Category Archives: DREAM Act

Immigration Policy Center: 287(g) Flawed and Obsolete

The Immigration Policy Center released a report on the dreaded 287(g) program  which allows local law enforcement to act like federal immigration agents. They basically call it what DosCentavos has been calling it since its inception:  Flawed. And today, IPC stated that the practices used in running the program are obsolete. This should send a message to law enforcement agencies, such as Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

Here are a few highlights of the report:

287(g) Agreements Have Resulted in Widespread Racial Profiling

A report by Justice Strategies found that 87% of the jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements had a rate of Latino population growth higher than the national average.

287(g) Agreements Drain Local Coffers

Aside from training deputized officers on the enforcement of federal immigration law, ICE does not pay for any costs associated with implementation of the program, including overtime and financial liability arising from civil rights violations.

287(g) Partnerships Net Few Violent Criminals

[When DosCentavos debated HCSO’s communications guy back in 2010 on 287(g) at a Young Dems meeting, he wasn’t able to give any real figures as to detentions of violent criminals; instead, they have boasted big numbers on all detentions. An ICE report and other reports stated that the majority of immigrants detained using 287(g) were low-grade offenders whose crimes usually do not net a deportation. This report mentions a UNC report which gives a similar outcome in North Carolina.]

The report from the University of North Carolina found that 287(g) agreements in the state were primarily used to target offenders who posed no threat to public safety or individuals with no criminal record. For example, 33% of individuals detained through the 287(g) program were charged with traffic violations, a figure that rose to 41% in Alamance County and 57% in Gaston County.

287(g) Agreements Threaten Community Safety and Hinder Community Policing

  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the nation’s premier law enforcement association, has stated that “local police agencies depend on the cooperation of immigrants, legal and illegal, in solving all sorts of crimes and in the maintenance of public order. Without assurances that they will not be subject to an immigration investigation and possible deportation, many immigrants with critical information would not come forward, even when heinous crimes are committed against them or their families.”
  • The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), a group of police chiefs from the 64 largest police departments in the United States and Canada, similarly has written: “without assurances that contact with the police would not result in purely civil immigration enforcement action, the hard won trust, communication and cooperation from the immigrant community would disappear.”

287(g) Agreements Lack Sufficient Federal Oversight

  • Although federal law mandates that 287(g) officers be subject to the direction and supervision of federal officials, numerous investigations have found federal oversight to be insufficient and lax. A March 2010 report by the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that ICE and its local law enforcement partners had not complied with the terms of their 287(g) agreements; that the standards by which deputized officers are evaluated contradicted the stated objectives of the 287(g) program; that the program was poorly supervised by ICE; and that additional oversight was necessary.
  • A January 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that ICE has failed to articulate the 287(g) program’s objectives or how local partners are to use their 287(g) authority. While ICE officials have stated that the purpose of the program is to address serious crime, such as narcotics smuggling, ICE has never documented this objective or provided statistics to validate it. As a result, local police have used their 287(g) authority to detain immigrants for traffic violations and other minor crimes.

287(g) Agreements are Obsolete

  • With the Secure Communities program in effect in virtually all U.S. jurisdictions, many have argued that 287(g) agreements no longer serve any plausible law enforcement benefit. Under the Secure Communities program, fingerprints of all state and local arrestees are routed to ICE officials, who can themselves determine whether to initiate removal proceedings. While Secure Communities also jeopardizes community policing and public safety, and fails to solve the problem of racial profiling by state and local police, all immigration enforcement decisions under Secure Communities are made by federal authorities.
  • In its budget justification for fiscal 2013, DHS sought $17 million less in funding for the 287(g) program, and said that in light of the expansion of Secure Communities, “it will no longer be necessary to maintain the more costly and less effective 287(g) program.”

The local sheriff has testified in favor of re-funding 287(g), but the bottom line is that another bad program (Secure Communities) has the same goals. Still flawed, though, it doesn’t make sense to fund two flawed programs. At the very least, 287(g) needs to be ended, especially as moves are made toward a sensible immigration policy in Washington.

