« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

May 28, 2008

CIR v CCA

Here is a quote from the wikipedia article on CCA Lobbying activities
“According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2005, the company paid close to $3.4 million dollars to five different firms to lobby the federal government. The company’s chairman, William Andrews, and its CEO, John Ferguson, have been generous donors to Republican senatorial and Presidential candidates. Philip Perry, who is the son-in-law of Dick Cheney, and who served as general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security between 2005 and 2007, lobbied for C.C.A. while he was at the law firm of Latham & Watkins”.

CCA;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrections_Corporation_of_America

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2008

287g & CCA

Sunday morning I received a visit from a wife/mother of 3 US citizen children concerning the arrest of her husband for no driver’s license. Now he has a hold from immigration at the Nashville Jail which has a policy of no bond as per Sheriff Hall. He will have to wait until he reaches an ICE facility for his bond to be placed.

Sheriff Hall, a former CCA employee led the way for Nashville to adopt a 287g program. During the last year over 3,000 immigrants have been detained under 287g. Other supporters of 287g include former Tennessee governor, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) who received $31,200 from 2003-2008 from CCA, the Nashville-based company and its employees, spouses and their subsidiaries, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

There is article "The Business of Detention" wherein two Columbia University School of Journalism students were awarded for their report on the business of detaining immigrants. Renee Feltz and Stokely Baksh tell the story of the nation's largest private prison company partnering with the federal government to detain close to a million undocumented immigrants, increasing their revenue in the process.

Here are is a quote from the article:

"The nation's largest private prison company has partnered with the federal government to detain close to 1 million undocumented people in the past 5 years until they are deported. In the process, Corrections Corporation of America has made record profits. Critics suggest the CCA cuts corners on its detention contracts in order to increase its revenue at expense of humane conditions. Thanks to political connections and lobby spending, it dominates the industry of immigrant detention. CCA now has close to 10,000 new beds under development in anticipation of continued demand".

At http://www.businessofdetention.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2008

Hope for 2009

McCain Resumes Talk of Comprehesive Immigration Reform

By Juliet Eilperin

"UNION CITY, Calif. -- Surrounded by high-tech entrepreneurs, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said this morning he would expand visas for immigrants at the same time he would propose legislation cracking down on illegal immigration.

The declaration -- which came as several Silicon Valley CEOs complained about the need for highly skilled employees -- marked a slight shift from what McCain had said while campaigning to secure his party's nomination. During the GOP primary McCain -- whose support for bipartisan immigration reform proved to be a liability within his own party -- said he would clamp down on illegal aliens before doing any other immigration reform.

"I believe we have to secure our borders. But we must enact comprehensive immigration reform, and we must make it a top priority," McCain told the chief executives of several high-tech companies. "We must make the best of this problem, and we must attract the best and brightest minds to this nation."...".

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/05/22/mccain_resumes_talk_of_compreh.html

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2008

Enforcement-without-Reform: Success or Failure?

Immigration Policy Center (IPC) ...providing factual information about immigration and immigrants in the United States.

PRESS RELEASE
May 21, 2008
Enforcement-without-Reform: Success or Failure?
12 Million Reasons to be Skeptical of Deportation-Only Policies
Two New IPC Fact Sheets Review Enforcement Build-Up

On Thursday, May 22, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing on "The Border Security Challenge: Recent Developments and Legislative Proposals." As lawmakers evaluate the border-enforcement initiatives that have already been implemented by the Bush administration, and the various enforcement proposals now on the table in Congress, they would do well to keep in mind that an enforcement-only approach to border security has been tried - and failed - for more than two decades. In two new fact sheets, Money for Nothing: Immigration Enforcement Without Immigration Reform Doesn't Work and The Politics of Contradiction: Immigration Enforcement vs. Economic Integration, the IPC analyzes the escalating costs and fatal flaws of the enforcement-without-reform approach to border security. The reports point out that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has increased dramatically at the very same time the federal government has poured billions upon billions of dollars into border enforcement. Many U.S. taxpayers question the use of their tax dollars on failed deportation-only efforts, and are calling for fair and practical immigration reform.

Money Ill Spent: Since 1993, when the current border-enforcement buildup began, the annual budget of the U.S. Border Patrol has increased by 332 percent, to $1.6 billion, while the number of Border Patrol agents has grown by 276 percent, to 15,000. What has resulted from that build-up? The undocumented population has tripled in size over the past decade and a half, from roughly 3.5 million in 1990 to 12 million in 2006.

Border-Enforcement Backfire: U.S. border-enforcement efforts have accomplished the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve. Immigrants who in the past might have returned home to build a house or start a business after a few years of work in the United States are settling permanently and bringing their families with them. In fact, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that approximately one-third of undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States for 10 years or more, 1.8 million undocumented immigrants are children, and another 3.1 million U.S.-citizen children have at least one undocumented parent.

Control Through Immigration Reform: The United States needs a legal immigration system for the 21st century that meets the needs of the U.S. economy and is consistent with U.S. values. The most practical and realistic way to dramatically reduce undocumented immigration is to bring U.S. immigration policy in line with economic and social realities. Only with comprehensive reform can the U.S. government effectively control, regulate, and monitor its borders.

Contact: Angela Kelley, Director
202-507-7511 (office)
202-441-5589 (cell)
akelley@ailf.org

Michele Waslin, Senior Policy Analyst
202-507-7521 (office)
Mwaslin@ailf.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2008

Arpaio faces hefty budget cuts, vows to continue sweeps

Arpaio faces hefty budget cuts, vows to continue sweeps
Arpaio: Immigration will remain priority

by Yvonne Wingett and JJ Hensley - May. 16, 2008 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic


"Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces hefty budget cuts as he attempts to find money to continue his immigration sweeps, documents obtained Thursday by The Arizona Republic show.

The documents spell out proposed cutbacks to several sheriff's operations in fiscal 2009, which starts July 1.

Arpaio said he would continue making illegal immigration a top priority, and that the cuts would not affect public safety.
The sheriff said he will increase volunteer posse numbers and reduce services offered to other agencies to make room in his tight budget to continue the operations.

Earlier this week, Arpaio's office was cut off from state funds to help pay for some of those illegal immigration operations, but Arpaio vowed Thursday to continue the sweeps, despite the proposed reduction in county money.

"If I don't get it back, we're still going to do what we're doing," Arpaio said. "I've got news for them: I'm going to double the arrests. They can put that in their pipe and smoke it."

Under a proposal being worked on by Arpaio's administrators and county budget officials, the Sheriff's Office would take a 5 percent reduction from its requested budget, or about $4 million to its general fund.

The office is one of the county's largest, and the reductions are part of a larger effort to trim spending in the face of revenue shortfalls, caused by a slowing economy.

The sheriff's general fund primarily pays for law-enforcement patrol. Arpaio has spent about $35,000 of the money since January to saturate some Valley neighborhoods with deputies to identify and question people suspected to be undocumented immigrants.

Another $1.6 million in state funding helped pay for those patrols, and many of the sheriff's immigration-related operations, including drophouse investigations and enforcement of the state's human-smuggling law.

Earlier this week, Gov. Janet Napolitano signed an executive order that immediately redirected that money to a program to pursue nearly 60,000 open felony warrants to capture some of the state's most-wanted fugitives, including human smugglers and others in the country illegally...".

www.ap.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2008

Immigrant workers in New Orleans start leaving

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO, The Associated Press, Thursday, May 15, 2008; 4:33 AM

"NEW ORLEANS -- Josue Vega was one of thousands of immigrant workers who flocked to New Orleans in 2005 in hopes of finding a rebuilding job in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

He worked seven days a week and earned more than twice his normal earnings. But with work now down to three days a week, the 20-year-old is planning to go home to Honduras.

"My goal is to be here until November, and then never come back," he said. "I've had enough."

The stops and starts of the post-Katrina rebuilding effort, often due to bureaucratic delays in funding, still provided plenty of work to rebuild homes and businesses. But reconstruction work has slowed as projects are completed or transition to phases requiring highly specialized skills.

"In the immediate aftermath, labor demand was huge and few workers were willing to accept the labor and residential conditions that prevailed in the city," said Elizabeth Fussell, a Washington State University professor who studied immigration after Katrina.

"Now there is less demand, and it is for workers with more skills and perhaps certification by the state. This translates to less demand for low-skill, undocumented workers."

There are various signs of a city in flux. New Orleans building permits for the second quarter of 2007 numbered 338, for example, but fell to 169 by the fourth quarter.

