I don’t often look to the Cato Institute, but this article does an excellent job of taking apart the false claims about immigrants and crime that were resurrected again in debates over the latest anti-immigrant legislation passed by the House of Representatives. Those bills will be coming up in the Senate – contact your Senators and tell them to vote no.
Opinion: You Know Trump’s Immigrant Crime Wave? It Doesn’t Exist. (Newsweek, 7/10/17)
“The majority of research finds that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives and that increases in their population in local areas are correlated with lower crime rates – even for illegal immigrants.
“Despite that wealth of empirical evidence, a two-year-old Fox News piece entitled “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” by investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman was offered as evidence of illegal immigrant criminality. Ms. Zimmerman’s piece makes many factual errors that have misinformed the public debate over Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. “
Hennepin sheriff’s cooperation with ICE raises outcry (Star Tribune, 7/9/17)
“Stanek’s office does not honor requests to hold inmates longer for immigration agents. But it does alert Immigration and Customs Enforcement when deputies book foreign-born inmates, among other assists. Such practices spend county resources to do the feds’ bidding and undermine trust in immigrant communities, say a county commissioner, the Hennepin public defender’s office, and immigration attorneys and activists.
“What the sheriff is doing is making it much easier for ICE to target our clients,” said Mary Moriarty, Hennepin County’s chief public defender.”
DPS Director Steve McCraw Issues Immigration Marching Orders (Austin Chronicle, 7/7/17) Reporter Debbie Nathan investigated a spike in Department of Public Safety turnovers of immigrants to ICE, beginning in November. She found a memo from the DPS director that eliminated officers’ discretion.
“The caller told me that on Nov. 4, DPS Director Steve McCraw sent an email to the entire agency instructing that if troopers suspected someone of being undocumented, they were required to call the Border Patrol or ICE. Before that email, the tipster said, troopers had discretion about whether to call federal authorities. The new order, the caller said, with its lack of an option for discretion, constituted “a break from DPS history.”
“I’ve interviewed many immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley who were stopped before November by troopers for traffic infractions – and even though they were undocumented, the trooper, after hearing about their years living in Texas, their steady jobs, and U.S.-born kids, would let them go with just a ticket or a warning. Until that November spike, many troopers used discretion. In his response to me, Vinger did not acknowledge what the whistleblower had claimed: that troopers were now being ordered to do handovers. I asked Vinger for a copy of McCraw’s memo, but he did not comply, so I filed an open-records request. Two weeks later, I got the email.”
Children in limbo in the midst of immigration enforcement debate (Nevada Independent, 7/7/17)
“Rosa said she didn’t think twice when she was told she would go to the U.S. The maras had asked her for money and had killed some of her schoolmates. It gave her the courage to embark on the journey with her little sister. She dreamed about being reunited with her parents.
“I knew my ‘ma’ had come over here to provide a better life for us. We knew it was dangerous, but it was for our own well-being. That’s why I will never complain about anything,” said Rosa….
“Two years have passed since that day. While the family is now together, they are waiting with uncertainty to see what will happen on July 12, when Rosa and Lucia, for the third time, will stand before a judge to determine if they will obtain documents that will allow them to stay in the U.S.”
Deportation heartbreak as ICE prepares to send Ohio father of four to Mexico (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7/10/17)
“Lara Lopez, 37, is invisible to most Americans. Like many undocumented workers, he lived under the radar, mostly working in fields picking fruits and vegetables, though today he works in a Pepperidge Farm food packaging plant. He may have packed the Pepperidge Farm goldfish in your cupboard.
“He has no criminal record. With a valid work permit issued by the federal immigration officials several years ago, he has supported his family. He has paid taxes and never used public assistance for welfare, food stamps, housing or unemployment compensation.”
U.S. citizen children among those hurt by deportations (Immigration Impact, 7/5/17)
“[An] estimated six million U.S. citizen children live with at least one family member who is undocumented, making them vulnerable to a slew of negative impacts that come when separated from their family member–particularly a parent.
“In the first half of 2016, nearly 15,000 parents of children born in the United States were deported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is required by Congress to track the number of people the agency deports who report having at least one U.S. citizen child. Since fiscal year (FY) 2010, over a quarter million such parents have been deported—meaning just as many U.S. citizen children, and likely many more, have been separated from at least one of their parents.”
Kate Steinle’s father: We didn’t coin ‘Kate’s Law’ (The Hill, 7/8/17)
“Kate Steinle’s father says he doesn’t want his daughter’s name at the center of political controversy following passage of a prominent bill targeting undocumented immigrants.
National Council of La Raza changes name to UnidosUS (NBC, 7/10/17) The name change, made before the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2018, is meant to be more attractive to Latino millennials and to reach out to unite all communities.
Immigration and economics by the numbers (U.S. News, 7/10/17) In 1981, 11-year-old Mohamad Ali arrived in the United States with his mother. He went on to graduate from Stanford and become a vice president at IBM and the chief strategy officer at HP and now president and CEO of Boston-based software company Carbonite.
“Having to deal with everything from poverty to being discriminated against … at the end of the day, America is still an incredible place,” says Ali, a staunch believer that immigrants contribute to economic growth. “We have the systems and structures and laws that give people opportunities.”
“The question of whether immigration helps or hurts the U.S. economy is a touchy one, and one that has different answers depending upon one’s position along the political spectrum. But a preponderance of research suggests the overall benefits largely outweigh the costs, as immigrants like Ali drive innovation, enhance productivity and create jobs for Americans and visa-holders alike….
“Among other findings, the 164-page document highlighted that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. And more than half of U.S. startups valued at $1 billion or more – known colloquially as “unicorns” – were started by immigrants.”
Rent increases, evictions up in immigrant communities under Trump, housing lawyers say (Sacramento Bee, 7/10/17) With increasing – and increasingly overt – threats to report immigrants to ICE if they complain about poor conditions or resist rent increases, California is considering a law barring discrimination in housing on the basis of immigration status and prohibiting landlords from inquiring about immigration status, revealing immigration status of tenants, or threatening to report tenants to ICE.
One bit of good news for immigrants in detention (ABA Journal, 7/10/17)
“A growing number of courtrooms are providing free legal representation for detainees who have a serious mental illness or disability. As of March 2017, 21 immigration courts across the country were operating a federal program that provides lawyers to immigrants in deportation proceedings who were incapable of representing themselves, according to a spokesperson for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Department of Justice office in charge of immigration courts.”
Opinion: Battle emerging inside Trump administration over who controls immigration and refugees (Washington Post, 7/10/17) Should the State Department continue to be in charge of stamping passports and granting visas? Or should this function be taken away from the diplomatic corps and transferred to the law enforcement umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security?
“A document crafted by senior White House advisers, first reported by CNN, includes proposals to move the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration over to the Department of Homeland Security. White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, who helped craft the document, has reportedly been pushing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to get “tougher” on immigration, vetting and refugee policy at the State Department….
“I firmly believe the State Department should remain the face of America to the world and the entry point for foreigners traveling here, for consular activities and refugee resettlement,” said Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.), ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Refugee resettlement is not an immigration program but, rather, a humanitarian program and a diplomatic tool, Cardin said. He called the White House proposal “disastrous.”