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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Breaking News: ICE continues targeting Hawaii’s undocumented community with worksite and home raids

Breaking News: ICE continues targeting Hawaii’s undocumented community with worksite and home raids

LatinaLista — Hawaii is 1,625 miles from the U.S. mainland. In this day and age of easy travel and internet usage, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would think that Hawaii is so far away that news of what happens in Hawaii stays in Hawaii (excuse the paraphrase of a popular commercial).

Yet, that’s exactly what the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Hawaii branch would like to believe. In the last six to nine months, they have stepped up work site and home immigration raids to never-before-seen rates.
However, someone must have missed the latest memo from Secretary Napolitano who has called for a review of all further raids because of a new focus by the administration on employers and not the employees.
In Hawaii, it’s been business as usual. In fact, it has gotten so bad that the Mexican government has issued a travel advisory for Mexican migrants traveling or working in Hawaii.
In part, the advisory warns:

They have been detained in airports and handed over to immigration authorities. The majority of the cases have dealt with workers in construction and the tourist industry who have traveled to the Hawaiian islands for seasonal employment.

The threat of intimidation on the island’s Hispanic community has increased tenfold to the point that Latina Lista’s regional edition partner, José Villa, editor and publisher of Hawaii Hispanic News, reports:

There was a protest last Wednesday in Honolulu, in front of ICE headquarters, by clergy members of an organization called FACE. They are, primarily, non-Latino clergy that have made the humane treatment of undocumented individuals part of their mission. They delivered a letter to ICE, our congressional delegation and President Obama calling for an end to the raids that have traumatized Maui’s legal and illegal Hispanic community.

This same organization, FACE, has also found the need to create a new initiative to help the islands’ undocumented Latino community. It’s a “Know Your Rights” campaign.
Reports are filtering in of ICE agents going into people’s homes on the pretext of looking for one individual but ending up asking everyone in the home to show proof of their residency status. The Know Your Rights initiative educates immigrants on what questions government officials should and should not be asking.
Sources in the islands tell Latina Lista that a recent news article regarding the raids angered local ICE officials so much that unnamed officials warned one business owner, who is a known advocate for undocumented immigrants, “to watch his back.”
If this is the case, then, at the least, this is an ICE office that needs a visit from Sec. Napolitano and a clarification of the department’s new focus.
At the most, this kind of behavior calls for a review of who is authorizing these island raids and either a suspension or dismissal for levying threats against local advocates.
Also, this post should serve as a reminder that in this day and age, nothing stays hidden or below radar forever.

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Comment(22)

  • Sandra
    April 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I think the Hispanic community is misinterpreting what Napolitano means. Just because the focus is on the employers doesn’t mean that she thinks illegal aliens should be able to run amok in our workplaces. Hispanics are reading way to much into Napolatino’s approach.
    I fail to see how ICE going after illegal aliens is traumatizing the legal Hispanic community. If they think their relatives and friends who are illegally in this country are above the law or should be, then perhaps they should be locked up also for aiding and abetting and disrepecting American law.

  • Horace
    April 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Undocumented? It’s not true. These people are being well documented throughout their arrest and deportation process. They give their finger prints and have their pictures taken.
    “It has gotten so bad that the Mexican government has issued a travel advisory for Mexican migrants traveling or working in Hawaii.”
    Horrors, illegal immigrants not permitted to roam at will in a country that they’ve entered contrary to our nation’s laws! Holy cow, Batman! Those meanies! Oh the injustice of it all! Where will it all end? Imagine Americans wanting some semblance of control against foreign trespassers!

  • Dick
    April 7, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    “The threat of intimidation on the island’s Hispanic community…..”
    Is the entire Hispanic community in complicity with illegal immigration? If so I hardly think that you’ll find any sympathy from most Americans. They made their bed, let them sleep in it.

