Detailed report on the many costs of detaining immigrants

The National Immigration Forum has published a detailed report on governmental policies regarding the detention of immigrants.

Titled “Immigrants Behind Bars:  How, Why, and How Much?” the report documents the high costs to local communities of incarcerating immigrants in county jails, costs that often are not reimbursed by the federal government.

Because of the recent focus on enforcement and detention, persons who have legal status in the United States are unlawfully detained due to errors or lack of knowledge of immigration laws.

To read the full report, please click here.

“Secure Communities” program often targets immigrants with no criminal records

Critics argue that the federal government’s “Secure Communities” program, which was designed to target immigrants who have committed serious crimes,  is being used to deport some immigrants with clean records.

“We’re not talking about people who are truly dangerous criminals,” said Gary Daniels, Ohio associate director for the American Civil Liberties Union. “These are people who are getting caught in the dragnet of law enforcement.”

“We’re talking about people who want to work, who want to pay taxes, who just want to be left alone to live.”

Click here to read the full article.

Warren, MI student faces deportation after graduation

An 18-year-old student at Cousino High School in Warren, Michigan will soon graduate near the top of her class, was named to the Macomb area conference all-academic team, and has been accepted to the University of Michigan’s pre-medical program, according to a report by WWJ Newsradio 950.

But upon graduation from high school, Ola Kaso, an Albanian who has been in the United States with her family since she was 4 years old, faces deportation back to Albania.

“I don’t even know where to start over at. I mean, quite frankly, it would be a culture shock. I know nothing but the United States culture, the way of life, the language. I’m completely immersed within this culture. And to move to a place that’s completely foreign to me is just so, I don’t know, it’s bewildering,” Kaso said.

Click here to read the story.

Opinion: “Border Security First” Advocates Block Real Immigration Reform

The Center for American Progress recently published a thoughtful opinion piece criticizing the focus of some legislators on obtaining an impossibly secure border before considering comprehensive immigration reform.

The authors of this piece argue that, although border security is important, legislators should pursue that goal along with, and not instead of, comprehensive immigration reform.

Click here to read the opinion piece.


Arab-Americans help Dearborn’s population increase

Dearborn, Michigan recorded a slight increase in population from 2000 to 2010, according to U.S. Census figures.  Dearborn’s population rose from 97,775 to 98,153 people during the 10-year period, while most surrounding communities registered population declines, and Detroit’s population plummeted by 25 percent.

Researchers attribute Dearborn’s population trend, at least in part, to Arab newcomers and other immigrants of Middle Eastern heritage.

The Chicago Tribune reported recently that, according to Michigan demographer Ken Darga, Dearborn’s population statistics “offer some encouragement for the community in an area that has been hammered by a long, painful economic slump.”

“It’s a bit of positive news in an area where there isn’t very positive news,” Darga said.

You can read the Chicago Tribune article here.

Know Your Rights Meeting, Pontiac, Saturday April 2

The Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform Michigan (AIR) will host an “Immigrants Know Your Rights” meeting on Saturday, April 2, 2011, beginning at 12:30 pm at Grace & Peace Community Church, 451 W. Kennett Ave., Pontiac, Michigan 48340.

The meeting will include presentations regarding your rights as an immigrant.  Immigration attorneys will be available to conduct free legal consultations.

Please click here for more information.

Gov. Snyder renews call for more immigrants in Michigan

Gov. Rick Snyder called for more immigrants to settle in Michigan, after reviewing recent U.S. Census data showing that Michigan is the only state that had an overall loss of population from 2000 to 2010.

Speaking recently at an annual “Michigan Muslim Capitol Day” event, Gov. Snyder said, “We need to celebrate diversity; it’s one of our strengths. One of the things I’m proud to say I’m already encouraging, that was in my state of the state message, is the idea of more immigration, particularly for advanced degree people.”

Click here to read more about Gov. Snyder’s speech.