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O'Reilly's Non-Existent Immigrant Crime Wave

Bill O'Reilly at Fox News has been peddling his immgrant crime wave bunk. There is no immigrant crime wave.

I've been pointing this out with statistics since 2007.

Crime is down in Arizona and even in border towns like El Paso.

I'm not sure who still listens to O'Reilly, but it's worth nipping this one in the bud.

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Racial Profiling Class Action Suit Against Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who instituted such ridiculous shaming punishments as forcing male inmates to wear pink underwear, making juveniles serve on chain gangs and bury the dead, and requiring inmates to sleep in tents, is the subject of a new class action lawsuit by the ACLU and others for racial profiling of Latinos.

The suit alleges Arpaio has been conducting "crime suppression sweeps" of Latinos in an effort to enforce federal immigration laws.

Claiming authority under a limited agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE that actually prohibits the practices challenged here, Defendants have launched a series of massive so-called "crime suppression sweeps" that show a law enforcement agency operating well beyond the bounds of the law.

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Phoenix Mayor Asks for Investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Immigration Crackdowns

Earlier I wrote about Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio's latest shaming punishment for women inmates. Now I see the Sheriff has much bigger problems. The Mayor of Phoenix is asking the FBI to investigate his crackdowns on the undocumented.

In an April 4 letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, Mayor Phil Gordon asked the agency and the Justice Department’s civil rights division to examine what he called discriminatory harassment and improper stops, searches and arrests by sheriff’s deputies in Maricopa County, which encompasses the metropolitan area.

“Over the past few weeks, Sheriff Arpaio’s actions have infringed on the civil rights of our residents,” Mr. Gordon wrote. “They have put our residents’ well-being, and the well-being of law enforcement officers, at risk.”

Arpaio zings back: [More...]

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Arizona to Increase Prosecution of Undocumented at Enormous Cost

Despite a severe budget shortage, Arizona is set to begin prosecuting 40 to 60 "apprehended migrants" a day.

This is a very expensive program that is unlikely to be a deterrent.

Even with only 40 prosecutions a day, expenses will likely add up to millions of dollars a year for housing, transporting, prosecuting and defending those who are charged.

While a higher number of arrests clearly occur daily in the Tucson sector, trying to prosecute many more on a daily basis clearly would overwhelm the system, various federal officials say.

On the impact: [More....]

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NY Times Blasts Repubublican Candidates Over Immigration


A New York Times editorial today sharply criticizes the Republican candidates for President over immigration. It also calls on the Demoratic candidates to speak out more forcefully for sane and workable immigration reform.

The problem is that the country cannot build a fence or send troops and expect its problems to go away. Huge numbers of illegal immigrants never go anywhere near the border: about 40 percent enter legally and overstay their visas. Nor can the government purge workplaces of illegal workers without doing vast damage to the economy. At some point it must address the 12 million undocumented, who cannot be deported en masse.

The Times frames the questions both sides need to answer: [More....]

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Immigrant Detainee Who Lost Leg in Jail Gets $1.5 Million

Back in 2005 I wrote Welcome to America, It Will Only Cost You a Leg , about Moises Carranza-Reye, an immigrant from Mexico who came to Colorado looking for work. He ended up in a county jail on an immigration hold, where he lost a lung and part of a leg after developing a streptococcus infection.

He sued in federal court, and today his lawyer announced a settlement. Carranza-Reye will receive 1.5 million dollars.

About the Park County Jail:

Park County Jail...houses alien detainees under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).....[It] takes in immigration detainees and overflow inmates from other counties and the state prison system, charging $45 a day per prisoner; "This jail is a revenue-generator for the county," says Colorado Springs attorney Lloyd Kordick. "They're actively advertising for customers. They're also trying to minimize their costs, and they really didn't care about the consequences."

The treatment Carranza-Reyes and the other detainees received will make you sick: [More...]

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Immigration Raids Run Amok

The New York Times has a compelling article today about recent immigration raids in Suffolk County, Long Island, initiated after local police submitted names of those they subjectively believed to have gang affiliations.

Not surprisingly, they were wrong. And some of the Greenport, NY employers of those arrested are helping by providing lawyers and other support.

The raid was part of the two year old ICE program, Operation Community Shield, aimed at undocumented violent gang members. The Long Island raid resulted in 186 arrests. Of the 11 men arrested in Greenport (without warrants while inside their homes) one, a 19 year old, may be associated with a gang -- and even that is hotly disputed.

The 10 others, while accused of immigration violations, were not gang associates and had no criminal records. Instead, they were known as good workers and family men. When they suddenly vanished into the far-flung immigration detention system, six of their employers hired lawyers to try to find and free them.

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Increase in Number of Children Arriving in U.S. Without Parents

The number of children fleeing poverty in other countries and entering the U.S. without parents is on the rise. When caught, they are arrested and detained. Sometimes they are sent back, sometimes they are released into the custody of relatives, foster homes or friends.

Children must not be treated as criminals.

Children entering illegally without parents "are usually fleeing something," often don't have relatives here and, in many cases, have endured trauma such as rape and being held for ransom, said Tricia Swartz, director of the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children in Washington, D.C.

Across-the-board deportations "would be literally sacrificing children's lives," she said. "Some of them are facing potential execution by gangs."

As for numbers,

Today, about 15.3 percent of migrants seeking asylum protection in the United States are under 18, up from 14.8 percent in 2004, federal records show.