And grants from Road Home _ the state's troubled flagship recovery program _ fell in first-quarter 2008 to less than half the rate in the previous quarter, according to the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center and the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

"We had hoped to see more construction work after the Road Home funds were distributed, but that still hasn't happened," said Phuong Pham, a Tulane University professor.

Allison Plyer, data center deputy director, said it's possible home construction has declined, but repair of infrastructure and public buildings is just beginning. "If the workers have the right skills and no other obstacles, there should be work going forward," she said.

Workers still cluster outside Home Depot and Lowe's hoping a contractor will hire them. But they say their gathering spots have become targets for undercover U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who hold up the prospect of day's pay as bait.

"They come in vans like they're contractors," said Walter Ortiz, 32.

ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez wouldn't confirm sting operations, but said "ICE conducts targeted enforcement actions based on intelligence and investigative leads in both criminal and administrative cases."

New Orleans prohibits people from asking for work on the street but enforcement was relaxed because the city recognized "the important contributions of these laborers," said Lisa Ponce de Leon, the city's director of international relations.

Deportations have increased 156 percent since 2005, when 3,962 immigrants were deported, to 9,749 deportations in 2007, according to ICE...".

at www.ap.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2008

My comment to article by Joshua Holland, AlterNet.

Here is a comment I posted to the article By Joshua Holland, AlterNet at
http://www.alternet.org/immigration/85022/

"In a similar situation the Sheriff of Nashville, Tennessee has instituted 287g which has resulted in the deportation of over 3,000 persons in the last year; only 50 were gang members .016 percent.

To put this in perspective this would be as if the fourth largest employer of Nashville were to leave in one year. By this time next year 287g will have deported over 6,000 persons; putting in 2nd place of largest employers.

The Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will host a forum regarding 287g to see if an exodus has already begun from Nashville.

I have personally spoken to numerous immigration clients who have told me they are leaving or have been forced to leave.

In the zeal to up hold the law 287g has not created a welcoming atmosphere in Nashville. Immigrants are mobile and there are more welcoming places live in the United States.

Enforcement only is not the solution the US needs comprehensive immigration reform to allow working taxpayers to gain lawful status. We need to replace politicians who care more about their career than the city, state and country.".

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2008

Why Harsh Immigration Crackdowns Will Never Works

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. Posted May 13, 2008.

"Tough-minded immigration policies keep backfiring, and the debate over them obscures the question of what really works and what doesn't.

With Washington deadlocked over immigration, states and localities have stepped into the void and passed all sorts of laws and local ordinances. They say that the states are laboratories of democracy, and the results can tell us a lot.

Arizona's new "enforcement only" immigration law, which mandates the use of an electronic verification system and subjects employers to the loss of their business license for hiring the wrong person, has turned out to be a disaster that might rank up there with the Edsel or New Coke in the pantheon of bone-headed ideas.

The state had a very low unemployment rate when the law was passed -- it was, at least in part, a "solution" to a problem they didn't have. Unemployment was at 4.1 percent when the law went into effect in January and had been at 3.7 percent when a judge upheld the measure in early 2007.

Lawmakers are now scrambling to undo the shock they've inflicted on the state as up to 8 percent of the population -- according to one estimate -- have decided to hightail it out of Arizona en masse. The people of Arizona are learning that immigrants not only supply labor, but also demand goods and services in turn -- and the labor that goes into them. They're also learning that newer immigrant communities have a mix of people with different legal status all jumbled together, and that when there is a widespread perception that politicians (and citizens) are attacking immigrants, it doesn't much matter that some differentiate between those who are "legal" and "illegal" -- Arizona is losing citizens and lawful permanent residents among that eight percent drop in population...".

http://www.alternet.org/immigration/85022/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2008

Exodus from Nashville

Dear all,

We need to look at 287g to see if an exodus has already begun from Nashville. The sheriff has deported 3,000 persons; related family members have also left the city. I have personally spoken to numerous clients who have told me they are leaving or have been forced to leave.

In the zeal to up hold the law 287g has not created a welcoming atmosphere in Nashville. Immigrants are mobile and there are more welcoming places live in the United States.

I suggest that we hold a forum to determine the see if addition to the 3,000 deported already how this is affecting immigrants and their families choice on staying or leaving. This is the story that needs to be told to those who will listen.

Mario Ramos

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)