Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics
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Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics
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Illegal Immigrants Definition

An immigrant is a person who migrates from one country to another. An "illegal" immigrant is a person who does so without following the established legal procedures of the destination country and who resides in that country without proper visas or other documents. Illegal immigrants are sometimes referred to as "illegal aliens" or "undocumented workers."

 

The 2000 U.S. Census reported that 7 million illegal immigrants resided in the United States—double its 1990 estimate of 3.5 million. Some scholars have argued that the number could be even higher. This is because undocumented immigrants are often reluctant to participate in the census for fear of being discovered by authorities.

 

There are several ways by which people violate immigration laws when entering the United States. One is to simply sneak into the United States without any documentation or permission. Most such migrants cross somewhere along America’s 1,955-mile border with Mexico, although others stow away on ships or cross over America’s northern border with Canada. A person may enter the United States with fraudulent documents. Another form of illegal immigration is to enter with a lawful but temporary permit (such as a student or tourist visa) and stay after the permitted time on the visa expires. Another category of illegal immigrants are formerly legal immigrants who commit crimes or for other reasons are ordered to leave the United States, but who ignore their deportation orders.

 

Illegal immigration has become one of the most contentious and emotionally charged issues facing U.S. political leaders. Many people argue that illegal immigration poses an unacceptable security risk in the post-9/11 era. Others blame illegal immigrants for a variety of social ills including crime, unemployment, and low wages. They also argue that illegal immigrants are a drain on public resources for communities that have to pay for their schooling, health care, and other social services. But others argue that that most illegal immigrants are hard-working and meritorious individuals who pay more in taxes than they consume in services and who are being unfairly blamed for various social problems. One proposed solution has been to provide a way for illegal immigrants to legalize their status, but such proposals have been sharply criticized as "amnesty" for lawbreakers.

 

Immigration policy is generally seen as a federal responsibility, and most debates about illegal immigrants have focused on what the federal government should do. However, in recent years states, local governments, and even private groups have taken the initiative to correct what they see as the dangerous failure of the federal government to prevent or deal with illegal immigration. Some of these groups, like the "Minutemen," patrol the U.S./Mexico border on their own, seeking to capture illegal border crossers and turn them in to authorities. These groups have been controversial and their efforts have sometimes ended in violence.

 

Crime is another issue raised by those concerned about illegal immigration. Some believe that all illegal immigrants are, by definition, lawbreakers, and thus are more likely to commit other crimes as well. Their "disrespect for the law," asserts columnist Josh Moenning, "leads to … crimes that illegal aliens often commit while they reside here. Overcrowded prisons are often a complaint in areas with a high level of illegal immigration." Others link illegal immigration with the illegal drug trade. But immigrant rights activist Anne Carr argues that immigrants are not more likely than American citizens to commit crimes, a fact "true of both legal and illegal immigrants."

 

Another important aspect of the debate over illegal immigrants is their impact on the U.S. economy and on the lives of citizens and legal residents. Complaints about illegal immigrants often center on two disputed assertions: that illegal immigrants take jobs from Americans because they are willing to work for lower wages, and that illegal immigrants result in significant social welfare costs.

 

Most agree that the vast majority of illegal immigrants come to the United States to seek better economic opportunities than they can find in their native countries.

 

The other main economic complaint made about illegal immigrants is that they incur significant costs to the American taxpayer.

 

Some of the debate over immigration policies revolves around the question of whether illegal immigration can be stopped through enforcement measures alone. Various proposals have been made to strengthen efforts to stop illegal immigration. These include the building of a wall and fence stretching the entire Mexico/U.S. border, utilizing military troops to patrol the border, issuing tamper-proof identity cards that would be required of all people entering the United States (or even of all U.S. residents), establishing a central database to track the presence and status of U.S. visitors, and stricter enforcement of laws forbidding the employment of illegal immigrants.

 

 Amnesty for illegal immigrants has been tried once before in the United States. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), in addition to criminalizing the employment of illegal immigrants and strengthening border security, provided a process for illegal aliens already residing in the United States to apply for and receive amnesty and become legal residents. An estimated 2.7 illegal immigrants took advantage of this law.

 

Some people argue that the time has come to try this again, arguing that American society is harmed by the presence of millions of people with limited legal rights and no official status. Such people are more vulnerable to exploitation and harm. During President George W. Bush’s administration, he and members of Congress proposed various mechanisms to create a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants. These generally involve paying back taxes and criminal fines, having a spotless criminal record, and pledging to learn English. Bush and other supporters of these measures argued that such measures are not "amnesty" because the immigrants would have to pay a fine and otherwise acknowledge that they broke the law. But opponents were quick to say that these proposed reforms did constitute amnesty because they enabled people who "jumped the line" ahead of legal immigration applicants to stay in the United States.

