What to Watch for in Immigration - Week of March 31, 2014

Children abandoned en route to the U.S.  Mexican and U.S. authorities have indicated that hundreds of children have been found abandoned by human smugglers while trying to enter the United States.  How bad is the problem?  Number released by U.S. authorities indicate at least 370 children were discovered in a mere one week period in March.  Many of the children showed signs of extreme fatigue, injuries and dehydration.  Fortunately, nine suspected smugglers have been arrested in connection with the matter.  Add this to the robberies, extortion, rapes, kidnappings and murders common along the border with Mexico.  It's sad to think that while politicians in Washington D.C. and Mexico City play games, thousands suffer.

In Arizona, Citizens Keep Close Eye on Immigration Checkpoint.  Not every border patrol checkpoint is on the border.  Thanks in part to the rapid militarization of the Southern border, checkpoints continue to be set up many miles north of the border itself.  Take for example the Arivaca checkpoint, about 25 miles north of Mexico, profiled by NPR this weekend.  The checkpoint has been in operation for 7 years, but with accusations of racial profiling and government overreach a small group of residents have formed their own group to monitor the checkpoint, report suspected abuses and highlight the impact increased border enforcement is having on border region communities.

Girl talks to Pope on immigration, then dad freed.  A California teen who made headlines last week for attempting to visit the Pope to highlight deportations in the U.S. made good on her goal.  Even better, after addressing the Pope, her dad was released from immigration detention on bond.

Business not Backing Down on Immigration Reform.  Republicans, Democrats and President Obama may have given up on immigration reform, but business groups apparently have not.  A group including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has published a study indicating that immigration, including low-skilled immigration is necessary in order to give employers access to the employees they need.  This group continues to pit pro-business Republicans against protectionist Republicans and will provide an interesting debate as the Republican primaries continue to unfold over the course of 2014.

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