Pope Blesses U.S.-Mexico Border

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Pope Francis traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border this week to offer a blessing. In CNN’s footage, you can see the pope ascending a ramp to overlook the Rio Grande. The crosses before him represent migrants who died in their efforts to reach the United States.

After this benediction, Pope Benedict said mass in Ciudad Juarez. The L.A. Times reports that the pope:

decried the global “human tragedy” that forces people to migrate unwillingly, risking death — “each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted.”

Reserving special mention for women “unjustly robbed of their lives,” Francis said migrants “are the brothers and sisters of those expelled by poverty and violence, by drug trafficking and criminal organizations.”

TWO Television Exposés on Immigration Detention on PBS and NBC on Oct. 18th

From Detention Watch Network:

Documentaries Highlight the Massive Expansion of the Immigration Detention System

On Tuesday, October 18th, PBS and CNBC will be airing two different investigative reports on immigration detention. DWN’s Executive Director, Andrea Black was interviewed for both documentaries which highlight the massive expansion of the immigration detention system and its key drivers.

DWN is conducting a national campaign for “Dignity not Detention” to end mandatory detention laws, which are among the primary reasons for the explosion in immigration detention. To endorse the campaign and learn more visit www.dignitynotdetention.org.

PBS Frontline: Lost in Detention
Last year, the Obama administration set new records for detaining and deporting immigrants who were inside the country illegally. The government plans to best those numbers in 2011, removing more than 400,000 people. In partnership with American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, FRONTLINE correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes a penetrating look at Obama’s vastly expanded immigration net, explores the controversial Secure Communities enforcement program and goes inside the hidden world of immigration detention in Lost in Detention, airing Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).

CNBC: Billions Behind Bars: Inside America’s Prison Industry
A CNBC original documentary, goes behind the razor wires to investigate the profits and inner-workings of the multi-billion dollar corrections industry. With more than 2.3 million people locked up, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. One out of 100 American adults is behind bars – while a stunning one out of 32 is on probation, parole or in prison. This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government together spend roughly $74 billion a year on corrections, and nearly 800,000 people work in the industry. ALL TIMES IN ET: Tuesday, 10/18/2011: 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM,  12:00 AM, 1:00 AM. Friday, 10/21/2011: 8:00 PM. Sunday, 10/23/2011: 10:00 PM.

Call for Submissions: Immigration Symposium

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law Journal invites submissions for their Spring 2012 symposium focused on immigration law. Although papers on any immigration-related topic are welcome, they are especially interested in papers that may have particular relevance to immigration issues in Georgia or the Southeast. Accepted papers will be featured at a conference/CLE to be held on February 8, 2012 and will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of the Journal. Please e-mail papers or proposals to articleseditor@johnmarshall.edu by September 26, 2011.

Federal Agencies Combat Immigration Services Scams

DHS, DOJ and FTC Collaborate with State and Local Partners in Unprecedented Effort

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government will unveil a national initiative to combat immigration services scams on June 9 at 1 p.m. The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are leading this historic effort.  DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the lead agency responsible for administering the U.S. legal immigration system, will announce the initiative while hosting events in seven cities around the country as well as the national launch in Washington, D.C.

The unauthorized practice of immigration law is an exploitative practice that endangers the integrity of our immigration system and victimizes members of the immigrant community. Understanding the gravity of this deceptive practice, federal, state and local partners have come together to combat immigration services scams on all fronts. The initiative is set upon three pillars: enforcement, education, and continued collaboration. Each agency plays a critical role to ensure the success of this national effort.

This initiative exemplifies how government and community can work together to effectively address a serious problem.

WHO: Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, USCIS, DHS John Morton, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, DOJ Edith Ramirez, Commissioner, FTC Juan Osuna, Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review, DOJ

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2011, 1 p.m. EDT WHERE:  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Tomich Center 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.

CONTACT(S): Lauren Alder Reid Counsel, Office of Legislative and Public Affairs 703-305-0289; PAO.EOIR@usdoj.gov

NOTES: For planning purposes, media attending are requested to RSVP to  OCOMM.MediaDivision@dhs.gov by close of business June 8, 2011.

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