 

Some people argue that the time has come to try this again, arguing that American society is harmed by the presence of millions of people with limited legal rights and no official status. Such people are more vulnerable to exploitation and harm. During President George W. Bush’s administration, he and members of Congress proposed various mechanisms to create a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants. These generally involve paying back taxes and criminal fines, having a spotless criminal record, and pledging to learn English. Bush and other supporters of these measures argued that such measures are not "amnesty" because the immigrants would have to pay a fine and otherwise acknowledge that they broke the law. But opponents were quick to say that these proposed reforms did constitute amnesty because they enabled people who "jumped the line" ahead of legal immigration applicants to stay in the United States.

 

A complicating factor in the debate over illegal immigrants—and whether to deport them or give them amnesty—is the fact that many are parents of U.S. citizens. The U.S. Constitution holds that all people born in the United States are citizens, regardless of the status of their parents. For some, this constitutes a reason to grant amnesty to some illegal immigrants. But others contend that this is yet another reason why so many people seek to come to the United States illegally. Some illegal-immigration opponents have proposed amending the Constitution to require that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, but such proposals have not as of 2010 attained a vote of either house of Congress, much less ratification by the states, which is required to amend the Constitution.

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Commentary: Arizona isn't a 'model' for U.S. immigration policy - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Arizona isn't a 'model' for U.S. immigration policy - Kansas City Star | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

In the Feb. 22 Republican debate in Arizona, where Romney and his main rival Rick Santorum were competing for the state’s anti-illegal immigration vote, Romney praised Arizona’s E-Verify system to check employees’ immigration status and said, “I think we see a model here in Arizona.” He added that, if elected, he would stop current federal lawsuits against Arizona-style laws “from day one.”
“Dios Mío!” I said to myself when I heard that. Judging from what we have seen in states that have passed Arizona-styled laws, that would lead to arbitrary arrests and interrogations not only of undocumented immigrants, but of legal residents and U.S. citizens as well.
The 2010 Arizona law requires, among other things, that local police demand immigration papers when they have a reasonable suspicion that a person is in the country illegally. It was suspended after a federal lawsuit questioning its constitutionality and is before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Supporters of the law deny it would lead to a wild goose chase of foreign-looking people, and to widespread harassment of immigrants. They say the law does not allow police officers to stop people at random, because it specifically requires that they demand immigration papers only when they carry out a “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”
But those are vague terms, critics say. A police officer wanting to make overtime could legally stop people to ask whether they saw something suspicious around the corner, then arrest them for not having proper immigration papers.
In addition, the Arizona law requires that local police act as immigration inspectors not only when they legally stop somebody for a crime, but also when they do it for a violation of a city ordinance.
If somebody calls the police to complain that a neighbor is playing music too loud at a party next door, an officer could show up at the party and detain anybody there who can’t prove their legal status, opponents of the law say.
“The central problem is that it opens the door to widespread racial profiling based on what individuals look like or sound like,” Karen Tumlin, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, told me last week. “The ‘reasonable suspicion’ wording would force cops to make judgments based on what people look like.”
It has already happened, and not just with Latin American or Asia-born people. In Alabama, one of several states that has passed Arizona-styled laws, a German executive with Mercedes Benz was recently arrested under the state’s new immigration law near his company’s manufacturing plant for not carrying documents proving his legal immigration status, the Associated Press reported Nov. 19.
The 46-year-old German visitor’s rental car was stopped by a police officer and the man was arrested when he could not prove his legal immigration status, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson told the wire agency. The visitor was released when an associate retrieved his passport from his hotel room.
Two weeks later, a Japanese employee from a nearby Honda plant was arrested and jailed for three days under Alabama’s immigration law after he was stopped during a checkpoint used by police to detect unlicensed drivers, even after he showed his international driver’s license, a valid passport and a U.S. work permit. There have been dozens of similar cases since Alabama’s anti-immigrations law was enacted.
A recent study by Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research economist Sam Addy concluded that the Alabama law could cost the state as much as $10.8 billion a year. Another study says Arizona’s immigration law has cost that state’s tourism industry $490 million.
Can you imagine what would happen in tourism and foreign trade-dependent states such as Florida if Arizona-like laws became the law of the land? Or what it would do to the real estate and convention industries in cities like Miami or New York?

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Legislative group tackles illegal immigration law - Milford Daily News

Legislative group tackles illegal immigration law - Milford Daily News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

A legislative committee this month is expected to discuss a bill filed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers hoping to address issues related to illegal immigration.

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on the proposal Feb. 28 at the State House.

 

The legislation would strengthen penalties for people who drive without a license; ensure state-subsidized housing is reserved for legal residents; and establish penalties for employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers, among other provisions.

Fernandes said the lawmakers understand illegal immigration is a federal issue.

“We cannot on the state level, as we cannot on the local level, ignore the impacts that come from the problem,” he said. “That’s what this bill tries to address.”

But, Frank Soultz, communications director for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said the bill is too broad.

The public housing provision, for example “has nothing whatsoever to do with public safety,” Soultz said.

Other sections, such as those dealing with unlicensed driving and illegal apartments, pertain to everyone, not just immigrants, he said.

“I don’t know why they have to be attached to a broad bill uniformly directed against undocumented immigrants,” Soultz said.

Milford Health Officer Paul Mazzuchelli said he is “rooting for the bill.”

