December 31, 2009
White House prepares for immigration overhaul battle
The Obama administration is rallying allies to push for a package with better border security and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants now in the U.S. The effort is sure to be a tough sell.
By Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger
December 30, 2009
Reporting from Washington
With the healthcare battle still unfinished, the Obama administration has been laying plans to take up an issue that could prove even more divisive — a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.
Senior White House aides privately have assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation next year to provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.
In a recent conference call with proponents, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, political director Patrick Gaspard and others delivered the message that the White House was committed to seeing a substantial immigration bill pass and wanted to make sure allies were prepared for the fight.
In addition to the citizenship provision, the emerging plan will emphasize efforts to secure U.S. borders against those trying to cross illegally. But that two-track approach was rejected repeatedly in the past by Republicans and other critics who insist that a border crackdown must demonstrate its effectiveness before any action on citizenship is considered.
Whatever proposal Obama puts forward will probably meet equally determined opposition. Another complication is the calendar: Midterm elections are in November, and polls show that the public is more worried about joblessness and the fragile economy than anything else.
So embracing an immigration bill is a gamble for the White House, which already has a packed agenda for 2010: economic recovery, global warming legislation and tougher regulation of financial institutions.
No matter what the environment, immigration is a tough sell, said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin.
“We know from a lot of experience that immigration reform has been and can be a very polarizing issue. There are heated differences about whether there ought to be some kind of pathway to citizenship for people who entered the country illegally,” he said.
“And my sense from the public-opinion research is people care more about vindicating their position than they do about getting the issue solved.”
Even so, the White House apparently has decided to press ahead.
In an effort to enlist the kind of business support that helped drive its healthcare initiative, for example, administration officials have reached out to the National Restaurant Assn., which represents an industry that employs thousands of immigrants. Earlier this year, the new head of the association, Dawn Sweeney, met with Cecilia Muñoz, a White House aide involved in the issue, and expressed interest in cooperating.
“It’s an extremely important issue for our members,” said Sweeney, whose group could exert grass-roots pressure on lawmakers.
As a candidate, Obama vowed to take up immigration during his first year in office. That deadline will come and go. Further delay could anger Latino voters, who came out in force for the president and congressional Democrats in 2008.
No one anticipates that a core element of the Democratic base will defect to the Republican Party in November. But even a significant drop in turnout — which often happens in nonpresidential elections — could frustrate Democratic efforts to preserve their congressional majority.
“The bulk of the people needing immigration reform are Latino,” said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “There’s a level of disenchantment about where we’re going. . . . And if you don’t give the Latino community a reason to participate [in the elections], you weaken your base even more.”
For an immigration bill to have a realistic shot of passing next year, political analysts said, the particulars would have to be agreed upon by the spring. A delay would increase the likelihood of the issue getting derailed by the November elections.
Henry G. Cisneros, a Cabinet secretary in the Clinton administration who took part in the recent immigration conference call with the Obama White House, said: “It gets much more difficult as the year goes along. So everyone has to be very sober about the prospects. But the president and congressional leadership understand it’s important to start the ball rolling.”
An immigration bill was introduced in the House earlier in the month, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who chairs a subcommittee on immigration, is heading the effort to cobble together a bipartisan coalition in the Senate.
But Democrats may not have a lock on one prominent Republican who has worked in the past to revamp the immigration system: Arizona Sen. John McCain.
McCain backed President George W. Bush’s failed attempt to overhaul immigration in his second term. But he has not committed to supporting the Obama bill, saying he worried the president would not endorse a temporary guest-worker program.
Organized labor, an important part of the Democratic base, has voiced opposition to a guest-worker program under which more immigrants could enter the country on a temporary basis. Critics argue that there is no effective system for ensuring that such workers will leave the country when their permits expire.
“From everything that we hear right now, the temporary guest-worker program won’t be addressed in immigration reform. And unless that is an essential part of the reform program, it’s something that Sen. McCain can’t work on,” said Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for the Arizona lawmaker.
The White House would not reveal its position on the guest-worker issue…
KERA — Dallas
Pilgrim’s Pride settles with Immigration
A settlement has been reached between U.S. Immigration officials and Pilgrim’s Pride, the East Texas poultry processor. KERA’s BJ Austin reports. — Pilgrim’s Pride will pay four-and-a-half million dollars, and adopt more stringent hiring practices to ensure its workforce is composed of employees legally entitled to work in the U.S… HERE
Gwinnett: Immigration Enforcement Working Well
WXIA TV Atlanta and other sources:
December 31, 2009
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department says a program that allows specially trained sheriff’s deputies to enforce federal immigration law is working well.
The program began on Nov. 16 when 18 deputies returned from training by federal authorities. The sheriff’s department says 62 percent of the foreign-born population in the county jail has been found to be in the country illegally.
