Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup

A few stories being covered by immigration blogs this week:

Daily Kos adds another voice to the growing chorus advocating for immigration reform.  Former Secretary of State Rice also voiced her support, saying “As a country, we can’t have people living in the shadows. It’s just wrong. It’s not only ineffective, it’s wrong.”

Standing FIRM reports on the meeting between the President and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus: "The President expressed a continued commitment to reforming immigration and also noted that his administration will be looking for ways to relieve the damage done to communities by current immigration enforcement measures."  It also has a report on the Department of Labor's suspension of Bush's guest worker laws.

The New York Times and Miami Herald report that ICE detention facilities are poorly equipped for medical care as a result of "unskilled or indifferent staff, overcrowding, bureaucracy, language barriers and limited services."  ICE detained more than 300,000 people in 2007 and is expected to detain 440,000 this year.  The report from Human Rights Watch can be downloaded here.  AP reports that an estimated 59 percent of undocumented immigrants have no health insurance, and communities are cutting non-emergency health services to them.   The choice local health officials face is to either cut services or lay off staff.

The Tennessean reports that, as a result of the 287g law, Sheriffs' offices are being pushed into enforcing immigration law without adequate training or resources.   One sheriff calls the situation "a basic failure of policy."  A Cobb Country resident reports that their local police had worked with immigrant communities to prevent and solve crimes, "then 287-G hit, and all trust was lost."  More news about the impact in Houston of the ineffective enforcement system here.

Resources:
CHIRLA has a video called "Know Your Rights" to educate the public on home raids.

PBS has a timeline of U.S. immigration policy towards Mexico.

The New York Times has an interactive map on the history of immigration from different countries to the U.S.

The Unapologetic Mexican has a concise summary of recent immigration reform events.

An article on the challenges being anticipated for the 2010 census is here: "Activists and government officials say fears over immigration enforcement and government snooping are making people more reluctant to share their information."

Advocacy and Other News:
Rights Working Group will have a National Week of Action from April 8 to 15, 2009.

Santa Clara County Citizenship Collaborative will hold a Citizenship & Immigrant Pride Day on Saturday, March 21st to encourage and help immigrants file for citizenship.

USCIS is offering a $1.2 million grant program to support citizenship preparation programs.  There is also a new version of the N-400 Naturalization Application form.

More stories from Rep. Luis Gutierrez and the Hispanic Caucus' Family Unity tour are here and here.  A small blurb on similar forums in Massachusetts is here, and from North Carolina here.  Video from the Family Unity tour is here.

Lastly, a very personal and thoughtful report on the Campaign for Community Values and immigration advocacy activities in the halls of Congress last week can be found here and here.  Quote:

"I expressed my sense of urgency on moving our nation forward with a workable solution for our immigration policy in order to protect families, uphold American values, restore the rule of law and ensure all people within the United States can openly participate in an economic recovery.  We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of immigrants."

Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.

Tags: immigration, Opportunity (all tags)

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