November 5, 2011
ICE Boasts Employer Cooperation with IMAGE Program
Several major US employers join ICE employment compliance program
WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced yesterday seven major employers in the U.S. including Best Western International, Chick-fil-A, Inc., Hyatt, Kelly Services, Lexmark, Smoothie King and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America have agreed to partner with ICE by joining the agency's employment compliance program IMAGE, or "ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers." IMAGE promotes voluntary compliance and helps companies ensure they are maintaining a lawful workforce.
"These companies have made a commitment to protecting our nation's lawful workforce," said ICE Director John Morton. "This is not just about smart business; it's about doing what is right in the eyes of the law and supporting U.S. companies who are committed to hiring a legal workforce."
IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows businesses to partner with ICE to maintain a secure and stable workforce and curtail the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach and education. ICE recently revamped IMAGE, simplifying program requirements. Twenty-two companies have signed up since then.
IMAGE partners agree to use sound compliance practices, including voluntarily enrolling in E-Verify, an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. They also agree to follow written hiring policies and engage in annual self-audits. Most significantly, they agree to submit to an ICE audit of the employment eligibility forms. The IMAGE program is part of ICE's overall worksite enforcement strategy, which targets employers who knowingly hire illegal labor.
In FY 2011, ICE:
-Conducted 2,496 I-9 audits, up from 503 in FY 2008.
-Initiated 3,291 worksite enforcement cases, up from 1,191 in FY 2008.
-Criminally arrested 221 employers, up from 135 in FY 2008.
-Issued 385 Final Orders for $10,463,987 in fines, up from 18 Final Orders for $675,209 in fines in FY 2008.
-Debarred 115 individuals and 97 businesses, compared to 0 individuals and 0 businesses in FY 2008.
For more information on the IMAGE program, please visit: http://www.ice.gov/image/faqs.htm
In my view this is part of ICE/DHS "silent raids" enforcement that continues to divide families and hurts hardworking folks. See this article by David Bacon and me: The Rise and Fall of Employer Sanctions.
November 4, 2011
One of Alabama's Worst Times Since Jim Crow
Does DHS Have a Civil Rights Reponse to Anti-Immigrant State Laws?
From the American Immigration Council:
DOJ Responds Forcefully to Civil Rights Disaster in Alabama, What Will DHS Do?
Washington D.C. – This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it was filing suit in South Carolina to block Act No. 69 (formerly SB 20), South Carolina’s new anti-immigrant law—modeled on Arizona’s SB1070. DOJ argues—like it did in Utah and Alabama—that the law is unconstitutional and interferes with the federal government’s ability to set and enforce immigration policy and is likely to result in civil rights violations. Following the legal challenge, the DOJ Civil Rights Division also sent a letter to Alabama’s public schools reminding them of their duty to provide public education to all children in the state regardless of immigration status.
The DOJ is challenging state legislatures that pass immigration enforcement laws that interfere with the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration laws and setting priorities. The DOJ’s effort on this case reflects their commitment to protecting constitutional principles and individual rights, a commitment that should extend to pursing vigorous challenges in other states that have passed similar laws, including Utah, Georgia, and Indiana.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has a strong role to play and should respond to the civil rights crisis taking place in the states and make good on Secretary Napolitano’s assurance that her agency will not be complicit in enforcing Alabama’s new law through federal immigration enforcement actions.
If one agency of the government is arguing that Alabama’s law is unconstitutional, another agency, DHS, should act consistently and closely review the cases of all immigrants brought to their attention as a result of Alabama’s new law and exercise appropriate discretion. Good government requires consistency across agencies. DHS, like DOJ, should treat implementation of Alabama's new anti-immigrant law as the civil rights crisis that it is and respond swiftly.
