July 8, 2006
Bill Clinton Praises Bush on Immigration
Former President Bill Clinton praised President Bush for his recent support of the Senate legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
"I'm proud of him for doing it and I thanked him
for doing it,"he said of Bush during a"Cafe con Clinton"breakfast
speech to the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, the
nation's largest Hispanic civil rights advocacy group. Click here.
From the Good News, Bad News Department: McCain Forced to Denounce Call for Forced Labor Camps for Immigrants
A John McCain Press release (June 23, 2006);
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) issued the following statement regarding the suggestion of Don Goldwater, candidate for Arizona governor, to incarcerate illegal immigrants in forced labor camps:
I strongly denounce Don Goldwater’s deeply offensive suggestion that illegal immigrants should be incarcerated in concentration camps along the border, and pressed into forced labor. That Mr. Goldwater is either unaware of or indifferent to the loaded symbolism, injustice and un-Americanism of his “plan” to address the many serious issues caused by illegal immigration reveals his flaws as a candidate, and a stunning lack of respect for the basic values of a generous and decent society. I hope that Arizona Republicans, no matter how passionate they feel about the issue, will not want Barry Goldwater’s Republican Party to be associated with such an obviously inappropriate messenger.
What's going on in Arizona? Forced labor camps? What images does that idea conjure in your mind? What has happened over the last few months to allow a mainstream politician to make such a proposal?
Humanizing the Immigrant
The Texas Monthly (July 2006) ran a nice first person narrative story entitled "My Life As an Illegal," by Immigrant (no relation to Malcom) X. Check it out by clicking Download texas_monthly_july_2006__my_life_as_an_illegal.pdf
Story on Arab Americans After 9/11
"The People Perceived as a Threat to Security: Arab Americans Since September 11" by Randa A. Kayyali of George Mason looks at the status of Arab Americans after 9/11. Since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Arab Americans have regularly been featured in the press as a group "of interest" to many federal agencies, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Yet government security agencies have recruited them for their language skills — the FBI has hired 195 Arabic linguists since 9/11 although other agencies, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), have not released the number of new hires. Despite demand, the number of recruits is low due to bureaucratic problems and the difficulties Arab Americans face in getting top-level security clearances. Similar to other US immigrant groups in the past, they are viewed as suspect simply because of their origin. Although the term "Arab American" is often used, it remains misunderstood. Who exactly is an Arab American? Are all Arab Americans Muslim? Has the immigration rate of Arab Americans decreased as a result of 9/11? What has been the net fall-out effect of 9/11 on this group? This article provides definitions, look at flow data from recent years, and examine the trend of immigration and security policies affecting Arab Americans. Click here to read the article.
More Local Enforcement of the Immigration Laws? Look Out -- the Initiatives "Keep Coming"
According to the Arizona Republic (July 7), the man who helped bring Proposition 200 to Arizona -- the equivalent of California's Proposition 187 -- is pushing to change immigration policies in Phoenix. Randy Pullen, leading a group called Protect our City, on Thursday submitted more than 21,000 signatures to get an initiative on a city ballot that would require Phoenix officials to enforce immigration laws. Pullen needs 14,844 valid signatures to get his proposal in front of Phoenix voters as early as November 2007. "This is Prop. 200 on steroids for Phoenix," said Pullen, who spent about $50,000 to gather the signatures. Proposition 200 is a voter-approved measure that aims to restrict certain public benefits to undocumented immigrants and prevent them from voting.
MALDEF Settles Lawsuit Against New Mexico School District
Last week, the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) responded to a suit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) by adopting a formal policy and procedural directives which affirm the school district’s commitment to providing an education to all children who live within its boundaries, regardless of their citizenship status. MALDEF filed the suit, Gonzalez vs. APS, et al., in May 2005, after three APS students were unlawfully searched, detained and removed from school by local police and Border Patrol because they were suspected of being undocumented. “In implementing these policies and directives, APS has made clear that its primary and only function is to educate all children who live within its boundaries to the best of its ability, and that it will play no role in identifying immigrant children or assisting in the unwarranted interrogation or seizures of these students,” stated David Urias, MALDEF Staff Attorney. The APS guidelines require that, unless local law enforcement or immigration officials have a valid subpoena or warrant, they cannot remove Latino children from school to be questioned about their immigration status and that any information regarding a student’s immigration status must be immediately removed from any and all school records. The policy and directives ensure compliance with the principles set forth in Plyler v. Doe, a Supreme Court case litigated by MALDEF almost 25 years ago, which held that the Constitution precluded school officials from denying immigrant children access to a public school education and from taking any action meant to deter these children from seeking educational opportunities in public schools. “APS’s new policies are in no way an attempt to thwart the enforcement of federal or local laws on school campuses. Instead, the policies and directives are meant to ensure that law enforcement officers and school officials abide by clearly established federal and constitutional law by protecting the district’s students from unlawful seizures and interrogations absent a valid legal basis,” added John Trasviña, MALDEF Interim President and General Counsel. APS and the parties represented by MALDEF anticipate resolving the matter in the weeks to come. “Both APS and the clients represented by MALDEF would rather work toward ensuring that these children are safe while they are at school than continuing to litigate the issue regarding what role school officials played, if any, in depriving these students of their constitutional rights,” said Nina Perales, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel. Last week, Peralas won a voting rights case involving the dilution of Latina/o voting power in Texas.
