Sunday, October 23, 2011

Which Way, New York?

Will Feds Tolerate Local Obstruction of Immigration Enforcement?

The New York City Council is poised to adopt an ordinance that is designed to severely limit the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal immigration enforcement agency, to identify and remove illegal aliens from the city correctional system. If adopted, the city will join a small list of large cities, including San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, and San Jose, that deliberately obstruct ICE’s operations.

A new Center report, “Which Way, New York? Will Feds Tolerate Local Interference or Assert Their Authority?” examines New York City’s policies and practices and the effect they have on public safety and federal enforcement efforts. It questions the federal government’s passive acceptance of these sanctuary policies and recommends actions that can be taken to discourage such developments.

Key findings:

Three-quarters of all foreign-born arrests in the entire state of New York occur in New York City (NYC). In 2008, the latest year for which data are available, local officers arrested 52,827 immigrants in NYC.

For at least 20 years, NYC has had official policies impeding the enforcement of federal immigration laws. City policies prevent ICE agents from receiving notification of arrested aliens before their release from police custody.

In September 2009, NYC’s Department of Correction adopted, and has since maintained, particularly obstructive policies and procedures for immigration officers and agents attempting to access criminal alien inmates housed in its detention facilities. Jail staff are required to follow procedures that actively encourage aliens to refuse to speak with ICE agents.

Since the implementation of these procedures, the number of aliens charged with immigration violations at the city’s main detention facility has been cut nearly in half.

Not withstanding its lack of cooperation, NYC has garnered millions of dollars each year in federal SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) funds since the inception of this program to reimburse jurisdictions for the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens criminals.

Despite all of the above facts, the federal government has never taken action to overcome the obstacles placed in its way by NYC – either through lawsuits, withholding of funding, or executive action – so that it can perform its job of immigration law enforcement in the most effective and efficient way possible.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: Contact: Jessica Vaughan, (508)346-3380, The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States. The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Judge dismisses Arizona immigration suit

A federal judge dismissed Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's lawsuit in which she said the Obama administration failed to enforce immigration laws or secure the border.

The suit from Brewer, who argued the federal government failed to protect Arizona from an "invasion" of illegal immigrants, was a counter-suit to a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's strict immigration law.

The Arizona Republic reported U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton said higher appeals courts had determined states cannot sue the federal government for failing to prevent illegal immigration.

Bolton said Brewer's contention that the federal government failed to protect Arizona from "invasion" by illegal immigrants is a political issue to be decided by lawmakers, not the courts.

Brewer released a statement calling Bolton's decision "frustrating but not entirely surprising." "It is but the latest chapter in a story that Arizonans know all too well," she said. "The federal government ignores its constitutional and statutory duty to secure the border. Federal courts avert their eyes. American citizens pay the price."

The counter-suit argued the U.S. government has failed to gain "operational control" of the border, isn't enforcing federal immigration law and has not adequately reimbursed the state for spending more than $760 million to incarcerate illegal immigrants.

The counter-suit also contended the federal government tried to prevent the state from protecting its citizens by filing a suit to challenge the state immigration law. In the counter-suit, Arizona requested the court require the federal government to complete construction of 700 miles of fence on the Mexican border, provide enough immigration officers in Arizona to respond to local law enforcement requirements and let the state enforce federal immigration laws.

The Arizona immigration law requires law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status during routine law enforcement operations if officers have reason to suspect people are in the United States illegally.

The Republic said the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in the next few months whether it will hear the Justice Department case on the Arizona law.


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