This Week in Immigration

DHS Review of Immigration Cases Expands to Half Dozen New Cities

The Washington Post and Huffington Post are reporting that ICE’s ongoing review of existing deportation cases will expand to six new cities in the coming months. Initially launched in Baltimore and Denver in 2011, the initiative will soon expand to Seattle, Detroit, New Orleans and Orlando, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. The idea behind the initiative is to clear historic backlogs in the immigration courts by administratively closing cases that ICE considers to be low priority.

New Legislation to Boost Tourism Would Bring Jobs, Revenue to U.S. Economy

When it comes to the global tourism market, the U.S. is missing out in a big way. So much so, in fact, that the Obama administration has issued two executive orders to address the drop in international tourism revenue. Over the last ten years, America’s share of the travel market fell from 17% in 2000 to 12% in 2010—a drop that translates into 467,000 lost jobs, $606 billion in lost spending by visitors, and $37 billion in lost tax revenue. Experts blame the dip on unnecessary visa processing delays and restrictions. But a new bipartisan tourism bill introduced this week seeks to remedy the U.S. tourism slump by reforming some visa processes, making it easier foreign nationals to visit and spend money in the U.S.
Supreme Court Flooded with Briefs Opposing Arizona SB 1070

Proponents of Arizona SB 1070 often insist that the infamous immigration law enjoys considerable public support. Yet even if such claims are correct, one would hardly know it from the flood of briefs filed at the Supreme Court this week opposing the measure. Unlike the monolithic set of briefs filed last month in support of SB 1070, the briefs opposing the law were submitted by a strikingly broad range of parties—from commissioners of the former INS, to more than 40 cities and counties, to a group of law enforcement officials that includes an Arizona sheriff whose county shares a border with Mexico.

Mississippi Farming, Law Enforcement Groups Urge Lawmakers to Oppose State Immigration Law

Economists aren’t the only ones who think a patchwork of costly state immigration laws is a terrible idea. This week, Mississippi farming and law enforcement groups each sent separate letters urging state lawmakers to reconsider moving forward with Mississippi’s extreme immigration law, HB 488. The groups call the law an “unfunded mandate” and cite the burdensome costs to taxpayers, the discriminatory nature of the law, and the potential loss of tourism, foreign investment and economic development for the state. The Mississippi House passed the bill, which prohibits undocumented immigrants from entering business transactions with the state and allows law enforcement to determine the immigration status of individuals whom they “reasonably suspect” is in the country without documents during an arrest, earlier this month. The Mississippi Senate has until April 3 to consider the bill before it dies.

More Evidence that Hostile Immigration Enforcement Compromises Public Safety

The priorities of immigration enforcement authorities, such as ICE and the Border Patrol, often do not align with those of local law enforcement agents. When local law enforcement officials are charged with enforcing federal immigration laws, unauthorized immigrants tend to lose trust in, cease interacting with, and often do not report crimes to law enforcement officials when they have reason to fear detainment or deportation in any encounter. So concludes a new report by the Center for American Progress entitled, “Life as an Undocumented Immigrant: How Restrictive Local Immigration Policies Affect Daily Life.”

Congressional Budget Cuts Threatens Vital USCIS Integration Grant Program

This month, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced $5 million in government grant opportunities available to service providers who help immigrants integrate and prepare for the naturalization exam. The money for these grants, awarded through the Citizenship and Integration Grant program, however, was not appropriated through Congress. Congress actually voted not to fund this vital program, leaving USCIS to cut costs elsewhere in order to keep the program afloat.

DHS Announces Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Syrians

Due to ongoing violence in Syria, Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that DHS will provide Temporary Protective Status for Syrians currently in the United States. According to the L.A. Times, “more than 10,000 people have died in the yearlong conflict, including civilians, armed dissidents and security forces, according to U.N. and Syrian government figures.”

This Week in Council Publications:

•    AIC Applauds SCOTUS Decision Rejecting Retroactive Application of Immigration Law (Council Statement, March 29, 2012)

•    Mocking Humane Immigration Detention Standards: House Hearing Makes Light of Necessary Detention Reforms (IPC Statement, March 28, 2012)

New Newsletter from Legal Action Center (LAC Docket, March 23, 2012)

About Santiago David Távara

Santiago David Távara es graduado de Periodismo en la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia en Washington. Corresponsal de la Agencia Mexicana Notimex y colaborador de La Prensa Gráfica de El Salvador, Távara trabajó para la Agencia de Noticias EFE, los semanarios locales El Pregonero, El Tiempo Latino y Washington Hispanic así como en los ahora desaparecidos El Latino y el Diario de La Nación. Nacido en Callao, Perú, Távara contribuyó con artículos deportivos para una sección en español del diario The Washington Post y colaboró con la publicación Tiempos del Mundo, del diario The Washington Times.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login