The legislation includes a bill Fernandes filed on behalf of the Board of Health several years ago that never passed, Mazzuchelli said.

It establishes $500 to $2,000 fines and jail time of up to 90 days for landlords who knowingly have illegal apartments. Displaced tenants, who Mazzuchelli said are often victims in these situations, would be entitled to up to six months rent from a convicted landlord to help them relocate.

“These are things that would deter a landlord (from having illegal apartments),” Mazzuchelli said. “It would take away the financial incentive.”

Mazzuchelli said he is hopeful the measure will pass this time because it is part of a larger, bipartisan bill

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Search GazetteXtra: Immigrants search for better life and understanding - Janesville Gazette

Search GazetteXtra: Immigrants search for better life and understanding - Janesville Gazette | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

Jorge Islas-Martinez sometimes stares at the underbelly of a passing train and wonders how he survived.

"I hid underneath it," he recalled. "Suddenly, the train started to move. The only thing I could do is hang on."

Inches off the ground, the man who now calls Whitewater home clung to the cold mass of pulsing steel in the darkness. He prayed hard as the train picked up speed into California.

"I thought about my mother, my brothers," he said. "I thought I would die."

More than 25 years later, he recounted the harrowing details of eluding immigration officers at the border in Tijuana, Mexico.

"It seemed like hours and hours underneath that train," Islas-Martinez said. "I had my eyes closed. When the train stopped, I crawled out, and I could not feel my body. I was so scared. My heart was pounding."

Since his dangerous journey to the United States, Islas-Martinez has come a long way. Today, he is a United States citizen who works as a translator, teacher and bill collector. He volunteers widely in his community and owns a home. He also is a vocal activist for immigration reform.

Although he came earlier, Islas-Martinez is part of a dynamic ethnic group that accounted for more than half of the nation's growth from 2000 to 2010.

Locally, Hispanics are changing the face of many communities. From 2000 to 2010, Rock County's Hispanic population more than doubled to make up 7.6 percent of the population. In Walworth County, the Hispanic population is up 72 percent and totals more than 10 percent of the population.

But statistics do not tell the human story of how Hispanics are transforming the nation's diverse fabric.

People do.

All immigrants arrive with unique backgrounds that offer insight into their lives. Their histories shed light on why Mexicans have risked everything to enter the United States.

"Know me; know my story," Islas-Martinez said emphatically. "Don't feel sorry for immigrants. Try to understand them."

 

"It is wrong when people call us 'illegal immigrants.' We are immigrants without proper documents. When you say 'illegal,' people think the worst. They think we are hardcore criminals."

Islas-Martinez traveled to Wisconsin when a friend told him he could make money in a canning company. He labored up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week, during peak season. He also worked packing eggs and picking apples. He toiled to support himself and to send money to his struggling mother in Mexico.

But Islas-Martinez did not enjoy the work.

"It was the only job I could do because I did not know the language," he said. "Sometimes, people are abused, physically and verbally, in those jobs. If the workers say something, employers threaten them with deportation. The workers have no rights."

Once, when Islas-Martinez worked as a forklift driver, he got hydraulic fluid in his eyes. He needed time off from work, so his employer put him in a dark room and told him to stay there until the end of every day until his eyes recovered, Islas-Martinez said.

"There's a lot of injustice when you don't have your documents," he said. "You are scared to speak up. But you are glad because you are making dollars and helping your family."

Like so many other Mexicans who crossed to El Norte, he sent money home.

Eventually, Islas-Martinez went to school and learned English well.

Some years later, while he was working full time on a farm, a friend helped him become a legal resident under an amnesty program. In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which gave legal status to 3 million immigrants in the United States without legal papers.

But Islas-Martinez wanted more.

He studied how the U.S. government works, learned the country's history and memorized "The Star-Spangled Banner." On June 28, 2000, he took an oath of loyalty to the United States and became a citizen.

"I'm proud of this country," he said. "I became a citizen so my vote can be heard."

Life in the United States is not what he expected.

"When I was in Mexico, I thought the United States was a country that was shining all the time," Islas-Martinez said. "I thought there was no pain, no suffering and no injustice. I thought there were no poor people. But when I came here, I noticed there were lots of lights off. People were suffering. They were sleeping on the streets. There were injustices."

Today, Islas-Martinez volunteers on the board of directors of the Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera, an immigration-rights group. He also serves on the board of directors of the Office of Justice Assistance. He is president of Sigma America, a nonprofit program in Whitewater that helps the community. He also volunteers at Whitewater's St. Patrick's Catholic Church.

"The reason I help others today is because I don't want people to be taken advantage of," he said. "Even when I am tired, I make time for others."

He has seen some of his dreams come true.

"I have been able to help my family," he said. "I have given my mother a different life. I have the opportunity to help my brothers and others."

Islas-Martinez petitioned the U.S. government so his mother could live in the United States. She entered the country as a legal permanent resident in 2004.

Ever since coming to Wisconsin, Islas-Martinez has worked three or four jobs to support himself and his mother. His favorite job is teaching English to immigrants.

"I get a lot of satisfaction when I see people leave class with smiles on their faces," he said. "I can see the lights come on as they are learning."

