Posts Tagged ‘287(g)’

Immigration profiling in North Carolina

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 7:39 am by

licenseIn August 2012, the Federal Government began granting Deferred Action to select undocumented youth  in North Carolina and other states.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has given undocumented immigrants the opportunity to legally reside in the US for a renewable two year period. Additionally, through DACA they’re able to receive a work permit, a driver’s license, and importantly the relief from deportation.

In January of this year, the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) updated its website to communicate that it will not provide driver’s licenses to DACA-eligible undocumented people (DACAmented), because they did not consider a federal government issued work permit a valid form of documentation to receive a driver’s license. For many of these recipients, a license is vital for transportation to go to school, to work, and care for their families that don’t have this privilege of driving.

After countless demands of the DMV to give DACA recipients driver’s licenses, on January 15, the Attorney General Roy Cooper finally made a public statement that DACAmented youth should be able to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license. Everyone expected the DMV to give out regular licenses, but instead they’ve created a new one specifically for DACA recipients.

These new driver’s licenses have a bright pink stripe at the top, has the words ‘Deferred Action’ in the background, ‘LIMITED TERM’ on the right side, and contain in red ‘NO LAWFUL STATUS’ on the bottom. This opened up the door for people to discriminate against undocumented immigrants. Especially for police, which is another way police can abuse their power. When these people are ever asked for their ID by police, they will know they’re not citizens.

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SCOTUS upholds racial profiling in SB1070 decision

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 11:58 am by

SB1070 Rally @ the White HouseThe Supreme Court of the United States made a decision on Arizona’s infamous immigration enforcement law, SB 1070, this week.  To make a long story short, SCOTUS upheld racial profiling.

The decision made four main points clear:

  1. Police cannot arrest without a warrant.
  2. Being undocumented is not a state crime.
  3. Accepting work as an undocumented person is not illegal.
  4. Police can demand “papers” if they suspect a person is undocumented.

The fourth point, officially known as section 2B, is a decision to uphold racial profiling, because there are no guidelines defining what constitutes suspicion of being undocumented. This policy has only been upheld in relation to the Arizona law, but other states, such as Alabama, have similar laws on the books. Hopefully, other states will see how expensive and unnecessary are programs that promote racial profiling and other civil rights violations. But thankfully, there was more to the Supreme Court’s decision than this terrible news: the Supreme Court struck down three major parts of Arizona immigration law and 287(g) agreements (which deputize local police as immigration enforcement officers) have been suspended.

We cannot allow the institutionalization and legalization of discrimination in America. Congress must consider this when voting on the End Racial Profiling Act and realize that the outcome of that vote should directly reflect this country’s core values: justice, freedom, and equality.

It’s time that we see some of these values in something other than textbooks and postage stamps. We must demand that lawmakers recognize this growing problem in the United States. It’s time to end racial profiling.

News Digest 6/15/12

Friday, June 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm by

The fate of immigrant rights for 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:10 am by

NoS-CommAction092From the passage of Alabama’s draconian immigration law, to the many states and municipalities who stood up across the nation against the misleadingly named Secure Communities (S-Comm) program, 2011 was a momentous year for immigration policy. As the heated debate on immigrant rights raged throughout the country, over 1,600 immigration bills were introduced into state legislatures nationwide, most seeking to curb the rights of undocumented immigrants.

Now, in 2012, there is a similar if not more drastic forecast for immigration policy. A recent report by the Advancement Project detailed the causes of the progression against immigrant rights and the results of that trend seen in many states.

The report highlights “Arizona copycat,” laws, measures which are forthright assaults on immigrant rights. Copycats have been passed in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah.

[The laws] require immigrants to carry documentation verifying their immigration status, authorize law enforcement to inquire about immigration status during a ―lawful‖ stop, mandate employers to administer E-Verify for new workers, and permit state residents to sue state and local agencies for non-compliance of these laws.

Yet this year, “Arizona copycat” laws are not the greatest threat to immigrant rights. “Active enforcement proposals… remain a serious threat,” the report noted. “But in this presidential election year, state legislators may see passive enforcement measures through piecemeal legislation as the more politically safe option,”

These laws, passed in numerous states in 2011, restrict undocumented immigrants from their lives by shutting them off from necessary services. Passive laws often times include “identification requirements, public benefits access, and governmental agency status verification,” that ultimately prevent undocumented immigrants from accessing essential health care services and discourage them from reaching out to police to report crime or act as witnesses, thus endangering the public at large.

Much of the 2011 anti-immigrant furor has been attributed to the “state budget crises [that] fueled the blaming of low-income people of color, with the target in many states being immigrants and those perceived to be immigrants.” As deep economic losses continue to plague states and municipalities, it is likely that this will only worsen.

The upcoming presidential election will also incense more debate and fuel the passage of state anti-immigrant legislation. President Obama’s harsh immigration platform, the report states, “seems to have further emboldened states to propose their own immigration enforcement measures.” As the debate takes the election stage, Obama and his Republican counterpart will surely try to outdo each other’s anti-immigrant policies.

