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National Immigration News

Donald Trump just released an epic statement raging against Mexican immigrants and 'disease'
By Hunter Walker July 6, 2015 for Business Insider

Donald Trump is doubling down on his controversial comments about Mexican immigration.

The entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate sent out an epic three page, 881 word statement on Monday afternoon detailing his belief that "the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government."

"The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this," Trump wrote. "Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world."

Shortly before releasing his statement, Trump gave an interview to Business Insider where he described the idea that the Mexican government is deliberately "pushing the bad ones" to the US as the one element of his position on immigration that hasn't gotten enough attention.

Read more:
Recession hits immigrant workforce harder than native workforce
By Teresa Watanabe April 30, 2009 Los Angeles Times

Foreign-born workers -- both skilled and unskilled, legal and illegal -- have endured greater increases in joblessness than their native-born counterparts over the last 18 months, one study shows.

Immigrants have been hit harder than native-born Americans by the recession, with larger increases in joblessness among both educated and uneducated workers, according to a study released today.
Immigration debate a new symptom of swine flu outbreak
By Howard Witt From the Los Angeles Times 4/30/09

After a Mexican toddler being treated in Texas becomes the first in the U.S. to die of the infection, groups against illegal immigration cite uncontrolled borders as a public health threat.

Reporting from Houston - As word spread Wednesday that the first U.S. death from the swine flu outbreak was of a Mexican toddler being treated in a Houston children's hospital, the baffling illness began bleeding over into the fevered national debate over illegal immigration.
White House May Alter Haitian Immigrant Policy
by Greg Allen for NPR 4/24/09

A week after allowing Cuban-Americans more freedom to return to their native country, there are signs the Obama administration may soon change U.S. policy for Haitian immigrants. Immigration activists say they're hopeful the administration will act soon to at least temporarily stop deporting Haitians to their devastated home country.
College Board Pushes for Immigrant Aid

A group of colleges and universities is urging Congress to give illegal immigrants tuition aid and a path to citizenship in light of efforts in several states to block them. The College Board, made up of 5,000 institutions and best known for its SAT college admission tests, released a report that cited a need for federal legislation that would open up in-state college tuition, financial aid and legal status to many illegal immigrants. Speaking publicly on the issue for the first time, the board is making its push after states in recent years have moved to bar illegal immigrants from paying in-state tuition and, in some cases, enrolling in their public colleges.
Nation- Is Immigration Overhaul Vital To U.S. Recovery?
by Jennifer Ludden for NPR April 14, 2009

Advocates for legalizing the country's estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants have been watching in frustration as the issue has slid down the Obama administration's overloaded agenda.

President Obama recently repeated his campaign pledge to take up the issue in his first year, but White House spokesmen pressed for more have been vague on details, except to make clear that addressing the economic crisis is a higher priority. Even some of the staunchest reformers have admitted that a mass legalization, at a time when so many Americans are losing their jobs, could spell political suicide.
Immigration summit to view raid alternatives
by Daniel Gonzalez - Mar. 27, 2009, The Arizona Republic

A national summit bringing together supporters of immigration reforms aimed at curtailing illegal immigration without the use of raids begins today in Phoenix
GOP lawmakers criticize probe of Ariz. sheriff
By JACQUES BILLEAUD, Associated Press Writer, March 19, 2009

PHOENIX - Ten Republican congressmen argue that a civil rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office could have a chilling effect on other state and local police agencies that seek to crack down on illegal Immigration.
States balk at checking farm workers' documents
By SHANNON DININNY, Associated Press Writer, July 19, 2008

GLEED, Wash. — Some states are balking at a federal effort to require them to screen potential farm hands for immigration violations before referring them to jobs, another conflict in the long-running dispute over the states' role in immigration enforcement.

Most resent a new rule that didn't come with money to pay for the extra work. Some complain they can't work with the federal verification system. Still others argue that the requirement illegally targets a certain class of workers.

Everyone's unspoken concern: That weeding out illegal workers could leave crops to rot in the fields.
Triple Rise In Number Of Illegal Immigration Laws Passed In 2007
Vittorio Hernandez - AHN News Writer, June 9, 2008

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - States across the U.S. are stepping up their anti-illegal immigration drives with a wide range of action from new laws to stricter implementation of existing legislation.

Congressional inaction on the immigration law has spurred local authorities to lead the war against illegal immigration. On the legal front, 1,562 bills related to illegal immigration were filed in 2007 and 240 became law in 46 states. That is thrice as high compared to the number of similar measures approved in 2006, the National Conference of State Legislatures said.

It includes the classification in Mississippi of holding a job by an illegal immigration as a felony and providing a roof over the head or transporting undocumented aliens also a felony in Oklahoma.
It's unfair to make citizens enforce immigration laws
Yakima Herald-Republic, May 31, 2008

A federal judge in Texas has made it clear that regulation of immigration policies is a federal responsibility, not one for local jurisdictions, and perhaps that will help jar Congress to act on long-overdue immigration reform.

U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay ruled Wednesday that a Dallas suburb's ban on apartment rentals to illegal immigrants, an ordinance passed by city leaders and later endorsed in a vote by its residents, is unconstitutional. Only the federal government can regulate immigration, Lindsay said.

The timing was most interesting, coming as it does as the federal government pursues a wrong-headed policy of immigration enforcement that has a Lexington, Ky., father and son facing loss of two apartment complexes they own because they rented to illegal immigrants.
American farms' answer to illegal immigration is to grow crops in Mexico
AP, May 27, 2008

IRAPUATO, Mexico: Antonio Martinez no longer pays smugglers thousands of dollars each year to sneak him into the United States to manage farm crews. Now, the work comes to him.

Supervising lettuce pickers in central Mexico, Martinez earns just half of the US$1,100 a week he made in the U.S. But the job has its advantages, including working without fear of immigration raids.

"Because I never moved my family to the U.S., I was always alone there," said Martinez, 45, who could never get a work permit, even after 16 years in agriculture in California and Arizona. "When I got the opportunity to be close to my family, doing similar work, I didn't even have to think about it."

Martinez, now a legal employee of U.S.-owned VegPacker de Mexico, is exactly the kind of worker more American farm companies are seeking. Many have moved their fields to Mexico, where they can find qualified people, often with U.S. experience, who can't be deported.

American companies now farm more than 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) of land in three Mexican states, employing about 11,000 people, a 2007 survey by the U.S. farm group Western Growers shows.
Project Immigration: Don't Come to the U.S.
WJLA, May 26, 2008

ABC 7's Project Immigration revealed that more immigrants are warning family members not to come to the U.S. because of the sagging economy.

Along a rural road in western El Salvador, ABC 7's Andrea McCarren spotted a young boy in a red shirt harvesting sugar cane. His name was Jonathan and he was 12-years-old. Like most children his age, Jonathan had a dream, a dream to travel to the United States and work.

For many Central Americans, the dream to work in the U.S. is fading quick.

"What I want to say to all the people from El Salvador or other countries, the situation in this country is not easy. It's very difficult and it's not worth it to risk your life," said day laborer Jose Manuel Munoz through a translator.

From suburban Washington to rural El Salvador, ABC 7 heard from many immigrants that they are warning their friends and relatives to not come to America. "I say to the rest, this is not a good time to come to the United States. If you are okay, over there, in El Salvador, stay there," said Rosa Nativi.

Carlos Diaz' sister lives in Manassas. "She has told me that a lot of people is afraid to get out of their houses, to walk in the streets, because they're getting caught by immigration department and they're getting deported," he said.
McCain reverses course on immigration reform (again), drawing far-right rebuke
By Steve Benen for the Carpetbagger Report, May 23, 2008

When John McCain’s presidential campaign faltered badly last summer, there were a variety of problems, but near the top of the list was McCain’s work on a comprehensive immigration reform measure, which most Republican activists hated with a vengeance. McCain ultimately decided to abandon his own legislation, and announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t even vote for his own bill.

Now that he’s locked down the Republican nomination, McCain has decided to reverse course again, re-embracing the position he abandoned in order to gain GOP support.
Choices to make on immigration policy
By Jacob Vigdor for the Boston Globe, May 19, 2008

ARE TODAY'S immigrants having a harder time blending into society than their predecessors of a century ago? This question is central to the current immigration policy debate, but the answers we hear often rely on personal anecdotes or subjective opinion. The first annual Index of Immigrant Assimilation issued this week by the Manhattan Institute, which uses US Census data to assess the progress of immigrants since the early 20th century, offers us some answers. To judge from this research (of which I am the author), the news is both good and bad.

The newly arrived immigrants of 2006 bear much resemblance to the newly arrived Italian, Greek, and Polish immigrants of 1910. These immigrants are quite distinct from the native-born population because they speak English relatively poorly and tend to occupy lower rungs on the socioeconomic ladder. Yet the immigrants of a century ago, and many groups of immigrants today, make quick progress as they spend more time here - advancing economically, and becoming naturalized citizens. In addition, their children are in most ways nearly indistinguishable from native-born children.
Business of reform - America's employers finally speak out for sound immigration policy
Houston Chronicle, May 11, 2008

The failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package last year was a bad piece of business. It left more than 12 million illegal workers in limbo; continued a ludicrous visa system that leaves out low-skilled workers; and showed that a noisy minority could drown out the majority of Americans, who consistently backed the reform bill's main goals.

But there was one heartening revelation: Individual voters really can trump those behind-the-scenes lobbyists. It's now time for the majority of voter voices to be heard.

Employers across the country are finally coalescing to publicly support comprehensive immigration reform. The movement aims to inform and motivate the grass roots, where people's views of immigration too often are shaped by commentators such as Lou Dobbs. By speaking out, businesses also prove they're committed to working within the system: hiring legal workers, paying taxes and minimum wage, and treating all employees fairly
Expect the stalemate on immigration reform to continue
BY RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR for the Detroit Free Press, May 4, 2008

A lot of Americans can't get their head around the concept of illegal immigrants demanding civil rights from a country whose laws they've broken. After all, these are people who have -- by virtue of not following the rules to get here, live here, work here -- chosen to live outside our system. And now they want to come inside, but only to ask for this and demand that, without admitting they did wrong or acknowledging their responsibility to make it right.

First of all, many of those who marched last week in demonstrations -- smaller than in previous years -- aren't illegal immigrants. They're U.S. citizens and legal residents -- including the children of immigrants -- who think the immigration debate has been too one-sided. People like Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights organization in Milwaukee. As one of the organizers of a May Day march that drew an estimated 30,000 protesters, Neumann-Ortiz told me there is "a lot of enthusiasm and desire for this kind of public expression" in the immigrant community.
Crowds Are Smaller at Protests by Immigrants
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD for the New York Times, May 2, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched in several cities on Thursday to demand civil rights at a time when crackdowns against illegal immigrants are rising.

The May Day demonstrations were significantly smaller than in previous years, and gone were calls for a nationwide boycott of businesses and work, as protest leaders had urged last year. The Spanish-language D.J.’s who had heavily promoted previous marches stuck largely to their regular programming. And disagreements among advocates over the best approach to winning legal status for illegal immigrants had diminished organizing firepower, with many groups turning their attention to voter registration and citizenship drives.

In many cities, including New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, crowds were a small fraction of those in previous years, with few people outside protest areas even aware that marches were under way.
Surge in U.S. Hispanic Population Driven by Births, Not Immigration
By CONOR DOUGHERTY and MIRIAM JORDAN for the Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2008

Hispanics now account for more than 15% of the U.S. population, and their surge is largely the result of births among people already in the country, according to new Census Bureau data.

In an annual report, the Census said there are 45.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., up from 35.7 million in 2000, when they made up 12.6% of the population. It said growth among Hispanics was responsible for half of the U.S. population gains between 2000 and 2007.

In the 1990s, a flood of Hispanic immigrants explained most of the group's population rise. That has changed in recent years. Between 2006 and 2007, about 62% of the increase in Hispanics came from births.
Mexican remittances drop amid U.S. economic slowdown, immigration crackdown
AP, April 30, 2008

MEXICO CITY: Mexican remittances have fallen 2.9 percent this year due to the U.S. economic downturn, the central bank said Wednesday.

Mexicans living abroad sent home US$5.3 billion (€3.4 billion) from January to March compared to US$5.5 billion (€3.5 billion) during the first three months of 2007.

Remittances are vital to Mexico's economy, the country's second-largest source of foreign income after oil exports. But the bank said it expects little or no growth in remittances by year's end. In addition to the slowing U.S. economy, migration experts blame the drop on the U.S. crackdown on illegal immigration.

In 2007, remittances rose 1 percent to a record US$23.98 billion (€15.8 billion) compared to a 15.1 percent jump in 2006 when they reached a record US$23.05 billion (€16.9 billion).

More than any other country in Latin America, Mexico's economic fate is tied to the U.S., its partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico sends more than 80 percent of its exports to the U.S., which is Mexico's largest source of direct foreign investment.
Immigration marches return with messages aimed at voters
By SOPHIA TAREEN for the AP, April 29, 2008

CHICAGO (AP) — Immigration activists and civil rights leaders are gearing up for rallies and marches in cities across the nation, hoping to revive the stagnant immigration debate in time for the presidential election.

Activists predict turnout for the more than 200 events planned Thursday from Seattle to Miami will be far less than in years past. But they say efforts demanding comprehensive immigration legislation — including pathways to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. — have extended beyond the streets.
Arizona getting more attorneys to try immigration cases
David Marino for KVOA, April 24, 2008

A beef up on security is causing an increase of immigration cases.

It's prompting a government agency to make some adjustments.

The Department of Justice is spending 7 million dollars to increase staff in the four Border States.

Arizona will get the most by adding almost two dozen additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 11 support staff to help.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip says, "For the District of Arizona, this initiative means an allocation of 21 news Assistant U.S. Attorneys and about a dozen additional support positions. That's a significant increase from the current 133 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the District of Arizona."

Deputy Attorney General Filip says border issues are a top priority for the Department of Justice.
Identity theft linked to illegal immigration
McClatchy Newspapers , April 23, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Nobody likes getting a letter from the IRS. So imagine Amanda Bien's reaction last Valentine's Day when the agency wrote to demand $3,300 in back taxes.

For jobs she never worked. Five of them. In multiple states.

A Lenexa, Kan., Taco Bell. A Wendy's restaurant. Two Target stores, one in California. The Engineered Air manufacturing plant in De Soto, Kan. Someone, somewhere, got Bien's name and Social Security number and gave it a workout.

A 28-year-old illegal immigrant was later arrested at the De Soto plant and faces ID theft charges.

Though illegal immigrants aren't the only ones stealing identities, cases like Bien's illustrate the inability of disparate government agencies to tackle the problem.

While lawmakers in Washington debate ways to crack down on illegal immigration, the market for false documents and stolen Social Security numbers is booming.

Particularly vulnerable, authorities say, are legal residents with Hispanic last names. Or, as in Bien's case, names that could sound Hispanic.

As politicians know and Bien is finding out, it's a problem that defies easy solutions.

The IRS may suspect that multiple people are using the same Social Security number, but the agency doesn't investigate ID theft. Local police and prosecutors cannot deport illegal immigrants they arrest.
States: Immigration
Rural Migration News, April 21, 2008

State legislatures have been flooded with bills to deal with immigration, over 600 in January-February 2008, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Meanwhile, states that have passed laws requiring their employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check new hires are finding that some legal workers are wrongly considered unauthorized.

Arizona. Arizona county attorneys on March 1, 2008 began to enforce the state's employer sanctions law after the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to issue an injunction to stop enforcement. Arizona requires employers to participate in the federal government's E-Verify system, which checks the information provided by new hires against databases of the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

By April 2008, some unauthorized foreigners were reported to be leaving Arizona, and businesses catering to them reported sharp drops in sales. Some reports emphasized that the downturn in construction was also a major factor pushing workers out of the state.

Newspapers profiled unauthorized workers whose status was discovered by E-Verify, as well as some legal workers who appeared to be unauthorized in government databases. Many of the problems with legal workers involved naturalized US citizens. Between October 2006 and March 2007, about 3,200 foreign-born US citizens were at first tagged as unauthorized by E-Verify.

About 60 percent of Arizona residents live in Maricopa County, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio has instructed deputies to detain suspected unauthorized foreigners if they are stopped for violations of state and local laws. Over 1,000 suspected unauthorized foreigners have been detained, and Arpaio said: "The more who leave, the better. They shouldn't be here in the first place."
LWV takes stand on immigration question
News Examiner-Enterprise, April 20, 2008

The League of Women Voters of the United States has announced its official position on immigration reform policy, local spokespersons for the LWV announced last week.

“The League’s position calls for a path to citizenship for current unauthorized immigrants,” said National League President Mary G. Wilson.

“As part of overall immigration reform, the League supports a system for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status, including citizenship, by paying taxes, learning English, studying civics, and meeting other relevant criteria. We oppose deportations of current unauthorized immigrants who have no history of serious criminal activity,” she said.

Becky Wallace, president of the League of Women Voters of the Bartlesville Area, agrees.