He still has brothers in Mexico and would like to help them become legal permanent residents of the United States.

The government has a huge backlog of visa requests from Mexicans wanting to come to the United States and grants only a limited number every year.

"It can take years to get the visas," Islas-Martinez said. "Maybe that day will never come."

Meanwhile, his family remains separated.

"On the outside, you can look at immigrants and see them smiling," he said. "But on the inside, we are broken hearted because we are so many miles from our families. For 25 years, there has always been someone missing at the dinner table.

"I dream that one day I will be like Jesus, and I will have my last supper with my whole family."

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Alabama Immigration Law May Get Second Look After Big Business Backlash - Fox News

Alabama Immigration Law May Get Second Look After Big Business Backlash - Fox News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

Faced with backlash over the detainment of two foreign auto employees, two architects of Alabama’s tough immigration law say they are having second thoughts about the law.

The Republican attorney general is calling for some of the strictest parts of it to be repealed. Some Republican lawmakers say they now want to make changes in the law that was pushed quickly through the legislature.

Gov. Robert Bentley, who signed the law, said he's contacting foreign executives to tell them they and their companies are still welcome in Alabama. The moves comes following backlash from big business after the embarrassing traffic stops of two foreign employees tied to the state's prized Honda and Mercedes plants.

"We are not anti-foreign companies. We are very pro-foreign companies," he said.

 

Two foreign workers for Honda and Mercedes were recently stopped by police for failing to carry proof of legal residency. The cases were quickly dropped, but not without lots of international attention that Alabama officials didn't want.

One of the groups challenging the law in court said the auto workers' cases turned public opinion.

"Suddenly the reality of what the state has done hit people in the face," said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

We are not anti-foreign companies. We are very pro-foreign companies

- Gov. Robert Bentley

Before 2011, Republicans tried repeatedly to pass an immigration law but were always stopped by the dominant Democrats. That changed when Alabama voters elected a Republican legislative super majority — the first since Reconstruction. The result was a law described by critics and supporters as the toughest and most comprehensive in the nation.

It requires a check of legal residency when conducting everyday transactions such as buying a car license, enrolling a child in school, getting a job or renewing a business license. After the U.S. Justice Department and other groups challenged the law, the federal courts put some portions on hold, but major provisions took effect in late September.

Alabama suddenly found itself at the center of the nation's immigration debate, ahead of other states with tough laws, including Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina.

Within Alabama, much of the debate is within the business community that helped fund Republicans' new strength.

 

"Up until a few months ago, nobody raised the immigration issue," he said. But in the last few months, it's been brought up regularly. Day suspects competing states are portraying Alabama as hostile to foreigners even though he says that is not the truth. Based on the questions he gets from industrial prospects, he also believes competing states are recounting stories from Alabama's civil rights past.

"It's bringing back old images from 40 or 50 year ago," he said.

The governor says he's declined many national TV interviews about the law because he doesn't want to fuel comparisons with what he sees as Alabama's long gone past. "It's going to take us a long time to outlive those stereotypes that are out there among people that Alabama is living in the '50s and '60s," Bentley said.

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Alabama Immigration Battle Mirrors Civil Rights Era - Fox News

Alabama Immigration Battle Mirrors Civil Rights Era - Fox News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

 

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

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.

 

 Alabama was well-suited to be the nation's civil rights battleground because of its harsh segregation laws, large black population, and the presence of a charismatic young minister named Martin Luther King Jr., who led a boycott of segregated buses in 1955-56.

 

The lawyer leading the state's defense, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, faults President Barack Obama's Justice Department for stirring the civil rights comparisons by falsely predicting the law would lead to the kind of widespread discrimination and profiling that marked Alabama's past.

 

Alabama's law, pushed through by a new Republican super-majority in the state Legislature, is being challenged in federal court by the Justice Department, about 30 civil rights organizations and some prominent church leaders. Judges have blocked some provisions, but sections still stand that allow police to check a person's immigration status during traffic stops and make it a felony for undocumented immigrants to conduct basic state business, like getting a driver's license.

 

No one in the Alabama Legislature was talking about immigration laws a decade ago because the Hispanic population was so small. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the number of undocumented immigrants in Alabama has grown from 25,000 in 2000 to 120,000 in 2010 -- a nearly fivefold increase -- though it's only a fraction of the 11 million or so estimated in the country. That rapid rise drew complaints from residents who blamed Hispanics for knocking them out of jobs by working for cheaper wages and no benefits.

 

 To be sure, construction businesses and farms say Hispanic workers they have relied upon have fled the state. So far, they haven't been able to find legal residents willing to take on what is usually backbreaking work.

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Illegal immigration: The party of nada - Los Angeles Times

Illegal immigration: The party of nada - Los Angeles Times | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

A record number of immigrants were deported in fiscal 2011. You'd think that
would be greeted as good news by Republicans,
who have repeatedly demanded that the Obama administration crack down on illegal
immigration. But it won't be. The latest numbers, released last week, are
unlikely to sway the current field of Republican presidential hopefuls, who
steadfastly refuse to discuss fixing the broken immigration system, arguing that
only stricter enforcement, tougher penalties and a 100% secured border will
satisfy them.

