News / USA

US Illegal Immigrants, Mass Deportations Face New Scrutiny

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office jail officers, who lost their federal power to check whether inmates are in the county illegally, give Sheriff Joe Arpaio a standing ovation after they turned in their credentials when federal officials pulled the Sheriff'
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office jail officers, who lost their federal power to check whether inmates are in the county illegally, give Sheriff Joe Arpaio a standing ovation after they turned in their credentials when federal officials pulled the Sheriff'
Nico Colombant

The U.S. government is currently reviewing orders to deport thousands of illegal immigrants in two cities, at a time of great division on the issue at federal and local levels. In the past fiscal year, a record 396,000 undocumented immigrants were deported from the United States, with more than 300,000 cases still pending.

The port city of Baltimore, Maryland, also known by its nickname “Charm City,” is one of the cities where U.S. federal immigration authorities are trying out new ways in dealing with a large caseload of deportation orders.

The other city is high-altitude Denver, Colorado.

Divergent views

In both places, illegal immigrants without violent criminal records may be allowed to stay, while cases against illegal immigrants deemed to have serious criminal records may be expedited.

One politician not happy at all with the experiment, which runs until the middle of January, is Maryland House of Delegates Republican Pat McDonough.

He recently wrote a newspaper opinion piece saying Baltimore was being turned into what he calls an “amnesty city.”

“What this does is it creates a magnet and incentive for people who are in this country without lawful presence to flock to Baltimore. And there are consequences to that,” said McDonough.

Economic issues cited


McDonough says consequences include added costs to provide bilingual services, added pressures on emergency rooms to deal with uninsured illegal immigrants, higher unemployment among legal residents, and threats to public safety.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said it was not conducting interviews on the immigration case review.

In an email statement, it said the U.S. government is trying to focus immigration enforcement resources on those convicted of crimes, recent border crossers and what it called egregious immigration law violators.

Pro-immigrant activists have complained too many non-violent illegal immigrants are being deported, in a rush by the agency to boost statistics and receive more funding.

Review and considerations

Mary Giovagnoli, the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center director, calls the current two-city review a small step in the right direction.  

“Truly moving on is really messy, and like any major social issue you do not resolve it right away. In that sense, it is not unlike the civil rights movement or the voting rights movement or any other number of issues that took years and years to really resolve and get right because you are both changing the laws, and you are changing hearts and minds,” said Giovagnoli.

The review comes at a time when lawmakers in more and more U.S. states are passing tough anti-immigration laws.

But the federal government is pushing back on that front as well, using challenges in the court system and saying it has exclusive authority to regulate immigration.

There also have been protests by those favoring fewer deportations. In some states like Alabama, civil rights leaders recently marched for families to be kept together, as in recent months, detained or deported illegal immigrant parents were separated from their U.S.-born citizen children.

Activists in other cities, like Iowa City, are going even further, seeking to make the college town Iowa’s first so-called sanctuary city to protect illegal immigrants from federal immigration law.

More than 30 cities in the United States have gone this route, with some even banning officials from asking people about their immigration status. Activists say it saves the city money while also creating a stronger sense of community - claims staunch opponents to illegal immigration find outrageous.



You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid