Saturday, June 24, 2006

Madrid Update No. 7

This afternoon at the World Forum on Migration, I attended a couple sessions on co-development. Speakers from Senegal, Ecuador, Marutania. One interesting co-development project between Madrid and Senegal brings youth to Spain to study. In fact, one of the panelist, Abdou Lahat Nadiaye, has been in spain now for 6 months (should have been 9, but his visa was delayed 3 months!). The Senegal Association is Macodou S. Sall, named after a man who started a program 30 years ago to train women and childen from the poorest of the poor neighborhoods. The goal now is to combat poverty and violence. Lahat is in Spain learning about farming-agricultural, to stop the desertization of Senegal that worsens by the day. The project has a project on solar energy.

Another panelist, Cecilia Yanez, is actually with the banking industry program, Fundicio un Sol Mou (website This program is focused a lot on helping immigrants from Ecuador develop work skills and small business skills in Spain, but also works with families back in Ecuador and institutions there to provide consultation and expertise for families back in Ecuador. 57% of the funding goes to women, bt there is also great reliance on remittances from migrants in Spain.

Two other panelists, Vivian Solana and Carmen Pellicer, are from an NGO, ACSUR-Las Segovias. They also focus primarily on women, and operate under a philosophy that a holistic approach to development has to be used--understanding social and cultural backgrounds and environment, not just economic issues. They believe that women are more vulnerable; they refuse to fall under the trance of imperial feminism and believe that the women can only advance with cultural understanding. Interestingly, they also rely on young adults in Spain whose parents or grandparents were immigrants. These young adults are considered big assets because they have a sense of duality and propose the most interesting ideas and have a sense of both cultures.

Panelists from Marutania emphasized the need to accept small steps, because development is not going to happen over night. Back home, communities need to learn to communicate with each other, for example, herders with farmers, to understand their needs Communication and infrastructure also needs development because there can be over 50 kilometers between towns. These panelists work on co-development projects between France and Marutania.

What I brought away from these sessions is that while co-development notions and projects are not perfect, European countries are working on these and trying to make them better. These examples, along with the philosophies I heard throughout the conference on the impact of globilization, general economic development, and debt, tell me that we in the U.S. can learn a lot from folks in Europe and in southern nations that are trying to figure out all this. We should begin our own efforts in the U.S.


June 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Update No. 6

At the final day of the World Forum on Migration being held in Madrid, I attended an interesting panel titled ¨The Challenge of external debt and the migratory process.¨ The panel presented a stunning outline of the relationship between foreign debt and migration. Foreign debt, especially for southern nations in Latin America and Africa, reduces the amount of capital that those countries have for their own economic development. Debt also affects the prices of goods in those countries. The population gets poorer. The country cannot tax at a high rate, and that also means less money for the country for development. Because of the debt, there is a scarcity of financing available; lower income means less consumption, which means less economic activity, and fewer jobs credited. This is a moral problem as well as an economic problem. Members of poor families do not have the possible to ascend in class or profession and stay poor. The elites of the countries have access to elite institutions. The poor thus have less opportunity and access to be heard.

Poor with debt do not have a voice or influence to change the major institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. The developed countries who are the creditors are the ones with the influence. The poor countries end up needing more and more credit to survive. They simply don´t have the basic internal structures or tax structure to fund the debt, and end up paying the debt service. An example of the relation with migration is Ecuador. Because of debt, 8 to 10% of Ecuadorans had to leave the country. After a crisis in Argentina in 2001, there was a similar experience.

One speaker from Africa argued that the creditor nations don´t leave the debtor nations with enough to live on. The poor countries are placed in the position of having to essentially sell their resources in order to get more credit. There is real frustration among the people of African nations. Much of the money that went to African countries in the past was placed in the hands of governors-leaders who were corrupt. This made things worse, as the money was not spent on infrastructure. The products of creditor nations like France and the U.S. end up getting subsidized. In Ghana in the 1980´s, chicken farmers lost out, as frozen food started being offered at cheaper rates and they couldn´t compete (a later speaker explained that partly this was like countries in Europe that consume legs and wings and package and send the rest of the chickens to Africa for sale). The speaker really thinks that the West owes Africa (rather than the other way around) going back to the slavery era. Under the current system, the weak countries are getting weaker. He was frustrated that some in the West label Africans as violent. But Africans are not producing weapons! Who is selling them these weapons?

