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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Opposing View on 'Anchor Babies': Reject Birthright Citizenship

Washington Post (by Roy Beck): Birthright citizenship is a powerful anchor for keeping illegal workers in a country — and for keeping the jobs they fill out of reach of unemployed legal residents. It is incompatible with a modern age of easy transportation and organized people smuggling. Every developed nation, except the USA and Canada, has rejected citizenship for births to tourists and unlawful foreign residents. An estimated 4 million U.S. residents have received this type of citizenship. Who's hurt by this? Millions of poor American children live in families suffering from unemployment or depressed wages because an estimated 7 million illegal foreign workers are holding construction, manufacturing, service and transportation jobs. Anything that slows the decision of illegal workers to go back home prolongs the disadvantaging of the 30 million less-educated Americans and legal immigrants who don't have a job and who generally seek work in the same non-agricultural industries where most illegal workers are found. Birthright citizenship is a major anchor for illegal workers already here who are led to feel that their birthright citizen children may give them a claim to remain. Note that one of the loudest arguments for giving illegal workers permanent work permits is that it would be wrong to make them go back home if they have U.S. citizen children.

Should the Children of Illegal Aliens Be U.S. Citizens?

US News & World Report: Under the 14th Amendment, any child born in the United States is a citizen, even if the parents are not. But this policy of birthright citizenship is increasingly debated. Critics argue the policy misreads the Constitution. Its defenders say changing it would be dangerous.

Yes: Marshall Fitz http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/08/30/repealing-the-14th-amendment-would-not-fix-our-immigration-system.html

No: Matthew Spalding http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/08/30/14th-amendment-doesnt-make-illegal-aliens-children-citizens.html

Administrative Law Judges Face More Threats Over Disability, Immigration Issues

Washington Post: Being an administrative law judge can be nerve-racking. According to information released Monday by the Association of Administrative Law Judges and the National Association of Immigration Judges, federal employees who handle Social Security disability claims and immigration hearings have been the target of a "wave of threats." Citing data collected by the Social Security Administration's Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, "between March and August of last year, 28 violent threats were reported on Social Security offices that handle disability hearings and in the same period nine individual judges who hear disability claims were threatened," the judges' organizations reported. "From September of last year through February 2010, 21 threats were recorded against SSA hearing offices and 11 threats were directed at judges. Threats to the wives and children of judges also have been reported." During a National Press Club briefing, Randall Frye, president of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, and Dana Leigh Marks, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, also released a set of recommendations to improve security.

U. S. Drones to Watch Entire Mexico Border from September 1

Reuters: The U.S. government will have unmanned surveillance aircraft monitoring the whole southwest border with Mexico from September 1, as it ramps up border security in this election year, a top official said on Monday. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin flying a Predator B drone out of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday, extending the reach of the agency's unmanned surveillance aircraft across the length of the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico. "With the deployment of the Predator in Texas, we will now be able to cover the southwest border from the El Centro sector in California all the way to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, providing critical aerial surveillance assistance to personnel on the ground," Napolitano said during a conference call. "This is yet another critical step we have taken in ensuring the safety of the border and is an important tool in our security toolbox," she added.

Groups Urge McDonnell Not to Allow State Troopers to Act as Immigration Agents

The Washington Post reported that: A coalition of groups and individuals concerned about effective community policing are lobbying Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to drop his request to allow state troopers to act as immigration and customs agents. VA SCOPE sent a letter to McDonnell urging him not to move forward with his proposal to ask the federal government to train and deputize Virginia State Police troopers to make legal status checks and refer individuals for deportation, which it calls "unnecessary" and "ineffective."

Latino Republican Walking a Tightrope in Nevada Race

Brian Sandoval, the GOP Candidate for Governor, Has Come to Symbolize a Tension Within His Party, Between Efforts to Attract Latino Voters and Actions That May Repel Them.

Los Angeles Times: For years, Brian Sandoval has been a rising Republican star, a trailblazer touted as a symbol of the party's increasing diversity. Square-jawed and handsome, he was elected Nevada's first Latino attorney general, showcased at the 2004 Republican National Convention and appointed the state's first Latino federal judge. Now, as the GOP nominee for governor, Sandoval has come to symbolize something else: a tension within the Republican Party between efforts to attract Latinos and actions that repel members of the nation's fastest-growing minority group. Across the country, GOP candidates have vigorously supported Arizona's tough new immigration law and, in some cases, gone further by supporting a rewrite of the Constitution to deny citizenship to the U.S.-born children of those here illegally. (Sandoval opposes that effort.) The tough talk has rallied conservatives and drawn support from independents and even some Democrats frustrated with the current patchwork of state and federal immigration laws.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Immigration Backlog Stirs Move to Release Some U.S. Detainees

Washington Post: The Obama administration is moving to release thousands of illegal immigrants detained at facilities across the country if the immigrants have a potential path to legal residency. The move could affect as many as 17,000 immigrants who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It comes amid a push by ICE to focus on illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, rather than seek to deport all illegal immigrants. Officials say that the shift is needed to reduce massive clogs in the nation's immigration courts - where detainees wait for months or years before their cases are decided - and to use deportation as a tool for public safety. "ICE is dedicating unprecedented resources to the removal of criminal aliens," said Richard Rocha, deputy press secretary at the immigration enforcement agency. "The focus now is clearly on criminal aliens. . . . We want to ensure convicted criminal aliens are not only removed from the community, but from the country as well." While immigration advocates applauded the move and said it reflected a more humane approach to illegal immigrants in detention, Republican lawmakers and groups that favor stricter limits on immigration denounced it as a form of back-door amnesty.

Gov. Jan Brewer Condemns State Department Report

Politico: Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer is calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to remove a reference to her state’s immigration law from a report on human rights. In a required report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the State Department said the federal government's challenge to the Arizona law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or detain was an example of how the United States is protecting human rights. "A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world," the report read. "The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined." A federal judge blocked much of the law from being implemented following a legal challenge from the Justice Department. Brewer has appealed the decision.

Border Sweeps in North Reach Miles Into U.S.

