Tag Archives: Georgia

Economic strategy in Georgia welcomes immigrants*. [*Only applies to detention centers]

18 Apr

Irwin Detention CenterGeorgian economic strategy welcome immigrants*.( *Only applies to detention centers), The Nation, 4.10.12
As Georgia’s state legislature advances anti-immigrant laws, one small impoverished county tried to stake its future on immigrants. The annual per-capita income in Irwin county is just under $15,000, creating a need for any type of economic growth. However, they are not talking about bringing in immigrant labor to work in poultry processing or in farming. Local leaders wanted to bring in the immigrant detention business. County leaders tried to sell the idea of a detention facility to ICE, even though the location is less than ideal. Irwin County is far removed from legal services and other similar facilities in rural Georgia have been plagued with human rights abuses. With millions of dollars at stake, leaders of Irwin County are only considering the bed-spaces they might be renting to ICE. Illustrating the how the detention industrial complex pits a poor community against immigrants.

Nine Undocumented Immigrants Die in Car Crash, AP, 4.12.12
Last week, a teenager crashed a van with undocumented immigrants in Southern Texas. The teen was stopped at a border checkpoint, at which point several passengers escaped, leading border agents on a chase. The teen drove away in the van, only making it three blocks before crashing, tossing the remaining passengers from the van. Three went to hospital, nine died in the accident. In court proceedings he said that he was forced to drive the van because of threats by smugglers. The tragedy demonstrates the intersection of two immigration policies: 1) the economic situation that drives immigrants to enter hazardous situations, 2) militarized border leading to dangerous border crossings. The 15 year old boy has been charged with 9 counts of murder.

Camouflaged men gun down two immigrants at the border, LA Times, 4.13.12
In another demonstration of the danger at the border, two men in camouflage opened fire on a Chevy pick-up truck Northwest of Tucson, Arizona. The truck was carrying 20-30 undocumented immigrants when attacked. Two of the men in the truck died: one was from Toluca, Mexico, and the other from Guatemala. Although exact cause for the attack has not been determined, authorities are pointing blame to the lawless nature of the drug smuggling and border crossing common in the area.

Obama pledges to do more comprehensive immigration reform in his second term, The Hill, 4.14.12
“I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term,”  said Obama when interviewed by Univision on comprehensive immigration reform. He faces the challenge of building support among Latinos, while explaining immigration policies, such as deporting over one million immigrants in the first three years of his presidency. Candidate Obama made a similar promise about enacting immigration reform his first year of office while he was running for president in 2008.

Undocumented workers pay billions in Social Security taxes, 12.25.11-1.2.12

4 Jan
A common myth is that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes. But, a recent article in The Seattle Times shows that each year billions of dollars are deducted from undocumented workers’ pay checks, and this money goes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Medicare. The funds go into what is called an Earning Suspense File, established to collect money from filers whose names do not match social security numbers. In 2009, the last year for which figures were available, there were $72.8 billion in wages from 7.7 million workers whose names did not match the social security numbers. Of this, approximately $9 billion went to the SSA system and an additional $2.1 billion went to Medicare. In addition, they also pay sales tax, income taxes and rent, which landlords use to pay property taxes. Instead of seeing the benefits from these billions, undocumented workers face accusations that they do not pay taxes.
This inaccurate – and discriminatory- accusation is just another example of how U.S. policies and society exploit and scapegoat our undocumented workers. Less obvious are the health repercussions of these false assumptions. For instance, many undocumented workers will not be able to claim the benefits to which they contribute, such as Medicare or Social Security pensions. The “immigrants-do-not-pay-taxes” myth also stigmatizes workers and encourages flawed policies, such as E-verify, that further marginalize undocumented workers. Anti-immigrant systems and policies exploit immigrant workers, when what our society needs to do is recognize the contributions of our workers and treat them fairly. One way to start is by exposing these discriminatory myths.
In Other News
Calif. bans car tow practice that hit illegal immigrants, USA Today, 12.27.11
On Sunday, a new law took effect that prohibits police from impounding cars at checkpoints if the only offense is not having a license. Immigrant advocates have long critiqued checkpoints as unjustly targeting undocumented immigrants while towing companies gain huge profits from impounding fees.
As Deportations Rise to Record Levels, Most Latinos Oppose Obama’s Policy, Pew Hispanic Research Center, 12.28.11
The report finds that “By a ratio of more than two-to-one (59% versus 27%), Latinos disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling deportations of unauthorized immigrants.”
Immigration laws pose a test of states’ rights in Supreme Court, LA Times, 12.28.11
While federal judges have blocked anti-immigrant laws introduce by conservatives in half a dozen states like South Carolina and Arizona,  the Supreme Court’s conservative majority may shift against immigrant rights advocates.

E-verify sections of Alabama and Georgia’s anti-immigration law now in effect, 1.2.12
Employers in Alabama and Georgia are now required to use the E-verify system, which mandates employers to sign a document confirming that “they’ve e-verified their employees….[and] are complying with federal law.”