April 8, 2006
Learn Spanish at the Computer
Great find by Cappy White! I assume a lot of your blog fans might want to brush up on their Spanish. Here is a site with some good, free, intermediate-level Spanish lesson podcasts. They add new lessons 3 times a month. These are also on I-tunes. Ckick here.
Tragic Death Results from Student's Pro-Immigrant Protest
Press Release: News Conference, Sunday, Apr. 9, 2006, Noon; location: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 710 S. Sultana Avenue, Ontario, CA 91761
Louise Corales, whose 14 year-old son, Anthony Soltero, died on April 1, after committing suicide, will speak to the community and ask for a prayer for her son this Sunday. Eigth grader Anthony shot himself through the head on March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle Schoold told him that he was going to prison for three years because of his involvement as an organizer of the March 28 school walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony from attending graduation activities and threated to fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and participation in the student protests.
"Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironicially, he died because the vice principal at his school threated him for speaking out and exercising those rights," Ms. Corales said. "I want to speak out to other parents, whose children are attending the continuing protests this week. We have to let the schools know that they can't punish our children for exercising their rights."
Anthony, who was a very good student at De Anza Middle School in the Ontario-Montclair School District, believed in justice and was passionate about the immigration issue. He is survived by his mother, Louise Corales, his father, a younger sister, and a baby brother.
For more information, contact R. Samuel Paz, 310-410-2981 or 310-989-6815
Pew Fact Sheet
A fact sheet prepared by the Pew Hispanic Center on recently arrived immigrants and immigration reform debate.
Honors for Ed Imwinkelried
Our beloved colleague Ed Imwinkelried was honored with the 2006 UC Davis Distinguished Teaching award at a banquet last night. Mr. Blogster Bill Hing gave a rousing introduction and tribute to Ed.
New Book on Mexican Migrants
"Mexican Illegal Aliens: A Mexican American Perspective" provides the first comprehensive, Mexican American historical perspective of the Mexican illegal immigration to the US during the last 50 years. Professor Canul, in this substantial, well-documented and impressive socio-political and economic analysis, focuses on the difficult and challenging motives and experiences of Mexicans illegals who have settled in the U.S. since 1920's. For more info, including how to buy the book, see here.
The Size and Characteristics of the UnauthorizedMigrant Population in the U.S.
Jeffrey S. Passel of Pew Hispanic Center writes "Based on analysis of other data sources that offer indications of the pace of growth in the foreign-born population, the Center developed an estimate of 11.5 to 12 million for the unauthorized population as of March 2006." Click here to see this report.
What's FAIR Got To Do With It?
Tom Barry writes "Established in 1979 by zero-population-growth advocates and cultural supremacists, FAIR has stood in the forefront of the anti-immigration forces, working at both the national and local levels." To see this article, click here.
April 7, 2006
Immigration Bill is Shelved
left for their two week recess today without being able to vote on an
immigration bill. Given that they were unable to get a floor vote, leadership
has indicated that they will be sending the Martinez- Hagel “compromise” back
to the Judiciary Committee, as the negotiations on procedural steps broke down,
once again. (But who knows if the Judiciary Committee will take up the
bill again, given the volatility of the issue, and if they do, will be able to
forge another “compromise.”)
The break down happened because Senators Frist and Reid could not agree on the number of amendments that would be brought to the floor for a vote. The Republicans had over 400 amendments, many of which would have gutted parts of the bill. Although Senator McCain said that supporters of the compromise had the votes to defeat negative amendments, I am not sure of this, especially with regard to such amendments as the Kyl amendment that would have made anyone with a voluntary departure ineligible for the legalization program. Senator Reid also had been trying to get an agreement that the full Judiciary Committee would sit as the Conference Committee, as a safeguard against the Sensenbrenner bill.
Source: Judy Golub, Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Also click on: Immigration Bill's Dead End
Gerry Neuman to HLS
Brian Leiter (click here) reports that Gerry Neuman is headed to Harvard. Congrats Gerry!!!
The Latest from the NY Times on Immigration
The New York Times says the following about the judicial review provisions of the one of the immigration reform propossls: The debate over immigration in Congress has surfaced quite a few bad ideas. One of them is a proposal that the Senate is considering to restrict all appeals on immigration cases to a single federal court. Separating immigration cases out in this way would skew the judicial process against immigrants and diminish the entire court system by singling out one class of people for inferior treatment. It should have no place in immigration reform. Click here.
Today (April) 7, the Times is reporting that the discussions in Congress on immigration reform are nreaking down. Click here.
April 6, 2006
Immigration Compromise Reached
A bipartisan group of senators today announced a "breakthrough" on controversial immigration legislation, as the Senate cleared the way for a vote on a compromise bill that would create a temporary worker program and offer legal status to many of the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.
senators backing the compromise said President Bush supports the deal.
