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
Right now, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) is meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to talk about immigration reform. Immediately following the 2012 elections, Speaker Boehner said to ABC News “This [immigration] issue has been around far too long…A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself and others can find [...]
Opponents of immigration reform are getting ever wackier. On Monday, we wrote about a protest in Kansas that took place over the weekend at Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s house. The peaceful protest (you can see video here) left pairs of shoes at Kobach’s doorstep, to signify all the individuals and families that he and [...]
Since the CBO score applauding the economic merits of immigration reform came out yesterday, Sen. Jeff Sessions has been working hard to try and discredit the score by claiming that its analysis is all wrong. “CBO did not provide enough information to assess the assumptions it made about the educational background of illegal immigrants and [...]
El Comité Judicial de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos inició hoy el proceso para reformar la ley de inmigración con un enfoque en la aplicación de la ley que los demócratas denunciaron como intentos para criminalizar a los indocumentados. El Comité, controlado por los republicanos, aprobó un proyecto de ley del legislador republicano [...]
Un informe de la Oficina de Presupuestos del Congreso reveló el martes que la reforma migratoria bipartidista será beneficiosa para el crecimiento económico de Estados Unidos. El reporte señala que el proyecto S. 744 que debate el senado reducirá el déficit en $197 mil millones en los próximos 10 años, dato que contrasta con los [...]
The Senate Gang of 8 immigration bill received good news yesterday when the CBO reported that the legislation would save the country $197 billion in its first decade, and an additional $700 billion in the next 10 years after. Here’s a roundup of some of the commentary today on what the score means: From Ezra [...]
The CBO score on the Senate Gang of 8 immigration bill shows that immigrants are a gain, not a drain, for our nation…
Arizona Republic: House’s Boehner Calls Bill Lax on Border Security By Dan Nowicki Des Moines Register: Iowa Poll: 54% of Iowans Favor Creating Path to Citizenship By Jens Manuel Krogstad Washington Post: ICE Director John Morton Stepping Down By Josh Hicks New York Times: Immigration Bill Would Slash Deficit, Budget Office Finds By Ashley Parker [...]
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring of the Senate’s immigration bill: The CBO score shows that there are now 197 billion reasons for Congress to do the right thing and pass immigration reform this year, and 700 billion more reasons over [...]
Congratulations, Jeff Sessions–you got your wish! For weeks now, the junior Senator from Alabama — and leading anti-immigrant voice in the Senate — has been complaining about the upcoming Congressional Budget Office score for the Senate Gang of 8 bill. The CBO usually scores a bill for 10 years, which Sessions didn’t think would be [...]