Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup
by The Opportunity Agenda, Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 12:06:24 PM EDT
Here are a few stories that were covered by blogs this week:
Articles on Polish and Italian migration show that closing the border slows return migration. AP reports on the ICE detention system which holds five times the number of people it housed in 1994, including asylum seekers and immigrants whose applications were lost or mishandled. The system is budgeted to hold 33,400 people every night, at a cost of $141 per detainee, when cheaper alternatives are available. LatinaLista reports that about 10 percent of immigrant women in ICE detention are pregnant by rape and not given the option to terminate the pregnancies.
Conservative think tanks estimate that up to 300,000 construction jobs in the federal stimulus package could go to illegal immigrants, but the study has been debunked for using outdated data. Immigration advocates point out that "if there were a legalization program...you can narrow the focus of immigration enforcement. Then enforcement can really focus on the actual violent criminals." A new study also finds that undocumented immigrants are paid less than legal immigrants.
Bank of America has withdrawn an estimated 50 job offers to immigrant students following restrictions on H-1B visas in the stimulus package. Critics argue that the stipulation prevents companies from hiring the most qualified candidates at a time when the country needs them most. Experts also expect that the H-1B visa quota of 65,000 will fill up within days when filing opens on April 1.
In New Jersey, a statewide coalition is urging DHS to bar Morristown from deputizing local police as immigration agents (via the 287g law). DHS is deploying the system in Colorado as well "<span id="redesign_default">so we can save resources — not only law enforcement resources but judge time.</span>" The Chicago Reporter documents how the system is implemented in Chicago - Latinos are stopped 10 percent more often for Driving While Latino and can end up being deported. In Connecticut, a priest was arrested for videotaping the police, who he claims had been harassing Latino store owners for months.
A couple of stories express concerns about the Obama Administration's silence on immigration here and here, while advocates gather to press the Administration for comprehensive immigration reform. Stories of broken families and children left behind by deported parents are emerging from the nationwide community meetings organized by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL). House Speaker Pelosi spoke out at one of these meetings, saying that opportunity, determination and hope displayed by immigrants has made America more American.
Lastly, here is an article about the political fallout for the Republican Party for its stance on illegal immigration. The GOP's Hispanic votes declined from 44 percent in 2004 to 31 percent in 2008.