“Once, President George W. Bush was accused of failing to spend sufficient political capital on passing immigration reform. Now Obama confronts similar complaints, and the drama threatens to repeat itself; in the blogosphere, warnings echo that without reform, the White House’s current occupant could become-to the Republicans’ glee-a one-term president. The march on March 21st will serve as a kind of alert to Obama to grasp this possibility and pressure Congress to act now.”
‘Qué Pasa’ in Immigration: Lets March; Rise in Hate Groups; Anti-Immigrant Laws in Arizona by Maribel Hastings on 03/03/10 at 11:58 am
‘Qué Pasa’ in Immigration: Inefficient Border Tech; TPS; Swindlers by Maribel Hastings on 03/02/10 at 12:24 pm
A La Opinión article covers the inefficiency of using high-tech tools to patrol the border. The article cites an analysis by the TransBorder Project at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for International Policy which says that the cost of, for example, remotely-piloted unmanned planes (or “drones”) is too high for the return on investment.
“As far as we can estimate, each pound of drugs costs about $70,000 to confiscate, and each undocumented immigrant (costs) $7,800,” Tomás Custer, a CIP analyst, told La Opinión. “But on the other hand, there’s no evidence showing what people are talking about when they say that we’ve improved border security. Right now what we see is that they’re apprehending poor immigrants and confiscating primarily marijuana.”
Dignity, Not Detention: Calling Congress to Task on Immigration and Detention Policy by Mahwish Khan on 03/01/10 at 5:51 pm
Detention Watch Network’s current campaign, “Dignity Not Detention: Preserving Human Rights and Restoring Justice,” aims to protect human rights by putting an end to the expansion of the US immigration detention system, with these four goals in mind:
- Reduce detention spending by the Obama Administration
- Demand the use of secure release options as a meaningful alternative to detention
- Restore due process to immigration laws
- End expansion of enforcement programs (i.e. ICE ACCESS) that are contributing to the growth of the detention system
Watch the video that accompanies Detention Watch Network’s campaign, in which lawyers and former detainees describe, in vivid detail, how immigrants are unjustly treated in the various detention facilities around the country:
‘Qué Pasa’ in Immigration: Action Across the Country; NY’s Latino Voters; Checking Students’ Status by Maribel Hastings on 03/01/10 at 11:35 am
Across the country, efforts to pressure Congress and President Barack Obama to pass immigration reform this year are taking shape, including the March 21st march in Washington, DC. Representative coverage in Spanish-language media:
La Opinión: “March in Washington gains strength”
El Mensajero (La Bahía): “Insistence on immigration reform”
Gente (Minnesota): “When, Mr. President?”
Diario La Estrella Digital (Fort Worth): “Major public forum called”
La Voz (Phoenix): “Time running out for immigration reform”
Nuevo Siglo (Illinois): “Another march in Washington”
El Oaxaqueño (California): “March For America announced”
CIS-Zogby Polling FAIL: Cooking the Books on Latino Support for Mass Deportation by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 02/26/10 at 7:51 pm
This week the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the “think tank” of the anti-immigrant lobby, announced the results of a new CIS-sponsored Zogby poll purporting to show that people of color, including Latinos, support their mass-deportation, anti-immigrant agenda.
Coming from the same group whose leader, Mark Krikorian, recently argued that Judge Sotomayor should change her name to sound more “Anglo,” and who has previously blamed immigrants for global warming, CIS’ viewpoints and strategies are clearly far from mainstream. Still, this latest effort to muddy the waters about public opinion on immigration ventures into the realm of the absurd.
CIS argues that people of color actually prefer enforcement-only approaches over comprehensive immigration reform. They claim that their “poll of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American likely voters finds some support for legalization. But overall each of these groups prefers enforcement and for illegal immigrants to return home.” The CIS “poll” amazingly found that 52% of Latinos “support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 34 percent support conditional legalization.”
That’s right, CIS has cooked up a plan to try to convince us that a majority of Latinos support the mass deportation of the 12 milllion immigrants living and working in the U.S. without authorization. Half-baked polling and research is nothing new for these folks, after all.
What’s really going on: the questions in the CIS-sponsored Zogby poll are engineered to produce anti-immigration responses and rely solely on input from online respondents, rather than a random sample of the general population (i.e. a true random digit dial telephone poll). The findings are a dramatic departure from the results of numerous other (credible) polls of Latino voters (see below).
Here’s a quick Public Service Announcement from FiveThirtyEight.com’s Nate Silver, who has called CIS’ polling firm, Zogby, the “Worst Pollster in the World“:
Zogby International conducts two types of polls. One type are conventional telephone polls. Zogby’s telephone polls, while prone to somewhat wild fluctuations and subject to their share of erratic results (such as predicting a 13-point win for Barack Obama in the California primary; Obama lost by 9 points), are actually not terrible, and did fairly well on November 4th.
Zogby, however, also conducts Internet-based polls. These polls are conducted among users who volunteer to participate in them, first by signing up at the Zogby website (you can do so yourself here) and then by responding to an e-mail solicitation. These Internet polls, to the extent they rely on voluntary participation, violate the most basic precept of survey research, which is that of the random sample. And as you might infer, they obtain absolutely terrible results.
Onto the real research. A May 2009 poll of Latinos nationwide conducted by Latino Decisions found that:
“…over 80% of Latino voters said they supported Obama’s plan that included increased border security, fines for undocumented immigrants, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants meeting certain requirements – just 14% of Latinos opposed the president’s plan.”
Police to Congress: We Can’t Clean Up Your Mess. “Step Up” and Pass Immigration Reform by Dara Lind on 02/26/10 at 1:40 pm
When the federal government doesn’t act on immigration, local communities feel the pain. Cops, in particular, have come forward to acknowledge that the strain of the broken system is making it harder for them to do their crucial jobs — to fight crime, day in and day out.
So it makes sense that, this week, police chiefs across the country have been sending Congress a simple message (though they’re too polite to put it this way): grow up, take some responsibility, and pass immigration reform that makes all of us safer.
That was the prevailing sentiment from Chief Lisa Womack of Elgin, IL; Sheriff Richard Wiles of El Paso, TX; and Chief Sam Granato of Yakima, WA, when they participated in a telephonic press conference yesterday sponsored by the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative (LEEI). They called on President Obama and Congress to (in Chief Granato’s words) “step up to the plate” on reform. Meanwhile, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran told the Chicago Tribune that he supports comprehensive immigration reform, calling it “morally the right thing to do.” The Tribune writes:
Curran argued that legalization would make it easier for potential witnesses to come forward during police investigations. “They’re going to be patriotic Americans,” he said.
Undocumented residents’ reluctance to notify police when they are witnesses or victims of crime has been a constant frustration of the law enforcement community as they call on Congress to clean up its mess, and it was a theme of yesterday’s LEEI call as well.
“What we see is people afraid to step out of the shadows to report a crime or be a witness,” Chief Granato said, as reported in the Yakima Herald Republic.