Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cities and counties rely on U.S. immigrant detention fees

By Anna Gorman
March 17, 2009
Los Angeles Times

"At a time when local law enforcement agencies are being forced to cut
budgets and freeze hiring, cities across Southern California have found a
growing source of income -- immigration detention.

"Roughly two-thirds of the nation's immigrant detainees are held in local
jails, and the payments to cities and counties for housing them have increased
as the federal government has cracked down on illegal immigrants with criminal
records and outstanding deportation order.

"Washington paid nearly $55.2 million to house detainees at 13 local jails
in California in fiscal year 2008, up from $52.6 million the previous year. The
U.S. is on track to spend $57 million this year.

"The largest federal contract in the state is with the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, whose 1,400-bed detention center in Lancaster is dedicated
to housing immigrants either awaiting deportation or fighting their cases in
court. The department received $34.7 million in 2008, up from $32.3 million the
previous year. [...]

"Santa Ana's Police Department, for example, expects as much as a 15%
budget cut and has had a hiring freeze since October that has resulted in more
than 60 sworn and civilian positions remaining vacant, Police Chief Paul Walters
said. To offset reductions, Walters plans to convert two multipurpose rooms at
the 480-bed jail into dormitory rooms this spring. That will accommodate an
additional 32 immigrant detainees, which he expects will bring in $1 million
more in revenue each year. He also hopes to get approval to raise the nightly
price per detainee from $82 to $87.

""We treat [the jail] as a business," Walters said. "The cuts could have
been much deeper if it weren't for the ability to raise money there.""


READ MORE: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-immigjail17-2009mar17,0,764607.story?page=1

The Ballad of Joe Arpaio

By LAWRENCE DOWNES
Published: March 15, 2009
New York Times


Voy a cantarles un corrido a los presentes,
que le compuse a Joe Arpaio de Arizona,
un sinverg├╝enza, desgraciado, anti-inmigrante,
que se ha ganado el repudio de toda la gente.

I will sing a corrido to all those present
that I wrote for
Joe Arpaio from
Arizona,
a shameless, disgraceful immigrant hater
who has earned the
repudiation of the people.


READ MORE and LISTEN TO AUDIO: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/opinion/16mon4.html?_r=1&em=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1237420367-HB1zuIzG0jQR+fV6v3EkFA

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Report Questions Immigration Program

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: March 3, 2009
NEW YORK TIMES

"PHOENIX — A government report questions the effectiveness of a federal program,
long criticized by immigrant advocacy groups, that deputizes police officers as immigration
agents.

"The report, prepared by the Government
Accountability Office
, the investigative arm of Congress, says the
government has failed to determine how many of the thousands of people deported
under the program were
the kind of violent felons it was devised to root out. [...]

"The report
analyzed 29 of the 67 local law enforcement agencies in the program. It found
that they arrested 43,000 illegal immigrants last year, including 34,000 taken
into custody by the immigration bureau.

"Of the 34,000, the report said,
about 41 percent were put in removal proceedings, 44 percent waived their right
to a hearing and were immediately deported, and 15 percent were released for
reasons including humanitarian grounds, the “minor nature of their crime” and
their having been sentenced to prison.

"Citing lapses in data
collection, the G.A.O. was unable to determine how many of the arrested
immigrants were suspected of committing serious crimes."

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/us/04immigrants.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

Local Democracy on ICE: Why State and Local Governments Have No Business in Federal Immigration Law Enforcement

Justice Strategies report issued February 2009 on Operation Endgame and federal-local 287(g)cooperation agreements

"287(g) represents the fusion of two separate systems of law enforcement
power. Once in place, it can lead to further entanglement of these powers as
state and local politicians jump into the campaign to “crackdown” on immigrants.
But civil immigration and criminal law are fundamentally incompatible. The grey
area between civil and criminal law creates a situation ripe for abuse. The
Constitution’s protections against arrest without probable cause, indefinite
detention, trial without counsel, double jeopardy, and self-incrimination, as
well as the statute of limitations, do not apply equally (or in some cases at
all) in the civil immigration context."

READ MORE: http://www.justicestrategies.org/2009/local-democracy-ice-why-state-and-local-governments-have-no-business-federal-immigration-law-en