• 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

  • Group calls for biometric component to E-Verify program

    The Security Industry Association (SIA) has called for the incorporation of biometrics into the E-Verify program to prevent fraud and increase accuracy; a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the E-Verify system was vulnerable to fraud and identity theft; a recent audit of Chipotle by ICE agents revealed that many employees are using forged documents to work in the United States; SIA recommends using biometrics to bind an individual to their identity documents, requiring biometric authentication of individuals when they apply for employments, and distributing smart cards to individuals that contain their biometric data; in 2009 nearly 8.2 million new employees were identified using the E-Verify system and this number is set to steadily grow as more states mandate employers to use the program for new hires; roughly 1,400 employers are joining the system each week

  • Mississippi Senate approves Arizona-style immigration bill

    Mississippi estimates it has 90,000 illegal aliens in the state, and that it spends $24 million in education and $35 million a year in health care on them; An Arizona-style bill has passed through the Mississippi state senate and now heads to the state house

  • New government move to crackdown on undocumented workers

    The Obama administration creates new unit to target major companies hiring undocumented workers; the new unit, composed of fifteen auditors, will work under the supervision of ICE; in 2010, ICE conducted nearly 3,000 audits that led to a record $7 million in fines on companies; critics say large companies mostly avoided prosecution; this new unit will work specifically to audit large companies

  • Video shows women climbing U.S.-Mexico border fence in less than 18 seconds

    The United States has spent millions of dollars — the barrier costs taxpayers on average about $4 million per mile — to build a fence along portions of the U.S.-Mexico border; a new video shows two women climbing the fence’s concrete-filled steel pipes in less than eighteen seconds

  • Adding biometrics to E-Verify would reduce illegal immigration

    A new white paper argues that adding biometric technology to E-Verify would bolster DHS’s legal employment verification system; the paper author, former senior FBI official, says that better verification of employment credentials would significantly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants because it will make that much harder for illegals to find a job

  • Illegal immigration into U.S. continues to decline

    The Border Patrol made about 463,000 arrests during the federal government’s fiscal year that ended 30 September, down from 556,032 the previous twelve months; this marks the fifth straight year of declines; the Border Patrol arrests are down 72 percent from nearly 1.7 million arrested in 2000; the agency typically makes about 97 percent of its arrests along the 1,952-mile border with Mexico

  • FY2010 sees record alien removal from U.S.

    In fiscal year 2010 DHS set a record for overall removals of illegal aliens, with more than 392,000 removals nationwide; half of those removed — more than 195,000 — were convicted criminals; the fiscal year 2010 statistics represent increases of more than 23,000 removals overall and 81,000 criminal removals compared to fiscal year 2008 — a more than 70 percent increase in removal of criminal aliens from the Bush administration

  • Illegal immigration to the U.S. dropped sharply since 2007

    Between March 2000 and March 2005, 850,000 illegal immigrants entered the United States annually; between March 2007 and March 2009, the number dropped to 300,000 annually; the flow of Mexicans, who represent 60 percent of all illegal immigrants in the United States, plummeted to 150,000 annually during the 2007-9 period, compared with the annual average of 500,000 during the 2000-5 period; experts say that the slowing economy and bleak job market for low-skill workers, not tighter border security, have played the biggest role in the drop in illegal entrants

  • Under Obama: company audits up, illegal worker arrests way down

    Under Obama, employer audits are up 50 percent, fines have tripled to almost $3 million, and the number of executives arrested is slightly up over the Bush administration; the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites, however, plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush; both administrations agree that jobs are the magnet that attracts illegal immigrants to the United States, but critics of the Obama approach say it makes no sense to allow employees known to use fake or stolen identification to go free to duplicate the fraud again