In case you missed it, I posted a lengthy round-up of last week’s immigration news on Deportation Nation:
This week the Obama Administration announced new guidelines to unclog the immigration courts by allowing low-priority immigrant offenders to remain in the country and apply for a work permit. The White House promoted that DHS had for the first time “prioritized the removal of people who have been convicted of crimes in the United States.”
The decision coincided with advocates calling for the termination of the unpopular Secure Communities program. Protests held in Los Angeles and Chicago resulted in walk-outs and arrests as a result of public hearings with members of the Secure Communities Task Force.
Meanwhile, the FOIA war between ICE and an immigrant coalition, made up of the Center for Constitutional Rights, National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, continued to rage on. A New York judge ordered the reproduction of hundreds of documents, this time unredacted.
A letter from a former ICE regional coordinator, who was let go for his role in the opt-out confusion, provides more details on the strategy behind the implementation of the Secure Communities program.
It was included in a series of letters sent by California Rep. Zoe Lofgren to Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General as evidence for an immediate investigation into the misconduct of immigration officials.
ICE contractor Dan Cadman sent a letter to California Rep. Zoe Lofgren hoping to set the record straight following his termination with the agency after a New York Times article revealed that immigration officials launched an aggressive campaign to obtain participation from counties refusing to join, and questioned Rahm Emmanuel’s involvement with that campaign.
“Mr. Morton would have you believe that the government never indicated that the program was voluntary, and this impression only gained currency because of me,” wrote Cadman to Lofgren. “That is ironic and untrue.”
Deportation Nation | Internal Docs Reveal California’s Frustration With Secure Communities Expansion
Documents released by advocates last week confirm local frustration with the federal government’s fast-track expansion of the Secure Communities program – this time in California.
Many of the 500 documents released via litigation include email correspondence between officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that document its public relations campaign to implement the program in resistant counties such as San Francisco.
Immigration enforcement by local police is having a chilling effect on how residents interact with them, warns a report from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
“The last thing we need is for laws to undermine the trust that police departments have built up with the community,” said Jerry Murphy, PERF’s Director of Homeland Security and Development, during a conference call with reporters.
The Business of Detention investigates the profitable business of immigration detention by documenting the rise of industry leader Corrections Corporation of America. The site includes original reporting, articles, interactive graphics, infographics, videos and exclusive interviews.
The project is the first investigative-new media project for the University that emphasizes investigative work in a web savvy way. It won the Melvin Mencher Award for Superior Reporting and the James L. Wechsler Award for National Reporting. It also won nominations and was recognized by the Webbys and SXSW Interactive.
Co-produced with my colleague Renee Feltz.