The Department of Justice processes these kids in federal immigration courts. An example of the absurdity:

In Denver's court, a box of toys sits in the lobby. A recent memo encouraged judges to use booster chairs and child-friendly questioning at hearings.

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Undocumented Immigrant Saves Young Boy

Another example of why "one size fits all" justice is no justice at all.

A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed her van off a cliff in southern Arizona on Thanksgiving Day was rescued by an illegal immigrant who stayed with him until help arrived the next day.

His mother was pinned inside the car.

Her son, who was unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26.... Unable to pull the mother out, Cordova comforted the boy while they waited for help. The woman died a short time later.

"He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said. As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when a group of hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.

Mr. Cordova's reward?

Cordova, meanwhile, was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.

As Santa Cruz County, AZ Sheriff Sheriff Tony Estrada says:

Cordova likely saved the boy and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize all illegal immigrants as criminals.

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An Immigration Nightmare: Action Alert


Bump and Update: An online petition to help the Servanos is here. If you are from Pennsylvania, or neighboring area, please go on over and sign. Also, here's their lawyers' letter (pdf) to Homeland Security.

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Original Post: 11/17/07

Meet Pedro and Salvacion Servano, a married Filipino couple who have been in the U.S. for 25 years.

Pedro Servano, 54, is a prominent family doctor in an underserved area of central Pennsylvania. His 51-year-old wife runs a grocery store and bakery..... Pedro Servano works at Geisinger Medical Group in Selinsgrove, where he has about 2,000 patients.

Two of their four children graduated from Temple University, while one is in high school and another is in middle school. Several years ago, the Servanos bought and renovated two properties in nearby Sunbury. Salvacion Servano recently opened a small grocery store there, selling Asian goods and baked items.

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Spitzer Folds on Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

Bump and Update: Perhaps Spitzer should have reviewed the success of New Mexico in granting licenses to the undocumented before he pulled the plug.

In 2003, New Mexico began offering driver’s licenses and identification cards to undocumented immigrants....Before the change, New Mexico had the highest rate of uninsured motorists in the nation – one in every three drivers. Now, New Mexico’s uninsured motorist rate is 10.8 percent, well below the national average of 14 percent.

Many undocumented immigrants living in New Mexico drove before the law changed. Some caused accidents. Their status as uninsured motorists put a financial burden on drivers who were legal citizens and insured.....Licensing undocumented immigrants to drive allows them to obtain insurance and helps protect New Mexicans.

This also highlights the difference between Gov. Bill Richardson and Gov. Spitzer. Richardson has a backbone.

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Original Post

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who two weeks ago capitulated to the feds and weakened his drivers' license proposal for undocumented residents, has now bowed to public pressure and rescinded the plan entirely.

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Spitzer Capitulates: "Scarlet Letter" Drivers' Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has given in to the feds and agreed to water down his plan to grant drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Now, there will be a three-tier system with the undocumented getting licenses that make them prime targets for state and local law enforcment officials who want to turn them over to ICE for removal.

The licenses for the undocumented are the equivalent of a scarlet letter.

“What a huge political flip,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “He’s now embracing and letting his good name be used to promote something that has been widely known in the immigrant community as one of the most anti-immigrant pieces of legislation to come out of Congress,” Ms. Hong said.

She said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. ....”The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.

Wasn't it just last month that Spitzer said: "The D.M.V. is not the I.N.S."?

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Tancredo Calls for Arrest of College Activists

Via Think Progress:

Democrats were planning to hold a press conference today featuring three college students whose parents came to the United States illegally in order to promote the DREAM Act. But the event was postponed after anti-immigrant Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) called on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to arrest the three students:
“I call on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to detain any illegal aliens at this press conference,” said Tancredo, who claims to have alerted federal authorities about the well publicized press confrence. “Just because these illegal aliens are being used for political gain doesn’t mean they get immunity from the law. If we can’t enforce our laws inside the building where American laws are made, where can we enforce them?”

The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would allow undocumented students to become permanent citizens after several years provided they complete two years of college, trade school or military service. Details of the bill are here (pdf). The requirements are below:

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Tom Tancredo Gets Desperate, Wants DNA From Immigrants

Tom Tancredo didn't do too well in the fundraising department this quarter. His contributions totaled 764,188.87. His operating expenses were 1,192,933.01. In his home state of Colorado, he raised only 47,274.00.

Maybe that's why he's getting this desperate:

Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo wants foreigners seeking visas to join relatives in the U.S. to provide DNA samples to prove their family ties.

The Colorado congressman introduced a bill Tuesday in the House to require the tests, saying documents provided by immigrants to show they are related to U.S. citizens or permanent residents are sometimes sketchy and unreliable.

I thought Republicans were supposed to be the party offering less bureaucracy. I guess not if it makes a good soundbite or you're losing.

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Feds to NY: Cut Off Chemo for Undocumented Residents

Compassionate conservatism at work again. The Bush Administration is telling New York health officials not to approve chemotherapy for undocumented residents because it's not a medical emergency.

The change comes amid a fierce national debate on providing medical care to immigrants, with New York State officials and critics saying this latest move is one more indication of the Bush administration’s efforts to exclude the uninsured from public health services.

Under a limited provision of Medicaid, the national health program for the poor, the federal government permits emergency coverage for illegal immigrants and other noncitizens. But the Bush administration has been more closely scrutinizing and increasingly denying state claims for federal payment for some emergency services, Medicaid experts said.

While states differ on what is or is not a medical emergency, it should be obvious that the states that define it as "any condition that could become an emergency or lead to death without treatment" is the proper one.

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