Another speaker was an ecologist from Spain. The way the debt and the current global economy works, there are huge environmental and sociological effects that affect migration. Agriculture is a big example of that. He says they each consumer in Spain uses a large percentage of materials in their daily life from out of the county. We end up extracting natural resources from the southern hemisphere and produce products that are used in the north. Consider soy. This is from Latin America like Brazil. Soy is used in all sorts of products (check your product labels, he urged), and is also used to feed animals and added to things like cheese and other products. Spain itself is the 5th largest consumer of soy (I´m afraid to ask where the U.S. falls!). We end up pluting rivers and affecting forests and small agricultural systems. There are farmers who are trying to express opposition, but they have been silenced and oppressed by their governments. Consider celluloid. Where does the paper we use come from? Our use is transforming natural landscapes negatively. Chlorodioxide is used for processing. Celluloid is mainly produced in Latin America. Europe uses 25% of what is produced. Yet Spain is trying to build another plant in Uruguay that will pollute water and air and will affect the tourism industry in Uruguay. Climate change produced by our consumption of products that affect the ozone layer (think global warning) will cause 130 million people to migrate in the next generation. The climate change affects the ability of people in the south to produce what they were able to in the past. The 2005 Kyoto accords attempt to address this, but not every country is cooperating (e.g., the U.S.!). We use too many prodcuts that contain materials from far away that we don´t need. We must look at new policies to change our current course of action.


June 24, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Linebacker: Blurring the Line

Some time ago, I posted a comment about "Operation Linebacker" -- a program providing funding for border sheriff's offices for ostesibly for the purpose of fighting crime along the border.  As predicted, however, the bulk of enforcement has actually been of immigration law, not criminal law.

Brandi Grissom of the El Paso Times reports today that between Jan. 15 and June 3, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office called U.S. Border Patrol agents about at least 860 undocumented immigrants.  In contrast, officers seized no drugs and arrested only 78 criminals in the first three months of Operation Linebacker (the article does not provide numbers for comparison for the same 6 month period.)

El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Glancey insists that identifying undocumented aliens is not a goal for Operation Linebacker, but it is clearly the primary effect of that program, and the article notes that El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego has come under fire from immigration activists, civil rights groups and politicians for his implementation of Operation Linebacker because it seems to blur the line between crime fighting and immigration enforcement.

ACLU of Texas Executive Director Will Harrell is cited as saying that to the extent that Linebacker money is actually being used for the purposes of tracking people for immigration violations, this might be an improper use of the funds, and could jeopardize funding for the Linebacker program.

The full El Paso Times article is here.


June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Update No. 5

Today the World Forum on Migration in Madrid featured two long sessions focused on ¨Economic Capacity Building in the South.¨ There is a lot of thinking and doing in that regard at least here in Spain. Much of the conversation in one session focused on co-development projects between Spain and Morocco, and Spain and Senegal. There are several associations that have been  established for these purposes. They focus on working with immigrants from those regions who take leadership roles in developing co-development projects with programs back in Morocco and Senegal. The activities range in focus from micro-financing, to women, to small business, to how remittances can be used for purposes other than building projects, which tends to be how most remittances are used. The goal of all these programs is that participants should be co-equal partners, that projects be based on the reality of life for immigrants here and their neighborhoods back home, that the strength of the local group must be fortified, that training be available
for fund management, project management, and strategic analysis, and communication be a high priority.

The other session talked about how a major cause of migration is lack of economic development in many countries. However, speakers on this panel made a strong case that immigrants (through remittances) should NOT be responsible for economic development in their home countries. Sending countries should not be allowed to sit back and be happy exporting their people and wait for remittances to come back to support their economy. Both sending and receiving countries have to be serious about their own investments in true development projects. The World Bank was criticized for suggesting that development should be placed on the back of immigrants who send remittances back home.

When it comes to development, there should especially be focus on developing human capital and human development in the areas of education, housing, health care, and employment skills. A democratic system should be constructed that goes from the local to the international levels. There needs to be an understanding of the importance of promoting small and medium enterprises. Special focus on rescuing agriculture in many countries should be forthcoming. And we need a cultural revolution of understanding the connection between development and the movement of people.


