Tag: immigration reform (page 3)

Calls for AZ Governor to Veto Immigration Legislation

The absurdly discriminatory immigration bill passed by the Arizona House passed the Senate yesterday. Absent a veto by the Republican Governor, Jan Brewer, it will become law.

The bill would require immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and require police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

This bill is a racial profiling horror show in the making. What to do? Protest? That ship seems to have sailed. Better: Boycott Arizona. No hotels, no airlines based there, no merchandise manufactured there. Cross the Grand Canyon off your summer travel plans. Forget Sedona and Scottsdale. Colorado is lovely this time of year.

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AZ to Criminalize Undocumented Presence in State

The Arizona House has passed a bill similar to one passed by the state Senate criminalizing undocumented presence in the state. With some minor reconciliation changes, it will go to the Governor for signing into law. Included in the bill are provisions that:

  • Create a new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document.
  • Allow officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they're legally in the country.
  • Ban so-called soft immigration policies at local police agencies and allow people to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws.
  • Prohibit people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners.
  • Make it illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country.

This bill gives cops the power to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being undocumented. What a mandate for racial profiling. I hope people boycott Arizona and products made there if this bill gets signed into law. Let their tourism industry suffer the consequences. Visit New Mexico or Colorado instead. [More...]

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March For America in D.C. Today

The National Mall in Washington is ready for today's March for America. Maybe now that the Dems have their 216 votes and the vote won't happen until this evening, it will get some attention.

Tens of thousands of people are expected from all over the country. You can follow along here or on Twitter here or on Facebook.

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Lindsey Graham's Latest Threat: No Immigration Reform if Health Care Passes

Sen. Lindsey Graham is feeling his oats. His constituents ought to send him back to pasture. His latest: He threatens that if the health care bill passes, there will be no immigration reform this year.

“The first casualty of the Democratic health care bill will be immigration reform. If the health care bill goes through this weekend, that will, in my view, pretty much kill any chance of immigration reform passing the Senate this year,” Graham said in a statement blast-emailed to the Washington press corps.

Graham's influence over the detainee trials and Guantanamo is going to his head. The Dems should refuse to listen to him.

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March For America This Sunday

March for America and comprehensive immigration reform this Sunday. I hope you will all check out the ad on the right and do your part.

No human being is illegal. This is an opportunity to march for democracy, march for American workers, march for family unification and march for justice.

March 21, National Mall, Washington DC
March at 2:00 pm

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ACLU: Stop the Criminialization of the Undocumented

The ACLU has released an issues brief arguing against the criminalizing of the undocumented. It's both unlawful and harmful to public policy.

The use by states and localities of criminal laws to go after undocumented immigrants simply for being undocumented is generally unlawful, because the federal government has sole power to regulate immigration.


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U.S. Halts Deportations To Haiti

Homeland Security Secret Janet Napolitano announced today the U.S. will temporarily halt deportations to Haiti.

Those with deportation orders will be allowed to remain in the U.S. Those held in detention centers will remain jailed, Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said.

The Haitians who are here should receive TPS (Temporary Protected Status.) Homeland Security can designate a country for TPS based, among other things, on internal armed conflict, overwhelming natural disaster, or extraordinary temporary conditions preventing safe return of its nationals.

Several members of Congress who represent Haitian communities have been pressuring the Obama administration to give temporary protected status, or TPS, to Haitians illegally in the U.S. The designation would allow Haitians to remain and work legally in the U.S. The latest disaster gave new urgency to the lawmakers' demand.

According to Homeland security, 30,000 Haitians in the U.S. have orders to leave and about 160 are in detention.

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Napolitano Says Obama Ready to Work on Path to Legalization

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday said the Obama Administration is ready to move forward with plans to create a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

Under the administration’s plan, illegal immigrants who hope to gain legal status would have to register, pay fines and all taxes they owe, pass a criminal background check and learn English.

.... “Let me emphasize this: we will never have fully effective law enforcement or national security as long as so many millions remain in the shadows,” she said, adding that the recovering economy would be strengthened “as these immigrants become full-paying taxpayers.”

Unfortunately, Napolitano continued to express support for local enforcement of federal laws and other stricter enforcement procedures. More on her speech is available at the Center for American Progress, including a video of her remarks.

