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  1. New Republican Pro-Immigration PAC Formed

    by , 11-18-2012 at 11:42 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Republicans for Immigration Reform is the name of a new political action committee that aims to take on anti-immigrants who have dominated the GOP in recent years.
    The Washington Post gives background:

    Even before it raises money and establishes target races for 2014, organizers told The Washington Post, the group will help smooth the way for wavering Republican lawmakers to vote next year for an immigration overhaul, which suddenly gained momentum last week after GOP leaders watched President Obama's dominance among Hispanic voters help carry him to an Electoral College landslide.

    Spearheading the group is Carlos Gutierrez, the Cuban American former Commerce secretary under President George W. Bush. He is joined by Washington lawyer Charlie Spies, co-founder of the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, which, illustrating the very trend that the new PAC aims to thwart, aired some tough ads during this year's primaries accusing Romney's rivals of supporting "amnesty" and being "too liberal on immigration."

    "There's currently only energy on the anti-immigration reform side, and we want to be able to provide some cover for Republicans that vote in support of an immigration reform approach," Spies said.

    It is interesting that one of Romney's top PAC fundraisers is behind this group even though he was on the other side on this issue just weeks ago. It shows just how dramatically the politics have changed since the election and just how scared the GOP is that the demographic realities are such that they cannot be anti-immigrant and be the party in power.
  2. Light Posting This Week - Open Thread

    by , 11-17-2012 at 01:40 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    I'm on a family trip overseas for the next week so you won't hear as much from me as usual. I suspect that it will be a light news week since we're approaching Thanksgiving. Happy holiday to you all. In the mean time, please feel free to post links and your thoughts in the comments to this thread.
  3. Report Calls for Health Care Immigration Reform

    by , 11-17-2012 at 12:17 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The National Foundation for American Policy has just released a report discussing the need for international health care professionals and also discusses the various obstacles these workers face. Here are their four key recommendations:
    This report makes four broad policy recommendations:

    1) Expand the number of employment-based green cards so the wait times for skilled immigrants, including nurses, physicians, and physical/occupational therapists, can be measured in weeks or months, rather than in years or decades.

    2) Establish a temporary visa that facilitates the entry of foreign nurses. Current temporary visas do not work for the vast majority of foreign nurses and their potential employers.
    3) To aid patients in underserved areas and enable more U.S.-trained doctors to pursue specialized medical fields expand the Conrad 30 program to include many more physicians per state and in the country as a whole. Also, we should consider policies to overcome the limitations on medical residency slots in the U.S. by developing guidelines to allow foreign-trained doctors to practice in the United States if they can demonstrate a high level of expertise. Congress logically should include physicians and medical researchers in biology and chemistry in the definition of Science Technology Engineering and
    Mathematics (STEM) for exemption from employment-based green card quotas in future legislation.
    4) Streamline state licensing and other procedures for foreign medical personnel, including physical therapists and occupational therapists, to help with the nation's long-term health needs.

    Good ideas and some are being discussed in Congress right now.
  4. ICE fines Connecticut and Maine companies for I-9 Violations; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to issue press releases demonstrating their active involvement in worksite investigations in fiscal year 2012 in various New England states. Twelve Connecticut employers were fined a total of $132,584.25 and eight Maine employers were fined a total of $78,966.50 for various employment violations following investigations/audits of Form I-9 documents by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
    Fines in Connecticut in FY 2012 include: Calabro Cheese Corp. - $45,000; Superior Plastics Extrusion Company Inc., aka Impact Plastics - $34,000; Kingswood Kitchens Company Inc. - $12,000; Prostar Inc. of Farmington - $10,472; Contour Landscaping Company Inc. - $8,104; Gourmet Heaven Inc. - $5,891; Acranom Masonry, Inc. - $4,500; John J. Masi Company Inc. - $3,276; Villa Brava Grocery LLC - $2,992; Quality Sales LLC - $2,722; Leed-Himmel Industries Inc. - $2,241.25; and Melissa & Doug LLC - $1,386.
    Fines in Maine in FY 2012 include: Maine International Labor Inc. - $13,898.50; My Tai Inc. - $13,744; Artstock Inc., aka Artist & Craftsman Supply Company - $12,584; New Fay Da Restaurant Inc., aka Happy China Buffet - $11,220; Farrens Harvesting and Land Leveling Inc. - $9,490; King China Inc. - $9,100; ASAP Taxi - $7,153; and Three Sons Lobster and Fish - $1,777.
    This information is particularly interesting since a couple of years ago, ICE ceased issuing press
    releases on each company fined.
  5. Report: ICE Fails to Reliably Protect Immigrant Detainees from Physical and Sexual Abuse

    by , 11-16-2012 at 06:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The Detention Watch Network, a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to educate the public and policy makers about the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system, has coordinated the release of ten reports which detail the "acute and chronic human right violations occurring in immigration detention" in the United States.  The report is entitled: Expose & Close.  
    The report determined that: "there is no facility among the approximately 250 in operation at the time of publication where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reliably protects those inside from physical and sexual abuse," and there is a systemic failure to provide basic medical care.
    From the executive summary of the report:

    ICE currently incarcerates more than 400,000 immigrants every year in 33,400 prison and
    jail beds. Immigrants in ICE custody are technically in civil detention, meaning that they are locked up to ensure that they show up for their hearings and comply with the court's decision, not because of any crime.
    While no person should have to suffer the hardships of incarceration as it is practiced in the U.S., those who are in prisons and jails serving time for criminal convictions have legal protections that immigrants do not--for example the right to a lawyer and to a speedy trial.
    The majority of people in immigration detention do not have the right to a bond. This means that
    people can spend months and sometimes years locked up while they work to prove that
    they have the right to stay in the U.S., without
    ever having the chance to ask a judge to
    let them remain with their families while their
    cases are ongoing.
    Harsh deportation policies
    also mean that there are more and more
    points of entry in the immigration enforcement
    pipeline sending a record number of people
    into detention.

    Click here to read the report.

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