Photo by 888bailbonds/Flickr (Creative Commons)
A Los Angeles County prisoner bus, June 2009. The county extended its participation in the federal 287(g) program in October.
The record number of deportations carried out in the past two years by immigration officials under the Obama administration has been fueled, in large part, by the use of two controversial federal programs that work in cooperation with local agencies, Secure Communities and 287(g).
Both predate the current administration, but their use has been expanded as the Obama administration has shifted its focus to catching and deporting immigrants with criminal records, which the programs are meant to target. Administration officials have lauded both as instrumental to enforcement, culminating with the deportation of almost 800,000 immigrants in two years.
But neither program has worked exactly as planned, drawing heavy scrutiny this year from both immigrant advocates and government officials, including some in jurisdictions that have tried to opt out of one - the Secure Communities fingerprint-sharing program - and learned they can't.
Photo by 24oranges.nl/Flickr (Creative Commons)
The short of it: Blogger Anna John, who is of Indian descent, had written last week about her exchange with an African-American taxi driver who was interested in John's ethnicity because she had a half-Indian niece. The post drew several comments, including this one, below, which in turn inspired yesterday's post.
From the reader, American RogueDC:
I remember very well having my heart broken by a co-worker (an Indian woman) whom I thought was a friend. We had worked together for more than ten years. One day, while viewing some photographs she was sharing of her female relatives taken during her baby-shower (I in fact had just given her my gift for the baby), I said, “You should introduce me to some of your nieces.” Her reply was simple, “You are too dark!” Until that moment, my being an African-American man who is only slightly darker in skin tone than her had never “seemed” to be a problem.
Illegal immigrants smuggled into Newport Beach on boat, authorities say - Los Angeles Times Eight to 10 people reportedly came ashore on a small boat yesterday and shed their life jackets and some clothes before scattering. The boat was a panga, a traditional type of fishing boat also used lately by smugglers.
DREAM Act Battle Lost, But War Continues for Activists in 2011 - Fox News Latino Students and other supporters say they will continue pushing for the defeated measure, which would have granted conditional legal status to undocumented youths attending college or joining the military.
Immigration Overhaul Is Unlikely Without a Shift in Public Attitudes - Capital Journal - Wall Street Journal A pollster's take on why broad reforms calling for legalization aren't going anywhere.
Md. legislation proposes in-state tuition benefits for some illegal immigrants - The Washington Post A proposed state law in Maryland would offer lower cost in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants who have attended state high schools and whose parents are taxpayers.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
A man waits to be processed at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Arizona.
It was the Obama administration's strategic trade-off on immigration: A stepped-up approach to enforcement which, the President hoped, would help win over Republican lawmakers for bipartisan support of a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration system.
In the end, with insufficient support for anything broader, the only thing to stick this year has been the enforcement. The Obama administration has deported nearly 800,000 immigrants in the past two years, more than during any other two-year period in the nation's history.
The exact numbers for this year have been disputed: The record figure released last fall of more than more than 392,000 deportations in fiscal year 2010, which topped the 2009 record, turned out to include more than 19,000 immigrants removed the previous fiscal year, as well as a small number of repatriations that would normally have been counted by the U.S. Border Patrol.