With budgets in crisis and the recession showing no signs of abatement, Massachusetts is looking for creative ways to cut prison spending. In a recent Joint Committee on the Judiciary session, Republican lawmakers and a group of sheriffs asked the Committee to support a bill that would require Massachusetts inmates to pay for their time in lock up.
Despite mounting evidence of targeted violence, immigration judges seldom recognize that Mexican nationals have a “well-founded fear of persecution”- the substantive criteria for asylum in the United States.
Last week, Federal District Judge Sharon Blackburn declined to strike major portions of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, making Alabama the state with the strictest immigration laws in the country.
When it was discovered that the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorist attacks entered the US legally with valid visas, immigration enforcement came into the national spotlight. In theory, deportation proceedings are used to kick out the “bad guys” and allow non-dangerous immigrants to remain in the US; however the deportation numbers tell a different story.
Two weeks ago, Iran executed three men because they were gay. Iranian authorities rarely admit executing prisoners on the basis of sexuality – typically they are killed on trumped-up charges like kidnapping or burglary – but here the men were explicitly charged with the crime of intercourse between men.