The New York Times reported that: The Lake Shore Limited runs between Chicago and New York City without crossing the Canadian border. But when it stops at Amtrak stations in western New York State, armed Border Patrol agents routinely board the train, question passengers about their citizenship and take away noncitizens who cannot produce satisfactory immigration papers. The little-publicized transportation checks are the result of the Border Patrol’s growth since 9/11, fueled by Congressional antiterrorism spending and an expanding definition of border jurisdiction. In the Rochester area, where the border is miles away in the middle of Lake Ontario, the patrol arrested 2,788 passengers from October 2005 through last September. The checks are “a vital component to our overall border security efforts” to prevent terrorism and illegal entry, said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for United States Customs and Border Protection. He said that the patrol had jurisdiction to enforce immigration laws within 100 miles of the border, and that one mission was preventing smugglers and human traffickers from exploiting inland transit hubs. “It’s turned into a police state on the northern border,” said Cary M. Jensen, director of international services for the University of Rochester, whose foreign students, scholars and parents have been questioned and jailed, often because the patrol did not recognize their legal status. “It’s essentially become an internal document check.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Arizona Governor Files Brief in Immigration Battle

Associated Press: Gov. Jan Brewer's lawyers have filed the first brief in their appeal of a ruling that put the most controversial elements of Arizona's new immigration law on hold. Brewer on Thursday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to reverse the ruling U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton made last month. The governor's lawyers say the federal government hasn't effectively enforced immigration law at the border and in the state's interior and that the state's intent in passing the law was to assist federal authorities, as Congress has encouraged. They also say Bolton erred by accepting the federal government's speculation that the law might burden legal immigrants. Calls to the Justice Department, which went to court to invalidate the law, weren't immediately returned Thursday.

Nebraska High Court to Get Immigration-Law Question

Associated Press: A federal judge says the Nebraska Supreme Court should answer a legal question about whether a Nebraska city's ban on hiring and renting to illegal immigrants is allowed by state law. U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled late Wednesday on briefs from parties in lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, also known as MALDEF. Those lawsuits challenging Fremont's ban have since been combined. Smith Camp had asked for the briefs last month, saying she wasn't sure whether the lawsuit should be heard in federal or state court. Lawyers have until Sept. 1 to craft the language of the question that Smith Camp will present to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Why It's Getting Harder to Hire Foreign Workers

Federal Agencies in Charge of Employment Visas Are Making Them Harder to Get, Advocacy Groups Say

Businessweek reported that: Maureen Torrey, the 11th-generation owner of a vegetable farm in upstate New York, doesn't have much in common with Atul Jain, the New Delhi-born founder of 14-year-old Global Software Solutions, an IT consulting firm outside Washington, D.C. Yet both say they're suffering from an increase in government obstacles to hiring foreigners. "We're in a crisis situation as we see no action by Washington," says Torrey, 58, who recently cut back the land she plants by more than 10 percent, to 6,700 acres. For years both companies have hired foreigners on temporary visas because they say they can't find Americans with the skills they need. Now they're struggling because it's getting harder to obtain visas for potential employees. Torrey Farms has lost money for the past two years because Torrey says she can't bring in enough workers to tend her crops. Jain says sales will be flat this year and he may have to send work overseas. "We let opportunities go, our workforce shrank, and our profit and revenue have gone down," says Jain, 44, who can't find Americans with tech skills and the desire to spend months at far-flung job sites.

Looking Past McCain on Immigration

Politico: Few expect John McCain to pick up the torch again for immigration reform, especially since the Arizona senator took such a hard right turn on the issue to beat back a conservative primary challenge from J.D. Hayworth this week. But Hispanic- and immigration-rights activists say McCain isn’t the only senator who could serve as the Republican standard-bearer for immigration reform. For one, they haven’t given up on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who endorsed a reform plan this year but recently caused a national uproar after saying the children of illegal immigrants should not receive birthright citizenship under the Constitution. Activists also are continuing to court Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who replaced the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the liberal stalwart who had partnered with McCain on a failed 2007 reform package that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Obama Is Firing Immigrant Workers -- But Not Deporting Them

Washington Post: While President Obama has moved away from the controversial workplace raids that characterized the Bush era of immigration enforcement, the Obama administration has ramped up audits on employers that hire illegal immigrants. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is now relying heavily on civil complaints and fines to threaten companies found to hire significant numbers of illegal immigrants. In a prominent case last year, American Apparel ended up firing some 1,800 immigrant employees -- about a quarter of its workforce -- after an ICE investigation found irregularities in identity documents. The rationale is that such crackdowns will help deter companies from hiring illegal immigrants -- and curb exploitative labor practices that result in low wages and poor working conditions for immigrants. This week, Fox News seized upon a new report that arrests and deportation of illegal immigrations taken into custody at work sites has dropped more than 80 percent from George W. Bush's last year in office. Fox News cites one former Bush official who slammed the approach as "de facto amnesty," accusing the Obama administration of "turning a blind eye to entire categories of aliens" fand failing to arrest and deport the illegal immigrants who turn up on these workplace audits. But even if tougher immigration enforcement is the goal, simply arresting and deporting these immigrant workers en masse doesn't seem to be a sensible policy solution.

New Life in America No Longer Means a New Name

New York Times reported that: For many 19th- and 20th-century immigrants or their children, it was a rite of passage: Arriving in America, they adopted a new identity. Charles Steinweg, the German-born piano maker, changed his name to Steinway (in part because English instruments were deemed to be superior). Tom Lee, a Tong leader who would become the unofficial mayor of Chinatown in Manhattan, was originally Wong Ah Ling. Anne Bancroft, who was born in the Bronx, was Anna Maria Louisa Italiano. The rationale was straightforward: adopting names that sounded more American might help immigrants speed assimilation, avoid detection, deter discrimination or just be better for the businesses they hoped to start in their new homeland. Today, most experts agree, that traditional immigrant gambit has all but disappeared. “For the most part, nobody changes to American names any more at all,” said Cheryl R. David, former chairwoman of the New York chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Migrants Turn to the Sea to Enter US Illegally

