice Center.
The document (click for pdf) –reported on first by The New York Times— also found that 90% of those who had been granted bond were unable to raise the funds necessary for their release and remained in detention.
After Arpaio is Stripped of Immigration Powers, Conservatives Counter With A New Anti-Immigrant Bill
PHOENIX, Arizona — After the recent decision by federal authorities to limit the power of Maricopa County sheriff ‘s deputies to enforce U.S. immigration laws, Arizona lawmakers are renewing a push to grant local police the ability to detain and question suspected undocumented immigrants.
A campaign in favor of the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” was launched after last week’s announcement that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had his powers limited by federal immigration authorities.
Arpaio had one of the largest forces in the nation deputized to enforce immigration laws on the streets and in county jails under an agreement known as 287 (g). But John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security, said Arpaio’s sweeps were not consistent with the program’s new priorities. Under a revised 287 (g) agreement Arpaio’s enforcement powers are limited to the county jails. He can no longer conduct traffic stops in search of undocumented immigrants under the program.
Workplace raids by immigration authorities have “severely interfered with the protection of labor rights for immigrant workers,” according to a new report released Tuesday by labor organizations.
“The single-minded focus on immigration enforcement without regard to violations of workplace laws has enabled employers with rampant labor and employment violations to profit by employing workers who are terrified to complain about substandard wages, unsafe conditions, and lack of benefits, or to demand their right to bargain collectively,” reads the report prepared by the National Employment Law Project, the AFL-CIO, and the American Rights at Work Education Fund (click here for pdf).
The report comes as the Obama administration has continued many of the Bush-era enforcement policies, although work-site raids have been scaled back since the Democrats took over in January. Nevertheless, local police forces with immigration enforcement powers –like Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose federal contract was scaled back— had until recently continued to conduct these operations.
By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Some Latinos among CNN’s audience feel the network is adding insult to injury. This week CNN started broadcasting a four-hour special on “Latinos in America” without addressing the controversy over one of its main stars, Lou Dobbs, and his frequent statements against immigrants in general and Mexicans in particular.
Protests were held across the country to coincide with the launch of “Latinos in America.” One activist even tried to complain about Dobbs in an interview on CNN, but claims the network censored her.
San Antonio civil rights lawyer Isabel García told The New York Times‘ blog “Media Decoder” that the channel edited her comments out of a taped interview in which she debated with Phoenix-area Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
She said she called Mr. Arpaio and Mr. Dobbs “the two most dangerous men to our communities,” and added that “because of them, our communities are being terrorized in a real way.” She also asserted that CNN was “promoting lies and hate about our community” by broadcasting Mr. Dobbs’s program. The comments were not included when the interview was broadcast.
A CNN spokeswoman said: “The segment was tied to CNN’s documentary ’Latino in America,’ which is a far-reaching look at the successes and challenges Latinos are facing — including illegal immigration. As with all pretaped interviews, they are edited for time and relevance to the topic of discussion. The debate between Isabel Garcia and Joe Arpaio was no exception.”
PHOENIX, Arizona — A proposed agreement, scheduled to be voted on today by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, may offer a glimpse of the federal government’s plans to modify a widely criticized program that authorizes local police to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has the largest force in the nation authorized under the 287(g) program. Under the existing agreement sheriff’s deputies were able to question people about their immigration status during traffic stops and other types of police investigations. The new contract limits deputies under the command of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to identify undocumented immigrants only within the county jails.
Recently, the Southwest Border Taskforce, an advisory group set up by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, recommended that the 287(g) program be scaled back, limiting its use to identifying undocumented migrants in jails.
In July, Napolitano announced a review of all 287(g) agreements across the nation. The new contracts would focus on the apprehension of immigrants with a criminal record, she said.
The Department of Homeland Security gave all 66 participating agencies a 90-day-period to review the new contracts and sign them. But DHS hasn’t confirmed whether it will continue working with Arpaio in any fashion.
“We’re still in the signing window process,” said Vincent Picard a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “No final decisions have been made.”
DHS has until October 14th –the end of the 90 day review period- to decide whether Arpaio will retain any immigration powers at all. But that hasn’t stopped the sheriff or his critics from renewing their war of words over the treatment of undocumented immigrants.
“They just don’t want this sheriff to investigate and arrest illegal aliens,” said Arpaio during a press conference yesterday. (more…)
Advisory Group Recommends Scaling Back Criticized Program for Immigration Enforcement by Local Police
Soon after taking office, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to reevaluate several criticized immigration enforcement initiatives. One was the 287(g) program that deputizes local police to enforce federal immigration laws. Now, an advisory panel Napolitano created is recommending that the program be scaled back, and that agents authorized under 287 (g) be precluded from pursuing immigrants who are not the target of a criminal investigation.
The Southwest Border Task Force presented its first report in a conference call with reporters this week. Most media outlets focused on the recommendation that the U.S. hire more customs inspectors for its southern border. But McAllen, Texas newspaper The Monitor reported that the group said the 287(g) program “should be limited to identifying illegal immigrants in state prisons and county jails and exclude any efforts to track them down outside of criminal investigations.”
The task force made a total of 19 recommendations to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which will forward them to Napolitano.
Hispanic and pro-immigrant activists are becoming increasingly vocal in their demand that CNN drop host Lou Dobbs. Dobbs has a history of supporting fringe conspiracy theories –like the so-called “birther” movement that questions whether President Obama was born in the U.S, and one that claimed immigrants were spreading leprosy in America.
The latest of several campaigns against Dobbs was launched yesterday. It targeted CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, who has Hispanic roots and occasionally reports on Latino issues for the network. She has an upcoming special called “Latino in America” that will air next month.
“Tell Soledad O’Brien that CNN can’t have it both ways. CNN should not make money off of the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., Latinos, at the same time that it promotes the type of dangerous language that has led to increasing hate crimes against those very same Latinos,” said the campaign launched by an activist on Twitter.
This is just one of several initiatives on the web against Dobbs. Presente.org, a “national online advocacy organization,” launched BastaDobbs.com (Enough Dobbs). Miami-based activist group Democracia U.S.A. created another campaign, asking CNN to “to hold Mr. Dobbs to journalistic standards.” Monitoring organization Media Matters, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), America’s Voice and various other groups have put up DropDobbs.com, which aims to convince advertisers to pull their ads from Dobbs’ show.