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 …

Washington Post: In D.C. region, more immigrants seeking public office

"Their journeys began in places as disparate as Colombia and Pakistan. They arrived in the United States speaking Hindi, Korean or Spanish. They worked their way up through engineering school or accounting jobs, keeping their heads down and their names out of the news.

Now, a small but growing number of foreign-born residents in the greater Washington region — home to more than 1 million immigrants from every corner of the globe — are coming out of their cocoons to enter electoral races and public office."  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: Deportations Leave Behind Thousands Of Children In Foster Care

"An unprecedented increase in the deportation of undocumented immigrants has left an estimated 5,100 children languishing in U.S. foster homes — a troubling figure that could triple in the coming years, according to a November report from a New York-based advocacy group. 

The "Shattered Families" report from the Applied Research Center, which the activist group says is the first to analyze national data related to the separation of families involved in deportations, offers a look at the human dimension of the highly contentious immigration debate.

The Obama administration deported 46,000 parents of children who are U.S. citizens in the first six months of 2011, the ARC report says. Government data shows a total of 397,000 expulsions in fiscal year 2011, with half involving people with criminal records.

'This means that almost one in four people deported is the parent of a United States citizen child,'saidSeth Freed Wessler, the report's chief investigator and author. 'ARC's research has uncovered a troubling collateral effect of these deportations: Thousands of children enter the child welfare system and are often stuck there.'"  Read more …

 

Fox News: House Panel to Subpoena Homeland Security for Information on Illegal Immigrants

"The House Judiciary Committee, in a rare move, is planning to subpoena the Department of Homeland Security for information about illegal and criminal immigrants whom the department has declined to deport. 

A subcommittee on the panel voted 7-4 on Wednesday to authorize the subpoena, which Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is expected to issue later this week. It would be the first subpoena issued by the committee since it came under GOP control. 

Smith and other Republican lawmakers want the department to provide detailed information about the thousands of immigrants who are flagged but not arrested or deported through a program known as Secure Communities. Smith had given the department an Oct. 31 deadline to provide the information voluntarily."  Read more … 

 

Market Watch: Innovative Microloan Product to Ease Pathway to Citizenship for Legal Immigrants

"LANGLEY PARK, Md., Nov 01, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, Citi Community Development and CASA de Maryland (CASA) launched an innovative microloan program for legal permanent residents seeking to become naturalized citizens. CASA will collaborate with two community development financial institutions (CDFI's) – the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and the Ethiopian Community Development Council Enterprise Development Group (EDG) – to launch and test the innovative citizenship microloan program that will lower the financial barriers to naturalization while simultaneously building an individual's credit and financial literacy. The loan program is the latest addition to a set of naturalization services available through Citizenship Maryland, a wrap-around comprehensive effort led by CASA and participated in by partner AmeriCorps volunteer host organizations that seek to support the hundreds of thousands of eligible legal permanent residents in Maryland in becoming citizens."  Read more …

NYT: 76 Arrested as Officials Break Up Mexico-to-Arizona Drug-Smuggling Ring

"PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials on Monday announced the breakup of a large drug-smuggling ring that used lookouts on hilltops in southern Arizona to move huge quantities of marijuana and other drugs across the Mexican border to users throughout the United States.

Over the last month and a half, federal, state and local officials have arrested 76 people, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles, the authorities said. All were linked to the Sinaloa cartel run by Joaquín Guzmán, Mexico’s richest and most wanted outlaw, who goes by the nickname El Chapo, officials said.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Arizona officials estimated that the ring had been in operation for at least five years and had generated more than $2 billion in profits by smuggling more than three million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States. Such large smuggling rings usually use tractor-trailers to get their contraband across, the authorities said, but this operation relied mostly on migrants on foot straining under their loads."  Read more …

 

TT: Texas Cities Step Up Prosecutions of Wage Theft

"HOUSTON — For two years, Diego Gala, a Mexican immigrant in the country illegally, worked five days a week cleaning a private school for less than minimum wage. His employer refused to pay him overtime even when he was forced to work on the weekends. Gala did not speak up, fearing deportation if he reported his boss.

'I couldn’t say nothing because I did not have papers,' Gala said. 'So he was like, "If you say something, you can just get deported. I can call immigration on you, or you can get fired."'

Gala, who was brought to the United States as a small child, grew up not knowing his immigration status until it came time for him to find a job. Workers’ rights advocates say that is not unusual; wage theft is a major problem in Texas, particularly among undocumented workers who do not push for their rightful earnings for fear of drawing the attention of immigration officials.

During the 2011 legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1024, which closed a loophole allowing employers to escape prosecution if they had paid employees only a portion of the wages owed. But now that the law is in effect, organizations and lawmakers in at least three Texas cities — Austin, El Paso and Houston — are facing a new challenge: how to ensure that the prosecution of wage theft is a priority." Read more …

 

Dallas Morning News: Perry keeps birther controversy alive

Rick Perry appears to have no qualms about sidling up to the widely discredited conspiracy theory over President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, saying Tuesday that 'it’s a good issue to keep alive.'  

The Texas governor has now flirted with the long-settled questions about Obama’s citizenship in multiple interviews. And despite calling the issue a 'great distraction,' Perry continues to tap dance around the topic with a jocular grin.

'It’s fun to poke at him and say, "Hey, how about let’s see your grades and your birth certificate,"'Perry told CNBC.  Read more …