“We have studied the issue of immigration at the local level for many months and find the new position of the LWVUS to be entirely reasonable and humane in its approach to this difficult issue,” said Wallace.
Pope Speaks Up for Immigrants, Touching a Nerve
By DANIEL J. WAKIN and JULIA PRESTON for the New York Times, April 20, 2008

Even as he was flying to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of protecting immigrant families, not dividing them.

The choreography underscores the importance to the church here of its growing diversity — especially its increasing Hispanic membership.

Of the nation’s 65 million Roman Catholics, 18 million are Latino, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and they account for more than two-thirds of the new Catholics in the country since 1960.

Millions of other recent arrivals come from Asia and Africa. More and more parishes depend on priests brought from abroad to serve the flock.

Benedict has calibrated his immigration stance with care, stating the need to protect family unity and immigrants’ human rights, but pointedly avoiding any specifics of the American immigration debate, like the issue of whether to grant legal status to illegal immigrants. Yet last week his visit quickly stirred the crosscurrents of the debate.
The Not-So-Great Wall of Mexico
By LAWRENCE DOWNES for the AP, April 20, 2008

Remember the fence, the one that Congress told Michael Chertoff, head of homeland security, to build on the Mexican border, with the admonition to let no power on earth stop him — no law or statute, no judge or jury? That fence?

News reports out of New Mexico and Texas suggest that it may not be all the wall that it was cracked up to be, or hoped for by the hunker-downers in Congress and on talk radio who clamored for it as the first and most important step toward an illegal-alien-free America.

“Feds Say Border Fence Not Tough Enough,” The Associated Press reported this month out of Columbus, N.M., surprising nobody who lives on or near the border. It told of immigrants using acetylene and plasma torches and hacksaws to cut through the 15-foot-high concrete-and-steel barricade. “Officials monitoring cameras in the area have seen at least one group using a massive ladder to scale the south side of the fence,” The A.P. reported. “The group tried to drop into the U.S. with bungee cords before agents caught them.”

Perhaps the federal government could not have anticipated bungee-jumpers. But it should have foreseen the fury of border-community officials, like the coalition of Texas mayors and other public officials, from El Paso to Brownsville, who are fighting furiously to stop the project.
Anti-immigration groups form alliance, endorse strangling governors
Carpetbagger Report, April 19, 2008

Illegal immigration isn’t quite the issue it used to be. Polls show most Americans are more concerned about the state of the economy, soaring gas and food prices, job losses, the foreclosure crisis, and so on.

Nevertheless, groups obsessed with illegal immigration continue to proliferate. Certainly an argument can be made that the Southern border is probably too porous, but I remain suspicious of the motives of these organizations. Their “solutions” (mass deportations, East Berlin-style fences, “English only” laws) are absurd, and you don’t have to squeeze them hard before they start spouting anti-Hispanic rhetoric.

Recently, groups in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., announced they would join forces, supposedly to be more effective. Reading about their efforts in the Silver Spring (Md.) Gazette, I couldn’t help but be reminded why these organizations are so often the butt of jokes.
Immigration Laws Hit Businesses Hardest
by Karin Zeitvogel for AFP, April 16, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Legislation meant to crack down on undocumented immigrants will have the greatest impact on businesses, activists asserted on Access Washington, a New America Media-sponsored conference call with ethnic media.

“We are living in a volatile environment,” said Craig J. Regelbrugge, vice president of government relations and research for the American Nursery and Landscape Association, and chair of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform.

In the wake of several new state and local anti-immigration bills, such as Oklahoma’s recent HB 1804 and Hazelton, Penn.'s ordinance that bar undocumented immigrants from accessing housing, employment, and penalize employers for employing them, employers are fearful and confused about how to comply with these new measures and their repercussions.

Last year, 1,600 state laws addressing immigration were passed, and even more were approved at a local level.

“States passing their own (legislation) is not a solution,” asserted Angelo I. Amador, director of immigration policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Amador said that the federal government should be in control of this legislation since current legal conditions “leave employers with a myriad of regulations, where there should be consistency.”

For example, states and municipalities that are using E-Verify, an Internet identity tracker for employers to check the names and social security numbers of newly hired employees, conflict with other established federal, state, and municipal legislation.
Pope to discuss Iraq, immigration with Bush
by Karin Zeitvogel for AFP, April 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI was expected Wednesday to raise thorny topics such as the Iraq war and Hispanic immigration in talks with President George W. Bush on the second day of his US visit.

He also vowed to raise the issue of immigration when he holds one-on-one talks with Bush at the White House on Wednesday, in his first trip to the United States since becoming leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics in 2005.

The United States must do "everything possible to fight ... all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives," the pope said when asked if he would address the issue of Latin American immigrants with the US leader.

Hispanics make up nearly 40 percent of the 70 million Catholics in the United States, and are increasingly targeted in efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Immigration agents raid Pilgrim's Pride plants
By ANABELLE GARAY for Anchorage Daily News, April 16, 2008

Federal immigration agents raided Pilgrim's Pride poultry plants in five states Wednesday in a crackdown on an alleged scam to provide fake identification for illegal immigrant workers, authorities said.

More than 100 people were expected to be charged in the raids at the nation's largest chicken producer, Julie Myers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assistant secretary, told The Associated Press.

"Identity theft is a horrible problem that can ruin a person's good name," Myers said.

The raids were part of a long-term investigation, officials said. Plants were raided in Mount Pleasant, Texas, Batesville, Ark., Live Oak, Fla., Chattanooga, Tenn. and Moorefield, W.Va., authorities said.

Ray Atkinson, a spokesman for Pittsburg, Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride, said the company went to ICE agents with information about identity theft at the Arkansas plant. Atkinson said the company uses a federal database to check identity documents of new employees, but that wouldn't stop a person from using a real, but stolen ID.

