Ad: [ ? ]
TODAY

Wednesday, October 22

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


The Mechanics
« The Political Miseducation of Me, Part I: Melissa Bean Merry Happy Everybody! »

Immigration Wed Dec 23 2009

Rep. Gutierrez's Immigration Bill

Earlier this month Congressman Luis Gutierrez introduced a comprehensive reform bill (with the too-cute-by-half acronym CIR ASAP, Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act) that would provide a meaningful path to legality and citizenship for millions of families working in the shadows of the economy.

The immigration issue is often shuffled into the "social issues" rubric of American politics, but it is essentially an economic issue. Enforcing a legal regime that keeps a huge number of people participating in the lower rungs of the economy outside of labor law protections has a profound ripple effect. It weakens the bargaining ability of other workers and on a basic level denies some pretty elemental human rights to a lot of people. Mass deportations is neither feasible nor moral; and big business would despair at any move like that, given how much so many industries (particularly light manufacturing, agriculture, and construction) rely on cheap immigrant labor.

What is clear is that the current system is wholly unsustainable. Horror stories of immigrant (and some citizen) treatment by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have bubbled to the surface over the last year; potentially illegal coordination between local governments and ICE have caused friction between law enforcement and immigrant communities. Last fiscal year, ICE gained the dubious distinction of becoming the largest detention system in the United States:


The number of individuals held in custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the just-ended FY 2009 is now estimated to have reached 369,483 detainees, more than twice what the total was in FY 1999. According to a recent agency report, this growth means that ICE is now operating the largest detention system in the country

Gutierrez's bill accomplishes much [PDF], trading off increased funding and resources for border patrol with creation of "safe houses" and protection for workers retaliated against by employers, and the big one, preserving family unity. This has been an issue here in Chicago in several heart breaking cases where parents were separated from children. The bill explicitly allows immigration enforcement activity without tearing apart the family, providing for social services and alternate detention systems. The current ICE detention system--as noted above--often simply contracts out to local prison systems and creates abominable conditions for families.

Of course, the bill is not ideal. Militarization of the border is one particular sticking point: another is that GLBT families are not covered, an issue that has raised the ire of human rights groups:

In a statement released to Windy City Times, Gutierrez said, "The process I am committed to being a part of in Congress will, I hope, address the unacceptable situation that lesbian and gay bi-national couples live under every day. ... Everyone's goal should be a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a commitment to all families and honors our history as a nation of immigrants. That is my goal, and it is inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, too."

The word is that Gutierrez is working to get supporters of the bill in his caucus comfortable with the bill as it is and slowly working in the language that would include GLBT families:

Given that this is Gutierrez's own bill and, according to the [Roll Call] piece, he signed a letter Baldwin circulated in favor of adding the [GLBT] provision, perhaps the strategy here is to let Congressional Hispanic Caucus members "get comfortable in their shoes" around the provision, as Rep. Ortiz suggests in the piece, and prevent outright Catholic opposition to the bill out of the starting gate.

Whatever the case, it is high time we began to dismantle the legal regime that keeps millions of human beings in a legal limbo that allows them to be exploited for profit. That can be accomplished without having to bow to the most backward elements of society that continue to insist that some people are not worthy of equal protection.

 

Carl McGinnis / December 23, 2009 11:00 AM

Everyone must be warned before coming to the United States. Even if you have a visa, you are putting yourself at risk of Homeland Security ICE officers. I have a friend that is from Paris France here on an education visa to finish his degree. He has been here since 2005. His visa is valid until March of 2010, His passport is valid until 2014, and his I-20 is current. He is not illegal. In 2008 He fell in love and married a U.S. citizen that just happens to be addicted to Prescription medications, He knew nothing about this. But he was arrested due to her mistakes. He was placed in detention, scheduled for deportation. He has been in detention center in Pompano Beach Florida for 5 months now. All this because of her mistakes. She should be the one in jail not him. Please everyone coming to America. Think twice. This couple has lost all there savings on lawyers, she lost her job, and they are in the process of losing there home. All this was caused because ICE has the wrong person in jail. They make up any story they want and when they are questioned about it you get nowhere. I have written many letters to Janet Napolitano, Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Ginny Brown-Waite and even President Obama. But no one will listen. So please people think twice about coming to America for any reason. Our immigration system is broken ….they all agree, but you put your life at risk when you enter our borders. Even if you follow the rules you may also lose everything as this couple has. No one will listen, no one cares. This man has never even had a traffic violation and is 51 yrs old. He has never worked in America has always been self supporting and took nothing from Americans social services. His American dream has turned into a night mare. Shame on America. I think it is about time someone revised this immigration and ICE practice. What is illegal in this case is the way DHS is treating this guy. John Morton and Janet N. should be ashamed of themselves. This is just wrong. While in there detention center they have abused him, denied him food and proper medical treatment. He is diabetic and they will not give him the proper food or medical attention. I think it is terrible. The phone system is very poor and not working everyday. They plan it that way so they can not contact there lawyers and family. Someone needs to stop ICE, They are totally out of control. I fear He will be next on the long list of persons that have died while in detention. Until you go to one of these detention centers and see with your own eyes, you will not believe what America is doing. I was shocked, on my first visit and after almost 6 months of seeing what happens, how they have to live. I am still in shock. Trust me it is all about money. He is in a private prison owned by a company called GEO based near Miami Fl. They are paid very well by our tax dollars, but the treatment is unbelievable. I just have to close by saying shame on America. I have seen it with my own eyes. I wonder how many congressmen have stock in this company. They are doing quite well. Just watch for yourself they are GEO on the stock market and are doing well in a bad economy. Makes one think a government contract like this is not a bad investment. I think the government is making a mountain out of a mole hill and now wants to sell climbing equipment!