  • Dick
    April 7, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Read it and weep. California and no doubt other states will eventually follow suit:
    California Supreme Court Unanimously Supports The Broadest View Of State And Local Government Authority To Enforce Immigration Law
    by Michael Hethmon
    With almost no notice from the media or immigration bar, the California Supreme Court — the most influential state high court in the nation on immigration law — has issued an opinion that significantly expands the authority of state and local governments to enforce federal immigration law and of state courts to adjudicate violations of such laws.
    The decision, In Re Jose C., 45 Cal. 4th 534 (January 22, 2009), held that a juvenile detained near the U.S. border at Calexico, California could be declared a ward of the state under California Welfare & Institutions Code § 602, based on a finding that he illegally brought six aliens into the United States for financial gain, in violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(2)(B)(ii). The juvenile and lower appellate courts rejected the juvenile’s claim that the state could not adjudicate federal immigration law.
    Justice Kathryn Werdegar, writing for a unanimous high court, not only upheld the lower decisions, but applied their reasoning to state and local government agencies in general. “Section 602, which allows the state courts to declare a juvenile a ward of the court based on a violation of federal law, is not preempted by the Supremacy Clause, 18 U.S.C. § 3231 (granting district courts exclusive original jurisdiction over federal criminal cases), or by any other provision of federal law, including the INA counterpart to § 3231, 8 U.S.C. § 1329”. Regardless of whether characterized as civil or criminal, wardship proceedings that determine whether a federal criminal statute has been violated are not preempted. To the extent state law establishes sanctions for federal offenses, state courts retain jurisdiction under their own state laws to hear cases and impose punishment. By incorporating federal immigration law by reference, § 602 provides a jurisdictional basis for the imposition of independent state sanctions, and grants state courts authority to adjudicate such matters.
    Further, Justice Werdegar held that California has an independent, inherent state interest in rehabilitating juveniles within California who are unable to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law-whether that law is a local ordinance, state statute, or federal immigration enactment. 18 U.S.C. § 3231 did not deprive state courts of jurisdiction granted under their own state laws to impose independent state sanctions. In fact, Congress has encouraged states and localities to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration policy. The Court concluded that insofar as § 602 authorized state courts to address juvenile violations of the immigration laws, it does assist in federal immigration enforcement.
    In Re Jose C. underlined that the states are independent sovereigns and possess inherent police power to criminally punish conduct inimical to the public welfare, even when that same conduct is also prohibited under federal immigration law. According to the Court, Congress may pass a law barring a particular act and imposing a specific punishment, and a state legislature may pass a state law barring the same act and imposing a different specific punishment, without encroaching upon the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts. A state or territory that elects to incorporate portions of federal criminal law into its own criminal code may establish state jurisdiction to try violations as state crimes. Whether a state legislature imposes independent state punishment for an act by writing its own statute prohibiting it, or by writing a statute incorporating an existing federal criminal prohibition, is immaterial. The distinction is a purely formal one.
    The Supreme Court held that the general presumption against preemption applies in the context of immigration law. The absence of an express exclusion of state court jurisdiction is strong and arguably sufficient evidence that Congress had no preemptive intent. The power to regulate immigration is not necessarily coextensive with the power to adjudicate immigration law violations. Only if the state statute is in fact a regulation of immigration — a determination of who should or should not be admitted into the country, and the conditions under which a legal entrant may remain — is preemption automatic. Otherwise, state law will be displaced only after compelling affirmative congressional action. This strong presumption against preemption was confirmed just last week by the United States Supreme Court, in Wyeth v. Levine.
    The California Supreme Court emphasized that nothing in Title 8 (the INA) expressly divests states of jurisdiction over matters touching on immigration generally or alien smuggling in particular. In fact, federal law evinces a clear invitation from Congress for state and local agencies to participate in the process of enforcing federal immigration laws. No statute precludes other federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies from taking other action to enforce this nation’s immigration laws. Congress has established a regime of cooperative federalism, in which local, state, and federal governments may work together to ensure the achievement of federal criminal immigration policy. This is the antithesis of field preemption.
    Justice Werdegar wrote that 8 USC 1324(c) expressly allows state and local enforcement of § 1324 alien smuggling provisions, and 8 USC 1357(g)(10) expressly allows cooperative enforcement of civil immigration law violations, even in the absence of a written agreement.
    The effect of In Re Jose C. will be significant. Certainly, the doctrines of jurisdictional and field preemption as bars to state and local enforcement and adjudication have been dealt a lethal blow, and the scope of obstacle preemption has been greatly restricted. In California, state agencies and–more practically–cities and counties may now implement anti-harboring and anti-sanctuary laws without fear of predatory lawsuits by anti-citizen organizations.
    Conversely, attempts by a state legislature or city council to enact immigration law resistance measures that undermine federal law and policy, such as restrictions on civil servant and law enforcement cooperation with immigration authorities, have become much more constitutionally suspect.
    The California state courts have become more favorable venues for private civil enforcement of federal laws, through declaratory actions, RICO suits, et cetera. Given the reaffirmation of state and local authority on March 11 by the Ninth Circuit in Chicanos Por La Causa v. Napolitano, the In Re Jose C. state enforcement doctrines seem destined to become “law west of the Rockies.”