Atkinson said no criminal or civil charges have been filed against the company, which has about 55,000 employees and operates dozens of facilities mostly across the South and in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

"We knew in advance and cooperated fully," Atkinson said.

The poultry raids were the largest of several immigration enforcement actions taken across the country Wednesday.

Agents arrived before dawn at a Houston doughnut plant and arrested almost 30 workers suspected of being in the country illegally. Robert Rutt, the agent in charge of the Houston ICE office, told the Houston Chronicle some of the people arrested lived at the Shipley Do-Nuts dough factory, a four-block plant that includes a dormitory for workers.

In Buffalo, N.Y., federal law enforcement officials announced the arrest of a local businessman and nine associates accused of employing illegal Mexican immigrants in seven restaurants in four states.

Authorities also arrested 45 illegal immigrants during the early morning raids in western New York, Bradford, Pa.; Mentor, Ohio; Wheeling and New Martinsville, W.Va., and Georgia.

Authorities said the workers were forced to staff the Mexican restaurants for long hours with little pay to work off smuggling fees and rent.

The restaurants' owner, Jorge Delarco of Depew, N.Y., is charged with conspiring to harbor illegal aliens. He was due in court Wednesday afternoon and it was not immediately known if he had a lawyer.
McCain Plea to Hispanics Dismays Anti-Immigration Republicans
By Hans Nichols for Bloomberg, April 15, 2008

April 15 (Bloomberg) -- Arizona Senator John McCain cites his standing with his state's Hispanics as proof that he is a different kind of Republican, distinct from the illegal- immigration foes who dominate the party. He vows to campaign in the barrios, gunning for the 70 percent Latino support he won in his last senatorial election.

That's precisely what worries anti-immigration Republicans, who say the party's base will stay at home if it detects the kind of mariachi politics that President George W. Bush practiced to win more than 40 percent of Latino voters in 2004.

If McCain ``panders for the Hispanic vote, politically, he'll kill himself and he'll kill us,'' said Arizona state Representative Russell Pearce, a Republican who is leading a effort to revoke business licenses of employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants. ``There are more votes in my approach than his.''

McCain, 71, plans to test that theory. He may be the one Republican in a position to do so. After a divisive immigration debate in 2006, Republican candidates in that year's mid-term elections only received 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, down more than 10 points from 2004, according to exit polls.
Hillary Clinton: Use new technology to stem flow of illegal workers
The Charlotte Observer, April 14, 2008

Our immigration system is in crisis. The laws on the books are inadequate and no longer serve our best interests. As a nation, we place a premium on compassion, respect and policies that help families, but our immigration laws don't reflect that.

I have consistently called for comprehensive immigration reform that respects our immigrant heritage and honors the rule of law. I believe comprehensive reform must have as essential ingredients a strengthening of our borders, greater cross-cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law and willing to meet a high bar.

Securing our borders must be a top priority. That is why I supported enhanced border security as part of a comprehensive approach. But I do not believe a fence alone will solve our immigration crisis. We need to do a lot more. That means ensuring that employers comply with the law against hiring and exploiting undocumented workers. I support deploying new technology that can help stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into the country and an employer verification system that is universal, accurate, timely and does not lead to discrimination and abuse by employers.

Along with these changes, I believe we need to repair those broken portions of our immigration system that irrevocably damage families and force citizens and lawful immigrants to choose between their newly adopted country and living with their spouse or children. We have a national interest in fostering strong families. This is why I introduced an amendment during consideration of the immigration reform bill that would have taken steps to protect the sanctity of families. Our American values demand no less.

I understand that our immigration policies have a direct impact on American workers. I oppose a guest worker program that exploits workers and creates a supply of cheap labor that undermines the wages of U.S. workers. All workers deserve safe conditions and decent wages. I support an Ag Jobs program, which will keep our agricultural industry vibrant while enabling workers to receive fair wages and labor protections.

As a senator, I have advocated for policies to help smooth the transition of legal immigrants once they arrive here. I championed the Legal Immigrant Children's Health Improvement Act, which would give states the option to provide federally funded Medicaid and SCHIP benefits to low-income legal immigrant children and pregnant women. I developed the Access to Employment and English Acquisition Act to meet the growing demand for English language courses and other job skills. I strongly support the DREAM Act, which provides a path to citizenship through military service or higher education for children brought to the U.S. by their parents. When I am president, comprehensive immigration reform will be a top priority. All About Immigration
By Naveen Dhaliwal for WETM 18 TV, April 12, 2008

CORNING - A national organization against illegal immigration is setting up shop right here in the Southern Tier. They've also created a new online tool to help you. NumbersUSA is a non profit organization that is standing up against immigration. Officials say immigrants lower your wages and job opportunities.

NumbersUSA held its grand opening in Corning on Saturday morning. Computer programmers will work to research and make sure a new website is constantly updated. The website will have up to the minute information on immigration statistics and new bills in congress. The site will allow you to send free faxes to members of Congress on immigration related issues. “You can sign up and literally with in 30 seconds and you can be getting informed about immigration. You can be faxing, calling about whatever you're interested in doing. We make it very easy and it's very informative,” says Peter Halliday, NumbersUSA.

Registration on the website is free. Supporters of immigration argue the economy depends on immigrants who are willing to take low paying jobs that Americans don't want.
Immigration: no hands on a hot-button issue
By Dante Chinni for the Christian Science Monitor, April 11, 2008

There are few pricklier issues in the 2008 presidential campaign than immigration. Most people concede the system is broken, but easy solutions are hard to find – note the collapse of the immigration bill in Congress last year.

It’s becoming like Social Security reform – an issue politicians don’t want to touch. So much so that legal immigration is taking a hit. Congress, for instance, hasn’t yet renewed an exemption for returning workers on H-2B visas, permits for seasonal workers, which means businesses across the country may find it tough to fill slots this summer.

