This Week in Immigration

Got Clarity? “Illegal Immigrant” Is More than Just a Term

Over the last few weeks, New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan has been weighing a challenge from fellow journalist and self-described “undocumented immigrant” Jose Antonio Vargas—drop the use of “illegal immigrant” as the Times default description of the 12 million undocumented people in the United States.  Sullivan invited and received public comment on the challenge, much of which made subtle and nuanced pleas to use terms that were less insulting and more accurate.

Naturalized Citizens Have the Power to Swing Elections 
There is no doubt that immigrants are a force to be reckoned with in this year’s presidential race. After all, the Obama administration unveiled its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June, just a couple of months before the official start of the campaign. And Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said that, if elected, he will not deport DACA beneficiaries (although he says he will discontinue the program). In other words, both candidates are going out of their way to woo immigrant voters—that is, naturalizedU.S. citizens who are eligible to vote—as well as those second and third generation Americans for whom immigration is still a highly personal issue. This is smart politics.

Utah Attorney General Pushes Sensible Immigration Policies 
Republican Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has become a poignant and effective advocate for smart immigration policies, including the DREAM Act.  On Monday, Shurtleff spoke at the Immigration Law and Policy Conference, inWashingtonD.C., where he concluded that the “biggest casualty in the immigration debate is the truth.”

Anti-Immigrant Activists Still Pushing the Myth of Voter Fraud by Noncitizens 
In the world of anti-immigrant activists who specialize in stamping out “voter fraud” by non-U.S. citizens, there are few symbols more potent than that of the bus. Apparently, a bus is the favored mode of transportation among the legions of immigrants who want to subvert the U.S. electoral process by illegally casting ballots. Many a story of voter fraud by non-citizens begins with a busload of foreign-looking people being dropped off at a polling place. However, as Stephanie Saul writes in the New York Times, “it might as well be Harry Potter’s invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.”

California Governor Vetoes TRUST Act 

In a disheartening development for immigrants’ rights advocates, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the TRUST Act on Sunday just hours before it was scheduled to take effect. The measure, which was intended to minimize the humanitarian impact of the federal Secure Communities program, would have largely prohibited state and local jails from detaining suspects on behalf of federal immigration authorities.

This Week at the AIC

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