  • Karen
    April 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    The Obama Administration says one thing and does another. I don’t believe anything he reads off of his teleprompter.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 7, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    This is all about a change of power between the old and the new. Our President will ultimately win this battle with Janet Napolitano. I suppose they will try to push for whatever they can in these last moments during a shift of power but ultimately I find it hard to believe they will outsmart, Obama, Napolitano and Hillary Clinton when it comes to control and policy. Kindof weird that it would happen in Hawaii…the state that Obama grew up in as a child. It is a slap in his face to try to ignore his directives.

  • Dave Bennion
    April 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    It’s been years since I lived in Hawaii, but I wouldn’t have guessed ICE would operate so freely there. It’s at once the most parochial and the most cosmopolitan place I’ve been in the U.S. But if the 95% of the population there who are not of Hawaiian descent have a problem with recent migrants, then I really don’t know what to say. That is pretty silly.

  • RealDemocrat
    April 7, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Both employers AND employees should be held accountable for their actions. Taxpayers want our laws enforced….period!

  • Hissy
    April 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t see it as just a “slap in his face”…I see it as a wake up call. You can run but you can’t hide forever.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Let’s see what happens. What happened when the CEO of GM didn’t listen when Obama said no more Big cars. He had him fired. I know it is difficult to accept but CHANGE is taking place across the nation and with CHANGE comes the transition…Now their will be a few initial slap’s in the face but ultimately there is a whole new face in Washington. An with that you know that old saying “Out with the Old and in with the New”.

  • Sandra
    April 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Nothing wrong with change if it is good change. Change can also be bad.
    I am awaiting the outcome of the Obama “change” to see which one it will be. There are many issues on the table right now. He may make some good changes and some bad changes.

  • Horace
    April 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Change is coming? The kind of change Obama is advocating can only lead to a one term presidency for him, and no president, not even the new messiah himself can accomplish so-called immigration reform, health care and other changes in social programs within one term. It may not be a Republican president after Obama, but it will be one that will overturn every idiotic program he begins. Remember, this is the president who thinks that changing the term Global War on Terrorism to Overseas Contingency Operations is “Change You Can Believe In”.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 10, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Horace, I would not count your chickens before they hatch. Your side lost many seats in the house and in the senate. Why? Because of greed. You see, I doubt Obama is going to be a one term president. Your side has a habit of rally up against to many different groups. When you go against immigration reform you are committing more political suicide…but keep it coming…lol..I enjoy watching you lose more votes for your side…Did you notice your Mitt Romney just flip flopped again on immigration. Why? he knows to go against it is long term political suicide with the latino vote. He knows that Americans and religious groups want Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Horace, you need to start making some friends if you want to see another Republican president in your lifetime.

  • Panchito
    April 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I was in Hawaii two summers ago on a two week vacation. Except for my wife, my son, and myself, I saw no other Hispanics there. Like everything else involving Hispanics, this story is way overblown by left and right wing extremists.
    for your edification,
    native Hawaiians generally do not like Americans or other foreigners in their islands. I’ve met many families that have been stationed there who claim to have been “intimidated” while stationed there.
    We (U.S. military) experienced this same treatment when we were stationed in Puerto Rico.

  • Horace
    April 16, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    ME: “Horace, I would not count your chickens before they hatch. Your side lost many seats in the house and in the senate. Why? Because of greed.”
    And the democrats will see a turnover in the next congressional elections like they’ve never experienced before because they’re so arrogant as to believe that the entire country turned liberal overnight. It’s irrational to believe that a nation that elected conservative George Bush for two terms suddenly turned as radically left as Nancy and Harry believe. Millions of Americans will send a signal to BO that they don’t like his direction when the next elections come around. They didn’t like Bush and the Republicans, but they don’t like the Democrats either. The ever growing dislike for Mexico, its corrupt politicians and interference in U.S. immigration policy is making CIR an difficult feat even for the democrats, and an impossibility under future Republican majority rule. As for presidential influence, BO will be a lame duck one-termer in two years.

  • Horace
    April 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    ME said: “Our President will ultimately win this battle with Janet Napolitano.”
    You’re an idiot, ME, Napolitano serves at the pleasure of the president, and as such carries out his policies. Appointees do not battle with the president, but are usually fired for not doing the president’s bidding. Obama is in concert with everything JN does and says.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 18, 2009 at 1:39 am

    The numbers are on the Dems side. You must not be all that Politically savvy Horace. Do you realise that the majority of the senate seats that go up next happen to be mostly Republican. What does that tell you dumb..dumb. If their is any significant economic recovery…(and there already is)..your side stands to lose more seats because you have to fight to hold them. In the next senate race Republicans are going to have a tough time and your party has a revolution going on between the moderates and the wing nuts. But go ahead Horace..keep on pissing off the Hispanics so that they come out in really large numbers and piss the moderates off so they either vote democratic or stay home. Horace let me tell you something…if CIR dies in the senate this fall and your side loses a few seats in the senate (which I will put money on it you do)..you may not see another Repulican president for the rest of your life…and also, CIR will pass anyway.