Are We Obamatinos Now?

According to Latino Decisions, 75% of Latinos voted for Obama, breaking a previous high-point. In Texas, Latinos are said to have given President Obama 70% support.

3/4 of Latino voters thought Romney didn’t care for Latinos or was hostile toward Latinos. Obama gave Latinos a positive vibe at a 66% rate. Romney’s immigration stances led Latinos to move toward Obama, and his move on Deferred Action gave Latinos more enthusiasm for Obama.

Ultimately, anti-Latino forces have Latinos to blame for Obama’s re-election.

The Latino vote share numbers across key states were even more pronounced, with Latinos exceeding the national average of 75% in most of the battleground states, including a remarkable 87% in Colorado and 80% in Nevada. The 66% of Latinos who voted for Obama in Virginia, 58% in Florida, and 82% in Ohio were also critical to the overall outcome of the race. At the end of the day, we estimate that the Latino vote led to a net margin gain for President Obama of +5.4%, and a +2.3% bump in the national popular vote. Consequently, if Latinos had split their vote evenly (50/50) in this election, President Obama would have lost the national popular vote. For the first time in American history, the Latino electorate has a legitimate claim of being nationally decisive!

So, there!

For President Obama, though, the promise of a 1st term CIR now becomes a priority in term 2. One dislikes thinking this way, but as nice as the numbers looked nationally, Democrats and Republicans really do only have this window of opportunity to get CIR done before the 2014 midterms.  Democrats need to grow a backbone and push CIR and defend wholeheartedly, while Republicans need to get off this Obama-hate and help pass a humane, sensible reform–without hateful racially-tinged debate, and without politically-driven excuses.

And you all do know that this is on top of the rest of the jobs agenda.

To answer the question, no, we are not Obamatinos. But we did vote for the guy we had more confidence in to move an agenda that is good for Latinos, especially if it includes CIR. The Republicans, obviously helped, and not just Romney.

I’m looking forward to a better Texas breakdown, particularly here in Harris County, if at all possible. Texas had some significant wins in South Texas, especially the election of Pete Gallego in CD-23. According to the Texas Democratic Party, Dems gained 7 seats in the Texas House and 3 in our Congressional delegation. So, the ball moved forward with great hopes of reaching the goal line sooner than later.

With a right-winger like Ted Cruz as the GOP poster-Latino, they stand to lose more ground by 2014 (when Cornyn’s seat is up).

Politifacting Politi-Fact on Romney’s Anti-Immigrant Positions

Politi-Fact has given a defense of Mitt Romney’s assertion that SB1070–the legalized Latino profiling law–is a model for the nation. They agree with Romney that he was only talking about E-Verify in a statement made during a Republican Primary debate.

What they fail to mention is that the question that was asked by John King at the Republican debate in which Romney put his foot in his mouth was about self-deportation, and Romney avoided even talking about self-deportation. Yes, he skirted the question to talk about E-verify, which even President Obama believes is a  flawed program.

What will be the impact of such a dramatic expansion of E-Verify on businesses, workers, and taxpayers?  According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress:

  • An estimated 770,000 American workers could lose job offers due to E-Verify’s error-prone databases
  • The mandate would cost small business an estimated $2.6 billion
  • Based on a similar bill scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office in 2007, $17 billion in tax revenue would be lost over 10 years as more jobs move into the underground economy.

Remarkably, these costs would be in exchange for a system that identifies unauthorized workers only 46% of the time.

However Politifact attempts to play President Obama’s statement, they must also look at Romney’s vocal opposition to a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, his opposition to the DREAM Act, his opposition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the fact that his top immigration advisor, Kris Kobach, is the author of SB1070. In fact, Kobach is the lead attorney in a lawsuit to do away with DACA.