June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Update No. 4

At the World Forum on Migration in Madrid today, I took part in a lively plenary panel discussion on ¨Interculturalism--Living together, rights and integration.¨ Carlos Gimenez from Madrid made a strong case for a transnational idea of social class and pluralism. He argued that living and contributing together is a goal that must be shared in Spain. He announced a major event to be spearheaded by the Mayor of Madrid--the entire population will be ask to vote, neigborhood by neigborhood, to chose repesentatives to 21 different meeting sites to discuss integration. Migrants will be asked to vote as well. What an amazing concept--to discuss up front in every neighborhood the responsibilities of integration of immigrants.

Ivan Forero spoke of a concept of global citizenry, with a gurantee of dignity and a decent life for everyone, whereever they chose to live. To him, the key is to allow everyone to become a participant in society. But he challenged us to not integrate into a society that exploits immigrants---essentially to reject neo-liberal globalization.

Oscar Chacon remarked that the recent pro-immigrant marches and events represents a major opportunity for immigrants in the U.S. No doubt, migration represents a threat to the established concept of power and what some might think is U.S. society. But to Oscar, we must meet that challenge. He believes that at the end of the day, immigrant communities must take the responsibility of integration on their own. They cannot transform themselves without their own strength and resources.

There was remarkable similarilty in the remarks of all the panelists. I focused my remarks on my own background growing up in a very diverse community in Arizona and the lessons I have learned from that experience and great initiatives in other parts of the U.S. I really believe in the basic premise of the Little Hoover Commission Report issued but forgotten back in 2001 that when immigrants do well, we all do well. My comments are essentially a chapter in my forthcoming book to be published this summer--Deporting Our Souls: Values, Morality and Immigration Policy.


June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

But More on Fernandez-Vargas

For more on Fernandez-Vargas decision from a statutory interpretation and retroactivity analysis question, click here to link to SCOTUSblog.

Jennifer Chacon's comments are right on point about the Supreme Court's analysis. The Court seems oblivious to some basic immigration realities in its decisions and willing to punish a hapless immigrant trying to do what's right but who is caught in a legal maze that is constantly shifting. In addition, the Court again is unwilling to disturb what it views as Congress's will, whatever the impact on the immigrant. The decision confirms once again that Congress, not the Judiciary, is the most likely institution to protect immigrants' rights. That is precisely why the immigration protests in the spring and the immigration reform bill pending in Congress are so important.

The good news about Fernandez-Vargas is that its just a footnote to a long history of decisions in which the Court defers to the political branches of government on immigration matters.  It breaks no really new ground and, at least in my estimation, is unlikely to have much of a direct precedential impact.


June 23, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More on Fernandez-Vargas

Kevin Johnson already posted the decision and some commentary (below). The decision was not particularly suprising. And while I disagree with it, the Court's Landgraf analysis pertaining to retroactivity is not indefensible. But the case certainly is a disappointment for those hoping that the Supreme Court might read the 1996 law in a way that would minimize its unfairness. Instead, the court ruled that pre-1996 illegal entries render a person ineligible for relief from removal. Why is that a bad idea? For lots of reasons. Here are three:

1. This decision results in the application of section 241(a) to people whose most recent illegal reentry was 10 years ago or more. Thus, it takes aim directly at people who have formed family bonds, often have steady jobs, and pose no obvious threat to society. Mr. Fernandez-Vargas certainly fit that category. Yet his long-ago illegal entry renders him ineligible for relief -- relief that he may well have been entitled to up until 1996. Do we really want this?;

2. The provision that the Court applied to Fernandez-Vargas actually works to stop people from obtaining legal status -- or even seeking it. This was true before the decision, but the decision does nothing to curtail the madness.

Advocates of immigration restrictions often argue that they think that people who are here unlawfully should just do the necessary footwork to obtain legal status. That is precisely what Mr. Fernandez-Vargas tried to do. With a citizen wife and children, over 20 years of US residence and a steady job, one would think that he is precisely the sort of person who might be able to obtain legal status. INA section 241(a)(5) prevents him from doing so. This sends a message that there is no way for such people to obtain legal status, and it drives them into the shadows. Mr. Fernandez-Vargas was only detected and removed because he sought to legalize his status. Others may not be so brave after this....If you want to ensure the presence of an underground population that declines to seek legal status, provisions like this are a good way to do so.

