Morton responds with changes to Secure Communities (SCOMM): politics as usual?

7 Jul

Morton responds with changes to Secure Communities (SCOMM): politics as usual?, NY Times, 6/18/11

John Morton Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

John Morton, Director of ICE

The nation’s leaders have realized that the immigration debate is a top priority for the public who will be heading to polls in November of 2012.  Immigration hawks want tougher rules; immigrant advocates want rules that treat unauthorized residents with humanity. In a presidency that has been defined by compromise, it is likely that neither side will be happy with the result. Obama wants the Latino vote, but he can’t get too friendly lest he push away the undecided independents.
John Morton, the Director of ICE, recently sent out a memo that lets ICE be more forgiving to those caught up in the deportation dragnet who (or who’s spouse): are pregnant, are pursuing higher education, have served in the military, have demonstrated contributions to their community, and variety of other  characteristics that no good ole fashioned American family values, independent voter would quibble with. At the same time, John Morton maintains that the expansion of SCOMM will continue as planned.
How hard it must be to please two constituencies at the same time. One would think that, if you are going to upset at least one group, Obama might go with his conscience on this one.

220,000 children to be excluded from health care  b/c of immigration status, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 6/30/11
A recent study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research funded by two California based foundations estimate that 220,000 will not receive health care coverage because of their immigration status. 150,000 will be excluded from the ACA funded Medi-Cal expansion, 30,000 will not be able to participate in the new “health insurance exchanges,” and the last 40,000 will not apply because of confusion over program requirements. These 220,000 California children represent 20% of the children who are uninsured in the golden state.

True Cost of E-Verify, Center for American Progress, 6/28/11
Lamar Smith of Alabama recently introduced legislation that would mandate all employers in the USA to use E-verify. How ironic that a bill, which claims to promote jobs would cost an estimated 770,000 jobs, $2.6 billion per year to small business, and $190 per person in lost wages.

Neurological disease strike undocumented workers in Texas SPAM factory, Mother Jones, 6/2011
A cluster of workers around the brain smashing station of a SPAM factory in Texas developed a neurological disease that leaves them unable to work. SPAM response starts with denial and moves to avoiding workers comp claims when the former strategy no longer works. Here is a concrete example of unhealthy working conditions faced by people without papers.

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