Saturday, January 28, 2006

Citizenship ID Requirement Would Hurt Blacks

A measure pushed by two Georgia Republicans would require Medicaid applicants to show proof of US citizenship in order to receive benefits, a move critics say would hurt many low-income Americans who do not have passports or birth certificates.

The two lawmakers --- Reps. Nathan Deal and Charlie Norwood --- contend the provision is necessary to stem fraud in the Medicaid system by illegal immigrants and that it would simply require states to enforce the law.

The system "is open to a great deal of fraud" because most states allow people to declare that they are citizens when applying for Medicaid without showing any proof, said Deal. "It makes a mockery of the law," he said.

But Leighton Ku, a senior fellow in health policy with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, said the proof of citizenship requirement was unnecessary and would hurt poor US citizens, especially African Americans. "A large number of people will find that they'll loses their health insurance coverage," he predicted.

Ku said elderly African-Americans might be adversely affected because they were born at a time when poverty and racial discrimination in hospital admissions, especially in the South, kept their mothers from giving birth at hospitals.

He cited a 1950 nationwide study that estimated about one-fifth of African-American births in 1939 and 1940 were not registered, which meant no birth certificate was ever issued.

"It brings up the possibility that a legacy of racial discrimination . . . still has repercussions that could affect their health coverage today," Ku said.

In addition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said many people who required Medicaid coverage --- such as those affected by emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina, homeless people, and those with mental illness or who were severely disabled --- may not be able to get help because they did not have passports or birth certificates in their possession.

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of civil rights groups, wrote a letter last month to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) saying a proof of citizenship requirement for Medicaid would raise "significant civil rights concerns."

source: Atlanta Journal Consitution, Jan. 19, 2006

bh

January 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Chamber of Commerce and SEIU Oppose Sensenbrenner Bill

Congress should approve changes in immigration law to give illegal immigrants a better path toward legal status, business, labor and religious groups said earlier this month

Representatives of a coalition of the groups said they generally favored legislation being offered by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., that would permit illegal immigrants to obtain work visas for up to six years, with the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.

"We support legislation that would provide a step-by-step process in which an undocumented worker could qualify for permanent legal status," said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

He was joined by Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, Terence O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America, Mark Franken of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Kelley Rice-Schild of the American Health Care Association.

The House last month passed legislation to tighten border controls and force employers to confirm the legal status of their workers. But it drew criticism from many groups involved in immigration issues, who stressed that Congress won't solve immigration problems unless it deals with the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.

The Senate is expected to turn to immigration as early as next month, considering several ideas for guest worker programs. Along with the McCain-Kennedy bill, Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., are promoting a temporary worker program under which people now in the country illegally would have to return home first to apply for a work visa.

Donohue said there aren't many issues — naming transportation and national security — where business and labor see eye-to-eye. "We have decided that this is a fundamental and essential issue for the future of our economy and our society."

An underground economy, said SEIU's Stern, "undermines standards for all workers in this country and creates division in workplaces and in our communities."

Donohue said the business community sees a temporary worker system as essential for addressing the current and future worker shortage. He denied that business sees immigrants as a source of cheap labor.

Source: A.P., June 19, 2006

bh

January 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 27, 2006

CBS Shock Jock Mocks Asian Americans

AAJC Demands that CBS Reprimands Radio Host for Mocking Asian Americans

Washington, DC, Jan. 27, 2005 – The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) today expressed outrage over the insensitive and racist segment in the Jan. 24 radio show of Adam Carolla mocking the Asian Excellence Awards, which will be aired on AZN Television this Sunday, Jan. 29.

"Adam Carolla demeaned the work of Asian American actors, directors, and producers and perpetuated the stereotype of Asian Americans as foreigners," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC). "Unless Adam Carolla is strongly reprimanded, and the station and CBS Radio apologize, we will be forced to ask advertisers to withdraw their support of his show."

The Adam Carolla Show, aired through CBS Radio's 97.1 Free FM (KLSX-FM) in Los Angeles, referred to the Asian Excellence Awards as a joke and repeatedly used the sounds "ching-chong" in recreating a segment of the awards, which were actually done in English. The Adam Carolla Show is aired in 10 West Coast cities that have the largest Asian American populations in the U.S.

