CIS has cooked up a plan to try to convince us that a majority of Latinos support the mass deportation of the 12 milllion immigrants living and working in the U.S. without authorization. Half-baked polling and research is nothing new for these folks, but onto the real research… A May 2009 poll of Latinos nationwide conducted by Latino Decisions found that: “…over 80% of Latino voters said they supported Obama’s plan that included increased border security, fines for undocumented immigrants, and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants meeting certain requirements – just 14% of Latinos opposed the president’s plan.”

This week the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the “think tank” of the anti-immigrant lobby, announced the results of a “new” poll purporting to show that people of color, including Latinos, support their anti-immigrant agenda. Coming from the same group whose leader recently argued that Judge Sotomayor should change her name to sound more “Anglo,” and who has previously blamed immigrants for global warming, their work should be viewed with deep suspicion.

Chief Lisa Womack of Elgin, IL; Sheriff Richard Wiles of El Paso, TX; and Chief Sam Granato of Yakima, WA, participated in a telephonic press conference yesterday sponsored by the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative (LEEI). They called on President Obama and Congress to (in Chief Granato’s words) “step up to the plate” on reform. Meanwhile, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran told the Chicago Tribune that he supports comprehensive immigration reform, calling it “morally the right thing to do.”

A report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security and conducted by the research firm Westat reveals defects in E-Verify, the immigration status verification system. E-Verify “doesn’t get it right half the time,” the AP writes, while Univision.com headlines its article “E-Verify’s certainty in doubt.”

This week I was struck all over again by the power and courage of a very simple act: four young people who decided to take matters into their own hands and make an epic journey from Florida to Washington DC, on foot. Their goal? To raise awareness about the Dream Act and show the urgency of real immigration reform for youth who were brought to the U.S. at a young age.

On Sunday March, 21st tens of thousands of people will flood the National Mall in our nation’s capitol, demanding immigration reform now. From the We March FOR America site:

Our vision of reform includes immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens working shoulder to shoulder to achieve better wages, working conditions, and labor protections.

As activists, organizers and communities ramp up efforts leading up to the march, I want to make sure we highlight the great work happening at the local and state levels too.

The buzz continues in the Spanish-language press around actions in support of immigration reform and the March 21st march in Washington. EFE recounts an interview with a cook on a food-service truck in Los Angeles who told the news service, between preparing orders of tacos and burritos, how happy he is to be participating in “Tacos for Justice” (“Tacos para la Justicia”) because the movement will allow him to do his part “to win immigration reform and keep families together.” Articles in Hoy (Laredo, TX), Noticia Hispanoamericana (New York), La Prensa (Orlando) and Frontera (Tijuana) also refer to pro-reform activities.

The Spanish-language press continues to anticipate the march for immigration reform planned for March 21st in Washington. Notimex quotes Margarita Ramon of Inquilinos y Trabajadores (Tenants and Workers) saying: “We will demonstrate the power and the collective importance of this discontented community.”

As we mentioned briefly yesterday, Columbian-Lebanese pop superstar Shakira (Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) is the latest public figure to call on President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Which is pretty significant, considering Shakira got the full Oval Office treatment yesterday. “White House officials told Shakira that they hope to reach an agreement this year with the Republican Party to legalize undocumented immigrants, her representative said.”

“The GOP expressed worries that the $15 billion jobs package crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), does not go far enough to ensure that businesses don’t use new-jobs tax credits in the bill to write off jobs given to illegal immigrants.” Sound familiar? It should. Restrictionist members of the GOP have been playing the ‘immigrant’ card on nearly every major piece of legislation that’s come before Congress this session. They started off playing politics with sick kids, but now they are holding jobs for unemployed Americans hostage in order to score cheap political points on the backs of America’s most vulnerable workers and families.