Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced big changes to the government program that turns local cops into immigration agents (the “287g” program). The changes are a start, but they haven’t stopped Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s dangerous and racist antics in Maricopa County, Arizona. Last Spring 40,000 Americans like you spoke out against the Sheriff’s tactics. The House Judiciary Committee called for strict review, and the Department of Justice announced it would carry out a federal investigation!

Watch Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) give a a one-minute floor speech today on the urgent need to reform our immigrant detention policies and our nation’s currently unjust immigration system. Rep. Polis is quickly becoming a strong and passionate champion for real, humane, and sensible immigration reform. Watch it:

Duke, a prominent pro-migrant blogger at Migra Matters (click here if you don’t know what a pro-migrant blogger is), has a post up about Senator Schumer’s tough enforcement talk, whether national advocacy groups will repeat errors of the past, and why the McLarty-Bush Council on Foreign Relations report looks like a pretty decent compromise– but warns against it being a starting point.

In a press release, ALIPAC, a vocal anti-immigrant advocacy group, takes a stab at Sotomayor’s membership in NCLR (National Council of La Raza), a mainstream Hispanic equivalent to the NAACP. So, apologies to the Center for Immigration Studies, but its head Mark Krikorian no longer wins the award for most absurd line of attack on the President’s Supreme Court nominee. Nope, William Gheen clearly distinguishes himself there.

The segment highlights the impressive report released last week by an indpendent Council on Foreign Relations Task Force, co-chaired by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) and former White House chief of staff (under Clinton) Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty III, which stated the urgent need for a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s immigration laws succinctly: “The stakes are too high to fail.”

Yesterday we wondered aloud about whether certain Republican Senators would cease and desist from their racial attacks on Judge Sotomayor so that, among other things, the GOP might have a chance to stop bleeding Latino voters. Looks like GOP leadership intends to do no such thing. As the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports: “The confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor have become, in a small but significant way, a referendum on the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

Lots of immigration sideshows last week, but here’s the big picture: Senator Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day. According to the Associated Press: “I think we’ll have a good bill by Labor Day,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “I think the fundamental building blocks are in place to do comprehensive immigration reform.”

Three videos to watch from today’s hearing and a bonus (action) video from our friends at First, a clip of Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), who speaks during the opening day of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing. Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he challenges the popular Republican theme that a 2001 speech that Sotomayor gave on handling issues of race and gender make her a ‘reverse racist’– Watch the video.

Today kicks of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In question is whether Sotomayor has what it takes to become the 111th Supreme Court Justice of the United States, as well as the first Hispanic and third female to serve in the nation’s highest court of law. Stay tuned to watch it live right here.

On the macro-scale, these votes do not amount to much, with the major news this week that Senator Schumer is pushing for a comprehensive immigration bill by Labor Day. Notable, however, is that the GOP will not be stopped from serving up its distinct, if empty, brand of anti-immigrant rhetoric on the Senate floor. Not to mention one which Democrats like Senator Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) should know better than to endorse. On the upside, kudos to newly-minted Senator Franken (D-MN) for taking some solid first votes this week.