Donald Kerwin: Crossing the Line: From Enforcing the Law to Targeting People
Donald Kerwin. Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies, in "Crossing the Line: From Enforcing the Law to Targeting People" on Huffington Post questions the deportation-by-attritrion approach to immigrtaion embraced by the Arizona and Alabama immigration laws:
"A new policy consensus on smarter and fairer enforcement would target violations of the law, not immigrants and their families. It would seek to tailor enforcement measures to the federal government's authority to determine who can enter, who must leave, and who can stay. It would recognize that not all restrictions against immigrants implicate the federal government's authority to regulate immigration, and that the U.S. Constitution applies to persons, not just to citizens."
Anthropologist's Five Books on Migrant Workers
Anthropologist Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz identifies five us about books that give voice to low-wage migrant workers and explains the mutual dependence of slums and “urban glamour zones”:
Immigration Article of the Day: "Pointers to Discriminatory Canadian Immigration Policies" by STEPHEN CHARLES KADUULI
"Pointers to Discriminatory Canadian Immigration Policies" Transnational Social Review Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011 STEPHEN CHARLES KADUULI, York University, Africa Leadership Institute.
ABSTRACT: Canada has been a haven for refuge seekers from around the world for many years because of its relatively generous immigration rules. For that reason, in 1986, the people of Canada were awarded the Nansen Refugee Award by UNHCR for helping refugees integrate successfully into Canadian society. However, there appear to be discriminatory tendencies in its immigration policies, which in the past were based on race. This contribution delves into the differential treatment of immigrants from the global south compared to the preferential treatment of English speaking Caucasians from Europe and Oceania. The question that arises at this juncture is why, given all the accolades heaped on Canada, do discriminatory laws and practices persist in the assessment of non-European immigrants’ credentials. Could it be that the laws and practices are crafted to cleverly continue with the old agenda of keeping certain types or races of people out of Canada? The Canadian Council for Refugees (2000: 1) observes that racism and discrimination are part of the Canadian reality, manifested at the personal level in the way individuals are treated and manifested at the systemic level, through government bodies and the refugee and immigration policies that have a differential impact on racialized groups. Those bodies and policies can also lead to discrimination against newcomers as a group, or certain sub-groups of newcomers. This contribution proceeds by taking a look at the country’s history in terms of immigration policy history to shed light on the current underlying discrimination in immigration policy, practices and law.
Blogger's Note: Maybe Canada's immigration laws and policies aren't all they are cracked up to be!
November 3, 2011
Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System
Colorlines/ARC just released a report (Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System)that provides the first national investigation of the extent to which the children of deported parents languish in foster care.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
There are at least 5,100 children currently living in foster care who are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents.
If nothing changes, 15,000 more children may face a similar fate in the next 5 years.
This is a growing national problem, not one confined to border jurisdictions or states -- ARC identified at least 22 states where these cases have emerged.
Families are more likely to be separated where local police aggressively participate in immigration enforcement.
Immigrant victims of domestic violence are at particular risk of losing their children ICE detention obstructs participation in Child Protective Services' plans for family unity.
Most child welfare departments lack systemic policies to keep families united when parents are detained or deported.
Federal, state and local governments must create explicit policies to protect families from separation. These polices should stop the clock on the child welfare process and the immigration enforcement process to ensure that families can stay together and allow parents to make the best decisions for the care and custody of their children.
Here are links to his Colorlines investigative articles on the issue: "Thousands of Kids Taken From Parents In U.S. Deportation System" and "U.S. Deports 46K Parents With Citizen Kids in Just Six Months"
Sahar Aziz: Time to Address Violence Against Muslim Women
Sahar Aziz (Texas Wesleyan University School of Law ), on Huffington Post reports that "after 9/11, anti-Muslim prejudice was manifested most prominently as racial profiling, with Muslim men being the primary targets. The failure to effectively combat it has emboldened bigots into more open expressions of hatred directed at those regarded as most vulnerable: women. . . . Since the Ground Zero mosque controversy in 2010, Muslim women have increasingly reported being attacked in public or threats of such."