You don’t have to be Lou Dobbs to see that immigration isn’t leaving the news soon. In the past week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., (about 45 miles northwest of Washington) and removed 59 workers who were suspected of being in the US illegally. Meanwhile, a new study on the financial costs of immigration was released by the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank in New York. The organization found that immigrants cost each taxpayer $9,000 a year
Anti-Illegal Immigration Group Calls for 'Absolut' Vodka Boycott
Fox News, April 8, 2008

An anti-illegal immigration group issued a call to arms Tuesday against a prominent Swedish vodka brand.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC President William Gheen is in a tizzy over an Absolut vodka advertisement that ran recently in Mexico. While it is no longer running, he says it shows the alcohol manufacturer is peddling products to a group of people actively seeking to claim U.S. territory in the name of Mexico.

The ad showed an 1830s map of Mexico and the United States where most of the modern western United States was still part of Mexico. The ad headline was "In an Absolut World."

Absolut officials say they had no intent to make any immigration-related message with the ad, and have since issued an apology.

Gheen's group is calling for a boycott of the product until Absolut fires the ad agency.
Former border patrol agent speaks on immigration
Liberal Kansas Times, April 6, 2008

Zack Taylor was a border patrol agent and a supervisory border patrol agent for 26 years. Though he retired in 2003, he still lives in the same house in Arizona where he has only to look to the south to see the Mexican border.

With states and communities, including Kansas, considering tougher immigration laws, Taylor said he thinks they should look to his state for ideas. Some of the things Arizona has done include penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants, cutting illegal immigrants off from social services and tracking other ways illegal immigrants receive public benefits.

When asked about the effect Arizona’s laws have had, Taylor responded that they have noticed many illegal immigrants leaving the state. “In 2007, Arizona had one of the highest increases in food stamps. I think we were 10 percent over the previous year.

We expect that to drop dramatically in 2008,” he said. Oklahoma passed similar laws, and the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (, a group he is a part of, was involved with the legislation there.

Taylor also discussed some of the effects of illegal immigration on the country. “The source of some of the most violent gangs in the United States are foreign countries. One of the major crossing points is the Tucson sector,” he said, adding that is the section he lives near.
Activists protest immigration arrests on Amtrak, Greyhound
World War 4 Report, April 6, 2008

On April 2, several dozen demonstrators gathered in front of Penn Station in Manhattan to protest the collaboration of the Amtrak train company with border and immigration agents who arrest passengers traveling between US cities. With chants of "transportation, not deportation!" and "immigrant rights are human rights," the protesters then marched to Port Authority to condemn the Greyhound bus company's collaboration with similar immigration sweeps.

The protest was organized by Families for Freedom, a New York-based multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing and fighting deportation. The protesters are demanding that Amtrak and Greyhound at the very least warn passengers about the raids in advance, publicly apologize and provide ticket refunds to those who have been arrested. (El Diario-La Prensa, NY, April 3; demonstration announcement from Families for Freedom, received via e-mail, March 26; Immigration News Briefs editor's first-hand experience of demonstration, April 2)
Burke: Sanctuary cities undermine immigration laws
By Alana Burke,, April 6, 2008

Cities with sanctuary policies ignore federal immigration laws and provide a safe haven for illegal aliens, allowing them to take advantage of local services and report crimes without fear of deportation. These sanctuary policies prohibit the police from reporting an illegal alien to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless the illegal has committed a crime.

However, isn't entering the country illegally a crime in and of itself? These hypocritical policies, wherein one crime, that of illegal entry into the country, is ignored so that other crimes might be reported, undermine the legitimacy of United States law.

If Anderson were a sanctuary city, Jose Salvador Alcantar-Ruiz, the illegal alien who ran over a 3-year-old in March, would not have suffered any consequences other than his own grief and guilt. While Alcantar-Ruiz's illegal status didn't directly cause the accident, it certainly adds insult to injury. His time in jail, however, will only add to California's already huge cost of incarcerating illegal aliens -- $1.4 billion a year, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 requires local governments to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security and report illegal aliens. However, over 29 sanctuaries in California alone have policies that prevent local agencies from reporting them, which simply provides further incentive to sneak across the border.
Commentary: Immigration's yin and yang
By Ruben Navarrette Jr. for CNN, March 31, 2008

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- Not long ago, I got an illuminating e-mail from a woman who went off about how the federal government had to stop the "invasion" of illegal immigrants from Mexico and how the Mexican government had to stop its people from crossing into the United States without proper documents.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. doesn't feel sorry for cities that spent the last decade riding the tiger of illegal immigration.

It was a fairly common message -- except that, in this case, the woman admitted that she herself had gotten in the habit of hiring Mexican workers to do odd jobs around her house and that she assumed these workers were here illegally.

But, she said unapologetically, this was work that she needed done and, well, she said of the worker, "They're here anyway."

I love it. I printed the note and put it in a folder. Later, I received another note -- this one from a leader of the Minuteman Project who joked that he enjoyed reading my columns blasting people such as him (really he did) because it gave him "something to do while [his] illegal Mexican gardener" mowed his lawn.

I'm going to need a bigger folder.
Mexican drug cartels move into human smuggling
By David Francis for the San Francisco Chronicle, March 31, 2008

Agua Prieta, Mexico -- At the Center to Aid Migrants in Exodus shelter, would-be immigrants to the United States shared stories of violence at the hands of human smugglers working for drug cartels.

"You used to be able to walk across" the border, said Javier Corazon, 48, who says he lived in Tucson for decades before being deported two years ago. "Now you never know what's going to happen. They may leave you, beat you or worse."

The 30 or so beds at the shelter in this small Mexican town near the Arizona border were filled mostly with Mexicans and a few Central Americans, some of whom remain determined to cross the border.