Associated Press: The speedboat is about three miles offshore when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent cuts the engine to drift on the current in quiet darkness, hoping for the telltale signs of immigrant smuggling — sulfur fumes or a motor's whirr. "It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is the Pacific Ocean," agent Tim Feige says minutes before sunrise marks the end to another uneventful shift. This is a new frontier for illegal immigrants entering the United States — a roughly 400-square-mile ocean expanse that stretches from a bullring on the shores of Tijuana, Mexico, to suburban Los Angeles. In growing numbers, migrants are gambling their lives at sea as land crossings become even more arduous and likely to end in arrest. Sea interdictions and arrests have spiked year-over-year for three years, as enforcement efforts ramp up to meet the challenge. While only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea, authorities say heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence, is making the offshore route more attractive. The number of Border Patrol agents doubled to more than 20,000 since 2003, and President Barack Obama is dispatching the National Guard after clamor for a crackdown in the desert led to Arizona's tough new immigration law.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Record Backlog in Immigration Courts

The Washington Post reported that: The lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law aside, Obama has devoted nearly all his efforts on immigration to ramped up enforcement, and his administration is on track to deport a record number of illegal immigrants. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects the number of deportations to increase by 10 percent above Bush's 2008 total -- and 25 percent above the 2007 total. But this number would be far higher were it not for the record number of immigrants who remain in legal purgatory, as there's an unprecedented backlog of deportation and asylum cases that have yet to be heard.

Feds Moving to Dismiss Some Deportation Cases

Houston Chronicle: Critics assail the plan as a bid to create a kind of backdoor 'amnesty'

The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts. Culling the immigration court system dockets of noncriminals started in earnest in Houston about a month ago and has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients' deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases. Richard Rocha, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said Tuesday that the review is part of the agency's broader, nationwide strategy to prioritize the deportations of illegal immigrants who pose a threat to national security and public safety. Rocha declined to provide further details. Critics assailed the plan as another sign that the Obama administration is trying to create a kind of backdoor "amnesty" program. Raed Gonzalez, an immigration attorney who was briefed on the effort by Homeland Security's deputy chief counsel in Houston, said DHS confirmed that it's reviewing cases nationwide, though not yet to the pace of the local office. He said the others are expected to follow suit soon.

Hispanic Media Turning on Obama

BBC reported that: Leading Spanish-language news outlets have become increasingly critical of President Barack Obama's failure to enact immigration reform. With an immigration overhaul nowhere on the horizon, Hispanic journalists have been openly expressing their discontent with the president, accusing him of failing to take action on the promise that won him 67% of the Hispanic vote in 2008. The long time romance between the US Spanish-language media and the Obama administration seems to be over. "Latinos overwhelmingly voted for Obama because he promised immigration reform within a year, but now the White House has lost control of the debate", says Univision presenter Jorge Ramos, who is seen by many as the leading voice of a movement within the Spanish-language media that is turning its back on the president. Some observers credit the growing Hispanic media criticism with the recent decline in Mr Obama's approval ratings among Hispanics. A recent study by America's Voice - a pro-immigration reform group - indicates the Hispanic vote could be crucial in 40 electoral contests in 12 states during the November mid-term elections. But Mr Ramos says Hispanic voters are so disappointed they are unlikely to vote in November in the same numbers. The feeling of unrest towards the president had already begun to coalesce when, in his State of the Union address, Mr Obama failed to list comprehensive immigration reform among his top priorities. Pilar Marrero, a political columnist of La Opinion, said the Hispanic media's stance on the White House reflected the larger community's opinion about the need for immigration reform. Sixty-seven per cent of Hispanic voters backed the Mr Obama in 2008 "The media is also reminding the president of the promise he made on the campaign trail, which many of us, the journalists, reported in our coverage." Some Hispanic voters praise the president's accomplishments on healthcare reform and economic stimulus, but others note that immigration reform is a distinctly personal issue.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Alberto Gonzales on the 14th Amendment

Washington Post: Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales writes in this Sunday's Washington Post about his opposition to conservative proposals to amend the 14th Amendment. "Such a change is difficult to carry out, as it should be, requiring a new amendment ratified by three-quarters of the states," Gonzales writes in a column posted early by washingtonpost.com: "I do not support such an amendment," he writes. "Based on principles from my tenure as a judge, I think constitutional amendments should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances that we cannot address effectively through legislation or regulation. Because most undocumented workers come here to provide for themselves and their families, a constitutional amendment will not solve our immigration crisis. People will certainly continue to cross our borders to find a better life, irrespective of the possibilities of U.S. citizenship."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Battle for the Border

Wall Street Journal: Few issues can be counted on to exacerbate raw feelings as reliably as illegal immigration, and, for reasons no one has to be told, never more so than now. That fact has everything to do with the power of the National Geographic Channel's "Border Wars" series, soon to begin its second season, and the source of the high tension that accompanies every action and word in these documentary close-ups of U.S. law-enforcement agents battling drug and arms traffic and, unforgettably, the smugglers with their steady flow of human cargo. The series kicks off with a special preview on Aug. 29th (9-10 p.m. ET) called "Death on the Rio Grande," then moves to its regular slot (Wednesdays, 9-10 pm) beginning Sept. 1, with an episode titled "Checkpoint Texas." That place is Falfurrias, Texas, known, for good reason, as the busiest illegal-traffic checkpoint in the country.

Concerns Over Whitman Rein in GOP Fervor

California Republicans have high hopes for November, but the gubernatorial candidate's shifting tone on illegal immigration will likely raise tension at their convention.

The Los Angeles Times reported that: The former EBay chief faces an awkward homecoming at the party's convention because of her shifting tone on illegal immigration and climate change since winning the GOP primary in June. "Conservatives and Republicans, we can eat a little bit of dirt on our food. It doesn't have to be a perfect meal, but we have to know what we're eating," said Mike Spence, a leading conservative voice in the party. "Even if someone takes a position that's different than the conservatives', to be able to articulate it and stick with it you still get points…. Being all over the place doesn't get you leadership points." The tension is likely to be on display this weekend: As moderate party leaders launch online efforts to reach out to minority voters, conservatives are trying to force a floor vote to support Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigration. Whitman, who some party activists say is trying to block such a vote, will leave before the fight occurs.