Brittancus / December 23, 2009 12:06 PM

There are thousands of pro-sovereignty, anti-illegal immigration organizations that are fighting to halt another demented AMNESTY. So if what President Obama has stated that he will approve a so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, with the approval of the Democratic Party leadership will be a devastating Armageddon. Last Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez introduced this proposed law, called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP).More than ever before it would be to the advantage of all the Anti-AMNESTY groups to unify and mobilize every organizations such as NUMBERSUSA, FAIR, CAPSWEB, ALIPAC, AMERICAN PATROL, JUDICIAL WATCH and every opponent group to join a massive build-up against this dark foreboding issue. Most of the American population has absolutely no conception of the implication surrounding this outrageous bill. But any bill legalizing foreign nationals who have scorned our laws is unconstitutional, without THE PEOPLE'S absolute permission.

The millions of illegal people here would pay small fine of $500.00 dollars, learn English and pass a criminal background check. The law suggested stripping police officers of their federally-sanctioned (287 g) powers that detains individuals for immigration and visa violations, according to The Chicago Tribune. Sen. Harry Reid, Pelosi, Napolitano, Schumer and others know that our only true deterrent E-Verify will be obsolete? This is just for those 20 to 30 million illegal aliens and families who live within this nation borders now. Even more millions will be waiting outside the borders, ready to make the rush for US soil, before the president signs the AMNESTY (CIR ASAP) document. THAT WILL BE THE HIGHEST PINNACLE OF MADNESS, FORCED UPON THE AMERICAN WORKER. THEY WILL HAVE TO COMPETE WITH THOSE ALREADY HERE AND THOSE WHO SUDDENLY SWARM INTO AMERICA. All these destitute, unskilled people will need food, housing and welfare support to exist in our society.

In a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, based on the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, analyzed the cost of immigrants based on their specific use of (means-tested) welfare entitlements (both direct and indirect), and revealed that the total immigrant receipt of benefits in--1996--came to $180 billion. Today's costs if audited would support some foreign governments treasuries. Obama and his army of pro-illegal worker lobbyist, faith groups, unions, anti-sovereignty Caucuses, to adjoin and undermine our voting system, by organizing huge numbers who will automatically vote in favor of the Democratic party.

Either a House or Senate bill, that releases millions of foreign workers into our country, will devastate the public safety net. As it is now--California--a SANCTUARY STATE--is under constant bombardment to support uncounted numbers of foreign invaders on the health care, education and penal system. This is owing to a Sacramento Liberal Assembly, which has edged the state to near bankruptcy. Only by the interruption of multi-millions of American citizens, legal residents and congregations of anti-illegal immigration groups will America prevail. Here is the Capitol switchboard number to call 202-224-3121 because your vote is needed to stop any AMNESTY. The last 1986 Immigration bill was never aggressively enforced, that is why millions of illegal immigrants roam freely throughout America? The blame can be placed upon previous administrations as they have always been in collusion with the business, including Wall Street that is the real mechanism that governs our country? That is--WHY--we are taxed to subsidize--CORPORATE WELFARE--with incredulous numbers of lowly paid illegal wages and no benefits. THIS IS ALL ABOUT CORPORATE GREED and the complete indifference to the AMERICAN WORKERS SURVIVAL AND AN OVERPOPULATION FUTURE.


Add a Comment




Please enter the letter z in the field below:



Live Comment Preview


Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="http://blahblahblah.com">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Feature

How Lawsuits, Lobbyists and Parking Meter Deals Led to Ventra

By Jason Prechtel / 2 Comments

Cubic learned early on that if you don't win a contract through bidding, there are other ways to prevail. More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project



About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Monica Reida, mr@gapersblock.com
Mechanics staff inbox: mechanics@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15

Newsletter

Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!

istarchi

Preferred format    Preferred format