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Posts Tagged ‘work site raids’

Introduction to the New House Republican Majority’s Position on Immigration and U.S. Workers

January 25th, 2011 No comments
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After four years of Democratic control, Republicans are now in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives.  House Republican leaders have placed a familiar cast of characters in position to draft the chamber’s strategy on immigration:

* Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is now the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and he has declared that immigration will be a top priority for his Committee.  Smith was the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee in 1996 when Congress passed a series of laws that ramped up enforcement against both legal and undocumented immigrants—bills that collectively made the broken immigration system worse, not better.  Despite following Smith’s enforcement-only strategy for nearly fifteen years, the number of undocumented immigrants in our country has continued to rise.

* Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) is now the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee, and he is preparing to launch a series of hearings on immigration enforcement at the beginning of the 112th Congress.  Gallegly also has a long track record on immigration, and has focused much of his efforts on attacking children.  For example, since the early 1990s Gallegly has sponsored legislation to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on who their parents are.  In 1996, he famously pushed an amendment to deny undocumented children access to an education—the federal version of California’s Proposition 187.

* Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is now vice-chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee.  He may have been passed over for the top spot because of his incendiary comments, such as his comparison of immigrants to livestock and suggestion that we install an electric fence at the border to keep them out.  Still, Smith and Gallegly share King’s policy positions on immigration, and he will continue to play a key role in crafting their approach.

In one of his first acts of the year, Rep. Smith (R-TX) changed the name of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law to the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.  The name change reflects the new priorities of the Committee—an enforcement-only approach with the goal of driving 11 million undocumented immigrants and their family members out of the country.

However, since a mass deportation policy is not popular with Latino voters, House Republicans are attempting to recast their approach in more palatable terms.  Rather than change course and embrace comprehensive immigration reform—the only proposal that would truly level the playing field, turn workers into taxpayers, and restore the rule of law—they are simply recasting their anti-immigration agenda using pro-worker terms.

In this report, America’s Voice Education Fund (AVEF) peels back the pro-worker mask that Smith, Gallegly, and King are attempting to put on, and shows that they are motivated not by concern for workers but their desire to remove 11 million immigrants and their family members from the country.  AVEF reviews their voting records on worker issues, and find that they have a long history of opposing policies to help American workers succeed, such as an increase to the minimum wage.

In reality, Smith, Gallegly, and King are simply carrying out the policies embraced by a shadowy coalition of anti-immigrant organizations—many of whom have been tied to white supremacists or labeled hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  This report exposes that connection and makes it clear that groups like the “Coalition for the Future American Worker” are simply using American unemployment as the latest excuse to rail against immigrants.  In the past, these same organizations have blamed immigrants for such diverse issues such as global warming, the housing crisis, a broken health care system, traffic congestion, and more.

Finally, AVEF examines why a mass deportation agenda is dangerous politics for the Republican Party.  After pushing anti-immigrant policies for years and campaigning on the issue in the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections, Republicans have boxed themselves in with Latino voters.  Following the strategy of Smith, Gallegly, and King, they are the party of Proposition 187, the Sensenbrenner bill, the Arizona “papers, please” immigration law and copycat proposals in other states, the defeat of comprehensive immigration reform, and the defeat of the DREAM Act.  Latino voters feel disrespected and attacked by the GOP, and are increasingly voting Democratic because of it.

As the 2010 Census results drive home, unless the GOP finds a way to reverse course on immigration and win at least 40% of the Latino vote, it will never see the inside of the White House again, and will become a minority party.  With Smith, Gallegly, and King at the helm in the House, the GOP is poised to become a sinking ship with Latino voters unless real leaders in the Party step up.

(As published by America’s Voice)

Border Patrol Will Hold Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Dissent Over Immigration Raids at Las Vegas Bus Stations

September 20th, 2010 1 comment
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They may have caused plenty of controversy, but the raids carried out by immigration agents at local bus stations in July are once again back in the spotlight, and still fresh on the minds of many. Recently, immigration officials held a town hall meeting to discuss those raids with the community, after hearing plenty of concerns expressed.

