This Week in Immigration –

A Look Backward and Forward at Immigration Platforms

Eight years ago, the similarities between the Republican and Democratic platforms on the issue of immigration reform were striking.  The 2012 immigration planks for both parties are equally striking, but for the opposite reason.  Where 2004 demonstrated a unified vision of a broken system requiring reform, 2012 represents a virtual breakdown in agreement at least in official party documents, on how to go forward on immigration.  Comparing the evolution of the platforms from 2004 to 2008 to 2012 offers some insight into what has gone wrong in the immigration policy debate, and demonstrates why both sides need to come up with new, creative solutions to the continuing immigration policy crisis.

Nativist Group Trivializes the 2012 Latino Vote
The nativist Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has an implicit message for the Republican Party heading into the 2012 elections: stop worrying about Latino voters and just play to your predominantly Anglo base. Such is the kamikaze message contained within a new CIS report, innocuously titled Projecting the 2012 Hispanic Vote. The report dismisses the claims of innumerable analysts that Latino voters could tip the electoral balance one way or the other in the so-called “battleground” states and, by extension, in the nation as a whole. After all, argues CIS, veterans and senior citizens outnumber Latinos in the national electorate, so why not focus on winning them over instead? This may seem comical to some observers, but CIS is saying it with a straight face.

Inspector General Finds Serious Problems with US-VISIT Program
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released results of their investigation into the US-VISIT program.  US-VISIT was created after 9/11 to track noncitizens’ entries into and exits from the U.S. to identify national security threats, individuals entering with fraudulent identities, and visa overstays.  Through US-VISIT, fingerprints and digital photographs are taken of all noncitizens entering the U.S. and matched to biographical information.  The exit portion of US-VISIT has never been fully implemented.

Busting Myths About the California TRUST Act

As we reported last week, the TRUST Act—a bill that would prevent local law enforcement agencies from honoring all requests to detain immigrants on the federal government’s behalf—has cleared theCalifornia state legislature and is awaiting the signature of state Governor Jerry Brown. Meanwhile, restrictionists and other proponents of Arizona-style immigration laws have begun mounting a media campaign seeking to discredit the common-sense piece of legislation. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the primary claims of the TRUST Act’s opponents simply don’t stand up to scrutiny.

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