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immigration law has led to illegal immigrants around the state having their basic rights denied and should be repealed, a human rights group contends in a report being issued today.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

Alabama’s ruling class has dug in against the storm it caused with the nation’s most oppressive immigration law. Some of the law’s provisions have been blocked in federal court; others won’t take effect until next year. But many Alabamans aren’t waiting for things to get worse or for the uncertain possibility of judicial relief or legislative retreat. They are moving to protect themselves, and summoning the tactics of a civil rights struggle now half a century old.

The law was written to deny immigrants without papers the ability to work or travel, to own or rent a home, to enter contracts of any kind. Fear is causing an exodus as Latinos abandon homes and jobs and crops in the fields. Utilities are preparing to shut off water, power and heat to customers who cannot show the right papers.  Read more …

NYT: Recall Election Claims Arizona Anti-Immigration Champion

“MESA, Ariz. — For years, Russell Pearce, Arizona’s most powerful legislator and the architect of its tough immigration law, has sought to make life so uncomfortable for illegal immigrants in the state that they pack up and go.

But Mr. Pearce, known for his gruff, uncompromising manner, was the one sent packing on Tuesday after disgruntled voters in this suburban neighborhood outside Phoenix banded together to recall him from the State Senate and replace him with a more moderate Republican.”  Read more …

Think Progress: Apple Crops In Washington At Risk Because Of Other States’ Extreme Immigration Laws

“Washington apple growers could have had one of the best apple harvests in the state’s history — if not for the lack of workers. Orchard owners say a federal immigration crackdown and extreme anti-immigrant laws in states like Alabama and Arizona have scared off many of their workers.

Some farmers have tried to hire domestic workers. Orchards have “pickers wanted” signs, and growers have asked neighbors for extra workers. But their efforts have been unsuccessful to replace the immigrant farm workers they typically hire. So just like farmers inAlabama and Georgia, their crops will go to waste without without the experienced workers to pick the apples by hand:” Read more …

Washington Post Editorial: How Alabama’s immigration law is crippling its farms

"FARMERS IN ALABAMA are in revolt against the state’s over-the-top immigration law, which is designed to hound illegal immigrants so that they move elsewhere. As it happens, a substantial portion of farm workers there, as in other states, are undocumented. In the farmers’ view, the law is depriving them of steady, experienced labor — and threatening to deal a lethal blow to crops throughout the state.

The uproar has exposed political fault lines within the Republican Party, whose vows of support for business have run headlong into its crusade to drive away illegal immigrants, on whom agribusiness relies. It’s also laying bare the nation’s hypocrisy over unskilled immigrants, whose legal entry into the country is blocked in most cases even though their labor remains much in demand." Read more…

 

USA Today: U.S.-born children take fight over tuition to court

"WASHINGTON – State governments have been grappling with the question of whether to provide in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S.as children.

Now a Florida lawsuit is highlighting a rare practice of forbidding U.S.-born students — citizens by birth — from getting in-state tuition because their parents are illegal immigrants.

Five students, all born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents, sued the state last month for denying them in-state tuition rates even though they'd lived in Florida, graduated from state high schools and were entering state colleges and universities. They claim the higher out-of-state rates they were charged either forced them to drop out or take fewer classes, delaying their eventual graduation.

Kassandra Romero, 18, enrolled at Palm Beach State College in June and was handed a $4,000 bill for the semester — more than three times the in-state rate. She left school to work as a waitress to save enough money to re-enroll in January."  Read more …

 

Huffington Post Opinion: Different State, Same Hate

Department of Justice steps in to block South Carolina's anti-immigrant law

Elena Lacayo of the NCLR writes: "On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against South Carolina to block the implementation of SB 20, a divisive and dangerous anti-immigrant law signed by Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) earlier this year. If SB 20 does take effect on Jan. 1, 2012, the law will create a new $1.3 million immigration enforcement unit for South Carolina and provide local law enforcement with overly broad authority to investigate residents' immigration statuses. As NCLR (National Council of La Raza) has repeatedly pointed out in the past, when other states attempted to pass similar bills, these anti-immigrant laws not only promote racial profiling and discrimination, but also violate the Constitution."  Read more …

 

Texas Observer: Mexican Senators to Visit State Leaders on Immigration

Harsh anti-immigrant laws have been passed in various states from Arizona to Georgia. U.S. Congress seems unable to muster the votes or the will to pass immigration reform.

"The xenophobic climate has Mexican lawmakers worried about immigrant rights and reform in the United States. So much so that they announced Tuesday they'll bypass Washington D.C. and take their case for immigration reform directly to state leaders.

'At the end of the day it doesn't seem to be the disposition of the U.S. Congress to pass immigration law but meanwhile laws are being passed in many states,' said Senator Carlos Jimenez Macias, a member of the Mexican Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. 'We think we can have better success in the states where legislation has been stopped.'

The group of Mexican senators met in Washington D.C. Tuesday with academics and journalists at a workshop on immigration reform at the German Marshall Fund, a nonpartisan public policy institution. They were there to promote Mexico's sweeping new immigration reforms that were passed into law last May."  Read more …

 

Huffington Post Opinion: Hands of Alabama, Working, Worrying, Waiting

"BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – How many undocumented immigrants in Alabama would meet the criteria set by new federal regulations to be 'low priorities' for deportation if they were to be detained?

Every story we hear, every family drama, seems to describe cases that would fall under these regulations, which establish that immigration agents should prioritize the deportation of those who pose a real threat to public safety, not mothers and fathers who came to this country to devote themselves to work in various industries and create a better future for their families.

Despite this, Alabama law HB 56–even after a court ordered the state to temporarily stop enforcing parts of the law–keeps the immigrant community here in a state of anxiety. Even with the supposed prioritization of deportations, the community confronts the constant fear of being detained and deported under a law that the Obama Administration's own Department of Justice is trying to get ruled unconstitutional. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the House Judiciary Committee yesterday that her Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not collaborating with Alabama's authorities to implement the law, and is instead cooperating with the Department of Justice in its lawsuit to block it. How ironic."  Read more …

 

CNN: U.S. sues South Carolina over immigration law

CNN) – Justice Department officials pressed their campaign against an immigration law in South Carolina on Monday, saying the measure passed there this summer unconstitutionally pre-empts federal authority.

South Carolina's law also could lead to the harassment and detention of authorized visitors, immigrants and citizens, federal officials argue in court documents.

The law would 'undermine federal law and invade federal authority by imposing punitive sanctions for conduct that falls outside of the state's police powers and that Congress affirmatively decided should not be subject to such sanctions. And it will interfere with and undermine the federal government's control over relations with foreign governments,' officials argue, referring to the state trying to require the carrying of documents to prove residency.

The complaint filed in federal court in South Carolina follows similar lawsuits in Arizona and Alabama.  Read more …