In late July, immigration agents raided two Las Vegas bus companies. As a result of those raids, Border Patrol agents along with federal officials will once again return to the valley. However this time, for a town hall meeting with the community to talk about the raids.

Progress NOW has expressed dissent with how the raids played out.

“We want to know what the results were from their raids. Did they find any human smugglers? Did they find any drugs that they were looking for or are they down here just bullying people,” said Flores with Progress NOW Nevada.

Those and other issues were expected to be topics discussed at the event. Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined to comment for this story.

Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Says Workers’ Rights Apply to All Workers Regardless of Immigration Status

November 3rd, 2009 No comments
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United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis made several comments regarding immigration enforcement and workers’ rights.

“The Department of Labor is firmly committed to protecting the rights of all workers, and especially the rights of the most vulnerable workers in our economy.

“The violation of any one worker’s rights is cause for concern to all American workers. When unscrupulous employers abuse vulnerable workers, honest employers and their workers suffer.

“I am proud that, as of Oct. 13, the Labor Department has hired 224 new wage and hour investigators to seek out employers in violation of the law wherever they may be. These investigators are working hard every single day to ensure that every worker is paid at least the minimum wage, that those who work overtime are properly compensated, that child labor laws are strictly enforced and that every worker is provided a safe and healthful environment.

“Wage and hour laws apply to every single worker in this country, regardless of immigration status. My department is working tirelessly to protect all workers’ rights.”

Immigration Raids Result in Lawsuit Against Sheriff Arpaio

August 20th, 2009 No comments
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Two men, Julian and Julio Mora, have filed a civil complaint against Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona. The complaint alleges that Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Federal Constitution. Additionally, the men allege that they were assaulted, falsely arrested and imprisoned and suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress due to the incident. This is the first lawsuit to result from Sheriff Arpaio’s practice of raiding businesses and detaining everyone on the premises for fraud and identity-theft claims. “Every time he conducts a raid, he detains everybody on site,” said Annie Lai, one of the Moras’ lawyers.

Although Julio Mora, 19 years old, was born in the United States and is a U.S. Citizen, he was detained for hours during the raid. His father, Julian Mora, is 66 years old and has lived in the United States for 30 years. He is a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and is authorized to work in the United States.

For his part, Sheriff Arpaio does not apologize in the slightest. “This lawsuit is just another way to intimidate me; it’s political,” said Arpaio. “They’re using a couple of instances to further their own philosophy.”

The Moras are represented by the ACLU, and their attorneys warn, “If it occurred to these folks, it could occur to anybody here in Maricopa County,” said Dan Pochoda, legal director for the Arizona ACLU.

If you are currently working or living in the United Status without immigration status, contact The Nunez Firm to discuss your options and possible strategies to obtain legal immigration status. The Nunez Firm offers free consultations.

Immigration Judge Ashley Tabaddor Dismisses Deportation Case Due to Illegal Procedures by Federal Agents

February 21st, 2009 4 comments
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Los Angeles Immigration Judge Ashley Tabaddor dismissed the deportation case against Gregorio Perez Cruz, which stemmed from a Van Nuys work site raid performed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents. On February 7, 2009, armed ICE agents raided the Micro Solutions Enterprises factory in Van Nuys, California. ICE agents blocked the exits and arrested 138 employees. ICE detained Gregorio Perez Cruz for 18 hours without food and water, and Mr. Perez Cruz was forced to sleep on a concrete floor. 

Judge Tabaddor ruled that ICE failed to follow their own regulations and violated Mr. Perez Cruz’s rights when they failed to read Mr. Perez Cruz his rights and arrested him without reasonable suspicion that he was an illegal immigrant. ICE agents asked Mr. Perez Cruz several questions without informing him of his right to remain silent.

This decision may affect the cases of several others that were arrested during the same raid. As for Mr. Perez Cruz, he remains in a tenuous position. ICE is not permitted to continue their deportation case against him; however, he remains ineligible to obtain a green card.

ICE representative stated that they intend to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

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