Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Immigration Article of the Day: Let's go outside: bodies, prostitutes, slaves and worker citizens by Julia O'Connell Davidson

Let's go outside: bodies, prostitutes, slaves and worker citizens by Julia O'Connell Davidson, Citizenship Studies, Volume 18, Number 5, 4 July 2014, pp. 516-532(17)

Abstract: In liberal thought, slavery is imagined as reducing the human being to nothing but a body, while the free and equal political subjects of modern liberal democracies are held to be abstract, universal and disembodied individuals. In theory, bodies are also unimportant in the wage labour exchange. Though traditional models of worker citizenship insist on state and employers' duty to protect the human worth of worker citizens, they also assume the disembodied, thing-like nature of commodified labour power. Because bodies are so obviously important in the exchange between prostitute and customer, sex work is difficult to reconcile with liberal fictions of disembodiment, and one strand of feminist debate on prostitution is preoccupied by the question of whether prostitutes are like slaves or wage labourers. Protagonists on both sides of this debate often reproduce liberal understandings of labour power as a ‘thing’ that can be detached from the person. And yet labour power is also a contested commodity, and wage labour has historically been likened to slavery by activists struggling against the commodification of labour power. This article argues that stepping outside liberal fictions of disembodiment and recognising the parallels between prostitution, wage labour and slavery would allow greater scope for establishing a common political subjectivity amongst prostitutes, other wage workers and all those who have an interest in halting and reversing the current global trend towards the commodification of everything. In this way, common political ground between prostitutes and other wage workers is more visible when we step outside liberal assumptions about embodiment, slavery, work and citizenship.


July 29, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Mee Moua (Laos)


Mee Moua From Laos | President of Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Mee Moua became the first Hmong-American to be elected to a state legislature when, in 2002, she won a seat in the Minnesota Senate. As Minnesota has the largest Hmong population in the U.S., Moua characterized her election as a watershed event for her community’s engagement with mainstream politics. After twice being reelected, she left the state senate to become vice president of strategic impact initiatives for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health justice organization. Currently, she serves as the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which promotes civic engagement for Asian-Americans and other underserved communities.

Moua has earned degrees from Brown University, the University of Texas, and the University of Minnesota.

Moua's father was a medic in the Vietnam War. At the end of the war, her family fled to Thailand when Moua was five years old. In 1978 her family, along with other Hmong refugees, moved to the United States.


July 29, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors By State

The Office of Refugee resettlement has released this data about unaccompanied noncitizen children released by state:

When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  ORR cares for the children in shelters around the country until they can be released to a sponsor, typically a parent or relative, who can care for the child while their immigration case is processed. 

Ensuring that a potential sponsor can safely and appropriately care for the child is a top priority.  A background check is conducted on all potential sponsors, and steps are taken to verify a potential sponsor’s identity and relationship to the child.  In some cases where concerns are raised, a home study is done.

Before children are released to a sponsor, they receive vaccinations and medical screenings. We do not release any children who have a contagious condition.

The sponsor must agree to cooperate with all immigration proceedings.

If ORR cannot identify a viable sponsor, the child will typically remain in ORR care unless the following happens:

  • The child goes before the immigration judge and requests a voluntary departure
  • A judge orders the child to be deported and DHS repatriates
  • The child turns 18, transferring custody back to DHS
  • Legal relief, in some form is granted by an immigration judge

Ensuring the privacy and safety of children is of paramount importance. We cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity.

The data in the table below shows state-by-state placement of unaccompanied children with sponsors. ACF will update this data during the first week of each month.

January 1, 2014 to July 7, 2014
State# Released
Alabama 407
Alaska 5
arizona 186
arkansas 166
california 3,150
colorADO 221
IOWA 122
Maine 8
maryland 2,205
Massachusetts 773
michigan 92
minnesota 173
mississippi 179
missouri 121
montana 1
nebraska 192
nevada 122
new hampshire 13
new jersey 1,504
new mexico 18
new york 3,347
north cArolina 1,191
north dakota 4
ohio 360
oklahoma 212
oregon 50
pennsylvania 386
rhode island 119
south carolina 350
south dakota  21
tennessee 760
texas  4,280
utah 67
vermont 3
Virgin Islands 4
virginia 2,234
washington 211
west virginia 10
wisconsin 50
wyoming 6




July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE Detention Contract with Pinal County Jail Will End

From Detention Watch Network:

After years of outrage at the conditions for immigrants in detention at the Pinal County Jail, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ended its contract with the county. Since 2005, ICE has used the Pinal County Jail in Florence, Arizona to detain immigrants facing removal in Arizona. In 2012, in response to repeated hunger strikes and protest letters from people detained in the jail, Arizona advocates responded by holding vigils, organizing visitation programs and advocating for the termination of this contract. As recently as June 2014, men detained in the jail began a hunger strike in protest of the conditions.


