• Local police not required to detain illegals for ICE

    Internal DHS documents reveal local law enforcement agencies are not required to hold undocumented immigrants when requested by the federal government; a coalition of groups against the controversial Secure Communities program obtained a total of three documents under a Freedom of Information request that clarified the policy of detainers for local law enforcement agencies

  • Debating immigration: Alabama's new law, Obama's strategy

    In the first of a new ongoing Point-Counterpoint Debate series, Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow interviewed Mary Giovagnoli, the director of the Immigration Policy Center at the American Immigration Council, and Ira Mehlman, the media director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform; the two weighed in on President Obama’s current immigration strategy, the effect of Alabama’s tough new immigration law, and what lawmakers can do to curb illegal immigration

  • ICE deports record 400,000 immigrants

    This week federal immigration officials announced that it had deported nearly 400,000 people in the last fiscal year, the largest number of deportations in history

  • Immigration raid nets nearly 3,000 illegal immigrants

    On Wednesday, federal immigration authorities announced they had detained nearly 3,000 illegal aliens in the largest nation-wide raid of its kind; of the 3,000 aliens arrested, more than 1,600 were felons convicted of crimes like manslaughter, attempted murder, armed robbery, sex crimes against minors, and drug trafficking

  • Undocumented university student fights to stay in U.S.

    As federal immigration officials implement President Obama’s latest immigration guidelines, many undocumented immigrants face an uncertain future with authorities still reviewing existing procedures; an undocumented junior at New York’s Stony Brook University is fighting to stay in the United States following notice by immigration authorities that she and her mother will be sent back to Bangladesh

  • Arizonans raise $100,000 for private border fence

    In its first week of fundraising, buildtheborderfence.com, an effort by private citizens in Arizona to build a fence along the U.S-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants out, has raised more than $100,000; the site first began accepting donation on 20 July and has so far received funding from roughly 2,300 people

  • Congressman arrested for immigration protest

    On Tuesday a U.S. lawmaker was arrested for organizing a sit-in in front of the White House; Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), a staunch advocate for immigration reform, led a protest outside the White House to demand that President Barack Obama stop deporting undocumented immigrants

  • DHS unveils new Maritime security strategy

    Earlier this month DHS unveiled its Maritime Operations Coordination plan designed to more efficiently secure the nation’s coastlines by increasing coordination and information sharing among agencies; the new operation plans works to integrate intelligence sharing between the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

  • Dramatic increase in Indians entering U.S. illegally

    There has been a dramatic decrease in the past three years in illegal immigration into the United States — but the same years saw a dramatic increase in illegal immigration from one country: India; in May, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate committee that at some point this year, Indians will account for about 1 in 3 non-Mexican illegal immigrants caught in Texas; experts say that at least one reason is that, beginning in 2009, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua no longer require Indians to obtain a visa before entering any of the four Central American countries, making it easier for smugglers to bring Indians there, and from there to the United States

  • Tough new Alabama immigration law divides community

    A sweeping new Alabama immigration law is generating sharp controversy and unease with many likening it to a return to the state’s brutal Jim Crow laws; among the strict immigration measures passed last month, undocumented immigrants are banned from enrolling in or attending college, applying for work, and landlords are restricted from renting property to illegal aliens; the law even requires school districts to check the immigration status of children; the bill has drawn fierce criticism from immigration advocates, churches, and civil liberties groups.

  • Federal judge blocks Georgia's Arizona-style immigration law

    On Monday, portions of a Georgia immigration law were blocked by a federal judge on the grounds that the role of enforcing immigration was a federal responsibility; under the law, all businesses in Georgia would be required to check the immigration status of all new hires, police officers would be able to verify the immigration status of anyone unable to provide proper identification during a routine stop, and it would be illegal for anyone to knowingly or willingly transport illegal aliens

  • San Francisco sheriff defies federal immigration authorities

    In defiance of federal immigration officials, San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey announced that as of 1 June he would no longer hand over illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes to immigration authorities; Hennessey’s actions come in support of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy which prohibits local officials from cooperating with federal authorities unless immigrants are suspected felons; illegal immigrants arrested for minor crimes like public intoxication or shoplifting will not be held in jail; the new policy does not bar individual sheriff’s deputies from cooperating with federal immigration officials

  • Immigration bill moves ahead in South Carolina, stalls in Oklahoma and Tennessee

    In South Carolina, a tough immigration law is making its way through the House, while similar bills stalled in Oklahoma and Tennessee; South Carolina’s House Judiciary Committee voted fifteen to seven to pass a bill that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of individuals they encounter; the legislative session ends in two weeks, and the bill still needs to be approved by the full House; immigration bills in Oklahoma and Tennessee were tabled until next year

  • How many people from terrorism-sponsoring states enter the U.S. illegally?

    Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) says the United States arrested people from nations designated as terrorism sponsors on the border with Mexico in the first nineteen months of Obama administration; an Austin newspaper investigated this claim and reached these conclusions: Cornyn is right that there were arrests of people from the four states designated by the United States as sponsoring terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria) — but: the number of people from these states arrested on the Mexican border is miniscule (0.02 percent of the 540,865 total arrests on the southwestern border in fiscal 2009); 87 percent of the people from these countries arrested while trying to enter the United States illegally do so through the Canadian border; and the numbers are dropping: there were 3,309 apprehensions of people from terrorism-sponsoring countries in 2005 (when Libya and North Korea were also on the list), 935 apprehensions in 2009, and 736 in fiscal 2010

  • California enrolls in biometric system to crack down on illegal immigration

    Last week California became the ninth state in the United States to fully deploy the Secure Communities program, which automatically runs an arrested individual’s fingerprint through a national database to determine their immigration status; each year law enforcement officials arrest an estimated one million non-U.S. citizens; ICE has deported more than 62,500 aliens convicted of crimes under the program; critics of the program believe that use of the system has led to the arrest and deportation of noncriminal immigrants and are also concerned about the mandatory use of the system; a report found that in Illinois 78 percent of all detainees identified by ICE were non-criminals