Look to California’s Model

9/3/2015 New York Times 

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 200Nearly two-thirds of Americans favor a path to legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants, and this support has remained steady over the past decade. That is to say, immigration is not an issue that the majority of Americans are actually angry about.

Despite consistently high popular support for legalization, Congress has failed to act. After the 2012 elections, reform seemed possible — many conservative leaders, including Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were supportive, and the Senate passed an immigration bill with 68 votes in favor. But, many House Republicans were worried about backlash from conservative constituents, and Eric Cantor’s primary loss in 2014 effectively ended any hope for congressional action for the foreseeable future.

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244 Immigrants With Criminal Records Face Deportation in California

8/31/15 The New York Times

More than 240 immigrants with criminal records who are living in the United States illegally were taken into custody last week during a four-day sweep across Southern California, immigration authorities said Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 200All 244 people taken into custody had been convicted of a crime and more than half of them had at least one felony conviction, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who called it the most successful sweep of its kind in the region. The majority of those arrested had been convicted of violent felonies, weapons or sex abuse charges. The rest had been convicted of “significant or multiple misdemeanors,” immigration officials said.

Roughly two-thirds of the immigrants taken in the sweep were from Mexico, and the remainder came from 21 other countries, including France, Ghana and Thailand.

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Immigration Shift Shows India, China Outpacing Mexico

8/29/15 ABC News

mexico-chinaSiddharth Jaganath wanted to return to India after earning his master’s degree at Texas’ Southern Methodist University. Instead, he built a new life in the U.S. over a decade, becoming a manager at a communications technology company and starting a family in the Dallas suburb of Plano. “You start growing your roots and eventually end up staying here,” the 37-year-old said.

His path is an increasingly common one: Immigrants from China and India, many with student or work visas, have overtaken Mexicans as the largest groups coming into the U.S., according to U.S. Census Bureau research released in May. The shift has been building for more than a decade and experts say it’s bringing more highly skilled immigrants here. And some Republican presidential candidates have proposed a heavier focus on employment-based migration, which could accelerate traditionally slow changes to the country’s ever-evolving face of immigration.

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Want To Reduce Illegal Immigration? End The Drug War.

8/29/15 Huffington Post

DEA badgeSeveral GOP presidential hopefuls have over the last few weeks offered wildly extreme and generally unrealistic proposals for deterring illegal immigration — largely spurred by Donald Trump’s grandiose plan to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, then let a few of the “good ones” back in, all while building a giant, possibly self-branded border wall. Other ideas Republican primary candidates have pondered lately include eliminating birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed by the 14th amendment to the Constitution, because some argue that it acts as a magnet for undocumented immigrants.

While these ideas might energize the GOP’s conservative base, they wouldn’t do much to deter illegal immigration, for one simple reason: All of these propositions rest on the false assumption that most undocumented immigrants are crossing into the U.S. primarily to look for a better life and a higher-paying job.

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What Americans want to do about illegal immigration

8/25/15 Pew Research Center

Passport -CitizenshipThe debate over the future of the nation’s estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants is on the political front burner once more.

President Barack Obama set the stage in November when he announced new executive actions (now tied up in court) to prevent the deportation of millions of unauthorized immigrants, expanding 2012’s original program aimed mostly at providing relief to those brought to the United States as children. Illegal immigration has dominated the Republican presidential campaign, particularly after Donald Trump’s call for deporting all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Others have called for a changing the constitutional amendment that guarantees birthright citizenship.

Among the public overall, there is little support for an effort to deport all those in the U.S. illegally, but surveys in past years have found greater support for building a barrier along the Mexican border and for changing the Constitution to ban birthright citizenship.

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Tracing The Shifting Meaning Of ‘Alien’

822/15 NPR

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_SWATRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to “criminal aliens” and “illegal aliens” in the immigration plan he released on Sunday. “Alien,” and especially “illegal alien,” have become such staples in the vocabulary of conservative pundits and politicians that many immigrant rights advocates now reject those terms as derogatory and dehumanizing.

But it wasn’t always like that.

Take this excerpt from a letter that a group of Mexican-American law students wrote to the editor of the Los Angeles Times in 1970. They sent it after the paper ran an editorial with a headline that included the term “wetback.”

“We are still faced with insensitive and racist terms, such as wetback, to refer to Mexican nationals who have entered the country illegally,” the students wrote, “and we are now educating the public to use terms like illegal aliens or illegal entrants.”

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Immigration Reform 2015: Judge Strikes Down Obama Policy On Family Detention Of Undocumented Immigrants, Demands Release Of All Children

8/22/15 International Business Times

immigrant mother and boyA federal judge has struck down a key Obama administration immigration policy, demanding the release of children from family detention facilities “without unnecessary delay.” Judge Dolly M. Gee gave federal officials two months to comply with her order, meaning they will have until Oct. 23.

In July, Gee said the Obama administration had violated a key 1997 settlement that governs the treatment of children who enter the United States illegally or seek asylum in the country. On Friday, the Los Angeles-based judge rejected a request from the government to reconsider that ruling and ordered the release of children held at family detention facilities to a parent or other relative in the United States. In her order, Gee said that children should not be held for more than 72 hours unless they pose a significant flight risk or are a danger to themselves and others.

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