Douglas Massey Commentary
Noted demographer Douglas Massey has has a nice commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education (June 30, 2006) enitled Borderline Madness. it starts like thius:
The U.S.-Mexico border is much more than a boundary between two nations. Over the years, it has become a symbolic stage upon which the nation's insecurities and fears, hopes and dreams, are projected for public consumption. As Peter Andreas points out in his book Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (Cornell University Press, 2000), American border policy has less to do with the underlying realities of Mexican immigration than with America's view of itself and its place in the world. The latest act on this stage is President Bush's sending 6,000 National Guard troops to support the U.S. Border Patrol. That will have little effect on the rate of undocumented immigration, but serves the symbolic purpose of signaling to social conservatives that the president is tough on border security. He evidently hopes that will encourage them to buy into an expanded temporary-worker program and a new legalization proposal that would give 12 million illegal immigrants a chance to attain permanent residence.
A subscription is required to see the article online at http://chronicle.com/
Pew Hispanic Center Study on Gender and Migration
The Pew Hispanic Center has a new study on Gender and Migration prepared by Richard Fry Reflecting broad changes in their social and economic status, women around the world have been migrating more in recent decades and have thus constituted an increasing share of migrant populations almost everywhere. But the U.S. has defied this global trend, according to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of data from the U.S, Census Bureau and the United Nations. Women have made up ever larger shares of legal immigrants to the United States in recent years, as they have elsewhere. However, an increasing flow of mostly-male unauthorized migrants has more than counterbalanced the feminization of legal migration, making the U.S. the only industrialized country where the percentage of female migrants has declined over the past 25 years. Click here to see the study.
The Economics of Immigration
In these times of ferment over th eneed for immigration reform, check out the Economist's View blog entry on "The Debate over Immigration." It provides a useful a summary of the economic and political issues surrounding the immigration debate by Roger Lowenstein from The New York Times Magazine. It's somewhat long, but it does a good job of summarizing the economic research in this area and is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in immigration issues. Click here to check it out.
A French Sanctuary Movement?
More From the Mail Room: A Rant Against "Illegal Aliens"
I am not sure what posting this was a response to. However, it does seem that many in the American public share the view in the e-mail below:
I really get turned off to say the least when I hear we must allow the illegal aliens from all countries to stay in this country.People seem to forget that these people are illegals translated they are CRIMINALS.They have committed a crime to get into this country. If we were to do the exact same thing in the country they came here from we would be in prison or worse.My family came here from Hungary, They entered this country through Ellis island,and did it legally, that is to say with in the law.One of the first things my family did was learn the language and get work again legally.If my family can come to this country from Hungary and learn the language and to get work and do it within the law so can everyone else who wants to enter this country.My family worked hard and became U.S. citizens. We need to take total control of our borders.
What can we do to get people to understand that there is not a "line" for many prospective immigrants to wait in? Moreover, the Golden Age of Ellis island also was a time of national orgina quotas, Asian exclusion, etc. It does seem that those favoring pro-immigrationpolicies have failed to capture the hearts and minds of many Americans.
