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April 1, 2014 2

Anti-Immigrant Movement Pushes State Strategies In 2014

While the push for immi­gra­tion reform at the fed­eral level is cur­rently at a stand­still, the immi­gra­tion debate at the state and local level is in high gear. Con­tin­u­ing the trend of the past few years, law­mak­ers are intro­duc­ing large num­bers of pro-immigrant leg­is­la­tion in states around the country.dc-march-for-jobs-380

In response, the anti-immigrant move­ment is imple­ment­ing a multi-pronged strat­egy at the state and local level with sev­eral key goals in mind.  These include attempts to block leg­is­la­tion at the state level grant­ing in-state tuition to qual­i­fied stu­dents, as well as driver’s licenses and other pub­lic ben­e­fits to Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) recip­i­ents. In June 2012, Pres­i­dent Obama issued the DACA exec­u­tive order, which allows some eli­gi­ble undoc­u­mented youth who were not born in the U.S. but who were brought to the coun­try at a young age to apply for tem­po­rary work autho­riza­tion, and calls for ICE agents to refrain from deport­ing them.

The anti-immigrant move­ment is also going beyond try­ing to pre­vent pro-immigrant leg­is­la­tion. Activists in the move­ment are attempt­ing to get restric­tive laws and poli­cies on the books such as greater voter reg­is­tra­tion restric­tions in the form of voter ID require­ments and English-only laws at the state and local level.

Please see “Anti-Immigrant Move­ment Imple­ments Nativist State Strate­gies in 2014” for more information.

 


El movimiento anti-inmigrante pro­mueve las estrate­gias estatales en 2014

Mien­tras que el impulso a la reforma migra­to­ria a nivel fed­eral está actual­mente fre­nado, el debate sobre la inmi­gración en el nivel local y estatal está en plena mar­cha. Con­tin­uando la ten­den­cia de los últi­mos años, los leg­is­ladores están intro­duciendo numerosas leyes en favor de los inmi­grantes en esta­dos de  todo el país.

En respuesta, el movimiento anti-inmigrante está imple­men­tando una estrate­gia mul­ti­facética a nivel estatal y local con var­ios obje­tivos en mente.  Estos incluyen inten­tos para blo­quear leyes a nivel estatal con­ce­di­endo tar­i­fas de matrícula estatal a estu­di­antes cal­i­fi­ca­dos, así como licen­cias de con­ducir y otros ben­efi­cios públi­cos a quienes cumplen los req­ui­si­tos del Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (Aplaza­miento de Acciones con­tra Menores)(DACA). En junio de 2012, el Pres­i­dente Obama emi­tió la orden ejec­u­tiva DACA que per­mite a algunos jóvenes indoc­u­men­ta­dos que no nacieron en Esta­dos Unidos pero lle­garon al país a una edad tem­prana solic­i­tar per­miso de tra­bajo tem­po­ral  y pide a los agentes del ICE  que se absten­gan de deportarlos .

El movimiento anti-inmigrante tam­bién va más allá al tratar de evi­tar la leg­is­lación pro-inmigrantes. Los activis­tas del movimiento inten­tan imple­men­tar leyes y políti­cas restric­ti­vas tales como may­ores restric­ciones en la inscrip­ción de votantes en forma de req­ui­si­tos de iden­ti­fi­cación de votantes y leyes para que se util­ice úni­ca­mente el inglés a nivel local y estatal.

Para mayor infor­ma­ción, por favor con­sulte “Anti-Immigrant Move­ment Imple­ments Nativist State Strate­gies in 2014”.

 

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March 7, 2014 5

Anti-Immigrant Movement Dealt Three Major Blows In One Day

Ear­lier this week, two U.S. Supreme Court orders and a set­tle­ment agree­ment out of South Car­olina dealt major blows to the anti-immigrant movement’s agenda.supreme-court-east-facade

On March 3, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals by the cities of Hazle­ton, Penn­syl­va­nia, and Farm­ers Branch, Texas, let­ting stand lower court rul­ings that had struck down both cities’ anti-immigrant ordi­nances.  Hazle­ton and Farm­ers Branch gained national noto­ri­ety when they passed ordi­nances bar­ring undoc­u­mented immi­grants from rent­ing prop­erty in the towns. 

In both cases, lower courts struck down the ordi­nances as uncon­sti­tu­tional and pre­empted by fed­eral law.  The Supreme Court’s orders deny­ing the appeals requests end the legal bat­tles, which have been ongo­ing since 2006, and secure a per­ma­nent vic­tory for immi­gra­tion and civil rights groups. 

