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
Recently, seven sheriffs from five states participated in a tour of the border organized and paid for by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — an organization well-established as a hate group. The sheriffs are now back at home and speaking about their experiences on the border, and naturally, what they say they saw is far […]
Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Immigration Experts and Advocates Discuss State of Play in Congress, Administration On today’s weekly Office Hours press briefing, Congressman Luis Gutierrez and immigration reform advocates discussed the state of play on policy reforms in Congress and the Administration. While the Obama Administration continues to take steps to address the child refugee […]
In the last few weeks, quite a number of Senate and House Republicans have come out in favor of ending DACA/deferred action, either because they think doing so will halt the influx of children coming to the border, or as part of the response to the children. The list of Republicans explicitly calling for an […]
EDIT: The final vote tally was 273-173 in favor. The following is a press release from the Alliance for Citizenship: House Republicans missed the chance to reverse their anti-immigrant voting record The House of Representatives voted today 237-173 on HR 4935, a bill permanently expands the eligibility of the child tax credit to higher income […]
Today Representatives Bill Foster, Jared Polis, and Juan Vargas introduced a House resolution calling on the Department of Defense to allow DREAMers to serve in the military. Foster and Polis introduced the resolution at a press conference, joined by Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice and Cesar Vargas, J.D., Co-Director, DREAM Action Coalition. A copy […]
The current humanitarian crisis at the border has exposed House Republicans, yet again, for the obstructionists that they are. After bearing the responsibility for squandering the best chance for comprehensive immigration reform in decades, they are once again building up to do nothing. Yesterday, Steve Benen called out Speaker of the House John Boehner on […]
TIME: Obama Eyes Major Immigration Move Politico: Barack Obama’s immigration rhetoric: Then and now Tampa Bay Times: Sen. Marco Rubio wants to ‘wind down’ program for immigrant youth Wall Street Journal: Where Child Migrant Surge Could Hit Home Wall Street Journal: GOP Governors Knock Obama on Illegal-Immigrant Influx MSNBC: John Boehner’s ultimatum: Change 2008 law […]
We’re ready to hold Republicans accountable for killing immigration reform in Congress. Are you? Colorado is a hugely important state as we approach elections this November. The growing immigrant population there is gaining political power and Latino, Asian and immigrant voters could decide the outcome of two key tight races. That’s why we’re throwing down […]
Las recomendaciones, que Granger calificó “de sentido común, compasivas pero firmes”, se suman a las ideas e iniciativas que han presentado otros legisladores demócratas y republicanos en respuesta a la llegada de más de 57,000 niños indocumentados centroamericanos desde octubre pasado.
Reps. Lloyd Doggett (TX), Juan Vargas (CA), and Zoe Lofgren (CA), all Democrats, took to the House floor this morning for a series of speeches about the children’s crisis at the border and how legal protections for them should not be rolled back. Republicans have now spent weeks arguing that the children should be sent […]