Category Archives: immigration

Illegal Immigrants Who Commit Crimes Focus of Deportation – NYTimes.com

Illegal Immigrants Who Commit Crimes Focus of Deportation – NYTimes.com.

Agents’ Union Stalls Training on Deportation Rules

WASHINGTON — The federal agency in charge of deportations is conducting a far-reaching training course to push immigration enforcement officers and prosecutors nationwide to focus their efforts on removing immigrants convicted of crimes.

The training course is the clearest sign yet that administration officials want to transform the way immigration officers work, asking them to make nuanced decisions to speed deportations of high-risk offenders while halting those of illegal immigrants with clean records and strong ties to the country. The policy is President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative before the November elections, senior administration officials said.

But in a new sign of the deep dissension over immigration, the union representing some 7,000 deportation officers of the agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, has so far not allowed its members to participate in the training. Without the formal assent of the union, the administration’s strategy could be significantly slowed for months in labor negotiations.

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Should Foreign Money Be Allowed to Finance U.S. Elections? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Should Foreign Money Be Allowed to Finance U.S. Elections? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

Updated January 6, 2012 2:17 PM

Foreign Money Swaying U.S. Voters?

The United States Supreme Court may decide this week to take up a case involving Benjamin Bluman, a Canadian citizen, who is challenging the Federal Election Commission for the right to contribute money to American political candidates. The court ruled two years ago that banning political spending by corporations, labor unions or other organizations in elections violates the First Amendment’s free speech principles. If that’s the case, argue those in support of Bluman, then foreign nationals also have the right to contribute to U.S. political campaigns.

Are they correct? Should noncitizens who live in America be allowed to donate to U.S. elections? What are the ramifications for U.S. politics?

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The Hispanicisation of America: The law of large numbers | The Economist

The Hispanicisation of America: The law of large numbers | The Economist.

The Hispanicisation of America

The law of large numbers

The role of Latinos in American society is growing inexorably, with big political implications for the future

SWEEPING his hand in all directions, from the Mormon Temple to Utah’s State Capitol and the Great Salt Lake, Tony Yapias, the director of the Proyecto Latino de Utah and a leading Hispanic activist in the state, cannot suppress a smirk. “This was Mexico,” he says. In 1847, when the Mormon pioneers arrived, “no one asked Brigham Young for his papers.”

But today, Mr Yapias says ruefully, it is the Mexicans and Chicanos (American citizens of Mexican ancestry), as well as other Latinos such as himself (born in Peru), who tend to be asked for papers. And the Americans doing the asking are likely to be “Anglos”, as non-Hispanic whites are often called. This, certainly, is the tenor of SB1070, an Arizona law passed this year (but partially blocked by a federal judge) that aims to get tough on illegal immigrants, and of similar legislation likely to pass in states such as Utah.

Mr Yapias captures the complicated role of Latinos in America. They, their culture and their language were a big part of America’s past. They were then marginalised for a century and a half, when Anglos dominated American society and culture. And they are now bound to play a big role in America’s future. In 2009 there were 48.4m Hispanics in America, almost 16% of the population. By 2050, estimates the Pew Research Centre, Hispanics will be 29% of the population and whites will be a minority at 47%. In cities and in schools, whites will become a minority a lot sooner.

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Visas for dollars: Give me your Gucci-clad masses | The Economist

Visas for dollars: Give me your Gucci-clad masses | The Economist.

Visas for dollars

Give me your Gucci-clad masses

It is ever easier to buy your way in

GIVE me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” reads Emma Lazarus’s ode to immigration inscribed on a plaque beneath the Statue of Liberty. More than a century later, however, it is the jet-lagged and rich who are receiving the warmest welcome at America’s borders.

Two senators, Charles Schumer, a Democrat, and Mike Lee, a Republican, recently introduced legislation to fast-track visas for foreigners spending $500,000 on residential property. Their Visit USA Act would allow purchasers and their families to live in America for as long as they owned their houses, though not to work there or receive any federal benefits.

The senators envisage wealthy jet-setters and well-heeled retirees boosting America’s weak housing market. As buyers would have to live in their new homes for at least 180 days a year, they would also (very handily) be liable to pay American tax on any foreign earnings.

