• DHS official in charge of immigrant removal resigns

    On the same day it was reported that hundreds of illegal immigrants facing deportations were released from federal detention because of upcoming sequestration-related budget cuts, the senior DHS official in charge of arresting and deporting illegal immigrants announced his retirement. The administration says the retirement of the official, Gary Mead, is unrelated to the decision to release the detainees.

  • With budget cuts looming, ICE releases undocumented immigrants from detention

    With budget cuts hanging over federal agencies, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has started to prepare for the cuts by releasing detainees from its detention facilities across the country on Monday.

  • Silicon Valley plans an immigration “virtual march” on Washington

    A bi-costal push for federal immigration reform geared toward highly skilled foreign workers has Silicon Valley business leaders planning a “virtual march on Washington.”

  • Our primary border security system cannot distinguish between a cow and a terrorist

    One of the main security components along the U.S.-Mexico border is a system of 12,000 aging ground sensors. These sensors, however, cannot distinguish between human beings trying to cross the border, a grazing cow, or a pack of javelin – the wild boar that roams this area along the Rio Grande. DHS has so far spent billions on trying to find a technology which would better secure the border. The question that should be asked is why DHS has not adopted a proven system of sophisticated ground sensors, like the one which the U.S. Army has successfully deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • DHS reasserts right for search and seizure without probable cause

    Thousands of times a year  people are stopped as they cross into the United States, and their cell phones, tablets, and laptops are taken from them. Their e-mails and photos and other important documents are searched thoroughly without  probable cause.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee launches immigration hearings

    Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featured testimony from DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and Jose Antonio Vargas, a former journalist who started the group Define American, which campaigns for immigration reform. The hearing focused largely on border security and enforcement, with an entire panel devoted to just one witness — Napolitano. Napolitano said that border security was often used as an excuse to prevent meaningful changes.

  • Courts largely ignore immigration status in lawsuits: study

    When a person living in the United States without legal permission or suspected of doing so is involved in a work-related lawsuit, most courts disregard their immigration status when determining remedies, says a study from an expert in labor relations.

  • Problems-plagued border sensor program put on hold by CBP

    Two years ago, DHS cancelled SBInet, the ambitious Bush-era project to install advanced sensing technology along the border. The project was cancelled after more than $1 billion were spent on a few towers equipped with sensors which were built along a 28-mile stretch and the Arizona-Mexico border. Now CBP has put on hold one of SBInet’s successors, a project aiming to install sophisticated ground sensors along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Labor organizes campaign to push GOP to support path to citizenship

    Immigration advocates have launched a campaign to push Republicans to agree to legislation which provides a path to citizenship for more than eleven million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. Several GOP leaders have called for granting illegal immigrants legal status in the United States, but not a path to U.S. citizenship. The AFL-CIO, which is helping in organizing and funding this latest campaign, says that allowing millions of undocumented residents to remain in the country without full citizenship would only perpetuate a caste system which will drag down wages and health benefits for all workers.

  • Gang of Eight: DHS secretary to determine if border is secure

    Even supporters of immigration reform admit that security along the U.S.-Mexico border should be improved so that legalizing the status of the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States would not become a magnet for drawing even more undocumented immigrants into the country. How do we know, however, whether the border is secure enough for the legalizing process to begin? A bipartisan group of senators, known as the Gang of Eight, has an idea: under the terms of the bipartisan framework for immigration reform, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano would make the final determination about whether or not the border is secure. Once she makes the determination that the border is secure, the eleven million undocumented immigrants would start on their path to a legal status in the country.

  • DHS secretary says El Paso border is secure

    During a visit to El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano highlighted improvements in border security, as many in Congress argue that the path to immigration reform begins with making sure the U.S.-Mexico border is secure.

  • Labor unions join campaign for immigration reform

    The immigration reform debate continues to grab the headlines, and labor unions are now entering the ring,  hoping that organizing immigrant workers can boost the unions’ shrinking ranks.

  • U.S. tech companies hope visa reform for high-skilled immigrants is near

    U.S. technology companies hope that what appears to be a more bi-partisan approach to immigration reform will not overlook the need to address the issue of high-skilled immigrants. The current number for H-1B visas fir skilled immigrants is 65,000 a year. “A 65,000 starting point is just not feasible for this economy. That’s the same number we started with in 1990, when the economy was one-third the size it is today,” say a high-tech industry representative.

  • Arizona may require hospitals to report undocumented immigrants seeking care

    A bill before the Arizona legislature aims to track how many undocumented immigrants are receiving free medical care at hospitals in Arizona. The bill would require hospitals to confirm a person’s legal presence in the country if the individual seeking care does not have insurance. If the staff thinks the patient is here illegally, they must notify authorities.

  • Why some immigrants get citizenship

    For immigrants, the path to citizenship in many countries is filled with hurdles: finding a job, learning the language, passing exams. For some people, however, the biggest obstacle of all may be one they cannot help: their country of origin.