Texas Faces Rising Cost for Illegal Immigrant Care

Businessweek: The cost of keeping illegal immigrants in prison and providing them with medical care exceeded $250 million last year in Texas, according to state health and corrections officials. The testimony before the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday came as lawmakers faced a projected state budget shortfall of up to $18 billion. "We want to focus on what the real costs are for state services," said Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, the committee chairman. "There's really not a lot of wholly accurate data." Jerry McGinty, the Texas Department of Corrections' chief financial officer, said state prisons held 11,766 offenders who are foreign citizens in July. He said it costs the state about $171 million per year to hold them, although the federal government reimburses about 10 percent of that total.

Sheriff Nixes $54M from Feds in Immigration Flap

Boston Herald: Suffolk Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral is walking away from nearly $54 million in federal immigration fees, saying her jail will no longer house illegal aliens due to the feds’ “staggering lack of communication and respect.” In a blistering letter informing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the decision, a lawyer for Cabral blasted federal officials for forcing the jail to “beg and plead” for basic information. “We have encountered a staggering lack of communication and respect from representatives of your agency,” General Counsel James M. Davin wrote in an Aug. 13 letter. “This is completely unacceptable.” Among the sheriff’s gripes are ICE’s refusal to provide the jail with copies of audits conducted on their premises, to inform staff of complaints from immigration detainees and to boost the reimbursement rate for detention services.

State Republican Party Looks to Turn the Page

With Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina in competitive races, the party steps up outreach to Latinos and minorities, hoping to repair its image heading into the November election.

The Los Angeles Times reported that:

Energized by the most diverse state ticket in their party's history, California Republicans are stepping up their outreach to Latinos and other minorities, hoping to repair their image and grow their ranks. But as they gathered for their semiannual convention over the weekend, GOP leaders and the party faithful clashed over immigration, illustrating, in an unexpected way, the party's key campaign theme: Party of the future versus party of the past. Conservative activists had hoped to win support for a resolution endorsing both Arizona's controversial immigration law and Proposition 187, the 1994 effort to deny taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants. Looking to turn the page, party leaders, reportedly at the behest of Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, killed the measure in committee.

Racial Strike Escalates in Staten Island

In a working-class area, 10 Mexicans have been attacked by blacks since April in suspected hate crimes. Some community leaders say tensions have grown along with anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S.

Los Angeles Times: There's no doubt in Christian Vazquez's mind why he was beaten up as he headed home from work late one night, and it wasn't for the $10 the attackers stole from him. "They were after me because I was a Mexican," the 18-year-old said, his left eye still swollen shut from the assault July 31 while he was walking through Staten Island's Port Richmond neighborhood. As his attackers punched him, they yelled, "Go home!" and anti-Mexican slurs, according to the police report, which had a familiar ring. That's because Vazquez was the 10th Mexican victim of a suspected hate crime in the neighborhood since April. "Why this is happening? If you ask 10 different people, you might get 10 different answers," said Ed Josey, president of the Staten Island branch of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, during a march Aug. 6 led by religious and civic leaders to condemn the violence.

Changing the 14th Amendment Won't Solve Our Immigration Crisis

Washington Post (by Alberto Gonzales): Like most Americans, I am a descendant of immigrants and a grateful beneficiary of the opportunities available to our nation's citizens. My grandparents emigrated from Mexico in the early 20th century seeking a better life, and they found it working in the fields and dairy farms of Texas. Diversity is one of the great strengths of the United States -- diversity fueled by the migration of ethnicities, cultures and ideas. Today, however, there is virtually universal agreement that our immigration process is broken. While security on our southern border has improved in the past decade, it remains inadequate in a post-9/11 world. Many employers hire undocumented workers with little concern about prosecution. Thousands of people cross our borders illegally believing they will not be arrested, expecting instead to receive benefits and, eventually, amnesty.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Senate Approves $600 Million in Emergency Border Security Funds

CNN: The U.S. Senate approved $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday, on the eve of the Senate's summer recess and ahead of an election season in which immigration and border security are shaping up as major issues.


The bill provides for roughly 1,500 new law enforcement agents, new unmanned aerial vehicles, new forwarding operating bases and $14 million in new communication equipment. It represents a 10 percent increase in border security spending over 2010, said New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a bill sponsor. The measure must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be signed by the president and become law.


"This bipartisan effort shows we are serious about making the border more secure than ever," said Schumer, chairman of the immigration subcommittee, in a statement.

A Better Way

Utah may offer a better model than Arizona for dealing with illegal immigrants.

Economist reported: AS ARIZONA’S lawyers prepare to enter more federal courtrooms to defend SB1070, the state’s new law against illegal immigrants and the harshest of its kind, the other 49 states are watching for clues. But SB1070, partially blocked by a federal judge, looks decreasingly likely to become a model. That may come instead from a neighbouring state. “I want to have a Utah solution; we are not Arizona,” says Gary Herbert, Utah’s governor. And he thinks Utah is close to finding one. Utah might seem very similar to Arizona. Historically, both once belonged to Mexico, then to the cowboy West. Demographically, both are very white, with significant Latino populations. Politically, both are conservative—a recent Gallup poll found Utah to be the most Republican state in the country. Both have nativists who dislike migrants and occasionally forget to distinguish between illegal and merely brown. And both have Republican governors who stepped into office because their predecessors got better jobs from Barack Obama, and who both now have to win re-election on their own terms. In this more civil conversation, an idea by Mr Shurtleff, the attorney-general, has been gaining favour (although he, too, is getting bags of hate mail for it). Mr Shurtleff proposes an arrangement between Utah and individual Mexican states such as Nuevo Leon, in the north-east. Employers in Utah could request workers and the Mexican authorities would screen applicants. Utah would issue these Mexicans a guest-worker card similar to the driving permits it already gives illegal immigrants. It would separate “the work line from the immigration line,” says Mr Shurtleff.

Does Restricting Immigration Improve Economic Performance?

Ezra Klein / Washington Post: There are a lot of studies looking at the economic impacts of immigration, but what about the economic impacts of restricting immigration? Over the past few years, a lot of cities and counties have enacted restrictive laws, which creates a nice natural experiment of sorts: As an area becomes less friendly to immigrants, what happens to its economy? Huyen Pham and Pham Hoang Van looked into this in a paper called "The Economic Impact of Local Immigration Regulation: an Empirical Analysis," and their answer, basically, is nothing good.

One Arizona Town's Take on Immigration Debate

USA Today: Far from the heated protest marches in downtown Phoenix, either denouncing Arizona's immigration law or embracing it, the arguments over the law aren't so simple. Vince Cherryholmes, 51, a video store owner, says he was angered when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton last month temporarily blocked the core of the law, known as S.B. 1070, which would have required police officers to determine the immigration status of suspects stopped for another offense if there was a "reasonable suspicion" they were in the country illegally. Rich Favia supports the law, too, because he sees it as a mechanism to identify and deport members of dangerous drug gangs — but he doesn't want to see illegal immigrants who are working hard and staying out of trouble removed from the country. Support for the law is widespread in Apache Junction, a working-class city of 32,000 east of Phoenix in the shadows of the Superstition Mountains. About 8% of the population is Hispanic, compared with 42% in Phoenix, according to the U.S. Census. Even here, though, people disagree over the impact of illegal immigration on their state, who should be deported and why the immigration measure ever became law.

The Root: Don't Tamper With The 14th Amendment

Via NPR: Tampering with the law that guaranteed black Americans their citizenship is not just bad politics; it is downright low. It's perhaps a short walk from trashing the legacy of Thurgood Marshall during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings to the Republican leadership's latest affront to the civil rights history of this country. But the push to open hearings on the 14th Amendment, in order to challenge the birthright-citizenship provisions of the landmark Civil War amendment, marks a new low.

Fingerprint Sharing Led to Deportation of 47,000

Associated Press: Records show that about 47,000 people have been removed or deported from the U.S. after the Homeland Security Department sifted through 3 million sets of fingerprints taken from bookings at local jails. About one-quarter of those kicked out of the country did not have criminal records, according to government data obtained by immigration advocacy groups that have filed a lawsuit. The groups plan to release the data Tuesday and provided early copies to The Associated Press. As issue is a fingerprint-sharing program known as Secure Communities that the government says is focused on getting rid of the "worst of the worst" criminal immigrants from the U.S. Immigration advocates say that the government instead spends too much time on lower-level criminals or non-criminals. Immigration and Customs Enforcement divides crimes into three categories, with Level 1 being the most serious. Most of those deported committed Level 2 or 3 crimes or were non-criminals, a monthly report of Secure Communities statistics shows. "ICE has pulled a bait and switch, with local law enforcement spending more time and resources facilitating the deportations of bus boys and gardeners than murderers and rapists and at considerable cost to local community policing strategies, making us all less safe," said Peter Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Changing 14th Amendment 'worth considering,' Boehner says

CNN reported: Changing the Constitution's guarantee of U.S. citizenship for anyone born in the United States is "worth considering" if it helps reduce illegal immigration, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives said Sunday. "It's a serious problem that affects our country, and in certain parts of our country clearly our schools, our hospitals are being overrun by illegal immigrants. A lot of them came here just so their children could become U.S. citizens. They should do it the legal way," House Minority Leader John Boehner told NBC's "Meet the Press." The Ohio congressman, who could become speaker of the House if Republicans win back control of the chamber in November, is the latest GOP leader to float the idea of changing the 14th Amendment. Several leading GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, have said they would support holding hearings into the matter as part of the heated debate over immigration. The Reconstruction-era amendment guarantees equal protection of law and defines who is a U.S. citizen. Critics of illegal immigration have long accused migrants -- particularly those coming from Mexico or Latin American countries -- of giving birth to children in the United States in hopes that their babies' citizenship will keep them in the country.

Democrats Blasted for Border Bill

Politico: Immigration reform advocates blasted Democrats on Friday for pushing a $600 million border security bill through the Senate, accusing them of trying to placate Republicans who will never be satisfied with the government’s enforcement efforts. “It is really unfortunate, misguided and a major political misstep,” said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, an immigrant rights group. “There will need to be a lot of repair work by the Democrat leadership with the immigrant advocacy community.” In an unexpected move Thursday night, Senate Democrats won approval of a $600 million bill that includes money for 1,500 new border personnel, a pair of unmanned drones and military-style bases along the border. The bill by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), which fulfills a request from President Barack Obama, heads to the House for a final vote as early as next week. “If the Democrats try to feed the beast of enforcement that Republicans seem to be fixated on, they are never going to satiate that appetite,” said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress. “I don’t know if Schumer thinks this is the candy that coaxes them back to the table, but it’s sort of like my fourth grader — there is never enough candy in the world to make her happy.” “The irony, of course, is that the U.S.-Mexico border is in fact safer than ever, our spending on border security is the highest in U.S. history, and illegal immigration rates are at a historic low,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-reform group. “Nevertheless, Democrats are charging towards the red flag waved by the Republicans who mindlessly repeat the mantra of border security first.”

Nun's Death Rallies Anti-Immigration Forces

Associated Press: In Arizona, the shooting death of a rancher blew the lid off simmering anger over border security and helped solidify support for a tough new immigration law. A similar eruption threatens in Virginia following the death of a Catholic nun in a car accident involving a man in the country illegally and accused of drunken driving. The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia tried to discourage using the death of Sister Denise Mosier as a "forum of the illegal immigration agenda" and pleaded for a focus on "Christ's command to forgive."
"The sisters' mission is peace and love," said Corey Stewart, chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors. "My mission is law enforcement and the protection of public safety." Prince William County, about 25 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., stepped up its immigration enforcement in 2007 amid explosive growth of its Hispanic and immigrant populations. Under Stewart's leadership, the county implemented a local policy requiring police to determine the immigration status of all people arrested on suspicion of violating state or local laws.

Lawyer: Arizona Sheriff Is Cooperating With Probe

Associated Press: A lawyer for an Arizona sheriff known for his efforts against illegal immigrants said Thursday that the U.S. Justice Department's threat to sue over records for its civil rights investigation is premature because his client is willing to cooperate with certain elements of the probe. Earlier this week, the department gave Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office until Aug. 17 to turn over documents first requested last year. The Justice Department has been investigating Arpaio's office since March 2009 for alleged discrimination, unconstitutional searches and seizures, and having an English-only policy in his jails that discriminates against people with limited English skills. Arpaio believes the inquiry is focused on his immigration efforts.

