Washington Markup

DREAM Act Passage in Maryland Should Spark Federal Action

DREAM Act Passage in Maryland Should Spark Federal Action

By Sirine Shebaya, ACLU of Maryland & Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 9:32pm
Last night was a watershed moment for immigrants’ rights in Maryland. Faced with federal inaction and a stalemate on immigration reform, Maryland stepped in to ensure that none of its children are left behind. 
One Step Closer: New York Times Praises Executive Order on Human Trafficking

One Step Closer: New York Times Praises Executive Order on Human Trafficking

By Amshula Jayaram, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:54pm

The New York Times issued an editorial Tuesday praising President Obama’s Executive Order to end human trafficking in government contracts.  The Times viewed the order as an important step towards eliminating this shameful practice. …

One Year Longer?  Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

One Year Longer? Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:18pm

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed by a unanimous Congress in 2003, with regulations due by June 2010. It was clearly intended to cover all detainees, civil and criminal. Two years later, the Obama administration at last released the final implementing rules for PREA. Commendably, the Department of Justice reversed its prior position that PREA doesn’t cover all immigration detainees. Yet the Department of Homeland Security – despite an abysmal track record of preventing and investigating sexual abuse and assault in its facilities, which was recently exposed on PBS’s Frontline – got a 360-day extension on PREA compliance.

Is the Senate's Border Enforcement Capitulation Based on Sham Numbers?

Is the Senate's Border Enforcement Capitulation Based on Sham Numbers?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:42pm

This week, Republican senators used a Congressional Budget Office report to bolster their case for more border resources. The principal negotiators of a proposal to put 20,000 more Border Patrol agents in the Southwest, along with billions of dollars…

Immigration Reform on the Senate Floor – A Procedural Maze and Lots of Border Talk

Immigration Reform on the Senate Floor – A Procedural Maze and Lots of Border Talk

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:57pm

The full U. S. Senate took up the potentially historic bill to overhaul the country's immigration system last week.

At the top of the week, things looked rosy. S. 744 flew through initial procedural hurdles to allowing the chamber to take up…

Which Would You Prefer – Spending $164 or $15?

Which Would You Prefer – Spending $164 or $15?

By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU at 10:18am

This week and next, the House and Senate will hold hearings (including this one today) to address the reported release of between several hundred and several thousand immigration detainees from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") custody.…

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

Mr. President, What Will Be Your Civil Rights Legacy?

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:44am

Watching President Obama take the Oath of Office four years ago was a historic moment I will never forget. I remember meeting him when he was an Illinois state senator...

The Truth about the Current State of Immigration Enforcement

The Truth about the Current State of Immigration Enforcement

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:08am

On Monday, “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC featured an interview with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, and the discussion turned to immigration. Matthews asked Crist about his views on immigration enforcement and said that…

Reading the Fine Print: DHS Has Not Ended 287(g) in Arizona

Reading the Fine Print: DHS Has Not Ended 287(g) in Arizona

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office & Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Charanya Krishnaswami, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:20pm

On Monday, the Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States struck down three provisions of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 racial profiling law, but reinstated, for now, the most controversial provision, which requires Arizona police officers to demand the…

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

The Administration Must Act: Immigrants in Detention Deserve Equal Protection from Sexual Abuse

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 6:14pm

In 2009, Claudia Leiva Deras, a domestic violence survivor who is now a lawful U.S. resident, was held in immigration detention at the Cass County Jail in Plattsmouth, Neb. While Claudia waited there for the outcome of her immigration hearing,…