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Friday, August 27, 2010


The Immigration Balancing Act: ICE Memo and High Removal Statistics Reveal a Stacked Immigration System

Last week, two separate branches of DHS released important evidence supporting the argument that our immigration laws are fundamentally broken. The Office of Immigration Statistics released its annual report on removal and return statistics, noting that removals in 2009 totaled 393,289 - marking the seventh straight year of increase. Meanwhile, ICE released a memo  directing legal counsel to review and terminate certain immigration court cases where the immigrant also had an application pending in front of USCIS. ICE estimates that approximately 17,000 people may benefit from this new policy. When you juxtapose the numbers, however-393,289 v. 17,000 - it reminds you just how out of balance our immigration system has become.Read more...
Anti-Immigrant Hysteria in Arizona Won't End With the Primaries
The Republican Party primaries in Arizona may be over, but the anti-immigrant demagoguery  upon which the winning candidates built their campaigns is unlikely to fade away anytime soon. Governor Jan Brewer and Senator John McCain both managed to reverse their declining political fortunes in large part by raising the phantom specter of immigrant violence-a cynical tactic they are likely to repeat in the midterm elections. For instance, both trumpeted the discredited  claim that Phoenix is the number two kidnapping capital of the world after Mexico City, and portrayed their various and sundry proposals to "get tough" on unauthorized immigrants as sincere efforts to save Arizonans from kidnappers and other violent criminals. Read more...

The Politics of Immigration: Primaries Reveal Little About What's to Come
It's hard to pinpoint how exactly the issue of immigration impacted a range of primary races on Tuesday. In some cases, exploiting our broken immigration system may have helped candidates win elections - as in the case of Governor Jan Brewer. In other cases, talking tough about immigration may have cost politicians their race - like Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum, who turned off Latino Republican voters with his pledge to bring SB1070 style legislation to the Sunshine State. Senator John McCain and Meg Whitman beat out their more extreme anti-immigrant opponents in tight primary races, but they definitely weren't singing the praises of immigration either. However, it's hard to predict what will happen in November's general election based on the primary results. Many Republicans like Sen. John McCain turned hard-right in order to get their party's nomination, yet that will likely subside in the next several months as candidates gear up for the general election. Read more...

Staggering Right on Immigration in Arizona
Today, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) faces former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in what has been a hard-fought primary battle for the Republican nomination for Senate. Perhaps the central issue in the campaign has been immigration, with both candidates staggering as far to the right as possible. So far to the right, in fact, that David Catanese of Politico called the campaign "likely to leave a lasting and unsightly stain" on McCain's legacy.Read more...

Florida Legislators Speak Out Against Proposed Anti-Immigration Legislation in the Sunshine State
This week, both Democratic and Republican Florida state legislators joined leaders from the faith and civil rights communities in speaking out against proposed anti-immigrant legislation in Florida, calling the measure "sad," "not right for Florida," and "a violation of civil rights." The bill, introduced this month by Florida Attorney General and former gubernatorial candidate, Bill McCollum, goes beyond existing state law and would require law enforcement to check the immigration status of a suspected illegal immigrant when stopped during a violation. The bill, drafted with state Rep. Will Snyder, also allows judges to consider immigration status during bond setting and sentencing and requires Florida businesses to check their workers' immigration status. McCollum's immigration bill also requires immigrants to carry identification or face up to 20 days in jail. According to McCollum, Florida's bill "offers more teeth" and goes "one step beyond" Arizona's law, after which Florida's bill was modeled. Read more...

Check Out the Immigration Policy Center's Resources on
Birthright Citizenship and the 14th Amendment:

Defending the Fourteenth Amendment

As other states consider their own versions of Arizona's Enforcement Law (SB 1070), learn more about the substance of the law, common myths and the legal and fiscal implications.

The Legal Challenges and Economic Realities of Arizona's SB 1070

Read about how the DREAM Act could unlock the door to the American dream for thousands of young people each year:

Creating Opportunities for Immigrant Students and Supporting the U.S. Economy

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