June 10, 2006
Sad News from Guantanamo
Three prisoners at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have hanged themselves in what is being called a "planned event," the U.S. military said Saturday. They are the first confirmed suicides at the compound. Prisoners have attempted suicide in the past. Click here for the full story.
Same-Sex Immigration Community Forum
Is Your Family Unvalued?
Discrimination, Denial and the Fate of LGBT Immigrants and their Families under U.S. Immigration Law
Thursday, June 15, 2006
7:00 – 9:00 P.M.
MISSION CULTURAL CENTER FOR LATINO ARTS
2868 Mission Street (between 24th and 25th) * San Francisco
BART to 24th Street
Rachel Tiven, Immigration Equality
Scott Long, Human Rights Watch,
Noemi Calonje, National Center for Lesbian
Marta Donayre, Love Sees No Borders
Belinda Ryan, Out 4 Immigration
Additional speakers to be announced.
Organized by: Human Rights Watch, Immigration Equality, Love Sees No Borders, and Out 4 Immigration
New DHS Regs on Employer Sanctions
Seeking to strengthen enforcement against businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security on Friday proposed new regulations to clarify employers' responsibilities in making sure workers are legal.
The effort comes as the Bush administration attempts to burnish its enforcement credentials with conservatives in Congress who are balking at the president's push for a sweeping immigration overhaul.
The regulations outline the steps businesses should take if notified by the Social Security Administration that a current or prospective employee's name and Social Security number don't match the government's records.
Employers who follow the rules would be granted a "safe harbor" and spared prosecution if it was later determined they had hired an undocumented immigrant. Click here.
A Rant Against the Restrictionists
For an amusing rant against the current strain of restricist sentiment plaguing the nations, click here to read Rant: The Decline of the English Speaking Peoples: America’s national language is under siege. By Nick Gillespie. Here is an excerpt:
So it turns out it’s muy important that immigrants, legal and illegal, learn English as a condition of citizenship, guest-worker status, indentured servitude, whatever. Who knew the great Melting Pot Nation of America has been living on borrowed time for the last few centuries by not strictly enforcing an English-only rule among the huddled masses and wretched refuse who show up here? President Bush has wisely counseled that “The Star-Spangled Banner” should be sung only in English, lest we lose our “national soul.” Thank you, Middle Eastern 9/11 hijackers, for finally getting the point through our thick skulls that our greatest security threat is the influx of Spanish speakers from across the Mexican border. (Forgive our slowness, but all too many of us descended from immigrants.)
June 9, 2006
The Framing of Immigration
An interesting article by George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson
Framing is at the center of the recent immigration debate. Simply framing it as about “immigration” has shaped its politics, defining what count as “problems” and constraining the debate to a narrow set of issues. The language is telling. The linguistic framing is remarkable: frames for illegal immigrant, illegal alien, illegals, undocumented workers, undocumented immigrants, guest workers, temporary workers, amnesty, and border security. These linguistic expressions are anything but neutral. Each framing defines the problem in its own way, and hence constrains the solutions needed to address that problem. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we will analyze the framing used in the public debate. Second, we suggest some alternative framing to highlight important concerns left out of the current debate. Our point is to show that the relevant issues go far beyond what is being discussed, and that acceptance of the current framing impoverishes the discussion. Click here.for the full article.
Historic First! KJ Agrees with Chuck Colson
Who wrote this?
Did you know that “95 percent of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens?” Or that “75 percent of people on the Most Wanted List in Los Angeles are illegal aliens”? What’s more, “Over [two-thirds] of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on [Medicaid] whose births were paid for by taxpayers.” This is outrageous. Especially since none of it is true! Instead, it’s just one example of how, in some ways, we have gone beyond worrying about illegal immigration to demonizing the immigrants themselves. This example came from a widely circulated e-mail that was posted on at least 130 conservative websites. It listed ten “facts about immigration” and gave as its source the Los Angeles Times. Not only was the Los Angeles Times not the source of these “facts,” when the paper examined the alleged “facts,” none of them withstood scrutiny. Some of them distorted the data: For instance, approximately 62 percent of all births in Los Angeles County are to Hispanic women. But this number includes American citizens, legal aliens, Hispanics from countries other than Mexico, and has nothing to do with Medicaid.