“ICE’s decision to end its contract with the Pinal County Jail is long overdue. Year after year, since the beginning of this contract, men and women detained in the jail have bravely protested the punitive treatment and inhumane conditions,” said Victoria Lopez, Policy and Advocacy Director at the ACLU of Arizona and author of the 2011 report, In Their Own Words: Enduring Abuse in Arizona Immigration Detention Centers.

“ICE and the county were well-aware that their jail operations failed to meet federal detention standards as well as domestic and international legal obligations. Although the termination of this contract is an important step, ICE must make further efforts to reduce its reliance on detention including eliminating the bed quota and using safer and more humane alternatives to detention,” added Lopez.

In 2012, Detention Watch Network released a report on the conditions at Pinal County Jail calling for its closure as a part of the Expose and Close campaign. The report documented the inhumane conditions and lack of accountability at the jail, including complaints regarding sanitation, such as receiving food on dirty trays, receiving dirty laundry and having no access to outdoor recreation or contact visits with family members.
“Detention Watch Network is glad that immigrants in detention are no longer being held at Pinal County Jail. Conditions at detention centers across the country have gotten so bad that the only answer is to start shutting them down,” said Silky Shah, Interim Executive Director at Detention Watch Network. “We are hopeful that ICE will follow suit with the other Expose and Close facilities, especially the Etowah Detention Center in Alabama, which they tried to close in 2010.”


July 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

National Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, Labor and Faith Leaders Release 2014 National Immigration Score Card

National Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islander groups as well as labor and Evangelical leaders have announced an unprecedented alliance and civic engagement initiative, beginning with release of the 2014 National Immigration Score Card that shows how Congress failed on the issue of immigration reform.

"After the 2012 election, Congress held out handfuls of pledges to enact immigration reform. However, opposition from anti -immigration extremists turned those hands into balled up fists, delivering stinging blows to the push for reform and immigrant families," the 10 national community, civil rights and faith leaders said in a joint statement released Monday. "Congress may try to ignore us and the immigration issue, but we will not."

In the midst of a national immigration crisis and a shameful leadership vacuum on Capitol Hill, "No where is the anger and disappointment with Congress more palpable than in the Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander and immigrant communities that suffer daily from the consequences of Congress' failure to remedy the broken and immoral immigration system," the immigration reform advocates stated.

In response, the national leaders have embarked on a broad civic engagement initiative that includes national distribution of the first-ever 2014 National Immigration Score Card that shows how Congress failed on immigration reform by refusing to bring a broad bill to the House floor, yet calling for anti-immigrant votes, such as immediately ending the DACA program and deporting DREAMers. The scores are based on tabulations of immigration related votes and actions including cosponsorship of reform bills that include a path to citizenship and family reunification through visa reform.  The report also shows how the scores of several members were knocked down by leaders' refusal to bring to the floor immigration legislation that could have passed the House.

"The 2014 National Immigration Score Card leaves no doubt who supported immigration reform and who worked against us," according to the joint statement. "The American people support immigration reform and they will join us in sending a clear and unmistakable signal to Washington: Congress' inaction fuels our action. The time is now for our communities to get engaged."


July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Demonising ‘the other’: British Government complicity in the exploitation, social exclusion and vilification of new migrant workers by Mick Wilkinson

Mick wilkonson

Demonising ‘the other’: British Government complicity in the exploitation, social exclusion and vilification of new migrant workers by Mick Wilkinson,: Citizenship Studies, Volume 18, Number 5, 4 July 2014, pp. 499-515(17)