Deputies have placed immigration detainers on 286 inmates. The charges against them include aggravated assault, rape, child molestation, DUI, robbery, sex crimes and trafficking.
The program is called 287(g) after the section of immigration law that governs it. It has been championed by illegal immigration foes and decried by immigrant rights and civil liberties groups.
Arizona Daily Star — Tucson
Border Patrol: Successful surgery for agent shot near Rio Rico
Border Patrol agent shot in the ankle Sunday south of Tucson had successful surgery, an official said. — The agent, whose name has not been released, was in good spirits Monday at University Medical Center, said Colleen Agle, a Border Patrol spokeswoman…
Suspected illegal alien charged in fatal Christmas wreck
A man believed to be in the country illegally has been charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication in connection with a fatal Christmas morning wreck. — Ramon Nerl Olea, 22, was northbound on Haywood Lane at 8:30 a.m. when he lost control of his car and crashed into a vehicle driven by Moni Rai, 22, police said in a news release…
December 30, 2009
Gwinnett Sheriff Lauds Success of 287G
30 Dec 2009
Reported by Justin Gray | Edited by Jim Greene
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (MyFOX Atlanta) – The word appears to be getting out in Gwinnett County: If you’re an illegal immigrant, don’t get arrested. Because if you do, you could be shipped out of the United States.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department has fewer inmates in its jail than at any other time in Sheriff Butch Conway’s 13 years on the job.
He attributed the drop to a decrease in foreign-born inmates in the six weeks that the county has been part of the 287 (g) program, which allows local law enforcement agencies to team with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fight crime in their communities and conduct immigration investigations.
In the span of Nov. 16 to Dec. 30, 2008, Gwinnett had 1,929 foreign-born inmates booked into the jail. Over the same span this year, the county’s foreign-born inmate population is 1,307 — a decrease of 622.
“The 287(g) program is working like we thought it would,” Sheriff Butch Conway said. “We expected after a period of time to see our foreign-born booking numbers decrease, but this is much sooner than we expected.”
Conway said Gwinnett authorities have been able to flag hundreds of illegal immigrants, and added the program is also serving as a crime deterrent. Illegals are committing fewer crimes, he said, because word is spreading that they could be deported if they’re arrested.
Every inmate is screened when booked into the jail, and if they’re found to be here illegally, they can be held for ICE.
Since the 287(g) program began at the county jail, deputies have placed 286 detainers on Gwinnett County inmates. The 629 crimes associated with those inmates range from aggravated assault, rape, child molestation, DUI, battery, drug charges, robberies, sex crimes and traffic charges. Another 212 inmates had detainers placed on them before the 287 (g) program begab.
The current detainers for ICE have been placed on inmates from Africa, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama, among others. HERE for VIDEO
More damage of the 287 (g) ( What they mean is that enforcement works…)
Gwinnett was united to the list of police station with migratory faculties
The implementation in the agreement enters HOISTS and the jailers of several counties of Georgia generated the exit of the country of thousands of Hispanic. By Mario Guevara
The 16 of November of 2009 will be an unforgettable date for the immigrants who reside in Gwinnett. The Office of the Bailiff began to process for its deportation to undocumented foreigners who fell imprisoned.
“Today it is a great day for all the citizens of the county”, was the phrase with which the bailiff of that locality, Butch Conway, presented officially the entrance in force program 287 (g), agreement with the Service of Immigration and Customs (HE HOISTS) that grants migratory faculties to its officials of the police station.
” Stopped. An agent of HOISTS get ready to interrogate to a Hispanic inmate in the prison of the county of Gwinnett.
Gwinnett, the county of Georgia with greater number of Hispanic immigrants, according to the Bureau of the Census of EE.UU., thus became the fourth locality of the state in implementing the 287 (g). First it was Cobb (2007 July), followed by Hall (March of 2008) and Whitfield (June of 2008).
Only the first day of the application in the agreement, the 18 agents of Conway trained by HOISTS to investigate estatus migratory of the lengthy foreigners and abrir processes of deportation to 410 undocumented people they placed “hold of immigration”.
“The goal is to deport to all illegal one that it enters this seal”, stressed the civil servant. “For this reason, this program will be implemented the 24 hours of the day, the seven days of the week”.
Conway revealed that it had been two years fighting so that the Government allowed him to expel from the country to the outsiders without papers that are shut in the jail that it administers, because to its criterion that will save million to him dollars to the contributors.
It initiated another fight
Paralelamente to the dream made reality of Conway, several local organizations began another battle: to try to restrain the 287 (g), because in agreement with them it generates persecution by ethnic differences.
The defenders of the human rights carried out several forums to listen to the testimonies of supposed victims of racial profile on the part of the police.
With such events, the activists looked for tests that in Gwinnett the authorities carry out haltings being based on the physical appearance of an individual.
The spokeswoman of the American Union of Libertades Civiles (ACLU), Azadeh Shahshahani, assured that in Gwinnett there is racism.
