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DREAMers take over Senate building, demand immigration reform — RT US News

More than a dozen people were arrested after hundreds of illegal immigrant students walked out of...

A Lethal Gift: The Halloween Attack, Trump and Immigration

It could not have been scripted better for the demagogues and security hysterics.  With the country still grieving in confusion in the aftermath of...

Rape & sex assault victims still being held at Yarl’s Wood immigration center, breaching...

Women who have been raped and sexually assaulted are still being routinely locked up in...

Voters Say Country is Full, Support Partial Muslim Immigration Ban

In a blow for multiculturalism and open-door migration, a majority of Australian voters believe the country is full and almost half support a partial...
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Video: How Trump’s Presidency Is Fueling Right-Wing Nationalist & Anti-Immigration Movements Across Europe

https://democracynow.org - In Austria, conservative leader Sebastian Kurz has been tasked with forming a government after he won a slim majority in the snap...

Govt threatened with legal action over ‘humiliation & abuse’ at immigration center — RT...

Published time: 18 Oct, 2017 14:26 The UK Home Office has been threatened with legal...

Fashion chain Jigsaw splits opinion with pro-immigration ads — RT UK

Published time: 13 Oct, 2017 11:17 British fashion chain Jigsaw has gone political with a...

‘Sanctuary cities’ given 15 days to comply with immigration law

Cities and states with “sanctuary policies” have 15 days to provide evidence of compliance with federal...

Torture victims held illegally in Britain’s immigration detention centers, judge rules

Britain’s immigration, detention and removal centers are illegally holding survivors of torture, a High Court...

Trump’s immigration plan revealed: Green card overhaul, no sanctuary cities, 10k more ICE officers

The White House has unveiled a set of immigration policies aimed at toughening up the existing...
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Video: Deportation of Phoenix Woman Sparks Fears of Massive Immigration Sweeps

TRNN Reporter Oscar Leon speaks to the family of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos and their attorney Help support The Real News by making a...
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Video: Trump’s Childhood Home is Now an Airbnb Where Refugees Slept Over to Protest...

https://democracynow.org - This past weekend, a surprising gathering took place at President Trump's childhood home in Queens, New York. The home is now ... Via...
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Video: Meet Dulce Garcia: DREAMer & Immigration Lawyer Who Is Suing Trump for Ending...

https://democracynow.org - On Monday, six recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program sued the Trump administration in a San ... Via Youtube
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Video: Culture clash: Muslim leader refuses to shake hand of female immigration minister in...

Leader of Muslim organization in Norway refused to shake hand of Norwegian Immigration minister because she is a woman, and instead he handed her...

Nigel Farage sends warning to Theresa May at anti-immigration rally in Germany

UK Prime Minister Theresa May risks not lasting till Christmas if she fails to “stamp...

‘Betrayal’: MPs using Home Office immigration hotline to report own constituents

Published time: 1 Sep, 2017 10:53 MPs are accused of “betraying” their own constituents by...

Immigration Victory: DHS Sanctions Four Countries for Refusing to Take Back Deportees

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has placed Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone under sanctions—which means that visa applications from...

Farage claims ‘direct link between immigration & terrorism,’ despite evidence to contrary

Published time: 18 Aug, 2017 14:01 Edited time: 18 Aug, 2017 16:08 Former UKIP leader...

‘Unconstitutional’: Chicago sues Trump administration over immigration enforcement

Chicago has sued the federal government over the Trump administration’s push to get local law enforcement...
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Video: Libyan Migrant Smugglers: Italy seizes German rescue boat in immigration probe

Libyan traffickers bring refugees to Italian island of Lampeduza illegally, which has resulted in tens of thousands dead. Italy wants to introduce a controversial...

DOJ 'Bullying' Cities Into Complying With Anti-Immigration Efforts

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is accusing the Justice Department of using harsh and the"bullying tactics" to force cities to comply with its...

Border Force fears it won’t be able to stop illegal immigration post-Brexit

Published time: 4 Aug, 2017 11:43 As many as 3,000 extra border patrol officers will...
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Video: “Cruel & Inhumane”: Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Trump Push to Slash Legal Immigration

https://democracynow.org - President Donald Trump on Wednesday embraced a proposal to slash the number of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. by 50 ... Via...

Trump to Unveil Skills-Based Immigration Bill

President Trump will join Republican Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas at the White House Wednesday to unveil...

Goodbye diversity, hello merit: Trump endorses RAISE Act immigration reform

Under an immigration reform proposal endorsed by President Donald Trump, the US would issue green cards...

Trump administration scores win on immigration enforcement in Texas

The Trump administration has chalked off a win Texas by persuading state and local authorities to...
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Video: Sonia Nazario: The Tragedy in San Antonio is “Predictable Outcome” of Trump’s Immigration...

https://democracynow.org - With 10 people dead in San Antonio, Texas, following a human smuggling attempt, we look at how the U.S. border crackdown is...

Florida county sued for detaining US citizen on immigration request

A lawsuit filed against the Miami-Dade County in Florida and its mayor charges them with violating...
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Video: ‘Enough we are waiting’: Delays in immigration process spark demo in Athens

Several European countries have been engulfed by the ongoing migrant crisis. Italy, which is now accepting most of those coming to Europe, is in...

U.S. Immigration Raids to Target Suspected Gang Members

U.S. immigration agents are planning nationwide raids next week to arrest, among others, teenagers who entered the country without guardians and are...

The Economic Argument Against Mass Immigration to Canada

Not long ago a nation was said to be experiencing economic prosperity when per capita income was rising together with increases in...

Silenced by the Immigration Police: Rapes Go Unreported Under Trump

Survivors and anti-violence advocates have long noted that there are added risks for racialized women who seek help for domestic violence and assault. When...

House passes ‘Kate’s Law’ and ‘No Sanctuary for Criminals Act’ targeting illegal immigration

Two immigration bills have passed the House, mostly along party lines. Two dozen Democrats voted with...

Immigration and the Supreme Court

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA Earlier this week, after nearly uniform rejections by judges...

Contending With the Trump Regime's New Immigration Practices: A Dispatch From the Trenches

Silvia Maceda, a native of Mexico who lives in Staten Island under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, at a march in New...

Trump's "Victims of Immigration Crime" Hotline Is as American as It Gets

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer in Calexico, California, March 21, 2005. From "Neighborhood Watch" programs to crime hotlines, the US justifies profiling by...
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Video: NATO allies must pay more to tackle terrorism, immigration & Russia – Trump

Terrorism, migration and threats allegedly coming from Russia were named by US President Donald Trump as the main issues demanding NATO's focus and ... Via...

Trump Admin. Now Deploying Controversial Surveillance Tool in Immigration Crackdown

As the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans continue to push for a harsher immigration crackdown, new reporting reveals that FBI and Immigration and Customs...

Arrests on Civil Immigration Charges are up 38% in 100 Days Since Trump's Executive...

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 40,000 people on civil immigration charges since President Trump signed executive orders expanding the scope of deportation...
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Video: Border Angels Resist Trump’s Immigration Crackdown with Services and Water for Migrants

http://democracynow.org - Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly recently visited the San Diego-Tijuana border, where ... Via Youtube

Oklahoma lawmaker wants to turn non-English-speaking kids over to immigration officials to save cash

A lawmaker in the Oklahoma House says non-English speaking students should be turned over to immigration...
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Video: Meet Carimer Andujar: Rutgers Student & Immigration Activist Who Faces Possible Deportation Today

http://democracynow.org - Twenty-one-year-old Carimer Andujar came to the United States from the Dominican Republic with her family at the age of four. She is...

Reporter Attacked Live on Air During Report on Immigration in Rome

An Italian TV reporter and her cameraman were assaulted during a live broadcast whilst covering the living conditions of African migrants hoping...

Charges dropped in Md. high school rape case; immigration & child porn issues remain

Rape charges have been dropped against two high school freshmen in Rockville, Maryland after prosecutors said...

Senator's Tweetstorm Shows Stark Human Toll of Trump Immigration Crackdown

Offering a stark example of the dreadful personal toll President Donald Trump's immigration policies are taking on vulnerable families, centrist Democrat Sen. Bob Casey...

New Zealanders Worried by Growing Levels of Immigration

New Zealanders are unhappy about a surge in immigration into their country, despite – or perhaps because of – having a population...
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Video: Vermont Lawmaker: Residents of Sanctuary Cities Reject Trump’s “Dragnet Approach” on Immigration

http://democracynow.org - As we broadcast from Burlington, Vermont, which is a sanctuary city, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch says there has been enormous citizen ... Via...
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Video: Mexican Writer Valeria Luiselli on Child Refugees & Rethinking the Language Around Immigration

http://democracynow.org - As President Trump continues to vow a crackdown against immigration and immigrants living inside the United States, we turn a new ... Via...

DHS chief tells Congress critics to ‘shut up’ or change immigration laws

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly chastised Congressional lawmakers critical of the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement, arguing...

Immigration Follies

An item in a supposedly serious newspaper caught my attention recently. It reported a former Archbishop of Canterbury as saying that the British government...

Government Backs Down on Attempt to Unmask Twitter User Critical of Immigration Policy

ACLUThe federal government has withdrawn a summons sent to Twitter demanding that the company turn over information that would identify the user of an...

Did Theresa May ‘sabotage’ Remain campaign by hiding benefits of immigration?

Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of sabotaging the Remain campaign in the run...

16-Year-Old's Death After Coerced Meth Ingestion Underscores Violence of Immigration System

ICE has a long and sordid history of abusing migrants in detention. Under ICE's jurisdiction, migrants face sexual assault, torture and even death. (Photo:...

Immigration: No Easy Answers

The cross border flood of millions of immigrants provokes profound political divisions, violence and the rise of mass movements challenging the unity of the...

Immigration: Gateway for Cheap Labor and Deliberate Disunity

A dear lawyer friend of mine for nearly 60 years recently posted a Facebook comment lamenting President Trump’s new, tightened immigration policy, saying that...

Md. high school rape highlights issues of sanctuary cities & illegal immigration ‒ White...

The reported rape of a high school freshman by two classmates in Rockville, Maryland, has become...

DHS releases list of police departments defying immigration orders

A first-of-its-kind list from the Department of Homeland Security shows 206 detention requests that local police departments refused to honor. The tabulation containing complaints...

DOJ dispatches immigration judges to expedite deportations

Published time: 18 Mar, 2017 03:00 Judges are being temporarily reassigned to immigration courts in 12 major...

DHS chief ‘dismissive’ of immigration questions frustrates Democrats

After repeated requests, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly finally met with House Democrats over concerns about...

‘Immigration is a privilege, not a right,’ Trump tells Merkel in first meeting

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have met for the first time in...

Trump's Immigration Budget Is Based on Xenophobia, Not Facts

A fence separates the US and Mexico in a photo taken on February 17, 2014. Donald Trump's "skinny budget" reveals plans to spend billions...

ICE agent found guilty of trading bribes, sex for immigration papers

Published time: 11 Mar, 2017 01:00 An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in New Jersey was found...

Germany: AfD Calls for ‘Negative Immigration’ of 200,000 People

Mar 9, 2017 By Reinhard Wolff | redice.tv Germany’s AfD has recently called for an immigration system that would not...

Illegal immigration down 40% on southern US border – DHS

Published time: 9 Mar, 2017 05:04 Unauthorized border crossings decreased 40 percent after President Donald Trump’s first...

Homeless charities turning in rough sleepers to immigration authorities

Several homelessness charities which should be working to protect rough sleepers are reportedly passing on...

‘Deport El Chapo’: Will immigration crackdown trump criminal cases?

President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown was designed to get “bad hombres” out of the US, but...

Dreamer detained by ICE after speaking at immigration rally

Published time: 2 Mar, 2017 04:44 A 22-year-old woman in Mississippi is in Immigration and Customs Enforcement...
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Video: ‘Marine Le Pen stance on immigration is what sets her apart’ – Political...

Latest polls in France show National Front candidate Marine Le Pen out in front in the first round of the presidential elections. Politics and...

‘The Basis of a Humane Immigration Policy Is to Respect People as Human Beings’...

Janine Jackson interviewed Mizue Aizeki about criminalizing immigrants for the February 24, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Mizue Aizeki: “The...

President Trump Calls for ‘Merit-Based’ Immigration Reform, Gives No Indication of Supporting Amnesty

By Reinhard Wolff | redice.tv On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump addressed Congress for the first time in his presidency. While the speech itself was...

Trump’s Pusillanimous Immigration Policy Imperils the Public and the Police

Photo by fourbyfourblazer | CC BY 2.0 Standing stiffly in overly-starched police blues it was obvious, even before he admitted so himself, that Officer Sean...

‘Papers, please’: Immigration agents check IDs of passengers arriving from domestic flight

Travelers entering New York City after a cross-country flight were met by border agents who insisted...

California Resists Trump on Immigration

President Trump’s crackdown on America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is raising alarm among that community but faces its stiffest resistance...

Trump's Anti-Immigration Regime Takes Shape

People wait at the Mexican Consulate in New York, February 17, 2017. Mexican consulates across the country have been flooded with calls and visits...

Trump’s newest immigration rules outline ‘expedited removal’ of illegal aliens

The Trump administration’s latest immigration enforcement rules intend to speed up court hearings and introduce “expedited...

11 Million Undocumented: A Look at Sanctuary and Immigration Policy in the Trump Era

11 million. That's the estimated number of people living in the US who are undocumented. During his first weeks in office President Donald Trump...
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Video: Did Jeff Sessions Foreshadow New Immigration Crackdown in a Memo Before Becoming Attorney...

http://democracynow.org - McClatchy is reporting the harsh new draft orders signed by the Department of Homeland Security were largely endorsed by then-Sen ... Via Youtube

The Cost of a Border Wall vs. the Cost of Illegal Immigration

The findings of this analysis show that if a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected...

'EU voters are more anti-immigration than I am,' Farage rants at MEPs

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has accused Eurocrats of “despising” their own voters, who he...

#DayWithoutLatinos: 10,000+ March in Milwaukee Against Trump's Immigration Crackdown

Amidst growing pushback against the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, more than ten thousand people marched in Milwaukee on Monday to "resist the wave of...

‘Racists out!’ Demonstrators block LA street to protest immigration raids (PHOTOS)

Demonstrators hit the streets of Los Angeles to protest against reported raids by Immigration and Customs...

Trump to sign ‘brand new’ immigration executive order, not appeal to SCOTUS

Rather than appeal to the US Supreme Court, the Trump administration is expected to draw up...

Most Europeans Want Immigration Ban From Muslim-Majority Countries, Poll Reveals

A majority of Europeans want a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries, a poll has revealed.  An average of 55 per cent...

GOP Senators Aim to Cut Legal Immigration by Half

As the immigration debate rages with a focus on building a wall along the US-Mexico border, two Republican senators proposed a bill...

Trump's immigration order temporarily halted nationwide

A federal judge has issued a nationwide, temporary restraining order against enforcing President Donald Trump’s executive...

Illegals Urged to ‘Fight Back’ Against Immigration Officials

An Austin, Texas, city council member is encouraging illegal immigrants not to comply with federal immigration officials. Addressing concerns over “potential raids...

The President and Immigration

This past weekend, we all saw massive public outrage in major cities throughout the country. It was directed at the Jan. 27 issuance of...

Rising Resistance to Trump on Immigration

President Trump has stirred up anger over his provocative executive orders targeting immigrants, both undocumented people inside the U.S. and arrivals from seven mostly...

Drink or boycott? Starbucks coffee war erupts on Twitter over US immigration policy

A bizarre debate on whether or not to boycott Starbucks coffee is bubbling over on Twitter,...

Airbnb CEO offers free housing to refugees after Trump’s immigration ban

While Trump’s recent order to close America’s borders to the citizens of some Muslim-majority countries continues...

Protesters Descend on JFK as Immigration Officials Detain Refugees

Protests erupted outside of John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York on Saturday, as border agents detained refugees who landed after President...

Madeleine Albright ‘ready to become Muslim’ to protest Trump’s immigration policy

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has expressed her readiness to “register as Muslim” in...

‘Same way we treat other migrants’: Obama ends ‘wet foot, dry foot’ Cuban immigration...

The Obama administration has repealed the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that has been in place...

New Trump Immigration Memo Revives Call for Obama to Pardon All Undocumented Immigrants, Extend...

A newly revealed memo from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team sheds light on his plans to reverse immigration policies put in place by the...
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Video: New Trump Immigration Memo Revives Call for Obama to Pardon All Undocumented Immigrants,...

https://democracynow.org – A newly revealed memo from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team sheds light on his plans to reverse immigration policies ... Via Youtube

"Not Sending Their Best": World Map of IQ Drop Due to Immigration

Well, apart from the Gulf states – thanks in large part to coming from such a low base that even subcontinental coolies...

Post-Brexit plunge in immigration won’t push up wages – report

Despite claims made by Leave campaigners, a new report says Brexit will have a minimal impact on wages in Britain, with plummeting migration numbers...

Immigration to Britain surged ahead of Brexit vote, ONS figures show

The number of EU citizens migrating to Britain hit its highest ever level in the...

‘Race Is at the Bottom of His Immigration Policy’ – CounterSpin interview with Kica...

Janine Jackson interviewed Kica Matos about Trump’s deportation policy for the November 18, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Kica Matos:...

The Coming Immigration Crisis: the First and Last Battle of the Trump Administration

 It begins already, the struggle for the soul of the Democratic party. It’s hard to believe that the entire leadership of the party, which led...

Kica Matos on Immigration, Sue Udry on Civil Liberties–Under Trump

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Deloitte warns business could leave UK if Theresa May clamps down on immigration after...

Leading consultancy firm Deloitte has signaled it may move some its operations out of the UK if Prime Minister Theresa May’s post-Brexit crackdown on...

Trump win forces Theresa May rethink on immigration & globalization

Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election has put pressure on politicians the world over to respond to voters’ demands for change by...
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Video: Will Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Be a “Cash Machine” for Military & Private Prison...

http://democracynow.org - By now, global markets have rebounded after plummeting upon the news of Trump's victory. Stocks of some companies surged, ... Via Youtube

NZ immigration site visits up 2500% after US election

An American and her co-workers are thinking of fleeing the US, with New Zealand high on their list of potential destinations. And...

'Criminals and jihadists': Australian Liberal Party members call for blanket immigration ban

A Sydney division of the Liberal Party will debate whether Australia should end all immigration and ban all refugees, after an...

NZ Greens: Govt immigration curbs not enough

The Green Party of New Zealand believes shaving 5000 residency approvals off migration numbers doesn't go far enough. The Government's target of between...

UK to move border controls to Ireland after Brexit to combat illegal immigration

The UK’s tough immigration controls may be moved to Irish ports and airports following Britain’s...

Shaming firms for hiring foreign workers ‘lowest point in immigration debate’

Tory Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been forced to backtrack on her pledge to “name...

Immigration crackdown would lead to UK staff shortages, including in NHS, report warns

The future of some UK businesses is at risk if the government follows through with its plan to crack down on immigration, a new...

Cutting immigration matters more to Brits than single market access, poll finds

British people don’t care about Europe’s single market as much as they care about keeping...

How Capitalism Perpetuates Immigration

Maria Mendoza, 52, who was born in Mexico, arrives for work as a housekeeper at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas,...

Queen’s English will be unrecognizable by 2066, thanks to TV and immigration – experts

American television shows, computer voices, and immigration will drastically reshape Britain’s regional accents over the...

Warnings of post-Brexit riots if immigration isn’t cut… but Corbyn won’t make ‘false promises’

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will tell conference delegates on Wednesday he will not limit...

NZ Govt Sits On Hands While Immigration Soars

Immigration remains far too high, and public services continue to be overloaded, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon...

How To Solve the Immigration Problem

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent speech on immigration really missed the point. I understand Trump’s frustration over the US government’s inability to control...

Nigel Farage attacks PM Theresa May for scorning points-based immigration system

Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage has berated Prime Minister Theresa May for...

Released Teen Vows to Keep Fighting to Free Friends Inside US Immigration Detention Camp

Wildin David Guillen Acosta (center) with his mother, Dilsia (left), with AlertaMigratoriaNC interpreting as protesters remind the public of other teens and...
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Video: “Our Culture Will Prevail Against Hatred”: Arizona Activist Responds to Trump’s Immigration Speech

http://democracynow.org - Hours after traveling to Mexico City, Trump gave a major speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, where Republican presidential ... Via Youtube

Trump delivers electrifying speech in Arizona, outlines ten-point plan for immigration reform

Sep 1, 2016 By Reinhard Wolff | redice.tv On Wednesday night, Trump appeared in Arizona to deliver a rousing speech...

Fact-checking Trump’s claim that illegal immigration costs US taxpayers $113 billion annually

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s highly anticipated speech in Arizona was meant to finalize his immigration...

UK PM says restricting immigration will be central to Brexit deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to prioritize the immigration issue during the UK’s pullout from the European Union. Read more

Trump in Mexico: Illegal immigration harms 'both countries,' no talk of who pays for...

Donald Trump called on both Mexico and the US to work together to solve the problem...

DHS to review private immigration detention facilities, consider closures

The US may soon curtail the use of privately-owned immigration detention centers as the Department of...

Brexit economic damage will outweigh any wage boost from cuts to immigration – report

British workers expecting a pay boost following a post-Brexit drop in migration to the UK...

Soros’s Immigration Plot

In the two days since the Soros Open Society Foundation hack by the DCLeaks collective, several notable revelations have emerged among the data dump...

Obama gave $1bn to private prisons, bypassing law amid 2014 immigration crisis – report

The Obama administration bypassed public bidding laws to seal a $1 billion deal with the largest prison company in the US, all to handle...

ISIS, immigration and ideology: Trump speaks on foreign policy

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is announcing his foreign policy vision in a speech in Youngstown,...

Khizr Khan’s Deep Legal, Financial Connections to Saudi Arabia, Hillary’s Clinton Foundation Tie Terror,...

Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father that the mainstream media and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been using to...

Stateless People: How Immigration Gaps Create Poverty in the US

Fresno, California --  They came to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s as child refugees, members of the Hmong minority...

No business as usual on immigration, Theresa May tells leading Eastern European politicians

Prime Minister Theresa May has told a group of senior Eastern European politicians that the UK’s post-Brexit deal with the EU must meet the...

Exploitative bosses, populist politicians to blame for rise in immigration raids – rights group

Immigration raids have seen a sharp rise since 2010, when current Prime Minister Theresa May...
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Video: Muslims Debate Donald Trump, Immigration Ban and Islamophobia in Republican Party

http://democracynow.org - For months Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. Via Youtube
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Video: Debunking Republican Claims Linking Immigration to Crime

http://democracynow.org - Immigration has been a common theme throughout the first two nights of the Republican National Convention. On Monday, speakers ... Via Youtube
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Video: “Wall Off Trump”: Activists Erect Mock Wall Outside RNC to Protest GOP Border...

http://democracynow.org - The Republican Party has officially adopted Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in its official party ... Via...

Anger at Obama over Immigration

President Obama’s mixed record on immigration includes deporting nearly three million people while seeking protections for some categories of undocumented...

Judge orders ‘filthy’ Arizona immigration detention centers photos released [VIDEO]

A federal judge in Tucson, Arizona, approved the release of some photos and documents filed as evidence in a class action lawsuit against US...

The US Problem with Immigration: Railroaded by the Supreme Court

Immigration, blood source of the United States, its motor of development, has been rocked by judicial pronouncements of late. The Obama administration had put...
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Video: As SCOTUS Deadlocks on Obama’s Immigration Plan, Immigrants “Continue to Live in Daily...

http://democracynow.org - In a major setback for the immigrant rights movement, a divided Supreme Court has blocked President Obama's plan to shield as ... Via...