"The only thing they have to look forward to when dealing with the 'coyotes' is more abuse," said Rosa Soto Moreno, a shelter volunteer.
Today's immigrants are more widely dispersed across America
Daily Press, March 30, 2008

Whatever our emotional reaction to the tide of immigrants flowing into America, it's time to re-evaluate.

That's the short message of "Twenty-First Century Gateways," a just-released Brookings Institution book focused on the numbers of immigrants and the remarkable geographic distribution of newcomers — legal and illegal — that the United States has been experiencing since 1990.

A century ago, immigrants were mostly a big-city phenomenon. As quickly as they arrived at Ellis Island or California ports, most headed immediately to ethnic enclaves in such cities as New York, Boston, Chicago or San Francisco. Only a minority headed straight to the Midwest for farming.

But these aren't your grandparents' immigrants, notes lead Brookings author Audrey Singer. True, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago still accommodate the most arriving immigrants.
Hispanic Voters Echo Others' Views Except on Immigration
By Paul Bedard for the U.S. News and World Report, March 28, 2008

On most issues except immigration, Hispanic voters largely echo the views of whites, black, and Asians in a new poll from Synovate Research.

On immigration issues, Hispanics are more forgiving than the other voting blocs, according to the poll. For example, when asked if U.S. borders should be more or less open, a significant majority of whites and blacks said less open, while 47 percent of Hispanics chose more open. Asians were in the middle, with 49 percent saying less open compared with 23 percent who want the borders more open. On the issue of whether "illegal immigrants should be able to get a driver's license," 80 percent or more of white, black, and Asian participants in the online poll said no, compared with just 16 percent of Hispanics who said no. Instead, 84 percent of Hispanics polled said illegal immigrants should be able to get a license.

The poll also broke down party affiliation by race and ethnicity. Among whites, it found that 28 percent say they are Democrats while 39 percent are Republican. Among African-Americans, 73 percent say they are Democrats compared with just 10 percent who are Republican. Thirty-nine percent of Asians chose Democratic compared with 16 percent for Republican. And 56 percent of Hispanics say they are Democrats while 17 percent are Republican.
Obama talks race, immigration - He begins speech with pledges on education, health care, Iraq war
PETER WONG for the Statesman Journal, March 22, 2008

Democrat Barack Obama did not hesitate to answer questions about immigration and race when he brought his presidential campaign to an enthusiastic crowd Friday at the Salem Armory.

The Illinois senator pledged that if elected president, he would seek a comprehensive approach to resolving immigration issues by insisting on secure borders, cracking down on employers who purposely hire undocumented workers and clearing the way for temporary agricultural workers.

"This is an example of an issue we have used as a political football instead of trying to solve the problem," he said in response to a question from a farmworker at a town-hall meeting.

Obama said undocumented immigrants should learn English and pay penalties as part of a pathway to eventual legal presence and citizenship.
MALDEF hopes Web site is antidote to anti-immigration sentiment
AP, March 20, 2008

WASHINGTON — A Latino group has launched a Web site that its creators hope will be an antidote to the spread of myths and false information about immigrants.

John Trasvina, president of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said Thursday the airwaves are dominated by anti-immigrant sentiment. His group launched the Web site to provide facts and contrary arguments to statements in media and on the Internet, Trasvina said.

Peter Zamora, the group's Washington regional counsel, acknowledged the site is not the equivalent of an hourlong show on cable television or a talk show on radio. But he said many anti-immgration groups use the Web to spread their messages. He said MALDEF plans to use YouTube videos and to increase visibility of its site through Facebook.

On the Net: Truth in Immigration:
Pro-immigration group opens D.C. war room
CNN Politics, March 19, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A pro-immigration group announced Wednesday it is beefing up efforts to promote its agenda, eight months before voters head to the polls.

America’s Voice has hired pro-immigration operative Frank Sharry to lead the organization, which will focus on “mobilizing” immigrant voters, and establishing a “campaign-style … rapid response war room.” Sharry is the former head of the National Immigration Forum.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released this week shows that immigration ranks fifth behind the economy, Iraq, health care, and terrorism on the list of the most important issues heading into the elections
Action on immigration reform long overdue
By Frank Priestly, Idaho Farm Bureau for Ag Weekly, March 15, 2008

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman may have summed up our nation’s immigration situation best this week saying up to $9 billion in agricultural production and the nation’s food security are at risk if immigration laws are not reformed.

“Either we can make it possible for temporary foreign workers to help us grow the food in the U.S. or they will stay in their country and grow food for the U.S.,” he said.

In political circles, this topic is off-limits right now because of the controversy it generates and the current presidential election cycle. But farmers and ranchers don’t enjoy the convenience of putting off difficult tasks because it’s an election year. We’ve been waiting years for a solution to our workforce challenges.
Immigration Matters: Progressives Fight Back on Immigration
New America Media, News Report, Wendy Sefsaf, Posted: Mar 12, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With punitive, enforcement-only immigration measures dominating the headlines around the country, the Center for American Progress brought together a panel last week to discuss what progressive work is being done in state capitols to fight these measures and encourage a constructive dialogue on immigration.

Ten states have already passed the DREAM Act (a bill that gives immigrant children access to college), according to Nathan Newman of the Progressive States Network. Numerous local law enforcement agencies have also refused to give their police officers the power to enforce immigration laws.

In 2006, many so-called “anti-immigrant” politicians did not win re-election. And the Republican presidential nomination of moderate John McCain reflects a different view by the Republican mainstream on immigration, Newman argues. McCain has worked with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to push through legalization proposals in broad-ranging legislation.

States are also expanding laws that enforce fair wages and positive “New American” policies, Newman says. A Virginia bill, for example, protects witnesses and victims of crimes from being asked about their immigration status.