Although the act is unlikely to become law anytime soon, would-be immigrants with half a million dollars in hand need not despair: America has a visas-for-cash scheme up and running. The Immigrant Investor Programme, also known as EB-5, was set up in 1990 to lure in foreigners by giving them the right to live and work there permanently if they created jobs.

Initially EB-5 came laden with stringent conditions: immigrants had to invest $1m either in a new enterprise that would create at least ten full-time jobs, or in a failing one to preserve the same number. They were required to manage the business themselves, and even to dedicate some of the jobs to exports. If a company failed in its first two years, investors would lose both their money and their green cards.

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New York Developers Take Advantage of Financing-for-Visas Program – NYTimes.com

New York Developers Take Advantage of Financing-for-Visas Program – NYTimes.com.

Rules Stretched as Green Cards Go to Investors

Affluent foreigners are rushing to take advantage of a federal immigration program that offers them the chance to obtain a green card in return for investing in construction projects in the United States. With credit tight, the program has unexpectedly turned into a mainstay for the financing of these projects in New York, California, Texas and other states.

The number of foreign applicants, each of whom must invest at least $500,000 in a project, has nearly quadrupled in the last two years, to more than 3,800 in the 2011 fiscal year, officials said. Demand has grown so fast that the Obama administration, which is championing the program, is seeking to streamline the application process.

Still, some critics of the program have described it as an improper use of the immigration system to spur economic development — a cash-for-visas scheme. And an examination of the program by The New York Times suggests that in New York, developers and state officials are stretching the rules to qualify projects for this foreign financing.

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The Case Against Sheriff Arpaio – NYTimes.com

The Case Against Sheriff Arpaio – NYTimes.com.

Editorial

The Case Against Sheriff Arpaio

After a three-year investigation, the Justice Department has accused Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., and longtime darling of the anti-immigrant crowd, of “unconstitutional policing” and creating a “pervasive culture of bias” against Latinos.

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Sheriff’s Arpaio’s Office Targeted Latinos, U.S. Says – NYTimes.com

Sheriff’s Arpaio’s Office Targeted Latinos, U.S. Says – NYTimes.com.

U.S. Finds Pervasive Bias Against Latinos by Arizona Sheriff

PHOENIX — In a strongly worded critique of the country’s best-known sheriff, the Justice Department on Thursday accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio of engaging in “unconstitutional policing” by unfairly targeting Latinos for detention and arrest and retaliating against those who complain.

After an investigation that lasted more than three years, the civil rights division of the Justice Department said in a 22-page report that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which Mr. Arpaio leads, had “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.” The department interfered with the inquiry, the government said, prompting a lawsuit that eventually led Sheriff Arpaio and his deputies to cooperate.

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Texas Two-Step – NYTimes.com

Texas Two-Step – NYTimes.com.

December 14, 2011, 11:50 pm

Texas Two-Step

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Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans – NYTimes.com

Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans – NYTimes.com.

Immigration Crackdown Also Snares Americans

A growing number of United States citizens have been detained under Obama administration programs intended to detect illegal immigrants who are arrested by local police officers.

In a spate of recent cases across the country, American citizens have been confined in local jails after federal immigration agents, acting on flawed information from Department of Homeland Security databases, instructed the police to hold them for investigation and possible deportation.

Americans said their vehement protests that they were citizens went unheard by local police officers and jailers for days, with no communication with federal immigration agents to clarify the situation. Any case where an American is held, even briefly, for immigration investigation is a potential wrongful arrest because immigration agents lack legal authority to detain citizens.

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Stopping the Free-for-All in Immigration Laws – NYTimes.com

Stopping the Free-for-All in Immigration Laws – NYTimes.com.

Editorial

Stopping the Free-for-All

The Supreme Court’s decision to review a federal court ruling blocking parts of Arizona’s notorious immigration law is troubling. It is arguably premature to take this case because there is no split among the federal appellate courts over states’ powers to enact such laws.

The court should use this opportunity to clarify the need for uniform laws in this area of vital national interest and stop the march of states taking immigration policy into their own hands. The Obama administration sued to stop Arizona — and later Utah, Alabama and South Carolina — because immigration is a federal responsibility that states cannot usurp.

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