One View of the Recent House Immigration Hearings
From a press release of the American Friends Service Committee immediately before the recent House hearing in San Diego:
The San Diego office of the American Friends Service Committee denounces the upcoming July 5th San Diego hearing convened by House Republican leaders and members of the International Terrorism and Nonproliferation Sub- Committee. The so-called "public" hearing was expected to hear the concerns of border residents and communities; however, the hearing’s restrictive logistics and exclusionary format, tenure and tone reflect a concerted effort to deliberately exclude the voices of those most affected by failed border enforcement policies. Further, rather then draw on the various experiences of border communities to inform the legislative process, the Sub-Committee legitimizes border vigilantism, by providing an undemocratic, paramilitary organization such as the Friends of the Border Patrol with an official voice in the hearing. "These so-called "public" hearings are an affront to the dignity of border communities, who have fundamentally opposed increased border enforcement measures since the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper in 1994," stated Pedro Rios, spokesperson for the AFSC. Rios further added, "Such one-sided proceedings, masquerading as public hearings, only increase the tensions surrounding border policy and immigration reform, instead of promoting solutions to these debates." Human Rights Committees of San Diego County, comprised of local residents and volunteers who promote civil and human rights, are organizing a community hearing in order to listen to "real-life" testimonies of those who have been directly impacted by border and immigration enforcement operations. Participants will include members of AFSC- supported Human Rights Committees from Vista, Escondido, Mountain View, Barrio Logan, and others. The public hearing will be held in a neutral community center, unlike the Congressional hearing scheduled at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol Station. The ‘real life’ testimonials and subsequent recommendations will be submitted to Congressional leaders and the representatives of the nation’s political parties. The Community Hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 5, 2006, beginning at 5:30 PM, at: Mountain View Recreational Center, 641 South Boundary Street, San Diego (Between Ocean View and T Street via 41st Street)
From the Mailroom: Immigration from North Africa
Abdellah Elabdallaoui offers a comment entitled “Lost Flocks”:
Concerning the problem of immigration between Morocco and Spain; I can tell you that it is not a Moroccan-Spanish problem But a continental one as well. It is an Afro-European problem. As you know Morocco has been functioning as the gate of Africa to Europe in the course of history, and so it frequently recieves waves of immigrants from all African quarters who long for living on the other coast like the Wetbacks of Mexico who like to live on the other green bank of Colorado River,USA.But, there are many prominent and rational reasons for that : first, the economic disequilebrium between The North and The South has fuelled the phenomenon. In other words, the lack of a solid economic basis of the countries of the south that could secure a decent life, made its population movement towards The North so tense and violent. Second, the appalling and sordid living conditions of central Africans caused by hard climatic natural conditions and famine made flocks of Blacks sweep across the African desert up the North. Third, the colonial drawbacks affected the real developement of those countries, since the colonial powers abused their raw materials to build up thier own current economies to protest now and say that we have to fight illegal immigration. Furthermore, these powers impovrished the population by imposing heavy taxes without contributing to the colonised countries’real developement and crippled the wheel of progress and prosperity of nations then. Fourth, the ignorance and lack of a deep and thorough view of africans to their own situation makes them idealise the other and forget about themselves as an “I” which is a real mistake.There must be a South-South co-operation for developement .A project that guarantees and saves the culture and identity of these nations as Elmahdi Almanjara , a Moroccan thinker always states.But, it wouldn’t be shameful if Northerners granted a hand of help provided that it would be a passive one that includes The Southerners and makes them emmersed and with self relience to build up their own economies by themselves not given ready deliciuos meals. Southern economies should nomore be built on donnations .Fifth, poverty and the policy of the prioritised elites are deadly factors that converge to result in this tide of immigrants.None would think of immigration if citizens share equal opportunities of national patrimoine, employement opportunities and face no more segregating social classes.because nowadays segregation is nomore based on the skin color. Concludingly, like many other bad phenomena, illegal immigration is an international burden that needs to be consulted with care. Moreover, the international community has to make great efforts to overcome the seriuos problems of the nations’ instability if they would like to have a better peaceful world of this third millennium.
Interesting, as Kitty Calavita has documented, Spain lacked any comprehensive immigration law until the time it sought to join what became the European Union. Now, it sees the same types of problems as seen in the United States: a large undocumented population in the construction, service, and agricultural industries, a militarization of the southern border, increasing numbers of migrant deaths, etc.
New Research on Outsourcing: A Comparative Approach
Paul Caron at the Taxprof blog (click here) beat me to highlighting Professor Jay Krishnan's excellent new article that deals with how many once thought-of purely American legal services are now being done by foreign workers (many of whom reside in India.) Motivated by the great desire to save costs and enhance profits, more and more American law firms and corporations are engaging in such "legal outsourcing," thereby demonstrating the increasingly globalizing nature of the legal profession. The paper provides an empirical case study of legal outsourcing and then asks whether American firms, corporations, and clients who are benefiting from the labor of foreign workers have an obligation to give something more back to those developing societies upon which they are drawing. The paper argues yes (for both ethical and economic reasons), and in doing so the it frames the discourse of the rights owed to foreign workers and the societies from which they come in a new light. Click here to see the paper.