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Napolitano Continues Bush's Punitive Immigration Enforcement Policy

While President Obama said this week that immigration reform will have to wait until next year, his Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has been racheting up former Bush policies of punitive enforcement.

Janet Napolitano, defended the administration’s assertive strategy against illegal immigrants and companies that employ them, relying largely on programs started under President George W. Bush.

....Ms. Napolitano said security problems on the border were inextricably linked not only to the drug trade, but also to the problem of illegal workers in far-flung cities across the country. The government needs to address illegal immigration at the same time it attacks the Mexican mafias, she said.


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Border Agents to Poison Foliage Along Border

Does anyone remember Agent Orange? If this is what Janet Napolitano has in mind for Homeland Security, fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a wild and bumpy ride.

The U.S. Border Patrol plans to poison the plant life along a 1.1-mile stretch of the Rio Grande riverbank as soon as Wednesday to get rid of the hiding places used by smugglers, robbers and illegal immigrants.

If successful, the $2.1 million pilot project could later be duplicated along as many as 130 miles of river in the patrol’s Laredo Sector, as well as other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Are they going to force Sheriff Joe Arpaio's inmates to do the planting? [More...]

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U.S. Expands Expands Iraqi Visa Program Tenfold

We have 12 million people living in this country without proper documentation, many of whom work, have families and pay taxes.

While Congress stalls year after year on providing a path to citizenship for them, and the radical right says there is no room for them, the Bush Administration has no problem playing favorites:

The American Embassy in Baghdad announced Thursday that it had expanded tenfold its program to help Iraqi employees of the American government here, who faced threats for their work, to obtain visas and ultimately citizenship in the United States.

Why should the Iraqis get special treatment? Because they provided aid to the U.S. in its unneccessary preemptive war that we entered under false pretenses?[More...]

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Latinos to Obama: Put Hillary on the Ticket or Help the Undocumented

Also via the Hill today:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) must commit to helping illegal immigrants achieve citizenship or else risk losing the vital Latino vote in the general election, Hispanic Democratic lawmakers are warning.

If he does not promise so-called comprehensive immigration reform, the lawmakers say, the only other way to win over Hispanic supporters of his erstwhile rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), may be to pick her as his running mate.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is meeting with Obama's campaign this week. One member says:[ More....]

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San Francisco to Undocumented Residents: You're Safe Here

No human being is illegal. Kudos to San Francisco:

The city of San Francisco has started an advertising push with a very specific target market: illegal immigrants. And while the advertisements will come in a bundle of languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese — they all carry the same message: you are safe here.

In what may be the first such campaign of its kind, the city plans to publish multilanguage brochures and fill the airwaves with advertisements relaying assurance that San Francisco will not report them to federal immigration authorities.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said the campaign was simply an amplification of a longstanding position of not cooperating with immigration raids or other enforcement. The city passed a so-called sanctuary ordinance in 1989.

The rationale behind it: (More...)

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How the Candidates Differ On Immigration

The Center for International Policy, a group whose mission is "promoting a U.S. foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization and respect for basic human rights," has released two reports in the past month comparing the positions of the Republican and Democratic candidates on immigration, using their own words, statements on their websites and their votes in Congress. On the Republican side, McCain and Huckabee are included; for the Democrats, it's Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.

The presidential candidates of the Democratic Party share a common conviction that the country badly needs comprehensive immigration reform that offers a path to legalization for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. The policy positions of the Democratic Party candidates—Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama—stand in sharp contrast to those offered by the Republican Party candidates, with the partial exception of John McCain.


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Obama Reaffirms Support for Drivers' Licenses for the Undocumented

On ABC News tonight, Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for drivers' licenses for the undocumented, saying it's an issue of public safety.

He also earned the support of the Spanish newspaper, La Opinion, over Hillary:

"We were disappointed with her calculated opposition to driver's licenses for the undocumented, which contrasts markedly from the forceful argument in support made by Obama," wrote La Opinion's editorial board. "We understand that this is an extremely controversial issue but we believe there is only one right position and it is that of the senator from Illinois."

I strongly support drivers' licenses for the undocumented. But it's states that issue drivers' licenses. I wonder if Obama will take it a step further and work to get Congress to pass a law withholding federal funds from states that don't allow drivers' licenses for the undocumented. That's what the feds did when they wanted states to lower the speed limit to 55. Why can't we do it with drivers' licenses?

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