Economic Refugee News: Weekly Roundup 06/13/10

  • Via Politico.com: looks like instead of immediately deporting them, Republican Gubernatorial candidate wants Arizona to keep economic refugees in tents; no word for how long.
  • Arizona’s Brown Codes: A Generation’s Fight – By Kent Paterson: “Taken together, the Arizona laws resemble the Black Codes passed in the U.S. South immediately after the Civil War.” Read more here.    
  • Boston.com has these dramatic pictures of the recent Central American natural disasters and reports the following: “In just the past seven days, residents of Guatemala and parts of neighboring Honduras and El Salvador have had to cope with a volcanic eruption and ash fall, a powerful tropical storm, the resulting floods and landslides, and a frightening sinkhole in Guatemala City that swallowed up a small building and an intersection.”  Sign this petition to ask the U.S. government to grant Guatemalans Temporary Protected Status.
  • The Christian Science Monitor has this revealing analysis of President Obama’s own “misguided” immigration policy: the so-called “Secure Communities” program.  The piece states:

…a little-noticed federal enforcement program known as “Secure Communities” deserves greater national attention.

As with Arizona’s recent law, it is susceptible to racial profiling and a lack of due process in the jailing and deportation of illegal aliens. It’s a program that has potentially far-reaching consequences if not properly managed. In the rush to tackle immigration, and in the wrong hands, it could turn into a mass deportation program.

The program is intended to target “criminal aliens” – undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of serious felonies like rape, murder, or even immigrant smuggling, and who are already serving time in jail. It’s not meant to be used in routine law enforcement against persons stopped for traffic violations or accused of lesser crimes who later turn out to be illegal aliens.

But the federal government’s own data suggests that this is exactly what’s occurring.

  • Boston.com: A 19-year-old Harvard biology student, who has been in the United States unlawfully since he was 4 years old, was detained at a Texas airport this week and is now fighting deportation to his native Mexico.  Read the story hereHere’s the Facebook group in support of Eric, the Harvard student that Boston.com refers to.
  • Police and Border Patrol agents detained U.S. citizens and legal residents along with illegal immigrants in 1997. Many fear the new law will make history repeat itself.  Read this L.A. Times piece.