Monday, March 30, 2009

Last Week: In Our Community (Mar. 23-30)

Immigration news and updates from Monday March 23 through Monday March 30.

DHS Signals Policy Changes Ahead for Immigration Raids
This Washington Post article points out that delays in immigration raids may signal a policy change by the Obama administration. Since the Bellingham raid that took place in February, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano has reviewed the investigations of every potential immigration raid to ensure that raids are properly targeting employers and being carried out in an authorized manner.

Phoenix Police Chief: Don't Just Treat the Symptoms, Fix the Problem
Washington Post's George Will has created a column on Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris. Unlike Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, Chief Harris believes that "Washington's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform directly affects his ability to fight crime in Phoenix."

Immigrants Held During DCF Visit
Immigration officers now make arrangements with social workers to arrest undocumented immigrants. This article tells the story of Elida Arriaga, who was arrested while holding her 1-year old grandson on a routine visit with a state social worker.

Mentally Ill Detainees Held Without Contact: County Health Officials Say ICE Instructed Psychiatric Hospitals to Break State Law
According to the Daily Journal, federal immigration officials have held mentally ill immigant detainees in "a little known network of psychiatric hospitals in Southern California beyond the reach of their families and lawyers in apparent violation of state law."

Unpaid Wage Complaints on the Rise in NJ
An undercover investigation by the GAO found the "labor department's wage and hour division doing a poor job of helping the nation's most vulnerable workers." This Associated Press article shows that the number of wage complaints filed in New Jersey have grown significally over the past year, signifying that employers are paying less than minimum wage or denying people overtime and vacation pay.

Latinos, Blacks Losing Jobs at Faster Rate
This article reflects on the numerous ways the current economic recession is disproportionately affecting people of color.

Recession Batters Immigrants at All Economic Levels
Unemployment has a particular impact on immigrants--and their families thousands of miles away who depend on the money immigrants who work in the United States send home. This impact is not isolated to low-wage workers, however, even immigrants who received their masters or doctorate degrees in the US are currently struggling to find work.

A Year Without A Mexican
This article reflects on the damage caused by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's raid on the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa a year after the raid took place. Businesses run by or catered to Latinos shut down, landlords couldn't fill their rental units, churches struggled to fundraise enough money to support the 40 or so arrestees who had been released under electronic monitoring to care for their children while awaiting their court dates, and factories scrambled to keep even a single shift full. As a Catholic Charities worker said, "Is this how we enforce the law? Leave the churches and nonprofits to pick up the pieces?"

White House Steps Up Anti-Cartel Fight on Border
President Obama has released his plan to confront drug cartel violence on the southern border. Drawing on the resources of multiple federal agencies, Obama plans to send nearly 500 more federal officials to the border.

Sealing Off the Borders

As the administration commits to enact comprehensive immigration reform this year, radio talk show hosts and anti-immigrant groups are preparing their grassroots strategy. They hope to replicate their lobbying effort two years ago in which they literally shut down the Congressional switchboard and doomed immigration legislation.

Articles on the new Amnesty International report Jailed Without Justice--Immigration Detention in the USA:

NY Times- U.S. Immigrant Detentions Violate Human Rights: Report

NY Daily News- ICE Locks 'Em Up, Throws Away Key

Latin American Herald Tribune- Amnesty International Blasts U.S. on Immigrant Detention

SF Gate- New Report Blasts U.S. on Immigrant Detainees

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