As SCOTUS Deadlocks on Obama's Immigration Plan, Immigrants "Continue to Live in Daily Fear"

In a major setback for the immigrant rights movement, a divided Supreme Court has blocked President Obama's plan to shield as many...

In response to Orlando attack, Trump renews call for immigration ban

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has again called for restricting immigration from certain countries, arguing...

Our Immigration Policies Are Ridiculous

I recently stayed with a friend who lives just a few miles from the Mexican border — and from the start of the Pacific...

Cutting immigration after Brexit would hurt British economy – report

Falling immigration in the event of a Brexit will make the UK’s economy smaller and...

Jewish immigration activist sentenced to 15 years in prison for child pornography

A New York jew who was once featured in a Time magazine cover story about immigration reform has been sentenced to 15 years...
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Video: Hypnotic animation: 200 years of US immigration in 1 minute

A mesmerizing and very colorful animation of the migration flows into the US has been created, showing where in the world people arrived from...

Bill Clinton to Poland and Hungary: Do As We Say on Immigration, You Dirty...

Shortly after World War II, after the Soviet Red Army liberated Hungary from Nazi occupation, the Hungarians held their first election...

Bill Clinton Talking like Trump on Immigration

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EU referendum: Farage warns on mass immigration, Major suggests Brexiteers go to N. Korea

Brexiteers obsessing over sovereignty should consider moving to North Korea, according to Tory ex-PM John...
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Video: Jose Antonio Vargas: There’s Nothing More American Than Fighting for Immigration Reform

http://democracynow.org - Journalist and immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas was also in the Supreme Court during Monday's oral arguments in the ... Via Youtube
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Video: “The American People are on Our Side”: Immigration Advocates Bullish on SCOTUS Immigration...

http://democracynow.org - The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in what's being called the most significant immigration case in decades. The case pits ... Via Youtube
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Video: Swedish Pirates: Far-right ‘guards’ control maritime area to counter immigration

These people may not have eyepatches, peg legs, and parrots on their shoulders, but they're proud to call themselves Swedish pirates. Although it's not...

Refugees’ phones hacked by British immigration officials

British immigration officers have been granted the power to hack into the phones and computers...

1 suicide attempt a day in UK immigration detention centers

Suicide attempts in Britain’s immigration detention centers have reached an all-time high, official figures show,...

House endorses legal challenge to Obama’s action on immigration

House Republicans will file an amicus brief in a lawsuit contesting President Obama’s executive action on...
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Video: Who’s Missing from the Canadian Immigration Debate?

Liberal Government amends Citizenship Act, while advocates highlight absence of migrant and temporary foreign workers from Trudeau's immigration file. Via Youtube
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Video: Jose Antonio Vargas: GOP Debate on Immigration Marked by Misinformation & Lack of...

http://democracynow.org - Florida Senator Marco Rubio went on the offensive against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump during a spirited ... Via Youtube

Jose Antonio Vargas: GOP Debate on Immigration Marked by Misinformation and Lack of Empathy

Florida Senator Marco Rubio went on the offensive against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump during a spirited debate last night in Houston, Texas. It...
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Video: How the Democratic Candidates Can Adopt a More Progressive Immigration Platform

Author and activist David Bacon says increasing deportations will not increase wages, but but strengthening unions and workers' rights and raising the minimum ... Via...
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Video: ‘Day Without Latinos’ draws 20,000 to Capitol in protest against immigration bills

Tens of thousands of Latin-Americans and civil rights supporters rallied outside the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Thursday, later storming the building in ... Via...
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Video: Scalia’s Death Leaves Split Court to Decide Major Abortion, Labor, Voting Rights, Immigration...

http://democracynow.org - With Saturday's death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the most important conservative voice on the Supreme Court in decades, the nation ... Via Youtube
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Video: Immigration, deaths & rapes: Katie Hopkins vs Mo Ansar

UK columnist Katie Hopkins and political commentator Mo Ansar engage in a war of words on RT, discussing whether the huge influx of migrants...
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Video: Trump’s Senior Policy Advisor Defends Curbing Immigration To Boost US Economy

Stephen Miller argues that wall blocking immigrants is the best option for American workers and defends Trump as an anti-interventionist. Via Youtube

‘Toxic’ topics: Guardian removes comments section from Islam, immigration, race articles

The Guardian's website boasts that “comment is free,” but that motto will soon be a thing of the past for some of the newspaper's...
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Video: Hillary in Denial About the Impact of Trade Policy on Immigration

David Bacon, the author of Right to Stay Home: How U.S. Policy Drives Mexican Migration says people who have applied for asylum are being...
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Video: Exclusive: Sickened by Gangrene in Utah Immigration Jail, Guatemalan Father Now Faces Deportation

http://democracynow.org - In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we look at the case of an undocumented Guatemalan national previously sickened in an immigration ... Via Youtube
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Video: Why Has a Texas-Born Marine Veteran Been Left “Stateless” Under U.S. Immigration Policies?

Democracynow.org - We speak with Claudia Palacios, a racial and migrant justice activist and a U.S. Marines veteran. Palacios was among seven people ... Via...
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Video: “We Have Been Betrayed”: Activist Who Refused to Shake Obama’s Hand Decries Latest...

Democracynow.org - The Obama administration has begun conducting raids and detaining families as part of an effort to deport Central Americans who have ... Via...
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Video: Immigration Trap: 92yo woman reunited with daughter, to be deported from UK

A 92yo South African woman, who arrived in the UK so her daughter could care for her, is facing deportation. A law change in...
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Video: Dutch Politician of the Year: Anti-Islamist, anti-immigration far-right leader Wilders

Right-wing populist Geert Wilders has been named Dutch Politician of the Year for the third time. The anti-immigration and anti-Islam MP likens the Koran...
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Video: Legal Challenge Led by 26 State Governors Blocks Obama Immigration Order

Salvador Sarmiento, Legislative Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says President Obama has numerous options to pursue reform and ... Via Youtube

ALEC’s Fingerprints on Harsh New North Carolina Immigration Law

A few years ago, as anti-immigrant sentiment roiled the country, Arizona enacted a draconian law, SB 1070, that expanded the role of local police...
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Video: GOP Candidates Spar on Syria & Immigration, but Agree on One Thing: Don’t...

Democracynow.org - The fourth Republican presidential debate took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last night with a smaller field of candidates on stage. Via Youtube
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Video: No Kids Behind Bars: For-Profit Texas Immigration Jails Challenged over Child Detention

Two of the most controversial detention centers nationwide opened last year in the Texas towns of Dilley and Karnes. They are run by private...
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Video: The End of Family Detention? PA Immigration Jail Could Be Forced to Stop...

The state of Pennsylvania has taken what could be the first step to close a controversial family detention center that has housed thousands of...
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Video: “We Are Living at a Critical Moment of History”: The Pope on Poverty,...

Pope Francis heads to Capitol Hill today to become the first pope ever to address Congress. On Wednesday, he spoke at the White House,...
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Video: Little girl breaks through barrier to share immigration letter with Pope Francis

Sophie Cruz, 5, who was handed up to Pope Francis for a blessing during a parade in Washington, urged the pontiff to give his...
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Video: Martin O’Malley Proposes Welcoming 65,000 Syrians & Passing Immigration Reform

As the European Union has proposed a new plan to resettle 160000 refugees across the bloc, we speak to Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley...

Video: Martin O’Malley Proposes Welcoming 65,000 Syrians & Passing Immigration Reform

As the European Union has proposed a new plan to resettle 160000 refugees across the bloc, we speak to Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley...

Video: Martin O’Malley Proposes Welcoming 65,000 Syrians & Passing Immigration Reform

As the European Union has proposed a new plan to resettle 160000 refugees across the bloc, we speak to Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley...

USA Today Provides a Platform for Anti-Immigration Think Tank’s Flawed Study

A USA Today headline (9/2/15) inaccurately conflates “immigrants” with “immigrant-led households”; many people in households headed by immigrants are US citizens, and they are...

Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration

By Steve Goode | whitegenocideproject.com Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of...

Serbian government bans anti-mass immigration protests, and plans ahead for mass immigration

by Steve Goode | whitegenocideproject.com Nebojsa Stefanovic, Serbia’s Interior Minister said protesters who are concerned about “an EU plan” to settle thousands of illegal...
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Video: Who Wants to Crackdown on Immigration Freeloaders?

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been hit in the pocketbook for daring to exercising his freedom of speech. He has lost tens of millions...
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Video: Juan Gonzalez: Martin O’Malley Puts Forth Broadest Immigration Reform Plan of 2016 Campaign

http://democracynow.org - On Tuesday, former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley vowed to go beyond President Obama ... Via Youtube
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Video: ‘It’s prime for division in Europe like never before, immigration adds fuel’

RT talks with geopolitical analyst Patrick Henningsen on terror attacks in France in Tunisia. LIVE UPDATES on French gas factory attack: http://on.rt.com/0snqxi ... Via Youtube
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Video: ‘Better to be in jail’: Protesters demand closure of notorious immigration center in...

Hundreds of protesters in London converge on Downing Street to present a list of complaints concerning Britain's most notorious immigrant removal center. Via Youtube

Tories plan to jail, fine illegal migrant workers amid highest immigration figures since 2011

(RT) - Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled new laws to prosecute migrants working illegally in the UK as immigration figures from the Office of...

Does Obama’s Support of TPP Contradict His Immigration Policy?

Author and activist David Bacon says that it's impossible to understand the mass exodus of Latin American workers to the United States without also...

Why Is Obama Encouraging Illegal Immigration When We Can’t Take Care Of Millions Of...

Michael Snyder For years, the Obama administration has been making it abundantly clear that it is a friend of illegal immigrants. Border security is a...

Obama Continues Record Deportations, Delays Immigration Reforms In Order to Court Republicans

President Obama announced this week that he is delaying a review of his administration’s controversial deportation practices until after the summer, after earlier ordering...

Jeb Bush: Illegal Immigration is an “Act of Love”

Kurt Nimmo Crossing the border illegally “is a different kind of crime,” Jeb Bush told Fox News over the weekend. “Yes, they broke the law,...

National Sovereignty vs. Immigration? — The Asia-Pacific Perspective

Welcome back to The Asia-Pacific Perspective, that monthly show where James Corbett of corbettreport.com and Broc West of apperspective.net break down all the latest news and headlines from the Asia-Pacific region. In this month’s conversation: S...

Obama is using executive power to affect immigration law

Anita KumarMcClatchyJanuary 14, 2014 President Barack Obama didn't wait for Congress to rewrite the nation's immigration...

NYT: Ed Gillespie’s Immigration Reform Support, Lobbying Past May Hurt Senate Bid

Tony Leebreitbart.comJanuary 10, 2014 Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman and a top Washington,...

Judge allows access to emails about Arizona immigration law

Cindy Carcamo A federal judge has given opponents of Arizona's sweeping anti-illegal-immigration law access to emails, letters and memos between supporters of...

Judge allows access to emails about Arizona immigration law

Cindy CarcamoLos Angeles TimesJanuary 6, 2014 A federal judge has given opponents of Arizona's sweeping anti-illegal-immigration...

Linder Letter: Immigration Reform Will be THE Issue of 2014

John Lindertheblaze.comDecember 30, 2013 Every year another issue sucks all of the oxygen out of Washington,...

Obama’s dangerous immigration reform agenda and amnesty

Emily Millerwashingtontimes.comDecember 27, 2013 Before leaving on his 17-day vacation in Hawaii, President Obama declared that...

Houston immigration court has thousands of cases

Brownsville HeraldDecember 23, 2013 People scheduled for hearings at an immigration court in Houston should be...

Reid: Boehner will cave in on immigration reform next year

Alexander BoltonThe HillDecember 21, 2013 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) believes Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)...

‘Boehner will cave in on immigration’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) believes Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will negotiate on comprehensive immigration reform next year, despite his declarations to the...

Obama renews call for Senate immigration bill

Reid J. EpsteinPoliticoDecember 21, 2013 When President Barack Obama had hopes the House might pass an...

Pelosi: Boehner Told Me to Wait Until Next Year for Immigration Reform

Tony Leebreitbart.comDecember 13, 2013 On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told her to wait until next...

Activists Push Immigration Reform Before Congress Leaves Town

Rebecca Kaplan With immigration reform off the table in 2013, activists are planning to converge on Washington one last time to pressure lawmakers for action...

Rahm Emanuel to Fast for 24 Hours in Support of Immigration Reform

Ted CoxDNAinfo ChicagoDecember 12, 2013 Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to fast for 24 hours beginning later Thursday in support of the push for immigration reform,...

Nancy Pelosi: Immigration reform on hold in House

Ginger Gibson and Seung Min KimPoliticoDecember 11, 2013 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she spoke with Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday and asked when...

‘Parole in place’: Obama’s illegal-immigration order stokes amnesty worries

Lourdes MedranoThe Christian Science MonitorDecember 9, 2013 Facing intense pressure from immigrant advocates who want the president to do more to limit deportations, the Obama...

How the strange case of Obama’s Uncle Omar complicates immigration reform

Peter WeberThe WeekDecember 6, 2013 Most presidents have politically troublesome relatives: Jimmy Carter had colorful brother Billy, Bill Clinton had brother Roger, and the George...

Obama met fasting immigration activists

The activists have drunk only water since November 12 in support of immigration legislation. US President Barack Obama met on Friday with activists who are...

Obama visit immigration fasters

David JacksonUSA TodayNovember 29, 2013 President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited Friday with a group of protesters who are fasting in an effort...

Obama heckled during speech on immigration

By Jake Dean28 November 2013 A protester interrupted President Obama's speech on immigration at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco...

Obama heckled at immigration speech

US President Barack Obama stops his speech as he is heckled a speech in San Francisco on Nov. 25, 2013 Hecklers interrupted President Barack Obama...

Obama mixes fundraising, immigration

President Obama pauses as he listens to a question about corporate tax reform during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting in Washington,...

Rep. Gutierrez: ‘My Republican Friends’ Tell Me They’ll Try to Pass Full Immigration Bill...

Tony Leebreitbart.comNovember 24, 2013 Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), one of the most prominent supporters of a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, said that his...

Mark Zuckerberg: Immigration Reform One of the ‘Biggest Civil Rights Issues of Our Time’

Benjamin Bellabcnews.go.comNovember 24, 2013 During an exclusive interview with “This Week,” Facebook CEO and FWD.us founder Mark Zuckerberg criticized the current U.S. immigration system and...

Zuckerberg: Immigration ‘one of biggest civil rights’ issues of our time

Jennifer MartinezThe HillNovember 22, 2013 With the movement on immigration reform at a standstill in Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Silicon Valley...

Humane Immigration Reform

The time has arrived for President Obama and Congress to take immediate action on humane immigration reform. By immigration reform, I am not talking about...

Head of banking group pushes Republicans to back immigration reform

Jim Puzzangheralatimes.comNovember 11, 2013, 7:44 a.m. The head of the American Bankers Assn., who is a former GOP governor, made a strong pitch Monday to...

Immigration Reform 2013: McDonald’s Supports Immigration Reform – But For All the Wrong Reasons

Low wages make Ayn Rand smile Is McDonald's and the Cheesecake Factory concerned about losing access to cheap labor? via Policy Mic McDonald's might be adding a...

BBC too big, too left-wing and ignored critics of immigration and Brussels, former news...

Matt Chorley Daily Mail November 8, 2013 The BBC is too big and too left wing and should lose some of its license fee, the Corporation's former...

Dreamer activist deported after protesting US immigration policy

American immigration officials have deported one of the dozens of activists taken into custody last month while protesting current US immigration policy. Rocio Hernandez Perez...

Push for immigration action targets House Republicans

Gabriel Debenedetti and Andy SullivanReutersOctober 29, 2013 U.S. businesses, religious leaders and other supporters of overhauling...

Notorious anti-immigration Arizona sheriff wants fleet of drones

Published time: October 29, 2013 16:19 Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Reuters / Laura Segall) Yet another law enforcement agency is looking to acquire...

Calls for Immigration Reform Ramp Up, but What Fuels Migration to US?

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Immigration reform is back in the spotlight in Washington. President...

Targeting courthouses for immigration arrests creating ‘culture of fear,’ says ACLU

Published time: October 28, 2013 23:06 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), security contractors frisk Honduran immigration detainees (AFP Photo / John Moore) US...

House GOP Waves Off Immigration Reform

Mike FlynnBreitbartOctober 25, 2013 There is increasingly little chance that the House will consider immigration reform...

Obama: Let’s get comprehensive immigration reform done this year

AFPOctober 24, 2013 US President Barack Obama Thursday sought to capitalize on a moment of sharp...

Immigration Activists to Launch ‘Week of Escalation’ to Pressure GOP

Tony LeeBreitbartOctober 23, 2013 Immigration activist groups have declared they will launch a “week of escalation”...

US citizen sues government after being detained by immigration officials for 7 months

A 33-year-old Filipino woman who came to the United States as a child and was quickly granted full American citizenship is suing the US...

Hopes dim for immigration reform

Dan NowickiAZ CentralOctober 21, 2013 Immigration reform, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's second-term domestic agenda,...

UK introduces tough immigration bill

The British government has introduced new controversial measures to limit illegal immigration amid concerns of discrimination by human rights activists. The government launched its Immigration...

Two Hundred Arrested in Historic Action Demanding Immigration Reform and a Halt to Deportations

Jaisal Noor, TRNN Producer: I'm here at the Capitol. Behind this wall of people, about 200 people are getting arrested right now in one...

Immigration Rights Activists Joined by Lawmakers as 200 Hundred Arrested in DC

Thousands of people rallied and about 200 were arrested outside the Capitol Building in Washington, DC on Tuesday, demanding meaningful and immediate legislative action...

Thirty Dreamers Cross US-Mexico Border as Immigration Battle Escalates

At 11:30 Monday morning, more than 30 young people began to walk across the first bridge at the U.S.-Mexico border entry port in Laredo,...

Thousands rally for immigration reform

More than 150 demonstrations were held across the United States by immigration-reform advocates in order to put pressure on Congress and President Barack Obama...

Immigration activists to rally in US

Immigration activists will hold rallies on Saturday in more than 160 cities aimed at boosting momentum for comprehensive reform that, for now, most House...

The Beast Strikes Again: Central American Migrants Feel Brunt of Failed Immigration Policies

Security is a constant buzzword heard in the latest round of debate on US immigration reform. Democratic and Republican politicians alike are making promises...

The Beast Strikes Again: Central American Migrants Feel Brunt of Failed Immigration Policies

Security is a constant buzzword heard in the latest round of debate on US immigration reform. Democratic and Republican politicians alike are making promises...

Book Review: Kindness and a “Harsh” Alabama Immigration Law

“here's no question that I am now engaging in activities banned by HB 56, and I plan to continue. I give aid and comfort...

House could determine fate of immigration overhaul

Erin KellyUSA TodaySeptember 26, 2013 Efforts for an immigration overhaul are on the verge of failing...

Immigration “Reform” Won’t Stop Parent-Child Separation

While our government continues to brush immigration reform to the side this fall, millions of families wait to learn their fate. And even if...

Obama hides aid for criminals in immigration bill

Neil MunroPoliticoSept. 23, 2013 The White House is trying to hide unpopular provisions in the Senate's...

UK Labour tightens immigration policy

Leader of Britain™s opposition Labour Party has pledged to curb immigration from non-EU applicants with low-skills as the top three parties™ anti-immigrant policies get...

House immigration group collapses

Alan GomezUSA TodaySeptember 20, 2013 The road to overhauling the nation's immigration laws became even more...

Cruz takes heat from pro-immigration Democrats

El Paso TimesSept. 16, 2013 A border congressman last week said that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's...

Immigration Advocates Block DC Streets, 121 Arrested

Streets outside the House of Representatives were blocked Thursday for about 10 uninterrupted minutes before police moved in to place handcuffs on a contingent...

UK immigration detainees face abuse

Women held in immigration removal centres in Britain are subjected to sexual abuse by security guards and other officials, a former detainee has said. The...

Minister defends immigration to UK

British Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Brown has defended the immigration of people from East European countries to the UK, saying it boosts the country™s...

Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor

Byron YorkWashington ExaminerSept. 11, 2013 On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100...

Immigration Reform in the US. The Death of the Chicano Left

by Dr. Rodolfo Acuña What follows is an important contribution to the immigration policy debate written in March 2013 by Dr. Rodolfo Acuña. A scholar,...

Immigration reform: A moral imperative

Timothy Cardinal DolanNY Daily NewsSeptember 6, 2013 As Congress comes back into session, it has...

Administration rebrands controversial immigration post to skirt funding cut-off

Barnini ChakrabortyFox NewsSeptember 5, 2013 The Obama administration is being accused of trying to pull a...

Along border, preparing to live with the real-world consequences of immigration debate

Ed O’KeefeThe Washington PostSeptember 3, 2013 There are 36 congressional districts in Texas, but the 23rd...

Immigration Reform Bill: ‘Special’ Path To Citizenship Creating Knot

Erica Werner AP September 2, 2013 As Congress wrestles with immigration legislation, a central question is whether the 11 million immigrants already in the...

The Morality of Immigration

Andrew StilesNational Review Online Recently, a number of Republicans have won liberal praise for their...

The High Price of Immigration

Paul CollierBloombergAugust 29, 2013 Why are migrants not only the winners but also the big losers...

Immigration Reform 2013: House Gang Preps Comprehensive Bill For October Push

Laura MatthewsInternational Business TimesAugust 29, 2013 After years of waiting and several missed deadlines, the House’s...

Obama’s Immigration Nuclear Option: Stopping Deportations Unilaterally

Molly Ball The Atlantic August 29, 2013 The biggest obstacle facing immigration reform may be not opposition but inertia. Leaders of the House of...

Evangelical group to back immigration bill

Erin KellyUSA TodayAugust 21, 2013 A coalition of evangelical Christians will spend more than $400,000 on...

Zuckerberg: Concerns were expressed about immigration lobbying

Nunu JaparidzeCNNAugust 21, 2013 Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg aims to add immigration reform to...

Illegals snared as immigration debate continues

Stephen DinanWashington TimesAugust 19, 2013 A massive weekend raid netted several hundred illegal immigrants who were...

The Draconian Calculus of Immigration Reform

The United States has always had mixed feelings about its immigrants. The country and its people take pride in their history as a “nation of...

Surge of Asylum-Seekers is Flooding Immigration System

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum has overwhelmed the system. In fact, documents recently...

19 Very Disturbing Facts About Illegal Immigration That Every American Should Know

Should we roll out the red carpet and allow millions upon millions of thieves, rapists, gang members and drug dealers to come waltzing into...

Gutierrez: 40-50 House GOP will back reform of immigration (Video)

Ian SwansonThe HillAugust 9, 2013 Forty to 50 House Republicans will support immigration reform, Rep. Luis...

“Go Home” immigration vans to be investigated by ad watchdog over racism claims

mirror.co.uk August 9, 2013 Ministers suffered an embarrassing blow over their “Go Home” ad vans campaign when watchdogs launched a new investigation into...

Elysium: Propaganda for Illegal Immigration “Reform”

Infowars.comAugust 8, 2013 Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction action film, Elysium, scheduled for release on...

Elysium: Propaganda for Illegal Immigration “Reform”

Infowars.comAugust 8, 2013 Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction action film, Elysium, scheduled for release on...

UK immigration policies ‘not effective’

UK policies over illegal immigration are not necessarily the most effective, advisor warns.British Home office policies over illegal immigration are not necessarily the most...