On the same day as the Supreme Court’s orders, South Car­olina offi­cials set­tled a law­suit with immi­grant and civil rights groups over the state’s anti-immigrant laws.  In 2011 South Car­olina passed a law sim­i­lar to Arizona’s SB 1070 that, among other things, required local law enforce­ment to inves­ti­gate people’s immi­gra­tion sta­tus if they had rea­son to believe the per­son was undocumented. 

The pro­vi­sion, com­monly known as “papers please,” effec­tively required local law enforce­ment offi­cers to func­tion as immi­gra­tion enforcers.  In a let­ter sub­mit­ted to the court signed jointly by the Attor­ney Gen­eral and the Solic­i­tor Gen­eral, ear­lier this week South Car­olina agreed that local law enforce­ment would not hold peo­ple purely to deter­mine immi­gra­tion sta­tus.  The let­ter fur­ther con­ceded that the law does not per­mit state and local offi­cials to arrest or hold any­one believed to be undoc­u­mented “for any pur­pose, even to trans­fer the indi­vid­ual to fed­eral custody.”

The Supreme Court orders and South Car­olina set­tle­ment are major defeats for the anti-immigrant move­ment and its “attri­tion through enforce­ment” agenda. In the early to mid-2000s, the move­ment crafted this agenda, also known as “self-deportation.”

The goal was to make life so dif­fi­cult for immi­grants that they would “self-deport” from the city or state and move to another, or ulti­mately back to their coun­try of ori­gin.  Kris Kobach, the Kansas sec­re­tary of state and a lawyer with the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of the extreme anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tion Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), is the mas­ter­mind behind attri­tion through enforce­ment and one of the lead­ers pro­mot­ing the agenda today. Kobach helped to draft and defend the ordi­nances in Farm­ers Branch, Hazel­ton, and many other cities as well as Arizona’s SB 1070 law.

The Supreme Court orders and South Car­olina set­tle­ment are part of a wider trend of defeat for the anti-immigrant move­ment.   Since the begin­ning of 2013 there has been a major decline in anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion intro­duced at the state level nation­wide. Pro-immigrant leg­is­la­tion is on the rise and the anti-immigrant move­ment is on the defense, attempt­ing to stop this influx of leg­is­la­tion instead of con­tin­u­ing to draft “attri­tion through enforce­ment” bills. These lat­est devel­op­ments send a clear mes­sage to the anti-immigrant move­ment and state and local leg­is­la­tors that anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion not only divides com­mu­ni­ties but it does not hold up in court.

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February 7, 2014 3

Challenging Anti-Immigrant Bias with Education

Crit­i­cism of immi­grant pol­icy is not an excuse to under­mine the human­ity of oth­ers with the kind of vit­riol that dom­i­nated the inter­net, espe­cially Twit­ter, after the Atlanta-based Coca Cola Com­pany aired a com­mer­cial with “Amer­ica the Beau­ti­ful,” sung in dif­fer­ent lan­guages and fea­tur­ing a diver­sity of peo­ple dur­ing the Super Bowl.

The term immi­grant is a descrip­tor, not a slur. How­ever, it is often used in a pejo­ra­tive way. For those who are will­ing to den­i­grate oth­ers because of immi­gra­tion sta­tus, per­ceived immi­gra­tion sta­tus, or the mis­guided per­cep­tion that spo­ken lan­guage relates to immi­gra­tion sta­tus, we need to make one thing clear. Bias and hate have no place in civil society.

Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy reminded us in his 1963 accep­tance speech for ADL’s America’s Demo­c­ra­tic Legacy Award, “The con­tri­bu­tion of immi­grants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in reli­gion, in pol­i­tics, in busi­ness, in the arts, in edu­ca­tion, and even in ath­let­ics, and enter­tain­ment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immi­grant background.”

Prej­u­dice is learned and counter speech is an impor­tant part of chal­leng­ing prej­u­dice and bias wher­ever we see it, includ­ing online and in our every­day lives.

Every­one can engage in counter speech by respond­ing when they see bias and chal­leng­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, instances of racism and xeno­pho­bia related to the topic of immi­gra­tion are com­mon. In addi­tion, edu­ca­tors can play a unique role in address­ing bias in soci­ety by using the class­room to chal­lenge biased ideals, and in this case, chal­leng­ing anti-immigrant bias among youth. The les­son plan  “Hud­dled Mass or Sec­ond Class: Chal­leng­ing Anti-Immigrant Bias” for grades 3 to 12 can help edu­ca­tors move our nation closer to a more per­fect, less biased nation. Don’t have the time to do a full anti-bias les­son? Famil­iar­ize your­self with some myths and facts on immi­grants and immi­gra­tion.

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