I fear that Professor Aziz is all-too-right.
Immigration Article of the Day: The Right U.S. Immigration Solution: 'Make Haste Slowly'
"The Right U.S. Immigration Solution: 'Make Haste Slowly'" MICHAEL LARSON, University of Miami - University of Miami Law Review.
ABSTRACT: The problem with the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement policy is it substitutes Congress’ priorities and strategies for immigration enforcement with its own. An exclusively federal enforcement scheme or one tailored to target only criminal aliens has no support in federal immigration law. Yet the Executive branch continues to distort traditional federal preemption analysis asserting that it is their priorities and strategies that are determinative not Congress’.
Making matters worse, President Obama continues to promise he will pursue comprehensive immigration reform, a process history suggests will be plagued by months of debate and appeasement of special interests resulting in legislation that “look[s] nothing like what was intended.” To stem illegal immigration, the Obama White House must abandon its exclusively federal and selective enforcement model. The long-term answer to illegal immigration is a uniform federal policy centered on intense Federal, State, and local enforcement. An attrition through enforcement model, characterized by (1) greater enforcement of current federal immigration law; (2) cooperative partnerships with state and federal agencies; and (3) vigorous enforcement of state immigration laws that discourage illegal immigrant settlement, represents a realistic strategy alternative to border fences, mass deportation or amnesty, or a reset strategy of comprehensive immigration reform. This scheme stands on solid legal footing as Congress has endorsed a joint enforcement strategy; not an exclusively federal model where states are forced to rely on a detached bureaucracy to deal with their largely local problems.
BLOGGER'S NOTE: I am not sure that I agree. Or, better yet, I am sure that I do not agree. In any event, here is one view.
November 2, 2011
Death in the (African) Desert
CNN's Freedom Project special "Death in the Desert" airs on Saturday, November 5 at 2100 HK / 1700 Abu Dhabi / 2100 CET / 2030PM ET; Sunday, November 6 at 1800 HK / 2100 Abu Dhabi / 1800 CET; Tuesday, November 8 at 2130 Abu Dhabi / 1830 CET. Every year, thousands of refugees, mostly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan, attempt the dangerous journey from their war-torn countries to Israel in search of economic prosperity and stability. Very few make it, and the results of the failed migration can be seen in the morgue of the central hospital in the Egyptian port town of El Arish. When a CNN crew visited there recently, all the refrigeration units were broken, leaving a biting stench of decaying corpses in the air, which staff members attempted in vain to cover up with chlorine-based cleaner and incense.
REPORT: Shared Challenges and Opportunities for EU and US Immigration Policymakers
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has been pleased to release the results of a comparative research partnership with the European University Institute (EUI) aimed at identifying ways in which Europe and the United States can address major immigration challenges facing policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic. Through the “US and EU Immigration Systems” project, MPI and EUI have published 39 reports and policy briefs that focus on developments in Europe and the United States in eight key areas – employment, economic growth, human rights, security, immigrant integration, demographics, development, and cooperation with immigrant-sending countries.
In a final report released today, Shared Challenges and Opportunities for EU and US Immigration Philippe Fargues, Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Giambattista Salinari, and Madeleine Sumption summarize and reflect upon the key findings of the project’s research papers and policy briefs. The report highlights the lessons to be learned from both similar and divergent experiences on either side of the Atlantic, sketching opportunities for future reform, as well as ways in which the European Union and the United States could improve their cooperative relationship.
Sexual Slavery Victim Facing Deportation in Spain
20,000 TO SPAIN: STOP DEPORTATION OF SEXUAL SLAVERY VICTIM
Explosive campaign on Change.org demands government official in Madrid halt deportation of sexual slavery victim.
MADRID, SPAIN – More than 20,000 people have joined a popular online campaign calling on Spanish immigration officials to halt the deportation of a woman fleeing sexual slavery.
