Monday, April 13, 2009

Last Week: In Our Community (Apr. 6- 13)

Immigration news and updates from Monday April 6 through Monday April 13.

Profiles of Citizens Detained or Deported
This article provides profiles of 10 US citizens who have been wrongly detained--and some even deported--as undocumented immigrants. Their stories capture some of the great flaws and wrongdoings of the US' broken immigration system.

The Legal Limbo of Detention
This article analyzes a growing body of information which suggests that migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are "extremely vulnerable to arbitrary detention and other forms of restriction, including immigration detention..."

The Health of Immigrant Detainees

This article begins by stating "It is said that a society can be judged by how it treats its prisoners. If that's the case, consider these cases of immigrants detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement..." The article then goes on to describe what unfortunately are almost typical cases of medical maltreatment in US immigration detention.

Emanuel Now a Backer of Immigration Action
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who as a Congressman was highly skeptical of pushing for immigration reform due to impact on Democrat elections, has now begun to believe that action on immigration reform must be taken swiftly. This change of heart is largely due to the strong support of Latino voters for Democrats in the 2004 and 2008 elections.

US Citizens Locked Up as Illegal Immigrants
In their drive to deport all 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has mistakenly detained and deported unknown numbers of US citizens. While it is illegal to detain or deport US citizens for immigration violations, it occurs frequently in the current system due to the sheer number of people getting picked up in sweeping raids, poor records and databases, and the fast-tracking of people through the judicial system. These stories are drawing increased attention, as is evident in this story, the Washington Post's coverage of the profiles of US citizens swept of by immigration, and another LA Times article this week.

Tech Recruiting Clashes With Immigration
Immigrants are key to technical engineering companies and have literally transformed the industry since the 1970s. Yet current laws which restrict the number of specialists able to receive proper documentation to enter and work in the United States--let alone the restrictions placed on their families who frequently are unable to join them--are hurting major companies.

My Friends, the Illegal Immigrants
In this editorial, Mexican author Guillermo Arriaga tells the stories of immigration through the lens of his neighbors in Mexico, who crossed the US border undocumented decades ago. His descriptions place a human face on the trials and tribulations of living undocumented.

NPR: Immigrants Hope Their "American Dream" Isn't Fading
This radio news piece breaks away from the usual pros and cons of immigration debate and talks about the personal side of immigration. In particular, this piece tells the stories of immigrants who are facing fading dreams due to the current economic crisis.

Survey: Hispanics Skeptical of Police Fairness
A new report put out by the Pew Hispanic Center demonstrates that fewer than half of Hispanics believe that they will be treated fair by police and other law enforcement officers. In the Associated Press's words, the report "highlights a widening disconnect in racial justice: At a time when Hispanics are interacting more with law enforcement due in part to their growing population as well as stepped up immigration enforcement, they are showing skepticism."

US Muslims Still Under Siege
While most people believe that the US Constitution protects against what is known as "double jeopardy," or being charged with the same crime twice, what they don't know is that in the US immigration system it is in fact perfectly legal. Immigrants who are accused of committing crimes (or have committed crimes) frequently spend time in jail for their crime, only to be released and taken in by ICE--where they serve more time in jail and are eventually deported.

Blog: Napolitano Navigates Border Problems in a Broken Immigration System
Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is working hard and quickly to re-focus her agencies objectives. Last week she met with Mexican officials to work on a strategy to manage the increasing violence created by drug cartels. So far, this strategy includes examining as much what goes into Mexico--in particular, guns and other arms--as what comes out of Mexico. Secretary Napolitano says her new directives are not the fix for a broken system, but she is doing the best she can within the laws we've got.

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