President Obama’s new DREAM relief policy would allow undocumented youth who qualify to request temporary relief from deportation, making them eligible to receive work permits and a social security number.
Restoring the Rule of Law
by Support on 11/30/2009
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Is the Only Workable Solution
- Comprehensive immigration reform will bring control and orderliness to a broken immigration system now characterized by chaos and exploitation. It does so by combining border enforcement; a crackdown on illegal hiring and unfair labor practices; the streamlining of the legal immigration system; and a requirement that those here illegally register with the government, pass background checks, study English, pay taxes, and get in line to work towards citizenship.
- Mass deportation is completely impractical. In 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 358,886 people from the United States. Even at that record rate, it would take 34 years to deport the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States—assuming no new undocumented immigrants entered the country during that time. An even more aggressive policy designed to deport 10 million immigrants in five years would cost $41.2 billion a year according to the Center for American Progress —almost all of DHS’ 2008 annual budget.
- Border security experts agree: comprehensive reform is needed. James W. Ziglar, former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and Steward Verdery, former Assistant Secretary for border and Transportation Security Policy at DHS and Adjunct Fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS), both advocate passing comprehensive immigration reform.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Protect Community Safety
- Law enforcement officials want reform because it would encourage citizens to come forward and work with law enforcement to put criminals behind bars. There is growing pressure on local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws and to aid in the detention and deportation of those with no immigration papers. This has backfired badly on police. As it stands now, crimes go unsolved and criminals go unprosecuted because immigrants’ fear of law enforcement officials prevents them from reporting crimes when they are witnesses or victims. The “chilling effect” has been noted by police officers across the country, as well as in studies of victims of domestic violence.
- A Police Foundation survey showed that 85% of police chiefs agree that immigration enforcement makes it less likely that immigrants who are victims of crimes will report them, and 67% agreed that immigration enforcement weakens criminal investigations. Ultimately, as a Rutgers Law Journal article reported, most police chiefs believe that asking state and local police to conduct civil immigration enforcement makes their communities less safe.
- Criminals target undocumented immigrants. Criminals have learned that immigrant workers are more likely to have cash on hand than other residents and less likely to report crimes to the police. Since undocumented immigrants are unable to open bank accounts, they often must carry large amounts of cash on their persons—making them “walking ATMs.” A majority of police chiefs believe that undocumented immigrants are more likely to be victims of crime or robbery than other community residents because criminals take advantage of this vulnerability. This makes entire communities less safe.
- Law enforcement officials agree that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to improve their effectiveness and their relationships with their communities. The Police Foundation, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Latino Peace Officers Association, and the Washington State Sheriffs Association have released resolutions calling for comprehensive immigration reform. Dozens of police chiefs across the country, including the head of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, have also spoken out against the strain and obstacles their departments face under the current system, and agreed that comprehensive reform at the federal level is urgently needed.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Restore Public Trust
- Police could rebuild trusting relationships with their communities. The Police Foundation has found that 74% of police chiefs are concerned that immigration enforcement will have a negative effect on community relations by decreasing the trust the entire community feels toward police.
- Racial profiling and community tensions would be reduced. Many local police departments have been sued over allegations of racial profiling and abuses related to immigration enforcement. While most police agencies act responsibly, those that do target people for civil immigration enforcement based on appearance or language have alienated the community from local police.
- The federal government would end constitutionally dubious enforcement measures. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s tactics under the Bush administration, including aggressive raids of workplaces and residences, have come under fire for violating the 4th amendment.
- Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative
- Police Foundation
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- Goldwater Institute
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the immigration legislation by a bipartisan vote (13-5). The vote concludes the committee markup process in the Senate and signifies the clearing of the first official legislative hurdle for immigration reform’s passage in 2013 (see here for a list of “good and bad” amendments added to the Senate bill [...]
THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STRENGTHENED S. 744 BY Making the path to citizenship more efficient and practical. By adopting Hirono 12, the SJC ensured that immigrants along the path to citizenship will be able to pay application fees on a more affordable installment plan, ensuring more low-income immigrants will be able to pay the $2000 required [...]
Washington, DC – Luego de trabajar en la mayoría de sus enmiendas, el Comité Judicial del Senado se encuentra en las etapas finales de la revisión del proyecto de ley de inmigración bipartidista. Según el presidente del Comité Judicial, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), quien encabeza el proceso atenta y justamente, la revisión podría estar lista hoy. [...]
Below is a press statement from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, about President Obama’s meeting with DREAMers and their families today: Families part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement Share Personal Stories of Broken Immigration System and the Impact on Their Lives (WASHINGTON) – This morning, President Obama and Vice President Biden met with seven [...]
A cross-post by DREAMer Eric Balderas, initially posted at the Hill: I have much in common with my home state’s junior senator, Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Like Cruz, I was not born in the U.S. Like Cruz, I moved to Texas at the age of 4 and grew up pledging allegiance to the American flag. Like [...]
Today is the last day of markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee–and advocates from around the country have been pumped up waiting for the Senators to pass the immigration bill out of committee. Below is a picture of some of the advocates in the hearing room–DREAMers, moms, dads, union supporters, business interests, faith leaders, immigrants, [...]
Los senadores que apoyan una reforma integral de las leyes de inmigración aceptaron cambios menores en público a la vez que negociaban el lunes en privado modificaciones más amplias en momentos que se espera que la Comisión de Asuntos Jurídicos del Senado las apruebe para mediados de esta semana. En una votación de 13-5, los [...]
Update: Cruz 3 has just been rejected on a 5-13 vote. Senators supporting a permanent, second-class status: Sessions, Lee, Grassley, Cruz, Cornyn. Right now the Senate Judiciary Committee (#CIRmarkup) is considering Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment 3, one of the worst amendments that has been proposed to the Senate Gang of 8 immigration bill. Cruz seems [...]
Having worked through a majority of its amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee is in the final stages of marking up the bipartisan immigration reform bill. According to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who led the process thoughtfully and fairly, the markup is likely to finish today. The biggest takeaway? Although some call the path [...]
La Comisión Judicial del Senado de Estados Unidos espera concretar un elusivo acuerdo sobre visas para trabajadores del sector de alta tecnología y podría enviar al pleno de la cámara alta una controversia sobre matrimonios homosexuales en momentos en que realiza los ajustes finales a las decisiones sobre un proyecto de legislación de inmigración que [...]