3. The case illustrates how little work is being done to prioritize the use of government resources in immigration administration. ICE seems to remove most of the people who come to their attention, regardless of the humanity or need for such removal. The system is filled with long-term residents who are being removed, often for age-old offenses. Sometimes these offenses are quite minor. If we are genuinely concerned about using immigration enforcement to clamp down on security risks, it seems odd to clog the system by deporting productive members of society, who often happen to be the fathers, mothers and grandparents of citizens. For those who need evidence that this is happening, note that the government litigated this case to the Supreme Court, when it would have been a great case in which to exercise some much needed prosecutorial discretion.

Given the size of the undocumented population and the limitation on government resources, one would think that Congress would want to enact smart immigration laws. But that did not happen in 1996. And the proposed "immigration refom" bills currently dying in Congress have many provisions (including further expansion of aggravated felony provisions) which suggest that Congress still favors a quantity-not-quality strategy of immigration enforcement. Today's decision reminds us that the Supreme Court won't be second-guessing this misguided approach.


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Report on "Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection"

FROM Jacqueline Bhabha

As you know, every year thousands of children fleeing persecution arrive in the United States alone in search of protection. I am writing to share with you the recent publication of a report I co-authored with Susan Schmidt, entitled Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection in the U.S.The report is available by clicking here. It describes the nature and scale of migration by children entering the U.S. without parents, drawing upon government data and statements, advocates’ accounts, court proceedings, and interviews with key participants, including migrant children themselves. It is part of an international comparative research project on children and asylum conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Reports describing the findings in the other countries, and an overall analysis comparing policies and practices in all three countries, will be published later this year. All four reports will be accessible on-line at: for both download and purchase. Among the key findings of the report are that many unaccompanied and separated children have a stronger claim to asylum than has been recognized or acknowledged so far. It further suggests that many existing problems can be solved relatively easily, without jeopardizing United States’ migration management programs, instituting open door immigration policies or establishing reckless incentives to use children as migration anchors or investment commodities. The report calls for a transformation of the current system to recognize the obligation to take unaccompanied and separated children’s best interests seriously.


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Update No. 3

Here is my third report from Madrid where I am attending the World Social Forum on Migrations. This is the second forum. The first was held in Brazil two years ago. Today, I had two interesting individuals who are doing Ph.D. work here in Madrid. One named Gilmar, who is an asylee here in Spain from Chile. He was a lawyer in Chile and had to flee a few years back. The other was Genoveva Roldan Davila who is an economist from Mexico. Both have enjoyed the intellectual atmosphere of Madrid.

I attended a session today on Globilization and Migration--impact in the rural and urban sectors. The session started with an academic presentation by Thierry Linard d Gueterschin. His basic points: migration is related to emerging markets; migration might be viewed as a problem or a solution to emerging markets; the poor are getting poorer--the masses are increasingly vulnerable; migration is a response to structural problems; the external debt of various countries affect income of workers; the problem with many free market agreements (liked NAFTA) is that the agreements are about capital and goods, not about the circulation of people; the World Bank is beginning to view immigrant remittances as a way for poorer countries to pay off debts. I suppose his big point was to view migration as a function of development.

The session got much more lively with the other two speakers. One person (have to get his name later) was representing Andoni Garcia Arriola, who could not attend. The speaker is a farmer from Spain. His talk essentially was a major attack on the fact that farming will become part of the WTO. Multi-national corporations will benefit from this, but not the average farmer. In fact, life will become very difficult for farmers within the European Union, as farm product imports will be shifted to poorer countries. The problem is 95% of land in those countries is owned by only a few people (the oligarchy) in the poor countries. Those countries will end up exporting even though there is not enough to feed the poor in the very same countries! Originally, farmers in the EU were protected, but that is no longer true. In 3 to 4 years, farming will be radically reduced in the EU. There will be migration of those farmers into cities. He helped to found ¨Via Campesino" a worldwide organization. With farming becoming part of the WTO, big distribution will occur, where the wealthy countries benefit by selling products, but working families will not benefit. Farmers within the EU will have to move to fmind work because they will be hungry. Some families will suffer separation, as the wife stays home and the husband leaves to find work. Small farms will disappear.

