Is South Carolina the Next State to Introduce Immigration

Enforcement Laws?

Oct 08, 2010: Lawmakers in South Carolina are currently

investigating potential reforms to their state's immigration

laws. Earlier this week, a congressional judicial subcommittee

listened to testimonies at a public hearing. In that hearing,

Senator Glenn McConnell, who lead the meeting, commented that the

federal government has not adequately enforced immigration laws and

that it is now the states' responsibilities to do so.

“We are determined to do what is necessary to keep people safe

in their homes and on the streets of South Carolina…. This law

has got to be enforced or this country is going to be

overrun,” McConnell said in an interview with a local news

station.

The state's legislature will reconvene early next year and

signs lead to it taking up this issue at that time. At the same

time, state management of immigration legislation is being taken up

by the Supreme Court, which, in November, will review Arizona's

recent legislation that requires companies to use the federal

E-Verify program to confirm the employment eligibility of new

employees.

ICE Presents Record-Breaking Immigration Enforcement Statistics

for FY 2010.

Oct 07, 2010: Earlier this week, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of

the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and John Morton,

Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),

released immigration enforcement statistics that have been achieved

under the Obama administration. In their report, the two directors

state that the Obama administration has imposed approximately $50

million in fines/sanctions for worksite enforcement violations.

Secretary Napolitano also stressed that the Obama administration

would continue to enforce immigration laws to employers through I-9

audits, fines, debarments and other enforcement strategies.

“This administration has focused on enforcing our immigration

laws in a smart, effective manner that prioritizes public safety

and national security and holds employers accountable who knowingly

and repeatedly break the law,” said Secretary Napolitano.

“Our approach has yielded historic results, removing more

convicted criminal aliens than ever before and issuing more

financial sanctions on employers who knowingly and repeatedly

violate immigration law than during the entire previous

administration.”

Key statistics presented include the following:

1) 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors were

criminally charged by ICE in FY 2010

2) ICE conducted over 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010

3) 97 businesses and 49 people were debarred by ICE in FY 2010

.

Supreme Court to Hear Case about Arizona E-Verify Law.

Oct 06, 2010: Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a

case related to an Arizona law that requires the use of E-Verify,

the federal online employment eligibility verification system. The

case, which will be held December 8, should clarify whether states

have the right to mandate the use of such a program. Opponents of

the Arizona law claim it infringes on the rights of individuals,

while supporters of the law state that the state has the right to

monitor and remove business licenses, because it is the entity that

provides those licenses.

It is believed that the decision from the Supreme Court will hold

weight in more than just the Arizona law that requires the use of

E-Verify. It could also provide guidance for states seeking to

implement other laws related to immigration enforcement.

Local Communities May Not Be Able to Opt Out of the Secure

Communities Program.

Oct 01, 2010: Recent communication from Immigration and Customs

Enforcement (ICE) implies that local communities, even those that

chose to opt out, may be required to participate in the Secure

Communities program. The program, which enables ICE to use

fingerprints collected by state and local law enforcement officials

as a means to identify illegal immigrants, is considered by many

local law officials to be a detriment to their ability to provide

adequate police services to their communities.

Secure Communities was widely considered to be optional and many

local communities, including the District of Columbia, San

Francisco and Santa Clara County (CA), had chosen to opt out of

participation in the program. However, a senior ICE official

recently commented that ICE will have access to fingerprints

forwarded to FBI from state and local law enforcement officials,

regardless of local communities' wishes to not participate in

the program.

DHS Testing the Use of Eye Scanners in

Texas.

Sep 29, 2010: The Department of Homeland Security has begun

testing eye-reading machines at one border crossing. The machines,

which scan people's irises, is being tested in a two- to

eight-week trial in McAllen, Texas as part of a Homeland Security

assessment of the new technology. The goal of the testing is to see

how the scanners work in an actual Customs and Border protection

setting.

“This is a preliminary test of how the technology

performs,” said Amy Kudwa, a spokesperson for the Department

of Homeland Security. “We have no specific plans for acquiring

or deploying this type of technology at this point.”

The U.S. Department of Defense currently uses similar scanners at

military locations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The newer versions of

these eye-reading devices, however, are able to identify multiple

people at one time from a distance of up to 30 feet.

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