Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup
by The Opportunity Agenda, Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:25:51 AM EDT
* Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda, has written an op-ed for OurFuture.org. The piece, titled "Challenge and Community in the Heartland," discusses the horrific effects of the recent immigration raid on the community of Postville, Iowa:
After the Postville raid, half of the local school system's 600 students were absent. Many businesses were shuttered and churches left empty. And many families and friends were separated. But, unlike this month's terrible storms and twisters, the Postville raid could have happened differently, or not at all.
The raid is an example of the U.S. government officials using quick, destructive tactics to shift attention away from the fact that the federal legislature has been incapable of passing meaningful immigration reform. Moreover, the government did not arrest any of the managers from Agriprocessors, the company that was responsible for the Postville plant, even though the Iowa Department of Labor found numerous workplace safety violations there:
A federal enforcement strategy concerned with public safety and accountability would have focused on these alleged practices which, if true, pose a real threat to economic opportunity within the state. And it would fix our broken immigration system so that immigrant workers can be realistically and fairly held accountable.
* The Night of 1000 Conversations is taking place tonight, June 19. The event consists of thousands of individuals across the U.S. getting together in their local communities and discussing the detrimental effects of the anti-immigration actions of the Department of Homeland Security.
* A June 19 article that appeared in The Washington Post details how a local sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona dispatched his deputies into predominantly Hispanic communities and told them to arrest anyone who could not immediately prove he or she was a legal U.S. resident. Mary Rose Wilcox, a local supervisor and longtime Hispanic activist said:
All he is doing is going after everybody with a brown face. There's no doubt in my mind that this is racial profiling. None.
The inability of the federal government to enact meaningful immigration reform has forced state and local governments to address the issue. According to the Post article, more than 240 immigration reform measures have been passed in the last year. However, the inaction of the federal government has also allowed anti-immigrant officials like the Maricopa County sheriff to enact their own extremist policies of racial profiling without any regulation from political leaders.
To learn more about the importance of protecting immigrants' rights, take a look at The Opportunity Agenda fact sheet, Immigrants and Opportunity.
* A posting on Of América addresses the increasingly cruel treatment of immigrants held at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. The treatment of people detained at these facilities is being compared to the treatment of people detained at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay:
In the case of both the military and immigrant detention facilities, says [Amrit] Singh, [staff attorney at the ACLU,] the Bush Administration has used national security imperatives to deny many of the Freedom of Information Act requests she and her colleagues have filed in their efforts to find out things like how people are being treated in detention, under what conditions did detainees die and what kind of medical treatment they are receiving.