The Asian (AX) Excellence Awards honors Asian Americans in media who have made a difference in the United States. The awards will also pay a special tribute to the late actor, Pat Morita.

AAJC is encouraging people to call or email the following CBS Radio executives:

A clip of the Jan. 24 Adam Carolla Show is available here.

AAJC's affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, and other organizations like the Korean American Coalition of Los Angeles, and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, have also criticized the Adam Carolla Show. 

bh

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Justified Rant on Immigration Fibs

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2006/01/hyping-fear-as-texas-congressmen-tell.html Over the years I've reluctantly come to agree with Nietzche's assertion that conviction is a greater enemy to truth than lies. But lies don't help. I'm already sick of the phony "immigrants as terrorists" meme our Texas Congressmen are promoting out in the world. First it was Republican John Culberson lying to Fox News announcing that Al Quaeda members had been caught crossing the border in Hudspeth County. ("First," Osama said, "we'll knock down the World Trade Center. Then we'll take Salt Flat.") That got hyped for a week, then the retraction was basically a blurb by comparison. Then last Sunday, the Austin Statesman repeated without attribution the unfounded charge that the Salvadoran youth gang MS-13 is a "terrorist" group. ("New breed of street gang spreads through Texas, US: MS-13 viewed as terrorists by feds," Jan. 22) Despite the headline, no federal official was quoted in the article making such a claim. So where did it come from? Well, Democratic Congressman Solomon Ortiz told the same unfounded fib to a House Committee last year. The first time I saw the allegation was in the Beaumont Enterprise ("Gang's number growing" Dec. 4, 2005), but they at least had the courtesy to source the charges, and to debunk them. For more, click the link above. KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

No More Maps For Migrants

From www.cnn.com

January 27, 2005, MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- A Mexican government commission said Thursday it will suspend plans to distribute border maps to migrants planning to cross the U.S. border illegally. Miguel Angel Paredes, the spokesman for the federal Human Rights Commission, said the decision wasn't because of U.S. complaints, but because human rights officials in border states expressed concern that the maps would show anti-immigrant groups where migrants were likely to gather.

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New BIA Decisions

Matter of V-F-D-, 23 I&N Dec. 859 (BIA 2006) Interim Decision #3523

A victim of sexual abuse who is under the age of 18 is a "minor" for purposes of determining whether an alien has been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor within the meaning of section 101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(A) (2000).

http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/vll/intdec/vol23/3523.pdf

---------

Matter of Torres-Garcia, 23 I&N Dec. 866 (BIA 2006) Interim Decision 3524

(1) An alien who reenters the United States without admission after having previously been removed is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C)(i)(II) (2000), even if the alien obtained the Attorney General’s permission to reapply for admission prior to reentering unlawfully.

(2) An alien is statutorily ineligible for a waiver of inadmissibility under the first sentence of section 212(a)(9)(C)(ii) of the Act unless more than 10 years have elapsed since the date of the alien’s last departure from the United States.

http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/vll/intdec/vol23/3524.pdf

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Worm Turns Chapter 2

http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/113080

See this story about how two immigrants have taken the ranch of some border vigilantes in the execution of the judgment in an assault case.

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Walk the Line -- The Truth about the Minutemen

http://www.walkingthelinefilm.com/

For the low down on the Minutemen and their friends, see Walking the Line: Vigilantes on the U.S.-Mexico Border. It is a great documentary with interviews with the "vigilantes" or "patriots," depending on your immigration persuasion. Its not to be confused with the Johnny Cash biopic. :)

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Conference in the Big Apple

The 29th National Legal Conference on Immigration and Refugee Policy - "Future Shock: Perspectives on Comprehensive Immigration Reform" will be held on March 13-14, 2006 in NYC. Presented by the Center for Migration Studies, in association with the Fordham School of Law (ILW.COM is the media sponsor for this event). The conference will offer an insider's look at the policy and politics in the growing debate on comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration professionals, gov't officials, HR professionals, and non-profits should not miss the chance to hear noted experts speak on topics such as border control, prospects
for a guest worker program, internal worksite enforcement, and
many other business, family, and asylum issues. Opportunity to interact with key policymakers at this unique international event. Participants are eligible for up to 9.5 credit hrs. Discounts are available for students, nonprofits and government employees. For more info, see here.

http://www.cmsny.org/conference.htm

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Miscelleaneous

Myths About Immigration

Leo Anchondo of Justice for Immigrants sheds light on commonly held immigration myths.

