Saturday, August 5, 2006
President George W. Bush said comprehensive immigration overhaul must begin with border security and include a guest-worker program and a means for many of the undocumented workers in the U.S. to gain legal status.
``When immigrants assimilate, they advance in our society, realize their dreams and add to the unity of America,'' Bush said in his weekly radio address. ``We can fix the problem of illegal immigration and deliver an immigration system that is rational and compassionate.'' Click here.
Friday, August 4, 2006
We have heard from well-placed
sources that Republican House and Senate leadership are planning to move an immigration bill in September. In addition, a CQ August 3rd article reported
that meetings over the past weeks have suggested that a compromise can be stuck
between the House and Senate. Included in these meetings are Senators
McCain, Graham, Specter, Kennedy, Durbin, Kyl, Brownback, as well as “key
House members and White House officials.” The article also notes
that the Senators hope to hold a strategy session with President Bush in
Senator Brownback was reported to have said that common ground includes a
trigger provision that would require certain benchmarks to be met on border
security and enforcement before legalization and guest worker provisions become
CNN is reporting that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday urged the Cuban people not to flee the island for Florida because of political uncertainty. In brief remarks aired by U.S. government broadcast operations to the island, Rice promised the Cuban people humanitarian assistance when they begin "to chart a new course" after long years of communist rule. Click here for the full story.
California Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, assessing the election-year implications of a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, said Thursday that he didn't want to provide fodder to "crackers" in San Diego. Previewing the final four weeks of the legislative session, Perata was asked at a news conference if he would send to the governor a bill that would grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Perata said he hadn't thought about it but would keep in mind that it is a hot-button issue in an election year. "Immigration is a red meat issue. You've got all these crackers down in San Diego taking on the governor. Even the governor was shocked," he said, referring to Schwarzenegger's assessment of the heated rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate in that part of the state. "Those aren't the people I represent. But there is no point in getting into a pitched, vocal battle with these people. ... If you start getting engaged with these people, you get tar all over yourself." The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary lists "cracker" as a disparaging term for a poor, usually Southern, white person. The New Georgia Encyclopedia, a project of the Georgia Humanities Council, says that "among African Americans 'cracker' became a contemptuous term for white southerner; among some southern whites it has become a label of ethnic and regional pride."
The original article can be found by clicking here.
NEW! 2005 FLOW REPORT ON NONIMMIGRANT ADMISSIONS The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) would like to announce the release of *Temporary Admissions of Nonimmigrants to the United States: 2005*. This report examines the number and characteristics of nonimmigrant admissions in fiscal year 2005. The PDF is available on the OIS web site at: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/shared/statistics/publications/2005_NI_rpt.pdf
NEW! 2005 DATA ON NONIMMIGRANT ADMISSIONS Access data on nonimmigrant admissions by class, country, and other characteristics for fiscal year 2005. The data tables, in Excel format, are available at: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/shared/statistics/yearbook/YrBk05NI.htm
AS TEMPERATURES DROP, IMMIGRANTS TURN UP THE HEAT
Campaign for Immigrant Families Hits the Heights Visit http://familiesforfreedom.org/actioncenter.htm for more info.
WHAT: Immigrants facing deportation and their loved ones will set up shop in Washington Heights this Saturday, the fourth stop on a citywide tour to protect communities targeted by immigration authorities. For the fourth summer in a row, Families for Freedom – a defense network of people in deportation and their loved ones – is mounting a campaign to warn immigrant New Yorkers of the deportation system, conduct a street survey to poll residents on immigration and security issues, and organize clinics for impacted individuals throughout the City. They reached 2,000 New Yorkers on the streets of Flatbush, over 3,000 in the Bronx, and hope to beat that number as they stand on 181st St and St. Nicholas. This site - the Dominican epicenter of New York - has been absolutely devastated by deportations. Results of the Community Safety Survey that they are conducting with local residents will be released at the end of the campaign and go towards a public opinion report. Local community organizations will join these families at each speak out site. Participants will also raise awareness of the Child Citizen Protection Act, the only proposal in Congress to protect the citizen children of immigrants. The proposed legislation would allow immigration judges to weigh the best interests of American-born children before deporting their parents. Uptown families fighting deportation firsthand will share their stories with pedestrians and the media. WHEN: Saturday, August 5th 3–7pm
WHERE: 181st Street & St. Nicholas (Washington Heights)
WHO: * Immigrants & Citizens Impacted by Deportation who are members of Families for Freedom * Don Juan Community Foundation * Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights
All Speak Outs are on Saturday, unless otherwise noted. Date & Time --- Location July 15th 3-7pm --- Flatbush & Church Ave (Brooklyn) July 22nd 10am-1pm --- 138th & Willis Ave (Bronx) July 22nd 3-7pm --- Fordham & Grand Concourse (Bronx) Aug 5th 3-7pm --- 181st St & St. Nicholas (Manhattan) Aug 12th 3-7pm --- Junction & Roosevelt (Queens) Aug 19th 3-7pm --- Jamaica & 164th (Queens) Monday, Sep 4th --- West Indian Day Parade (Brooklyn) Organizations joining Families for Freedom in this massive campaign include: Agenda 21, Asociación Tepeyac, By Ways & Hedges, Community Concern Network, Don Juan Community Foundation, Immigrant Defense Project, Jamaica Progressive League, Latin American Integration Center, Medgar Evers Center for Law & Social Justice, New York Civic Participation Project, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition, Safe Horizon, and Sons & Daughters of Jamaica.