Despite this, there has been some progress against the onslaught of anti-immigrant legislation. Local efforts have opposed Secure Communities (S-COMM), the harmful immigration program created by Bush and then expanded by President Obama that not only endangers public safety but also serves as a pilot program intended to introduce a national biometric ID system for citizens and non-citizens alike. Additionally, the 287(g) program was recently brought to an end, and there have been successful court challenges to the “Arizona copycats.”

287(g) immigration enforcement program to be shut down

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 10:28 am by

July 29 ICE Dont' Comply Stop 287g NOW! 045In a Homeland Security (DHS) brief released last Monday, the Obama administration indicated that it would begin shutting down the highly controversial 287(g) program that authorized local police officers to act as immigration agents.

Under the program, local police officers in more than 60 local agencies throughout the US received training from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the identification and detention of suspected illegal aliens. The DHS officials state that 287(g) program will undergo a $17 million dollar budget reduction and more attention will be given to “more consistent, efficient, and cost effective” programs such as the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. This will begin by “discontinuing the least productive 287(g) task force agreements in those jurisdictions where Secure Communities is already in place and will suspend consideration of any requests for new 287(g) task forces.”

The suspension of 287(g) has certainly been well received by critics of the racial profiling, unlawful stops, arrests, and detentions that this program facilitated. However, this victory is short-lived, since S-Comm (and other programs like it) remain in place, contributing to the erosion of trust in local officials. Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund, stated that these new developments, “though constructive, did not adequately address the problems that make Secure Communities counterproductive to effective local policing and public safety.”

Even defenders of the 287(g) program, such as Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, have expressed disapproval towards the Secure Communities program arguing that the DHS is placing “politics ahead of public safety.” Vaughan also adds:

The problem for ICE is that while they may feel that they get political brownie points for this kind of gesture, in reality what the anti-enforcement groups want is for them to end 287(g) and Secure Communities, not curtail (them)…So it’s futile — they end up making everyone on both sides angry.

While this gesture by the DHS may be a good step forward, it does little to satisfy the concerns of civil rights activists, which include pervasive biometric data collection extending beyond immigrants to include all Americans. “The Department of Homeland Security is basically saying that it’s confident enough in S-Comm’s ability to help it meet its enforcement and deportation goals. 287(g) may be being phased out, but aggressive enforcement at the local level is not going away anytime soon.”

Deplorable racial profiling found in Arizona sheriff’s office

Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm by

Stop ArpaioMaricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, self-described as “America’s toughest sheriff,” finds himself in hot water after a Justice Department investigation discovered unconstitutional policing and widespread racial discrimination within his department. Last Thursday, the Justice Department released a 22-page report, which detailed numerous shocking findings after a three-year investigation of the sheriff’s office.

The report said that roughly one-fifth of the traffic-related incident reports generated by the department’s human smuggling unit contained information indicating the stops may have been conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable seizures.

The report also suggested that Sheriff Arpaio’s well-publicized raids aimed at arresting illegal immigrants were sometimes prompted by complaints that described no criminal activity but referred to people with “dark skin” or to Spanish speakers congregating in an area.

In addition to these Fourth Amendment violations, the department is accused of flagrant maltreatment of Latinos. Previously, the sheriff had been under fire for the department’s failure to investigate over 400 sex-crime cases, many involving children of illegal immigrants. The report cites one case in which a Latino driver was intentionally struck by a patrol car during a traffic stop.  One inmate, who spoke minimal English, found her bedding soiled but was unable to receive clean sheets until making the request in English.

Regarding these accusations, Sheriff Arpaio was less than apologetic (to say the least):

“This is a sad day for America as a whole,” Sheriff Arpaio said, suggesting that the federal government’s action was tantamount to setting up a neon welcome sign for illegal immigrants. “We are proud of the work we have done to fight illegal immigration.”

In response to the Justice Department’s findings, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided to suspend the department’s ability to check the immigration status of inmates. Deputies will now have to send fingerprints to the FBI, who will then contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the event of an immigration violation. ICE Director John Morton announced that the program would stop responding to minor offenses reported by the sheriff’s office and would remove immigration detainees from the sheriff’s jails.

Bill Montgomery, a Maricopa County prosecutor, expressed great despair regarding ICE’s decision to sever relations with the sheriff’s office.

We need this program. Issues with the county sheriff’s office, political or otherwise, should not prevent the people of Maricopa County, 4 million, from being able to be served by the 287g program.

While the federal government should be commended for its efforts to dismantle these discriminatory practices, it is not as if ICE offers a more acceptable alternative to the people of Maricopa County. That the most egregious offender of racial discrimination relies heavily on ICE should give us serious pause.

Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC’s May Newsletter

Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm by

In this issue:

Bin Laden’s death prompts renewed debate on torture

BORDC News

Grassroots News

Law and Policy

New Resources and Opportunities

News Digest 3/8/11

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 3/1/11

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 2/22/11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm by