October 8, 2005
NALEO Naturalization Bulletin
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund has published its Third Quarter 2005 NALEO Naturalization Bulleing that provides an update on key naturalization policy developments, including the following:
-A naturalization fee hike that will increase the cost of filing an application by $10 effective October 26
-An overview of an immigration reform bill that focuses primarily on enforcement and the creation of short-term guestworker program
-Latest announcements from USCIS regarding fee waivers for Hurricane Katrinia victims and a new on-line informationresource.
Hard copies of the Bulletin can be obtained by contacting Diana Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-546-2536.
Latino Unemployment Skyrockets
The Latino unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in September, up from 5.8 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate for Latinos is disproportionately higher than the national average, which also increased to 5.1 percent, up from 4.9 percent in Agust, leaving nearly 1.5 million Latinos looking for a job.
October 7, 2005
Cruel and Inhumane Interrogations
The Senate concluded an intense debate about detainee treatment by voting in favor of an amendment to the $440 billion defense spending bill that would limit Army interrogation techniques to what is allowed in the Army field manual. The amendment, first sponsored by Sen. John McCain, would also prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" against anyone held by the United States, regardless of where the person is held. The White House has said the provision would interfered with the president's ability to protect Americans and has threated to veto the entire spending bill if the amendment were attached.
For more information see:
Smithsonian Institution and The University of Texas at El Paso "Envisioning Bracero History" Conference, El Paso, Texas Nov. 10 - 12, 2005
The Smithsonian Institution and the University of Texas at El Paso invite the public, Museum professionals, and students and faculty in History, American Studies, Latino Studies, Ethnic Studies and other related disciplines to attend a free conference, "Envisioning Bracero History" in El Paso, Texas November 10-12, 2005. "Envisioning Bracero History" a collaborative conference of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and the University of Texas at El Paso's History Department, will be held in El Paso, Texas from November 10 to 12, 2005. This conference is part of the Smithsonian's ongoing effort to collect, preserve, and share the history of the bracero program. Envisioning Bracero History will bring together scholars from both sides of the border to explore the rich cultural history and the myriad narratives of the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. The project will use the history of the Bracero Program to explore ongoing issues of race relations & citizenship, work & agriculture, family & gender, the border, immigration & transnationalism, politics & identity. We will share the information collected through a public website, and the Smithsonian hopes to begin work soon on a traveling exhibition. The event will begin with a Town Hall meeting on Thursday evening, November 10. On Friday, November 11 there will be two panels. That evening, there will be a reception at the El Paso Art Museum which will feature a graduate student poster session focusing on braceros and borderlands history and culture. On Saturday, November 12, 2005 a panel of oral and public historians will discuss practitioners' perspectives on collecting braceros' oral histories. During the afternoon Smithsonian representatives will conduct oral histories with former braceros. Conference attendance is free but registration is required. For more information and to register for the conference please go to https://ia.utep.edu/Default.aspx?tabid=32956#PROJECT
This conference is especially timely given the current debates over the need for a new "guest worker" program.
This conference is especially timely given the current debates over the need for a new "guest worker" program.
Immigration Hearings October 18
On October 7, Immigration Daily (www.ilw.com) reported the following:
"a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled "Comprehensive Immigration Reform II" has been scheduled for October 18th with both DOL Secretary Chao and DHS Secretary Chertoff to testify. It is a concrete sign of forward movement and reaffirms that immigration reform is indeed on President Bush's agenda. Immigration reform is now within sight, with House and Senate floor action expected before Thanksgiving. We look forward to a comprehensive immigration reform package perhaps one blending Cornyn-Kyl with McCain-Kennedy. Despite what you may hear to the contrary, the votes for large scale immigration reform exist in Congress and only slight prodding from the President is necessary to see this critical reform enacted. This is surely welcome news to a bar besieged by retrogression amongst many other severe challenges. Even if advocacy is not ordinarily on your agenda, this may be a good time to put a little effort to ensure that immigration success stories remain in the media forefront to counter the expected ferocious barrage from the anti-immigrationists. "
Despite the optism of the reporter, does anyone really think that meaningful comprehensive immigration reform will likely result in the next few months? To me, it seems unlikely. Perhaps, we will see another REAL ID, guest worker, or regularization bill? These types of responses, however, only delay for the future the need to address the issues. By the way, what was ""Comprehensive Immigration Reform II"?
October 6, 2005
Forum on Open Borders
A Pacific News Service aricle "Open Borders Solve Border Crises, Says Author" reports on a public forum on immigration law and policy with former NBC News corespondent Peter Laufer, author of Wetback Nation. To see the article, check out
Despite the jarring, offensive to some, title, the book Wetback Nation is a journalistic-style account of the problems with current immigration policy and the need for more open borders.
Human Trafficking Mini-Series
A special miniseries on human trafficking will air on Lifetime on Monday October 24. For a ton of information, see http://lifetimetv.com/movies/originals/humantrafficking.html
Thanks to professor Jill Family for the scoop. It looks like the miniseries might be a bit melodramatic; nonetheless, it could help raise public consciouness about a very real -- and very human -- problem.
Immigration arrivals and Naturalization Statistics
Recently the Office of Immigration Statistics released two new profiles with information on the number of immigrant arrivals and adjustments in 2004, and the number of foreign nationals who were naturalized in 2004. The profiles add detail to the recently released reports entitled, U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2004 and Naturalizations in the United States: 2004. Each provides selected characteristics by country of birth, state, and metropolitan area.
Both profiles are featured under "New from OIS" on the OIS website homepage at
source: Mark Herrenbruck, Office of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security
More on Miers?
For a sympathetic portrayal of Harriet Miers and the claim that her nomination represents George W. Bush returning to his centrist roots, see Professor Marci Hamilton's Oct. 6 findlaw.com column at http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20051006.html
But there still is precious little on her views on immigration except the general observation that Miers is a pragmatist and practical -- and not an ideologue.
October 5, 2005
Expanded deportation defense services
The International Institute of the East Bay in Oakland, California, has been in the process of developing a Deportation Defense project to respond to the crisis in the immigrant community caused by widespread deportations. As a first step in this program, In April 2005, IIEB launched a pilot Deportation clinic to offer free one-time legal consulations on deportation issues. Starting Oct. 1, 2005, IIEB expanded its services to also start accepting a liminited number of legal cases for low-cost representation at Immigration Court.
IIEB continues to offer free legal consulations to all immigrants who are currently in deportation proceedings. For more information see www.iieb.org
More on Harriet Miers
Immigration Daily (www.ilw.com) states the following about the Present's recent Supreme Court nominee:
President Bush nominated former White House counsel Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court nominee. Immigration Daily is pleased to note that while Ms. Miers served as President of the State Bar of Texas, Ms. Miers logged 125 pro bono hours handling an immigration and naturalization case for Catholic Charities of Dallas. We trust that if confirmed as Supreme Court justice, her exposure to immigration law issues lends a unique perspective to the Supreme Courts' understanding of the complexities of immigration law.
The American Immigration Law Foundation's annual Edward Dubroff Memorial Legal Writing Contest has been announced. Unpublished scholarly manuscripts from law students on any aspect of U.S. immigration law are solicited. The winning author will receive an hnorarium of $1000. Deadline for submission is Mar. 13, 2006, 5 pm ET. See www.ailf.org for more information.
Unions and Undocumented Workers
For local unions, the dilemma over undocumented workers mirrors an internal debate engulfing organized movement nationally: to abandon its historical opposition to mass immigration or to embrace the trend to win new members.
In recent years, the AFL-CIO has taken the latter tack, supporting a guest worker program not unlike the plan backed by President Bush.
But when immigration disputes arise on a job site, the stance is often guided by more immediate concerns: whether there are enough union workers to do the job at hand and whether the union has time to pick a fight.
Source: Brian Donohue, Immigrant influx leads to tension with unions, Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), Oct. 2, 2005.
Minuteman Runs for Congress
American Independent Candidate, and founder of the Minuteman project, Jim Gilchrist finished third with 14.4 percent of the vote in the vote to fill the Congressional seat in Orange County recently vacated by Christopher Cox, who recently become Commissioner of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Gilchrist received more votes than any Democratic candidate. Gilchrist will appear on the ballot in the December 6 general election along with the top vote-getters from four other parties. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-occoxseat5oct05,0,5655745.story?coll=la-home-local
Arrests in Beatings of Latino Immigrants
CNN reports that two men have been arrested for the brutal attacks on Latino immigrants in Tifton in south Georgia http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/10/05/georgia.killings.ap/index.html The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the suspects were African American and suggested that the crimes are a symptom of the Black/Brown tensions that have resulted in the rural South with the increase in mexican migration in recent years. Investigators stated that the home invasion crimes may have been directed at undocumented immigrants because they are more likley to keep relatively large sums of money at home because of the difficulties in opening bank accounts. See Bill Tirpy, "Tifton Arrests Reflect Chasm," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Oct. 6, 2005, at 1C.
Audio to Startling Seventh Circuit Argument
To hear a fascinating oral argument in a removal case in the Seventh Circuit (Judges Posner, Ripple, and Rovner), check out
One observer wrote that:
"Judges Posner and Rovner went to town on the DOJ/BIA. It was a no-holds barred session at the end of which Judge Posner actually apologized to the Assistant US Attorney "for being brutal" to her. Judge Rovner called her superiors "cruel" for sending a "lovely person like you" to defend the BIA's "madness.""
The Seventh Circuit, especially Judge Posner, has been tough on the BIA in a number of immigration cases. Query whether it has had any impact on the BIA and its approach to deciding appeals.
Border Justice Fellowships
BORDER JUSTICE FELLOWSHIPS
BORDER JUSTICE FELLOWSHIPS
"BORDER CROSSINGS: POLICY, PRACTICE AND POLITICS"
Tucson, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico January 9-16, 2006
Border Justice Fellowships will be awarded this fall to 10 journalists to support exemplary journalism about the policies, realities and politics of Mexican immigration to the United States.
Border Justice Fellowships will be awarded this fall to 10 journalists to support exemplary journalism about the policies, realities and politics of Mexican immigration to the United States.USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism invites applications from journalists working in a variety of media, ranging from those with extensive experience in reporting on U.S.-Mexico border issues and immigration to those who desire to develop expertise. Thew Institute seeks journalists committed to bringing depth and context to border-related stories on issues such as enforcement of immigration laws, border security, public policy development and bi-cultural relations. Border Justice Fellows will attend Tucson-based conference sessions and field trips to take place January 9-16, 2006. Conference discussions with experts will be mixed with field activities on and around the Arizona-Mexico border and in the Mexican state of Sonora. Fellows and their editors will attend a follow-up conference in late spring 2006. Each Fellow is expected to publish or broadcast an in-depth story or series by June 30, 2006. USC Annenberg’s Institute for Justice and Journalism will provide a stipend of $2,500 upon completion of an approved project. The fellowship guidelines and application are available at the Institute for Justice and Journalism's web site,
October 4, 2005
ABA Journal Article on "Asylum Logjam"
The October 2005 ABA Journal (p.18) has a story titled "Asylum Logjam: Streamlined Immigration Cases Are Flooding Federal Appeals Courts" by Richard Acello.
The article reports that in the last four years, appeals filed in the federal courts to BIA decisions are up 515 percent in no small part due to the Department of Justice's streamlioning procedures designed to reduce backlogs. Marshall Fitz, Associate Director of Advocacy with teh American Immigration Lawyers Association, is quoted as saying that the streamling has been an "administrative disaster," creating a flood of appeals to the federal courts..
Immigration News from New Haven
Yesterday, the mayor of New Haven (and leading candidate for governor of Connecticut) announced that the city would issue municipal ID cards, including to undocumented immigrants, to facilitate interactions with city agencies, utilities, and local merchants. The plan was developed and proposed to the mayor by students in Yale's Community Lawyering Clinic this spring, on behalf of several Latino community groups. Here's the headline and link to news article:
NEW HAVEN - Hundreds of undocumented Latino immigrants living in New Haven will be offered city-issued ID cards under a new program announced Monday
New Face of California
UC Davis Law Professor Cruz Reynoso will deliver the Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture as the opening event of a symposium entitled "The New Face of California: The Great Central Valley" on Friday, Nove. 4, 2005. at UC Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. The symposium will focus on the changing demographics of California's central valley which has been fueled by immigration from around the world for several generations.
For more information, contact Dianne Fuller at email@example.com