You have to like ranchera mucic but the popular Mexican band, Los Tigres del Norte (The Tigers of the North), nicely capture the Mexican migrant experience. Los Tigres attract tens of thousands to concerts in places like San Jose, LA, Phoenix, and many other venues in the United States. In an article entitle "Los Tigres' ballads capture joy, pain of migrant world," Yvonne Wingett in the Arizona Republic writes that:
Shakespeare penned sonnets. Snoop Dogg writes raps. Los Tigres Del Norte are masters of their art, too: the Mexican corrido, or storytelling ballads set to waltz-time beats. For centuries, corridos have told the stories of Mexico, its borderlands and its people with tender tales of love and betrayal and sordid sagas of drug runners and smugglers. For many Latino immigrants and longtime Latino residents of the U.S., corridos are cultural connectors. They draw parallels to rap music's real-life street themes and even Shakespeare's musings of England's country life. Fans connect with Los Tigres' haunting stories of deadly border crossings, cases of political corruption, and the bittersweet success of migrants in the U.S., making good money but far from home.
Click here for the full story (registration, which is quick, is required).
In Georgia, Immigrants Unsettle Old Sense of Place By RACHEL L. SWARNS PEARSON, Ga. For generations, people here have savored the predictable cadences of small-town living. They knew their neighbors and their neighborsneighbors, the sweet sound of Sunday church mornings and the rumble of tractors tilling the rich soil. And they knew that most outsiders would drive right through this blue-collar community of tidy bungalows and mobile homes, without stopping or settling, on their way to bigger, busier places. Then Mexican immigrants started streaming in. Lured in the 1990s by abundant agricultural work and new manufacturing jobs, the newcomers landed in a town with one traffic light, no tortillas in the supermarket and residents who stared openly at foreigners in a county that saw its last wave of immigrants in the 1850s. Today, hundreds of Mexican immigrants, both illegal and legal, work in factories, fields and stores; study in public schools; and live in neighborhoods that were once mostly white or black. This year, as many longtime residents anguished over the metamorphosis of their town, Serafico Jaimes opened a Spanish-language video store right off Main Street and proudly hung a Mexican flag alongside his American flag in the storefront window. This is our town now, too,Mr. Jaimes said. His town sits in Atkinson County, Ga., population 8,030 and a cauldron of demographic change. Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Mexico, have poured into the South, bypassing traditional settlement states like New York, California and Florida in favor of far-flung towns with thriving industries. The surge of newcomers has helped drive the fierce debate in Congress over immigration as well as the budding activism that burst into view this spring when millions of people took to the streets to demand rights for immigrants. The simmering tensions between Americans and new arrivals have played out here, too, far from the national spotlight. A visit to Atkinson County offers an intimate glimpse at how immigration is rapidly transforming day-to-day life in some small Southern towns.
For the full New York Times story, click here.
Thursday, August 3, 2006
On the way to Texas from Washington on Thursday, President Bush detoured briefly to the U.S.-Mexico border to push his immigration plan, emphasizing the tough enforcement measures that conservatives support. He got an up close look at several tools the Border Patrol uses to catch people sneaking across _ helicopters, a boat and a small plane _ and he stopped to pet some horses that are used on old-fashioned patrols. Click here.
