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  1. Anti-Fraud Enhancements of E-Verify Delayed Due to Sequester

    by , 03-27-2013 at 11:58 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Some of the loudest proponents of the sequester program are the same people screaming the loudest to spend more on immigration enforcement. I'll be interested in hearing their reaction to this news.
  2. Tea Party Leaders Falling in Line on Immigration Reform

    by , 03-27-2013 at 09:16 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The anti-immigrant NumbersUSA reports the happy news.
  3. House Gang or Eight Might Introduce Bill Before Senate Finishes

    by , 03-27-2013 at 09:15 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Jon Yarmuth, the Kentucky Democrat, says that negotiations are almost complete and his colleagues are almost ready to announce the results of their efforts. The breaking news here is the suggestion that the House might start working on their bill instead of waiting on the Senate. From Elise Foley at Huffington Post:

    "I think we're actually very close to being able to come forward with
    a package of very important commonsense reform proposals," Yarmuth said
    on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." "We've really resolved all of the truly
    contentious issues, so now it's a lot of detail work and some loose
    The House group -- which MSNBC listed as Yarmuth and Reps. Zoe
    Lofgren (D-Calif.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho),
    Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), John Carter (R-Texas) and Sam Johnson
    (R-Texas) -- has been working quietly on an immigration reform plan for
    years, but remained secretive about when and how they will release it.
    Yarmuth said one of the biggest questions is how they ensure their
    bill can pass the Republican-controlled House, which will be a heavier
    lift than the Democratic-controlled Senate. The so-called "gang of
    eight" in the upper chamber plans to unveil a bill next month and has
    already put out a framework, but the House group still must decide
    whether to wait until a Senate bill passes or introduce their own
    legislation sooner.
    They may be leaning toward the latter, Yarmuth hinted.
  4. Leahy Warns Sessions Not to Obstruct Immigration Bill

    by , 03-27-2013 at 07:05 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is an old school anti-immigration politician who is hardline on immigration enforcement and also against illegal immigration. And he's going to do everything he can to kill an immigration reform bill. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has just told Senator Sessions - "It's ON!".
  5. 300 people in immigration detention are held in solitary confinement at any given time

    by , 03-27-2013 at 06:51 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The New York Times reports that at any given time in the Nation's 50 largest immigration detention facilities there are at least 300 immigrants held in solitary confinement.  The isolation typically lasts for at least two weeks, the time where an individual is at risk to psychological trauma. The article further reports that there are approximately 35 detainees held in isolation in excess of 75 days.
    Examples of individuals put in solitary confinement included an individual that was fasting because he was observing Ramadan, and a gay immigrant held in solitary for four months for his own protection.

    As for the conditions in solitary:

    While the conditions of confinement vary, detainees in solitary are routinely kept alone for 22 to 23 hours per day, sometimes in windowless 6-foot-by-13-foot cells, according to interviews with current and former detainees and a review of case records involving more than three dozen immigrants since 2010.

    In addition, individuals held in solitary are subjected to restrictions on access to phones, and their lawyers.  Communications are often only made available in the middle of the night.  Recreation is limited to pacing in "the cage" that was described as resembling a dog kennel.
    This isn't anything new, as a report was issued last year that detailed how "egregious human rights violations" resulted from the Obama administration's widespread and arbitrary use of solitary confinement as a punitive measure against immigrant detainees.  That report found that immigrant detainees in solitary confinement are regularly subjected to excessive force, harassment, and/or abuse by corrections officers.
    This isn't the first time we have heard about immigrants being abused and tortured in immigration detention. A 2011 ACLU report also found systemic abuse of immigrants in Arizona detention centers. 
    Dating all the way back to 2009, DHS Secretary Napolitano acknowledged the reports of "chronic abuses" of immigrants in detention, which includes detainees being beaten and left to die of untreated injuries and illness. This acknowledgement was followed by a pledge from the administration to clean up the immigration detention system, and to start treating immigrants more humanely.  
    I'm confident this problem will finally be addressed in President Obama's third term.
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