Debate On Immigration Hits Jindal

The Advocate reported that: As the son of immigrants, Gov. Bobby Jindal is being drawn into a debate over whether birth on U.S. soil should continue to automatically guarantees U.S. citizenship. At issue is Sen. Lindsey Graham’s talk about changing the 14th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. Graham, R-S.C., takes issue with granting birthright citizenship regardless of the parents’ citizenship. Jindal, whose mother was pregnant with him when she immigrated to the United States from India in the 1970s, is becoming the poster child for opponents to Graham’s idea despite the fact that none of the proposals being floated appears to target his situation. Jindal’s camp said there is a problem with drawing the governor into the debate over immigration laws. Jindal’s press secretary, Kyle Plotkin, said the governor’s mother was in the United States on a green card, not a student visa, at the time of her son’s birth. That would have made her a legal resident. A lack of birthright citizenship also would not have prevented Jindal from later applying for U.S. citizenship on his own. Nor would it have prevented him from becoming governor although it would keep him out of the Oval Office

Senate Approves $600 Million in Emergency Border Security Funds

CNN: The U.S. Senate approved $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border on Thursday, on the eve of the Senate's summer recess and ahead of an election season in which immigration and border security are shaping up as major issues. The bill provides for roughly 1,500 new law enforcement agents, new unmanned aerial vehicles, new forwarding operating bases and $14 million in new communication equipment. It represents a 10 percent increase in border security spending over 2010, said New York Sen. Charles Schumer, a bill sponsor. The measure must be passed by the House of Representatives before it can be signed by the president and become law. "This bipartisan effort shows we are serious about making the border more secure than ever," said Schumer, chairman of the immigration subcommittee, in a statement.

Whitman Encounters Criticism from Protesters and Radio Show Hosts

Los Angeles Times: Meg Whitman's 54th birthday Wednesday featured a rough time on the campaign trail because of what critics on both the left and the right view as the GOP gubernatorial nominee's shifting tone on illegal immigration. Continuing her aggressive courtship of Latino voters, Whitman opened a campaign office in East Los Angeles and announced new Spanish-language advertisements aimed at this vital voter group. But her words were interrupted by a raucous crowd of protesters outside. "There has not been a Republican candidate for governor that has had an office in East L.A. for 30 years. So we are going to fight for every vote," she said as protesters picketed, chanted and banged drums outside the strip-mall venue.

Birthright Citizenship Debate Reverberates in Campaign Races

The Hill reported that: The issue is welcome news to some Republican candidates, who have brought the term “anchor babies” into vogue on the campaign trail. The national debate on the birthright provision of the 14th Amendment is welcome news to some Republican candidates, who have brought the term “anchor babies” into vogue on the campaign trail. The phrase, a reference to children of illegal immigrants, is catching on as Republican leaders in Washington have voiced support for hearings to examine revising the constitutional provision that confers U.S. citizenship on anyone born in the United States.

Motion: Iowa Judge Helped Plan Immigration Raid

Associated Press: Attorneys for a former Iowa kosher slaughterhouse executive filed a motion Thursday seeking a new trial, claiming the judge that presided over his trial participated in the planning of a May 2008 immigration raid that led to his arrest. Sholom Rubashkin was found guilty last fall of 86 federal financial fraud charges and was sentenced in June by Chief U.S. District Judge Linda Reade to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $27 million in restitution. His attorneys filed a motion and more than 100 pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that they say show Reade met with immigration officials and prosecutors beginning as early as October 2007. "I was shocked quite frankly when I came across those documents to see the extent the judge was participating in the raid," said Nathan Lewin, Rubashkin's lead appellate attorney. "I've never seen it before."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Feingold Nixes GOP Request for Hearings Into 14th Amendment

Washington Post: Republicans may be calling for hearings into revising the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, but it looks like they're not going to get 'em. Russ Feingold, who chairs the Constitution Subcommittee, which would conduct the hearings, has "no plans" to allow them to go forward, his spokesman confirms to me. And Feingold, in a statement, is reiterating that Federal immigration reform, not amending the Constitution, is the solution. Right now, the list of Republicans supporting hearings into whether to repeal birthright citizenship includes Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, and Lindsey Graham, who has hinted at a Constitutional amendment. Mitch McConnell and John McCain also seem supportive of hearings, though their backing is ambiguous.

In the Senate, Where Does Immigration Politics End and Racism Start?

CNN: What does it say about our current congressional leadership when senators from South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arizona appear to be giving serious consideration to repealing the Constitutional amendment that gave citizenship to slaves? To me, it's just another way to say, "business as usual in Washington". OK, so here's the story. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States has a section that gives certain rights to Americans. It gives citizenship to people born or naturalized in the United States. It also allows everyone in the U.S. the protection of due process.

The Immigration Trap

The National Journal reported that: Voters may be focused on the economy, but members of Congress can't seem to help themselves when a new wedge issue comes along. Republicans are seizing, once again, on illegal immigration in the hopes of ginning up an already excited base. But if they aren't careful, the long-term consequences of threatening a re-examination of birthright citizenship will far outweigh the short-term benefits. So far, only Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and James Inhofe, R-Okla., have said they want to alter the 14th Amendment itself. Graham has decried birthright citizenship with language that evokes the harshest rhetoric Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., used during debates over immigration in 2005.

Birthright "to me cheapens American citizenship. That's not the way I would like it to be awarded. And you've got the other problem, where thousands of people are coming across the Arizona/Texas border for the express purpose of having a child in an American hospital so that child will become an American citizen, and they broke the law to get there," Graham said Tuesday on Fox News. The idea is little more than a clever way to allow Republicans to talk to their base without actually promising any movement on the issue. "Birthright citizenship" is the newest catchphrase that gets illegal immigration opponents riled up, and Republicans can safely talk about the issue without fear of being forced to act. What they should fear is the wrath of Hispanic voters.