Frank Sharry, longtime director of the National Immigration Forum and founder of America’s Voice, says a new narrative on immigration is emerging as the characterizations of immigrants as “lawbreakers” and a “drain” on the economy is falling apart due to little proof.
Immigration Bills Up but Will They Pass?
By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ for the AP, March 7, 2008

State lawmakers around the country are proposing hundreds of bills this year aimed at curbing illegal immigration, but experts say the cost and public opposition will keep many from becoming law.

Lawmakers in at least eight states are now sponsoring legislation similar to Oklahoma, which last May passed the nation's most comprehensive anti-immigration law.

It restricts illegal immigrants' access to driver's licenses and other IDs, limits public benefits, penalizes employers who hire them and boosts ties between local police and federal immigration authorities.

The bills are among more than 350 immigration-related proposals unveiled in state legislatures in the first two months of this year, according to a count by The Associated Press.
Border Counties Shortchanged in Immigrant Costs, Study Says
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD for the New York Times, March 6, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Counties along the Mexican border from California to Texas are shortchanged millions of dollars a year in costs related to prosecuting and jailing illegal immigrants, according to a study released Wednesday.

The study was by the University of Arizona and San Diego State University on behalf of the United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition, a group representing the 24 border counties.

Cumulatively, the counties spent $1.23 billion from 1999 to 2006 to process illegal immigrants in the justice system, the study found. Federal programs offset only a fraction of those costs, and often did not receive the maximum level of financing that they are authorized to receive, the study said.
FACTBOX-Illegal immigration in the United States
By Tim Gaynor for Reuters, March 2, 2008

(Reuters) - Following are some facts on illegal immigration and efforts to secure the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada.

* An estimated 11 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States, roughly one in every 20 workers, according to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center based on government figures.

* The nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-km) border with Mexico is the principal route of entry for illegal immigrants. The U.S. Border Patrol arrested some 880,000 people crossing the border illegally in 2007, most of them from Mexico and Central America, down from 1.1 million a year earlier.

* The U.S. government had built 284 miles of pedestrian and vehicular fence along the U.S.-Mexico border by the close of 2007, and aims to complete roughly 670 miles

by the end of 2008.

* The U.S. Border Patrol now has roughly 15,000 agents deployed on the Mexico and Canadian borders, and aims to have more than 18,300 agents by the end of 2008 -- more than double the number since President George W. Bush took office in 2001.

* The U.S. government signed off on an experimental stretch of hi-tech "virtual fence" last month, built by Boeing Co along a 28 mile section of the Arizona-Mexico border. It consists of nine sensor towers equipped with cameras and ground radar, relaying a "common operating picture" to Border Patrol vehicles equipped with laptops.

* The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has a growing fleet of Predator B unmanned surveillance drones. Three were in operation at the start of the year on the Mexico border, a fourth Predator drone is due to be deployed to Grand Forks, North Dakota, on the Canadian border, in 2008.

* The United States has 5,560 miles of borders with Canada, including 1,550 miles in Alaska).
Immigration debate snares seasonal businesses
By Andy Sullivan for Reuters, February 25, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Graham's crab company has held its own for 65 years as the local catch has dwindled and cheap Chinese crabmeat filled the supermarkets. It might not survive the immigration debate in the U.S. Congress.

Graham relies on temporary workers who come from Mexico to pick crabmeat from the shells because he can't find enough employees in Hampton, Virginia. But a program that allowed him to bring back experienced workers quietly expired last year after Congress failed to overhaul broken immigration laws.

Now his business is in trouble. Crab season begins next month, but Graham expects his cavernous picking plant on the Hampton waterfront will sit idle.
The 'Virtual Fence' Has Its Limits - Homeland Security confirms that Boeing's 28-mile prototype of electronic border surveillance will not be expanded
by Keith Epstein for Business Week, February 24, 2008

The major Presidential candidates talked up its innovative approach to securing the U.S.-Mexico border. Aerospace and defense giant Boeing (BA), along with dozens of subcontractors, anticipated that it would give them a lucrative foothold in future government work worth billions of dollars. And fervent advocates of stronger obstacles to illegal immigration hoped the U.S. had finally found a more affordable way to fortify its southwest border than building hundreds of miles of physical barriers.

But Homeland Security Dept. officials have decided that an experimental 28-mile "virtual fence" meant to extend the U.S. Border Patrol's eyes and ears along the U.S.-Mexico border—a web of radar, infrared cameras, ground sensors, and airborne drones—won't be copied anywhere else in its entirety. The project was plagued with design, software, and other glitches; had fallen months behind schedule; and sometimes proved inoperable.
In Reversal, Courts Uphold Local Immigration Laws
By JULIA PRESTON for the New York Times, February 10, 2008

Recent rulings from federal judges around the country support local legislation designed to crack down on illegal immigration.
Mexican Leader to Visit U.S., Outside the Beltway
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. for the New York Times, February 9, 2008

President Felipe Calderón’s visit comes at a time when the issue of immigration has ignited strong emotions on the campaign trail.
Issues Start Rush to Vote by Hispanics
By JULIA PRESTON for The New York Times, February 5, 2008

Spurred by the widespread crackdown on illegal immigration and by the contentious tone of the national immigration debate, Latinos are gearing up for Tuesday’s voting with an eye toward making Hispanics a decisive voting bloc nationwide in November.
Mayors Blast Congress Over Immigration
By Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press, January 25, 2008

Washington (AP) -- Mayors from across the country said Friday that Congress is unlikely to act on the nation's immigration problems this year and blasted lawmakers for what they called irresponsible procrastination.
Lives Are Growing Harder, Hispanics Say in Survey
By JULIA PRESTON for the New York Times, December 14, 2007

A report says that about half of the Hispanics in the United States now fear that they or a relative or close friend could be deported.
Immigration at Record Level, Analysis Finds
By JULIA PRESTON for The New York Times, 11/29/07

One in eight people living in the United States is an immigrant, a new survey found, for a total of 37.9 million people — the highest level since the 1920s.