The woman, a survivor of sexual slavery whose name cannot be published due to safety concerns, came to Spain to escape enslavement in another European country. She was arrested by Spanish authorities after her arrival and moved to a detention center, where she has been held for the past month.
Despite her reported willingness to cooperate with the judiciary, security forces, and Spanish government, the sexual slavery survivor has almost been deported twice and faces a third deportation attempt in the near future.
Soon after the arrest an online campaign to stop the deportation was launched on Actuable, a European campaigns platform recently acquired by Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change. Supporters claim that the deportation would put the sexual slavery survivor’s life in danger, and run contrary to Spain’s role as an ally in the international fight against sexual slavery networks.
"People all over the world are mobilizing to support a woman whom they believe faces imminent danger,” said Change.org’s Spain Country Director Francisco Polo. “The calls of more than 20,000 people will be difficult for the Spanish government to ignore, and this campaign seems likely to lead immigration officials to take another hard look at this case. Actuable and Change.org exist to empower anyone, anywhere to demand change on the issues that matter to them, and it’s clear that this campaign is striking a chord with a lot of people.”
In August of this year, a similar online petition on Actuable stopped the deportation of Algerian Sid Hamed Bouziane after just 6,000 people joined the campaign.
Trauma Compounded: The Plight of LGBT Immigration Detainees
Huffington Post is running a series on the costs of mass immigration detention, including harsh and inhumane treatment. The first installment of on the plight of LGBT immigrant detainees.
Microloan program to help legal immigrants cover naturalization costs
Lawful permanent residents seeking to naturalize have a new lender to cover naturalization fees. The Washington Post reports that
"Ernestina Pacas completed her citizenship application last week, 17 years after she moved to the United States from El Salvador. This week she is awaiting approval of a loan for $680, which she plans to use to pay the application fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Pacas, 42, is among the first to apply for a new microloan designed to help legal permanent residents cover their naturalization costs. . . . . She said she did not apply [to naturalize] earlier because she did not have the money to pay the fees. Organizers expect hundreds of green card holders such as Pacas to qualify for the pilot program being launched Tuesday by CASA of Maryland — the state’s largest immigrant advocacy group — in partnership with Citi and other financial institutions and nonprofit groups."
Obama Administration Challenges South Carolina Immigration Law
The Department of Justice has challenged South Carolina’s immigration law, Act No. 69, in federal court. In a complaint, filed in the District of South Carolina, the department states that certain provisions of Act No. 69, as enacted by the state on June 27, 2011, are unconstitutional and interfere with the federal government’s authority to set and enforce immigration policy, explaining that “the Constitution and federal law do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.”
South Carolina’s law clearly conflicts with the policies and priorities adopted by the federal government and therefore cannot stand. South Carolina’s law is designed to further criminalize unauthorized immigrants and, like the Arizona and Alabama laws, expands the opportunity for police to push unauthorized immigrants towards incarceration for various new immigration crimes by enforcing an immigration status verification system.
Similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and Alabama’s H.B. 56, this law will place significant burdens on federal agencies, diverting their resources away from high-priority targets, such as terrorism, drug smuggling and gang activity, and those with criminal records. In addition, the law’s mandates on law enforcement will also result in the harassment and detention of foreign visitors and legal immigrants, as well as U.S. citizens, who cannot readily prove their lawful status.
“Today’s lawsuit makes clear once again that the Justice Department will not hesitate to challenge a state’s immigration law, as we have in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina, if we find that the law interferes with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “It is understandable that communities remain frustrated with the broken immigration system, but a patchwork of state laws is not the solution and will only create problems. We will continue to monitor the impact these laws might have on our communities and will evaluate each law to determine whether it conflicts with the federal government’s enforcement responsibilities.”
“DHS continues to enforce federal immigration laws in South Carolina in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “This kind of legislation diverts critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermines the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve, while failing to address the underlying problem: the need for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.”
