Monday, April 26, 2010

In Our Community: Immigration News

Immigration has become a front-burner issue this week with the signing of an anti-immigrant bill in Arizona and turmoil in Congress over whether to take up immigration reform or climate legislation. Grab a cup of coffee, take a break, and join us to learn about the immigration news from Monday, April 19 to Monday, April 26.

On Friday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law S.B. 1070, a bill that requires police officers to check the legal status of anyone who they "reasonably suspect" to be an undocumented immigrant. This is the most anti-immigration legislation passed in decades. Critics have expressed grave concerns regarding racial profiling. To read our blog post on the bill, click here.

But don't take my word for it, watch Stephen Colbert's commentary on the Arizona law.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL), among others, also spoke out strongly against the Arizona law:
The lunacy of rounding up people because they look a certain way or are suspected of being in violation of immigration statutes can only lead to one thing: profiling. I am Puerto Rican, I was born in Chicago, and my family has been U.S. citizens for generations, but look at my face, listen to my voice: I could get picked up. Is this what we want in America?
His bill, H.R. 4321, would provide a workable legalization program for the undocumented, protect workers, and uphold immigrants' civil rights.

In response to heightened concerns about drug cartels on the U.S./Mexico border, Senators John McCain (AZ) and Jon Kyl (AZ) have introduced a ten-point plan to expand border security. The highlights of this plan include deploying 3,000 National Guard troops, adding more unmanned drones to the border for surveillance, and building additional double- and triple-layer fencing. At FCNL, we are very concerned about the militarization of the border - read our blog post for more.

A high-profile murder case in Long Island has been resolved - a white teenager accused of killing an Ecuadorean immigrant was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime. Marcelo Lucero had been attacked by seven teenagers seeking to beat up Hispanics. Immigrants in Long Island, spurred by the killing, came forward to share stories of harassment and violence.

This week, Congress will determine which will go first - a bill on energy and the environment, or immigration reform. President Obama has been calling senators to drum up support for immigration, while Majority Leader Reid said on Saturday that both issues are important to national security and the economy. We'll have more news for you as new developments emerge during the week.

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