Recent Castro speculations have fueled concerns about an undesired wave of immigration from Cuba. In his comments to the press, as reported by Reuters in this story:
White House spokesman Tony Snow advised people in Cuba and exiles in Miami to stay put and not begin a mass migration in either direction. Snow also declined to join early speculation among some lawmakers that Castro might already be dead.
A recent report on asylum grant rates reminded us that Cubans fleeing Castro's regime enjoyed relatively favorable grant rates when seeking asylum. But as we know from the Mariel boatlift of the 1980s, the U.S. government is less surefooted in dealing with throngs of of Cuban immigrants that are perceived as "undesirable."
Snow's comments also point to a rather unique concern in the Cuban context -- mass emigration. :-)
Greetings from TRAC. Very timely criminal enforcement data from the Justice Department document that immigration prosecutions in April were down 15.6% from the previous month. The data show, however, that when monthly 2006 counts are compared with the same period in the previous year, the filings were up by just under 10%. To see the report on the latest trends, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/bulletins/ Also available are prosecution trends for white collar crime, illegal drugs and weapons violations.
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
With federal lawmakers hosting a field hearing on immigration reform on a local Marine base Wednesday afternoon, two groups plan to stage counter events to ensure the public hears their views on the volatile issue.
Critics have said the congressional hearings are little more than publicity stunts because they have not allowed immigrant-rights advocates the opportunity to present testimony and instead have focused on law enforcement speakers and those advocating stricter laws. Clickhere.
For Ruben Navarrette's latest commentary on immigration in which he praises Califorornia Gov. Schwarzenegger for identifying the deep "prejudice" among anti-immigrant forces, click here. Navarette, the author of A Darker Shade of Crimson, which chronicles his days as a Harvard undergrad, is rapidly becoming the "go to" Mexican-American columnist. In my estimation, his colums are right about half the time.
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, himself an immigrant from Cuba, spoke today on the two issues of Cuba and immigration (as opposed to the issue of immigration from Cuba) today at the libertarian Cato Institute. A transcript of his presentation is available here. Not surprisingly, Gutierrez speaks kindly of the economic contributions of immigrant workers and supports the President's reform proposal.
Thanks to Daniel Sokol for this scoop!
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Monday that President Bush must make a "bold and dramatic move" to revive the prospect of major immigration legislation becoming law this year.
"To some extent the president's got some proving himself to do when it comes to his commitment" to immigration reform, said Cornyn, whose longtime allegiance to Bush has been strained over the issue. Click: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4085196.html
Click here for the full story:
For the past two years, the US government has been trying to deport Abdel Jabbar Hamdan, a Palestinian who the Government has charged is an illegal alien for having overstayed his nonimmigrant student visa when he first entered the United States some 27 years ago. The Government has already proven its deportation case before an Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), as Hamdan has been ordered removed (deported) from the United States based on the charges filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Immigration Court and BIA have also denied Hamdan’s requests for relief from deportation. Hamdan has exercised his right to appeal his case to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the deportation issue currently resides. During the past two years, Hamdan has been detained by the Government pending those removal proceedings. The Government has claimed Hamdan was a key fundraiser for an Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, that has been linked by the Feds to the terrorist organization Hamas. Other Holy Land Foundation officials have been charged criminally by the Federal government with various terrorism-support related crimes and those cases are in various stages of prosecution. Hamdan was not charged with any crime, but with the noted immigration removal violation. Nonetheless, the Government sought to keep him detained due to his links to the Holy Land Foundation and alleged support to Hamas. Hamdan claimed his fund-raising was only for humanitarian purposes and has been seeking his release during the deportation case. Not surprisingly, Hamdan had a small army of supporters among various Muslim advocacy and left-wing legal groups.
in the end, it seems unclear to me why pursuing one's appeal rights shows that the "system" is broken.
The Oregon Republican Party, tapping into the frustration over illegal immigration, approved a resolution last weekend that would deny citizenship to babies born on U.S. soil to illegal and legal immigrants who are not citizens. But the author of resolution, which was approved at the party's biennial convention, acknowledged that his words probably won't turn to action anytime soon. "I wanted to light a fire and the resolution was the first step," said Jim Lehman, chairman of the Wasco County Republican Party. "There's enough people that want to see something done and they don't want to see the abuses." Constitutional scholars say the platform conflicts with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States." "I am not aware of any dispute among constitutional scholars about the meaning of the first clause of the 14th Amendment," said Greg Chaimov, a government law specialist with Davis Wright Tremaine. Click here for the story.