“We followed standing up by social justice and because we do not want that this persecution continues”, Shahshahani declared. “The families are being separated”.
Reverendo the Tracy Blagec, representative of Atlantans Building for Leadership Empowerment (ABLE), also rejected the actions adopted in Gwinnett against the immigrants.
During the forums, tens of Hispanic counted their sad experiences with the forces of the law after to have infringed the transit regulation.
The compiled testimonies next will be set out in a report of human rights, as the one that presented/displayed some months ago in the county of Cobb and whose resolution was that there there is racial profile.
Of equal way, the Latin Alliance of Georgia ProDerechos Humanos (GLAHR) also realised a pair of educative events to inform to the community on the implications of the 287 (g) and of collection of bottoms to be able to demand to the sheriff.
However, in previous declarations, Conway bailiff has denied the existence of racial profile in the haltings and the application of the 287 (g).
“They are arguments that try to distract the people of the truth. No agency of the law persecutes a particular group of people”, said the civil servant on the matter. Nevertheless, ACLU, ABLE and GLAHR maintained the opposite.
For Conway, the one that leads a car without license commits a crime. “To handle without valid license it is a greater crime”, stressed. “Who handle in the streets and they do not understand our laws represent a danger for the society”.
Nevertheless, state law SB350 endorses that criterion solely when the violator is stopped by third time.
Thousands in Cobb…
translated (Babelfish) HERE
Original Mundo Hispanico “news” report HERE
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Gwinnett says immigration program is working
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Gwinnett County jailers have detained 286 inmates for possible deportation in the six weeks since they began checking the immigration status of every prisoner.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office began a partnership known as 287(g) with federal immigration officials on Nov. 16. The inmates detained for Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been charged with 629 crimes, including aggravated assault, rape, child molestation, DUI, battery, robberies, drug and traffic charges.
Statistics indicate that 62 percent of the jail’s current population of foreign-born inmates are in the country illegally, according to Stacey Bourbonnais, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
The program is working as officials had hoped, prompting a decrease in the number of inmates from foreign countries being booked into the jail, which may signal that illegal immigrants are moving out of Gwinnett, officials said Wednesday.
“That is certainly the anecdotal evidence at this point,” said Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway. “I don’t have anything else to tie the drop to.”
Over the past six weeks, 1,307 foreign-born inmates were booked into the jail. That’s a decrease of 622 inmates compared to the same time frame last year, when 1,929 foreign-born inmates were jailed. Conway said the jail’s overall population is down 300 inmates.
“That’s never happened since I’ve been sheriff.”
“We’ve always been on the increase,” Conway said. “I keep wanting to pinch myself because I can’t believe it’s really happening.”
The inmates who were detained for ICE hailed from Africa, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama, among other places.
Watch for related news stories to be posted here ( if the media decides to tell the story). This is NOT a good day for the anti-enforcement mob…but has created the HAPPY DANCE HERE!
Gwinnett County, Georgia Sheriff’s Department
Sheriff Butch Conway
2900 University Parkway Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Media Release December 30, 2009
Stacey Bourbonnais – Public Information Officer
Office – 770 822-3924
For Immediate Release:
The 287(g) program began at the Gwinnett County Jail on November 16, 2009. Since that time, deputies have placed 286 detainers on Gwinnett County inmates. The total number of crimes associated with those inmates is 629 ranging from aggravated assault, rape, child molestation, DUI, battery, drug charges, robberies, sex crimes and traffic charges.
Our current foreign born population is 809 and there are 498 detainers on those 809 inmates – meaning 62 percent of our foreign born population is here illegally. The additional detainers above the 286 from 287(g) were detainers already placed before the 287(g) program began.
We have also seen a decrease in our foreign born bookings. Last year from November 16, 2008 to December 30, 2008, we had 1,929 foreign born inmates booked into the jail. The same time this year shows 1,307 – a decrease of 622.
“The 287(g) program is working like we thought it would. We expected after a period of time to see our foreign born booking numbers decrease, but this is much sooner than even we expected,” said Sheriff Butch Conway. “I do want to remind everyone that this is still a new program. When we had the criminal alien program with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year, we had 30 experienced ICE agents here. We have 18 deputies working with 287(g) and they are still learning the process, and I am pleased to say we are now screening 100 percent of our population.”
The current detainers placed on inmates for ICE are from Africa, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama among others.
December 28, 2009
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December 22, 2009
FEEL SAFER? – TSA clears illegal aliens to work at NY airportPosted by D.A. King at 5:56 pm [Email the author] [Print This Article] [Email This Article] Edit this article
TSA clears illegal aliens to work at NY airport
In the latest of many shameful lapses, the federal agency in charge of securing the nation’s transportation system approved background checks for a dozen illegal immigrants working in sensitive areas of a busy U.S. airport. — The illegal aliens, from Central America and Mexico, worked in operational areas…