Friday, October 7, 2011

Human Rights Watch on Immigrant Injustice in the US

Grace Meng, a researcher from Human Rights Watch, has a great commentary today about the decline in living conditions for undocumented immigrants in the United States.
We already know that the conditions in states that have passed punitive immigration laws (eg: Alabama) have deteriorated significantly, but Meng points out that the Obama administration's stance has the ICE tormenting undocumented people all over the country.
Undocumented immigrants have long been afraid of government officials, but that fear is now translating into a fear of the justice system. Immigrants avoid going to court in communities from Fresno to Rochester, even to pay traffic tickets or to help a family member with translation, because Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents like to hang out by the courthouse. In North Carolina, a victim of domestic violence told me she would never again call the police for help after being questioned more about her immigration status than her safety the first time she called.
Naturally, this fear is likely to continue until Congress passes some form of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In the meantime, we will have to hope that SCOTUS gets its hands on the Alabama law or one like it and strikes down punitive laws like this for good.

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