Thursday, August 6, 2009

Plans to Revamp Detension Centers

Homeland Security (DHS) will embark on a revamping of the network of detention centers for immigrant about to be deported. It will review the current contracts it has with local jails and private prisons and may create its own centers. It is looking to house more suitably noncriminals to be deported. As an indication of its seriousness, DHS will close the infamous T. Don Hutto Residential Center near Austin, TX, that had created a stir because of its abuses of children detained with their mothers. To facilitate the make-over, it will create a new office -- Office of Detention Policy and Planning -- which will have two advisory boards of experts and immigrant advocates. The current Office of Detention Oversight that directs the program will also be revamped. Immigrant advocates welcome the closing of Hutto, but are still cautious about the rest of the remake. (See New York Times article.)


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the Legal Arizona Workers Law which imposes sanctions on employers for hiring the undocumented. It uses the same basic argument that has already been rejected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- that immigration belongs to federal jurisdiction -- but adds that allowing one state the power to penalize employers on immigration would invite a thousands of others to do the same -- as it has happened. That would be bad for business. (See Arizona Republic article.)

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