Answer: former Watergater and Nixon compatriot Chuck Colson Click here to see (and believe); added bonus is a pic of Chuck.
Proof positive that the House anti-immigration caucus does not give a care about the alleged impact of immigration on U.S. workers
Here is a list of the 96 members of Big Tom Tancredo's Congressional Immigration caucus, who contend that if only employers would raise their wages, real Americans would do those jobs. http://tancredo.house.gov/irc/IRC%20Members%202005.htm
Here is a list of the 189 members of the House who have signed the "Discharge Petition" to increase minimum wage from $5.15 and hour to $7.25 an hour - the first increase since 1997 - to move forward it needs 218 signatures. http://clerk.house.gov/109/lrc/pd/Petitions/Dis11.htm
If the Tancredo group cared about American workers, and really worry about the low wage jobs being taken by immigrants, why don't they support raising the minimum wage? Note that only ONE name appears on both lists - Congressman Mike McIntyre (North Carolina Democrat) one of only 3 Democrats to join the Tancredo cigar-smoking fraternity.
Book of the Day
Be on the lookout for Richard Boswell's new book Essentials of Immigration Law published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association will be coming out on June 21. It will be available at the AILA Annual Conference in San Antonio. The book is a short, easy to read set of materials that covers the basics of immigration law. It is designed for those new to the field with a special target audience of law students and new lawyers. It covers all areas of immigration law and should give your students an opportunity to delve into the subject more deeply. Click here for more information about the book.
Undocumented Princeton Grad's Remarkable Story
Dan-el Padilla Peralta, who has become a prominent figure in the the debate over illegal immigration, delivers the salutatory address at Princeton University Commencement on Tuesday. Star Princeton graduate is trapped because of his illegal status While his studies emphasize the history of Greece and Rome, Princeton University Class of 2006 salutatorian Dan-el Padilla Peralta is now a prominent figure in the present United States immigration debate. He is an illegal immigrant. The uproar over the star student's education may even be serving as an education in its own right, according to U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12). "I imagine that there are a lot of Americans who would be surprised to know how many highly educated, highly motivated professional quality workers there are in America who are undocumented or improperly documented," Rep. Holt said. "The publicity about his case and all the news coverage probably has served to educate the public about the nature of immigration and I think probably fewer people would, after hearing about his case, be so quick to take the Draconian punitive approach to dealing with immigration violations." After being awarded the 2006 Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship to fund two years of study at Oxford University, Mr. Padilla sought Princeton's assistance to change his documentation status so that he can take advantage of the opportunity, he wrote in an essay penned for the June 7 issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly. "Because of my undocumented status, I cannot re-enter the United States for 10 years if I depart for Oxford," Mr. Padilla wrote. "At the same time, I have no prospects for employment or graduate work in the United States: I cannot work legally, and no Ph.D. program that requires teaching can support my studies. With Princeton's help, I was set up with an immigration attorney, Stephen Yale-Loehr, who helped me file an application with Citizenship and Immigration Services (successor to the I.N.S.) in April, arguing that the extraordinary circumstances of my childhood impeded my mother and me from normalizing my status." These extraordinary circumstances include the fact that Mr. Padilla was 4 years old when his parents brought him to the United States from the Dominican Republic on a temporary non-immigrant visa when his mother needed medical attention for potential complications of gestational diabetes. His mother's medical problems continued, and she stayed on in the U.S. with her two sons. Her husband, injured working at a factory, returned to the Dominican Republic in 1993. His mother was not able to support the family, and moved with the boys to a homeless shelter in the South Bronx, where she contracted tuberculosis. After an art outreach program worked with Mr. Padilla and assisted him with private school applications, he was admitted to Manhattan's Collegiate School. From there, he went on to gain admittance to Princeton.
Click here for the full story.
