This week in immigration

Immigrant Detention and the Private Prison Industry 

The latest data on immigration enforcement show that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained a record high of 429,247 noncitizens in the 2011 fiscal year, an increase of 18 percent over 2010. Immigration detention has been steadily increasing over the last two decades.  A new report by Justice Strategies suggests this increase is largely due to the efforts of private prison companies.

Lifting Up Cities That Are Welcoming Immigrants 
When it comes to immigration policymaking at the state and local level, all eyes have been focused for quite some time on train wrecks likeArizona andAlabama. These are places in which policymakers have chosen to deal with unauthorized immigration by embarking on a path of economic self-destruction—blindly lashing out at immigrants and Latinos no matter what the cost in terms of wasted taxpayer money, labor-force contraction, lost economic growth, community upheaval, and violations of fundamental human rights.

Congress Pits One Form of Legal Immigration Against Another 
We recently noted that the only point of agreement in the Republican and Democratic platforms on immigration was on the need for an infusion of green cards for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates with advanced degrees from American colleges and universities.  A recent poll conducted for the Partnership for a New American Economy and Compete America shows that 76 percent of Americans support the idea as well. If only Congress could draft legislation that simply sought to put that idea into practice.

As Chicago Passes Anti-Detainer Ordinance, TRUST Act Awaits Signature in California 
Lost amongst media coverage of the ongoing teachers’ strike was the passage in Chicago last week of a historic measure that largely prohibits local police from detaining individuals on behalf of federal immigration authorities. Dubbed the “Welcoming City Ordinance,” the measure makes Chicago the latest jurisdiction to push back against immigration “detainers,” the lynchpin of the controversial Secure Communities program.

No Paid Sick Days for Immigrant Caregivers Risky to Workers, U.S. Economy 

In 91-year-old Elda Frank’s apartment is a scenario that plays out every moment of every day. An immigrant caregiver with no paid sick days scrambles for backup when she becomes ill on the job.

This Week at the AIC

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