Tag: Department of Homeland Security

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Special Report: Amid Oil Spill Crisis, U.S. Authorities Search for Undocumented Immigrant Cleanup Workers

Federal immigration officials have been visiting command centers on the Gulf Coast to check the immigration status of Hispanic response workers hired by BP and its contractors.

Immigration NewsImmigration Reform

Immigration Agency Denies Deportation Quotas After Memo Is Leaked

ICE chief John Morton quickly denied the agency sets quotas for deportations, after a Washington Post story revealed an internal memo stating just that.

Immigration NewsLatino

Connecticut City Joins 287 (g) Agreement with ICE, Promises to Pursue Only Criminal Immigrants

Danbury has seen a heated debate on undocumented immigrants. (Photo: mystical_swirl/Flickr)

Danbury has seen a heated debate on undocumented immigrants. (Photo: mystical_swirl/Flickr)

Billed by a Latino newspaper as “one of the most controversial measures enacted by the city’s Common Council”, an agreement between Danbury, Conn., and the Department of Homeland Security for that municipality to join the criticized 287 (g) program is finally going into effect after extensive debate.

Under the agreement, which at least 66 local law enforcement agencies nationwide have joined, two Danbury Police detectives will be trained by DHS to enforce immigration laws. The Associated Press reported, the agreement has already resulted in immigrants’ moving away from the southern Connecticut city.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the agreement will function under new rules set by the Obama administration, which supposedly would prevent local officers from going after non-criminal undocumented immigrants and those who commit minor infractions, like traffic violations.

According to the Tribuna Connecticut newspaper, Boughton said:

“The revised program was not created to cater to either of the extreme sides of this issue.

“It will not pick up the (day laborers) at Kennedy Park, nor will it turn a blind eye to the legal status of someone who robs a bank.

“This program caters to the 70 percent of the population that wants a safer community, whether they were born here or not and are here legally or illegally.”

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Immigration NewsLos Angeles

News Analysis: ICE Chief Promises Efficiency, Continued Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws

On his first visit to Los Angeles, three months after becoming the chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), assistant secretary for Homeland Security John Morton said all his agency wants to do is become more efficient.

“We will try to apply immigration laws in a tough, smart and thoughtful manner,” said Morton to a small group of reporters invited to meet him last week as part of his tour of Southern California.

He said that if people expected ICE to stop doing its job, they would be disappointed. “That is not the point”, said Morton, who is a career prosecutor.

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Immigration NewsImmigration Reform

Immigration Reform Advocates To Protest Against Napolitano in New York Wednesday

NEW YORK — Local immigration activists plan to demonstrate against U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Wednesday morning when she comes to the city to deliver a speech on terrorism, in what may be the first significant protest by presumed Obama administration allies against a member of the president’s cabinet.  (Editor’s note: We previously reported incorrectly that the demonstration was scheduled for Thursday.  We regret the error.)

May Day rally at Madison Square Park in Manhattan.

A previous demonstration by New York immigration groups, on May Day. (Photo: Maibe Gonzalez Fuentes)

Several pro- immigration groups are organizing a demonstration and press conference at the Council on Foreign Relations, where Napolitano will deliver a speech titled “Common Threat, Collective Response: Protecting Against Terrorist Attacks in a Networked World,” which will be broadcast live on the web.

The groups plan to protest Homeland Security’s “backward policies such as the implementation of e-Verify and the expansion of 287(g)” (a program that deputizes local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws) said Norman Eng, a New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) spokesman. The demonstration comes on the heels of the release last week of a report that found Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a DHS agency, violated the Constitution by conducting home raids without warrants and appropriate documentation under the Bush administration.

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Immigration News

Napolitano Orders Review of First Work-Site Immigration Raid Under Her Watch

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Napolitano (Photo: Washington Times/AP)

Napolitano (Photo: Washington Times/AP)

When Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided an engine remanufacturing plant in Bellingham, Wash. on Tuesday, it looked like the Bush administration policy of work-site enforcement would continue under the new White House. This, despite President Barack Obama’s campaign statement that “communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids.”

“The Obama administration decided against ‘change we can believe in’ and, instead continued the Bush legacy,” the Standing Firm pro-immigrant blog said. “I CANNOT believe the administration is allowing this to happen.”

Today, the mood is much lighter among immigration advocates, after the director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, late yesterday ordered a review of the operation, the first work-site raid to take place since she took office:

This is a great victory and the first step to winning Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

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Immigration News

New Homeland Security Chief Napolitano To Focus On Employers Who Hire Undocumented Immigrants

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
New York Times.

Napolitano - Photo: New York Times.

Hours after President Barack Obama was sworn in, the Senate confirmed now-former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland Security, an agency created in response to the attacks of 9-11.

Napolitano’s confirmation did not face any opposition: only a voice vote was taken on the Senate floor — no need for a roll call, according to Azstarnet.com.

The former governor succeeds Michael Chertoff as Secretary of Homeland Security, and is the first Democrat to head the agency. She comes to the job pledging to get tougher with “the demand side” of illegal immigration, namely employers who hire undocumented workers.

“You have to deal with illegal immigration from the demand side as well as the supply side,” she told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during her confirmation hearing last week.

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Immigration News

Immigration-Related TV Season In Full Gear: First, Arpaio; Now, Homeland Security

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

The show doesnt have a political point of view, its creator says

The show "doesn't have a political point of view", its creator says. (Photo: New York Times)

It seems immigration-related reality shows are all the rage this season. Only a couple of weeks after the launch of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s show, the ABC network this week launched “Homeland Security USA”. The show — a border protection version of “Cops” — debuted Tuesday and, as anything that touches on the issue of immigration these days, immediately drew both high praise and scornful denunciations.

Even before its first airing, a Facebook group opposing the series had been set up, drawing “more than 500 postings within its first few days,” The AP reported. “Many were negative, including denunciations of the show as government propaganda.”

The show’s own website became a place for confrontation. “Cancel the show,” was the title of one thread in the message board. “Immigration reform now!!!” demanded another. “Liberal news slams the show. You know it has to be good,” wrote someone else.

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Immigration News

Immigration Implications: What Does Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security Mean for Reform?

Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano -- Getty Images

As Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano appears ready to become the first Democratic secretary of Homeland Security, pro- and anti-immigration observers are trying to decipher what her designation will mean for the future of immigration laws under President Barack Obama.

Napolitano, Spanish wire Agencia EFE remembered today, declared a state of emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border and was the first governor to ask for National Guard troops to be deployed to secure the border between the two countries. She has also vetoed tough immigration enforcement bills put forward by state Republicans and advocated measures like the prosecution of companies that hire undocumented workers. Overall she is seen as more of a hardliner on immigration than most Democrats.

Napolitano’s approach on immigration is fundamentally pragmatic, her friend and think tank founder Fred DuVal told the Christian Science Monitor, adding her philosophy is, “Drop the ideology and let’s talk about what we need to both make the border secure and the relationship with Mexico functional.”

“Napolitano is probably the closest the Democrats could get to an immigration hawk,” Mark Kirkorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank advocating low immigration rates, told reporter Matthew Bell of nationally-syndicated radio show The World. [You can hear Bell’s report here.]

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