Beginning today, Alabama authorities can question people suspected of being in the country illegally and hold them without bond, and officials can check the immigration status of students in public schools. There are three separate lawsuits against the Alabama law, including a challenge from President Barack Obama’s administration. The law is considered by many as the toughest immigration law in the nation. [Huffington Post]
In recent years, many countries dealing with immigration issues such as the U.S., Britain, and Australia have been turning to private companies to expand detention of undocumented immigrants in the hope of showing a tougher stance on immigration. In the U.S., almost half of the detention beds are controlled by private companies.
“[T]he ballooning of privatized detention has been accompanied by scathing inspection reports, lawsuits and the documentation of widespread abuse and neglect, sometimes lethal. Human rights groups say detention has neither worked as a deterrent nor speeded deportation, as governments contend, and some worry about the creation of a ‘detention-industrial complex’ with a momentum of its own.” [New York Times]
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced on Wednesday that it had arrested 2,901 immigrants who have criminal records, highlighting the Obama administration’s policy of putting less emphasis on deporting illegal immigrants who pose no demonstrated threat to public safety. Officials from the agency portrayed the seven-day sweep, called Operation Cross Check, as the largest enforcement and removal operation in its history. It involved arrests in all 50 states of criminal offenders of 115 nationalities, including people convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, aggravated assault and sex crimes. [New York Times]