9th Circuit Rules in Favor of Doctors in Low Income Neighborhoods
A federal appeals court has overturned government rules that made it harder for immigrant doctors to qualify for permanent legal residence by working in inner cities and other areas where medical providers are in short supply.
A lawyer for immigrant doctors who sued over the rules said the decision would help hundreds of physicians and their patients.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Wednesday that regulations adopted by immigration officials in 2000 conflicted with a law Congress had passed a year earlier to encourage noncitizen doctors to practice in areas that were designated as medically underserved.
The law allows a doctor who is in the United States on a temporary visa to
qualify for a green card, and permanent legal status, by working for five years
in an underserved area, typically in an inner city or a rural community. The
requirement was limited to three years for doctors who had applied to a
previous version of the program before November 1998. Click here.
More Politicking on Immigration Reform -- DHS announces federal regulations to improve worksite enforcement and asks congress to approve social security “no match” data sharing
WASHINGTON—President Bush recently announced that the federal government would make it easier for employers to verify employment eligibility and continue to hold them to account for the workers they hire. To that end, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the release of two federal regulations to help businesses comply with current legal hiring requirements intended to reduce the employment of unauthorized aliens. The first proposal would permit U.S. businesses to digitize their I-9 employment forms, which are used to verify eligibility to work in the United States. The other proposed regulation would set forth guidance for U.S. businesses when handling no-match[i] letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA) concerning submitted employee Social Security numbers or from DHS concerning documents submitted by employees during the I-9 process. “Most businesses want to do the right thing when it comes to employing legal workers,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “These new regulations will give U.S. businesses the necessary tools to increase the likelihood that they are employing workers consistent with our laws. They also help us to identify and prosecute employers who are blatantly abusing our immigration system.” Typically, when a worker’s Social Security number does not match the worker’s name on tax or employment eligibility documents, the federal government sends out a “no-match” letter asking them to resolve the discrepancy. In fact, out of 250 million wage reports the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives each year, as many as ten percent belong to employees whose names don’t match their Social Security numbers. Employers have also expressed their frustration with being required to keep paper forms or to store the forms on microfilm or microfiche when all other aspects of their record-keeping have been computerized. The interim regulation would give employers the option to sign and store Forms I-9 electronically. It is expected that many employers will experience cost savings by storing these forms electronically rather than using conventional filing and storage methods. In addition, because of the automated way in which electronic forms are completed and retained, they are less likely to contain errors. Finally, electronically retained forms are more easily searchable, which is important for verification, quality assurance and inspection purposes. The “no match” regulation reviews the legal obligations of an employer, under current immigration law, when the employer receives a no-match letter from the SSA or DHS. It also describes “safe-harbor” procedures for employers to use in dealing with such a letter. If followed in good faith, these procedures would provide certainty that DHS will not find, based on a receipt of a “no-match” letter, the employer in violation of their legal obligations. These proposed regulations are now subject to a 60-day public comment period, although the I-9 regulation will become effective on an interim basis as soon as it is published. As Congress continues to consider comprehensive immigration reform, DHS continues to urge them to increase the authority of the SSA to share information about Social Security “no match” letters with DHS worksite enforcement agents. This information would allow DHS to learn which employers had received “no match” letters from SSA. It also assists investigators in identifying companies with the highest rate of immigration fraud. “Identifying businesses that are habitually flagged for submitting mismatched Social Security numbers would bolster our worksite enforcement efforts,” added Secretary Chertoff. “Congressional approval of this legislation is critical to ensuring that U.S. businesses hire legal workers.” Chertoff also noted that fixing the problem of illegal immigration requires a comprehensive solution that must include a temporary worker program. A temporary worker program would replace illegal workers with lawful taxpayers, help us hold employers accountable, and let us know who is in our country and why they are here.
The Latest from the BIA on Providing Material Support" to a "Terrorist Organization"
Clerk here for the BIA's ruling in Matter of S-K-, 23 I. & N. Dec. 936 (BIA June 8, 2006). The decisionmakes clear that financial assistance to a terrorist organization constitutes "material support" whatever the noncitizen's intent and whatever the intended use of the donation. The decision take a plaining meaning approach to interpreting the statute. Acting Vice Chairman Osuna's concurrence is most interesting and discusses the breadth of the statutory language, which goes well beyond what most people would think of as "terrorist organizations" and "terrorist activities."
