September 10, 2012
DREAMers Cautious on Deferred Action OfferMiriam Jordan writes for the Wall Street Journal:
The flow of applications for a program allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and work legally has been slowed by concerns about what they must disclose and uncertainty about who will be the next president.
During the first three weeks that the government accepted requests for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," as the program is known, nearly 40,000 individuals submitted applications, according to government officials and others familiar with the situation. The government began accepting requests on August 15.
Chris Bentley, press secretary for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency adjudicating the requests, said the government will release official numbers later this week. He declined to comment further.
The level of activity so far is a fraction of the potential number of eligible immigrants. Click here for more..
The Economic Impact of the Republican and Democratic Immigration Platforms
The Center for American Progress Action Fund today released the infographic “The Economic Impact Of The Republican and Democratic Immigration Platforms.” The platform adopted by Republicans doubles down on nearly every extreme enforcement tactic with the goal of “self-deportation,” or driving all undocumented immigrants out of the country. In contrast, the platform adopted by Democrats calls for the practical, forward-looking reforms that were once embraced by leaders in both parties, including former President George W. Bush.
This infographic illustrates what would happen to our economy during the four years of the next presidential administration based on the respective immigration policies of the two political parties. Specifically, we look at the consequences for overall economic growth, jobs, and taxes of either deporting 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, including 8 million workers (as the Republican platform would do) versus enabling them to earn legal status (as the Democratic platform would do).
Immigration Article of the Day: From Fingerprints to DNA: Biometric Data Collection in U.S. Immigrant Communities and Beyond by Jennifer Lynch
Abstract: The collection of biometrics — such as fingerprints, DNA, and face recognition-ready photographs — is becoming more and more a part of the society in which we live, no less so for immigrants within the United States. State and local law enforcement agencies are quickly adopting mobile biometrics scanners that can collect and identify fingerprints and even iris prints and face images taken from several inches to several feet away. Both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are in the process of expanding their biometrics databases to collect much more information, including face prints and iris scans. As of January 2012, the FBI has been working with several states to collect face recognition‐ready photographs of all suspects arrested and booked. Once these federal biometrics systems are fully deployed, and once each of their approximately 100 million records also includes photographs, it may become trivially easy to find and track people within the United States. Undocumented people living within the United States, as well as immigrant communities more broadly, are facing these issues more immediately than the rest of society and are uniquely affected by the expansion of biometrics collection programs. Under DHS’s Secure Communities program, states are required to share their fingerprint data — via the FBI — with DHS, thus subjecting undocumented and even documented immigrants in the United States to heightened fears of deportation should they have any interaction with law enforcement. Further, under data-sharing agreements between the United States and other nations, refugees’ biometric data may end up in the hands of the same repressive government they fled. Should they ever be deported or repatriated, they could face heightened risks from discrimination or even ethnic cleansing within their former home countries. This paper addresses these issues. It discusses the state of biometrics in the United States today and its planned expansion in the future. It provides background information on biometrics and applicable laws and how biometrics and immigration issues intersect. It discusses concerns within the privacy advocacy community about biometrics, data sharing, and databases — and applies those concerns to immigration issues. Finally, it concludes with some proposals for change.
Undocumented Immigrant for a Day: 'La Caminata' Gives Tourists A Simulated Illegal Border-Crossing Experience
Will wonders never cease?Sara Gates on the Huffington Post In the small town of El Alberto, Mexico, tourists can get the "illegal" experience. More than 100 residents are employed by the Caminata Nocturna, a simulated experience that allows tourists to act as migrants attempting to cross the border. During the four-hour Saturday night trek, participants must evade U.S. border agents, while jorneying through the dark wilderness. Since opening in 2004, the border-crossing "theme park" has been visited by thousands of people.
Filmmaker Jamie Meltzer documented the hike in his film "La Caminata," (Spanish for 'the hike') speaking to El Alberto residents who act as border patrol guards or smugglers and tourists.
September 9, 2012
Immigration Article of the Day: The Anti-Immigrant Game by Pratheepan Gulasekaram and Karthick Ramakrishnan
Abstract: Laws such as Arizona's SB 1070 are not natural responses to undue hardship but are products of partisan politics.