Monday, April 19, 2010

Immigration News Roundup 4/19/2010

1. Arizona Legislature Passes Toughest Immigration Bill in the Nation: One week after the Arizona House passed the legislation, the Senate passed it and sent it on to the governor, who is expected to sign it. The bill, SB 1070, would make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to not have an alien registration document. It also would require police to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally. Other provisions allow citizen lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws, and make it illegal for people to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them. This is the type of law that turns good Samaritans into potential criminals, which is why all of the churches joined to fight these kind of provisions forcefully at the federal level. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles blasted the bill, calling it "retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless". The Arizona Catholic Conference has issued an emergency action alert asking Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Unfortunately it is set up electronically so only residents of the state of Arizona can participate. If you know people in that state, contact them now and ask them to send a message ASAP.

For those who do not have an Arizona address, you cannot e-mail the governor. You can contact her by mail, phone or fax:

The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Telephone (602) 542-4331
Toll Free 1-(800) 253-0883
Fax (602) 542-1381

2. Deportation and Children: The current issue of El Tiempo Latino highlights several studies on the impact of deportation of immigrants on children:

  • Caught Between Systems: The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare Policies published by the children's advocacy group First Focus "reveals that the over 5 million children in the United States with at least one undocumented parent are at risk of unnecessarily entering the child welfare system when a parent is detained or deported...The report reinforces the need for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to consider the well-being of children and families not only in work-site raids, as outlined in previous policy, but in all ICE enforcement activities."

  • Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children, a 2007 report published by National Council of La Raza and the Urban Institute, profiled three communities that experienced large-scale worksite raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; and New Bedford, Massachusetts. It found that most of the children in those communities suffered significant negative consequences from the separation from their parents such as economic problems, fear, desolation, social stigma and psychological trauma.

  • In February of this year, the Urban Institute put out a follow-up to the La Raza Report. Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement examines the consequences of parental arrest, detention, and deportation on 190 children in 85 families in six locations, providing in-depth details on parent-child separations, economic hardships, and children's well-being. Almost 5.5 million children, almost three-quarters of whom are U.S.-born citizens, live with unauthorized parents. The report notes that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has intensified enforcement activities through large-scale worksite arrests, home arrests, and arrests by local law enforcement. It provides recommendations on how to mitigate the harmful effects of immigration enforcement on children.

1 comment:

  1. How about the parents thinking a little bit on the consequences of their choice upon the children, when they chose to come in undocumented and then have kids in the U.S. They choose to take a gamble on this and some times they loose.
    Of course it has negative consequences, I am pro kids all the time, but I refuse to become a bleeding heart on this issue because of the choices which the main players make here.