 

Never mind that enforcement along the border with Mexico is more stringent now
than perhaps any other time in U.S. history. Ignore the fact that an ambitious
plan launched during the George W. Bush administration and continued under President Obama has doubled the number of Border Patrol boots on the ground and added hundreds of miles of new walls and cyber-fences. And pay no attention to U.S.
Customs and Border Protection statistics that indicate arrests and illegal
crossings at the southern border dipped to record low levels last year.

 

No doubt, both parties shoulder the blame for the current state of affairs.
Obama was swept into office promising, among other things, to restore common
sense and fairness to the immigration system, yet three years later his
administration has pushed the issue to the back burner and there is little hope
of a legislative solution. And surely the GOP candidates know that if they
continue to play the "border first, border only" card, they'll end up as the party of nada.

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Alabama Officials Say Confusion Reigns Over Immigration Law - Fox News

Alabama Officials Say Confusion Reigns Over Immigration Law - Fox News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

"Judges need to make an effort to apply the law the same around the state, and that's certainly difficult because of the ambiguity of the law and the opinions that have been issued by the federal courts that have addressed the law," Rubio, an American Civil Liberties Union board member who is part of the coalition challenging the new law, said. "Some of it will just have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis."

 

It covers a wide range of everyday life, from making it illegal to give an undocumented immigrant a ride and requiring schools to check students' citizenship status to barring contracts with undocumented immigrants and making them carry documents.

 

Executive director Randy Hillman said many local agencies still aren't enforcing the law because of uncertainty over exactly what it says.

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Four reasons why illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border has dropped

Four reasons why illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border has dropped | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

From 1970 to 2010, more than 10 million Mexicans migrated to the US. Now, after decades of rising numbers immigrating to the US, a new demographic trend is playing out: illegal immigration is waning.

 

The Department of Homeland Security said in a 2010 report that the number of immigrants residing unauthorized in the US, 62 percent of whom come from Mexico, has declined from a peak of 11.8 million in January of 2007 to 10.8 million in January of 2010. US Customs and Border Protection also released data showing that the number of those arrested trying to cross the border illegally is is down sharply - by 58 percent since fiscal year 2006.

 

The Pew Hispanic Center, using Mexican government data, estimates that the number of Mexicans annually leaving Mexico for the US declined by 60 percent from 2006 to 2010. Many dispute the reason why. Here are four factors that play a role.

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Arizona's immigration law: Court blocks day labor rules - TriValley Central

A federal judge blocked police in Arizona from enforcing a section of the state’s 2010 immigration enforcement law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services on streets.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Wednesday that groups seeking to overturn the law will likely prevail in their claim that the day labor rules violate the First Amendment. She rejected arguments by the state that the rules were needed for traffic safety and pointed out that the law, also known as SB1070, says its purpose is to make attrition through enforcement the immigration policy of state and local government agencies.

“This purposes clause applies to all sections of SB1070, and nowhere does it state that a purpose of the statutes and statutory revisions is to enhance traffic safety,” the judge wrote.

The ban was among a handful of provisions in the law that were allowed to take effect after a July 2010 decision by Bolton halted enforcement of other, more controversial elements of the law. The previously blocked portions include a requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, question people’s immigration status if officers suspect they are in the country illegally.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Gov. Jan Brewer’s appeal of Bolton’s decision to put the most contentious elements of the law on hold. Another appeals court has already upheld Bolton’s July 2010 ruling.

Three of the seven challenges to the Arizona law remain alive. No trial date has been scheduled in the three cases.

Some of Arizona’s biggest law enforcement agencies have said in the past that they haven’t made any arrests under the sections of the law that were allowed to take effect.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other opponents had asked the judge for a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the day labor rules, arguing they unconstitutionally restrict the free speech rights of people who want to express their need for work.

Brewer’s lawyers had opposed attempts to halt enforcement of the day labor restrictions. They argued the restrictions are meant to confront safety concerns, distractions to drivers, harassment to passers-by, trespassing and property damage.

Brewer’s lawyers have said day laborers congregate on roadsides in large groups, flagging down vehicles and often swarming those that stop. They also said day laborers in Phoenix and its suburbs of Chandler, Mesa and Fountain Hills leave behind water bottles, food wrappers and other trash.

The judge wrote in her latest ruling Wednesday that the law appears to target particular speech rather than a broader traffic problem. “The adoption of a content-based ban on speech indicates that the Legislature did not draft these provisions after careful evaluation of the burden on free speech,” the judge wrote.

Bolton previously denied an earlier request to block the day labor rules, but opponents were allowed to bring it up again after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a similar issue in September.

The appeals court had suspended a law from Redondo Beach, Calif., that banned day laborers from standing on public sidewalks while soliciting work from motorists. The court ruled the law violated workers’ free speech rights and was so broad that it was illegal for children to shout “car wash” to passing drivers.

