al.com: Alabama immigration law has denied basic human rights, report says

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Alabama’s immigration law has led to illegal immigrants around the state having their basic rights denied and should be repealed, a human rights group contends in a report being issued today.

“The initial human impact has been devastating, though the full consequences remain unknown,” stated the report, “No Way To Live: Alabama’s Immigrant Law,” issued by Human Rights Watch.

“A group of people have found themselves unable to live the lives they had lived for many years. Some were barred from access to basic services like water, and many more were told they could not live in homes they own,” according to the report. Read More …

NYT: Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans

A growing number of United States citizens have been detained under Obama administration programs intended to detect illegal immigrants who are arrested by local police.

In a spate of recent cases across the country, American citizens have been confined in local jails after federal immigration agents, acting on flawed information from Department of Homeland Security databases, instructed the police to hold them for investigation and possible deportation.

Americans said their vehement protests that they were citizens went unheard by local police and jailers for days, with no communication with federal immigration agents to clarify the situation. Any case where an American is held, even briefly, for immigration investigation is a potential wrongful arrest because immigration agents lack legal authority to detain citizens. Read More …

Boston Globe/AP: NY immigrant advocates criticize Border Patrol

“BUFFALO, N.Y.—Immigrant rights advocates and the New York Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused the Border Patrol in upstate New York of abusing its authority by questioning the citizenship of train and bus passengers, as well as people going about their business in towns miles away from any international crossing.

A report based on a Freedom of Information request suggests agents charged with securing the U.S.-Canadian border have taken advantage of their 100-mile area of jurisdiction to snare and deport illegal immigrants who have been in the country for years, using police-state tactics that allow them to boost arrest rates and justify increased funding.” Read more …

Fox News Latino: Alabama Immigration Battle Mirrors Civil Rights Era

"The nation's strictest immigration law has resurrected ugly images from Alabama's days as the battleground state for civil rights.

Sharing a border with Mexico and being flooded with boycotts does not make Arizona the poster state for the challenges of immigration laws in the United States. The four states that followed suit with their own immigration law enforcement aren't either.

No, the case that's likely to be the first sorted out by the U.S. Supreme Court comes from the Deep South state of Alabama, and Alabama's jump to the forefront says as much about the country's evolving demographics as it does the nation's collective memory of the state's sometimes violent path to desegregation.

 

With the failure of Congress in recent years to pass comprehensive federal immigration legislation, Arizona, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina and Indiana have passed their own. But supporters and opponents alike agree none contained provisions as strict as those passed in Alabama, among them one that required schools to check students' immigration status. That provision, which has been temporarily blocked, would allow the Supreme Court to decide if a kindergarten to high school education must be provided to undocumented immigrants.

Its stature as the strictest in the U.S., along with the inevitable comparisons of today's Hispanics with African-Americans of the 1950s and `60s, makes it a near certainty the law will be a test case for the high court." Read more …

 

STLtoday.com (Post Dispatch): Some in GOP more nuanced on immigration

"WASHINGTON • Rep. Tim Griffin, a Republican freshman from Arkansas with a university in his district, supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign math and science professionals to get legal residency.

Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., is resisting intense pressure to support a House bill that would require employers to verify the legal status of their workers because he is concerned that businesses would be unduly burdened.

While the Republican presidential campaign trail bristles with talk of moats, militarization and electrified fences when it comes to immigration, the view among some congressional Republicans has become more nuanced and measured.

Now many Republican freshmen, lacking the scar tissue of prior congressional attempts to make sweeping chances in immigration law, are advocating that policy be changed in small, bite-size pieces that could help bring order to the system and redefine their party's increasingly anti-immigration image, even as they maintain a strong push for better federal border security." Read more …

 

Houston Chronicle Blog: Immigration group warns Romney on Smith endorsement

"WASHINGTON – A leading immigrant advocacy group warned Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Thursday that his endorsement by Rep. Lamar Smith, author of several immigration bills, could later haunt his White House aspirations in a general election.

Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, endorsed Romney over his home state Gov. Rick Perry, earlier this week.

