Pick any aspect of illegal immigration and try to graph it and the results look like light-tracers from the tilt-a-whirl at the county carnival.
Even the terms used are all over the map: illegal immigrant, undocumented workers, undocumented aliens, unauthorized entry — the end of the list is almost over the horizon.
One thing that doesn’t change, though. The volatilization of the general subject.
As volatile a topic during the previous administration, the topic has taken on more volatility under a Trump administration.
Recent events in three states best illustrate.
In March 2015, some activists who were seeking full amnesty from then-President Obama participated in protests holding placards and signs that some observers felt read more like threats than petitions for reform.
One incident, which anti-immigration crusaders point to justify their position, occurred the year before in Sacramento.
Luis Bracamontes was accused in October 2014 of killing two Sacramento-area deputies.
Bracamontes, a Mexican citizen, had a history of drug arrests and was deported twice. Anti-immigration proponents have pointed to Bracamontes to justify Trump’s get-tough-on-immigration policies.
Many, on the other side, point to Bracamontes as an example of the nation’s bias.
“He (Bracamontes) has been demonized in the media,” his court-appointed attorneys wrote. “He is portrayed as an outcast from the community, the state, and the nation.”
A survey of 400 Sacramento residents shows 76% are aware of the case and have prejudged Bracamontes as either definitely or probably guilty. The poll was conducted in November & December by J.D. Franz Research, a firm hired by Bracamontes’ lawyers.
According to law enforcement authorities, over 200 illegal aliens being detained by ICE in the state were released during the last month of Obama’s presidency.
Because of its location along the American/Mexican border, Arizona has experienced investigations and “harassment” over its state and local response to the immigration controversy. The crackdowns on illegal immigrants have been pushed by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Researchers from Migration Policy Center state that over 130,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona could have been added to Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. At least 39,000 were added to the DACA program, and more than 96,000 were eligible for addition.
Arpaio had been Sheriff since 1993. Arpaio’s hatred of illegal immigrants led to the U.S. Department of Justice concluding he had managed the worst example of racial profiling in American history according to Fernanda Santos writing for ‘The New York Times.”
“We’re happy the school is considering this,” said Calderon. The Rogers Foundation has requested the school district be a “sanctuary” so as to protect Calderon and other undocumented students.
“It’s good to push academics to push local agencies to push local law enforcement on protective policies,” said Michel Kagan, a professor of law at UNLV.
Las Vegas criminal attorneys said the city “does not have sanctuary policies in place. Mayor Goodman supporters the federal government as they develop a pathway to citizenship.”
When it comes to follow-up, Metro P.D. no longer holds undocumented immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Law enforcement made the decision twenty-four months ago when state court decisions declared the detentions unconstitutional. There are some exceptions such as a warrant and probable cause.
Under Obama ICE maintained a policy discouraging enforcement at “sensitive locations” such as hospitals, churches, and schools.
“I hope for more for tolerance,” Calderon says.
UPDATE: As of March 2017, Luis Bracamontes is still awaiting trial. As the prosecution and defense teams still argue about changing the venue for the trial, Bracamontes faces the death penalty if convicted.