The final speaker was Carlos Girbau who is on the conference organizing committee and a local activist here in Madrid. Madrid has become more and more diverse within the past 15 years. In Spain, over that period of time, there have been somewhere between 2.5 and 3.2 million immigrants--550,000 to Madrid alone. 10% of the Madrid population is immigrant (4% of the country´s population). Globilization and the WTO have hurt the country. Some big companies may have benefited (and even invested in places like Argentina and Bolivia), but many other countries are closing and relocating. The production index for the country has fallen. Although housing building has increased, few migrants can afford housing. One problem is that 95% of migrants are on ¨temporary contracts¨ but you need a permanent contract to be able to rent a flat. So many end up sharing in crowded conditions.  This past April 1 & 2, a meeting of social activists and migrant representatives convened and reached a social agreement on migration that they intend to promote. The elements of the agreement include respect for pluralism, human rights, asylum rights, to fight against racism, to condemn the genocide occurring in Africa, migrants should have the same labor rights as natives, promote family reunification for migrants, the right to vote for immigrants, and to fight against exploitation of migrants.

I was also happy to hear an old acquaintance, Carlos Marientes, from El Paso, Texas speak on a different panel--Borders: for life or death? Carlos is with the Border Agricultural Workers Project and its purpose is to organize agricultural workers to seek improvement for their lives. Carlos was able to educate listeners from all over the world about the deaths at the US-Mexico border that occur daily--unnecessarily. He talked about the marches and May 1 activities that have occurred in the United States in support of immigrant rights, and he talked about his own life living on both sides of the border all his life. Great work Carlos!


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Hot Off the Presses

The Supreme Court decided Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales.  Here are the opinions. 

Here is the short version care of Dan Kowalski and Bender's Immigration Bulletin:

"Fernandez-Vargas petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to review the reinstatement order. He took the position that because he illegally reentered the country before IIRIRA’s effective date, the controlling reinstatement provision was the old §242(f), which meant he was eligible to apply for adjustment of status as spouse of a citizen, and he said that the new §241(a)(5) would be impermissibly retroactive if it barred his application for adjustment. The Court of Appeals held that §241(a)(5) did bar [his] application and followed Landgraf v. USI Film Products, 511 U. S. 244 (1994), in determining that the new law had no impermissibly retroactive effect in Fernandez-Vargas'’s case. 394 F. 3d [881] at 886, 890–-891 [(10th Cir., 2005)]. We granted certiorari to resolve a split among the Courts of Appeals over the application of §241(a)(5) to an alien who reentered illegally before IIRIRA'’s effective date,5 546 U. S. ___ (2005), and we now affirm." Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, June 22, 2006.

Justice Souter wrote for eight Justices.  Justice Stevens was the lone dissenter, expressing concern that the rules of the game had been changed on poor Fernandez-Vargas.

It is perhaps a minor point but it troubled me.  Both the majority and dissent emphasized, in reciting the facts, that Fernandez-Vargas married after the birth of the couple's child.  How that is a relevant fact, I am not sure.


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

For You Boxing (and Immigration) Fans (No This is Not an Entry About "Nacho Libre")

The award-winning documentary "Split Decision" (2002) tells the compelling story of world champion boxer Jesus Chavez. As a young man, Jesus finds his rise to the world championship cut short when he is deported to Mexico for a youthful crime long in his past. Once there, he must take on the two biggest battles of his life: the fight for the right to return to his family and career in the U.S., and the struggle to find acceptance in the country of his birth. "Split Decision" is the multi-layered and suspenseful telling of Chavez's personal story set against the a backdrop of important societal social issues that leaves the audience "to reconsider ideas about justice, redemption and a one-size-fits-all criminal justice system." (Austin Chronicle) The Split Decision DVD features both English & Spanish language versions. It also contains bonus features including Epilogue: The Return of El Matador, in which Chavez talks about his long-awaited return to the U.S. and his new WBC superfeatherweight world champion title, as well as an interview with director Marcy Garriott.

The documentary also has a great discussion of the 1996 immigration reforms and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.  NANCY MORAWETZ expertly lays out the issues.