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0130-anchondo.shtm
http://www.justiceforimmigrants.com

Immigrants At Mid-Decade: A Snapshot Of America's Foreign-Born Population In 2005

Steven A. Camarota writes "The [Census Bureau] data also indicate that the first half of this decade has been the highest five-year period of immigration in American history."
http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0130-camarota.shtm
http://www.cis.org/
CRS Report On Immgration-Related Document Fraud

The Congressional Research Service released a report on the
primary civil, criminal, and immigration-related penalties
associated with immigration-related document fraud.
http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2006,0130-crs.pdf

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AILA Needs Nominations for Officers and Directors

AILA Invites 2006 Nominations: The American Immigration Lawyers Association has invited its members to nominate candidates for consideration as AILA officers or directors. The deadline is February 17th. For more details, AILA members should see here.

http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=18356

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration a Key Issue in Arizona Politics

It's a night like any other at Granny's Closet Bar and Restaurant in Flagstaff.

Lights low, a handful of people are gathered at what's more of a blue-collar bar than a college hangout. Christmas lights dot the ceiling; a statue of a giant lumberjack stands out front. Bud Light seems to be the drink of choice.

Then the issue turns to illega
l immigration and the mood sours.

"Too many of them immigrants are coming over here and taking jobs from American citizens," says Kiley Fellars, a 32-year-old power-line worker from Buckeye.

"They get over into our country and then they cause havoc and grief," chimes in Charlie Thompson, 28, a resident of Surprise and fellow member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

From the sprawling suburbs of the East Valley to the boutiques of Sedona and the border towns farther south, illegal immigration is on the minds of voters and the lips of politicians. It could be the issue of 2006 in Arizona politics.

That's borne out by results of a recent Arizona Republic Poll of 602 registered voters.

More than nine in 10 respondents said a candidate's approach to illegal immigration would be at least somewhat important when it comes to deciding their vote for governor. Nearly two-thirds called the issue very important.

"It is undoubtedly the biggest issue for this year," Arizona State University pollster Bruce Merrill said. "In my own work, it's clearly coming out as the main issue."

Source: Arizona Republic, Jan. 2, 2006

bh

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Remarks from Tom Tomcredo

As Congress heads back to work, here are some words from Congressman Tom Tancredo, who heads the House Immigration Reform Caucus (90+ members), in response to a Wall Street Journal editorial criticizing the Sensenbrenner bill:

In November, the House passed the most important immigration reform bill in a decade, which, among other things, calls for the construction of a security fence along our southern border, requires federal and local law enforcement to cooperate on immigration matters, and mandates that employers use an instant check system to verify their employees' legal status. Your Dec. 29 editorial "Tom Tancredo's Wall1" shows an utter disregard for what the bill would do and the threat current immigration anarchy poses to our national and economic security.

First, to "the wall." While I am honored that you call it mine, because I serve in the lower chamber I cannot partake in the recent trend of putting my name on a public structure. In fact, the security fence is anything but my own -- 60% of Americans support a fence, and 49 Democrats voted for it, making the fence one of the most popular provisions in the reform bill. The fence is popular because it is effective. Where the fence is constructed near San Diego, there is virtually no illegal migration or cross-border gang activity.

You may dislike the bill's mandatory employer verification, but reducing the jobs magnet that drives mass illegal entry is an effective and fair way to fix the system. Practically, the U.S. does not penalize employers who hire illegals. Last year, nationwide, the federal government sent only three notices to businesses that it intended to fine for illegal employees. DHS's online instant check system -- which has been up and running for seven years -- provides an inexpensive way for businesses to avoid fines in the first place.

