The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, recently published a report studying a federal law that allows the federal government to delegate enforcement of immigration laws to state and local officers.
Named for Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the so-called 287(g) Agreements allow state and local officers to ask people their immigration status, detain people for alleged violations of immigration laws until the federal government takes custody, and issue charges that begin the process of removing people from the United States.
The report concludes that under the 287(g) Agreements, many state and local officials are not focusing on finding and removing people who have committed serious crimes, but rather are spending approximately half of their resources on identifying and detaining people who have committed misdemeanors and traffic offenses. The report further concludes that the program is implemented very differently in different parts of the United States.
The report calls for a review of the program to ensure consistent implementation of 287(g) Agreements across the United States, and to focus primarily on serious criminal offenders rather than on people who have committed minor crimes or traffic offenses.
You can read the full report here.
An editorial in the Houston Chronicle points out the negative effects of state-level legislation regarding immigration, and calls for comprehensive immigration reform.
Arizona, for example, has so far spent more that $1 million in taxpayer dollars for legal fees in attempts to defend its immigration-related statutes in federal court, and has lost much more than that due to boycotts of the state over its immigration policies.
Immigration policy is a national issue, and must be addressed by federal legislation.
You may find the editorial here.
The New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and The Skillman Foundation recently published a report on the effects of immigrants on Michigan’s economy. The study finds that immigrants can play an important role in revitalizing older neighborhoods and helping the region to shift to a healthier economy.
You may find more about the study here.
In his first State of the State address, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder supported the idea of encouraging entrepreneurial immigrants to come to Michigan as a way to help revitalize the state economy. Governor Snyder’s remarks are a refreshing alternative to much of the national discourse about immigration.
In his speech, the Governor stated, “We need to be a place that openly encourages innovators and entrepreneurs that come to our state. The evidence is clear that advanced college degree immigrants can make a tremendous difference in creating a positive economic activity environment,” Snyder said. “Immigration made us a great state and country. It is a time to embrace this concept again as a way to speed our reinvention.”