California Immigration Holds Drop

April 7, 2014

prison cell blockAbc News, 4/6/14

Far fewer immigrants arrested by California law enforcement are being turned over to federal authorities for deportation since a new state law went into effect in January. The law was pushed by immigrant advocates and directs law enforcement agencies to more quickly release those without serious criminal records rather than hold them so federal officials can take them into custody for deportation proceedings.

Already, according to a review by The Associated Press, the new law appears to be having a big impact in slowing deportations at a time when President Barack Obama is looking to ease immigration enforcement policies nationwide and appease immigrant advocates who say his administration has been too tough.

Until now, California has accounted for a third of deportations under U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Secure Communities program, which screens the fingerprints of arrestees for potential immigration violations.

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US-Mexico border no barrier to supply chain links

December 4, 2013

Financial Times, 12/2/2013

Photo by Flikr user Rockin RobinIt would be easy looking at the border between San Diego, in the US state of California, and Tijuana, in the Mexican state of Baja California, to conclude that the formidable fence was a barrier to all cross-border interactions. The fence and other defences against unauthorised border crossings have only grown since the September 11 2001 attacks on the United States sharply increased concerns about the US’s border security.

Yet it is a tribute to the power of the North American Free Trade Agreement that companies have continued in the years since 2001 to move goods freely across the heavily policed frontier.

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Obama Calls for Quick Action on Immigration, and So Does a Heckler

November 26, 2013

obamaThe New York Times, 11/25/2013

President Obama is often heckled, but it is rare for a guest who is part of a White House-approved backdrop to shout out a protest while the president is in mid-speech.

But that is what happened here on Monday when Mr. Obama called on Congress to pass an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

“Mr. Obama, my family has been separated for 19 months now!” yelled a young man who stood with others on the riser behind the president at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center.

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Obama uses heckler to make point on immigration

November 26, 2013

Barack Obama speaking about swine flu

The Los Angeles Times, 11/25/2013

President Obama told a heckler who interrupted a speech on immigration Monday that he would not circumvent Congress and try to halt deportations by executive order because the U.S. is “a nation of laws.”

“Please use your executive order!” shouted the heckler, who was standing behind Obama on stage, close enough to be in the television camera shot, during an event in San Francisco’s Chinatown as the president began a two-day visit to California. Urging Obama to give immediate relief to those separated from their families at Thanksgiving, the man yelled, “You have the power to stop deportations!”

“Actually, I don’t,” Obama responded, signaling security personnel not to remove the heckler or other protesters who joined in the shouting. “These guys don’t need to go,” Obama said. “He can stay there.… I respect the passion of these young people.”

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California House member pushes for immigration reform this year

November 13, 2013

The Los Angeles Times, 11/13/13

immigration marchA key California Republican is pushing back against House GOP leaders who say there is not enough time before Congress adjourns this year to consider immigration reform.

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) will make his case to House Republicans behind closed doors Wednesday, trying to build support among lawmakers after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), the No. 3 party leader, said last week the issue would have to wait until next year.

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Border Buzz: A Mexican start-up

October 30, 2013

The Economist, 10/26/2013

shutterstock_70763086Few companies embody the spirit of Mexican-American co-operation as much as 3DRobotics, founded by a Mexican, Jordi Muñoz, and an American, Chris Anderson (a former editor of Wired magazine and once a journalist at The Economist). The factory in Tijuana where they make their small drones is so close to the border that they could, if they were allowed, fly across to San Diego. That is where the firm’s boffins engineer them.

Mr Muñoz, born a few hours south of Tijuana, grew up dreaming of building robotic flying machines, but only managed to do so after moving to California. He says he could not have succeeded without the United States’ technological prowess and entrepreneurial culture. Yet chicanadas—the knack Mexicans reckon they have for using whatever is at hand to solve a problem—were also crucial.

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Mexico blocks Foster Farms chicken imports amid salmonella fears

October 25, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 10/24/2013

medicine healthcare - stethoscopeMexico has blocked imports of Foster Farms chicken from three Central California processing facilities linked to an outbreak of salmonella. The Mexican government told the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday that it was removing from its list of approved exporters two Foster Farms plants in Fresno and one in Livingston, where the poultry company is headquartered.

The blocked three plants were identified by the USDA as the likely origins of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 338 people across the U.S. since March.

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While feds stall, California advances immigration reform

October 16, 2013

CaliforniaAl Jazeera America, 10/16/2013

A row of seven pay-phone booths lines the corner of Bauchet and Vignes streets in downtown Los Angeles, just outside the walls of the L.A. County Men’s Central Jail. From that corner, newly released inmates and visiting families can nearly make out the top of the federal building just a mile south, across the 101 Freeway, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers determine the fate of thousands who pass through the county jail gates.

In 2009, L.A. County became one of the first in the nation to partner with ICE in a program called Secure Communities, which allows federal agents to access the fingerprints of anyone who has been arrested to see if he or she is subject to deportation. This partnership led to the transfer of nearly 20,000 inmates from jails in L.A. County to ICE custody in 2011. Those transferred, mostly Hispanic males who had committed nonviolent crimes, spent an average of 39 days in custody. In its first three years, the program led to the deportation of nearly 12,000 people, nearly half of whom had no convictions or had committed misdemeanors.

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Brown signs California immigration bills, wins activists’ kudos in pressing for reform

October 7, 2013

The Washington Post, 10/6/2013

immigration marchOn a day when immigrant-rights activists nationwide rallied for action from Washington, Gov. Jerry Brown put California at the vanguard of change, signing sweeping laws aimed at speeding the assimilation of those in the country illegally.

Brown (D) signed eight bills Saturday, including one prohibiting local law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants longer than necessary for minor crimes so that federal immigration authorities can take custody of them.

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Trust Act could be another win for immigrants and their advocates

September 17, 2013

The Los Angeles Tmigrationimes, 9/17/2013

If Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation known as the Trust Act, federal immigration authorities will have a somewhat harder time taking custody of people in local jails who are suspected of being in the country illegally.

The measure, which would prohibit local jailers from holding most arrestees for an additional 48 hours before federal authorities arrive, is not expected to put a large dent in the number of deportations.

But with a revamp of immigration laws stalled in Washington, immigrant rights advocates hope to send a message that most deportation should end. Along with a bill granting driver’s licenses to more immigrants who are in the country illegally, the Trust Act would cement California’s position as one of the states most hospitable to such immigrants.

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