Racism and the World Cup
The European Union's top justice official says the EU will organize an anti-racism campaign during the World Cup which starts in Germany today. EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini said the measure was meant to address growing concern across Europe that racism is spreading at soccer stadiums. Click here.
Global Refugee Trends
Today the UNHCR published a new report: 2005 Global Refugee Trends, available at the UNHCR website:
Michigan Senate Race and Immigration
Republicans seeking the nomination to challenge Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., have criticized some of her votes on a Senate measure to reform immigration.
But when it comes down to the final language of the bill, they would have likely reached the same conclusion: a vote against it.
Stabenow was one of four Democrats in the Senate who voted against a comprehensive immigration plan last month, arguing that it failed to do enough to protect American jobs. The measure passed the Senate and now faces uncertainty as House and Senate negotiators seek a compromise. Click here.
Immigration a 2006 Campaign Issue?
From Pennsylvania (Thanks to Jill Family):
Suddenly, Senate race is all about immigration Post a Comment By Tom Infield
Relatively speaking, Pennsylvania isn't much of a magnet for today's generation of immigrants, mostly from Mexico. A state that in the previous century ranked near the top in attracting waves of Italians, Irish, Poles and others to work in its mines and mills now stands just 16th in drawing immigrants. Yet immigration - to be precise, illegal immigration - suddenly is topic No. 1 in the contentious U.S. Senate race. Incumbent Republican Rick Santorum - looking to capitalize on an issue that has galvanized his conservative base like no other in recent months - launched a pair of 60-second radio ads last week. Santorum charged that Democratic foe Bob Casey Jr. had "joined with Ted Kennedy and other liberals in supporting a bill that grants amnesty to millions who've entered our country illegally... . That's just not fair."
In the special election for convicted felon Duke Cunningham's (R-San Diego) seat in the House, Brian Bilbray won in a close election. Bilbray made )anti)immigration a big issue. Is this just the beginning of a return to 1994 and Prop 187-type campaigning? Stay tuned.
June 8, 2006
Constituents Voice their Views on Immigration
It's wedge week in the US Senate, as Republican leaders force largely symbolic votes on issues that sparked the GOP base in past elections, such as a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and permanent repeal of the estate tax.
But this election cycle, it appears that voters are fixed on bigger-ticket concerns - and they want results.
Back from a week in their home districts, members on both sides of the aisle report a growing disconnect between Congress and constituents on issues ranging from war to fuel prices. But voters seem to be reserving their greatest frustration for immigration.
A recent poll by the Republican National Committee signals there may be
room for compromise. The RNC poll tested a number of messages on immigration
and found that the candidate who focuses only on border security loses to the
candidate who talks about comprehensive reform, 25 percent to 71 percent.
Seventy percent of voters - and 64 percent of Republicans - say illegal
immigrants who have put down roots in the US should be granted legal status if
they "go to the back of the line, pay a fine, pay back taxes, learn
English, and have a clean criminal record," according to this poll. Only
25 percent say that would be amnesty. Click here.
Another Chapter in the "War on Terror"
Click here for a new "war on terror" prosecution under the USA PATRIOT Act of Kurd refugees. Will it be another Lodi? Stay tuned. Thanks to superstar law student Sammar Miqbel for forwarding this tidbit.
George Soros Speaks
George Soros is being featured on the video weblog (“vlog”) www.Rocketboom.com today. He’s talking about the ideas in his new book “The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror” and other subjects. In connection with the publication of the book, www.GeorgeSoros.com has bee relaunched.
Public Service Announcement: Petition to End Border Militarization
From: Carlos Munoz, Jr., UC Berkeley
Subject: Please Sign the Petition to End Border Militarization
Dear Friends: I will very much appreciate it if you would sign the petition you'll find in the link below. Peace, Carlos
Click here to sign the petition.