On the heels of several reports critical of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) enforcement and detention tactics, America’s Voice has created a new video demanding that DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano do more to reject the failed strategies of the Bush Administration and move forward on workable comprehensive immigration reform. Yesterday, grassroots activists in New York and Los Angeles launched events with the same theme. These grassroots actions will continue across the country for the next several weeks.
To view the video, go to: www.AmericasVoiceOnline.org/Enough
“Communities around the country are becoming increasingly frustrated with DHS’s continuation of controversial and ineffective Bush-era enforcement practices, and with good reason,” said Adam Luna, Political Director of America’s Voice. “President Obama promised a new approach to immigration, but recent developments suggest a gap between his promise of significant change and DHS’s follow through to fulfill this commitment.”
This video is based on a recently released public study of the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s home raid operations by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University, which found that immigration agents engaged in widespread constitutional violations over the course of several years. Some of the agents’ most egregious violations include entering and searching homes without legal authority, and seizing people without any basis other than their racial or ethnic appearance or limited English proficiency.
Although DHS deserves credit for shifting some enforcement priorities, and has dialed back the use of terrorizing residential and workplace raids as practiced under the Bush Administration, the Department has failed to investigate the widespread flaunting of the law by its agents. In fact, in response to the Cardozo report, whose findings were endorsed by leading law enforcement officials, DHS said only the following in an e-mail to the New York Times: “The men and women of I.C.E. are sworn to uphold the laws of our nation. We do so professionally, humanely and with an acute awareness with the impact enforcement has on the individuals we encounter. While I.C.E. prioritizes our efforts by targeting fugitives who have demonstrated a threat to national security or public safety, we have a clear mandate to pursue all immigration fugitives.”
According to Luna, “Imagine the outcry and the investigations that would be already underway if those who had their doors kicked in and guns pointed in their faces were rich and powerful. It should be no different for hardworking immigrant families caught up in a dysfunctional immigration system. That is why advocates across the country are raising their voices and demanding that the injustices of the past and the excesses of the present be confronted and changed by our public officials.”