Immigration deal to feed prison profits

The majority of immigrants who have languished in detention facilities have no criminal record.The supposed grand bargain of the immigration reform bill is shaping...

How Immigration Could Potentially Save Bankrupt Detroit

July 24, 2013  | ...

DHS to reconsider immigration petitions for gay couples

Alan GomezUSA TodayJuly 26, 2013 The Obama administration is beginning a system-wide review of cases where...

Silicon Valley steps up role in immigration debate

Carla MarinucciSF GateJuly 26, 2013 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — one of the world’s richest tech...

Evangelical Leaders Call On Non-Latino Pastors To Push For Immigration Reform

Elizabeth Llorentelatino.foxnews.comJuly 22, 2013 The leader of a national Latino evangelical organization says non-Latino faith...

The Militarization of the US-Mexican Border: Counterinsurgency or Immigration Reform?

The political stakes are clear enough. President Barack Obama and the Democrats are pushing for a comprehensive immigration reform, and are willing to accept...

‘Amnesty’ losing emotional punch in immigration debate

Dan NowickiThe Arizona RepublicJuly 19, 2013 For years, critics of comprehensive immigration reform have hurled the...

Black Leaders Rally in D.C. Against “Gang of Eight” Immigration Bill

It has been called a jobs bill for the millions of illegal immigrants who have streamed into America through its porous borders. It's S....

Immigration bill dying a ‘painful death’

indiatribune.comJuly 17, 2013 US Pre-sident Barack Obama’s cherished dream of comprehensive immigration reform was said to...

UK immigration backlog tops 500,000

UK immigration backlog tops 500,000 and will not be cleared until 2050, MPs warn.The backlog of immigration cases in Britain hits 500,000 and will...

The $46 Billion Immigration Question

Fawn Johnson nationaljournal.com July 12, 2013 The “border surge” provisions in a recently passed Senate immigration bill are shocking, in a bad way–and a...

Why US Employers Will Control Immigration

The US right has harboured two opposing views on immigration for decades. Either foreign workers are a threat, taking American jobs, living on social...

Creating a Military-Industrial-Immigration Complex

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/creating_a_military-industrial-immigration_complex_20130711/ Posted on Jul 11, 2013 By Todd Miller,...

Raising the Stakes on Immigration

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/raising_the_stakes_on_immigration_20130710/ Posted on Jul 10, 2013 ...

CBO: Senate bill could cut illegal immigration by 50%

Alan GomezUSA TodayJuly 4, 2013 Illegal immigration into the U.S. could be cut in half by...

Debunking Myths: The Truth About Immigration Reform and the Economy (Video)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/debunking_myths_the_truth_about_immigration_reform_and_the_economy_video_20/ Posted on Jun 30, 2013 ...

On the News With Thom Hartmann: The US Senate Approved the So-Called Comprehensive Immigration...

In today's On the News segment: On Thursday, the United States Senate approved the so-called comprehensive immigration bill; last-minute attempts to stop student loan interest...

Senate Passes Racist Immigration Bill

On June 27, S. 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (BSEOIMA) passed. House members address it next. On June 28, The New...

Senate Passes Racist Immigration Bill

Senate Passes Racist Immigration Bill by Stephen Lendman On June 27, S. 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (BSEOIMA) passed. House members address...

Marco Rubio's Big Immigration Mistake

What a sad transformation it’s been to see Senator Marco Rubio go from being a Tea Party hero to an apologist for the Gang...

Senate Passes Immigration Bill

The Senate voted 68-to-32 to pass the long-debated immigration bill on June 27, with 14 Republicans joining 52 Democrats and two independents. The extraordinary...

Marco Rubio's Big Immigration Mistake

What a sad transformation it’s been to see Senator Marco Rubio go from being a Tea Party hero to an apologist for the Gang...

Senate Passes Immigration Bill

The Senate voted 68-to-32 to pass the long-debated immigration bill on June 27, with 14 Republicans joining 52 Democrats and two independents. The extraordinary...

Senate passes immigration reform bill

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Senate clears path to vote on sweeping immigration reform bill

upi.comJune 27, 2013 A bipartisan U.S. Senate voted Thursday to end debate on sweeping immigration reform,...

Hidden Tariff On American Citizens In New Immigration Bill: Millions More Stand To Lose...

Mac Slavoshtfplan.comJune 27th, 2013 Leave it to the best and brightest in Congress to craft legislation...

Rand Paul Immigration Amendment Would Prevent National ID Card

With the Senate apparently within days or hours of passing the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, one opponent of that bill has...

Rand Paul Immigration Amendment Would Prevent National ID Card

With the Senate apparently within days or hours of passing the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, one opponent of that bill has...

Report: Hidden Tariff On American Citizens In New Immigration Bill: Millions More Stand To...

Leave it to the best and brightest in Congress to craft legislation that does more harm than good. Amid a...

Rand Paul Immigration Amendment Prevents Creation of National ID Card

With the Senate apparently within days or hours of passing the so-called Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill, one opponent of that bill has...

DHS no longer conducts regular background checks of immigration applicants

Homeland Security News WireJune 24, 2013 DHS is no longer conducting ordinary background checks because of...

Illegal Immigration = More Identity Theft, More Murder, More Rape And More Drug Dealing

Michael SnyderAmerican DreamJune 25, 2013 Do we want to encourage drug dealers, violent gang members and...

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Senate Votes Today on "Border Surge" Amendment to...

In today's On the News segment: Supreme Court will hear case on Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, and more. Thom Hartmann here...

CBO Cost Estimates on Senate Immigration Bill Celebrated, Challenged

When the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate of S. 744 – the Gang of Eight's controversial immigration bill – was published on Tuesday, there was celebrating on...

Ted Cruz Launches National Petition Against Immigration Bill

Tony LeeBreitbartJune 21, 2013 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) launched a national petition on Thursday to stop...

'US immigration bill harms women’

A United States senator has criticized the proposed immigration bill, saying it places women at a disadvantage, a report says. Senator Mazie Hirono said in...

U.S. population increases under immigration reform

Brad Plumer The Washington Post June 20, 2013 The key question about immigration reform isn’t what it does to the deficit or even to...

Immigration: Time to Choose Sides

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/immigration_time_to_choose_sides_20130619/ Posted on Jun 19, 2013 ...

Estimate shows wages would drop under Senate immigration bill, despite economic uptick

foxnews.comJune 19, 2013 While supporters of the Senate immigration bill tout a new analysis that shows...

Rand Paul Immigration Amendment Aims to Prevent Voter Fraud

On Monday, June 17, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky., shown) once again stepped into the breach and tried to compensate for the failure of his...

The veil comes off: Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill = amnesty

Chad Groeningonenewsnow.comJune 18, 2013 An immigration enforcement advocacy organization says the scuttling of an amendment aimed...

Rand Paul Immigration Amendment Aims to Prevent Voter Fraud

On Monday, June 17, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky., shown) once again stepped into the breach and tried to compensate for the failure of his...

Senate rejects move to tie immigration overhaul to border security

Lisa MascaroLos Angeles TimesJune 15, 2013 In the first and only vote Thursday on the immigration...

House debates deputizing police as immigration agents

Mary Orndorff TroyanUSA TodayJune 15, 2013 A Republican proposal to deputize local police as immigration agents...

Rand Paul Offers Amendments to Immigration Bill

The Senate voted 82-15 Tuesday to send the immigration bill to the floor for deliberation. Clearing this “key legislative hurdle” opens the way for members...

Rand Paul Offers Amendments to Immigration Bill

The Senate voted 82-15 Tuesday to send the immigration bill to the floor for deliberation. Clearing this “key legislative hurdle” opens the way for members...

Tea Party concerns with Gang of Eight ‘Amnesty’ immigration bill

Harold Peaseyourhoustonnews.comJune 10, 2013 Citing the thorough documentation provided by The Federation for American Immigration Reform...

Rand Paul: I’m Open to Voting for Immigration Bill

NewsmaxJune 10, 2013 Senator Rand Paul, a conservative Republican whose vote is being courted by supporters...

ACLU Sues Border Patrol, Immigration Officials Over Voluntary Departures Program

Elise FoleyHuffington PostJune 4, 2013 The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the federal government...

Senate Republicans renew fight against immigration reform bill

Seung Min KimPoliticoJune 4, 2013 Four Senate Republican opponents of the Gang of Eight immigration bill...

Rubio: Senate immigration reform bill lacks 60 votes

Daniel Straussthehill.comJune 4, 2013 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday said the Senate’s immigration bill does...

'Undocuqueers' at Crossroads Over Immigration, Gay Rights

May 31, 2013  | ...

London mayor slams UK immigration rules

London Mayor slams govt. for tightening visa controlsMayor of London, Boris Johnson has criticised the UK governmentâ„¢s savage measures of tightening the visa situation,...

‘Lack of public debate on immigration caused Stockholm riots’

Sweden should put its political correctness aside and start an open debate on immigration as it’s the only way to avoid a repeat of...

ONS: UK immigration shrinks further

Net immigration to Britain is continuing to fall, following a sharp decline in number of international students.Net immigration to Britain is continuing to fall,...

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t block immigration bill

Tarini PartiPoliticoMay 21, 2013 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he wants the Gang of...

Real American Boy: How Our Byzantine Immigration System and Failed Economy May Have Made...

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/real_american_boy_how_our_byzantine_immigration_system_and_failed_economy_m/ Posted on May 20, 2013 ...

Labor union chief calls immigration bill dangerous, sees agency as ‘approval machine’

Stephen DinanWashington TimesMay 20, 2013 The Senate’s immigration bill will raise national security risks and the...

Immigration bill includes measure inspired by Boston bombing

Lucy MadisonCBS NewsMay 15, 2013 As negotiations continue in the Senate over the language for a...

David Cameron Accused Of Peddling Immigration Benefits ‘Myths’

David Cameron has been accused of peddling "myths" about the number of immigrants who claim benefits in Britain, after he said he wanted to stop the UK being a "soft touch".

In a major speech on Monday, the prime minister announced that from next year, arrivals from the European Union will be stripped of jobseekers benefits after six months unless they can prove they have been actively looking for a job and stand a "genuine chance" of finding one.

The government is pledging to beef up the "range and depth" of questions in the habitual residence test, which checks that people meet residence requirements for housing and income-related benefits.

However Cameron has been accused of offering empty anti-immigration rhetoric amid fears that Ukip poses a significant electoral threat in 2015.

His speech follows similar interventions on immigration by Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

Sarah Mulley from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank said that the UK was "not a soft touch" and that EU migrants are half as likely to claim out of work benefits as British nationals are.

"Migrants in general and European migrants pay more in to the system than they take out, that's largely because they are young people who are working," she told HuffPost UK.

Mulley said that while in theory the British welfare system and NHS was more open to EU migrants than other European systems were, this did not mean it was happening in practise. "The fact is it doesn't happen, at least not in any significant scale," she explained.

Official statistics show that migrants represent about 13% of all workers, but only 7% percent of out-of-work claimants and that migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) represent about 9-10% of all workers, but about 5% of out-of-work claimants.

Gillian Guy, chief executive at national charity Citizens Advice, said while it was important that the welfare system is fair, politicians "must be careful not to encourage myths or misconceptions about who benefits most from the welfare system".

"EU migrants are more likely to be in work and less likely to claim benefits than British residents. Overall, they are net contributors to the economy, putting in much more than they take out. These plain facts must not be obscured by political rhetoric," she said.

And Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, also said immigrants were "significantly less likely" to claim benefits than people born in the UK - and that those coming from EU countries put more into the economy than they took out.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that arrivals were mostly younger people whereas the bulk of spending went on healthcare and pensions for older people.

"All the evidence suggests that people who come here from within the European Union make a substantial net contribution to the public finances - they pay in far more than they take out," he said.

He also played down the impact of health tourism as a "minuscule" part of a wider funding issue.

"The problem with people coming from outside the UK in order to sponge off our health service - that may be a problem and we should certainly deal with abuse - but the figures tell us that they impose rather small costs on the health service and certainly, compared to the scale of the problem, it is minuscule," he said.

Cameron said the government had already taken "concrete steps" to bring down immigration and wanted to put in place more restrictions.

"Right now the message through the benefit system is all wrong. It says if you can’t find a job or drop out of work early, the British taxpayer owes you a living for as long as you like no matter how little you have contributed to social security since you arrived," he said.

"My view is simple. Ending the something for nothing culture needs to apply to immigration as well as welfare."

According to the fact-checking website FullFact.org the overall relative generosity of the UK's benefits system in comparison to other EU states can be measured in a number of different ways.

British welfare payments are no more generous than most of Europe when both public and private spending (including private pensions and healthcare) is taken into account.

However UK is at the top of Europe's league table for benefits spending when counting the portion of spending administered by central government.

Related on HuffPost:

Deputy PM to talk tough on immigration

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today announce tougher rules on immigration, intending to deter foreign visitors from overstaying on their visas.

Clegg, who is giving his first speech on the subject since joining the government, will call for a bail-like system of security bonds to tackle visa abuse by foreign visitors.

Under Clegg’s new proposal, visitors from the so-called “high risk” nationalities will be asked for deposits of £1,000, which will be repaid to them when leaving the country.

Clegg, who also chairs the Cabinet’s Home Affairs Committee, asked the Home Office earlier to run a trial “security bonds” plan by the end of this year in order to discourage visitors from overstaying.

Concerns have been raised in Britain over the number of immigrants flooding into the country after it was revealed that nearly half a million immigrants poured into the UK in 2011.

A recent poll showed that the British public considers immigration as the biggest problem the society is faced with, but UK citizens are basically tolerant to immigration, as long as new arrivals are in work and integrate into society.

MOS/HE

Immigration: Lib Dems Call For Security Bonds

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is to call for a bail-like system of security bonds to tackle visa abuse.

The bonds would be paid as a cash guarantee from visa applicants coming from high-risk countries and would be repaid once the visitor leaves Britain.

In his first speech on immigration as deputy prime minister, Mr Clegg will unveil the radical proposal at the liberal think-tank, the Centre Forum.

He will pledge to "lay the foundations for an immigration system that embodies this nation's instincts and its values" as he attacks the previous Labour government for "grossly" mismanaging the issue.

Earlier this month, Labour leader Ed Miliband  admitted his party failed on immigration.

Mr Miliband again said his party was wrong to relax controls - a move that allowed hundreds of thousands of foreigners to move to the UK.

Mr Clegg will say: "We are grappling with the difficult challenges in our immigration system.

"Brick by brick, we are rebuilding it. Day by day we are making sure, quite simply, that it works.

"All the British people ask is for a system they can have confidence in. We hear that, and we are delivering it.

"I'm determined we lay the foundations for an immigration system that embodies this nation's instincts and its values - our openness and tolerance on one hand, our sense of fair play, on the other."

The Deputy Prime Minister will say that visa "overstayers" are one of the biggest challenges faced by the immigration system and the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

"The challenge isn't just stopping people coming into Britain illegally, it's about dealing with individuals who come over legitimately, but then become illegal once they're already here," he will say.

To tackle this issue, Mr Clegg has asked the Home Office to run a pilot of so-called security bonds, which echoes an Australian system applied to family visas.

It is understood the cost of the bonds would vary but are likely to be in the region of four figures.

Mr Clegg will be seeking views on the proposal, including from the Home Affairs Select Committee .

"The bonds would need to be well targeted - so that they don't unfairly discriminate against particular groups," he says.

"The amounts would need to be proportionate - we mustn't penalise legitimate visa applicants who will struggle to get hold of the money."

But UKIP, which came second to the Lib Dems in the recent Eastleigh by-election after focusing its campaign on tightening immigration controls, ridiculed Mr Clegg's plans.

Party leader Nigel Farage said: "Nick Clegg now joins the cavalcade of party politicians who have suddenly noticed a simple fact, that they are not trusted with our country's borders.

"Since the Eastleigh by-election they have thrown initiative after initiative at the headlines, but to no serious effect. The bottom line is, there is nothing that he, or they, can do about mass migration into this country while our borders are controlled by the European Union."

Mr Clegg will also reveal plans to increase cash penalties for "unscrupulous" employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper.

The maximum fine is £10,000 per illegal worker - Mr Clegg will call for the penalty to "double" and has asked the Home Secretary to "look into the right amount".

But the deputy prime minister will also seek to reassure British businesses that the Coalition continues to prioritise "growth and building a stronger economy" with immigration a "key part of that".

He says: "The majority of people who come here work hard and make a contribution. Many have served - and still serve - in our armed forces.

"And if every member of an immigrant community suddenly downed tools, countless businesses and services would suffer.

"The NHS would fall over."

And Mr Clegg will hit out at the Labour party for leaving the immigration system in "disarray".

"The problem is that the system has not been well managed. It has been grossly mismanaged. I cannot stress enough just how chaotic it was."

The speech comes as the Government toughens its stance on immigration with a range of new measures aimed at bringing down net migration to the tens of thousands.

UKBA officials will conduct interviews with more than 100,000 student visa applicants from "high-risk" countries outside the EU to crack down on bogus students.

And a "genuine entrepreneur" test has been introduced to tackle the rising number of foreign nationals attempting to enter Britain by fudging their bank accounts.

But in the wake of criticism from politicians and the higher education sector, some immigration rules were recently loosened in a bid to give additional flexibility to businesses and allow top international students to pursue careers in Britain.

Cable Condemns Plans To Reduce Immigration

Business Secretary Vince Cable has rubbished plans to reduce net immigration saying it would do "enormous damage" to the UK. The Liberal Democrat said meeting a pledge to reduce immigration to under 100,000, was an "unattainable" target unless areas t...

US Looks to Overhaul Massive Immigration Detention System

WASHINGTON - Rights groups and government officials here have been testifying in a string of hearings, before both bodies of the U.S. Congress, on how to overhaul the United States’ huge immigration detention system, the scope of which has expanded massively in recent years in ways that some suggest impinge on civil and human rights.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into stepping up border security and taken an increasingly hard line on immigration issues. (Photo: Getty images) According to official estimates, the federal government will detain some 400,000 people on immigration charges this year, at a cost of around two billion dollars. Activists say the size and functioning of the immigration detention system are out of alignment with “U.S. values” – and, increasingly, Washington politicians appear to agree.

“We are a nation of immigrants, but our immigration law is inconsistent with America’s values,” Senator Chris Coons stated at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. “Our immigration system exacts a high cost on families, on civil liberties and on human dignity. This cost is unnecessary, unwarranted and unfair.”

Coons said the U.S. government is currently paying more than 160 dollars per day for those kept in some 250 immigration detention centres. He also noted that Congress-stipulated “bed quotas” – around 34,000 at any given time – for these centres appear to be driving policies at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and are responsible for keeping far more people under detention than otherwise would be necessary.

If these people are not public safety risks … why are they detained at all?

That’s “enormously expensive”, Coons noted. “It could be cheaper while also better serving both our national security and our national commitment to civil rights.”

Indeed, the hearings come in the aftermath of a surprise announcement, early this month, that the government would be releasing nearly 2,300 people awaiting immigration trials. That number included “many who did not require detention by law”, according to testimony at the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday by John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

While Morton explained the move as a necessary cost-cutting measure given the massive budget-cutting that came into effect at the beginning of March, the decision has outraged some conservatives. Yet ICE will save tens of millions of dollars on this move alone, simply in allowing immigrants awaiting trial to remain out on their own recognisance.

“It looks to me like maybe there’s an overuse of detention by this administration,” Representative Spencer Bachus, a conservative, told Morton, at Tuesday’s House hearing. “If these people are not public safety risks … why are they detained at all?”

In response, Morton admitted, “For many of the long-term residents, frankly, it doesn’t make any sense either as a matter of policy.”

The hearings are part of a flurry of bipartisan activity, both in Washington and nationally, aimed at reforming the United States’ sprawling, creaky immigration system. On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi, a key Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, expressed optimism that the Congress would approve a comprehensive immigration reform package “before summer”.

Yet Senator Coons, who chaired Wednesday’s Senate hearing, warned that comprehensive reform “cannot be truly comprehensive if it does not address serious current flaws that deny immigrants minimum due process rights that are consistent with America’s values.”

He warned that today’s detention system “looks in many ways like a criminal proceeding”. Unlike in an actual criminal case, however, U.S. law does not offer those brought up on immigration charges the right to an attorney.

Compromised, punitive process

Over the past two decades, the U.S. government has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into stepping up border security and taken an increasingly hard line on immigration issues. The swollen detention system is one unintended corollary of this focus.

Legislation was significantly tightened in 1996, which among other things vastly expanded the number of immigration-related offences considered felonies and which would require automatic deportation. Some of these laws were again strengthened on terrorism worries in the aftermath of the attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, but President Barack Obama has surprised many by deporting far more people than his predecessors had.

Rolling back some of these automatic penalties are now a central part of the push for reforms. Under the 1996 law, for instance, Congress largely did away with immigration judges’ discretion in ruling on immigration violations – for instance, taking into account how long a migrant had been in the country, the person’s work experience and the hardship that deportation may impose on his or her family.

“This change made for a far more punitive system,” Muzaffar Chishti, director of the New York office of the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank, told IPS. “Since 1996 especially, we’ve had a much more compromised review process, both at the administrative level and at the official level.”

By 2002, an immigration-specific appeals system was experiencing a massive backlog, prompting officials to allow the appeals process to proceed on a simple up-or-down decision by a single judge, with no explanation for verdicts. This led to a huge increase in the amount of cases appealed to the federal court system, Chishti says, to the point where half of the caseloads in some circuits today are immigration cases.

At Wednesday’s Senate hearing, Ahilan T. Arulanantham, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, noted that immigration defendants were being forced to spend months or even years behind bars awaiting trial. He also noted that new technologies are available today that would cheaply and efficiently allow the accused to remain outside of detention but still ensure that they appear at required court dates.

Commitment to refuge

Meanwhile, some within the U.S. immigration detention system probably shouldn’t even be there in the first place. Critics point in particular to refugees and asylum-seekers.

“The United States has a long history of protecting and providing refuge to victims of persecution,” Sarah Ibrahim, with Human Rights First, an advocacy group, told IPS.

“But what we’ve seen recently is the U.S. faltering in this commitment – for instance, by imposing deadlines that require asylum applications to be filed within a year of entry into the United States. We are also failing these people by keeping those under detention in jails and jail-like facilities without prompt judicial review, and at the behest of an underfunded and overstretched court system.”

In February, Human Rights First and more than 160 other organisations sent a letter to President Obama stating that “immigration reform legislation must include key changes to the U.S. asylum system to better ensure that refugees who seek the protection of the United States are afforded meaningful access to a fair, effective and timely asylum adjudication process.”

© 2013 IPS North America

The True Cost of Food: Immigration and Agriculture Workers

Workers pick raisin grapes in Sanger, Calif., Sept. 20, 2012. (Photo: Max Whittaker / The New York Times)Workers pick raisin grapes in Sanger, Calif., Sept. 20, 2012. (Photo: Max Whittaker / The New York Times)When Modesto Hernandez, 35, walks these days, he grips the curved handle of a brown metal cane to steady himself.

In 2008, Hernandez was pruning rows of raspberry canes in Whatcom County along the northern border. Red raspberries, as a commodity, are valued at $44 million in Washington state. The fields that day were covered with shin-high snow, and Hernandez was wearing rubber boots.

After he complained of losing feeling in his feet, the farmer he was working for provided no real or long-term assistance, he said. A week later, a doctor removed half of both of Hernandez’s feet.

At one point, as thoughts of survival swirled in his head, he told one person: “If you cut your feet off, I’ll put your feet in mine and I’ll go work.”

