Monday, November 30, 2009

In Our Community: Immigration News

Not too much to report this week on immigration, since Thanksgiving has been the first order of business for most. I think I can keep you busy for at least half an hour though. Take a moment to read the news on immigration from Monday, November 23 to Monday, November 30.

If you only read one article this week, it should be the Boston Globe editorial, "Where Conservatives Have It Wrong," which discusses how undocumented immigrants actually embrace the can-do spirit that has characterized the United States since its inception. Jeff Jacoby argues that conservatives should recognize that the broken immigration system itself impedes undocumented immigrants from adhering to the law. In calling for comprehensive immigration reform, he writes, "Those immigrants didn’t come here in order to be lawbreakers; they broke a law in order to come here."

The New York Times also has an editorial on immigration, but this one is on the criminalization of immigrants. The newspaper calls out Secretary Janet Napolitano for providing some misleading information on community enforcement actions in her recent speech at the Center for American Progress. Racial profiling has no place in immigration enforcement, yet ICE's Secure Communities program runs the risk of harming innocent immigrants in the name of fighting crime. A key quote: "Laws must be enforced, but doing it this way hurts the innocent, creating a short line from Hispanic to immigrant to illegal to criminal."

Georgia Detention Watch just held a rally, vigil, and funeral procession on November 20, in memory of Roberto Martinez Medina, a 39-year-old man detained at the Stewart detention facility who died back in March of a treatable heart infection. For more information on deplorable detention conditions and what you can do about it, read our blog series, "Stories from Detention." You can also watch a video of the Georgia events here:

Communities around the country continue to speak out, saying that now is the time for immigration reform, and the Associated Press has noticed unprecedented levels of diversity among immigration advocacy groups. Not only Latino immigrant-based organizations, but Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, the NAACP, Caribbean-Americans, faith groups, LGBT advocacy groups, and others are coming together in the quest for reform. By finding solidarity in their quest for equality and justice in immigration reform, advocacy groups of diverse backgrounds and origins are coming together for change.

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