Monday, March 8, 2010

In Our Community: Immigration News

As the snow melts in DC and the cherry blossoms are on the verge of appearing, we're renewing our efforts to urge Congress to support immigration reform. To get the latest updates, just keep on reading! Here is your news on immigration from Monday, March 1 to Monday, March 8.

We've been working to drum up support for the CIR ASAP bill (H.R. 4321), a bill which proposes humane reforms for the immigration system. This bill would help keep families together, allow undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows, and protect immigrants civil and human rights. We just got another cosponsor, putting the total at 94! Let's try to break 100. You can help push reforms forward by contacting your representative today!

You may have seen advertisements about the Census, and we're encouraging everyone to participate. In order to make sure that communities get fair representation and federal funds, it is important to get an accurate Census count. Please talk to your neighbors to check if they're filling out their forms!

Prepare to be scanned, weighed, and valued: Congress may soon expand the reach of the controversial E-Verify program, which would check the identities of new employees against a national database in order to confirm their immigration status. However, E-Verify raises concerns about accuracy, privacy, and fairness. Expanding workplace enforcement is no substitution for real immigration reform, which would allow workers to come to the US legally in line with the real needs of the US economy. Marc Rosenblum has more in this opinion piece.

The Obama administration is working on overhauling the immigration detention system and advocates are cautiously supportive of this initiative. However, the majority of detention facilities are run by private contractors, not the federal government. How will these contractors be held accountable? Watch this video to learn more.

Meanwhile, thousands of immigrants - the vast majority of whom are non-criminal - continue to be detained and deported without access to a fair trial. Minnesota Public Radio reports on one man's struggle to remain in the United States so he could support his children. Spoiler alert: This story, unlike many others, actually has a happy ending!

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