In 2008, Hernandez was one of an estimated 1 million undocumented immigrants who planted, pruned and picked crops in the United States. He helped ensure that U.S. agriculture – worth $297.2 billion as an industry – made it to homes worldwide. But Hernandez had little, if any, health and worker protection.

For more than 25 years, the United States has not addressed immigration policy, at least comprehensively, and the people that policy affects. But this year could bring significant change to a system that many dub as “broken.”

President Obama and federal lawmakers are considering various aspects of immigration policy, including U.S.-Mexico border security and a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the country.

Guest Worker Program

As lawmakers study policy changes, U.S. farmers and ranchers are pushing for a new agriculture guest worker program.

The current guest worker program, which traces its roots to the bracero (day laborer) program initiated during World War II, enables U.S. farmers to recruit people in other countries for temporary or seasonal agriculture work if they can show a domestic labor scarcity.

Farmers say their new labor proposal would offer stable access to a legal workforce for the agriculture industry as well as flexibility and employment freedom for at least some guest workers. For undocumented agriculture workers already in the country, it could mean permanent legal residency.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says the proposal could replace the H-2A program, which the federation of 6.2 million farmers and ranchers calls rigid and bureaucratic. The H-2A program is the current policy for international agriculture workers in the country.

For the federation, a new guest worker program is one of two top issues for 2013, said Kristi Boswell, the organization’s congressional relations director.

“It’s absolutely critical for agriculture and our food supply that we have a solution this year,” she said.

Boswell added that a comprehensive immigration bill might not succeed if it excludes a program for farmers to recruit in other countries.

“This is a huge issue for our members,” she said. “They have stress. They don’t know if they are going to be in business next year.”

In late February, Bob Stallman, the group’s president, testified before Congress in support of a revised program. He talked about the federation’s members’ need to be certain they have an available labor force, competitive costs and offering workers protection.

Rosalinda Guillen, a farmworker advocate in Washington state, however, questions whether such a program is needed at all.

“Farmers have said that they have a skilled and stable labor force — that has been on their farms for 10 years — that they want to see legalized,” she said.

There are enough people in the country, Guillen added, to do the agriculture work, especially if immigration reform provides legal status for the undocumented.

Guillen is executive director of Community to Community Development, a Bellingham, Wash.-based group devoted to supporting farmworkers, immigrants and food quality.

Farmworker and civil rights groups specifically point to documented cases of abuse, safety problems and wage theft in the guest worker program and agriculture industry.

This year, the Southern Poverty Law Center updated its 2007 report, “Close to Slavery,” which is a critical look at the country’s H-2 guest worker program.

The report found that guest workers from other countries end up being sources of inexpensive labor. In many cases, critics say, they become expendable.

“Congress should look before it leaps,” the report reads. “It harms the interests of U.S. workers … by undercutting wages and working conditions for those who labor at the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.”

One conclusion of the report: The current guest worker program should neither be duplicated nor expanded.

Agriculture Workforce

The categories of international guest workers and farm workers already in the United States can mix easily.

Farmers in the country need more than 1 million agriculture workers each year, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Boswell said, but they have “low access” to a stable domestic workforce. “We have come to rely on an immigrant labor force,” she said.

In fiscal 2012, the federal government issued 65,345 H-2A visas for workers, the U.S. State Department reported. Nearly 96 percent of those visas were handed out in North America.

Ten years ago, in fiscal 2002, 31,538 H-2A visas were granted. In fiscal 1997, the number of H-2A visas issued was 16,011.

The United Farm Workers Union has told Congress that there are more than 1 million undocumented people in the country’s agriculture industry.

Some lawmakers estimate that noncitizens perform from 50 percent to 80 percent of the work in U.S. agriculture.

Seasonal agriculture work is hard and labor intensive. It can take place in remote areas.

Boswell expressed the farmers’ federation’s concern that undocumented farmworkers already in the country would leave the industry should they gain legal status in a comprehensive immigration law.

She noted that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 gave legal status to undocumented immigrants, and that, by the 1990s, farmers had difficulty finding field workers.

Although some parts of the country, such as California and the Southwest, might have enough people for seasonal work, other areas, such as upstate New York, might not, Boswell said.

A guest worker program, she said, makes sense.

Last month, the Washington Farm Labor Association confirmed it had started recruiting 3,000 guest workers from Mexico.

The association, which serves as a human resources agency for Pacific Northwest farmers, said growers brought in 4,000 guest workers to Washington state in 2012, according to the Yakima Herald.

Efforts to reach Dan Fazio, the labor association director, for comment were unsuccessful.

But Bellingham farmworker advocate Rosalinda Guillen asked: “Why are the farmers recruiting in Mexico? What is going to happen to the legalized work force or those who are going to be legalized? It’s like intellectual capital that you’re losing.”

And in an opinion piece for New America Media, Rick Mines and Ed Kissam contend that, after the 1986 immigration law offered legal status to undocumented immigrants, farmworkers who left the industry did so because of low wages and the seasonal nature of agriculture work — which made it difficult to support a family.

Cindy Hahamovitch, whose book, “No Man’s Land,” examines guest workers and deportable labor, pointed to a potential conflict between legalization for undocumented immigrants, including a path to citizenship, and a new guest worker program.

“You’d hate to deny legal status to 11 million people because of this issue,” she said.

“During the debate that led up to the 1986 immigration reform, there was a compromise between those who advocated legalization and those who wanted a bigger, less-regulated guest worker program,” she said. “Legalization occurred but the guest worker program grew dramatically.”

On the Ground

Inside a two-bedroom apartment in Whatcom County, Modesto Hernandez reclines on a faded blue couch.

He wears a gray baseball cap with the word “BULL DOG” on it. Often, during the conversation, his soft eyes gaze into the distance.

Even to this day, he does not know the name of the farmer for whom he worked in 2008. “Every door was closed,” he says, describing his feelings, through an interpreter.

Whenever possible, Hernandez talks with workers about safety and dealing with farmers who might just be “bad actors.”

Hernandez has found support among other workers and community organizations. He lives with relatives and roommates, several of whom are from his home state of Guerrero in Mexico.

In Whatcom County, the average farm worker earns about $10,000 per year, according to advocate Rosalinda Guillen.

Hernandez said he receives about $100 each month in assistance from the Washington state government. That money helps pay for the $600 monthly rent for the apartment he shares with five adults and a two-year-old girl.

With legal status or citizenship possible, he thinks about how immigration reform might affect him.

One wish, he says, is to be able to return to Mexico and visit his family in Guerrero. He lacks documents to travel. He also lacks a driver’s license.

“Maybe I’ll never be able to go back to Mexico to see my family,” he says.

Marcos Hernandez, a 34-year-old relative and roommate, sits on a couch on the other side of the room. His jeans are wet up to his knees. He had just returned from pruning berry fields.

He talks about a farmer not paying him and about his fear that if he speaks up, the police or U.S. Border Patrol might show up.

“We don’t want to say anything. We’re on his property. I don’t want to get in trouble,” he says, through an interpreter.

One farmer, he says, promised to pay him 33 cents for each berry bush that he pruned. But sometimes, the actual amount drops to 23 cents per bush.

Marcos Hernandez also thinks about immigration reform and gaining a social security card so he can have freedom to apply for jobs.

“Maybe this can change my life,” he says, referring to immigration reform.

For Modesto Hernandez, who is wearing a pair of sturdy boots, there are other concerns.

Splotchy patches of mold have formed on the walls near his bed, which sits in the living room.

He asks about the best way to remove the mold, which can cause asthma. Water damage is apparent in parts of the apartment ceiling. He also is concerned about the health of his nephew, who lives in the apartment.

Later at her office, Guillen describes Modesto Hernandez as an intelligent, persistent man. Her comments paint a vivid picture — he is a survivor.

Guillen says it pains her to look at raspberries for sale on market shelves.

“How much did it cost to raise those raspberries?” says Guillen, a former farmworker herself.

“How much did Modesto’s feet cost?”

Fee to enter? Britain’s immigration crackdown continues

Published time: March 07, 2013 16:11

A Bulgarian shows his UK visa in front of the British embassy in Sofia (AFP Photo / Valentina Petrova)

Immigrants entering Britain may be forced to pay a fee, which would only be reimbursed when they leave UK soil, and if they haven’t used health services. The UK is taking an increasingly hardline stance, despite a recent sharp decline in immigration.

The UK is seeking to impose financial bonds “as a further deterrent to reduce non-compliance by high-risk nationalities,” a source close to Theresa May, the Home Secretary, told the Daily Mail. Additionally, migrant family members already residing in the country would be made to pay a sum of thousands of pounds. It would be returned upon leaving the country.

If the reform goes through, immigrants entering the country for living and work purposes would have to put down the money to guarantee they wouldn’t ‘drain’ the country’s financial resources. Such resources would include things like non-emergency care from the health service. However, if British welfare was used by migrants entering the country, they would risk losing their money.

The entry fee would additionally be used to make sure immigrants didn’t outstay their visa  (and fining them if they do), consolidating an existing act. The Immigration and Asylum Act (1999), already gives the government the right to make immigrants front some money upon entering the country, which can be retained by the government should they remain in the UK after the expiration of their visa.

Individuals from two or three countries were tagged as “high risk”, and it is at them that the scheme is targeted. The UK will not be allowed to impose the charge on immigrants from EU countries who comprise the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone.

Bulgaria and Romania had hoped to gain the same freedom to enter the UK as other EU nations, and were expected to apply to join the zone in a meeting on Thursday. However, their entrance needed to be granted through a unanimous vote, and Germany announced their plan to veto the move on Monday.

“There will be no vote, and no decision,” a source in the EU's current Irish presidency told AFP on Wednesday. “Several nations have reserves or concerns.” As a result, residents of the two countries could be among those impacted.

Net migration into Britain has fallen by a third, from 247,000 thousand migrants in June 2011 to 163,000 in 2012, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Conservatives said they would clamp down on migrants, saying they were taking advantage of Britain's “soft touch,” which he was determined to quash.

On Wednesday, the Labour party leader Ed Miliband promised to take a heavy hand with immigration. He stated that the party had got it wrong in the past, saying “millions of people are concerned.”

“Low-skill migration has been too high and we need to bring it down,” he said.

The Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper called for the closure of student visa loopholes on Thursday, saying that many overstay or abuse (e.g. working instead of studying), despite the party denying accusations that they are moving to the right on migration.  

The British Conservative party was shunted into third place in the Eastleigh by-election in February. The UKIP candidate, who beat the Conservatives, is a member of a party described by the Tory government as packed with “loonies and closet racists.”  

It has been suggested that parties are adopting a stronger stance because of UKIP’s reputation for being heavy-handed on immigration.

Labour MP Diane Abbot, issued a recent warning to her party not to “spiral downwards” by veering to the right on immigration as a result of the by-election results.

Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance, Brian Williams ‘Disappointed’ With U.S., and More

Jeb Bush Reverses Immigration Stance, Brian Williams ‘Disappointed’ With U.S., and More

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Posted on Mar 4, 2013

White House Makes Call: Responding to a petition on the White House site We the People, the Obama administration Monday said it should be legal for users to unlock their cellphones without getting carrier permission first. The petition, titled “Make Unlocking Cell Phones Legal” was posted in late January, just two days before it became illegal for Americans to unlock their phones without first getting the consent of their phone service provider. In the response, R. David Edelman, a White house senior adviser on Internet issues, wrote that neither “criminal law nor technological locks should prevent consumers from switching carriers when they are no longer bound by a service agreement or other obligation.” (Read more)

Filling the Cabinet: On Monday, President Obama announced nominees to head two crucial departments in his administration, energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Obama nominated nuclear physicist Ernest Monizair to become the next energy secretary, and air quality expert Gina McCarthy to lead the EPA. If confirmed, they will replace Steven Chu and Lisa Jackson—both of whom decided not to serve another term in the administration—respectively. Obama hopes his two nominees, along with interior secretary pick Sally Jewell, will enact his second term energy agenda. (Read more)

Yearn to Earn: A pair of Democratic congressional lawmakers, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller, are planning to introduce legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.75 an hour to $10.10. That’s a bigger increase than the one President Obama called for in last month’s State of the Union speech. The federal minimum wage is definitely due for an increase; the last time it was boosted was in 2007.  (Read more)

Going Backward: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has made a major flip on the hot button issue of immigration reform. Bush, who once said he supported a pathway to citizenship or legal residency, argues in his new book that creating such a route would only encourage more immigrants to come into this country illegally. “It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences—in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship,” Bush and his co-author, conservative attorney Clint Bolick, write in “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” “To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship.” The book is due out Tuesday. (Read more)

Not Stepping Down: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal stalwart on the Supreme Court, has no plans to step down in the near future, the longtime justice told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin. Ginsburg, who turns 80 this month, says she intends to stay on the high court for as long as she “can do the job full steam.” She added, “as long as I think I have the candlepower, I will do it. And I figure next year for certain. After that, who knows?” (Read more)

Audio of the Day: NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams isn’t always shy when expressing his viewpoint, even if they end up raising some eyebrows. Appearing on Alec Baldwin’s podcast, “Here’s the Thing,” the oft-candid newsman definitely made one such remark. When asked by the “30 Rock” star if he had political opinions. Williams responded: “I sometimes don’t know. I have the same disappointments. In my patriotism, as a great man once said, I yield to no one. I love this country. I love the American idea. I have profound disappointments in my country.”

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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How Private Prisons Game the Immigration System

Thirty years ago in January, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), now the biggest operator of private prisons in the world, opened its first prison, a federal immigrant detention center in Houston, Texas. Three Decades of Service to America, a page on the company’s website, features a video interview with the company’s founders looking back on that first contract. “We saw this big ol’ sign, ‘Olympic Motel,’ made an offer to lease the motel for four months,” recalls Don Hutto, who chuckles with fellow co-founder Tom Beasley, the former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, as they remember hastily converting the building and staffing it with family members. The night of Super Bowl Sunday, “we got our first day’s pay for eighty-seven undocumented aliens,” says Hutto, who even fingerprinted the inmates himself.



Three years after the company’s first contract in 1983, according to Southern Changes magazine, the company spent some $100,000 lobbying the state of Tennessee to secure a correctional facility privatization bill, which helped propel the business to financial success. Last year, the company brought in $1.7 billion in revenues, about a quarter of which came from contracts with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and federal Bureau of Prisons to incarcerate non-citizens in the United States.

For a company that began and later thrived by imprisoning immigrants, the federal immigration policy overhaul expected this year presents both opportunities and challenges.

On the one hand, a pathway to citizenship and legal reforms sought by advocates could reduce the number of immigrants detained by CCA and its competitors in the private prison industry. “Private prison corporations have an enormous stake in immigration reform,” says Bob Libal, a prison reform advocate with Grassroots Leadership. “A reform that provides a timely pathway to citizenship without further criminalizing migration would be a huge hit to the industry,” he says.

On the other hand, Libal observed that a bill with increased security measures “could be very profitable” for the industry. Legislators and the Obama administration could adopt a plan that mirrors Republican proposals for an “enforcement first” approach, which include increased police powers, new mandatory detention and sentencing laws, further militarization of the border and proposals for more prisons and detention officers.

Damon Hininger, the chief executive of CCA, sounded anoptimistic note when asked about the impact of reform on an investor call earlier this month, noting, “There’s always going to be a demand for beds.”

In recognition of the profits at stake, the prison companies have invested in key legislators leading the reform process—although the companies are coy about their purpose, denying that they are attempting to influence Congress’s deliberations.

Their lobbying efforts are nothing new. CCA and other large private prison companies have forged ties with political insiders by spending huge sums on lobbying firms, campaign contributions and grants to friendly think tanks. An analysis by the Associated Press last year found that the three major private prison corporations—CCA, the Geo Group, the industry’s largest two companies, along with a smaller company, the Utah-based Management and Training Corporation—spent roughly $45 million over the past decade to influence state and federal government.

The private prison industry has cultivated support from Republican leaders on immigration policy, from Senator Marco Rubio, the “face of comprehensive immigration reform,” to the right edge of the House Republican caucus, a review by The Nation has found.

Unlike other stakeholders involved in today’s process, prison companies have stayed away from the headlines, and have told reporters that they are not planning to engage.

Pablo Paez, a vice president for corporate relations with the Geo Group, e-mailed The Nation to say that his company “has never directly or indirectly lobbied to influence immigration policy.” Correction Corporation’s spokesperson, Steve Owen, echoed that position, telling The Nation that his company does not lobby on any “sentencing or detention enforcement legislation” and “will not take a position on or advocate for or against any specific immigration reform legislation nor will our government relations team on our behalf.” Management and Training Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

Regulatory filings and lobbying documents, however, undercut the industry’s claims of neutrality.

CCA, in a 2011 SEC filing, warned investors that “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.”

Last year, disclosures with the Senate show that the company tapped one of its lobbying firms to begin monitoring immigration policy issues.

“Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us,” notes the Geo Group’s 2011 annual report, which specifically cited the “relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts.”

Both companies may be wary of engaging publicly on immigration reform this year given the backlash over their involvement with recent anti-immigrant laws in the states. In 2010, Arizona enacted SB1070, a measure that centers on a requirement that local police to arrest and charge anyone found without proper immigration documentation. The bill, developed in consultation with private prison lobbyists through a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, spawned copycat laws in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Utah and South Carolina.

Asked on an investor call about the effects of the Arizona law shortly after its passage, Wayne Calabrese, then the chief operating officer of the Geo Group, said, “I think people understand there is still a relatively low threshold of tolerance for people coming across the border and those laws not being enforced.… And that to me at least suggests there’s going to be enhanced opportunities for what we do.”

The association with the wave of state-level enforcement laws—prison companies hired local lobbyists and donated generously to many of the state lawmakers behind the Arizona effort in particular—generated unwanted attention on the industry. It also set off nationwide protests, including a demonstration at the Nashville, Tennessee, headquarters of CCA.

* * *

The private prison industry grew quickly thanks in no small part to its close ties to politicians and its ability to take advantage of right-wing trends, starting with the privatization wave in the eighties and on to the politics of crime, terrorism and immigration.

The money spent on influencing lawmakers has coincided with a sharp increase in immigrant detention and deportation. Immigrant detention costs taxpayers about $2 billion a year, and private prisons are increasingly tapped by the federal government to house the over 400,000 undocumented immigrants detained annually, a number that has more than doubled over the last decade. In 2012 alone, the two publicly traded prison companies, CCA and Geo Group, took in over $441.9 million in federal contracts to house so-called “criminal aliens” for the federal Bureau of Prisons. That year, the two companies combined netted $296.9 million in revenues from ICE contracts. These figures could grow or shrink depending on the details of the immigration reform overhaul debated in the coming months.

As immigration talks began formally in January with the so-called “Gang of Eight” negotiations in the Senate, legislators close to the industry were quick to promote policies that are in line with what critics call “the business of detention.”

Texas Senator John Cornyn, the number-two Senate Republican, was one of the first high-profile lawmakers to throw cold water on talks to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, calling such an idea a non-starter. Cornyn said that enforcement would be his foremost priority. We have to do “everything we can to secure our southwestern border,” Cornyn declared.

Cornyn’s idea of “robust” border security was made clear in an amendment he offered during debate over a supplemental spending bill three years ago. Cornyn’s amendment called for $3 billion to be spent on a mix of drones, border security guards and funding for 3,300 beds for immigrant detention over two years, as well as 500 additional detention officers. In 2005, Cornyn’s immigration reform legislation called for 10,000 new ICE detention beds.

Last August, federal government officials confirmed that the cost to taxpayers to detain an immigrant is approximately $164 a day. Cornyn’s approach would balloon the roughly $18 billion spent already on federal immigration enforcement measures.

Cornyn received $24,750 from private prison political action committees and their registered lobbyists in the last cycle. The political action committees of CCA and the Geo Group bet on a GOP-led Congress this year, and over the course of the past two years collectively gave over $380,000 to Republican candidates and committees, nearly six times the amount given to Democrats. The bulk of the money went to the National Republican Campaign Committee and other Republican leadership committees.

CCA’s PAC cut checks to hardliners like Representatives Lamar Smith and Jim Sensenbrenner, senior Republican lawmakers on the pivotal House Judiciary Committee who sponsored harsh enforcement-only legislation the last time Congress attempted immigration reform. As Seth Freed Wessler of Colorlines reported, House Judiciary Committee members have already hinted that they will again demand that “mandatory detention and deportation of anyone the government labeled a member of a gang, even if they’ve never been convicted of a crime” as a requisite for reform this year. Critics say such measures amount to racial profiling and sending young men of color to prison simply for whom they associate with in school or where they live.

The Geo Group’s PAC also gave $50,000 to the Mitt Romney Victory Fund, to support a presidential candidate who campaigned against “amnesty” and pledged to induce the undocumented to “self-deport.”

To Cornyn’s left within the GOP are Senators John McCain of Arizona and Rubio of Florida, both members of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight.” Although neither has dismissed a pathway to citizenship like their colleague Cornyn, McCain also seeks a strong set of enforcement proposals before any legalization system is put into place.

According to a source close to the reform discussions who spoke with The Nation, McCain has been adamant that any reform overhaul include a law that enshrines the so-called “Operation Streamline” program that enforces criminal penalties for every undocumented immigrant caught entering the country from the southern border. The program, initiated in 2005 by the George W. Bush administration, has continued to be enforced by the Obama administration, and is the main reason the number of immigrants in the criminal justice system has surged in recent years.

Before these guidelines, most undocumented immigrants were sent to civil deportation proceedings. Now, any undocumented immigrant arrested at the border automatically faces criminal charges, with six months in jail for their first illegal entry into the country, and up to twenty years for their second arrest for illegal entry following deportation. This policy, the Detention Watch Network notes in a 2011 report, has played a significant role in fueling the spike in incarcerations for migrant communities. The federal Bureau of Prisons has largely outsourced these types of criminal incarcerations to the Geo Group and CCA.

Currently, Operation Streamline exists as agency policy, not statute. McCain’s attempt to codify the “zero tolerance” rules as a condition for immigration reform would amount to a coup for the private prison companies, which currently manage thirteen detention centers for the BOP. An amendment previously sponsored by McCain in 2010 called for $200 million to the Department of Justice to expand Operation Streamline.

McCain, the Columbia Journalism Review reported, has collected over $30,000 in campaign contributions from CCA.

Rubio, a Cuban-American with broad support among conservative activists and a regular voice in Spanish-language media, is perceived as the politician most likely to set the parameters for reform. He has been featured in national media as the de facto leader for his party in finding a middle ground with Democrats and President Obama on a pathway for citizenship.

Rubio, however, has indicated that he would favor a system that forces currently undocumented immigrants in America to wait more than twenty years before applying for citizenship, while immediately enacting a set of enforcement measures. What this means is that for some 11 million undocumented immigrants a work permit or provisional documentation would be awarded only after they pay back taxes and a penalty fee, pass background checks that may include minor offenses and meet other yet-to-be-determined requirements. This approach, though hailed as a shift away from the GOP’s nativist positions of recent years, could leave millions of people in legal limbo as law enforcement is charged with a greater mandate to arrest those without documentation.

Rubio has his own ties to private prisons. In his bid for the US Senate in 2010, the Geo Group, which is based in Boca Raton, gave $33,500 to political action committees supporting his candidacy, and the company’s chief executive personally donated $4,800.

In 2011, Rubio co-sponsored another McCain bill to steer taxpayer funds to Operation Streamline.

Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, director of the Enlace Institute, says he believes that “Rubio’s positioning on reform is linked to his ties to the private prison industry.” Cervantes-Gautschi, who organized a divestment campaign against private prisons, noted, “Rubio’s guideline would produce more opportunities” for those seeking to profit from immigrant detention.