The department filed the lawsuit after consultation with the South Carolina attorney general and South Carolina law enforcement officials. The suit was filed on behalf of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigration law. The department will soon request a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law, parts of which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, arguing that the law’s operation will cause irreparable harm. The Justice Department previously challenged S.B. 1070 and H.B. 56 on federal preemption grounds.
The department continues to review immigration-related laws that were passed in Utah, Indiana and Georgia. Courts have enjoined key parts of the Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and Indiana state laws and temporarily restrained enforcement of Utah’s law.
For a CNN story about the DOJ suit, click here. Gearing for a debate in South Carolina on national security on November 12, GOP hopefuls Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann are expressing support for the South Carolina law.
The ACLU had previously sued to chalenge the South Carolina law.
November 1, 2011
Alabama, So. Carolina lead nation in Latino population increase – and strict immigration laws
Correlation or causation? Read Leslie Berestein Rojas' analysis.
Call for Papers -- Public International Law and Foreign Affairs Conference, March 30-31, 2012 (Creighton Law)
Creighton University School of Law invites submissions for the inaugural Public International Law and Foreign Affairs Conference, which will be held March 30-31, 2012. Hosted by the School of Law and in partnership with the Creighton International and Comparative Law Journal, the International Law Society, and the Graduate Program in International Relations, this conference will provide opportunities for practitioners, scholars, and students to present research in international law and foreign affairs. Submissions are due by January 15, 2012. Guidelines are available.
Kat Stacks Deported to Venezuela
UPDATE (Nov. 12): A reader sent me a correction to my story, stating that Stacks is in immigration detention in Louisiana.
Head of Justice Department Civil Rights Division Tells Alabama that Immigrant Children Have Rights to Public K-12 Education
Today, Assistant Attorney General oof the Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice, Thomas Perez, issued a letter to Alabama school districts reminding them of their obligation under federal law that a state may not deny a child equal access to public education based on his or her immigration status. The department also requested information regarding enrollment practices to determine whether each school district is in compliance with federal law and whether further action is warranted.
The Nasty Effects of Alabama's Law
From the Center for American Progress:
The “Birmingham campaign” to end segregation and other forms of discrimination garnered international attention in 1963 when the city’s infamous Commissioner of Public Safety “Bull” Connor unleashed police dogs and fire hoses on black children engaging in peaceful protest. Those images, captured on television, created a horrifying portrait of the American South and triggered national outrage over the plight of African Americans under Jim Crow segregation.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s peaceful protests eventually broke the back of segregation in Alabama. But now a new breed of state-sanctioned discrimination has surfaced with the implementation of Alabama’s harsh anti-immigration law, H.B. 56, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act.
H.B. 56 is the most recent—and most extreme—in a wave of anti-immigration laws conservative state legislatures have passed and conservative governors have signed into law. Gov. Robert Bentley (R-AL) put his pen to H.B. 56 on June 9, 2011.
H.B. 56’s sponsors argue that the law is designed to make every aspect of life unbearably difficult for undocumented immigrants living in Alabama. So it should come as no surprise that when U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn rejected an array of legal challenges mounted against the law and allowed a number of the most extreme provisions to go into effect on September 28, it triggered an urgent moral and humanitarian crisis. Thousands of kids failed to show up for school and thousands more have called in to the emergency hotlines established to help people affected by the law.
The law deploys fear as a weapon to marginalize and oppress an unwanted population—just as segregationist policies did 50 years ago. Although it is ostensibly designed to drive “illegal” immigrants out of the state, the law has made the state deeply inhospitable to all immigrants. As U.W. Clemon, Alabama’s first black federal judge, recently put it, in Alabama, “the Hispanic man is the new Negro…It’s a sad thing to say.”
Here we examine the law from all sides, taking a look at the status of legal challenges, the fear it’s breeding, the anti-immigration activism behind it and similar laws, and the electoral harm it’s likely to inflict on its conservative backers. Read more...