Immigration Across The Nation 01/07/2009

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►Sedation will no longer be used by Federal Immigration

The practice of sedation, a controversial notion designed to pacify deportees, is nearly extinct, a report from the Dallas Morning News said Monday. A drug called Haldol, used in the treatment of mental illness such as schizophrenia, had been used on deportees with some frequency in past years, but in 2008 only three deportees were subjected to the drug, compared to over 60 per year over the previous five years (2002-2007). Haldol is a powerful anti-psychotic and has dangerous side-effects. The drug can trigger muscular spasms and a complication that can result in the recipient falling into a coma or dying. Forced medication in general has slowed in use due to increased pressure from the medical community and human rights groups.

Documents uncovered by the ACLU revealed that sedation has been disproportionately used on Africans – about 40% of all sedations, a much higher percentage than any other continent’s representation. But ICE officials now require a court order for any kind of sedation of deportees, with no exceptions. Miss Meyers, the former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, said that sedation would be a very rare occurrence in future, and used only “based on the advice of medical professional, that this is the only way to have a safe and secure deportation, and a court agrees with that.”

►New Labor Secretary Hilda Solis a staunch defender of immigration rights

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The president elect’s labor secretary was announced as Congresswoman Hilda Solis of California’s 32nd District. The Los Angeles-born daughter of immigrants from Nicaragua and Mexico was the first Latina to serve in the California Senate. She is a long-time supporter of labor rights for immigrants and an environmental reformer. Though a supporter of Clinton in the primaries, Obama courted her support to rally Latino voters in the November election. Miss Solis has been instrumental in protecting parking-lot gathering sites for immigrants seeking work, pointing out that a immigrant-created job allotment network is much safer and better for businesses and the economy than a free-for-all where immigrants may be assigned work at random or for arbitrary causes. “That’s a bit of local wisdom that deserves to take root in the federal government,” commented a New York Times Editorial.

►Immigration Legal Info

Changes to the H2-B visa program made last May that allow the visa to be used for non-agricultural workers will be made permanent, reports the Catholic Legal Immigration Network news service. Previously, only agricultural workers could gain temporary employment under the H2-B visa. The changes allow workers in information technology, manufacturing, and other industries to obtain the visa.

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