Thursday, May 13, 2010

Immigration News Roundup -- 5/13/2010

1. More jurisdictions boycotting Arizona:

Also, the Republican Party rejected Phoenix as a site for their 2010 Convention in favor of Tampa.

2. The latest polls:

  • AP-Univision: Resounding majorities of Hispanics consider illegal immigrants a boon rather than a burden to the country and condemn Arizona's strict new law targeting undocumented people, according to an Associated Press-Univision Poll that spotlights sharp divides between Hispanics and others in the U.S...Even so, much of the poll — which questioned 1,001 adults of all races from the general population, plus 901 Hispanic adults — reads as if soundings were taken of two distinct worlds. It found that 74 percent of Hispanics said the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants mostly contribute to society. Just 35 percent of non-Hispanics agreed with that, with 60 percent saying illegal immigrants are mostly a drain. In addition, 67 percent of Hispanics said they oppose the Arizona statute. Just 20 percent of non-Hispanics oppose it, with 45 percent favoring it and 30 percent neutral.

  • NBC-Wall Street Journal: By a two-to-one margin, Hispanics are more strongly opposed than Americans overall to the recent immigration measure signed in to law in Arizona that would make it a state crime to reside there illegally. Seven in 10, or 70%, of Hispanic respondents said they are somewhat or strongly opposed to the law, compared with 34% of all respondents in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll set for release later Wednesday. One thousand people were polled. Among Hispanics, 27% are somewhat or strongly supportive of Arizona's law. That compares with 64% of respondents overall. Hispanics' opposition to the law stems from a widely held concern that it will lead to discrimination towards Hispanics who are citizens, or who are residing in the U.S. legally. Fully 82% of Hispanics said they are concerned about profiling, compared with 66% overall.

  • Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: The public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration and the law’s provisions giving police increased powers to stop and detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally. Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally. After being asked about the law’s provisions, 59% say that, considering everything, they approve of Arizona’s new illegal immigration law while 32% disapprove.
3. Arizona Religious Leaders Lobby for Immigration Reform: An interfaith group that includes some of Arizona's most powerful religious leaders is in DC this week to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform. They have already met with Senator John McCain and other meetings are scheduled with the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. They will also be going to the Department of Justice to ask for a delay in the July implementation of the Arizona law at the very least, to give Congress more time to act on comprehensive changes. Attorney-General Eric Holder said Sunday that the department is considering a lawsuit to stall its implementation, among other options.

The group includes: Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas, Tucson Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church; Rev. Monsignor Richard William O'Keeffe, Episcopal Vicar, Yuma - La Paz Vicariate Immaculate Conception Parish; Rev. Dr. Gary D. Kinnaman, Pastor at Large, Phoenix-area, and Chairman, AZ Governor's Council on Faith and Community Initiatives, 2008; Rev. Jan Olav Flaaten, Executive Director, Arizona Ecumenical Council; Rabbi John Andrew Linder, Temple Solel, Scottsdale; Joseph David Rubio, Lead Organizer for Arizona, Industrial Areas Foundation. "We are here...not in political capacities, but as religious prod, encourage and advocate comprehensive immigration reform," Bishop Kicanas said.

4. Cultural Diversity Conference Backs Arizona Bishops: Catholic leaders from across the United States participating in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on the last day of their meeting, sent an open letter to the Catholic bishops of Arizona, expressing their support for the bishops’ leadership in raising opposition to Arizona Law SB 1070. “We write in order to express our solidarity with you and the Catholic community under your care and all the people of Arizona and throughout the United States who have raised their voices in opposition to Arizona Law SB1070,” the letter read. “This is a law which undermines the fabric of society by creating an atmosphere of discrimination against certain members of the community, profiling minorities and creating fear among persons of color regardless of their immigration status.” The full text of the letter is also available in Spanish on the Padre Hoyos Blog.

5. Crist: Immigration reform can help Social Security: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who's running for Senate as an independent, said Friday that providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants will help keep Social Security solvent — an idea he favors over his opponent, Marco Rubio's suggestion to raise the eligibility age for benefits for people now under 55. Crist told The Associated Press there are as many as 14 million illegal immigrants in the country as part of an underground economy. If they paid into the Social Security system, it would help increase the worker-to-retiree ratio....Crist made his comments after Rubio said he supports a controversial new Arizona immigration law that requires state and local law officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally. Rubio, who is Cuban American, previously opposed the law, but changed his position after the Arizona legislature tweaked the language to ban racial profiling. Hermanos y hermanas en Florida, you know what you need to do in November. Rubio may look Hispanic pero su corazón no está con nosotros.

See also Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions, New York Times, 4/5/2005

6. Pelosi Urges Catholic Church to Play 'Major Role' in Immigration Overhaul: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last Thursday urged Catholic leaders to "instruct" their parishioners to support immigration reforms, saying clerics should "play a very major role" in supporting Democratic policies. "The cardinals, the archbishops, the bishops that come to me and say, 'We want you to pass immigration reform,' and I said, 'I want you to speak about it from the pulpit.'" Pelosi, who is Catholic, was speaking at the Nation's Catholic Community conference co-sponsored by Trinity Washington University and the National Catholic Reporter. "The people, some (who) oppose immigration reform, are sitting in those pews, and you have to tell them that this is a manifestation of our living the gospels," Pelosi added. She also said that the church "has an important role to play" in teaching about dignity and respect, and "as a practical matter" it's not possible to tell 12 million illegal immigrants to "go back to wherever you came from or go to jail."

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