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Obama marked Record High Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants

24 Oct

Photo Courtesy of John Moore / Getty Images / AFP

By: Eduardo Pacheco, Researcher

On September 30th the fiscal year ended with the Obama Administration breaking their previous record set last year of deportations of undocumented immigrants residing in the United States. Officials with ICE claim this increase in deportations is the direct result of “smart” immigration enforcement policy through the Federal Government’s Secure Communities Program that has led to the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants suspected of having criminal backgrounds. According to the reports disclosed by ICE on October 18th, 55% of the 396,906 deported from the US had a criminal background, in which under the administration’s new policy placed them under the High Priority Category for apprehension and deportation. It is important however to realize that 45%, a very large percentage, of those deported had no criminal background putting some doubt in the exclusivity of only targeting criminal undocumented immigrants.

Many pro-immigrant rights organizations and organizations that advocate in the reduction of immigrant flows into the US disagree with the Obama Administration’s reports and policy.

Many of the organizations that seek to drastically reduce the number of undocumented immigrants claim that the change in deportation priority is a backdoor amnesty, and these recent record breaking deportation numbers is a way for the Obama Administration to shift attention away from this “backdoor amnesty”.

In contrast, pro-immigrant rights organizations argue that under the Obama Administration more families are being torn apart than ever before by the flawed Secures Communities Program, in which there is record that in the past many individuals have been wrongfully targeted by the program.

While Immigration continues to be used as a political football between political candidates and parties in the US, what is true is that lack of action to address this issue on behalf of Congress and the Obama Administration is having grave consequences on Latino Communities across the United States, Mexico, and Latin America. The disproportionate deportation of Latinos has led to friction between the Latino Community and President Obama. According to DHS 77% of Undocumented Immigrants residing in the US are of Latino descent, however according to the newly published numbers by ICE 93% of the 396,906 deported last fiscal year are Latinos mainly from Mexico.

There is a great need to reexamine not only these immigration enforcement policies, but also the rhetoric revolving around this issue and its negative consequences on the largest minority community in the US, for the sake of the US and of the countries that are having to deal with large numbers of repatriates.

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Alabama immigration law: prejudice over common sense

26 Aug
MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial

While we set to dedicate and unveil the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in our nation’s capitol, a whole community in Alabama is about to be segregated and no one seems to be noticing.

Alabama HB 56, which was signed into law by Gover nor Bentley in J une 2011 and set to go into effect on September 1st includes the following:

  • All business must check the legal immigration status of all workers using the E-Verify system
  • Schools will be required to find out if all students are in the country legally (data is to be used for the purpose of “ statistical analysis” rather than preventing students from enrolling)
  • Permits police to arrest persons suspected of being an illegal alien if stopped for a different reason
  • Makes it a crime for persons to knowingly give rides to illegal immigrants
  • Makes it a crime for a landlord to knowingly rent property to an illegal immigrant
  • Makes all contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant unenforceable

Various reasons were given on why the law is said to “be good for Alabama”. What MATT see’s in contrast is an immigration law based on misinformation, prejudice and fear.

This law has the capacity to harm communities of every minority. It harms businesses of every kind by making it more difficult and expensive to hire new employees. It harms the whole education system- fear and intimidation do not provide a conducive learning environment and puts an extra burden upon school districts and administrators who are trying to teach.

In other words this law harms the everyday life of all Alabamans.

We can do something about it.

This law is more oppressive than Arizona’s, but not many people seem to be taking notice. We cannot grow accustomed to laws that segregate a large and growing part of our society.

“Injustice anywher e is a thr eat to justice ever ywher e.” – Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  • Tell Governor Bentley this is not good for Alabama. Governor’s Switchboard (334) 242-7100
  • Call or visit your member of Congress! Capitol Switchboar d (202) 224-3121. Tell them that the federal government, not individual states, should control immigration enforcement. We need to come together and enact Comprehensive immigration reform.

Mexicans Find Reasons to Stay in Mexico

11 Jul

Believe it or not, Mexican migration al Norte has been reduced to a trickle of its former self and U.S. businesses are begging to stay in Mexico’s border region. Why? Education and increasing job options in Mexico are dulling the allure of an increasingly treacherous trek northward. The Mexican economy is prospering significantly faster than the United States. In less than a week, the New York Times has published two similar articles about Mexico. The common denominator in each? Mexico’s socio-economic prosperity despite violence. The article, “Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North“, provides insight:

Courtesy of iStockphoto

 

A growing body of evidence suggests that a mix of developments — expanding economic and educational opportunities, rising border crime and shrinking families — are suppressing illegal traffic as much as economic slowdowns or immigrant crackdowns in the United States…But Mexican immigration has always been defined by both the push (from Mexico) and the pull (of the United States). The decision to leave home involves a comparison, a wrenching cost-benefit analysis, and just as a Mexican baby boom and economic crises kicked off the emigration waves in the 1980s and ’90s, research now shows that the easing of demographic and economic pressures is helping keep departures in check.