The ruling Wednesday still leaves other elements of the law in place, such as minor tweaks to the state’s 2005 immigrant smuggling law and 2007 law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

Other parts of the law that remain in effect include a prohibition on state and local government agencies from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law and a ban on state and local agencies from restricting the sharing of information on people’s immigration status for determining eligibility of a public benefit.

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Opponents of immigration law oppose merging suits - NECN

Opponents of immigration law oppose merging suits - NECN | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Efforts to step up enforcement against illegal immigrants moved forward Friday in the Mississippi House with a bill modeled on Alabama’s crackdown, though its sponsor says his bill doesn’t include the parts that have been tied up in federal court challenges.

The House Judiciary B Committee voted 15-6 to pass House Bill 488, which now goes to the House Education Committee. It would then go to the full chamber.

The bill’s sponsor, Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, said the Mississippi bill should stand up to legal scrutiny. Alabama’s law is considered one of the toughest state laws against illegal immigrants.

Mississippi has a relatively small illegal immigrant population, although it appears to have grown in recent years. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated that in 2010, the state had about 45,000 illegal immigrants out of nearly 3 million total residents.

The bill is supported by Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who has been campaigning against illegalimmigration since his days as state auditor. Proponents say the state spends more money providing services to immigrants than it reaps in taxes, and claim that illegal immigrants, if they leave, will vacate jobs that unemployed citizens can take. They say the bill is about legal compliance and that they welcome legal immigrants.

“I believe that every person in Mississippi, whether they are here illegally or not, is a child of God,” Gipson said. “We’re not trying to hurt anyone. We’re not trying to starve anyone.”

Opponents dispute those claims, emphasizing that Mississippi doesn’t need to summon any ghosts of its racist past.

“It is still about ethnic cleansing,” said Bill Chandler, executive director of the MississippiImmigrant Rights Alliance. “It is still talking about driving people out of Mississippi.”

The new version of the bill removed an attempt to create a new crime of failing to carryimmigration papers. That provision had led some opponents to nickname the measure the “papers, please” bill. Under the change, a police officer could only check someone’s immigrationstatus if the officer had pulled the person over for some other reason.

“The reason it was removed is not because it’s a bad idea, necessarily,” Gipson said. “The reason it has been removed is it has been enjoined by a federal court in Alabama.”

The bill still says law enforcement officials should check for immigration status when “a reasonable suspicion exists” that a person is in the country illegally. The measure bars police from considering race, color or national origin when making that decision, although opponents still fear racial profiling.

The new version also adds an exception if a person is “an international business executive of an international corporation authorized to transact business in the state.” In the months after the Alabama law was enacted, police there arrested a Japanese man on assignment at the state’s Honda factory and a German man who worked for the state’s Mercedes-Benz plant, spurring widespread concern that the law would scare off foreign investors.

Another provision was watered down that allows any Mississippi resident to sue a state agency, city or county that looks the other way on immigration status. The bill now says that an agency or government must adopt a written policy or ordinance to be subject to a lawsuit. The measure is supposed to prohibit “sanctuary cities” that don’t enforce immigration laws. Gipson indicated that Jackson is a sanctuary city, but it’s unclear if a 2010 ordinance that instructed police officers not to use racial profiling or ask about immigration status goes that far.

Added was a provision that allows churches and charities to meet “immediate basic and human needs” as long as they doesn’t charge or use government funds.

Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, tried to also exempt government health care facilities and government-owned utilities from provisions that say illegal immigrants can’t enter into business transactions with any state agency or local government. Baria said after the committee meeting that he is worried about the public health consequences of illegal immigrants and their children not being vaccinated or being able to connect water and sewer services.

“I want to make sure the children of illegal aliens are not deprived of those necessities of life,” Baria said. “Are we going to deny that child a vaccination or other medicines that might keep that child from infecting your child?”

Under federal law, emergency rooms would have to continue to treat everyone and public schools would have to continue to enroll illegal immigrants. But the bill still calls for schools to require a birth certificate and follow up on immigration status of anyone who can’t produce one. However, the new version simplifies reporting, saying only that districts must submit to the state a yearly count of illegal immigrants in each school.

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Arizona Softens Tone on Illegal Immigrants - Wall Street Journal

Arizona Softens Tone on Illegal Immigrants - Wall Street Journal | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

Once the leader among states in cracking down on illegal immigration, Arizona
is showing signs of tempering its approach to the contentious issue.

Business, civic and religious leaders last month unveiled a statement of
principles, dubbed the "Arizona Accord," that calls for a new strategy. It notes
the economic contribution of immigrants, espouses federal rather than state
solutions, opposes policies that result in the separation of families and
embraces a culture of inclusion.

So far, signatories on the business side include the Greater Phoenix Economic
Council, the Arizona Farm Bureau and top executives of large construction firms
and agriculture concerns

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Feds push immigration officials to focus on deporting criminals - Deseret News

Feds push immigration officials to focus on deporting criminals - Deseret News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

 For Raul Cárdenas, the Obama Administration's new deportation policy, which gives enforcement officials "prosecutorial discretion" to allow illegal immigrants without criminal records to stay in the United States, is good news — sort of.

