Monday, January 24, 2011

Hispanic Republicans respond to Iowa's Immigration bill

Hispanic Group Responds to Iowa Immigration Bill and 287(g) Solution

ANKENY, IOWA - Iowa State Representative Windschitl introduced an immigration bill, HF27, which would authorize Iowa law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws, authorize all public employees to share information with DHS, and prohibit sanctuary cities.

The Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) authorizes the federal government to enter into agreements with state and local police, which often has created bureaucracies that wasted millions of tax payer dollars and create monsters like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona. According to a report by the Dept. of Homeland Security, the 287(g) resources have not been focused on undocumented immigrants who pose the greatest risk. In addition to officers not being trained nor supervised properly by ICE, costs went from $5 million in 2006 to $55 million in 2010 - this shows us that 287(g) does not work as intended.   The results of IIRIRA have been very poor, and it appears we might be headed towards the same ideas from the Neanderthal Age. To date, despite widespread complaints about racial profiling across the nation, only one police department has been held accountable for not following program guidelines, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose department is the subject of a massive class action lawsuit for pervasive racial profiling, unlawful detention of Hispanic U.S. citizens, etc.

HF27 also bars local governments from crafting sanctuary policies. The only sanctuary city policy under consideration to our knowledge is in Iowa City, whose proposed policy appears carefully crafted to allow investigation of immigration status only of those actually arrested for a crime, to avoid inhibiting crime victims and witnesses who may be undocumented immigrants from cooperating with police. The primary focus of police should be solving crimes and public safety, not pursuing civil violations of federal law.

HF27 also bars government agencies from prohibiting employees from sharing information with Homeland Security. The vast majority of public employees who do not have specialized training in immigration law enforcement, and we believe this will lead to mistakes and racial profiling. The large majority of Hispanics in the U.S. are citizens or legal immigrants, but many mistakenly believe in the stereotype of Hispanics as undocumented immigrants. So we want school bus drivers calling DHS to report there are Hispanic students on their bus, when they have no idea of their legal status?

Recently, The Journal of Higher Education reported problems in Upstate New York with Customs and Border Patrol agents, who are supposed to be well trained in immigration law, making mistakes and arresting foreign students by mistake, typically students who are adjusting their status or extending their visas and waiting for DHS to process their applications, a process that can take months, sometimes years. Without substantial training, police and public employees should not engage in immigration enforcement.

About Somos Republicans:

Somos Republicans is a national watchdog group and the largest Hispanic Republican grassroots organization in the nation because of our leadership that is pro immigration reform. The Mission of Somos Republicans is to promote political education and information needed to make more informed political decisions. To inspire the Hispanic people to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their neighbors through collaborative political education, volunteer commitment and responsible participation in society. Our vision is to increase the Latino Republican voting block by 100% within two years. To increase voter registration, precinct committeemen recruitment, campaign volunteering, fundraising and events to reflect quality of future Latino leadership.

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