The folks at politifact are being a bit disingenuous on this one. Simply “facting” a single statement is not enough when the immigration issue is one that is broad and complicated. At the debate and throughout his campaign, Mitt Romney has made it clear that he doesn’t support the kind of “comprehensive” reform that the pro-migrant community supports–even with any perceived flip-flops on the issue.

Buen Ejemplo – Barack Obama En Spanish

President Barack Obama’s new ad about DREAMers is actually pretty good. The Spanish isn’t forced and he looks comfortable. I like it. And it’s a good message, rather than just your usual “I like-o you people-o mucho” that a Mitt-0 Romney(dez) might give you.

Romney Changes Mind – He Will End DACA

Mitt has clarified himself on the whole DACA thing. I figured he would because his original statement left a huge opening. According to the Boston Globe, he is now saying:

“Responding to a Globe request to clarify Romney’s statement to the Denver Post, Romney’s campaign said he would honor deportation exemptions issued by the Obama administration before his inauguration but would not grant new ones after taking office.”

He’s trying to talk like he’s already been elected.

His original comment (emphasis mine):

“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased.”

So, there you go. Mitt Romney has actually said nothing about this issue. He’s trying to hedge his bets, I guess. Since only 29 applications have been approved, thus far, and tens of thousands more seem to be waiting until Obama is re-elected, looks like Mitt really is telling us how he really feels about DREAMers.

How it progressed to this:

#2: Has Anyone Asked Mitt About Kobach’s DACA Lawsuit?

#1:  DACA Support Should Have Been No-Brainer For Romney

Has Anyone Asked Mitt About Kobach’s DACA Lawsuit?

It’s funny how the mainstream media (and some migrant “advocates”) take Mitt Romney’s change in stance and run with it without questioning anything, as I did a while ago. Has anyone bothered asking him how he feels about his top immigration advisor’s DACA lawsuit? Or how he feels about a racist organization funding said lawsuit?

Arizona immigration law author and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is representing 10 immigration agents in a lawsuit filed Thursday against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, for policies they say prevent them from doing their job of defending the Constitution.

[…]

Numbers USA, a group that advocates for reduction of immigration, is funding the lawsuit on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents opposed to current policy. The suit goes after two key Obama policies on immigration:prosecutorial discretion to focus on criminals and repeat offenders, as well as deferred action for undocumented young people.

A simpler question:  How can Mitt Romney be taken seriously?

DACA Support Should Have Been No-Brainer For Romney

Romney had an opportunity to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) from Day 1 and failed. I wondered why supporting the continuation of DACA wasn’t a no-brainer for Romney and his people. DACA was everything Romney has talked about in his immigration platform:  No citizenship, no benefits, no health care, and a labor force.

So, why did he wait so long to support DACA?

And what does he mean by “full immigration reform plan”? Romney has not given details, other than wanting the opportunity to take advantage a labor force without the opportunity for citizenship or basic rights.

In other words, Romney is basically supporting what the President has already done. The difference will be in immigration reform plans. We know President Obama supports a path to citizenship. What does Romney support?

#2 in the series:  Has Anyone Asked Mitt About Kobach’s DACA Lawsuit?

#3 in the series:  Romney Changes Mind – He Will End DACA

 

UHD Students Get Ready to Walk to Vote – Nov. 1

From UH-Downtown’s Student Government President Ivan Sanchez:

Houston, TX – In response to student voter turn-out at an all time low, students of the University of Houston-Downtown resolve to empower themselves to get out and vote. UH-D students vow to unite to play a critical role in the November elections as we pledge to walk to vote on November 1st. UH-D students are not your typical student, we are the parents, we are the part time/full time working professionals that go the extra mile to get our education – and we will lead by example our community in demonstrating our philosophy of being politically active.

