On Wednesday, March 11th, leaders from Arizona and across the nation joined Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) at a press conference on Capitol Hill to announce community support for a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The DOJ informed Sheriff Arpaio that he will be investigated in a letter delivered to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office yesterday. Under a banner reading “Americans United to Defend Civil Rights,” the leaders presented over 38,000 petition signatures that have been gathered to date in support of the investigation. Signatures were gathered by many organizations including: Sojourners, MomsRising, ACORN, United Farm Workers and America’s Voice.

“The news of the DOJ investigation is a welcome first step towards re-establishing justice in Maricopa County. We are confident that the investigation will reveal the Arpaio approach to law enforcement for what it really is – un-American, ineffective, and anti-Latino. As a result, we expect Arpaio’s authority to check immigration status under the 287(g) program to be terminated.” “Sheriff Arpaio’s actions have long been the best example of why the federal government needs to take back control of immigration enforcement. While Arpaio’s abuses are particularly vile, we support Secretary Napolitano’s call for a full review of the 287(g) program and were troubled by the recent GAO report questioning its effectiveness.

CIS takes inflated 2005 percentages related to the construction industry, combines them with inflated percentages regarding the 2007 construction industry, and concludes with an inflated outcome that has no credibility whatsoever. For a more complete takedown of CIS’s bogus claims, see this fact check from the Immigration Policy Center. Unfortunately, CIS continues to be treated as an unbiased research institution by some media outlets and policymakers. It is not surprising that Fox News Channel can talk about nothing else. After all, in defiance of evidence from the past three election cycles, hard line conservatives still seem to believe blaming immigrants is a good political strategy. But a front page story on USA Today? Come on.

“The Joe Arpaio approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective. Although some members of Congress are pushing to expand the 287(g) program, the GAO report shows that major reforms of the program are needed in order to ensure community safety and protect civil rights. Arpaio’s approach to immigration enforcement uses racial profiling and trumped up charges to go after workers, rather than violent and dangerous felons. It is the wrong course at the wrong time, and Congress and the new Administration must step in to re-assert federal control over immigration.

“The raid yesterday in Washington stands in stark contrast to the President’s vision for common sense immigration policies that target the truly bad actors, keep American families together, and put hard-working undocumented workers on a path to becoming full Americans. Immigration raids targeting non-criminal, undocumented workers will not fix our broken immigration system and they will not make our country safer. “While President Obama has articulated a commitment to moving forward on real, comprehensive immigration reform, his immigration enforcement agency is continuing the same failed strategies of the past.

“America’s Voice welcomes Secretary Solis’ confirmation to lead the U.S. Department of Labor. She is a strong advocate for the rights of all workers and a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. “Secretary Solis understands how our dysfunctional immigration system leads to worker exploitation. When millions of undocumented workers are without the protection of the law, it encourages unscrupulous employers to undercut the wages and working conditions of all workers.

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the nomination of John Morton to head the Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The Department also announced the appointment of Esther Olavarria as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the Department. Both positions will play key roles in shifting enforcement priorities towards the really bad actors and enacting the President’s vision for comprehensive immigration reform.

On Tuesday, President Obama told Eddie “Piol�n” Sotelo, “We’re going to make sure that we begin the process of dealing with the immigration system that’s broken. We’re going to start by really trying to work on how to improve the current system so that people who want to be naturalized, who want to become citizens, like you did, that they are able to do it; that it’s cheaper, that it’s faster, that they have an easier time in terms of sponsoring family members. And then we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform. Now, you know, we need to get started working on it now.