To fully appreciate the scope of industry’s potential influence over Rubio, one must look beyond mere campaign contributions to the man guiding the senator’s every move in the immigration reform process.

Cesar Conda, Rubio’s chief of staff and reportedly the architect of the senator’s immigration reform outreach, maintains financial ties to the Geo Group’s main lobbying firm, Navigators Global, a company he cofounded in 2003. Although Conda left the business in 2011 to lead Rubio’s staff, financial disclosure forms show that Conda has received up to $100,000 from a “stock buy-out agreement” of his ownership units from the firm, an arrangement a Rubio spokesperson said “is being paid out over time.”

Conda did not respond to a request for comment. Since 2011, the Geo Group has paid Conda’s former firm $220,000 for lobbying services.

Payments to current and former congressional insiders are a big part of how the private prison lobby wields influence.

The two largest for-profit prison corporations currently retain six outside lobbying firms and forty federal lobbyists, most of whom are former staffers to powerful politicians. Some are former lawmakers. Former Republican Representative Jim McCrery of Louisiana, who regularly antagonized any legislation he viewed as too friendly to immigrants while in office, is now at a firm called Capitol Counsel as a lobbyist for Geo Care, a Geo Group healthcare subsidiary; Vic Fazio, a former Democratic Representative from Northern California and former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is a lobbyist for CCA through his law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

In 2008, former Senator Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat from Arizona, joined Correction Corporation’s board of directors.

The industry’s hired guns have helped win political victories large and small.

In 2008, a bill called the Private Prison Information Act, which would require for-profit prisons to comply with most public record requests relating to the their operation of federal prisons, gained bipartisan backing and appeared poised to pass out of a House subcommittee.

Calls for more transparency have followed the private prison industry as news reports and lawsuits have revealed a striking pattern of violence, sexual abuse, inadequate staffing, medical neglect and death in facilities across the country. Investigations by the American Civil Liberties Union found multiple immigrant deaths at facilities managed by CCA. Grassroots Leadership has documented several instances of sexual abuse and mysterious deaths at immigrant detention centers managed by the Geo Group.

Alarmed that the bill was gaining momentum, CCA dispatched several executives along with Fazio to meet with the sponsor of the legislation, Representative Tim Holden of Pennsylvania. A consultant who worked to pass the bill told The Nation that Fazio pressured Holden to drop support for the measure. The consultant recalled being invited by Holden’s staff for a meeting about the bill, and his surprise to find Fazio in the congressman’s office when he arrived for the meeting. Fazio and other CCA officials, the consultant said, took control of the meeting and berated advocates of the legislation.

In the end, Holden did not bother showing up to the hearing about his own bill and it died in committee. Holden, who lost his seat last year in the Democratic primary, could not be reached for comment.

In 2006,CCA paid the law firm Akin Gump, along with Fazio, $200,000 to lobby on “immigration reform legislation” as Congress made its last attempt at a federal overhaul. In May of 2006, John Ferguson, then the CEO of the company, told investors that immigration reform could produce “significant expansion of border enforcement efforts, which should result in a substantial increase in the population of illegal detainees.” One financial analyst associated with the company that year predicted the immigrant detention “market” was worth $250 million over twelve to eighteen months due to Bush’s enforcement actions.

The dynamics of immigration reform during that period can be viewed as massive victory for the private prisons. The Bush administration attempted to placate its right-wing base by enacting a series of policies to militarize the border and send more immigrants to jail, through new criminal procedures and increased ICE raids. The bipartisan attempt to create a pathway for citizenship was scuttled by right-wing lawmakers, many of whom are reprising that role this year. Senator Cornyn, who played an important role in opposing a comprehensive approach to reform in 2006, has even more influence this year given his position as ranking member on the Senate subcommittee that deals with immigration.

Five days after making his enforcement first position on reform clear at a conference hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation in January, Cornyn was back in DC celebrating his birthday with a fundraiser co-hosted by CCA lobbyist Rob Chamberlin.

A fundraiser announcement posted by the Sunlight Foundation shows Chamberlin among several hosts of Cornyn’s party at Hill Country BBQ, a Texas-style restaurant near Pennsylvania Avenue. Over the last year, Chamberlin’s firm, McBee Strategic, made more money than any other firm in Washington, DC, on behalf of a private prison interest.

“Who’s asking for more prisons?” asks Roberto Lovato, a co-founder of Presente.org. “There’s no polls that show that Latinos, immigrants, average citizens want more prisons or the enforcement-first mentality, so that shows that these politicians are listening to the prison lobbyists, not voters.”

Obama’s Leaked Immigration Reform Plan Could Deliver a Winner

Obama’s Leaked Immigration Reform Plan Could Deliver a Winner

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Posted on Feb 18, 2013
White House/Pete Souza

By Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON—Republicans spent the weekend trumpeting shock and outrage over President Obama’s leaked “backup plan” on immigration. In dysfunctional Washington, this means that prospects for comprehensive reform—including what amounts to an amnesty for the undocumented—are getting brighter.

“Dead on arrival” was the verdict from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has taken on the thankless task of leading his party back within shouting distance of reasonable on the immigration issue. The president’s plan, obtained by USA Today, would leave the nation with “unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come,” Rubio charged.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the White House proposal—which hasn’t actually been proposed—shows that Obama is “really not serious” about reform. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Obama’s plan “tells us that he’s looking for a partisan advantage and not a bipartisan solution.”

Translation: Things are looking up!

Here’s the state of play: In the November election, Obama carried both the nation’s largest minority—Hispanics—and its fastest-growing minority—Asian-Americans—by nearly 3-to-1. Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, has been trying to explain to his party that immigration is a “threshold” issue for communities with fresh memories of arrival. Mitt Romney’s notion of reform, which he summed up as “self-deportation,” communicated hostility rather than empathy. Voters returned the favor.

So a bipartisan group of eight senators, led by Rubio, has been working to develop a comprehensive reform package that would provide some kind of legal status for the 11 million migrants who are here without papers.

The outlines of a solution are obvious. There would be a clear path to citizenship for those who were brought here as children. There would be provisional legal status, and a route to permanent legal status, for those who came as adults. There would be measures to tighten security along the border with Mexico. There would probably be some kind of guest-worker program for those who seek only to come for seasonal employment. And there would be changes to streamline the legal immigration system, especially for high-tech workers and potential entrepreneurs.

The problem is that Republicans have spent years demonizing undocumented immigrants as a way of appealing to xenophobic, jingoistic sentiment. So how can members of Congress switch from “these people are a plague” to “these people are welcome to stay” without facing the ire of the party’s activist base?

Enter the president’s draft proposal, which administration officials described as a “backup” plan that Obama may put forward if Congress is not able to reach agreement.

It’s really not much different from what Rubio’s group is talking about. But Republicans can slam Obama’s plan as some sort of Kenyan-socialist-inspired abdication of sovereignty. They can blast the provisions on border security as laughable. They can describe the absence of a real plan for reforming the legal immigration process as slapdash, or unserious, or whatever they want to call it.

Republicans in the Senate can line up instead behind a bill that Rubio’s Group of Eight eventually produces; even Paul, a tea party favorite, has indicated he could vote for reform as long as he had more than “a promise from President Obama” on border security. And if enough contrast can be drawn between a Senate proposal and Obama’s plan, perhaps even a significant number of House Republicans can be brought along—if not a majority, then enough to convince Speaker John Boehner to allow an up-or-down vote.

In other words, this isn’t so much about what is being proposed. The bigger factor is who’s proposing it—as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“An Obama plan, led and driven by Obama in this atmosphere, with the level of hostility toward the president and the way he goads the hostility, I think it is very hard to imagine that bill, that his bill is going to pass the House,” Gingrich said. But he added that a bill originating in the Senate “could actually get to the president’s desk.”

I believe Gingrich is right. Republican members of Congress have shown a willingness, even an eagerness, to vote against measures that they themselves have sponsored in the past—if Obama is now proposing them.

So if the president really wants immigration reform to pass, one of the most helpful things he could do is put out his own plan as a decoy, to draw Republican fire, while the Senate works toward bipartisan consensus. Which looks suspiciously like what just happened.

Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

© 2013, Washington Post Writers Group

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On the News With Thom Hartmann: The White House Is Circulating a Draft Immigration...

In today's On the News segment: The White House is circulating a draft immigration bill, which would create a new visa for undocumented immigrants living in our nation, and shorten the path to legal residency to eight years; Sen. Lindsey Graham suggests taking health coverage away from 30 million Americans just to avoid cuts to the military; thousands rallied against the partial privatization of health care in Spain yesterday; and more.


TRANSCRIPT:

Thom Hartmann here – on the news...

You need to know this. President Obama's pushing full speed ahead on the long list of goals he set for his second term. Just since his State of the Union speech, less than a week ago, he's already put forward a plan for universal preschool, called on Congress to vote on gun regulations, started forming a voting rights commission, and now he's tackling immigration. According to USA Today, the White House is circulating a draft immigration bill, which would create a new visa for undocumented immigrants living in our nation, and shorten the path to legal residency to eight years. The draft bill also includes more security funding, and would require businesses to use a new system to verify the immigration status of new employees. The bill is quite similar to the bipartisan immigration plan that came out last month, but Republicans are criticizing the President's plan anyway. Florida Senator Marco Rubio said any legislation that didn't include Republican input would get no support, saying, "If actually proposed, the president's bill would be dead on arrival in Congress." Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said the draft legislation was proof that "the president doesn't want immigration reform." These statements are just more evidence that Republicans will vote against any legislation that President Obama puts forward, even when it's made up of their own ideas. A spokesman for the White House said that the administration has not prepared a final bill to submit. Let's hope that Congress can pass their own version of an immigration bill, so that they won't oppose a commonsense path to citizenship, just because the President supports it.

In screwed news... Senator Lindsey Graham is very worried about the sequester. But, he isn't worried about the cuts to programs like WIC and Head Start. He isn't worried about job losses or federal employee furloughs. Nope, he's worried about defense contractors. So much so, that he's suggesting taking health coverage away from 30 million Americans just to avoid cuts to the military. During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Graham was asked about the looming sequester and he replied with his suggestion, saying "if you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, look at Obamacare, don't destroy the military." But Sen. Graham has opposed every idea to avoid the sequester put forward by Democrats, or the President. It appears the Republicans don't really care about the devastating austerity looming in the sequester... they just care about using the cuts to attack Obama. Oh, and if their buddies in the defense industry don't get hit with the across-the-board spending cuts – to Republicans, that's just an extra bonus.

In the best of the rest of the news...

Thirty five thousand people rallied in Washington, D.C. this Sunday to call for immediate action on climate change. The rally was put on by numerous environmental activist groups, like the Sierra Club and 350.org. People came from dozens of states around our nation to help form part of a "human pipeline," which was meant to highlight action the Administration can take right away to protect our environment – reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, spoke at the event, saying, "There is no time for half measures...we have to start leaving carbon in the ground." Just recently, the President called on Congress to pass bi-partisan legislation on climate change, or, he said "if Congress won't act to protect future generations...I will." Well, participants of the largest environmental rally ever just said they don't want the President to wait for our broken Congress to act. Obama can make a change immediately to protect our future generations. He can stop the Keystone XL pipeline from pumping toxic tar sands oil through our communities. Tell the President you want this done now. Go to TarsandsBlockade.org.

Another protest also made headlines yesterday, as thousands rallied against the partial privatization of health care in Spain. In the third so-called "White Tide" demonstration, protesters in 16 Spanish cities took to the streets carrying banners saying, "public health is not to be sold, it's to be defended." Health care privatization is just one of the crippling austerity measures being imposed to cut that nation's debt. One civil servant, Javier Tarabilla, spoke out against the privatization, saying, "This is pillaging of our public services, looting something we've all contributed to through taxes, to give it to private companies to run for profit." Here in America, we should all be paying close attention to the riots and protests in response to the privatization of the public commons in Spain. Not only are the austerity measures there crippling the nation's economy, but they're making it more difficult for Spanish citizens to survive. It's time to fight back against the Republican austerity measures taking hold here in our country, before they devastate our economy – just like they've done in Spain.

And finally... Drug agents in Union County, Illinois found themselves in a sticky situation over the weekend. Responding to a tip about a potential meth lab, the agents raided Laura Benson's home, however, the only substance being cooked up was maple syrup. Benson's neighbor called in the tip after seeing a collection of tubes and buckets they thought looked suspicious, and the Sheriff's department swarmed the house. Apparently, the Bensons have been making the syrup for about five years, but this is the first time it's gotten such a big reaction. Miss Benson says that the family is grateful for their attentive neighbors, and she said, "I just want to put their minds at ease, and let them know it's maple syrup. And they're all welcome for pancakes if they want to come over." Drug agents say the hunt continues for the nation's biggest syrup king-pin, so be on the lookout for Mrs. Butterworth.

And that's the way it is today – Monday, February 18th, 2013. I'm Thom Hartmann – on the news.

UK Immigration ‘Can’t Be Restricted’ Says EU

It will not be possible for Britain to restrict the freedom of movement of Bulgarians and Romanians when transitional controls are lifted, the European Commission's vice-president has warned. Prime minister David Cameron told ministers earlier this we...

How Organizations with Ties to Hate Groups Are Trying to Influence the Immigration Debate

immigrant-rights-protest-america

The U.S. House of Representatives held its first hearings for the current session on immigration reform Tuesday. Many immigration groups also submitted official testimony for the record. One name, in particular, jumped out as questionable, at best, in terms of being an expert witness on the topic of immigration—Jessica Vaughan, who submitted a written statement. Vaughan is the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), an organization that portrays itself as an "independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization" that advocates a "low-immigration, pro-immigrant" public policy. In reality, CIS is connected to a shadowy network of anti-immigrant funders and activists who participate in or are associated with movements for white nationalism.

The CIS was founded in 1985 as a project of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Founded by Michigan native John Tanton, FAIR is a designated hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. While CIS tries to portray a more neutral public face, FAIR has no such qualms. For example, its president Dan Stein said on Tucker Carlson's TV show: "Immigrants don't come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing....Many of them hate America, hate everything that the United States stands for."

While FAIR and CIS are formally separate organizations now, they are still heavily intertwined, sharing many of the same donors and several board members, and FAIR regularly cites CIS reports in its activities. Mark Krikorian, Tanton's friend with whom he has frequently corresponded about immigration, runs CIS after holding a similar position at FAIR.

Krikorian has a very spotty record on race and immigrant issues. He spoke at a meeting of the Michigan State University's chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, a group that had generated significant controversy by having events, such as "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day," a "Koran Desecration" competition, and by posting "Gays Spread AIDS" fliers across campus. The same speakers series that the students hosted also included Holocaust denier Nick Griffin and Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, a racist publication that has argued that blacks are incapable of civilization

Krikorian doesn't limit himself to research but frequently writes columns for National Review that denigrate immigrants in a variety of ways:

Over the years, FAIR accepted $1.3 million from a foundation called the Pioneer Fund, which was set up in 1937 to "improve the character of the American people by promoting procreation by those of white, colonial stock." Tanton wrote Graham, saying that they had a mutual friend in Pioneer Fund's Harry Weyher. The Pioneer Fund also funded people like William B. Shockley, a famous physicist who argued that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites.

CIS Fellow John Miano and board member Carol Iannone have written for extreme white nationalist website VDARE.com. CIS and VDARE have a close connection, as staffers circulate VDARE articles to its members and CIS published at least one report from the group's founder. VDARE was founded by Peter Brimelow and publishes articles by people like Steve Sailer, who wrote: "And also, to be frank, because blacks, American Indians and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Hispanics have shown that they get corrupted faster by the 'moral hazard' of social insurance than do whites."

VDARE publishes rants by people like Taylor, the Pioneer Fund's J. Philippe Rushton and white nationalist authors like Sam Francis and Kevin MacDonald, who wrote:

Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority.
CIS members, such as Patrick McHugh, also have participated in meetings and events with former members of Congress like Tom Tancredo and Brian Bilbray and any number of members of the white nationalist movement and anti-immigrant network connected to Tanton, including Barbara Coe, head of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (who refers to Mexicans as "savages"), and Glenn Spencer, head of the American Patrol, which "arrests" undocumented immigrants on the Mexico-U.S. border. Spencer, who is convinced that Mexico wants to retake parts of the United States it lost in the Mexican-American War, wants to develop unmanned aircraft and special ground sensors to prevent further immigration across the border.

The SPLC has widely refuted claims made in CIS reports, as many of them use improper science or use anecdotal, false or nonexistent evidence. In one example, CIS staffers claimed that cities were letting non-citizens vote in significant numbers. When pressed, CIS could only produce one example of a non-citizen voting. According to the SPLC: "CIS often manipulates data, relying on shaky statistics or faulty logic to come to the preordained conclusion that immigration is bad for this country."

Tanton is not only responsible for FAIR, but he played a key role in the creation and growth of the CIS as well and is connected directly and indirectly to nearly every significant organization in the anti-immigrant community. Although he recently retired, Tanton was influential in getting his friend and close associate Otis Graham on the board of CIS.  Graham was previously on the FAIR board. Graham has a long history of participation across the anti-immigrant movement, including appearing at workshops like one called "Immigration Reform and America's Unchosen Future," where he appeared on the same stage as Frosty Wooldridge, who claims that immigrants bring a "disease jihad" to the United States and warns that immigration will bring about another Civil War. Graham himself has written that the United States is not actually a nation of immigrants, defended racist policies like the 1924 Asian Exclusion Act and minimized the participation of groups like the Ku Klux Klan in anti-immigrant history. He also credited the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies for passage of the 1924 act without noting their pro-Nazi, anti-semitic activities. Graham completed one of his books with advice from Tanton and CIS congressional witness Jessica Vaughn. He also has written articles suggesting that racial and ethnic diversity leads to more social problems and that immigrants will lower the skills and wages in the U.S. economy.

Tanton's journal, "The Social Contract," has published a who's who of white nationalist writers. The magazine was co-edited by Wayne Lutton, who is heavily associated with the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. Tanton co-authored "The Immigration Invasion" with Lutton as well, and Lutton became a trustee of the New Century Foundation, which publishes Taylor's American Renaissance. Board members and writers for "The Social Contract" have included Graham, Krikorian, Francis, CIS Director of Research Steven Camarota and CIS Fellow Don Barnett, as well as CIS board members Frank Morris, Vernon Briggs, William Chip, John Vinson of the American Immigration Control Foundation, Joseph Fallon and James Lubinskas of American Renaissance, Derek Turner of Right Now and Michael Masters of Virginia Council of Conservative Citizens.

Social Contact Press also translated, published and promoted "The Camp of the Saints," a racist apocalyptic novel written by French author Jean Raspail. The book tells the story of a fictional invasion of Europe by "hordes of sex-crazed Africans, dirty Arabs and 'Hindus' who enslave white women on sex farms." 

Tanton has made his personal feelings very clear: "I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority—and a clear one at that." He also asked: "Will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs, etc.?" and wrote, "On the demographic point: perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!"

Read more about John Tanton from the SPLC

Originally posted at the AFL-CIO Now Blog.

Pathway To Citizenship Becomes GOP Roadblock On Immigration Reform

After the Senate released the framework of an immigration bill on January 29th I wrote this: Immigration Reform: Not So Fast! I've been watching the extreme right infiltrate the GOP (with Republican operatives help) at an alarming rate since 2010 so it's not a stretch to believe House Republicans will screw it up, and guess what?

It's starting.

House Republicans insisted on Tuesday that Democrats are showing a lack of willingness to compromise on immigration reform by calling for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, arguing that they should be more open to legislation without it.

"Are there options that we should consider between the extremes of mass deportation and the pathway to citizenship for those not lawfully present in the United States?" Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, asked San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (D) at a hearing on immigration reform, the first on the issue for the 113th Congress.

Another top Republican, immigration subcommittee chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), accused Democrats of refusing to come toward the center.
--
But the progress made by those bipartisan groups on the issue masks the difficulty that remains. Gowdy indicated openness to the Senate plan when it was released last week, but Goodlatte told USA Today on Monday that is he not convinced by the Senate immigration plan because of supporters' insistence that there be a pathway to citizenship. He questioned whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is "serious about doing immigration reform."

Citizenship is at the heart of immigration reform and Republicans should be jumping at the chance of finally appearing to be a party that cares about people---immigrants too, but alas, they can't help themselves. They are even stating that Latinos really don't care if they are citizens as long as they are treated with respect.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), an immigration lawyer before coming to Congress, said he believed there could be a solution to the immigration issue without including a pathway to citizenship.

“What they want is to come out of the shadows, they want to be able to be legal, they want to be able to work, they want to be able to travel, they want to be able to feel like they are being treated with dignity,” Labrador said. “Not very many people told me: I want to be a citizen, I have to be a citizen in order to feel like a dignified person.”

Do Republicans really believe that after supporting Sensenbrenner's insane bill that basically turned illegals into felons that not supporting eventual full citizenship is going to appease the entire Latino population of America? This is going to make for some interesting television as this drags on. Karl Rove didn't mind helping the teabagger revolution until they started to go after moderate Republicans in safe districts.

But as I've said repeatedly, once the right wing let the nuts out of the box to help them form the Tea Party, it's almost impossible to put them back in.

Karl, your new money scam will not turn out well for your new investors while your old allies ramp up their hatred for you. He might be the only Republican shill who hopes the House R's screw up immigration reform so he can make more cash off these saps. Enjoy!

Immigration Reform Prevents Employer Abuse

Oscar came to the United States at the age of 16 to work. There were no jobs for him in his native Guatemala, and he felt obligated to help support his parents.

He was lured across borders by the promise of work. He believed, as so many immigrants do, that there would be a job for him in America.

For the past five years, he has worked at a Los Angeles car wash that cheated him and other immigrant workers out of pay, refused protective gear and even denied drinking water.

Employers such as car washes, corporate farms, construction companies and lawn care businesses entice immigrants into the United States by providing jobs with no questions asked. They lure undocumented workers in, and then abuse them with impunity. This endangers all workers because the low-wage, hazardous conditions undocumented workers endure can become the standard. This is especially true in bad economic times. More border security is fine. But to ensure safe, family-supporting jobs remain the norm, America must hold employers to account for baiting immigrants.

Like many immigrants, Oscar, now 29, stayed with a relative when he arrived in America. At first, he found work delivering cosmetics. The company treated him decently but laid him off when business declined. That’s when he got the job at Vermont Car Wash in L.A.

The owner promised minimum wage, which was $8 an hour then in California. But when Oscar received his first paycheck, he discovered Vermont paid him $7 an hour and compensated him for only about half the hours he worked.

And that was good treatment according to two studies and an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. The L.A. Times inquiry in 2008, which was about the time Oscar began at Vermont, found the car washes “brazenly violate basic labor and immigration laws with little risk of penalty.” Some car wash companies gave workers only tips, so they were paid between $10 and $30 a day. Others paid as little as $1.63 an hour.

The University of Illinois at Chicago Labor Education Program investigated car washes in the Windy City and found they ripped off their mostly immigrant work force by about $2.2 million a year. Nearly a quarter of the workers subsisted below the federal level for extreme poverty – even after they worked more than 40 hours a week. Eighty percent received no protective equipment and many were cut, suffered rashes or experienced nausea and dizziness from the car wash chemicals. Two-thirds did not have access to clean or free drinking water at work.

In addition, a 2008 study by three non-profit organizations, “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers,” found employers who paid low wages in New York City, L.A. and Chicago routinely violated labor laws, committed wage theft and exposed workers to hazards. The workers included undocumented immigrants but native Americans as well.

