Seventy-two massacre victims found dead in Mexico were migrants who were extorted by gunmen on their way to Texas, according to a witness. Read the NY Times story here. The victims, 58 men and 14 women were reportedly from Central and South America. A drug cartel is suspected, reports AP.
The Los Angeles Times has this story about another deadly aspect of migration over the border. Even though illegal immigration appears to be down this year overall, the number of deaths of people trying to cross the desert could set a record, the paper reports.
Earlier this month, the Phoenix New Times had a harrowing story looking into the violent world of human smuggling. It starts here.
USA Today has a detailed story today about the coming legal battle over Arizona’s enforcement law. The governor has created a legal defense fund, as lawsuits try to stop the law from taking effect July 29. One advocate for the law says the “alien side” has many more attorneys than the defenders of the law.
Meanwhile the rhetoric is still flying after the fact-checking of Gov. Jan Brewer’s claims about beheadings in the desert and about most illegal immigrants being drug mules.
A coalition of groups opposed to the law are due in court Thursday in their effort to stop implementation. A federal judge will here from both sides. The court motion is available here in PDF form. To read the law itself, click here.
The Justice Department says Arizona’s immigration-enforcement law is designed to “rival or supplant” federal immigration policy, making it illegal. The long-expected lawsuit, filed today, also raises civil rights concerns, reports the Washington Post. Critics have protested the law for giving police broad powers to question and detain those they suspect are undocumented.
Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, criticized the lawsuit and defended the state law as “simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law.”
The Post links to the federal complaint here.
And for a reality check on some of the public statements made lately on immigration, please check out PolitiFact’s roundup.
The executive director of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition and two New York City council members were among 16 people arrested in a civil disobedience action today at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, to press federal officials on immigration reform. It’s the first of three actions planned on consecutive Mondays. NY1 has a video report.
Here is a statement on behalf of those arrested, according to the New York Immigration Coalition. Betsy Palmieri, of the community coalition, is one of the 16 who signed the joint statement.
“Being conscientiously of opinion that our current immigration laws betray our core principles of democracy, inclusiveness and justice; that they allow for Arizona’s immoral and unconstitutional SB1070; and that their continued enforcement through detention and deportation separates families and destroys communities; we are compelled to escalate our call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the face of inaction from our nation’s elected representatives.
“Today we stand in solidarity with the millions who contribute to our communities and economy while being denied full access to them. Our act of civil disobedience is performed with the belief that our laws can—and should—be better, and that our nation’s leaders cannot stand on the sidelines as our society’s core values are betrayed by a broken and immoral immigration system.
“We invite the enforcement of the law upon ourselves in the hope that our arrest today will be the catalyst for principled leadership from the President and Congress and for meaningful Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will put an end to the arrests and other mistreatments faced by our friends, families, congregations, and communities.”
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Speaking of E-Verify (the database used to check workers’ immigration status): Employers in Arizona are now required to use the system, and the Arizona Republic has turned up some unintended consequences. Workers going further “underground” to find cash-paying jobs. And some are borrowing the names and Social Security numbers of friends who are U.S. citizens.
The story profiles one worker who lost his factory job, where he paid taxes under a made-up number. Now he works for cash or uses a friend’s Social Security number. At one point an employer had another solution: To use the number of a former employer. “You are now Pedro,” the boss reportedly said. “You will get Pedro’s check.” You can see the story here.
Also, the Providence Journal reports here on the complaints over E-Verify in Rhode Island, where it is required for contractors hired by the state.