BARBARA HINES represented Jesus Chavez and ultimately was able to secure him lawful permanent resiudent status.  According to the DVD's website (click here), Hines said his case was particularly challenging and complicated because of strict immigration laws governing the cases of non-citizens with criminal records. She commented that "this positive result could not have been achieved without a concerted group effort from a large number of people whose lives have been touched by Jesus over the last six years. The INS only rarely grants the type of pardon that allowed Jesus to apply for his green card, and their decision speaks to their recognition of Jesus' rehabilitation, accomplishments, and determination."


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Update No. 2

The World Social Forum on Migrations opened with presentations from the mayor of Madrid and short talks by novelist and essayist Ernesto Sabato and writer Eduardo Galeano. Their themes were very similar...that we all need to work together on bringing down walls. Not just the walls created by unreasonable visa requirements, but the walls of selfishness. We need to understand how poverty causes movement. We need to work on solving hunger and the lack of human rights.

The keynote opening presentation (that lasted for about 90 minutes) was by Gabriela Rodriguez Pizarro. She has been the special rappateur for the United Nations on the human rights of immigrants. I have had experience with her before, to be honest with you, disappointed in a soft report she did a few years back in assessing Operation Gatekeeper. I thought she really let the U.S. off the hook on that one. But today, she was very dynamic. She articulated a vision of how sustainable development is key to addressing the phenomenon of global migration. She views migration not as a ¨threat¨ but rather as a phenomenon of globalization. She was critical of the World Bank, and noted the growing disparity in developmen between nation states. She was critical of policymakers who ignore ethical considerations in their deliberations (of course, something that I am particularly in agreement with). She was very critical of the inhumanity of smugglers as well, and the abuse of undocumented workers throughout the world. She has a wealth of experience throughout the world and is working on a major report to be issued soon.

Audience members from places like Morocco, Argentina, and Mexico emphasized common themes of human rights.


June 22, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

More Local Yocals on Immigration, or There is a New Sheriff in Town

Local authorities across the country complain that they bear the financial burden of illegal immigration, yet they lack the power to enforce immigration law. In Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard Jones is on a mission to tackle the problem. And he's frightening the local Hispanic population. Jones' hero is John Wayne; a near life-sized poster of the actor hangs next to his desk. With a similar swagger, Jones is on a mission to prod, cajole, even shame federal officials into action. In the parking area outside the county jail, two new signs proclaim "Illegal Aliens Here," with an arrow pointing inside. Click here for the link.

Here is Sheriff Jones.


The pic is reminiscent of Bull Connor.

And here a Butler County "welcoming" billboard.


Is local enforcement of the federal immigration laws a good idea?


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Immigration & the 50 States (or at least 2 of them)

Two tidbit in today's paper remind us of the growing role that state governments are playing in the immigration debate.  First - state leaders are playing a role in shaping the national immigration agenda.  In today's LATimes, a story by Michael Muskal reports on California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger's latest foray into the national immigration discussion.  In this case, he criticized the Congress for the apparent failure to come up with a comprehensive immigration reform package this year.

"I am disappointed at the idea that the federal government has not come up with an agreement to reform immigration laws," said Schwarzenegger, who is running for his second term. All of the House seats will also be at stake in November.

"I believe it is totally irresponsible for the politicians in Washington D.C. to have failed yet again to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan and address this national crisis," he said. "Until our border is secure, I know all Americans share my concern about drug trafficking and illegal immigration, as well as the possibility of terrorists entering our country undetected."

A link to the full story is here. 

Second, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver of Arizona denied a TRO that would have put a hold on implementation of the voter registration provisions of Arizona's Prop 200.  The provisions that the lawsuit sought to forestall require voter registration applications to be accompanied by "satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship."  Plaintiffs had urged that the provision violated the National Voter Registration Act.  Judge Silver did not find the argument compelling enough to issue the TRO.  Her opinion, which highlights but one example of how immigration legislation passed by the States can impact national policies, is here:Download gonzales_v_arizona_61906.pdf.


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Madrid Conference Eve

Greetings from Madrid, on the eve of the II World Social Forum on Migrations. Beautiful city, around 90 degrees, crowded, but pleasant. A couple of the others from the U.S. on the program are Oscar Chacon of Enlaces America (Chicago) and Karen Musalo of gender refugee program (San Francisco). The organizers informed me that initially the expected about 800 registrants. They now have over 3,000 registrants and have to turn people away. The panels and sessions are quite varied including programs on: The Hegemony of Transnationals: resistances and alternatives; Palestine´s Apartheid Wall: effects and right of return of refugees; Financial Tools for Building a Better World; Associationism, a tool for integration; and Economic Capacity Building in the South.

