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?”

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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 …