The compromise would give illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years a chance to legalize their status and, eventually, to become U.S. citizens if they pay a fine and meet a series of requirements. Other rules would apply to those who have been in the country less than five years but more than two years from the effective date of Jan. 7, 2004.
The compromise proposal, crafted by Republican senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Mel Martinez of Florida, was introduced last night and "has moved this issue off the dime," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a co-sponsor of an immigration bill that was cast aside today.
Shortly before he spoke, the Senate voted effectively to kill the immigration bill that he and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) had introduced and that had passed the Judiciary Committee with the support of its chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The Senate voted 60-39 against invoking cloture on the Judiciary Committee's bill, essentially filibustering it to death by refusing to cut off debate so that it could go to the Senate floor for a vote. The votes of at least 60 senators were needed to invoke cloture.
The Senate's action cleared the way for consideration of a bill submitted by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) that includes the Hagel-Martinez compromise.
Hagel and Martinez joined Specter, McCain, Kennedy and other senators in the
bipartisan group that announced plans to go forward with their breakthrough
bill, which they indicated could come to a vote tomorrow.
Extraordinary Immigrant Deal
Why is This Not Surprising News?
From the Washington Times (April 6, 2006):
An Iraqi-born U.S. citizen suspected of being a foreign intelligence agent was employed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to rule on asylum applications, including those from unfriendly Middle Eastern nations, according to documents obtained from Congress by The Washington Times.
Hing on Immigration Reform
JURIST Guest Columnist Bill Hing of UC Davis School of Law -- and blogster extraordinaire -- says that immigration legislation now being debated in Congress presents lawmakers with a moral choice, and that in its own economic, social, and national security interests it's time for the United States to do the right thing. Check it out by clicking here.
Immigration Book Review in Atlantic Monthly
The GOP-proposed "touch-back" provision resembles the old "drying out" Marc Cooper has a book review in the Atlantic Monthly of five books on immigration and the border. Click here for a look.
The books are (1) Down by the River: Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family by Charles Bowden Simon and Schuster; (2) The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea Little, Brown; (3) By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border by Luis Alberto Urrea Little; (4) Brown Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border by Jon E. Dougherty WND Books; and (5) Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and the War on Terror by Congressman J. D. Hayworth with Joseph J. Eule introduction by Sean Hannity.
Drying Out Process in the Bracero Program and the Latest Republican Immigration Proposal
Accoring to Dan Kowalski, The GOP-proposed "touch-back" provision allowing undocumented immigrants in the country for less than 5 years to return to their native country and then return to the U.S., resembles the old "drying out" process: "Mexican workers often had to pay fees and bribes in Mexico to be selected as Braceros, so many went north illegally. Illegal workers could be hired without penalty by U.S. farmers. If an unauthorized Mexican worker was apprehended, he was made legal in a process referred to, even in U.S. government publications, as "drying out the wetbacks" - illegal workers were taken to the Mexican border, issued work permits, and returned to the farm on which they were working." [There Is Nothing More Permanent Than Temporary Foreign Workers, April 2001, By Philip Martin].
If this reform is passed, how long will it be befor a new undocumented population gros in this country that necessitates more immigration reform?
NPR Story on Working Immigrants
Richard Rodriguez talks on NPR about the work that immigrants do. Click here to listen.
April 5, 2006
Fences and Walls
Two commentators at leading newspapers today offered their two cents on immigration reform. Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes has a column entitled "High Fence and Big Gate." Here is a link to that column. He favors the guestworker-to-citizenship route proposed by Sen. Spector and a "big fence" - "if not a physical one, then at least a tamperproof national ID card for every American, without which you could not get a legal job or access to government services."
Robert J. Samuelson wrote for the Washington Post. His column - "Immigration Impasse: A Way Out" is here. He proposes a big wall (20-30 feet high), amnesty, and no guest worker program.
The proposal for big fences in both columns was striking to me. Friedman was at least thinking about the "fence" in metaphorical terms, signifying the implementation of mechanisms to improve internal and border regulation of migration. But the Samuelson piece proposes a physical fence.
The physical fence idea is a bad idea. It would cost billions to build a fence hundreds of miles long and 30 feet high. It would not be impervious to infiltration unless every foot of it was guarded. And to think that is a good idea shows a flat disregard for those who have to live on the border. Think of the glory of having a 30 foot fence in your backyard, as far as the eye can see. More helicopters buzzing overhead. More big trucks rolling through the dirt. What fun border residents! (Meanwhile, folks in the interior who hire and benefit from low-wage undocumented labor don't have to deal with these quality of life costs. How nice for them!)
But more importantly, the research suggests that the fenced border approach to immigration is counterproductive. In his op-ed in yesterday's NYTimes, "The Wall That Keeps Illegal Workers In," Douglas S. Massey suggests that the border is not out of control at all. He notes that "The rate of undocumented migration, adjusted for population growth, to the United States has not increased in 20 years. . . .What has changed are the locations and visibility of border crossings."