An article titled, “Despite Violence, U.S. Firms Expand in Mexico“, explains:

When the latest bloody headlines from the drug war in Mexico reach headquarters in New York, Ken Chandler, the manager of an American electronics manufacturing plant here, jumps on the phone… He is not begging to come home. He is begging to stay… Despite the bleak outlook the drug war summons, the Mexican economy is humming along, not without warning signs, but growing considerably faster than that of the United States…The result is a boomlet in jobs in some of Mexico’s hardest-hit cities, a bright spot in an otherwise bleak stream of shootouts, departing small businesses and fear of random death.

Senator Durbin’s Office: First-Ever Hearing on DREAM Act Tomorrow

27 Jun

DREAMers are back and they’re stronger than ever! Senator Durbin (D-IL) has announced the “first-ever hearing on the DREAM Act” happening tomorrow at 10am ET.  Watch it live here!

On his website:

Senator Durbin (D-IL)

“DURBIN ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER SENATE HEARING ON THE DREAM ACT

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will chair the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act next Tuesday, June 28th, at 10:00 am ET. The hearing will be in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

“I’ve been working on the DREAM Act for over ten years,” Durbin said. “In that time, it’s been reported out of committee by a large bipartisan margin, passed the House of Representatives, and received a bipartisan majority vote in the Senate, only to fall because of a filibuster. I’ll convene the first-ever Senate hearing on this bill next week to discuss how the DREAM Act will make our country stronger by giving undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing.”

Durbin will chair the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. The hearing will be webcast live on the Judiciary committee’s website.

The following witnesses will testify: Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano; Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Dr. Clifford Stanley; DREAM Student, Ola Kaso; Lt. Colonel (retired) Margaret Stock; and Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, Steven Camarota. “

Will this lead to fresh discussion or continued frustration? What has to happen for “progress” in favor of DREAMers? How can we define progress?

Texas Passes Arizona-style Immigration Bill

17 Jun

by Regina Cantu @ Matt.org

In what sounds like Texas’ version of SB 1070, the Senate approved on Tuesday night a bill allowing peace officers to inquire on the immigration status of any person arrested or legally detained.

Six hours of debate resulted in the body voting to pass the special session version of the sanctuary cities bill out of the upper chamber along a party line vote, 19 to 12. The bill, SB 9 by state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, would deny state funds to entities that prohibit peace officers and employees of special districts from inquiring into the status of a person arrested or detained for the investigation of crime. It also expands the federal government’s Secure Communities initiative to all detention facilities, and codifies tighter regulations for applicants for driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs. Gov. Rick Perry added the measure to the special session agenda last week.

Senator Williams' SB-9 includes the same misguided Arizona-style provisions that are strongly opposed by the police chiefs and sheriffs.

Williams fought off repeated accusations that his bill is a blatant attempt to empower local law enforcement to act as immigration officers and deport illegal immigrants. He said there is no provision in the law that requires or allows them to do so. Instead, he said it was a necessary measure to identify criminal aliens intent on harming Texans, especially as the violence in Mexico continues unabated.

If during the course of whatever criminal or traffic (offense), whatever they are investigating, they come to the belief that that person is in the country illegally, this bill gives them the discretion (to determine what to do),” he said during the debate.

Yet police chiefs and sheriffs of every major city in the state opposed the bill, arguing that turning police into ICE agents fosters an environment of mistrust and ultimately ensures that less crime is reported and more criminals go free. Several law enforcement officers testified the bill would not only erode the success of what they labeled “community policing,” but also cost most of them millions more annually to detain immigrants and train officers.

Williams, however, routinely dismissed claims that the bill would erode trust in law enforcement and pointed to testimony Monday by a woman who said she cooperated with police officers when her abusive partner constantly badgered her and her daughter. The witness said she initially gave in to her fears and called the police, but testified that she would have been scared to do so if SB 9 was in place, for fear of being deported.

What she said yesterday exemplifies what is going to happen,” said Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. “They are going to fear calling the police.”

The vote came after a series of emotional speeches by Democrats in the legislature. At one point,Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston
asked his seven Latino colleagues to stand up. “This legislation will force them to prove their citizenship (if pulled over for a traffic violation)… This is a sad day,” he said.

