WaPo: Arizona’s bad immigration law takes effect

From the Editorial Board on 9/21/12:

AFTER A TWO-YEAR struggle, a federal judge this week authorized Arizona law enforcement agencies to require officers to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Wearing the wrong clothes, speaking with the wrong accent or having the wrong skin color could land you in hot water in Arizona.

The state’s “show me your papers” provision — one of the most bitterly contested parts of the obnoxious immigration law enacted in 2010 — is the second such measure to receive a green light from federal courts. The first was from Alabama, where a similar policy was implemented about a year ago.  Read more »

San Antonio Express News: Texas wants access to immigrant records

By Susan Carroll, published July 19, 2012:

Texas elections officials have joined a growing number of states seeking access to a massive immigration database to check voter rolls for possible noncitizens, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade sent a letter to Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting access to the federal database, which contains more than 100 million immigration records.
Andrade, an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, is the latest of roughly a dozen GOP elections leaders from across the country to seek the information after the Homeland Security Department granted Florida officials permission last week after a long fight.
Andrade’s plans to check voter rolls against the database mark the latest chapter in an ongoing controversy over the state’s efforts to combat voter fraud. Texas officials and the U.S. Justice Department already are embroiled in a court battle over a state law passed last year that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Read more »

Think Progress: 96 Year-Old Former Arizona Governor Detained By Border Patrol In 100 Degree Heat

Reported July 6, 2012:

This man is Raúl Héctor Castro. He is 96 years old, a former Arizona governor, and a former United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. He was born in Mexico, and is a United States citizen.

Last month he was stopped by U.S. border patrol agents after residual radiation from a medical procedure he’d recently undergone triggered an alarm at a checkpoint in Tubac, AZ. The 96 year-old heart patient was then forced to exit his vehicle in the 100 degree Arizona heat and wait in a tent in a business suit, even as his companion begged the agents not to subject an elderly man to such treatment.

This is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. The first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after Castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “Judge Castro.” The second occurred years later in San Diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized Castro and said “Governor, how are you?”

Link to Article »

 

 

 

HuffPo Latino Voices: California DUI Checkpoint Program Targets Undocumented Immigrants

Escondido, California continues to vie for most anti-immigrant and anti-Latino city in America.  Ugg. Sara Gates reports:

For every drunk driver, Escondido police pick up about 10 unlicensed drivers — a majority of which are undocumented immigrants. DUI road barriers effectively serve as immigration checkpoints in this California town.

According to a new report from KPBS news in San Diego, this policy is one of many recent initiatives by the Escondido police that directly target undocumented immigrants and the Latino population — 49 percent of Escondido’s 145,000 residents.

Other policies include proposed restrictions on food carts and parking in Latino neighborhoods and a 2006 ban on rental properties for anyone without proof of legal residency. However, the later restraint was ruled unconstitutional and ultimately discontinued.

Escondido police paired with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2010 to initiate “Operation Joint Effort,” which instituted dual DUI-immigration checkpoints.

The city is the first in the country to strike up such an agreement with ICE, so that the agency is informed whenever an undocumented immigrant is suspected. ICE also maintains an office at the local police station.  Read more …

WNYC: Solidarity Between Immigrants, Civil Rights Marchers After Ala. HB 56 Ruling

On March 9, 2012, Sarah Kate Kramer writes:

Immigrants in Alabama are pushing back against the controversial immigration law HB 56, and it’s working.

In the same week as thousands of Latinos are marching with African American leaders to commemorate the bloody civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that took place 47 years ago, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked two more sections of HB 56 on Thursday.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined Sections 27 and 30 of the state law until legal challenges brought by the federal government and a coalition of church and civil rights groups are resolved.

The state legislature passed HB 56, a law targeting undocumented immigrants in June 2011, and it immediately gained notoriety as the toughest immigration law in the country. In September, Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn issued preliminary injunctions against a few provisions of the law, including one prohibiting undocumented immigrants from attending public universities, another that outlawed harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants and a third that outlawed stopping for day laborers if a motor vehicle blocked traffic. But Judge Blackburn left intact two of the most controversial elements of the law. Read more …

CBS News: Court blocks parts of Ala. immigration law

March 8, 2012:

ATLANTA – A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked two more sections of Alabama’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration pending the outcome of lawsuits that seek to overturn the law entirely.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily halting a section that says courts can’t enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants and another that makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.

The law adopted last year was challenged by both the federal government and a coalition of activist groups. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit heard arguments last week but said it won’t rule on the overall case until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a federal challenge to a similar law in Arizona. The appeals court is also weighing Georgia’s law.

Lawyers in the Alabama case had asked the court to at least temporarily stop the two sections and others, claiming they were causing harm to people in the state.

“We are very pleased that the Eleventh Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said he strongly disagrees with the court’s decision.  Read more …

NYT: Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans

A growing number of United States citizens have been detained under Obama administration programs intended to detect illegal immigrants who are arrested by local police.

In a spate of recent cases across the country, American citizens have been confined in local jails after federal immigration agents, acting on flawed information from Department of Homeland Security databases, instructed the police to hold them for investigation and possible deportation.

Americans said their vehement protests that they were citizens went unheard by local police and jailers for days, with no communication with federal immigration agents to clarify the situation. Any case where an American is held, even briefly, for immigration investigation is a potential wrongful arrest because immigration agents lack legal authority to detain citizens. Read More …

Boston Globe/AP: NY immigrant advocates criticize Border Patrol

“BUFFALO, N.Y.—Immigrant rights advocates and the New York Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused the Border Patrol in upstate New York of abusing its authority by questioning the citizenship of train and bus passengers, as well as people going about their business in towns miles away from any international crossing.

A report based on a Freedom of Information request suggests agents charged with securing the U.S.-Canadian border have taken advantage of their 100-mile area of jurisdiction to snare and deport illegal immigrants who have been in the country for years, using police-state tactics that allow them to boost arrest rates and justify increased funding.” Read more …

Washington Post: In D.C. region, more immigrants seeking public office

"Their journeys began in places as disparate as Colombia and Pakistan. They arrived in the United States speaking Hindi, Korean or Spanish. They worked their way up through engineering school or accounting jobs, keeping their heads down and their names out of the news.

Now, a small but growing number of foreign-born residents in the greater Washington region — home to more than 1?million immigrants from every corner of the globe — are coming out of their cocoons to enter electoral races and public office."  Read more…