A report released today finds that over the past several years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has allowed a “cowboy mentality” to flourish, including SWAT-team style raids of homes that violate constitutional law and basic standards of humanity…The report states that agents were required to obtain informed consent from a resident before they entered a private residence. In 86 percent of the Nassau and Suffolk County arrest reports, and in one quarter of the New Jersey cases, no consent was recorded.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is holding a hearing today on employment verification issues – the latest in a series of hearings examining different facets of the broken immigration system. Senator Schumer, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, recently wrote of his intentions to “introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation by Labor Day that secures our border, stops the flow of illegal aliens to the United States and requires all illegal aliens present in the United States to quickly register their presence with the U. S. government and start paying taxes or face imminent deportation.”

An array of state and local law enforcement officials and organizations are demanding federal action on immigration reform. Leaders in law enforcement from across the nation are pointing to the broken immigration system’s impact on community policing and public safety, and asking to be part of the effort to develop a lasting immigration solution for America.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to both revamp and expand 287(g), the program in which the federal government authorizes local law enforcement to engage in immigration enforcement. Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

“We are troubled that the federal government is expanding the 287(g) program before proving that they can improve on its many flaws. At a time when law enforcement is under siege from deep cuts in revenue, the last thing many of our front line police want is to spend precious time and resources on chasing busboys and landscapers. As implemented by the Bush Administration, the 287(g) program has hurt the practice of community policing and taken the focus away from real criminals.”

In an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), said that he is preparing a comprehensive immigration reform bill to introduce by Labor Day. In June, Senator Schumer outlined his principles for immigration reform legislation, and many of Schumer’s principles were echoed in a report released this week by the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on Immigration.

Today, the Senate is considering the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill and predictably, Republican Senators who blocked comprehensive immigration reform in the past are trying to weigh the bill down with a litany of piecemeal, deportation-only measures. Amendments by Senators Sessions, DeMint, Grassley, and Kyl offer the false promise of control and order, when they would actually cause chaos in U.S. workplaces and take us further from an immigration system that works for America. So far, a Sessions amendment expanding employment eligibility verification and a DeMint amendment requiring further construction of the border fence have passed, with some bipartisan support.

Today, an independent and bipartisan task force released the findings of their report on immigration reform at the Council on Foreign Relations. The task force, led by former Governor Jeb Bush (R -FL) and former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, presented their recommendations during a panel this morning.

“The recommendations of this high-powered, diverse and bipartisan panel clearly underscore the urgent need for fundamental immigration reform if we are to make our nation stronger, more competitive and more secure,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.

“Vice President Biden deserves high praise for making time during his visit to Iraq to confer one of the most important honors this country can bestow on an immigrant: citizenship,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “Immigrants from all walks of life and all backgrounds put their lives on the line every day in our armed forces because they believe in the American Dream. These servicemen and women have truly earned their citizenship by serving the country they call home.”