State Senator Carlos Uresti “recalled his days as a U.S. Marine when he was called a ‘wetback’ and given the name ‘Charlie’ because Spanish was forbidden in school.”

Protesters say the immigrant enforcement bill is racist and causes fear in the Latino community.

And on Wednesday, after the passage of the bill, Texas faith leaders, business owners, human rights advocates, and law enforcement personnel traveled by bus from all over the state to rally on the Capitol steps. Hundreds of immigrant rights advocates also protested at the Senate Capitol the Senate’s approval. Said Reform Immigration for Texas, one of the rally organizers, “We will not forget SB 9.”

I can’t think of another piece of legislation that I believe will be judged to be so unfair and so inequitable as this piece of legislation,” said Whitmire. “We must slow down, members. It’s our moral duty to stand up against discrimination. We’re fixing to impact every Hispanic citizen in the state of Texas.”

Argentina y México: acuerdan mejorar vínculos económicos

1 Jun

By Doris Marquez    @Matt.org
Cristina Fernández, presidenta de Argentina y Felipe Calderón, presidente de México acordaron este lunes en fortalecer los vínculos económicos bilaterales y progresar en el combare al crimen organizado, para lo cual tuvieron que firmar unos instrumentos bilaterales.

La presidente de Argentina tenía previsto visitar México el 14 de abril, pero interrumpió el viaje a causa de un cuadro de hipotensión arterial, problema que ha sufrido en otras ocasiones.

En la visita oficial de la presidenta de Argentina, los gobiernos de ambos países firmaron un memorándum de entendimiento para la promoción de inversiones bilaterales y un tratado de extradición para reclamar a criminales o  a quienes se les haya iniciado un proceso penal en alguna de las dos naciones.

Fernández en un comentario  a la prensa posterior a un encuentro privado con su colega Felipe Calderón , le mencionó : “Nunca hubo un grado de relación tan profundo, tan cordial entre los Estados Unidos de México y la República Argentina”.

La mandatario mencionó, sin embargo, que aún son mayores “las posibilidades de articulación” entre ambos países.

El presidente mexicano comentó que el comercio bilateral se cuadruplicó en la última década hasta alcanzar actualmente cerca de$ 2.900 millones de dólares, lo cual ha colocado a Argentina como el cuarto socio comercial de México en Latinoamérica.

Calderón señaló,”Aunque estos avances son relevantes, es claro que tenemos un enorme potencial para lograr un mayor intercambio económico”

Foto: Cortesía de aol.noticias

“El Ángel de la Justicia”

26 May

By Doris Marquez    @Matt.org

Jessica Domínguez , una abogada en asuntos de inmigración es considerada como “ El Ángel de la Justicia” en EE.UU.

Esta mujer de origen peruano, tiene un enorme y apasionado compromiso con su comunidad, además el incansable sentido de la defensa de los derechos de los inmigrantes son su  pan de cada día.

Ella misma fue víctima de las leyes. Ni su hermano ni ella tuvieron un abogado que les preguntara su opinión sobre la separación de sus padres.

 Domínguez comentó, “Un juez tomó una decisión que afectó mi vida hasta ahora”, recuerda. “Fue una injusticia, yo apenas tenía cinco años; nadie conversó conmigo para preguntar qué es lo que yo quería”.
Esa experiencia y los consejos de sus abuelos Raquel y Jorge la motivaron a que decidiera a  estudiar leyes. Porque ella misma sabe lo que significa no tener a alguien que defienda sus derechos

“Fue algo doloroso”, rememora, durante la entrevista en sus oficinas de Century City, California.  Su abuelito siempre le decía tienes que ser doctora o abogada.  Así, la lucha legal gratuita encabezada por “El Ángel de la Justicia” y su grupo de expertos en asuntos de inmigración tuvo un final feliz, con el respaldo del gobierno estadounidense, las autoridades de El Salvador y de México.

“El Ángel de la Justicia” sin embargo  se fundamenta en su fe y su creencia en Dios. Una filosofía compartida por ella y su  equipo de trabajo y a si mismo cada día con dedicación, responsabilidad y compromiso luchan por los derechos de los inmigrantes más desposeídos.

“Considero mi licencia de abogada como un regalo de Dios”, dijo. “Es un gran privilegio poder ser el vehículo de bendición que El utiliza para ser de bendición para muchas familias, ya que El me utiliza como la voz de aquellas personas que no pueden tener voz”.

Foto: Cortesía de aol.noticias