Abstract: This article demonstrates the close and complex connection between the demonisation, exploitation and exclusion of new migrant workers. In so doing, it testifies to the blurred boundaries between the categories of severe labour exploitation, forced labour and slavery. This study highlights the absence of citizenship rights as crucial to understanding the vulnerability to demonisation, exploitation and exclusion that characterises the embodied experience of such workers. It also highlights the key role of citizenship as a means for such workers to make rights claims. In the UK, new migrant workers, particularly those arriving from Eastern Europe since 2004, have been increasingly designated by government and media as interlopers in a tight labour marketplace. Whilst their collective economic contribution is sometimes welcomed, they are regarded as ‘external’ to UK society and citizenship, a potential threat to indigenous values and culture, and in competition with British workers. Rarely are migrants afforded the space in public and private spheres to express their individual needs, wants, cares or perspectives. UK migrants have variously been portrayed by the tabloid media and irresponsible politicians as rapacious opportunists, as benefit scroungers, criminals and potential terrorists. The predominant discourse around new migrant workers in the UK is that they are not citizens, but temporary residents who are expected to work industriously and to remain otherwise unseen and unheard until they return to their country of origin. No further contribution to social and political life is required or expected. It is within such an unsupportive environment that new migrant workers in general, and undocumented migrants in particular, have become highly susceptible to employer and gangmaster abuse and exploitation.


July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrants from the Dominican Republic in the United States

 Migration Information Source has issued a report on immigrants from the Dominican Republic to the United States.  Large-scale migration from the Dominican Republic to the United States began in the 1960s, in the wake of economic and political turbulence that occurred after dictator Rafael Trujillo was killed by rebels in 1961 and the U.S. military and other government agencies intervened. The Dominican immigrant population in the United States, which stood at 12,000 in 1960, grew rapidly after that: reaching 350,000 in 1990 and 879,000 in 2010.

In 2012, 960,000 immigrants from the Dominican Republic resided in the United States, constituting 2 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population of 40.8 million. Historically, immigration from the Dominican Republic to the United States has been dominated by women. Between 1970 and 2012, about 56 percent of all Dominican immigrants residing in the United States were female. People of Dominican origin or ancestry represent the fifth-largest Hispanic group in the United States (or 3 percent of the 52.9 million Hispanics), following Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Salvadorans.



July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pregnant Women Held in Detention in Violation of ICE Policy

From Fusion:

Fusion has learned that at least 559 pregnant women were detained in just six Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities since 2012, despite a policy prohibiting such detentions except for in cases of "extraordinary circumstances."

ICE says they do their best to minimize the time that expecting mothers spend in detention. But the average time spent in detention for the 559 pregnant women detained since 2012 was just four days shorter than the average time for all people held in detention, according to a Freedom of Information Act request obtained by Fusion.

ICE provided data for only six of its facilities, which house an estimated 39 percent of the women held in detention. The total number of pregnant women kept behind bars is likely much higher.

A Human Rights Watch report found that access to prenatal care varies considerably from one facility to another. ICE policy says that all pregnant women should have access to obstetricians and appropriate nutrition.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration asked Congress for $897 million in additional funding to detain and deport undocumented Central American parents entering the country. Click here....


July 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The new land of opportunity for immigrants? Germany

Anthony Faiola of the Washngton Post reports that, unlike the United States, Britain, and France, in Germany, the government is rolling out a red carpet by simplifying immigration procedures, funding free language classes, even opening “ welcome centers” for newcomers looking to carve out a piece of the German dream. In the rankings of the globe’s most prosperous countries, this economic powerhouse of 82 million has now leapfrogged Canada, Britain, Italy and Spain to become the largest destination for immigrants after the United States, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Padmasree Warrior (India), Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of Cisco Systems


Photo courtesy of Cisco website

Padmasree Warrior From India | Chief Strategy and Technology Officer of Cisco Systems

Born in Vijayawada, India, Padmasree Warrior earned her master’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University. When she was first hired by Motorola as a research engineer, she was the only female engineer in the factory, but over her 23 years at the company she eventually rose to the position of Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, becoming the company’s first female executive. It was under Warrior’s leadership that the company was awarded the 2004 National Medal of Technology by President Bush. She left Motorola in 2007 to become the chief strategy and technology officer at Cisco Systems. Among the many recognitions she has earned, Fortune magazine named her one of four rising stars on its list of Most Powerful Women in 2006, and Women in Technology International inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 2007.