Lou Dobbs: GOP Gone Too Far on Immigration

ABC News reported that: Senator Lindsey Graham took some by surprise when he called for eliminating birthright citizenship and changing the 14th Amendment -- and Lou Dobbs took even more by surprise when he opposed Graham’s idea. Dobbs, an outspoken advocate for tougher immigration laws, told me on "GMA" that changing the Constitution is "no way to proceed." “It is not in the interest of the American people, in my judgment at least, to roll back the laws...because the result may be inconvenient to some and their political views,” he said. GOP Senators McCain, Kyl and McConnell have said they were open to hearings on this issue. The so-called "anchor babies," children of illegal immigrants that are born in the United States, are an "immense problem," according to Dobbs. But he advocated dealing with it "rationally."

Arizona Senator Russell Pearce Targets Immigrants' Kids

Politico: With newfound prominence as the author of a law that ignited a national firestorm over immigration, the Arizona state senator hopes to keep fanning the flames of the issue long after the courts uphold or strike down SB 1070. That legislation focused attention on how far Arizona police can go in determining the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Now Pearce, a deputy sheriff before entering politics, has a new target: the children of illegal immigrants. The way he sees it, he’s simply protecting taxpayers from those who are abusing public benefits like schools and hospitals. “Blame the parents,” Pearce, 63, said in an interview with POLITICO. “They’re breaking the law, and you can’t reward them.” Pearce said he plans to introduce a bill next year requiring that illegal immigrants pay for their kids to attend public schools. And last month, he signaled he would author legislation to deny birth certificates to so-called anchor babies, the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mercosur Trade Bloc Condemns Arizona Immigrant Law

Associated Press: Arizona's immigration law is being condemned abroad again, this time by the Mercosur trade bloc. The group of South American nations says the law exposes migrants to racism, xenophobia, violence and other violations of their rights. The Mercosur bloc has moved to reduce barriers to the free flow of people across their borders. A simple identity card entitles citizens and residents of Mercosur countries to travel, work and live in much of South America without fear of deportation. The group called on the U.S. and other developed countries Tuesday to ratify a 1990 convention of the United Nations that promotes the rights of all people who migrate in search of work.

U.S. Government Sued Over Treatment of Migrants with Mental Problems

Latin American Herald Tribune: Immigrants with serious mental problems have remained in detention without the system troubling to evaluate their mental condition, according to a class-action suit filed here in U.S. federal court. One of the immigrants represented spent almost five years in the penitentiary system with no charges brought against him and with no way to seek his freedom, the suit says. The legal action was brought by Public Counsel, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. “In our immigration system there is a great absence of procedures for attending to the mentally retarded,” attorney Talia Inlender of the Public Counsel told Efe. Inlender, who belongs to the group of attorneys that filed the lawsuit, said that the lack of fair treatment for detained immigrants with mental problems “not only ruins the life of the detainees but also of their families.” The suit was sparked by the case of Jose Franco-Gonzalez, a 29-year-old Mexican man who is mentally retarded, whose parents are legal residents and who has pending a petition that will allow him to apply for a permanent residency permit.

Meg Whitman's Play for the Hispanic Vote

Politico reported that: Pete Wilson, a former Republican governor reviled by many Latinos here, promised in a May advertisement that Meg Whitman would be as “tough as nails” on illegal immigration. On Wednesday, less than two months after she won the GOP primary, her campaign for governor will debut a warm-and-fuzzy Spanish-language ad pledging something different — a plan to create jobs for Latinos. Whitman is not the only Republican candidate making a serious play for Hispanic votes this year, but she stands out as the nation’s most prominent test case of whether Republicans can project a welcoming message as the party’s dwindling base clamors for Arizona-style crackdowns on illegal immigration. Her struggle to make inroads with this pivotal constituency, which accounts for one-fifth of California’s electorate, captures in miniature the dilemma facing national Republicans. A hard line on immigration might pay short-term dividends in 2010, yet it might also be a risky gamble against the long-term odds of demography.

Feds Threaten To Sue Arizona Sheriff In Rights Case

NPR reported that: The county sheriff in Phoenix, known for his efforts against illegal immigrants, is refusing to cooperate in a civil rights investigation, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday. It threatened to sue if he refused to cooperate with the next phase of the probe. The department has been investigating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office for alleged discrimination and unconstitutional searches and seizures. Arpaio is increasingly becoming known as the Arizona sheriff who conducts random raids on places he thinks might be employing illegal immigrants. His deputies recently raided a suburban Phoenix library at 2:30 a.m., presumably, Justice officials said, to arrest members of the janitorial staff who may have been in the country illegally.

Nuns Decry Focus on Immigration Status of Driver in Fatal Virginia Crash

Washington Post: The religious order that was home to three nuns whose car was hit Sunday morning by an alleged drunk driver in Northern Virginia said it is upset at what it views as the politicization of the incident Sister Glenna Smith, a spokeswoman for the Benedictine Sisters, said Tuesday that "we are dismayed" by reports that the crash, which killed one woman and critically injured two others, is focusing attention on the man's status as an alleged illegal immigrant. Critics of federal immigration policy have seized on the crash. "The fact the he had DUIs is really poignant, but he's a child of God and deserves to be treated with dignity," Smith said of the driver, Carlos A. Martinelly Montano. "I don't want to make a pro- or anti-immigrant statement but simply a point that he is an individual human person and we will be approaching him with mercy. Denise, of all us, would be the first to offer forgiveness."

McDonnell Wants Troppers Deputized to Check Stopped Drivers' Immigration Status

Washington Post: Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell said Tuesday that he has spent months trying to reach an agreement with the federal government to train and deputize state troopers to act as immigration and customs agents to make legal status checks and refer individuals for deportation. McDonnell (R), a former state attorney general who has helped several localities, including Prince William County, enter into similar agreements, said he expects to make an announcement soon. "We're working on that," he told reporters at a news conference outside the state Capitol on Tuesday.

Amid Immigration Debate, Democrats Battle GOP Over Fourteenth Amendment

The Hill: Senate Democrats pushed back Tuesday against Republican demands to change a part of the 14th Amendment that grants U.S. citizenship by birthright to children of illegal immigrants. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) have called for hearings on the amendment, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has called for elimination of the provision. “It’s outrageous,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “To target children on this makes no sense. It’s the Constitution. It’s what we’ve done our entire lives. It’s all about politics and Republicans trying to gin up their base. It’s one of those distractions that just puzzles me.” “The Republicans have to decide if they only like one amendment, which is the second,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), referring to the right to bear arms. “I happen to like all of the amendments. They just seem to like only the second one.” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said a change would introduce a dangerous precedent of tying citizenship to political beliefs.