  • Horace
    April 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    ME said: “..you may not see another Repulican president for the rest of your life…and also, CIR will pass anyway.”
    Dream on!. Even if we have an entirely democrat congress, dem pols are savvy enough to understand that bucking the will of the 70 percent of the voting constituency who are anti-amnesty is a stupid thing to do.
    Hispanics are still a minority voting block, and not as monolithic as you wacko advocates assert. And even if they are inclined to vote, if enough of our other citizens are motivated to oppose them, it won’t result in a win for your side. A Hispanic win depends upon continued complacency on the part of other voting groups. It’s still not clear how many Hispanics are for amnesty, in spite of the claims that you’re all in agreement on that issue. After all, Hispanic citizens are in the same socioeconomic group as illegal aliens and would have to compete with them. I really have doubts that Hispanic citizens will stand by illegal aliens when the employment rate gets worse. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, ME.

  • Horace
    April 18, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    One more thing. Has anyone ever done a poll of Hispanic citizens to determine their feelings on amnesty? I haven’t heard of one. I suspect that the advocacy groups haven’t done so because they are afraid of the truth. It’s safer to claim you speak for an entire ethnic group than actual risking a poll that will prove otherwise. There’s no objective proof that LaRaza, MALDEF and PLDEF speak for their claimed constituencies.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 19, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Do you have a poll Horace?? If you havent heard of one…then I think you ought to find one before you talk.Most Hispanic citizens have friends, neighbors and family members that are in need of CIR. Horace, alot of Americans have friends, neighbors and family in need for reform. Its not just a hispanic thing..there are other ethnic backgrounds that are in need for reform. I even know Europeans that are waiting for it because they are out of status.

  • Laura
    May 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Jeez I don’t see what the problem is with illegal immigration. Basically all these employers work these people to the bone because they come from poverty ridden countries. They make their money by paying these people whatever they feel only because they know that they can scare them by telling them that they will call immigration. As far as the immigrants taking our jobs the last time I checked nobody goes to college to do yard work or dig ditches. The real problem is that people are RACIST when it comes to The Mexicans. These people are scared that 10 years from now the United States will be run by Mexicans as it probably will be because I don’t care how many raids or scare tactics are tried these people will keep coming only because either they stay in their countries and DIE of hunger or at least try to help their families and RISK THEIR LIVES by coming over by crossing deserts and dying of thirst or sailing across the sea in crappy rafts just for a chance to find what everyone wants the “American Dream.” Fortunately nobody born here in America has ever or will ever know what it is to live in a shack and rough the winters or worry that if your child gets sick if you will be able to afford medicine to make sure your baby does not die. And yes these raids do traumatize, they traumatize the children who are seeing their parents being arrested and treated like criminals only because they are working to provide a better living and education only because they don’t have documents to legally work. And these illegals are not running amok in the workplace. What the hell is that suppose to mean. Yes not all the immigrants that come to the US are good people some do transport drugs but those are not the ones mowing your lawn or painting your homes or fixing your roofs for next to nothing. And the guy named Dick yeah that name suits you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cookie
    May 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Laura, you don’t see what is wrong with illegal immigration? How about we start with our laws based on what is in the best interest of the citizens of this country? Or don’t you give a hoot about them?
    Do you know of any country on the face of this earth that would welcome an illegal invasion of their country by the millions and therefore altering the demographics, culture and langauge of their country forever?
    Get real here! As admanant as Latino countries are about retaining their culture and langauge, do you actually think they would be pleased about an illegal invasion of their countries by the millions from China, Germany, etc. and therefore altering their countries forever?
    Many Americans are blue collar workers and do manual labor and always have because they don’t want to go to college and they like doing jobs that require physical apptitute rather than mental. I see nothing wrong with that. Are they supposed ot roll over and hand those jobs over to illegal aliens instead?
    Illegals know what can happen to them if they don’t come here legally in regards to being arrested and deported. We should not stop enforcing any our laws just because the violters have kids. What an excuse!
    We have all heard you pro-illegals bleeding heart BS before. It doesn’t work anymore. We are not responsible for another country’s citizens. Their own governments are and if they lack the courage to make changes in their own countries that is just tough, isn’t it?

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