He observes that folks used to cross in El Paso or San Diego, metropolitan areas where "the daily passage of even thousands of Mexicans . . . was not very visible or disruptive." But when fences were built in San Diego in the early 1990s, migrants formerly engaged in orderly (if unauthorized) crossings were rerouted in dangerous ways -- and then captured on film!! The response? Military style operations at various points of entry that have forced migrants to do some serious re-routing.
The border chaos (including the border deaths) that we hear so much about grew out of attempts to secure the border with big fences. And, Massey notes, "although border militarization had little effect on the probability of Mexicans migrating illegally, it did reduce the likelihood that they would return to their homeland." He concludes that "the only thing we have to show for two decades of border militarization is a larger undocumented population than we would otherwise have, a rising number of Mexicans dying while trying to cross, and a growing burden on taxpayers for enforcement that is counterproductive."
In other words, maybe we'd best re-think that border fence....
New Law Review Articles
Connolly, Kathleen A. Comment. In search of the American Dream: an examination of undocumented students, in-state tuition, and the DREAM Act. 55 Cath. U. L. Rev. 193-225 (2005).
Cruz, Skyler G. Student article. Have foreign physicians been misdiagnosed? A closer look at the J-1 Visa. 2 Loy. U. Chi. Int'l L. Rev. 295-308 (2005).
Malik, Samia A. Student article. Protecting the persecuted and fulfilling the true goals of a war on terror through immigration policy. 2 Loy. U. Chi. Int'l L. Rev. 333-348 (2005).
Van Wyke, Vashti D. Comment. Retroactivity and immigrant crimes since St. Cyr: emerging signs of judicial restraint. 154 U. Pa. L. Rev. 741- 787 (2006).
Wardle, Jonathan H. Note. The strategic use of Mexico to restrict South American access to the diversity visa lottery. 58 Vand. L. Rev. 1963-1995 (2005).
Yates, Jeff, Todd A. Collins and Gabriel J. Chin. A war on drugs or a war on immigrants? Expanding the definition of "drug trafficking" in determining aggravated felon status for noncitizens. 64 Md. L. Rev. 875- 909 (2005).
Zaske, Amy K.R. Note. Love knows no borders--the same-sex marriage debate and immigration laws. 32 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 625-653 (2006).
Symposium on International Migration: Examining the Legal Implications in a Global Society. Articles by Susan Ginsburg, Cynthia Shepard Perry, Susan W. Tiefenbrun, Micahel A. Scaperlanda and Ann Gurucharri. 2 Loy. U. Chi. Int'l L. Rev. 169-252 (2005).
Pew Hispanic Center Facts on Immigration Reform
See the latest from the Pew Hispanic Center on immigration reform by clicking here .
President Bush Urges Senate To Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The Office of the Press Secretary of the White House released President Bush's remarks on immigration reform. See them by clicking here.
Nationwide Boycott Called for May 1
Immigrant advocates called Tuesday for a nationwide boycott of jobs and schools on May 1, even as senators appeared stymied in their efforts to finish the immigration bill that's provoking controversy.
The proposed "Great American Boycott of 2006" is being organized by some of the same activists who rallied an estimated half a million demonstrators in Los Angeles on March 25. Now, in a bid to show nationwide clout, they want immigrants and supporters to avoid work, school, buying and selling on May 1.
"We realize that we have been absent from the political debate in Washington, although we are the voices of those most affected by the legislation," Juan Jose Gutierrez, director of Latino Movement USA, said at a Washington news conference.
The nationwide boycott is also being organized through the ANSWER Coalition, whose member groups range from the Free Palestine Alliance to the Party for Socialism and Liberation and the Korea Truth Coalition.
The boycott, along with upcoming nationwide rallies scheduled for April 10, represent the loudest aspect of a debate that has meandered on Capitol Hill for the past week. On Tuesday, despite some ongoing Republican compromise negotiations, increasingly irritated senators acknowledged they lack the 60 votes necessary to pass legislation.
"I'm very frustrated right now," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist conceded early Tuesday evening, adding, "We're making no progress whatsoever."
Eight hours of debate Tuesday, interrupted by frequent quorum calls, did not result in any substantive progress and yielded only one, symbolic, vote.
One hundred amendments still await action,
prompting some senators - including Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas - to
suggest that the Senate might have to postpone action until after a two-week
April recess now scheduled to start Saturday. Throughout most of Tuesday,
Democrats used the Senate's procedural rules to block voting on amendments.
Source: McClatchy Newspapers, April 4, 2006
A Way of Resolving the Immigration Reform Impasse?
Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post in an April 5 op/ed contends that "The immigration bills in Congress are delusional. A successful bill will Americanize immigrants by strengthening border and employment enforcement, granting amnesty to existing illegal immigrants, and doing away with guest worker programs." See here