The L.A. Times investigation and the studies expose several causes for the exploitation. One is insufficient enforcement. Another is the vulnerability of undocumented immigrants.

When workers like Oscar complained, car wash owners threatened them. It’s not an empty threat. Last May, after Palermo’s Pizza factory workers in Milwaukee signed a petition to form a union, the company fired 89 workers, claiming they were undocumented and refusing to wait for documentation.

Oscar says when he asked his co-workers about the wage theft, they said the owner told them that he could do whatever he wanted because the workers had no rights.

Workers don’t really have rights unless they are enforced. Non-profit groups and unions in New York, Illinois and California have helped some workers attain their rights. They’ve filed numerous lawsuits against car wash companies and badgered state agencies to cite companies for violations. For example, last May, with the help of community groups, immigrant workers at a Bronx car wash sued and four workers at an LA car wash filed a class action suit for unpaid wages and other abuses.

In January of 2012, the California state attorney general’s office secured a $1 million settlement from eight car wash companies for wage theft. Last July, a New York judge sentenced a Bronx car wash owner to 32 days in jail and ordered him to pay $150,000 to workers denied minimum wage.

A little less than two years ago, Oscar and the workers at the Vermont Car Wash got help from the Community Labor Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) and the United Steelworkers (USW) union. Oscar said a co-worker told him that the USW could help them get paid their rightful wages if they organized and bargained collectively with the car wash owner. Oscar, who is unmarried and has no children, agreed to meet with an organizer because he was receiving so little in wages that he was having a hard time supporting himself and sending money to his parents. He explained:

“I couldn’t put up any longer with what the owner was doing.”

When a group of workers told the owner they wanted a union, Oscar thinks the owner was relieved that they weren’t filing a costly lawsuit. The owner agreed a year ago to recognize the union, and Oscar and his co-workers now receive the correct pay. They get breaks, drinking water and protective gear like rubber gloves. The USW represents workers at three L.A. car washes now, and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union represents workers at five in New York City.

Oscar said he believes that if no path to citizenship is provided to the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in America, business owners will feel free to continue to mistreat workers, documented and undocumented, because unions and community groups won’t be able to help them all.

President Obama has proposed new legislation that would provide a path to citizenship and further secure the boarders, but, critically, it would also crack down on companies that lure undocumented workers into the country by illegally hiring them.

That is essential to secure the dignity of all workers.

Native American confronts ‘anti-illegal immigration’ protesters (VIDEO)

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A Native American man criticized protesters at an Arizona rally against illegal immigration, calling them the real “illegals” for invading his country and killing Native Americans when Europeans first settled on US soil.

“You’re all fucking illegal. You’reall illegal,” the Native American man yelled at the protesters, who had gathered in Tuscon, Arizona to demonstrate their opposition to illegal immigration by Central and South Americans. “We didn’t invite none of you here. We’re the only native Americans here.”

Some have applauded the man for pointing out the protesters’ hypocrisy, who at one point immigrated to the US themselves or are descendants of immigrants. The Native American man, who was pushing his baby through town in a stroller, staged his own protest when he came across the rally.

“Get on with your bogus arguments. We’re the only legal ones here,” he yelled.

One protester was caught standing near the angry Native American and became the target of his criticism. The man was carrying a small American flag and a sign that read, “We should have put that sign up when you son of the bitches came.”

Pointing towards the American flag held by the protester, the Native American said that it “represents blood spilled by Native Americans, protecting this land from the invaders.”

“You don’t want to hear the God damn truth!” he yelled. “Get on, bitch! All the Native Americans you killed, you plant your houses here. That’s the truth.”

With Arizona’s proximity to the Mexican border, it has long been a hub for anti-immigration protests and initiatives. The state passed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” in 2010, which is a strict anti-illegal immigration measure that has stimulated significant controversy. The law made it a misdemeanor crime for an “alien” to be in the state of Arizona without carrying registration documents. It also allows law enforcement officers to stop any individual that they suspect of being an illegal immigrant, thereby promoting racial profiling. It also imposes heavy penalties on those involved in sheltering or hiring unregistered aliens.

The law’s controversial provisions were blocked by the US Department of Justice, but the Supreme Court in 2012 ruled to uphold the “show me your papers” provision allowing law enforcement to stop anyone who looks like an illegal immigrant.

But the Native American man who staged his own protest at the rally considers it hypocritical for Americans to criticize others for immigrating into the US when everyone but Native Americans at one point did so themselves.

“That’s what [the American] flag stands for – all the Native Americans you killed to plant your houses here,” he said. “That’s the truth.”

What a Progressive Immigration Reform Bill Looks Like

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Bio

Isabel Garcia is the co-chair of the human rights organization Derechos Humanos in Tucson, Arizona. She's a criminal defense and immigration lawyer, and she is on the board of the National Network For Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

This is part two of our interview with Isabel Garcia on immigration reform. And she now joins us again from Tucson. Isabel is cochair of the human rights organization Derechos Humanos in Tucson. She's a criminal defense and immigration lawyer. She's on the board of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Thanks for joining us again.ISABEL GARCIA, COCHAIR, DERECHOS HUMANOS: Thank you very much.JAY: So my main question to you is: what would immigration reform look like if you wrote it? But just before you go there, let me just ask you one basic question of principle. Does a country, does the United States have a right to say how many people can migrate to it each year, put some numbers and limits on it, and control its borders so not more than that can get in?GARCIA: Absolutely. A government has total rights. I mean, I guess the issue becomes is: is the government making the right decisions? And we've not been making the right decisions. But do we have a right? Absolutely. JAY: And then there's something specific which we discussed in part one. We don't have to go over it again, but there's a specific issue with immigrants that have come from Mexico because for decades they were encouraged to come, even though there was no real legal status and way to come. Hundreds of thousands, millions of people were essentially asked to come to work in agriculture and other parts of the American economy, and that's why there's something specific about the people that are already here and undocumented. So that's—if you haven't watched part one, we talked about more of that in part one.Now let's go to the question. If you were writing immigration reform, what would it look like?GARCIA: Well, I think that immigration reform is, like, an urgency. I would divide it in three broad aspects. And I will begin with the first one. And I think that we must deal with the root cause of migration, period. We should have done that 20 years ago, last year, yesterday, tomorrow, next year. We need to address the issue of mass migration, why people are coming. And then we have to address the role that the United States policy has been in those countries that have caused people to migrate unlawfully into the United States. I've already talked about the free trade agreement. NAFTA has propelled 6 million undocumented farm workers here. Our war in El Salvador, for instance, propelled hundreds of thousands of political refugees. Our drug war in Mexico is causing refugees. And you can see that other policies across the world with those countries result in migration here. So it's essential that we deal with root cause. I mean, this is not—JAY: Okay. Let me just ask you a question about that.GARCIA: —a national security issue. I'm sorry?JAY: Let me ask you about that, because—you know, you won't get, obviously, an argument from me about that, but that's a pretty long-term issue. You're asking for a fundamental change in U.S. foreign policy, a fundamental change in U.S. commercial relations with these countries, and that ain't happening soon.GARCIA: I think it can be quicker. But we must deal with it. We must deal with it. And I believe that there are quick measures that instead of investing $18 billion on the border last year, that we could have engaged in employment activity that could have been much more beneficial to Mexcians or any other of—you know, even our residents along the border. I think it's just time we do it. This argument that, oh, that's long-term, well, you know, ten years ago, 15 years ago, whenever we engaged in NAFTA, we've been saying ever since then, when are you going to stop? Candidate Obama understood it. Candidate Obama in 2008, 2007 said, I would reform these free trade agreements because they displace. So he didn't, and we have more workers. So it's got to be done now.JAY: Okay. What's point two?GARCIA: And especially to acknowledge it. Why not at least acknowledge that migration has to do with economics, that we should encourage people to be with your families? That's the social part of it, because human beings form families. We should have that as our cornerstone of our reform. So that's number one, changing policy.Number two, I would say reform our current immigration laws to reflect the reality. The reality is that we've invited 11 million undocumented people here. I mean, you can say here or there, you know, there's—we're all human beings, so you can say, oh, there's a murderer here and a rapist here, that sort of thing. But by and large, the vast majority of immigrants are here because we've invited them to build our country. We should give meaningful and widespread amnesty without creating this incredible costly process to determine who's the good immigrant versus the bad immigrant. I think we need to have as meaningful, as broad of a legalization program as possible. That would take care of everybody here. And thirdly, and very dear to my heart, is we need to begin the demilitarization of our border and our communities, because now you're being militarized, it doesn't matter if it's in the state of Washington or in Iowa. We are giving way to—you know, we've created Arizona as the laboratory to do everything that's anti-immigrant, and we're using everywhere. We're going to add more border patrol agents—imagine that, when migration is at an all-time low. So who exactly are they going after? It goes to show you that [crosstalk] going after all of us.JAY: Okay. Now, let me ask you—so, such a broad amnesty—and this is part of what President Obama's proposal is supposed to try to deal with—is that in fact there are a lot of people who have committed, you know, violent crimes or other kinds of crimes or involved in narcotrafficking and such. I mean, it's—I know it's a tiny minority of the people we're talking about, a sliver, but there are such people. Does it not need to be if—there's a process of amnesty that does deal with that?GARCIA: Well, very limited, because let me tell you, there is an awful lot of information on everybody, you and I, and especially the immigrant population. And yes, there can be arguments. It's not going to come from me, because I'm telling you, I'm a criminal defense attorney. I know many people who've made mistakes in their lives, and they pay dearly. They pay a ten-year period of sentence or 20 years. We have a criminal justice system that deals with that. I don't believe that families should be divided.Okay. So you want violent people out of there. Do you know that we have created an $18 billion apparatus? For what? For a few people? We continue to criminalize people for illegal entry. Did you know that? Here in Tucson we will have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who will not be eligible, because they've been deported before. So they're not going to get eligibility. And those that came back to be with their families, they've been found guilty of a felony. Did you know it was a felony to be found in the United States after having been formally deported? We criminalize these by the thousands here in Tucson. President Obama, as well as the senators, want to increase this costly program that does nothing for the good of this country. And so to look at more details, I invite you to look at our framework. Derechos Humanos' framework is at www.derechoshumanosaz.net (AZ for Arizona), www.derechoshumanosaz.net, and you will find our response, our framework that we issued on international [crosstalk]JAY: Well, I invite our viewers to do that. Go take a look. Underneath the video there's a comments section here. So you make your comments on those proposals and President Obama's proposals, and we'll invite Isabel back and some other experts on this issue and can respond to some of your questions and comments about all of this.GARCIA: Thank you.JAY: So we will pursue this further. Thanks very much for joining us, Isabel.GARCIA: Thank all of you so much. Bye-bye.JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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Critics Say Obama Immigration Reform Won’t Stop Family Breakups Anytime Soon

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Reid: Immigration Reform Must Include Protections for Same-Sex Families

Regardless of their rhetoric and Harry Reid's optimism, I won't be surprised if Republicans find an excuse to block the bill, but we shall see. STEPHANOPOULOS: Hello again. President Obama says that our headliner has the toughest job in Washington. Top...

Ten Myths Conservative Media Will Use Against Immigration Reform

Protesters along President Barack Obama's motorcade route as he heads to speak about immigration reform in Las Vegas, Jan. 29, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) Protesters along President Barack Obama's motorcade route as he heads to speak about immigration reform in Las Vegas, Jan. 29, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) As congressional leaders debate a framework for comprehensive immigration reform that will likely grant undocumented immigrants legal status, conservative media are engaged in promoting myths and falsehoods about what reform means for the country.

Is It True That 20 Million Undocumented Immigrants Would Gain Legal Status Under This Reform?

Why Can't We Just Deport Them All?

Wouldn't Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants Have A Negative Impact On The Economy?

So Immigrants Don't Take Jobs From Hard-Working Americans?

Won't Legalizing Immigrants Increase The "Welfare State"?

Do Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes?

Why Are There So Many Undocumented Immigrants? Are Immigration Laws Not Being Enforced?

If Illegal Border Crossings Are Such A Concern, Why Don't We Just Complete The Border Fence?

Wasn't Obama Responsible For Killing Immigration Reform In 2007?

In 1986, President Reagan Granted Amnesty To Millions Of Undocumented Immigrants. How Is This Proposal Different?

Is It True That 20 Million Undocumented Immigrants Would Gain Legal Status Under This Reform?

Fox News host Eric Bolling has claimed that as many as 20 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States would be legalized under the proposal. Is that true? [Fox News, Your World, 1/29/13]

About 11 Million Undocumented Immigrants Would Likely Be Affected

Pew Hispanic Center: Number Of Unauthorized Immigrants Stands At 11.1 Million. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2011, down from a peak of 12 million in 2007.

 [Pew Hispanic Center, 1/29/13]

Census Bureau Estimates The Number To Be 11.1 Million. Latest numbers from the Census Bureau put the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States at "an estimated 11.1 million," which represented "a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases." [CBS News, 12/6/12]

Undocumented Immigrants Make Up Significantly Less Than 10 Percent Of U.S. Population, Workforce

Pew Hispanic Center: Unauthorized Immigrants Make Up 3.7 Percent Of U.S. Population. According to data from the Pew Research Center, undocumented immigrants represent 28 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population but 3.7 percent of the overall U.S. population. [Pew Hispanic Center, 12/1/11]

Pew Hispanic Center: Unauthorized Immigrants Are 5.2 Percent Share Of U.S. Labor Force. Pew has estimated that there were about 8 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. workforce in March 2010, which includes those who are employed and unemployed. They represented 5.2 percent of the U.S. labor force at the time -- which Pew noted is similar to their proportion for the past half-decade. [Pew Hispanic Center, 2/1/11]

Why Can't We Just Deport Them All?

Bolling, who holds one of Fox News' most hardline attitudes toward immigrants, has repeatedly argued that it would be "worth every penny" to deport all undocumented immigrants. He has claimed that if the United States removes them all, 11 million jobs would become available. [Media Matters, 8/23/12; 12/5/11]

Most Adult Undocumented Immigrants Have Lived Here For At Least 10 Years

Pew: Nearly Two-Thirds Of Unauthorized Adult Immigrants Have Lived In The United States For At Least 10 Years. An analysis by the Pew Research Center that examined 2010 population data found that "[n]early two-thirds" of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants living in the United States have been in the country for at least 10 years and that nearly half are parents of minor children. More than 1 in 3 have lived in the country for 15 years or more:

[Pew Hispanic Center, 12/1/11]

Department Of Homeland Security: 86 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants Came Before 2005. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has further noted that 55 percent of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in 2011 entered between 1995 and 2004. DHS added: "Entrants since 2005 accounted for only 14 percent of the total." [Department of Homeland Security, January 2011]

Reuters: Up To 2 Million Undocumented Immigrants Were Brought To The U.S. As Children. Reuters reported that there are "up to 2 million illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and who remain in the country, according to immigration group estimates." [Reuters, 6/16/12]

Deportations Would Break Up Families, Impact Children's Long-Term Development

Pew Research Center: Nearly Half Of Undocumented Immigrants Live In Families With Children Under 18. According to data from the Pew Research Center, "About 5 million unauthorized adult immigrants -- 49% -- are in families with minor children. Along with the approximately 1 million unauthorized immigrants who are children, an additional 4.5 million people younger than 18 were born in the U.S. to at least one unauthorized immigrant parent." [Pew Hispanic Center, 12/1/11]

Pew Research Center: At Least 9 Million People In The U.S. Live in "Mixed-Status" Families. "Mixed-status" families are those that include at least one undocumented adult and at least one child who was born in the United States. According to Pew, at least 9 million people overall live in such families. [Pew Hispanic Center, 12/1/11]

Applied Research Center: "At Least 5,100 Children Whose Parents Are Detained Or Deported Are Currently In Foster Care." An investigation by the Applied Research Center "found that at least 5,100 children whose parents are detained or deported are currently in foster care around the United States":

In a yearlong investigation, the Applied Research Center, which publishes Colorlines.com, found that at least 5,100 children whose parents are detained or deported are currently in foster care around the United States. That number represents a conservative estimate of the total, based on extensive surveys of child welfare case workers and attorneys and analysis of national immigration and child welfare trends. Many of the kids may never see their parents again.

These children, many of whom should never have been separated from their parents in the first place, face often insurmountable obstacles to reunifying with their mothers and fathers. Though child welfare departments are required by federal law to reunify children with any parents who are able to provide for the basic safety of their children, detention makes this all but impossible. Then, once parents are deported, families are often separated for long periods. Ultimately, child welfare departments and juvenile courts too often move to terminate the parental rights of deportees and put children up for adoption, rather than attempt to unify the family as they would in other circumstances.

While anecdotal reports have circulated about children lingering in foster care because of a parent's detention or deportation, our investigation provides the first evidence that the problem occurs on a large scale. If these cases continue mounting at the same pace over the next five years, 15,000 children of detained and deported mothers and fathers will likely be separated from their parents and languish in U.S. foster homes. [Colorlines.com, 11/2/11]

Urban Institute Study: "Separations Pose Serious Risks To Children's Immediate Safety, Economic Security, Well-Being, And Longer-Term Development." In a February 2010 study examining "the consequences of parental arrest, detention, and deportation on 190 children in 85 families," the Urban Institute found that parent-child separations pose "serious risks to children's immediate safety, economic security, well-being, and longer-term development." The study documented other negative effects, including housing instability, food hardship, and adverse behavioral changes in children. [Urban Institute, "Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement," 2/2/10]

Full Deportation Would Hurt U.S. Economy

Center For Global Trade Analysis Study: Deportation Of Undocumented Workers Would "Cause A Considerable Loss To The US Economy In Terms Of Real GDP." A 2009 study by the Center for Global Trade Analysis at Purdue University that examined the effects on the U.S. economy of three different scenarios -- full deportation, full legalization, and full legalization with increased border control -- found that mass deportation of undocumented Mexican workers would "cause a considerable loss to the US economy in terms of real GDP." Economists Angel Aguiar and Terrie Walmsley wrote:

The deportation of all undocumented Mexican workers causes a loss in real GDP of 0.61 percent. Legalization on the other hand, has a positive effect on real GDP regardless of border control. Although the extent to which the border remains porous, causes larger gains in real GDP, 0.53 percent as opposed to 0.17 percent in the border control scenario. [Research in Agricultural & Applied Economics, July 2009]

Center For American Progress: Full Deportation Would Drain $2.5 Trillion From U.S. Economy Over 10 Years. In a report examining how full deportation would impact the U.S. economy, the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that a full "deportation approach would have the cumulative effect of draining $2.5 trillion over 10 years from the U.S. economy." [Center for American Progress, March 2010]

Center For American Progress: Enforcement Costs In A Mass Deportation Strategy Would Total $285 Billion Over 5 Years. In the same report, CAP estimated that it would cost $200 billion (in 2008 dollars) to deport all undocumented immigrants in the United States. CAP further wrote:

That amount, however, does not include the annual recurring border and interior enforcement spending that will necessarily have to occur. It would cost taxpayers at least another $17 billion annually (in 2008 dollars) to maintain the status quo at the border and in the interior, or a total of nearly $85 billion over "five years. that means the total "five-year immigration enforcement cost under a mass deportation strategy would be approximately $285 billion. [Center for American Progress, March 2010]

Americans Support Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants

CBS News: Americans Think Undocumented Immigrants Working In The United States Should Be Allowed To Stay. CBS News reported that "most Americans think illegal immigrants currently working in the United States should be allowed to stay either as guest workers or with the opportunity to become U.S. citizens." According to polling data, 51 percent think undocumented immigrants should be able to apply for citizenship. [CBS News, 1/28/13]

Associated Press: "More Than 6 In 10 Americans" Favor Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Eventually Become U.S. Citizens. An Associated Press poll about Americans' view of immigration reform found that "more than 6 in 10 Americans now favor allowing illegal immigrants to eventually become U.S. citizens, a major increase in support." The poll also found that 55 percent of seniors and that 57 percent of Americans without a college degree support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. It added that "59 percent of whites now favor a way for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, up from 44 percent in August 2010, and 41 percent in September 2009." [Associated Press, 1/22/13]

Associated Press: A Majority Of Republicans Support Path To Citizenship. The AP reported that a "majority in the GOP -- 53 percent -- now favor the change. That's up a striking 22 percentage points from 2010. Seventy-two percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents like the idea, similar to 2010." [Associated Press, 1/22/13]

Fox News Poll: 66 Percent Of Voters Favor Path To Citizenship. A Fox News poll found that 66 percent of voters "think there should be a path to citizenship, but only if the individual meets requirements such as paying back taxes, learning English and passing a background check." According to the poll, 56 percent of Republicans supported allowing undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship. [Fox News, 1/28/13]

Wouldn't Legalizing Undocumented Immigrants Have A Negative Impact On The Economy?

