Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Immigration News

Angel Island's history offers lessons on immigration policy (Opinion)
(Los Angeles Times, 1/21/10)

One hundred years ago today, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay opened its doors. From 1910 to 1940, the "Ellis Island of the West" was the gateway into America for more than half a million immigrants from 80 countries, all seeking the opportunity, freedom and fortune of the American dream. But, built to enforce laws that specifically excluded Chinese and other Asian immigrants from the country, the Angel Island Immigration Station turned away countless newcomers and deported thousands of U.S. residents who were considered risks to the nation or had entered the country with fraudulent papers. For those who were denied entry because of race and class-biased exclusion laws, Angel Island showed America at its worst as a gate-keeping nation.

Secrets of the Immigration Jails (Opinion)
(New York Times, 1/20/10)

Americans have long known that the government has been running secretive immigration prisons into which detainees have frequently disappeared, their grave illnesses and injuries untreated, their fates undisclosed until well after early and unnecessary deaths. What we did not know, until a recent article in The Times by Nina Bernstein, was how strenuously the government has tried to cover up those failings — keeping relatives and lawyers in the dark, deflecting blame, fighting rigorous quality standards, outside oversight and transparency. These deficiencies endure today.

The Catholic case for immigration reform
(, 1/18/10)

Servant of God, Bishop Fulton Sheen, once said, "There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church." Sadly, Bishop Sheen's statement applies not only to those outside the Church, but to millions who are baptized Catholics. A case in point is the response to an initiative by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops calling for a "humane and comprehensive solution to the problems which beset our immigration system."

1 killed, 5 injured as suspected smuggling boat capsizes
(Los Angeles Times, 1/17/10)

A boat packed with suspected illegal immigrants capsized early Saturday in the surf off a state beach in San Diego, leaving one migrant dead and triggering a search-and-rescue effort that lasted throughout the day, authorities said. The incident illustrates an uptick in maritime smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border as smugglers respond to a buildup of forces and barriers at the land boundary separating San Diego from Baja California.

Thousands protest sheriff's immigration efforts
(Washington Post via Associated Press, 1/17/10)

Thousands of immigrant rights advocates marched in front of a county jail in Phoenix Saturday in a protest that was aimed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration efforts and was marked by a clash between a small group of protesters and police officers. Organizers say the protest was meant to show officials in Washington that Arpaio shouldn't handle immigration enforcement, and that Congress and the Obama administration need to come up with a way for immigrant workers to come to the country legally.

Schumer Seeks to Keep Immigration Detention Site in Manhattan Open

(New York Times, 1/15/10)

Senator Charles E. Schumer is urging federal officials not to close immigration detention operations at the Varick Federal Detention Facility in Manhattan, saying that their decision to transfer its roughly 300 detainees to a county jail in New Jersey “will represent a crushing blow to the due process rights of immigrants detained within the New York metropolitan area.”

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