After nine years fighting Immigrations Customs and Enforcement, Cárdenas, an illegal immigrant living in Colorado, got notice this week his final deportation court hearing had been canceled. While he was excited to learn he'll be able to stay in the country with his U.S. citizen wife and children for now, without a work permit his future is still uncertain.

 

This is just one issue the federal government hopes to iron out during a six-week pilot program in Colorado and Maryland designed to make enforcement agencies focus on high-priority cases. Attorneys from the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are reviewing 7,800 deportation cases in Denver and 5,000 cases in Baltimore. If the experiment succeeds, the program will be expanded nationwide.

Under the new deportation policy, announced in June, illegal immigrants who do not have a criminal record, have served in the military, who came to the United States under the age of 16 or are pursuing higher education are eligible for reprieve — among others.

Since the policy change was announced, immigration enforcement agencies have been slow to jump onboard. According to a survey released in November by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, agents and attorneys in the majority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices have not implemented the new guidelines for prosecutorial discretion. Many of those surveyed said they needed additional guidance before adjusting procedures while others indicated they "had no intention of complying" and that their "jobs are to arrest and deport people."

"This is a classic example of leadership saying one thing and the rank and file doing another," Gregory Chen, director of advocacy for the lawyers association, told the New York Times.

In response to the resistance from the field, ICE and the Office of Homeland Security started a training campaign in September. Until now, officials said, deportation has been black and white: if someone was in the country illegally, they should be deported. It will take time for agents to change their mind set and begin to analyze individual cases.

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Arizona lawmakers asking for cash to build border fence along Mexico to curb ... - New York Daily News

Arizona lawmakers asking for cash to build border fence along Mexico to curb ... - New York Daily News | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

Anti-immigration lawmakers in Arizona are passing around the collection plate.

Several politicians in the Grand Canyon State have begun to solicit donations from the public in order to erect their own fence along every inch of their state's border with Mexico.

Americans have already donated approximately $255,000 since July, according to Republican state Sen. Steve Smith, who is spearheading the initiative.

Smith admitted there is a long ways to go before the fence is complete. The money collected thus far will barely cover half a mile in the project that's slated to cost more than $34 million.

The labor would be carried out by prisoners who will make 50 cents an hour.

This summer Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law to allow for construction of the fence. It also allows the governor to work with other states to build and manage it.

Further approvals are still necessary, however, as the fence could stretch along private, state, and federal land.

According to the donation website, the fence is needed "because of the federal government's failure to stop this invasion" of "drug cartels, violent gangs, an estimated 20 million illegal aliens, and even terrorists."

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Gallegly: U.S. magnet: Illegal immigrants paid $4.2 billion - Ventura County Star

Gallegly: U.S. magnet: Illegal immigrants paid $4.2 billion - Ventura County Star | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

According to President Obama's own Treasury Department, 2.3 million illegal immigrants who paid no income taxes in 2010 nevertheless received $4.2 billion in tax refunds.

That's four times the tax refunds that were paid to illegal immigrants who paid no taxes in 2005, and is increasing exponentially as more illegal immigrants find out about the program.

 

As the Treasury Department inspector general who wrote the report noted, these tax credits are "an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts federal law and policy to remove such incentives. Clarification is needed on this issue." More than clarification is needed. This is one more magnet drawing illegal immigrants to the United States that the federal government must remove. The big magnet, of course, is jobs. Removing the job magnet is why I am working hard to pass the Legal Workforce Act through Congress. When fully implemented, the Legal Workforce Act will open up as many as 7 million to 11 million jobs for Americans that are now worked by illegal immigrants.

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More illegal immigrants deported for traffic offenses - Arizona Daily Star

More illegal immigrants deported for traffic offenses - Arizona Daily Star | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

Immigrant-rights groups said the government is unfairly targeting illegal immigrants who are not a threat to society, separating families and creating fear in immigrant communities.

 

Criminal deportations accounted for nearly 55 percent of all deportations nationwide - a 10-year high, fiscal-year figures show. The 396,906 total deportations set a record for the 10th straight year.

 

The second-most common traffic offense is the catch-all category of "other traffic offenses," which includes any traffic violation that doesn't fit into the four categories broken out by ICE: hit and run; transporting dangerous material; driving under the influence of drugs; and driving under the influence of liquor. Those offenses can include speeding, reckless driving, driving without a taillight or driving without a license, said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice. There were 14,331 deportation stemming from this category in the partial 2011 data.

The other three traffic categories account for only a few deportations:

• Hit and run: 1,072

• Driving under influence of drugs: 515

• Transporting dangerous material: 4

 

Not only have the yearly totals increased, the traffic-offense category now represents a larger portion of the total deportation of "criminal" illegal immigrants. That's defined by ICE as people who have been convicted of felony and misdemeanor crimes. Noncriminal illegal immigrants are people deported for immigration violations only.