Fox Business host Charles Payne has said that though some immigration is good, it can become "a drag on the economy" when we legalize those "who aren't necessarily working that don't have the job skills that generate tax revenue." [Fox News, Your World, 1/28/13]

Economists Agree That Immigration Strengthens U.S. Economy

Immigration Expert: Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Add At Least $1.5 Trillion To The U.S. Economy Over 10 Years. In a 2012 report about the economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform published by the Cato Institute, UCLA professor and immigration expert Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda found that passing immigration reform "would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs, and generate additional tax revenue." He wrote:

The historical experience of legalization under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act indicates that comprehensive immigration reform would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs, and generate additional tax revenue. Even though IRCA was implemented during a period that included a recession and high unemployment (1990-91), it still helped raise wages and spurred increases in educational, home, and small business investments by newly legalized immigrants. Taking the experience of IRCA as a starting point, we estimate that comprehensive immigration reform would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) over 10 years. [Cato Institute, http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj32n1/cj32n1-12.pdf&;ei=ptwKUaiFLOzw0QG-44DIDg&usg=AFQjCNHPlrrj6x2F-BSlwN4u5TYOLzY3wg">Winter 2012]

Bush Administration Report Found That Immigration Adds $37 Billion To The U.S. Economy Annually. A report by the Bush-era White House Council of Economic Advisers found that immigrants increase gross domestic product "by roughly $37 billion each year because immigrants increase the size of the total labor force, complement the native-born workforce in terms of skills and education, and stimulate capital investment by adding workers to the labor pool." [Immigration Policy Center, 6/12]

Hinojosa-Ojeda: "Higher Earning Power Of Newly Legalized Workers" Would "Generate $4.5 To $5.4 Billion In Additional Net Tax Revenue Nationally." In his 2012 report, Hinojosa-Ojeda found that comprehensive immigration reform would "bring substantial economic gains even in the short run." Hinojosa-Ojeda explained that the "higher earning power of newly legalized workers translates into an increase in net personal income of $30 billion to $36 billion, which would generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in additional net tax revenue nationally, enough to support 750,000 to 900,000 new jobs." [Cato Institute, http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj32n1/cj32n1-12.pdf&;ei=ptwKUaiFLOzw0QG-44DIDg&usg=AFQjCNHPlrrj6x2F-BSlwN4u5TYOLzY3wg">Winter 2012]

Immigrants Increase U.S. Economic Growth

Immigration Policy Center: "Immigrant Entrepreneurs Add Billions Of Dollars And Millions Of Jobs To The U.S. Economy." A fact sheet by the Immigration Policy Center said that 4.7 million people are employed by immigrant-owned small businesses and that 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants (a figure disproportionate to their 13 percent share of the population). [Immigration Policy Center, 6/2012]

Wash. Post: Immigration "Increases Innovation." In an article about the effect of immigration on the U.S. economy, Washington Post writer Dylan Matthews noted that numerous studies show that foreign nationals living in the United States have accounted for at least a quarter of start-ups, including the majority in Silicon Valley, and patent applications in this country. Matthews further reported that "an expansion of high-skilled visas passed in 1998 increased revenue at affected companies by 15 percent." [The Washington Post, 1/29/13]

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: "By 2030, Nearly 70 Percent Of Latinos Who Came To The U.S. During The 1990s Are Expected To Own A Home." In a column arguing that increased immigration is key to U.S. economic growth, Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development and the New America Foundation, noted a study showing that by "2030, nearly 70 percent of Latinos who came to the U.S. during the 1990s are expected to own a home." Kenny added:

That's good news, the researchers point out, because the 78 million-strong baby-boom generation in the U.S. will be looking to downsize as their children leave home. Workers from Latin America were central to building the boomer housing stock, and they'll be central to ensure it is still worth something in 20 years. [Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 11/28/12]

Census: 65.4 Percent Of The Overall U.S. Population Are Homeowners. According to data from the U.S. Census bureau, 65.4 percent of the total U.S. population own their own homes. [U.S. Census Bureau, 1/29/13]

Pew Hispanic Center: More Than A Third Of Undocumented Immigrants Are Homeowners. Pew reported that "35% of all unauthorized immigrant households are homeowners" and that "45% of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for a decade or more own their own homes." [Pew Hispanic Center, 4/14/09]

Higher Immigration Generally Leads To Lower Unemployment, Boost In Wages

WSJ: Labor Economist "Found That Higher Levels Of Immigration Coincided With Lower Levels Of Unemployment." The Wall Street Journal noted that labor economist Richard Vedder of Ohio University "looked at the relationship between immigration and U.S. unemployment throughout the 20th century and found that higher levels of immigration coincided with lower levels of unemployment." [The Wall Street Journal, 6/18/12]

Brookings Institution: "On Average, Immigrants Raise The Overall Standard Of Living Of American Workers." The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project said in a 2010 report that the "most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices." It added that while economists are divided on whether immigrants lower wages for certain groups of workers, immigrants "enhance the purchasing power of Americans by lowering prices of 'immigrant-intensive' services like child care, gardening, and cleaning services." [Brookings Institution, The Hamilton Project, September 2010]

Study: Cities With Restrictive Immigration Laws Lower Local Employment By Nearly 20 Percent. In a study examining the economic effects of restrictive immigration laws, researchers at the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas determined that cities with restrictive immigration laws would reduce local employment by 0.18 percent. The AS/COA study further noted: "When compared to cities with non-restrictive ordinances, employment-related ones had a negative and statistically significant impact on cities' business environments." [Americas Society and the Council of the Americas, 10/20/11]

Migration Policy Institute: U.S. Immigration From 1990 To 2006 "Caused A 2.86 Percent Real Wage Increase For The Average US Worker." In a June 2010 Migration Policy Institute report, economist Giovanni Peri found that "total immigration to the United States over the period 1990-2006 ... caused a 2.86 percent real wage increase for the average US worker." [Migration Policy Institute, June 2010]

Low-Skilled Immigration Has Negligible Impact On Native Workers' Wages

NBER: Immigrants Have A Small Negative Impact On Wages Of Native-Born Workers Without H.S. Degrees. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the "impact of recent immigrant inflows on the relative wages of U.S. natives is small" and immigration "accounts for just a small share -- about 5 percent -- of the rise in overall U.S. wage inequality between 1980 and 2000." As The New York Times explained, immigrants "have had, at most, a small negative impact on the wages of Americans who compete with them most directly, those with a high school degree or less." [NBER, accessed 1/30/13; The New York Times, 10/19/12]

Economists Argue That "There Is Hardly Any Evidence That Immigrant Workers Have A Negative Effect On The Wages Of Native Workers." Economists Giovanni Peri and Francesco D'Amuri concluded in a 2010 paper that immigrants do not have a negative effect on the wages of native workers in the United States: "Despite popular belief, often based on anecdotes and bodged analysis, there is hardly any evidence that immigrant workers have a negative effect on the wages of native workers." [VoxEU.org, 10/31/10]

Economic Policy Institute: "Our Analysis Finds Little Evidence That Immigration Negatively Impacts Native-Born Workers." In an Economic Policy Institute study examining immigration's effect on wages using Current Population Survey data from 1994 to 2007, economist Heidi Shierholz found that there was little evidence to support the claim that immigration negatively impacts native-born workers. She found that in fact wages increased by at least $ 3.68 per week for workers overall and $1.58 for those with less than a high school education. The wages of male high school dropouts decreased .02 percent while those for female high school dropouts increased by 1.1 percent. [Economic Policy Institute, 2/4/10]

Wash. Post: "Consensus View" Among Economists Is That Even If Low-Skilled Immigration Has A Negative Effect On Wages, It Is "Negligible." In a Washington Post article summarizing what economists know about immigration, Matthews reported that while some economists "argue that low-skilled immigration very clearly reduces wages and employment for low-skilled American workers," the "consensus view among economists is that the effect, even if negative, is negligible." [The Washington Post, 1/29/13]

So Immigrants Don't Take Jobs From Hard-Working Americans?

Fox & Friends Sunday co-host Juliet Huddy has claimed that native-born workers could potentially have jobs "taken away" by undocumented workers. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 6/17/12, via Media Matters]

Immigrants and Native-Born Americans Do Not Generally Compete For The Same Jobs

Immigration Policy Center: "Immigrants And Native-Born Workers Are Usually In Different Job Markets, So They Don't Compete." According to a report by the Immigration Policy Center, "Immigrants and native-born workers are usually in different job markets, so they don't compete." The top occupation for foreign-born workers in 2009 was construction and extraction, while the top job for native-born workers was office and administrative support. [Immigration Policy Center, January 2012]

Economists: "Immigrant Workers Do Not Compete Much With Natives." After examining a host of studies that looked at how immigration and offshoring affected U.S. employment, economists Gianmarco Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, and Greg Wright concluded that evidence gleaned from the United States between 2000 and 2007 "shows that immigrant and native workers are more likely to compete against offshoring than against each other." They went on to write:

These empirical results together imply that immigrant workers do not compete much with natives, but rather compete for tasks that could be more easily performed by offshore workers. Since immigrants specialise in the most "manual-intensive" tasks, an increase in immigration is more likely to reduce the range of offshored tasks in an industry without affecting the employment level and type of tasks performed by natives. Offshore workers, on the other hand, specialise in tasks at an intermediate level of complexity and compete more directly with natives, thereby taking some of their jobs and pushing them toward more cognitive-intensive tasks. [VoxEU.org, 11/18/10]

Brookings Institution: "Immigrants And U.S.-Born Workers Generally Do Not Compete For The Same Jobs." The Brookings Institution has also reported that "immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity." [The Brookings Institution, September 2010]

San Francisco Fed Scholar: "There Is No Evidence That Immigrants Crowd Out U.S.-Born Workers In Either The Short Or Long Run." Examining the long-term effects of immigration on employment, Peri also found that "there is no evidence that immigrants crowd out U.S.-born workers in either the short or long run." [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 8/30/10]

Won't Legalizing Immigrants Increase The "Welfare State"?

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly has claimed that immigration reform would mean more immigrants "on the welfare entitlement train," and that before Congress passes immigration reform, "they have to deal with the welfare situation." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/28/13]

Newly Legalized Immigrants Will Not Have Access To Social Benefits

KABC: Undocumented Immigrants Who Gain Legal Status Would "Not Receive Federal Benefits Like Welfare Or Medicaid." ABC's Los Angeles affiliate, KABC, reported that undocumented immigrants who "gain legal status to live and work in the U.S." would "not receive federal benefits like welfare or Medicaid." [KABC-TV, 1/28/13]

Under Senate Framework, Current Benefit Restrictions For Non-Immigrants Will Remain In Place For Those Given Probationary Status. The bipartisan framework for immigration reform recently announced by a group of eight senators states: "Current restrictions preventing non-immigrants from accessing federal public benefits will also apply to lawful probationary immigrants." [The Washington Post, accessed 1/28/13]

Majority Of Undocumented Immigrants Are H.S. Graduates, Work

Pew Hispanic Center: 94 Percent Of Male Undocumented Immigrants Are In The Labor Force. In an analysis of data from the March 2008 Current Population Survey, Pew estimated that male undocumented immigrants "are more likely to be in the labor force than are men who are legal immigrants or who were born in the U.S." The Center wrote that among "men of working age, 94% of undocumented immigrants are in the labor force, compared with 85% of legal immigrant men and 83% of U.S.-born men." [Pew Hispanic Center, 4/14/09]

Pew Hispanic Center: Majority of Female Undocumented Immigrants Are In the Labor Force. Pew has estimated that 58 percent of working-age women who are undocumented immigrants are in the labor force, according to the 2008 survey. [Pew Hispanic Center, 4/14/09]

Pew Hispanic Center: 52 Percent Of Adult Undocumented Immigrants Have A H.S. Degree Or More. Pew concluded from the 2008 survey that 52 percent of undocumented immigrants aged 25-64 (52 percent) have graduated from high school, attended or have graduated from college.

[Pew Hispanic Center, 4/14/09]

Pew Hispanic Center: 54 Percent Of Younger Undocumented Immigrants Have A H.S. Degree Or More. Pew further found that 54 percent of younger undocumented immigrants, those aged 18-24, have graduated from high school, attended or have graduated college.

[Pew Hispanic Center, 4/14/09]

Brookings: "Skilled Immigrants A Growing Force In The U.S. Economy." A June 2011 study by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program found that skilled immigrants are "a growing force in the U.S. economy." According to the study, the "share of working-age immigrants in the United States who have a bachelor's degree has risen considerably since 1980, and now exceeds the share without a high school diploma." [Brookings Institution, http://www.brookings.edu/%7E/media/research/files/papers/2011/6/immigrants-singer/06_immigrant_skills_media_memo.pdf&;ei=v0sJUcvEPOPV0gGZjICADQ&usg=AFQjCNGz5zWX4mcAhiepjyysJKqQwl2ryg">6/9/11, 6/9/11]

Do Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes?

Fox guest and radio host Mary Walter claimed that undocumented immigrants are "not paying taxes and enjoying all the benefits." [Fox News, Happening Now1/30/13]

Immigrants Pay Individual Income, Sales, And Property Taxes

CBO: "Immigrants Pay Individual Income, Sales, And Property Taxes." In a December 2007 report detailing the impact of undocumented immigrants on the budgets of local and state governments, the Congressional Budget Office found that "[a]ccording to available estimates," there were about "12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States" at the time and "those immigrants pay individual income, sales, and property taxes." CBO further reported that "the IRS estimates that about 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. Other researchers estimate that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes." [Congressional Budget Office, December 2007]

Immigration Policy Center: "At Least Half Of Unauthorized Immigrants Pay Income Taxes." According to the Immigration Policy Center, undocumented immigrants, "like everyone else in the United States, pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes -- even if they rent.  At least half of unauthorized immigrants pay income taxes." [Immigration Policy Center, 4/18/11]

Even Anti-Immigrant Group Has Acknowledged That Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes. In a 2004 study, the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies found that "contrary to the perceptions that illegal aliens don't pay payroll taxes, we estimate that more than half of illegals work 'on the books.' On average, illegal households pay more than $4,200 a year in all forms of federal taxes."  [Center for Immigration Studies, August 2004]

NY Times' Brooks: "Over The Course Of Their Lives," Undocumented Immigrants "Pay More In Taxes Than They Receive In Benefits." New York Times columnist David Brooks noted that "over the course of their lives," undocumented immigrants "pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits." He added, "Furthermore, according to the Congressional Budget Office, giving the current illegals a path to citizenship would increase the taxes they pay by $48 billion and increase the cost of public services they use by $23 billion, thereby producing a surplus of $25 billion." [The New York Times1/31/13]

Why Are There So Many Undocumented Immigrants? Are Immigration Laws Not Being Enforced?

Rush Limbaugh has accused the administration of not enforcing immigration law, saying, "We're not enforcing existing law in a number of areas, particularly immigration." [RushLimbaugh.com, 1/15/13]

In Fact, Obama Administration Has Deported A Record Number Of Undocumented Immigrants

ICE Removed A "Record High" Number Of Individuals In 2012. In fiscal year 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "removed 409,849 individuals. Ninety-six percent of these removals fell into one of ICE's enforcement priorities, a record high." [ICE.gov, accessed 1/30/13]

NPR: Obama Administration Has Increased Deportations Of Those Convicted Of A Crime. As NPR reported, the Obama administration has prioritized the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a crime, with priority cases including "felons, repeat violators of immigration laws, people who have recently crossed U.S. borders illegally and those who pose a national security threat." According to the report, roughly "55 percent, or more than 225,000 people, deported in the past year were convicted of crimes such as drug offenses and driving under the influence."

[NPR, 12/24/12; America's Voice, October 2010]

Mother Jones: Obama Administration Removed More Than 1 Million Undocumented Immigrants In First Term. Mother Jones reported that "the Obama administration has been aggressive in pursuing deportations of unauthorized immigrants, removing more than a million since taking office." The report included a graph comparing the number of deportations under President George W. Bush to the number under President Obama:

[Mother Jones, 7/6/12]

Migration Policy Institute: The U.S. Spends More On Immigration Enforcement Than On All Other Agencies Combined. According to a recent report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), in 2012, the U.S. spent nearly $18 billion on immigration enforcement. That spending funded ICE, Customs & Border Protection (CBP), and a program called US-Visit that helps states and localities identify undocumented immigrants. According to MPI, "this amount exceeds by approximately 24 percent total spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Secret Service, US Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which stood at $14.4 billion in FY 2012." The report included the following graph:

[Migration Policy Institute, January 2013]

AILA: "Operational Control" Sets "An Unrealistic  Expectation That The Border Can Be 100 Percent Sealed." In a report showing that the border security benchmarks set by previous immigration enforcement proposals have been met or exceeded, the American Immigration Lawyers Association argued that "operational control" of the border, as defined by the Secure Fence Act of 2006, "sets an unrealistic expectation that the border can be 100 percent sealed." The report continued:

The GAO, in its testimony before Congress, noted that "[r]esources that would be needed to absolutely prevent every single incursion would be something probably out of reasonable consideration." As of February 2011, the GAO reported that the southwest border is at 44 percent operational control, with nearly two-thirds of the remaining 56 percent at the "monitored" level, and the rest at "low-level monitored."

Achieving absolute border control, whereby no single individual crosses into a state without that state's authorization, is impossible. Commentators have noted, "the only nations that have come close to such control were totalitarian, with leaders who had no qualms about imposing border control with shoot-to-kill orders." [American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1/30/13]

Experts: Rigid Limits On Legal Entry Fuel Illegal Immigration

Cato Institute Fellow Stuart Anderson: "Few Legal Avenues Exist For Lesser-Skilled Workers To Enter America, Which Is A Prime Reason For Illegal Immigration." Stuart Anderson, Cato Institute adjunct fellow, wrote that "perhaps the most common myth" surrounding the U.S. immigration system "is that it's easy to immigrate to America." Anderson wrote that "it is particularly difficult to obtain a legal visa for lower-skilled jobs and that "few legal avenues exist for lesser-skilled workers to enter America, which is a prime reason for illegal immigration." [Cato Journal, Winter 2012]

Immigration Policy Center: "The Legal Immigration System Is Inadequate To Meet The Needs Of The U.S. In The 21st Century." In a March 2010 report, the Immigration Policy Center reported that the "legal immigration system is inadequate to meet the needs of the U.S. in the 21st century," and that "[i]nsufficient numbers of visas are made available to bring in either high-skilled or less-skilled workers at the levels needed to meet the changing needs of the U.S. economy and labor market." [Immigration Policy Center, March 2010]

National Immigration Forum: "There Is No Real Line For Unskilled Workers." A column in the Miami Herald has reported that, according to the National Immigration Forum, "[t]he U.S. labor market demands up to 500,000 low-skilled workers a year, while the current U.S. immigration system allows for only 5,000 permanent visas for that category." The column added:

[T]here would be nothing wrong with demanding that immigrants come to the United States legally if we allowed them to do so. But we don't -- they are coming through the back door to take jobs we offer them, because we don't allow them in through the front door. Legal immigration quotas were set more than 20 years ago, when the U.S. demand for unskilled and highly skilled workers was much smaller than today's. [The Miami Herald, 4/29/10]

Unless Immigrants Have "Extraordinary Ability," They May Wait Decades To Immigrate Legally

Huntsville Times: Entering The United States Legally "Can Take Decades And May Be Near Impossible" For Most People. A Huntsville Times article noted that in 2010, "1.38 million Mexican citizens were waiting in line for a United States work visa or an immigration visa through a family member. But there were only 26,000 visas made available for Mexico last year." While every country has a visa, wrote reporter Brian Lawson, Mexico has "by far the longest waiting list," and that "even for those with family here, it can take decades and may be near impossible to secure the paperwork to enter the United States legally." [The Huntsville Times, 7/21/11]

Wash. Post: Wait Times For Family-Based Visas Can Be As Long As 24 Years. The Washington Post reported that for people who want to immigrate to the United States but don't have advanced job skills, it can take decades for an application to be approved. The Post wrote: "As of November, there were 4.3 million people on the wait list for family-based visas and 113,058 waiting for employment-based visas." [The Washington Post, 1/31/13]

If Illegal Border Crossings Are Such A Concern, Why Don't We Just Complete The Border Fence?

On The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer claimed that border "fences have worked for 5,000 years and they work everywhere." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/29/13 via Nexis]

A Border Fence Is Not An Effective Solution

CBP Commissioner: A Fence Along The Entire U.S.-Mexico Border Is "One Of The Dumbest Ideas." Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Ralph Basham said it is against common sense to build a border fence in an attempt to control illegal immigration, arguing that it is "one of the dumbest ideas" he heard when he was commissioner. [U.S. News & World Report, 10/25/11]

AZ Border Sheriff: The Border Fence Is Of "Little Or No Value." Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever told MSNBC in 2011 that "I think [the fence] is well intentioned, but you can build all the fence you want to build and unless it's the right kind of fence and unless you have the manpower to watch it, it's of very little or no value. The federal government has built a lot of fence and most of it has been inadequate in terms of actually stopping people from crossing." [MSNBC.com, 7/18/11]

President Reagan: The U.S.-Mexico Border Should Be "Something Other Than The Location For A Fence." Referring to a meeting he hoped to have with President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico in 1979, Reagan reportedly wrote in his private diaries that he wanted to discuss how the United States and Mexico could make the border "something other than the location for a fence." [NPR, 7/4/10]

U.S. Has Operational Control Of The Border

CRS: "Effective" Operational Control Defined As "The Ability To Detect, Respond, And Interdict Illegal Activity At The Border Or After Entry Into The" U.S. In a January 2012 report, the Congressional Research Service explained that the Department of Homeland Security has defined "effective" operational control as "the ability to detect, respond, and interdict illegal activity at the border or after entry into the United States." [Congressional Research Service, 1/6/12]

Wash. Post: Government Had 57 Percent Of Border Under "Effective Control." The Washington Post's Wonkblog reported that under the DHS' definition of "effective" operational control, "the government had 57 percent of the southern border under 'effective control,' up from 31 percent in 2007, due to the new border security measures that were implemented since then." [Wonkblog, The Washington Post, 1/29/13]

Illegal Border Crossings Have Decreased Sharply In Recent Years. In March 2012, The New York Times reported that the number of illegal border crossings has declined sharply in recent years. The Times wrote that the decrease in illegal crossings was "down to about 340,000 migrants apprehended in 2011 from a peak of 1.1 million in 2005." [The New York Times, 3/10/12]

Many Undocumented Immigrants Enter Country Legally But Overstay Visa

Pew Hispanic Center: Nearly Half Of All Undocumented Immigrants Came Here Legally. According to 2006 research from the Pew Hispanic Center, "Nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants now living in the United States entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point where they were subject to inspection by immigration officials." Pew reported:

As much as 45% of the total unauthorized migrant population entered the country with visas that allowed them to visit or reside in the U.S. for a limited amount of time. Known as "overstayers," these migrants became part of the unauthorized population when they remained in the country after their visas had expired.

[...]

The Pew Hispanic Center has previously estimated that there are between 11.5 and 12 million unauthorized migrants in 2006. The calculations reported in this fact sheet suggest that roughly 4.5 to 6 million or 40 to 50% of the total entered the country legally through ports of entry. Of them, some 4 to 5.5 million entered with nonimmigrant visas, mostly as tourists or business visitors, and another 250,000 to 500,000 entered with Border Crossing Cards. [Pew Hispanic Center, 5/22/06]

PolitiFact: GAO Has Estimated The Overstay Population To Hover Between 20 And 60 Percent. In a fact-check debunking the claim that most undocumented immigrants came here legally and overstayed their visa, PolitiFact highlighted a 2004 report by the Government Accountability Office that estimated the overstay population to be between 27 and 57 percent, according to different data sources. PolitiFact added that "data on overstayers has been considered unreliable, in part because of the incomplete collection of those immigration forms when foreign visitors leave the country." [PolitiFact, 9/23/12]

Wasn't Obama Responsible For Killing Immigration Reform In 2007?

Fox & friends co-host Steve Doocy claimed that President Obama "effectively killed" comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 when he was a U.S. senator. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/29/13]

Obama Voted In Favor Of 2007 Immigration Bill

Wash. Post: 2007 Immigration Bill Included Similar Legalization And Enforcement Conditions, Plus A Guest Worker Program. A comprehensive immigration reform agreement introduced in the Senate in 2007 that was supported by President Bush would have granted temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants only after "implementation of tough new border controls." The bill would also have toughened requirements for family-based immigration:

The Bush administration and a bipartisan group of senators reached agreement yesterday on a sprawling overhaul of the nation's immigration laws that would bring an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants out of society's shadows while stiffening border protections and cracking down on employers of undocumented workers.

[...]

The Senate deal would grant temporary legal status to virtually all illegal immigrants in the country, while allowing them to apply for residence visas and eventual citizenship. A temporary-worker program would allow as many as 400,000 migrants into the country each ye

‘Left, Right & Center’: Blah Jobs, Grilling Hagel and Immigration Reform

‘Left, Right & Center’: Blah Jobs, Grilling Hagel and Immigration Reform

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Posted on Feb 1, 2013
kcrw.com

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss the unemployment rates stalling at 7.9 percent while the economy added 335,000 more jobs than originally estimated. Also, Senate Republicans come down hard on Chuck Hagel, defense secretary nominee and former colleague.

They criticized Hagel for positions he had taken on Israel, the Iraq War and the nuclear threat from Iran. Is he too liberal for the Republicans? Obama pledges to put an immigration bill before lawmakers if they don’t come up with one themselves. Will immigration reform finally happen?

Joining Scheer and host Matt Miller is the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein on the right.

—Adapted from KCRW by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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Second Term: Immigration, Climate, Foreclosures

Immigration reform, climate change, the foreclosure crisis: with some disappointment over limited progress on these issues over the past four years, local activists hope more will be done in President Obama’s second term.

While support for comprehensive immigration reform has broadened noticeably since the November election, immigrant rights groups are concerned over dramatically stepped-up deportations under Obama, which reached 409,000 last year.

They’ll march on Inauguration Day (Monday, January 21, starting at 11 a.m. at the Daley Plaza and rallying at 12 noon at the Federal Plaza) calling on Obama to declare a moratorium on deporations.

A moratorium would be a first step toward comprehensive reform, said Eric Rodriguez, executive director of the Latino Union of Chicago.

“We want the president to be on the right side of history,” he said.  “His second term will define his legacy.  Will he be the president who deported more people than any other in history, or the president responsible for championing inclusion and equality?”

