PRESS CALL ADVISORY: Undocumented Immigrants Stay in Country Despite Strict Laws
Washington, D.C. — As Arizona, the state that initiated the most recent wave of anti-immigrant legislation with S.B. 1070 in 2010, goes to the polls on February 28 to decide the Republican presidential nominee, and as statehouses around the country begin to debate Arizona-like copycat bills, the Center for American Progress will release “Staying Put but Still in the Shadows: Undocumented Immigrants Remain in the Country Despite Strict Laws” by Leah Muse-Orlinoff on a press call Wednesday, February 22 at 2 p.m. EST. Drawing on detailed original research from the University of California, San Diego’s Mexican Migration Field Research Project, which studied unauthorized immigrants in the wake of Oklahoma City’s anti-immigrant ordinances in 2007 and 2009, Muse-Orlinoff explains why this type of legislation fails in its stated purpose of driving unauthorized immigrants from the country. This report will be the first in a series that looks at the daily lives, struggles and strategies of undocumented immigrants who must live through the assault of harsh laws designed to make their lives unbearable.
Muse-Orlinoff reviews the data on Oklahoma City along with that of other states such as Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama, and argues that most unauthorized immigrants make the decision to stay in the country despite attempts to drive them out—whether because of the lack of opportunities in the migrants’ home countries or because most unauthorized immigrants have been living in the United States for 10 or more years and most live in family units with children, making it less likely that they will want to leave. These laws simply drive immigrants from one area to another—say from one county or state to the next—rather than from the country. But at worst they further isolate immigrants from the communities in which they live and from local law enforcement, while driving families deeper into the shadows.
Please join the report’s author—a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego and field research coordinator for the Mexican Migration Field Research Program—along with Lt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department, who served as a liaison to the Latino community after the passage of Oklahoma City’s anti-immigrant ordinances; Lourdes Villanueva, director of Farmworker Advocacy at Redlands Christian Migrant Association in Florida, a group that provides childcare to migrant workers; and Angela M. Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress, to discuss the shape of current state and local anti-immigrant laws, their efficacy, and their impacts on immigrants and citizens alike.
WHAT: Press call to discuss why state and local anti-immigrant laws fail to drive out unauthorized immigrants as intended and the consequences of these laws.
- Leah Muse-Orlinoff, Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and field research coordinator for the Mexican Migration Field Research Program
- Lt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department
- Lourdes Villanueva, Director of Farmworker Advocacy, RCMA in Florida
- Angela Maria Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress
Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 2:00 p.m. EST, 11:00 a.m. PST
ID # 53429116
Contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.