More tomorrow as the sessions begin.


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Harv L Rev Piece on the "Quality" of the BIA's Rulings

The Harvard Law Review published a short student piece on the recent criticism of the BIA's rulings in immigration cases with an interesting analysis of political strategies to fix the problem.  Click here (Download HarvardLawReview.pdf) to read it.


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reps Turning on the Prez on Immigration

iFrom the Chicago Sun-Times (click here):

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and GOP House leaders virtually killed chances wide-ranging immigration legislation -- supported by President Bush -- will be considered this election year. In a highly unusual move, Hastert (R-Ill.) said Tuesday there will be hearings this July and August in Washington and across the nation on the immigration bill passed by the Senate. Conservatives favor the tough enforcement-only House version, which subjects illegal immigrants and those who help them to felony charges. "I think the action by the House of Representatives to reopen a series of hearings on comprehensive immigration reform is a cynical effort to delay or kill a comprehensive immigration bill,'' said Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). Kennedy and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) were key players in drafting the Senate legislation, developed with a group of GOP and Democratic senators. The Senate bill has two provisions embraced by Bush and objected to by conservatives: a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States.


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Kudos to Two Steves

Congratulations to two prominent immigration scholars and teachers who will be honored for their contributions and achievements at the AILA Annual Conference in San Antonio this weekend:

Stephen Legomsky, recipient of the 2006 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award; and

Stephen Yale-Loehr, recipient of a Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business Immigration Advocacy.


June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ninth Circuit on Racial Profiling in Immigration Enforcement

The Ninth Circuit today issued today, in an opinion by Judge Carlos Bea, decided an immigration stop case.  Click here (Download Manzo-Jurado.pdf ) to read it.  Here is the punch line:  "We revisit the important issue of when information available to officers creates a reasonable suspicion that an individual is in the United States illegally so as to justify an investigatory stop. Given the particular facts of this case- individuals' appearance as a Hispanic work crew, inability to speak English, proximity to the border, and unsuspicious behavior-law enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion that Appellant and his co-workers were in this country illegally."  The Court, however, distinguished its holding in United States v. Montero-Camargo, 208 F.3d 1122 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc), which involved a stop neare the U.S./Mexico border where there is a heavy Latina/o population, and stated that "Hispanic appearance" was a permissible factor for the Border Patrol to consider in the case at hand because the stop was in Montana, where there are relatively few Hispanics.  (at note 8 and accompanying text).  What is "Hispanic appearance" and how is it relevant to immigration status?  Shouln't we be looking for persons of "Canadian appearance" who may be undocumented near the Canadian border?  has anyone ever seen Jorge Castaneda, the former Foreign Minister of Mexico who recently debated Lou Dobbs on Immigration?  To many, he may be of "Canadian appearance" not "Hispanic appearance." 


June 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


LatCrit, Inc. is proud to announce the birth of a new online journal: CLAVE: counterdisciplinary notes on race, power & the state. Our mission is to publish a wide range of writing, from full-length articles to works in progress to “rants” and “appreciations,” book reviews and reviews of popular culture, dialogues and diatribes. Images and video submissions are also welcome. Our first posting is mostly in English, but look for future issues to include work in Spanish and Portuguese as well. As our “counterdisciplinary” label suggests, we welcome authors from any (and no) discipline interested in questions of subordination and identity, with special emphasis on race, power, and the state. We welcome your participation in making CLAVE a place where critically-minded intellectuals can be serious, playful, outraged, blissed-out, or mournful. Please visit today and check out our first set of postings, with full-length articles by Peter Fitzpatrick and Evelyn Hu de Hart; a book review by Mattilda; student notes by Interamerican University School of Law students Saddie Lopez, Diana M. Alcaraz Irizarry and Cristina M. Abella Diaz and Boalt Hall student Naomi Tsu; an Appreciation by Angela Harris; and a Rant by pseudonymous author Tom Pain. We look forward to your comments and participation!


June 20, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)