Who:  University of Houston-Downtown Students & supporters
What: Students will walk to vote and exercise their voice
When:  November 1, 2012
Rally: 1pm-2pm
Walk to vote:  2:00pm
Where:  University of Houston Downtown South Deck to 1001 Preston, 77002 (3 blocks away from UHD)
Guests:  Mayor Annise Parker, UHD President Flores and Council Member Ed Gonzalez=========================================

In 1971 the United States of America ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote to 18-20-year-olds. The 26th Amendment was the fastest to be ratified in U.S. history. Traditionally, young people comprise the smallest voting bloc. As a result, many young people feel as if their voices will never be heard. Some even question whether their vote even matters.

Indisputably, students at the University of Houston—Downtown would gladly beg to differ. Since the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester various student organizations have passionately competed with one another in an effort to see who could register the most voters. To date, we have registered over 1,000 students who will now be eligible to vote in the November elections. In honor of this, the Student Government Association has orchestrated an event to encourage our students to vote and inspire them to let their voices be heard. Join us on November 1st on the UHD’s South Deck from 1:00pm to 2:00pm as we celebrate our achievements and exercise our constitutional right to vote.

=========================================

The event will proceed as follows:

1:00-1:15 – UHD Greek Steps
1:15-1:25 – UHD Cheerleaders Performance
1:25-1:30 – UHD ROTC Presentation of Colors
1:30-1:35 – UHD President William V. Flores Speaks
1:35-1:40 – Council Member Ed Gonzalez Speaks
1:40-1:55 – Houston Mayor Annise Parker Speaks
1:55-2:00 – UHD SGA President Ivan Sanchez Speaks
2:00 -We march to the Harris County Administration BLDG at 1001 Preston to vote.
=========================================

I Was Right About Romney’s Audience

Remember I called Mitt Romney’s appearance on Univision, “Romneyvision“? And remember when I said:

Sure, the raucous Sabado Gigante-esque crowd that screamed with every one of Mitt’s comments seemed to challenge my opinion…

Apparently, that funny feeling I got about Romney’s raucous Univision crowd wasn’t my bad knee acting up. It was all a set-up by the Romney campaign. (And not just the spray-tan!)

Mitt Romney packed the audience for a Univision forum earlier this week, BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins reports, busing in local supporters “after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus.” The campaign threatened to “reschedule” the event if organizers did not allow the “rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at their town hall.”

Even with all of the brown visuals, it doesn’t look like Latinos bought into Romney’s message. If anything, Latinos have an even clearer picture of Romney.

So, yes, Romneyvision was indeed a dud.

So, although I didn’t mind Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas being tough on President Obama, why on earth did they give Romney a pass, or worse, let him skirt the questions altogether? Did they fear Romney’s crowd?

If Ramos and Salinas want the Latino press to be respected, then they need to get beyond the game show atmosphere that they allowed Romney to create.

Romneyvision Forum A Dud

An attempt to become a browner, gentler Mitt Romney on Univision probably did little to increase his support among the Latino electorate. Sure, the raucous Sabado Gigante-esque crowd that screamed with every one of Mitt’s comments seemed to challenge my opinion, but using the term “illegal alien,” rather than DREAMer (as Democrats did throughout their convention) surely didn’t help.

Mitt attempted to soften his right-wing stance on the issue by saying that millions cannot be deported. Tell us something we don’t already know! He continued to support the Marco Rubio Nightmare act which would give immigrant soldiers and “advanced” degree “illegal aliens” a “green card.” Notice, he never said “citizenship.” It’s the same old exploitation, except, this time, he apparently did it in brown face. (And did I hear a slight Mexican accent when he spoke in English?)

Romney provided no other specifics on immigration reform, other than continuing to use the term “permanent solution.” What on earth does that mean?

Anyway, he is still barrios away from Latinos on issues we see as more important than immigration–economy, jobs, Social Security, Health Care, etc. That’s right, we are not single issue voters.

Today, it is Obamavision! Thus far, he has stated that he has never waffled on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and that Romney has been quite specific on his intent to veto the DREAM Act. At least on immigration, Obama has the most consistent narrative.

Stay tuned!