Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Immigration Reform questions for Obama from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

brownskinGood questions from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Key Questions for the White House on Immigration Reform

1.  It is widely reported that the Obama administration has deported unprecedented numbers of immigrants, and it is widely suspected that the Department of Homeland Security is operating under a self-imposed a deportation quota.  Is there a deportation quota?  If so, where does it come from, and will it be reduced or eliminated as part of the President’s proposal on immigration reform? 

2.  Immigration has been on the national agenda for over twelve years, and previous proposals have repeatedly stalled in Congress while nativists have made progress passing unconstitutional, regressive legislation at the local level.  Many, including Senator Marco Rubio, have argued that both political parties have simply been content to seize political advantage from the intractable status quo.  

What will make this effort for comprehensive immigration reform different?  What is the path through the House of Representatives? And what is the Administration’s “plan B” if legislation does not move forward (other than to simply blame Republicans for lack of progress)?

3.  During the Supreme Court argument about Arizona’s SB 1070, Arizona’s counsel said this: “The Federal Government doesn’t like this statute [Sec 2b of Sb1070], but they are very proud of their Secure Communities program. And their Secure Communities program also makes clear that everybody’s that’s booked at participating facilities is — eventually has their immigration status checked.” He said Arizona, “borrowed the federal standard as its own.” 
What is the difference between the Obama Administration’s Secure Communities program and the infamous racial profiling provision Section 2b of Arizona SB 1070?   

4.  In the first four years of the Obama Presidency, the Secure Communities deportation grew from an obscure 1% of the country to forcibly being activated in 97% of the US by the end of 2012.  In that time, a mountain of evidence has surfaced showing that the program was misrepresented. It cast anindiscriminate dragnet and was implemented in ways that erode public trust in law enforcement. Over the last four years, a series of reforms have been announced to mitigate its damage.  

Can we expect further reforms of the Secure Communities program?  If so, when?

5.  During the last four years, several employees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) openly defied the President’s policy of prioritized enforcement.  Moreover, the agency’s implementation of administrative reforms has been scattered at best.  

Is ICE a rogue agency?  What consequences does the White House have in place for ICE agents who lie to the American public or do not follow your administration’s priorities (like those who raided the home of dreamer Erika Andiola in Arizona)?

6.  A consequence of the 1986 immigration overhaul was the imposition of so-called “employer sanctions.”   The worksite verification requirements has been used as a tool by predatory employers to exploit immigrants, to deter worker organizing,  and to put access to basic labor protections out of reach.   

How will the Obama Administration’s comprehensive immigration reform proposal strengthen- rather than undermine- workplace protections for all workers?  How will it prevent employee-verification systems from being used by employers to counter workers’ union organizing efforts?

7.  To most people, it is clear Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona is using immigration as pretext to violate bedrock civil rights.  In other places like Alamance CountyCobb County, and Gwinnet County, similar patterns of rights violations have occurred.  To many observers, it looks like the Department of Justice is forced to put out fires started by the Department of Homeland Security.  

Are the DOJ and DHS working at cross purposes? Under immigration reform, will the administration continue to enlist law enforcers under investigation, such as Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County, as force multipliers in immigration enforcement?  What will be done to strengthen the Civil Rights Division within the Department of Homeland Security?

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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