How States Broke the Record on Immigration Bills in 2011

Here’s my latest infographic:

Earlier this month, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Alabama’s H.B. 56, which is considered the nation’s most harsh state-level immigration-enforcement law. It grants police broad powers to detain people they suspect are undocumented, makes it a crime to aide undocumented persons, bars sanctuary policies, and forces school to check students’ immigration status among other things.

But Alabama’s immigration law is only one of hundreds enacted this year by state legislatures. With the immigration reform debate stalled in Washington, state lawmakers—particularly those on the right—have moved aggressively to fill the void.

Click the infographic to read more about the numbers on

Huge Week for Immigration News

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.

How Long Do Immigrant Families “Wait in Line”? Sometimes Decades

It’s a popular turn of phrase: undocumented immigrants should just follow the rules and “get in line.” What they don’t point out is that it’s a really, really long line, thanks to the broken immigration system. Here’s a look at who’s waiting for family and work visas.

Click on the infographic I did for Colorlines to read the full story.

Note: Currently, working on an infographic that primarily looks into work visas. If you have any stories or information to share, please contact me at

Police Chiefs Frustrated over Local Immigration Enforcement

There’s a new post on Deportation Nation that I wrote up about a new study from the Police Executive Research Forum:

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.

Read more.

Secure Communities Enrollment Up to 1,030 Counties

I created this map graphic for Deportation Nation and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It’s the most current deployment map by state enrollment in the Secure Communities program. As of Feb. 15, Colorado activated the program in three counties. Alabama, Indiana, and Rhode Island have signed agreements but no counties have been activated yet in those states. New Mexico is now fully enrolled in the program, activating the program in Santa Fe. Also, New York has activated the program in six more counties, for a total of eight: Dutchess, Genesee, Nassau, Orleans, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster.

To find out if your county is enrolled in the Secure Communities program, click here to check out our list on the Deportation Nation site.

States Without “Secure Communities” Already Face Problems with Police-ICE Collaboration

We’ve got a new post up on Deportation Nation that looks at states that haven’t signed a MOA with the government to enroll in the Secure Communities program:

Since it began in the final months of the Bush administration, Secure Communities has quickly spread. Thirty-four states now use the program to share arrest data from local law enforcement agencies with federal immigration agents.

That leaves more than a dozen hold-outs. Last week Washington’s State Patrol declined to sign an agreement with Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE) to activate the controversial program.

Read more.

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