Immigration raids are a constant threat in Chicago communities today, said Tania Unzueta of the Immigant Youth Justice League; just last week scores of local residents were picked up in raids on a factory and two gathering places for day laborers.  IYJL is working to support several families who have members in detention, she said.

“Obama says he wants to do the right thing and keep families together, but we aren’t seeing it in our communities,” she said.

What should reform look like?  It should be comprehensive rather than piecemeal, and it should include a path to citizenship — not some kind of extended residency — that does not exclude large numbers of people, said Fred Tsao of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

“It needs to fix the current legal immigration system, so people aren’t waiting in line for ten or twenty years,” he said.  Reform should extend to enforcement policies, which have been cited for human rights violations, for impairing community safety, and most recently for exorbitant costs, with immigration enforcement spending outpacing the combined budgets of the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, and BATF.

Immigration reform should also include measures aimed at integrating immigrants, including English language education and citizenship training, Tsao said, pointing at Illinois’s New Americans Initiative as a model.

He adds that the support of Republican leaders in Springfield for a measure providing drivers licenses for undocumented residents during the recent veto sessions offers another model for politicians in Washington.

(For more, Colorlines has a guide to immigration reform.)

Chicagoans will be among thousands of protestors in Washington D.C. on February 17 for Forward on Climate, called by 350.org, the Sierra Club, and the Hip Hop Caucus, urging Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as “the first step in putting our country on the path for addressing the climate crisis.”

After 15,000 protestors circled the White House a year ago, Obama postponed a decision of approval for the pipeline. Tar sands oil emits far more carbon than conventional oil, and a new study points out that the use of a refinery byproduct as a coal substitute – even more carbon-intensive than coal – will add dramatically to climate damage.

“We’re trying to start the new session of Congress and President Obama’s second term by showing that the public is beyond ready for serious action on climate and clean energy,” said Jack Darin, executive director of the Illinois Sierra Club.

On clean energy, “we need to level the playing field; it’s been titled toward fossil fuels for decades,” he said.  “If we give the market a clear signal we’re going to support and buy clean energy, it will respond.”

Darin praised departing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and several initiatives in the administration’s first term, including raising mileage standards for cars — “the single largest reduction of pollution ever” – and regulations on toxic emissions from coal plants and on carbon emissions from new sources.  “The key now is finding ways to reduce carbon from existing sources,” he said.

Obama’s “all-of-the-above” energy policy, which seeks development of renewable energy along with oil, coal, and natural gas, came in for criticism from Len Richart of the Eco-Justice Collaborative.

He points out that destructive new “extreme” technologies like fracking and tar sands extraction are making additional sources of fossil fuels available, adding to carbon emissions when we should be reducing them.

“We really need a transitional plan,” Richart said.  “We’re going to be dependent on fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, but there’s a big difference if we agree on a transition to renewables.”

He’s particularly skeptical of the “clean coal” technology that Obama supports.  “They talk about it as if it’s up and running, and that’s not the case at all.”  In the meantime, he said, coal continues to be mined and burned, contributing a third of the nation’s carbon emissions.

Working with the Heartland Coalfield Alliance, EJC sends delegations of local activists to learn about the impact of coal mining in central and southern Illinois, which includes destruction of farmland, natural areas, and entire communities, and groundwater pollution from coal slurry and unlined pools of coal ash and sludge.

Like tar sands oil, much of Illinois’s high-sulfur coal is being exported to developing countries – which Richart argues should put to rest the argument that “all-of-the-above” development is needed for “energy independence.”

Housing advocates seem unanimous in their top priority for Obama’s second term: replacing Edward DeMarco as interim director of the Federal Housing Finance Authority.  “We need someone there who’s looking out for homeowners and communities and not the bottom lines of banks,” said Liz Ryan Murray, policy director for National Peoples Action.

DeMarco has blocked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which FHFA regulates and which control a huge chunk of the nation’s mortgages, from carrying out loan modifications with principal reductions to reflect the collapse of housing prices.   That’s a key step if the foreclosure crisis is to be stemmed.

In the Chicago area, the foreclosure rate has been up and down, said Katie Buitrago of the Woodstock Institute.  Last year several poor communities where foreclosures had been dropping saw sharp increases: up 60 percent in West Pullman, 25 percent in Englewood, she said.

If the employment situation doesn’t improve – and if long-term unemployment benefits are cut – foreclosures could continue at high levels, she said.

Obama tried to replace DeMarco, a Bush administration holdover, two years ago, but the appointment was held up in Congress.  If Congress won’t approve a replacement, Obama should made a recess appointment, Murray said.

Principal reduction has been a key proposal for housing groups since the start of the crisis, when they pushed for bankruptcy reform, a proposal that Obama supported and then backed away from.

The administration’s early efforts at foreclosure prevention were largely ineffective, in part because they sought voluntary participation by banks.  Mortgage services seemed to lack both the capacity and the interest to address the crisis on their own.

Recent settlements by state attorney generals and federal regulators have improved the framework, though according to Murray, “legal aid attorneys say the on-the-ground experience hasn’t changed dramatically.”

New servicer regulations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may help, establishing strict timetables for servicers to act on modification requests and ending “dual tracking,” in which homeowners on trial modifications were simultaneously foreclosed on.

The future of Fannie and Freddie, now in government receivership after being bailed out, is under debate. The agencies should be reformed “in a way that maintains wealth building opportunities for the low-wealth communities of color that were targeted by predatory lending and really hurt by foreclosures,” Buitrago said.

“Completely privatizing the housing market and handing it all back to Wall Street couldn’t be a worse idea,” Murray said.  “We’ve already seen what that would mean.”

In UK’s Heated Debate Over Immigration, Ministers Avoid Using The A-Word

LONDON -- Will President Obama’s plans for "comprehensive immigration reform," centred on a "pathway" to “earned citizenship” for 11 million undocumented immigrants, inspire British politicians to unveil similar proposals here?

In the UK, the number of undocumented immigrants has been estimated to be anywhere between 500,000 and 1.1 million. The much-maligned UK Border Agency is attempting to clear a massive backlog of cases of some 320,000 people -- the equivalent of the population of Iceland.

Yet ministers studiously refuse to talk of reform, which has been criticized as "amnesty": to be seen as “soft” on immigration, illegal or otherwise, is considered the kiss of death in modern British politics.

Here, the debate over immigration reform revolves around devising new and ingenious ways of keeping people out of the country -- for example, the government’s "cap" on the number of immigrants allowed into the UK from outside the European Union, or the ongoing war on "bogus" foreign students from the Indian subcontinent –- rather than legalising the status of undocumented people who are inside the country (a process known as “regularisation”).

And Fortress Britain is, of course, part of Fortress Europe; across the continent, governments have erected an increasing number of hurdles and barriers to try and limit immigration into the EU from North Africa and the Middle East while far-right parties have exploited a growing fear of foreigners to make substantive electoral gains.

“Globally, European countries stand out as having a negative attitude towards immigration (and Britain especially so),” wrote Ben Page, chief executive of pollsters Ipsos MORI, earlier this year, “and this appears to be linked to economic stagnation, high unemployment and public-sector cuts providing a framework in which immigrants are likely to be seen as a drain on limited resources and a threat to limited opportunities.”

Nonetheless, there have been a few attempts to buck the trend. In December 2011, the Polish government announced a relief for an estimated 7,000 undocumented immigrants.

Here in the UK, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg –- prior to entering into coalition with the Conservatives and being elevated to deputy prime minister –- said he wanted to “regularise” the status of undocumented immigrants and bring them “out of the shadows”; his party’s 2010 manifesto pledged to “allow people who have been in Britain without the correct papers for ten years ... to earn their citizenship."

Influential Labour MP Jon Cruddas, now in charge of his party’s policy review, is also on record backing deportation relief for undocumented foreign workers who have been in the UK for a long time.

Remarkably, so too is the Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson. "If an immigrant has been here for a long time and there is no realistic prospect of returning them, then I do think that person's condition should be regularised so that they can pay taxes and join the rest of society," he has said in the past. (The capital is thought to be home to more than two-thirds of the country’s undocumented immigrants.)

But it would be a mistake to assume that relief for undocumented in the UK is around the corner. “In the U.S., ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ brings together a broad alliance of business and unions, human rights and race advocates and universities; and advocates have built an argument that two-thirds of Americans back by putting effective borders, a path to citizenship, and enforcement of labour market standards together,” says Sunder Katwala, founder and director of the British Future think tank. This contrasts with the UK, he explains, where “advocacy is fragmented.”

Reform is also deeply unpopular –- hence the reluctance of most mainstream politicians to utter the A-word. Poll after poll shows the public supports deportation of undocumented immigrants, no matter how expensive or impractical such measures may be, rather than "amnesties" or "regularisation." As Katwala observes, “The 2010 election, where the LibDems came under fire over amnesty, showed that there is a very long way to go to build public support and consent, and to offer credible reassurance that it would be a one-off to sort an effective system out, not the first in a series of amnesties seeming to create an open door policy for all.”

Few would pretend that there is anything resembling a "liberal" majority on immigration in the UK: A recent YouGov poll for the Sunday Times revealed that 67 percent of the public thinks immigration has been “a bad thing for Britain” and 80 percent support the Conservative-led coalition government’s pledge to reduce net immigration into the UK from the hundreds of thousands to the "tens of thousands."

Consider, however, the results of YouGov’s latest “issues” poll. When asked which two or three issues were the “most important ... facing the country at this time," the economy came first, cited by 79 percent of the public, while immigration was second, cited by 49 percent. But when asked to rank “the most important issues facing you and your family,” the economy still came first (67 percent) while immigration plummeted to sixth (14 percent), behind health (33 percent), pensions (31 percent) tax (27 percent) and family life (16 percent).

The YouGov poll, incidentally, backs the findings of a recent "State of the Nation" survey conducted by British Future, which found that 19 percent of the public picked immigration as their top local concern while 30 percent put immigration first when asked to think about the tensions facing “British society as a whole."

As YouGov chairman Peter Kellner points out, “there is a huge gulf between people’s perception of immigration as a national issue, and one that affects their own lives.”

It is this “gulf” that the advocates of deportation relief, and a less draconian approach to immigration as a whole, will have to try and turn to their advantage if they are to secure popular support in the near future. In the meantime, the UK's undocumented immigrants will continue to remain in the shadows, watching the unfolding debate across the Atlantic with envy.

Obama’s Immigration Reform Sets Punitive Obstacles to Citizenship

Context: As yet there are no context links for this item.

Bio

Isabel Garcia is the co-chair of the human rights organization Derechos Humanos in Tucson, Arizona. She's a criminal defense and immigration lawyer, and she is on the board of the National Network For Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

On Wednesday, the White House released details of President Obama's proposal on immigration reform. Here are the four main headlines. Number one, continue to strengthen border security. Cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers. Earn citizenship. And streamlining legal immigration.Now joining us to discuss President Obama's proposal is Isabelle Garcia. She's the cochair of the human rights organization Derechos Humanos in Tucson, Arizona. She's a criminal defense and immigration lawyer, and she's on the board of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. And she joins us from Tucson.Thanks for joining us again, Isabel.ISABEL GARCIA, COCHAIR, DERECHOS HUMANOS: You're welcome. Thank you so much.JAY: So let's work our way through these notes that came from the White House, President Obama's proposal. But just before we do, just give me an overall impression of what you think of what he's suggesting.GARCIA: Well, I think it's pretty unfortunate that President Obama has not chosen to take a stronger, more honest approach to immigration reform, that he has given in still to, you know, quote, security hawks. And so that's initially my impression, that this is going to be very limited, with huge costs.JAY: Okay. Well, let's go through the proposal. And we'll start with the first thing, "Continuing to Strengthen Border Security". And here's a bit of what they say: "by enhancing our infrastructure and technology, the President’s proposal continues to strengthen our ability to remove criminals and apprehend and prosecute national security threats." So I guess most people hearing that will say, well, what's wrong with that.GARCIA: People would say that only because there's been a lot of fear, especially since 9/11.People need to understand in this country that migration from Mexico has been ongoing ever since we took half of Mexico, but in very specific intentional terms since the beginning of the century. In the early 1900s, they decided they needed to bring in Mexicans to build. And we have kept up that practice for a long time. We don't have 11 million people just out of accident or because we're humane. We have 11 million people here undocumented because our economy depends on them. And so to characterize this as national security threats on the border is absolutely wrong. Migration worldwide, and not just here, is a socioeconomic-political phenomenon that we have contributed to. We have made the call for Mexicans to come to work in the United States for over 100 years. That really has not changed.JAY: I've told this story before on The Real News, but in '91, I was researching a film. I was on the Tijuana border—I was on the Mexican side of the Tijuana border, and the sun was going down, and people were ready to go into California when it got dark. And there must have been 400—300, 400 people lined up on either side of me ready to cross, completely out in the open. In fact, there was like a fest, that people were selling popcorn and other kinds of food there. And on the other side waiting to stop people from coming in was nobody, because it was harvest season in California and they wanted all this labor to come in. And they were treating it like a valve, to let labor in when they wanted it, and then they could threaten people once they got there.GARCIA: That's absolutely correct. But migration has gone down to the lowest it's been in 40 years, so we've got to keep that in mind as well.JAY: Well, these days, enforcement, I think, has gotten—is much stiffer than when I was there. But I guess the point I'm making is many of the people that are undocumented that are here are here 'cause there were jobs for them and employers wanted them, and there was no real security at the border to stop it, precisely for those reasons.GARCIA: Absolutely. We've used border, you know, security when our economy demands it. We're restrictive at those times. Otherwise, we've been—the secret that nobody wants to say is that we've had an open border with Mexico in a lot of ways. In other words, it's not militarized. If we militarize this border, I mean, people have to understand what the economic cost is: 18 billion just last year, more than all the combined budgets of the rest of the federal law enforcement agencies combined. And now we're asking for even more, while we don't have, you know, jobs and schools and health care and bad roads. We're building this other arm that really doesn't relate or respond to the issue at hand.JAY: What do you make of people who argue that if you do create this path to citizenship, which is later in the proposal, and you do regularize anyone who's here who's undocumented, and if the border isn't "secure", quote-unquote, then why wouldn't tens of thousands or more people from not just Mexico but from all over Latin America make their way up and come to the United States?GARCIA: A couple of things. First of all, that's a failure of this alleged comprehensive immigration reform. If we were comprehensive about it, we would look immediately to why people are coming. And no one—not the Democrats, not the Republicans—want to look at that. So, yes, I agree with people that if we're wondering, wait a minute, is this a one-time thing, what is it that we need to do to fix it, I think we have to look at what our policies are. I mean, NAFTA has propelled 6 million workers out of agriculture in Mexico, and they crossed unlawfully into the United States. We had a boom, right? Right now we're at a low, but we had a massive crossing. You described it in what you saw in Tijuana. So why don't we deal with policies that the United States has that is causing mass migration from the sending countries? I think—let me tell you, I've been involved in this issue since '76. People don't necessarily want to come. People have asked me, please, not only fight for humans' right to migrate, but why don't you fight for the right for us to remain home, that you don't enact policies that impact our livelihood?And that's what we've done. We've allowed Monsanto to do away with, you know, corn producing in Mexico. And so I agree with what they're saying. But on the other hand, people need to understand that we've never had immigration laws that reflect the reality. The reality is what? That we've invited almost 11 million people to come here. We also have to acknowledge that families must be unified, that a border cannot keep families separated and that we should not do that. And thirdly, we should look at other policies, such as our alleged war on drugs, that is causing more and more migration into the United States.I think if we're going to talk about comprehensive, that's what we need to deal with, not enforcement at the border. Even Napolitano herself said, if we build a 50-foot wall, people will build a 51-foot ladder. I mean, that is not what we're talking about. This is not a law enforcement or a national security issue. I beg to differ.JAY: I mean, I guess the argument would be, if you're going to have a free-trade agreement with Mexico, then, one, even some people on the right have argued in favor of this, that there should be also free coming and going of people in free trade zone countries. And number two, the free trade agreement actually has to be good for the economies of all the countries involved, and it clearly hasn't been good for Mexico.Alright. Let's move on to the next part of President Obama's proposal, "Cracking Down on Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers". The notes say, "Our businesses should only employ people legally authorized to work in the United States. Businesses that knowingly employ undocumented workers are exploiting the system to gain an advantage over businesses that play by the rules." So they're going to crack down on employers, which they never have. They've always allowed employers to more or less hire undocumented workers at will. What do you make of this proposal? Because—I'm going to get to a point, 'cause something I don't get about all of this is, if they really crack down on employers, then what's supposed to happen to all these people that are going to get fired now?GARCIA: Well, I'd like to begin with the observation that the premise is absolutely faulty. If we want immigration reform and they're responding to the issue that, you know, elected people here, it's not employer sanctions, it is not more immigration enforcement that we want. What we want is a full legalization. Cracking down on employers just sounds great, right? We all say, oh, yeah, those employers, those terrible employers that crack down. However, do we question what we pay for fruit and vegetables here, the clothes that I wear, the housing I have? To a large part, immigrants have impoverished their lives to enrich our lives. And so, to say that they're going to crack down on employers is ridiculous. We already have employer sanctions right on the books, which we fought in 1986. But we know that there's not enough enforcement. And I don't believe that our tax money should go for enforcement at the work site.JAY: Well, that's what the proposal—the proposal is about a new big electronic system with social security cards that are more verified, and then a onus on employers to use this electronic verification program. And if they—.GARCIA: Do we want that? Do we want those violations of privacy? I knew a United States of America where people who—said, hey, you know, I'm a tramp and I go across the country and I don't have to have an ID and nobody's going to have my information. We have a very strong privacy sentiment in this country. And because of 9/11, everybody's giving in. And as the world globalizes, that we have no borders, they say, for capital and intellectual property and such, and yet now we're going to police ourselves to the point of each of us having this verifiable national ID. I think it's absolutely wrongheaded. It's absolutely wrongheaded, goes for surveillance of all of our community, between the employment of surveillance and along the community, because here in Tucson, everybody's afraid of the police department. With SB 1070 the law on the books here, we're all under a police state. So I think it's wrong.JAY: But don't you think a country has a right to tell employers that people have to be in the country legally documented before you can hire them? If you take this issue aside, that—so many people are here undocumented because they were more or less invited here, really. But if you separate that question as a principle, don't you think a country can say to its employers, you can only hire people that are legally here?GARCIA: I don't think—it depends on the problem you're trying to address. And in this particular situation, no, I think it's wrong. I think when you say the government, well, yes, the government can—you know, we have a government. Is it wrong? I think it's absolutely wrong. Why aren't we having a government say to the corporate interests that are going into Mexico and, you know, doing away and displacing Mexican workers that in the end cross over to the United States—why aren't we doing that? Why aren't we cracking down on Wall Street? People say, oh, well, the people crossed unlawfully. We've invited them. For generations, Mexico has entire towns that—where their young men of working age are all in the United States or Canada, but mainly in the United States, and behind are the women, the grandparents, and the children. We've established this pattern with Mexico for a long time, and I think it's time that we acknowledge that and legalize everybody and not go back to what we've done. We've had a thriving workforce without having employer sanctions, without having employer verification system. Do you know what that does as well? It institutionalizes racism or racial profiling, because as we discuss this issue, even at a societal level, we're having an impact on our children and everybody else and employers saying, boy, I wonder if this employee has papers? You know, she speaks Spanish and doesn't speak—.JAY: Well, let's look at that next part of the proposal, then, "Earned Citizenship". It says, "It is just not practical to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders." It's interesting it says "not practical." It doesn't say it'd be morally wrong; it just says it's impractical. "The President’s proposal provides undocumented immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to come out of the shadows so they can pay their taxes and play by the same rules as everyone else. Immigrants living here illegally must be held responsible for their actions by passing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, going to the back of the line, and learning English before they can earn their citizenship. There will be no uncertainty about their ability to become U.S. citizens if they meet these eligibility criteria." What do you make of that?GARCIA: I see it as almost a very rough obstacle course for people. In other words, these limitations are meant to diminish the number of people who can successfully get on this famous path for citizenship. Remember, it's not—we don't go after citizenship. The first thing you have to do is become a permanent lawful resident. In the Senate, of course, they want to condition it to border security, but the president is still creating such a tough road. Who's going to determine back taxes? And I'm telling you, I object from the very tone of what he's saying, because it's basically saying that they've done wrong, that if it were practical to deport 11 million people, we should. It's not only not practical; it's immoral, it's the unfair thing to do when we have millions of people, again, that have been enriching our lives while impoverishing their own. Just ask the auditor of the Social Security suspense fund. He will tell you that the over $220 billion that will pay for my Social Security comes from the earnings and the taxes paid by undocumented workers. Why should they pay a fine? They've been paying taxes, they've been subsidizing us in so many ways. And all the credible studies will verify. And so that's why I'm upset.JAY: The politics of all this is that Latinos, Hispanic-speaking people voted in large numbers for President Obama. It was one of the things that helped him swing the last elections. And everyone's talking about the future of American elections to a large extent are going to be decided by Hispanics and Latinos. Is this going to please people or not, these proposals?GARCIA: Well, I'll tell you, the sound of it is already pleasing some people, just because they're so hungry for reform. But once they learn the details of this immigration reform, I think the Latino voter is not going to be that superficial. I think the Latino voter is going to actually see what this reform really results in. Remember, when we had amnesty, we only legalized half of the undocumented worker force at that time in '86; we didn't have all of these tough requirements, and yet legalized only half. The good thing back then is that we didn't have this huge enforcement apparatus that we now have.JAY: In the next part of our interview, I'm going to ask Isabel Garcia what her immigration reform would look like. So please join us for part two of the interview on The Real News Network.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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Immigration Reform Must Include Workers’ Rights

At this moment, various plans to reform America's broken immigration system are working their way through Congressional debate. On Monday, a bipartisan group of eight lawmakers unveiled a plan that includes what they call a "tough but fair" path to ci...

Obama Pushes Ahead With Immigration Reform — Here’s the Good, Bad and the Ugly

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January 29, 2013  |  

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On Tuesday, Barack Obama flew to Nevada, where one in five residents is foreign-born, to once again call for comprehensive immigration reform – a centrist approach to a nagging problem that's been demagogued by the conservative media as “amnesty” and blocked by nativists in Congress for almost a decade.

Obama's speech offered some sharp elbows for Congress's nativist wing, and some hope for those in his very supportive audience. But Obama's optimism belied two potentially serious problems for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in this country: one political and one inherent in the nuts and bolts of policy.

In Washington, there's renewed hope that in the wake of Republicans' second electoral drubbing among Latinos and Asian-Americans, there will finally be an opportunity to get a set of real reforms through Congress. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has been imploring conservatives to rethink their embrace of “self-deportation” and back a measure that would provide some kind of mechanism for undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows.

And last week, a bipartisan group of eight Senators – including Rubio and fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain and Jeff Flake from Arizona – laid out a set of broad principles that might inform the legislative process.

Obama largely endorsed the still-undefined senate deal even as he revealed his own, more detailed proposals. But the larger purpose of the speech was to isolate and sideline anti-immigration hard-liners on Capitol Hill. “I’m here today because the time has come for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. “The time is now.”

He talked about the public's support for a comprehensive fix, and warned of America losing her competitive edge as highly-skilled migrants take their education and return home to put it to use. “Intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here,” he said. “Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Right now in one of those classrooms, there’s a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea, their Intel or Instagram, into a big business.”

Obama noted that there appears to be a rare bit of consensus emerging on the issue. “At this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon, and that’s very encouraging,” he said. “But this time, action must follow. We can’t allow immigration reform