The War on Immigrants: Stories from the Frontlines
As a weakening economy has prodded disgruntled Americans into a search for scapegoats, many hard-working, tax-paying immigrants with significant ties to this country have been forced underground. Fear is so palpable in immigrant communities that even victims of horrific crimes avoid contacting local police.
Nor are Americans with legal status immune to arrest, detention and deportation by immigration enforcement officers. A recent analysis estimates that some 3,600 US citizens have been arrested by ICE through its Secure Communities program since its inception in March 2008 through April 2011. The data also showed that, while Latinos comprise 77 percent of the undocumented population, they were 93 percent of those arrested through the program – which is suggestive of racial profiling.
In South Florida alone, AI Justice has met with thousands of such immigrants since 9/11. A non-profit group dedicated to protecting the basic rights of immigrants, we document their stories to put a face on the injustices being committed against them in the name of national security.
Our work has provided ample evidence that the barrage of anti-immigrant measures and demonization of immigrants, often propelled by extremist rhetoric, is an assault on the fundamental civil liberties of all Americans. Our experience also confirms that driving immigrants further underground does nothing to fix our broken immigration system or improve national security.
It only makes matters worse.
The full Report will be available soon