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The Nasty Ripple Effects of Alabama's Immigration Law - Center For American Progress

The Nasty Ripple Effects of Alabama's Immigration Law - Center For American Progress | Fall Research Paper: Immigration of Hispanics | Scoop.it

The “Birmingham campaign” to end segregation and other forms of discrimination garnered international attention in 1963 when the city’s infamous Commissioner of Public Safety “Bull” Connor unleashed police dogs and fire hoses on black children engaging in peaceful protest. Those images, captured on television, created a horrifying portrait of the American South and triggered national outrage over the plight of African Americans under Jim Crow segregation.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s peaceful protests eventually broke the back of segregation in Alabama. But now a new breed of state-sanctioned discrimination has surfaced with the implementation of Alabama’s harsh anti-immigration law, H.B. 56, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act.

 

 

H.B. 56’s sponsors argue that the law is designed to make every aspect of life unbearably difficult for undocumented immigrants living in Alabama. So it should come as no surprise that when U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn rejected an array of legal challenges mounted against the law and allowed a number of the most extreme provisions to go into effect on September 28, it triggered an urgent moral and humanitarian crisis. Thousands of kids failed to show up for school and thousands more have called in to the emergency hotlines established to help people affected by the law.

 

The law deploys fear as a weapon to marginalize and oppress an unwanted population—just as segregationist policies did 50 years ago. Although it is ostensibly designed to drive “illegal” immigrants out of the state, the law has made the state deeply inhospitable to all immigrants. As U.W. Clemon, Alabama’s first black federal judge, recently put it, in Alabama, “the Hispanic man is the new Negro…It’s a sad thing to say.”

 

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit on August 1 to block the law as an unconstitutional interference with federal policy, and stakeholder organizations like the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama challenged the law on a variety of additional constitutional grounds. But deviating from federal district judges who reviewed and enjoined similar measures in Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Georgia, Judge Blackburn left in place many of H.B. 56’s harshest provisions.

 

Among the extreme measures Blackburn allowed to stand was the H.B. 56 provision making it a crime to be undocumented in the state. She also permitted implementation of the provision requiring all schools to check the immigration status of their students and to report that information to the state. The judge apparently saw no issue with forcing public school officials to become immigration enforcement personnel even though every child has a constitutional right to public education regardless of immigration status.

 

Those two provisions are temporarily blocked on emergency appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. But they weren’t blocked before contributing to the hostile environment that led thousands of students to not show up for school and drove Latino families to flee the state.

 

Unfortunately the 11th Circuit failed to stop other deeply troubling measures from being implemented while the legal appeals continue. The infamous “papers please” provision previously blocked by federal courts in Arizona, Utah, and Georgia, for example, is now the law in Alabama. That provision requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is undocumented and to indefinitely detain certain immigrants.

 

Also still intact is the H.B. 56 provision that makes most contracts entered into with undocumented immigrants null and void, which leaves undocumented immigrants no recourse to combat, for example, unscrupulous employers or landlords. In addition, the court upheld the provision making it a felony for undocumented immigrants to contract with any governmental entity, including for basic services such as running water.

 

To take one example, undocumented immigrants in the state are blocked from accessing the protection of the courts. A judge recently advised one woman that if she sought a restraining order against her domestic abuser she would be asked to prove her immigration status at the end of the hearing. Parents are too scared to go to work and children are too scared to go to school for fear they will be picked up by the police and deported.

 

Families with Hispanic surnames are afraid their water and utilities will be shut off unless they can prove their immigration status. Police roadblocks are springing up near Latino-frequented places of worship. And tellingly, the first person picked up as a result of the new law was a legal immigrant, illustrating the potential for H.B. 56 to be used to terrorize anyone who looks vaguely foreign, not just those without status.

 

Indeed all people in Alabama who appear to be foreign are now under suspicion of being without status, and they are required to carry their papers at all times or risk being detained by the police. Some immigrants already decided to leave the state, while others will most certainly go deeper underground, attempting to avoid all contact with authorities.

 

As Scott Douglas, executive director of Greater Birmingham Ministries in Alabama, put it, “With near-secessionary zeal, our state leaders are governing under the influence of rabid racism, extreme xenophobia, and much ignorance. The main thing is they're causing much pain in Alabama.”

 

Alabama is a case in point. If the state were truly frustrated by the economic impacts of undocumented immigration, it would have adopted a balanced policy guided by the state’s fiscal and economic interests. Such a policy, for example, would have encouraged undocumented workers and their employers to pay their full share of taxes and required employers to provide health insurance to their workforce.

 

But instead of a policy designed to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, Alabama declared a war of attrition against immigrants in which the objective is to make these residents vanish. Virtually every economist will agree that purging a substantial portion of your productive population will lead to economic loss and contraction. As such, it cannot be credibly argued that these attrition initiatives are designed to advance the state’s economic interests. Severe economic costs are already documented in states such as Arizona and Georgia where most of the harsh provisions were blocked and only a small percentage of immigrants left the state.

 

And Latinos care deeply about immigration reform and the way our leaders talk about it. Why? Because 53 percent of eligible Latino voters know someone who is undocumented, while 25 percent know someone who is facing deportation or has been deported, according to a recent Latino Decisions poll. Given their personal connection to this issue it is unsurprising that immigration reform ranks consistently as one of the top issues that Latino voters care about in America.

 

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