Archive for August, 2011

Immigration Reform

Posted on August 25, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , |

There are no sounds for immigration reform coming from the Federal government. The White House is quiet on the matter. The U.S. Congress does not want to deal with it. It appears that when re-elections are concerned, the talk of Immigration Reform disappears into the darkness. So what happens? States decide to take the matter into their own hands. And the results are at times devastating for proponents of Immigration Reform. Take for example Arizona. They have led the country in putting forth their idea of what Immigration Reform is by enacting the controversial immigration law, SB-1070. This law makes failure to carry immigration documents a crime. It also extends the authority of police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

But Arizona is not alone in this anti-immigrant sentiment. The Georgia Legislature is currently debating an immigration reform bill that makes the Arizona one appear benevolent. If enacted into law, anyone caught using fake documents to get a job would face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 dollar fine for the first offense, 15 years and a $250,000 dollar fine for a second offense. It would also allow hearsay evidence against an accused illegal immigrant. The Florida Legislature is debating bill SB 2040 that would authorize sheriffs to enter agreements with federal officials allowing them to function as immigration agents. And the Legislatures in Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are considering measures that permit the police to check the immigration status of anyone that is stopped for a traffic violation. read more here ……. Immigration Reform



Source: President Obama Immigration Reform Speech El Paso Texas (May 10, 2011) [3/3]

Source: President Obama El Paso Speech On Immigration pt.2

Source: Shields and Gerson on Immigration Reform, Gingrich’s 2012 Bid

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International Students Worried About Indiana Immigration Law

Posted on August 16, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , |

International graduate students attending Indiana colleges and universities are worried the state’s new immigration law will reduce their financial assistance, The Associated Press reports.

Officials at Purdue University and Indiana University told the AP they have not altered their funding practices since the law went into effect on July 1, and they do not believe the law was intended to make it difficult for foreign-born students to attend higher education institutions in the state. But students on F and J visas are worried because the law states only U.S. citizens or qualified aliens are eligible for public higher-education assistance, and F and J visa-holders are not considered qualified aliens.

In addition to waivers allowing them to pay in-state tuition, international graduate students often receive aid in the form of on-campus jobs, such as working as a teacher or research assistant, that provide them with crucial income while in school. Some foreign students’ eligibility for these jobs could be in jeopardy, as the new law requires applicants to provide a Social Security number or international student number as a condition of employment, a Ball State University spokesperson, Joan Todd, told the AP.

The language of the law is worrisome, Indiana University spokesman Mark Land told the AP. But both Land and Todd assured the source their universities have no plans to cut funding for international students.

Since Arizona passed a strict immigration law last year, Indiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Utah have enacted similar legislation.

Source: International Students Worried About Indiana Immigration Law

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Fingerprints Shared with ICE Draws Criticism

Posted on August 10, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , |

The federal government’s program that requires the FBI to share fingerprints of all arrested individuals to US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has drawn criticism from groups that claim the system violates civil rights. With the fingerprints, ICE will check the immigration status of everyone taken into custody.

Before this program, local police simply sent fingerprints to the FBI for background checks and American citizenship was not verified.

Many states, like New York, announced that they would opt out of the Secure Communities program, according to the New York Daily News, but a decree from Washington has disregarded those wishes. ICE director John Morton recently notified governors around the country that their signed agreements from the past were without merit. Previously, ICE sought permission and cooperation from local officials, but it appears the program is now deemed mandatory.

“Everyone is still in shock that the federal government is ignoring the wishes of New York,” Udi Ofer, of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told the publication.

According to USA Today, civil rights groups are currently considering filing a lawsuit to block Secure Communities from being required nationwide. The program has been active since 2008 as local governments chose to participate, but it is expected to be put in place across the country by 2013.

Source: Fingerprints Shared with ICE Draws Criticism

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Farmers and Workers Fear Immigration Crackdown

Posted on August 3, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , |

Farmers in Washington state are fearful of the national crackdown on illegal immigration, saying that their businesses could not survive without the work of undocumented workers, The Columbian reports.

Farm owner Steve Sakuma in Burlington, Washington, a region in the northern portion of the state, estimates that 80 percent of his employees were in the country illegally, despite documentation provided to him that proved otherwise. If lawmakers force employers to verify immigration status of employees, he told the publication that his farm and many others would likely be no more.

According to Sakuma, these workers fill a void in the workforce.

“They’re just making a living,” he told the news source. “They’re here doing what other people won’t do. If you think that white America is going to come out here and pick these strawberries, you have been living in the dark for a long time.”

Washington state, under pressure from the public, changed one of its most liberal illegal immigration policies in December 2010. Previously, Washington and New Mexico were the only two states that allowed illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses. Since then, the Olympian reports that the number of out-of-state driver’s licence applicants without Social Security numbers has been cut by 50 percent.


Source: Farmers and Workers Fear Immigration Crackdown

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