July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

George Will Downplays Border "Crisis," Says that The Idea that Nation Cannot Assimilate Children is "Preposterous"


Columnist George Will Sunday downplayed concerns about the surge in underage undocumented without adult guardians. “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America. You’re going to go to school, get a job, and become Americans,’” Will said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

Will dismissed objections that the country can’t assimilate the 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central America who have been appearing at the U.S. border with Mexico. “We have 3,141 counties in this country,” he said. “That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”


July 28, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Immigration Article of the Day: Taking It Personally: Delimiting Gender-Based Refugee Claims Using the Complementary Protection Provision in Canada by Jamie Liew

Taking It Personally: Delimiting Gender-Based Refugee Claims Using the Complementary Protection Provision in Canada by Jamie Liew, University of Ottawa - Common Law Section September 1, 2013 (2014) 26(2) Canadian Journal of Women and the Law Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2014-10

Abstract: Random violence. General criminal risk. Decision makers evaluating refugee claims are characterizing violence against women in this manner. The reduction of gendered violence, leading to the denial of refugee claims, occurs under the covert operation of Canada’s consolidated refugee definition. Canada has received accolades for recognizing gender-related persecution. Since this recognition, Canada consolidated its refugee definition, legislating a “complementary protection provision” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Prior to 2002, risk assessments done just prior to the removal of persons asked whether persons would be returned to torture or cruel and unusual punishment. In 2002, this assessment was included in the refugee determination process. There has been little evaluation of this provision since then. The paper examines the performative functions of Canada’s complementary protection and finds the provision delimits gender-related claims in three ways. First, it does not fill the gaps left by the enumerated grounds system. Second, the provision encourages the production of harmful discourse on violence against women. Finally, it encourages decision makers to conflate the separate analyses (enumerated grounds and the complementary protection schemes), erroneously allowing factors such as the universality of oppression or violence to erode the enumerated grounds regime.


July 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

White House Braces for Impeachment Threat After Immigration Action


US News & World Report and CNN report that President Barack Obama is considering taking executive action on immigration, which could lead to impeachment action by House Republicans, according to a White House adviser. As unaccompanied children stream across the southern border, President Barack Obama is contemplating executive actions that may provide relief for immigrants living without authorization in the United States.  

White House aide Dan Pfeiffer says Obama is preparing to unveil his actions by the end of the summer and is poised to accept the political consequences, even if the fallout results in impeachment action by House Republicans.   “The president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment at some point.”

Article II of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."  Is the claim that deffered action of some kind constitute "High Crimes and Misdemeanoprs"?  Or is the impeachment after Bill Clinton just another political tool to try to undermine the President?


 Obama critic Dick Cheney does not support impeachment and says that it would be a "distraction."



July 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Protesters in Boston


The Boston Globe reports on a anti-illegal immigration rally on Beacon Hill outside the Massachusetts State House yesterday.  "While Bree Sison of CBS Boston estimated that the gathering drew hundreds of people, Jeff Kuhner, the host of WRKO’s The Kuhner Report, who organized the rally, put the number closer to 10,000 people. People carrying signs that said “Deport illegals,” and “Americans before illegals” stood just outside the State House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m."

 Governor Deval Patrick last week said that Massachusetts would offer shelter to unaccompanied minors from Central America. The state has offered to house up to 1,000 children at one of two secure facilities for up to four months.


Kuhner told Boston.com that he thought Saturday’s rally in Boston may well become a national story. “We made the Drudge Report.” (As an aside, I am not sure that is eomething that I would brag about.).


July 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immmigrant of the Day: Peter Frampton (England)



 A member of various bands since his teenage years, rock star Peter Frampton was a session musician and had an overlooked solo career before hitting it big with the release of his 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive!, which eventually sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Recently staging a major comeback, he won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental for his 2006 album Fingerprints, considered by some to be his best studio album.

Frampton has lived in London and the USA, including Westchester County, New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville. He moved to Indian Hill, an eastern suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio in 2000. ] Frampton cites the events of September 11 as hisreason for becoming a U.S. citizen. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.


July 27, 2014 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Immigration Mobile App

The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), in partnership with Pro Bono Net and Verizon, are pleased to announce the launch of Immigo, a new mobile app designed to provide the most up-to-date information about changing immigration laws and policies. Launched at the 2014 NCLR Annual Conference and National Latino Family Expo in Los Angeles, this cutting-edge, comprehensive resource for anyone who works with immigrant communities is currently available for free for Apple devices and for Android smart phones and tablets.

