Feb 10, 2012

Week's Top Articles on Immigration and the Border: Feb. 3-9, 2012

Immigration and Border news of the week begins with the Supreme Court's announcement that it will hear the case on Arizona's immigration law in April. The Department of Homeland Services (DHS) responds to complaints about abuses in the deportation process by appointing a public advocate. A federal Circuit Court of Appeals requires that DHS decide whether seven people in deportation proceedings meet its criteria for having their cases dismissed.

The Immigration Policy Center issues a report critiquing the strategy of cracking down on undocumented immigrants to force them to "self deport."  It says the strategy, "undermines basic human rights, devastates local economies, and places unnecessary burdens on U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants."" 

Meanwhile, while undocumented immigration is down, remittances--the money immigrant workers send back home--was up in 2011 from recession lows. And Border Patrol agents are also doing well; while border crossings by undocumented immigrants are down, the agents are raking in record levels of overtime pay.

Finally, a young couple who wanted to learn about the border up close and personal--and share their experience with others--has biked from San Diego, California to the Texas coast, and blogged to the world all along the way.

The Articles: 

Arizona Immigration Law's Supreme Court Oral Argument Set For April
Huffington Post: "The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear oral arguments over Arizona's controversial immigration law on April 25, the Court's final day of hearings for the term." read more

DHS Appoints Advocate for Immigration Complaints
Fox News Latino: "The Department of Homeland Security appointed a new public advocate to handle questions and complaints about the agency's immigration policies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Monday that senior ICE adviser Andrew Lorenzen-Strait will lead the effort." read more

Federal appeals court halts deportation of 7 immigrants, puts new immigration directive to test
Washington Post: "In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals demanded the Obama administration explain whether seven immigrants can avoid deportation because of two memos from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement urging prosecutors to use “discretion” when deciding whether to pursue immigration cases. ... The immigrants involved all appeared to have clean criminal records and appeared to meet the criteria of the memos, the appeals court judges concluded." read more

Discrediting “Self Deportation” as Immigration Policy
Immigration Policy Center: ""Attrition through enforcement” (sometimes called “self deportation”) and the groups behind it have created a web of federal and state legislative proposals to reduce illegal immigration by making it difficult, if not impossible, for unauthorized immigrants to live in American society. (These proposals) are part of a larger, systematic plan that undermines basic human rights, devastates local economies, and places unnecessary burdens on U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants." read more

Mexico sees 1st big remittances rebound since 2008
BusinessWeek: "The amount of money Mexican migrant workers sent home in 2011 increased by 6.86 percent over the year before, the first major rebound in remittances since the 2008 economic downturn, Mexico's central bank announced. Remittances totaled just over $22.7 billion in 2011, up from $21.27 billion in 2010, the bank said Wednesday. ... Remittances are Mexico's second-largest source of foreign income after oil exports." read more

Border Patrol Overtime up as arrests drop
San Jose Mercury News: "Border Patrol agents have racked up daily overtime at a cost of about $1.4 billion in the past six years while the number of arrests of illegal border crossers has fallen to the lowest level in nearly 40 years, an Associated Press analysis of agency records finds." read more

Couple rides bikes across entire US-Mexico border for immigration reform
ValleyCentral.com: "For five long months a couple have been on a quest to learn about border realities. ... They're biking and blogging every minute of their exploration. “Each part of the border has it's distinct reality,” said Eric Wright. “We ...were interested in what was going on in each part of the border.” “And we felt an obligation to teach as we go,” said Katy Brandes.  In September, they got on their bikes and started pedaling from San Diego, California, final destination Boca Chica, Texas." read more

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