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- 07-01-2012, 12:30 PM #1
Immigration enforcement is on wrong side of history
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Viewpoints: Immigration enforcement is on wrong side of history
By Pablo Alvarado
Special to The Bee
Published: Sunday, Jul. 1, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5E
Despite Monday's unfortunate Supreme Court ruling that allows Arizona, at least for now, to go forward with state-mandated immigrant-hunting and racial profiling, there is reason to believe that the tide is turning on the Arizona approach to immigration policies replicated in Georgia, Alabama, Utah and several other states.
Days before the court ruling, undocumented students pushed President Barack Obama to announce a new Department of Homeland Security policy potentially offering DREAM Act-eligible students work permits instead of deportation to countries many of them have never known. That was a victory not for the lawyers and politicians who have parsed the criminal code and the voters' moods on immigration, but for the undocumented students, whose sophisticated activism and civil disobedience had begun reaching into Obama re-election campaign offices.
No doubt it was the threat of embarrassment to the president, not scholarly legal research, that finally led Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to codify what was common knowledge that immigrant communities deserve relief from the threat of deportation. The new policy counteracts previous administration claims about Homeland Security's limited ability to act. It demonstrates that Napolitano has had the authority to relieve suffering all along. Her refusal to do so earlier or do more now shows that only pressure from organized and undocumented communities makes the difference.
It may very well be Napolitano's Arizona roots that pose a big part of the problem for those who want a more even-handed approach to overseeing our broken immigration laws. Her refusal to rein in enforcement of the "Secure Communities" immigrant roundup program has led to about 400,000 deportations annually 60,000 in California last year most of them initially stopped for a minor traffic infraction or other noncriminal behavior. Under Napolitano's leadership, this administration has presided over more deportations than any other in history.
Secure Communities erodes public safety because it deters witnesses and victims of crime from contacting or collaborating with local police for fear of deportation. Although several governors and big city mayors have expressed vigorous opposition, earlier this month Homeland Security massively expanded the program into requiring nearly all state and local police to notify federal authorities when they arrest someone who might be in the country without documents, no matter what infraction led to the arrest.
Despite Homeland Security spin, the result has been families divided and communities disrupted.
Secure Communities in a sense had its origins in Arizona, when Napolitano was the governor. With her support, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, now the subject of a Department of Justice civil rights investigation, was given immigration enforcement power in Phoenix as part of a post-9/11 experiment. Already controversial for his abusive treatment of prisoners, Arpaio used his federally granted authority to begin a war of attrition against Latinos in his county that he is carrying on to this day.
That "experiment" in Arizona and 60 other counties evolved into Napolitano's Secure Communities juggernaut, the Arizonification of the entire country. Almost immediately after its implementation, reports of racial profiling and other discriminatory behavior became commonplace, but Napolitano did little to respond. With escalating scrutiny from the Department of Justice and civil rights proponents, Homeland Security has offered lip service reform while aggressively clinging to the Arizona model.
Last Sunday in Phoenix I joined 3,000 people in a vigil outside of the jail of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a message that has become rebellious in today's climate; love will conquer hate. While Napolitano may be reluctant to choose her side on that equation, it will be the brave steps of those currently deemed "illegal" who will force her to the right side of history.
That dilemma will not be just for Napolitano alone but for every officeholder today. In California's Assembly, there is an antidote to Arizona's SB 1070. The Trust Act, Assembly Bill 1081, will create a bright line between police and immigration authorities and could become a model for states looking to modify the impact of the Secure Communities program. As the mayor of Los Angeles explains, "The Trust Act will restore (California's) ability to focus limited law enforcement resources on protecting public safety."
Immigrants are coming to understand that the only secure community is an organized one. The fruits of their efforts will be policies that protect and advance the rights of all of us, regardless of the secretary of Homeland Security's stubborn loyalty to Arpaio and his policies that she has brought to the national level.
Read more here: Viewpoints: Immigration enforcement is on wrong side of history - Viewpoints - The Sacramento Bee
Viewpoints: Immigration enforcement is on wrong side of history - Viewpoints - The Sacramento BeeNO AMNESTY
DON'T REWARD THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS
BY GIVING THEM CITIZENSHIP
- 07-01-2012, 02:40 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
While Mr. Alvarado attempts to condemn bias, does'nt his story reek of bias towards others that desire lawfulness rather than lawlessness?
- 07-01-2012, 04:10 PM #3"Too bad ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." Henry Kissinger
- 07-01-2012, 06:50 PM #4Her refusal to rein in enforcement of the "Secure Communities" immigrant roundup program has led to about 400,000 deportations annually 60,000 in California last year most of them initially stopped for a minor traffic infraction or other noncriminal behavior. Under Napolitano's leadership, this administration has presided over more deportations than any other in history.
And if Mr. Alvarado wants to ensure that there are "secure communities" then all he and his fellow travelers have to do is ensure all members of those communities are in this country legally. Then the only things they have to fear are the same things the rest of us fear, i.e., SWAT teams run amok, indefinite detention, drone surveillance, end of life counseling, Muslim jihadists, drug cartels, black gangs, Hispanic gangs, skin head gangs, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid."We have met the enemy, and they is us." - POGO