'The Obama campaign must be watching with glee,' said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a group that advocates comprehensive immigration reform and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

'For a candidate whose best "vote for me" argument to Republicans is that he is electable in a potential general election match-up, Romney’s recent endorsements seem instead calculated to alienate Latinos and shrink the number of potential battleground states in the process,' Sharry said.

Romney has attacked Perry in televised debates over the Texas governor’s positions on immigration measures.

Perry signed a bill that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition, and he has opposed a mandatory statewide E-Verify program that would require businesses to check a new employee’s immigration status against government data bases after the person is hired."  Read more …

 

Washington Post’s Michael Gerson: Accommodation of anger

"What is it about the immigration issue that brings out the worst in politicians?

Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Perry has a history of being an immigration hard-liner.Romney supported George W. Bush’s attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in 2005, which included a (difficult) path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. When I attended a dinner with Perry during his 2010 campaign for reelection as Texas governor, he was particularly passionate about the need for Republican outreach to Hispanics.

Yet Romney has attacked Perry for allowing educational benefits in Texas for the children of undocumented immigrants — calling this policy 'a magnet to draw illegals into the state.' Perry has responded that Romney’s Massachusetts health-care reform permitted the medical treatment of undocumented immigrants, which a Perry campaign spokesman calls an 'illegal immigration magnet.' In this exchange, both campaigns have managed — extending the metaphor — to be repellent.

It is one thing to debate techniques of enforcement along the United States’ southern border. Most of the Republican candidates seem to prefer construction of a physical wall — a public-works program of questionable utility that would make the Great Pyramid seem a minor, shovel-ready project in comparison. Herman Cain wants the barrier electrified. Michele Bachmann proposes two walls, just in case. Perry, who knows something about the vastness of Texas, seems flummoxed by the absurdity of the whole idea.'  Read more …

 

SA Express News O. Richardo Pimentel: Republican immigration ‘debate’ not so much

"Immigration is not just some esoteric issue in San Antonio or Texas, which is why what is passing for debate on the issue in the GOP should be of more than just passing interest — and distress.

A few names rise to the top in illustrating how delirious the debate has become. One would be Cain, another Seagal. But another is Perry, as in Gov. Rick, instructive on a couple of fronts, good and bad.

Herman Cain, the former Godfather CEO turned presidential candidate, recently proposed an electrified fence on the border and moats filled with alligators — one to kill undocumented immigrants, the other, I guess, to dispose of the evidence.

And action hero Steven Seagal is one of the border's newest full-time deputies, signed up in Hudspeth County."  Read more …

Lubbock AJ’s RANGEL: ANTI-ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BILLS BUOYED BY GOP DEBATE

"AUSTIN — If you believe the pundits, Gov. Rick Perry didn’t win this week’s Republican presidential debate but did much better than in previous contests. Yet, given his low standing in the polls, whether Perry can rebound and win his party’s nomination is, well, debatable.

But you can count on this: Dozens of controversial anti-illegal immigration bills should be filed when the Texas Legislature is back in session in 2013. Buoyed by the attention the issue has received in almost every presidential debate — and Perry fired the first shot Tuesday night — if re-elected next year, some of the most conservative Republican lawmakers intend to re-introduce bills killed in recent sessions." Read more …

 

Houston Chronicle: Prominent Texas Latino leader leaves Republican Party

"After threatening to abandon the GOP earlier this week because of the anti-immigrant sentiments expressed by Tea Party members and this bunch of presidential candidates, a Texas Republican leader has left his party.

Lauro Garza, who led the nation’s largest conservative Latino group, Somos Republicans, blamed politicians, especially Herman Cain, of fear-mongering over the immigration issue and likened himself to Ronald Reagan, who left the Democratic Party when he felt like it betrayed him.

Garza, of Katy, posted the news along with a picture of his cut-up Republican of Texas card on the Somo Republicans site.

'The party has left us behind. Our credibility among Latinos is strained because we identify with the Republican Party,” said Garza, of Katy, in a Public News Service story. “Saying it’s strained is putting it mildly.'"  Read more …