The issue of outsourcing jobs abroad stirs great emotion among Americans. Economic free-traders fiercely defend outsourcing as a positive for the U.S. economy while critics contend that corporate desire for low wages solely drives this practice. This study focuses on a specific type of outsourcing, one which has received scant scholarly attention to date - legal outsourcing. Indeed because the work is often paralegal in nature, many see the outsourcing of legal jobs overseas as no different from other types of outsourcing. But by using as case studies both the United States and India, the latter which is receiving an ever-increasing amount of outsourced American legal work today, the paper describes how there are many forms to the legal outsourcing model and how this practice can entail a range of legal services. This article, however, moves beyond providing a descriptive account of legal outsourcing. Legal outsourcing to India is occurring against the backdrop of an Indian legal system in crisis. For those who are fortunate to benefit from legal outsourcing, the pay-offs are indeed rewarding. But most Indians of course are not participants in - nor beneficiaries of - this practice. In fact, in everyday parlance the word 'legal' itself in India is associated with a process that is delay-ridden, backlogged, and unduly expensive. On its face it might seem that legal outsourcing is unconnected to the problems that have long plagued India's legal system. Yet as the paper argues, in addition to having an ethical obligation to provide assistance to the legal environment upon which they draw, those engaging in legal outsourcing also have an economic incentive to ensure that India has a better-operating legal system. Thus, as a means of raising much needed revenue to fund its legal reform efforts, India might levy a minimal fee on U.S. legal outsourcers, and as I explain, because strengthening the rule of law is ultimately in their financial interest, these American investors may well accept shouldering such a cost.
Commentary on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Call for Papers
Embracing Diversity: Latino Immigration and the Transformation of American Society An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, October 13-14, 2006 Sponsored by the Committee on Ethnic Studies, Harvard University
This national conference will bring together graduate students from the social sciences and the humanities who research ethnic/racial, cultural and religious diversity. It will focus on the how the recent wave of Latino immigration has transformed the American society. Conference participants will explore how Americans of different ethnic/racial backgrounds experience increased Latino immigration and the increasing diversity in the American society more generally. In addition, the conference will examine the unique benefits that this wave of immigration offers, the challenges that it poses, and the relationships between immigration and inequality, social trust, civic engagement and political participation. With this conference, we aim to provide a platform where graduate students can engage in both theoretical and empirical discussions of social processes underlying the incorporation of Latino immigrants and their children and the role of policy and institutions in shaping migration flows. Graduate students in accredited AM or PhD programs are invited to submit titled abstracts of no more than 400 words on topics related to: - Diversity and Latino immigration: benefits and challenges. - The social, economic and political incorporation of Latino immigrants and their children. - The role of policy (federal, state, and/or local), institutions, labor markets, gender, and social networks in shaping immigrant flows, incorporation, and transnational behavior. - Intergroup relations and bridging across racial/ethnic divides: how will new Latinos complicate or be impacted by existing relations? - Theoretical and/or methodological discussions of how to conceptualize and study international/internal migration, legal/illegal immigration, especially from Mexico. - Latino immigrants, ethnic neighborhood concentration and social mobility. Submit abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 14, and a paper draft if available. Abstracts should describe the argument of the paper and the text/material/evidence on which it draws. Students selected for presentation will be notified by September 1. They will be asked to submit a completed paper by September 29. Please note that conference attendees will be responsible for finding support for their travel and accommodation expenses at their home institutions. For more information, please visit the conference website at: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/sociology/embracingdiversity. Highlights of the conference include: - Nationally recognized keynote speaker - Faculty panel including faculty members from the Greater Boston area - Cultural exhibition and possible cultural performances Faculty Sponsors: Jennifer Hochschild, Department of Government, Harvard University Mary C. Waters, Department of Sociology, Harvard University Conference organizers: Onoso Imoagene, PhD Program in Sociology Byron Pacheco Miller, PhD Program in Government & Social Policy Yasmine Ndassa-Colday, PhD Program in Molecular Biophysics Van Tran, PhD Program in Sociology & Social Policy
DJs plan to get out the vote
Piolin and El Cuycuy -- two of the Spanish language radio DJs that were the prime movers of the immigration rallies this past Spring -- have announced a new mission. They will join in the drive to increase the Hispanic and immigrant vote in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. "National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguia said Spanish-language radio DJs could help add at least another 3 million Latino voters to the 7.5 million who cast ballots in 2004, helping to elect more pro-immigration politicians." More here.
Oklahoma sends its Guard south
300 members of the Oklahoma national guard are heading south next week as part of the President's efforts to increase manpower on the U.S.-Mexico border. The wire story is here.
More on the Laredo Hearing
A Republican-led House panel met at the Mexican border Friday in an unusual field hearing that the chairman said he hopes will push the Senate to focus on enforcing immigration law.
"It's elementary that to defend ourselves against our determined and resourceful enemies, our border must be secure," said Rep. Ed Royce, the California Republican who chairs the International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation. Click here.
NCLR Conference Features Karl Rove
One of the nation's largest Latino advocacy and civil rights organizations plans to meet in Los Angeles this weekend to instruct people how to mobilize and vote out those who fail to back generous new immigration laws.
The National Council of La Raza will highlight immigration at its annual conference beginning today, featuring a bipartisan lineup of such high-profile speakers as former President Clinton, Republican presidential political strategist Karl Rove, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Click here.