Blog of Rights

Immigration Reform: Week Two Is Through

Immigration Reform: Week Two Is Through

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:59am
After two more long days last week of largely unsuccessful attempts to scuttle the immigration reform bill, the Senate Judiciary Committee now is looking at the gargantuan task of wrapping up consideration – somehow, some way – before the end of this week. On Tuesday, the Committee completed work on the border security section of the bill and then began consideration of the section dealing with non-immigrant visas – addressing labor needs. Work on those issues continued on Thursday and then transitioned to enforcement, including the E-Verify employment verification system. All told, the Committee was busy this week – considering 64 amendments and adopting 40 of them. All but two of the amendments were adopted on a bipartisan basis. Ninety-nine amendments have now been considered (including modifications), and quite a few more have been withdrawn, out of the 300 amendments originally filed. Despite the accomplishments, the Committee still must figure out a way to deal with perhaps 150 amendments before Senators return to their home states at the end of the week for the Memorial Day recess.
Scholars to Senate: Prolonged and Indefinite Immigration Detention is Unconstitutional and un-American

Scholars to Senate: Prolonged and Indefinite Immigration Detention is Unconstitutional and un-American

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:08pm

While most countries accept the return of their citizens if the United States orders them deported, several refuse to take back them back, either because of a lack of formal relations with the U.S. (Cuba, for example), or simply because of slow background…

Immigration Reform: Week One is Done

Immigration Reform: Week One is Done

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:31am

Only a few short weeks ago, the so-called Senate Gang of Eight – four Republicans and four Democrats committed to producing a bipartisan immigration reform bill – released a bill exceeding 800 pages representing work dating back to November. …

Homeland Security, May I Earn a Living?

Homeland Security, May I Earn a Living?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:43pm

One of the things in play in the current wrangling over immigration reform is whether we will see the E-Verify work authorization program expanded nationwide and made mandatory. We’ve just put out a white paper summarizing “The 10 big Problems…

VICTORY! Maryland and Oregon Extend Driving Privileges to All Immigrants

VICTORY! Maryland and Oregon Extend Driving Privileges to All Immigrants

By Sirine Shebaya, ACLU of Maryland & Becky Straus, Legislative Director, ACLU of Oregon at 4:55pm

Today Maryland and Oregon are celebrating the signing of new laws expanding access to driver's licenses to all residents, including undocumented immigrants. We are part of a movement. Our hope is that our success inspires the passage of bills in more…

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

Supreme Court Makes the Right Call: "Social Sharing" of Marijuana Not an Aggravated Felony Under Immigration Laws

By Molly Lauterback, Immigrants' Rights Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:53pm

In a 7-2 decision this week, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the "social sharing of a small amount...

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU at 11:48am

This week's New Yorker features the harrowing ordeal of Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen with mental disabilities who was deported to Mexico. Lyttle was born in North Carolina and has psychiatric and cognitive disabilities. He was inexplicably referred…

Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU & Carmen Iguina, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU of Southern California at 11:22am

In a landmark ruling yesterday, Federal District Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the federal government to provide legal representation for immigrant detainees in California, Arizona and Washington who have serious mental disabilities and are unable to…

Mandatory E-Verify: A Giant Plunge Into a National ID System

Mandatory E-Verify: A Giant Plunge Into a National ID System

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:23pm

Today's release of an immigration reform proposal from the Gang of Eight raises a host of civil liberties issues, many of which the ACLU will undoubtedly be commenting on in the coming days and weeks.

Today, I'm focusing on our concerns with…

Americans Overwhelmingly Support a Fair Immigration System

Americans Overwhelmingly Support a Fair Immigration System

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:19am

For over 90 years the ACLU has defended the rights of everyone in the United States, whether born in this country or abroad, because the Constitution protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all of them.

The data from a new poll released…