Arizona Was Once Tolerant of Illegal Immigrations. What Happened?

ANALYSTS SUGGEST IT WAS A PERFECT STORM OF DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS, A SCARY CRIMINAL ELEMENT, THE RECESSION AND NEW GOVERNOR.

Los Angeles Times: Arizona has made a name for itself as the state with the harshest policies against illegal immigration. But as few as six years ago, this border state was among the nation's most welcoming of illegal immigrants. Back then, its two Republican U.S. senators and one of its congressmen were among the strongest advocates of legalizing millions of illegal residents in the country. Mexico was the state's largest trading partner, and the governor boasted of her warm relationships with counterparts across the border. Both political parties courted the Latino vote. Now the state government is fighting an order by a federal judge who last week stayed key parts of a law, SB 1070, designed to drive illegal immigrants from Arizona. How did things change so quickly? "The perfect storm occurred," said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. "There was a combination of demographic changes, the introduction of a criminal element that didn't used to be here and the drop in the economy, which has put everyone on edge."

Poll: Identity, Blending In Important to Hispanics

Associated Press: An Associated Press-Univision poll shows that a significant percentage of Hispanics believe it is important to hold on to their unique identity even as they work to blend into American society. That dual view of their cultural space — a strong sense of heritage and a desire to embrace the United States as their home — challenges perceptions that a growing Hispanic population poses a destabilizing threat to national unity. "It is part of life to adapt," Bulux says. "But our identity is already within us — you can't isolate it, suppress it, substitute it for another." The poll, also sponsored by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, shows two-thirds of all Hispanics surveyed say it is important to maintain their distinct cultures. At the same time, 54 percent say it is important to assimilate into American society. All told, about four in 10 hold both views — a seeming contradiction that reflects the daily balancing act that many immigrants and ethnic groups perform to retain their identity in a diverse, though still Anglo-Protestant-dominant, culture. "Identity is multidimensional and people can see themselves as Hispanic and as Americans, and see themselves as culturally part of the United States and maintaining their Hispanicity, without seeing that as being internally in conflict," said Gary Segura of Stanford University, an authority on Latino politics who helped design the survey. "Hispanics are part of a very long tradition here of incorporating their own cultures into the American mainstream."

Arizona Sheriff: Report of $1M Bounty On My Head

Associated Press: A sheriff in Arizona known for his anti-immigration policies says his office is investigating a report of a $1 million bounty on his head. A spokeswoman for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the report was relayed by the FBI and by a caller who told Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV in Phoenix that the threat was from a Mexican drug cartel. Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County. Lisa Allen says it wasn't known whether the threat actually came from a drug cartel but authorities believe it was made using a disposable cell phone in Mexico. Arpaio says it's not unusual for him to receive death threats as sheriff and an outspoken advocate of immigration enforcement.

U.S. Officials Boost Efforts to Protect Immigrant Crime Victims

Los Angeles Times reported that: U.S. immigration officials are boosting efforts to protect immigrant crime victims with increased funding and greater outreach to publicize visa opportunities for those who assist law enforcement in prosecuting their perpetrators. The stepped-up efforts helped the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services approve the maximum number of visa petitions for this category — 10,000 — for the first time since it began reviewing them in 2008. The so-called U visa grants temporary legal status to those who suffer substantial physical or mental abuse in specified major crimes and help authorities pursue the cases; after three years, visa holders can apply for permanent residency. One of the visa recipients this year is a Mexican immigrant in Los Angeles who was caught in the crossfire of a 2006 gang shooting while selling corn on the streets. He is paralyzed below the waist after a bullet lodged in his spinal cord, an injury that deprived his family of its major breadwinner and caused his two children to quit high school to work.

Kyl Questions Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants' Children

Wall Street Journal: Sen. Jon Kyl said he wanted to look into whether the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants should automatically become U.S. citizens, as they do now. Kyl, an Arizona Republican, said he has discussed with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) the possibility of holding hearings on the topic, a highly controversial one. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says, in part, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” But Kyl noted there were exceptions to the policy, such as the U.S.-born children of foreign diplomats stationed in this country. “The question is, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for that?” Kyl said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

Immigration Memo May Be a Break for Immigrants

Miami Herald reported that: An internal memo prepared for the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it is possible to provide green cards or delay deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are now living and working in the United States without papers or permanent residence. The recent memo to USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas, released in Washington late Thursday, said one group that could receive green cards are the almost 400,000 current holders of Temporary Protected Status who include Salvadorans, Haitians, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. The memo says young students who could qualify for green cards under pending legislation known as the DREAM Act could be granted deferred action, an immigration measure that delays deportation.

Border Deployment Will Take Weeks

New York Times: No boots were seen tromping in the desert sand on Sunday. No commanders were heard barking out orders to their troops. The National Guard, which officials had announced would turn out en masse along the United States-Mexico border over the weekend for sentry duty, was nowhere to be found. It turns out it will take weeks longer to select, screen and train the 1,200 National Guard troops the Obama administration had said would be deployed on Aug. 1 along the border from California to Texas. Administration officials explained that the announced date was always a starting point, the beginning of the process of deployment and not the day camouflaged soldiers would begin amassing at the boundary line with their automatic weapons, high-powered binoculars and filled-up canteens. As a sign that things have gotten under way, Jack Harrison, a National Guard spokesman, said Sunday night that about 140 troops have begun working in recent weeks on the "command and control" of the mission.

Political Momentum Grows for Revoking Birthright Citizenship

The Hill: Sen. Jon Kyl, the second-ranking member of the Senate Republican leadership, voiced support Sunday for hearings on whether to deny citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. Another Republican senator, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, called on all Americans to carry a biometric identification card to prove to employers they are eligible to work legally. Taken together, the lawmakers’ statements signal that the GOP is striking a tougher rhetorical posture on illegal immigration before the November elections. Kyl (Ariz.), the Senate Republican whip, cited the costs illegal immigrants pose to state governments, which must pay for their education and medical care.