Friday, April 9, 2010

SEIU blasts Obama immigration enforcement policies
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By Spencer S. Hsu
Thursday, Apr 8, 2010

The Washington Post

One of the nation's biggest labor unions, a major backer of President Obama, is condemning his Department of Homeland Security's immigration enforcement practices, protesting the use of deportation quotas for agents and expanded workplace audits.

Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of Service Employees International Union, said SEIU members want DHS "to stop these crazy, irrational policies," while seeking to turn up pressure on Congress to take up overhaul legislation. SEIU is holding vigils and demonstrations Thursday in Oakland and Sacramento, Calif., and then in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Boston, New York City and Minneapolis Friday.

While Obama and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano criticized the George W. Bush administration for emphasizing factory raids and neighborhood sweeps, and promised instead to focus on deporting the most dangerous illegal immigrants, immigrant advocates said that thousands of ordinary workers are still being forced into the underground economy by electronic audits of companies' hiring records.

Combined with recent disclosures that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is changing how it evaluates agents to emphasize caseload quotas and is widening whom it targets for deportation to sustain high removal statistics, Medina said the reality of DHS's actions is not matching the administration's rhetoric.

"They said they were going after criminals. They need to do that. They said they were going after bad actor employers to take away the profit motive. They need to do that. But instead, they are still going after meatpackers, janitors and cooks," Medina to complete article

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