"Day in and day out, our Affiliates and allies are working with individuals and families who have questions about immigration policy and reform. This is an easily accessible resource that provides access to the latest information, updates and resources for those assisting immigrants in this country," said Janet Murguia, President and CEO, NCLR. "Immigo will be a valuable tool not only for our NCLR Affiliates, but for all organizations working within the immigrant integration arena."

Immigo provides users with information about state and federal regulations and resources associated with immigration, as well as changes and updates to immigration law and policy. Additional features include a daily immigration news feed, national trainings calendar, and geolocation technology that allows users to find nearby, trusted providers of free or low-cost immigration legal services. "Immigo is the first-ever mobile app designed to connect individuals working with immigrants to comprehensive trainings, resources and legal referrals," said Matthew Burnett, Director of the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN). "As the largest network of nonprofit and pro bono immigration advocates in the country, IAN is proud to partner with NCLR, Verizon and Pro Bono Net to ensure that advocates anywhere in the country have ready access to timely, relevant information about this complex and ever-changing area of law."

To download the app for Apple devices, visit here  or search for "Immigo" in the iTunes App Store. To download the app for Android devices, visit here or search for "Immigo" in the Google Play Store. If you have questions or comments, please diret them by email to support@immigrationadvocates.org



July 27, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prayers for the Migrant Children at the Border

From the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights:

 Listen to the Children Pray:
Lifting Up Prayers for the Migrant Children at the Border
August 7th 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
San Francisco Federal Building (90 Seventh St.)


We hope you will join us for this special event & use this as an opportunity to engage your families and congregations! Many of us have heard the dehumanizing rhetoric being used against these children in the media and by many of our politicians.

It is time to change the narrative, lift up the humanity of migrants, and let the immigrant community know that Faith Communities stand strongly with them in calling for the protection of all migrant children.

We are inviting all faith communities to this interfaith prayer service! This will be a reverent, meditative and humble service, where we are going to dig deep into our rich faith traditions, in prayer, music and ritual for the protection of these children. There will be a special Children's Prayer Moment, so please invite children and families to come.

Come to the prayer service! Come and join us in prayer for these children. We believe prayer is a powerful tool for social change! All are welcome!

Bring your children! We are encouraging parents and grandparents to bring their children to be present in the prayer, ritual and music.  There will be a time where the children will spend a moment in prayer for the migrant children. If your congregation or youth choir would like to share music or prayers in the program, please email Daniel Pinell at daniel@workingeastbay.org.


July 26, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Heidi Klum (Germany)


Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Heidi Klum was initially interested in becoming a designer until she beat more than 25,000 entrants in a modeling contest in 1992. After making a splash on the runway as a model for Victoria’s Secret, she was picked for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and soon became one of the industry’s top models. In recent years, Klum has turned her efforts to other several other ventures, most notably as a judge and executive producer of the reality show Project Runway, for which she won an Emmy in 2008.



July 26, 2014 in Current Affairs, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Scandal of Refugee Family Reunification: How the U.S. Refugee Family Reunification System Hinders Reunification and Endangers Families — And What Can Be Done About It by Andrew John Haile

The Scandal of Refugee Family Reunification: How the U.S. Refugee Family Reunification System Hinders Reunification and Endangers Families — And What Can Be Done About It by Andrew John Haile, Boston College Law Review June 25, 2014 Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract: Many refugees arrive in the United States without their families due to forced separation abroad. Upon arrival, most are immediately eligible for reunification with certain family members, yet the immigration processes they must follow are torturous and often penalize the most vulnerable refugees with the least ability to self-advocate. This Note explains the U.S. refugee family reunification system, identifies its flaws, and provides comprehensive solutions for reform.


July 26, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


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Cyrus D. Mehta writes that the overreaction surrounding 57, 000 unaccompanied children who have come to the United States, with a population of 300 million, is not befitting of a great nation of immigrants. Indeed, some of the reaction against these children has been nothing short of disgraceful. The waiving of the American flag against busloads of dazed and frightened children by residents of Murrieta in California did a great disservice to the ideals symbolized by this flag. The summoning of the Texas National Guard to the border against these children, unschooled in the complexities of immigration law, is also unwarranted. Are they going to shoot at these kids? It is further worth noting that developing countries host 80% of the world’s displaced population, while most of the anti-refugee sentiment is heard loudest in industrialized countries.Cliock the link above for the rest of Cyrus's post.


July 26, 2014 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)