In the long run, America's economy has much more to fear from waves of illegal immigration than it does from fixing the system. Leading economists such as Harvard's George Borjas have shown that low-skilled American workers have seen their wages stagnate in the past decade. This may be the first time in our nation's history that the economy's rising tide has failed to lift all boats. It's not popular to say in Manhattan's corporate board rooms, but heartland Americans know that such a labor situation is not economically sustainable.

Illegal immigration does, however, pose one threat with which Wall Street is tragically familiar. Three of the 9/11 hijackers were in this country illegally, and it doesn't take a terrorist mastermind like Osama bin Laden to recognize and exploit our porous borders. 9/11 shook our economy; industries such as air travel are still recovering four years later. Another terrorist attack -- even if it were not as deadly as 9/11 -- could permanently damage our economy as investors wonder whether we can ever be safe from such violence. In the cold, reasoned view of any economist, that's not a risk we can afford to take.

source: Wall Street Journal, Jan. 10, 2006

bh

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

And the Worm Turns: Pinochet Daughter Seeks Asylum in US

Pinochet's Daughter Seeks Asylum in U.S.
The Associated Press, January 26, 2006

Washington (AP) -- U.S. officials are trying to decide whether to grant asylum to former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet's oldest daughter, who was detained when she attempted to enter the country at Dulles International Airport.

Lucia Pinochet, 60, was detained Wednesday because of an outstanding arrest warrant in Chile in connection with an investigation of tax charges, customs officials said.

Chilean Interior Minister Francisco Vidal said U.S. Ambassador Craig Kelly had informed his government that she has requested asylum in the United States.

A State Department official confirmed the request and said she will be interviewed by an asylum officer as early as Thursday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not formally authorized to disclose the information.

Lucia Pinochet has been indicted by a Chilean judge on tax evasion and false passport charges, Chilean and U.S. officials said.
. . .

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/26/AR2006012600254.html



KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Day Laborer Study

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/issr/csup/pubs/papers/item.php?id=31

http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/issr/csup/uploaded_files/Natl_DayLabor-On_the_Corner1.pdf

On The Corner: Day Labor in the United States
Abel Valenzuela, Jr., Nik Theodore, Edwin Meléndez, and Ana Luz Gonzalez

January 23, 2006

Executive Summary

This report profiles, for the first time, the national phenomenon of day labor in the United States. Men and women looking for employment in open-air markets by the side of the road, at busy intersections, in front of home
improvement stores and in other public spaces are ubiquitous in cities across the nation. The circumstances that give rise to this labor market are complex and poorly understood. In this report, we analyze data from the National Day Labor Survey, the first systematic and scientific study of the day-labor sector and its workforce in the United States.

This portrait of day labor in the United States is based on a national survey of 2,660 day laborers. These workers were randomly selected at 264 hiring sites in 139 municipalities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The sheer number of these sites, combined with their presence in every region in the country, reflects the enormous breadth of this labor market niche.

Our findings reveal that the day-labor market is rife with violations of workers’ rights. Day laborers are regularly denied payment for their work, many are subjected to demonstrably hazardous job sites, and most endure insults and abuses by employers. The growth of day-labor hiring sites combined with rising levels of workers’ rights violations is a national
trend that warrants attention from policy makers at all levels of government.

In some cities, the rise of day labor has been accompanied by community tensions, in part because of inaccurate and unsubstantiated portrayals of these workers. The aim of this study is to provide sound empirical data on the day-labor phenomenon that can inform public discussions and provide the basis for thoughtful policy approaches to this complex issue. Below, we present some of the most important findings from the National Day Labor Survey.

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not All Democrats are Good on Immigration

According to a Toledo Blade newspaper report, Paul Hackett who is seeking the Democratic nomination for US Senate stated that he would deport all undocumented immigrants if the national budget
permitted. For the full story, see here. http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060120/NEWS09/60120046/

KJ

January 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Border Enforcement/Law Enforcement

About three months ago, the State of Texas appropriated $6 million in state criminal justice grants to border sheriffs.  The grants were part of "Operation Linebacker" -- a law enforcement operation with the stated goal of reducing crime along the border.  An interesting article in Monday's San Antonio Express News raised some questions as to whether the threat of crime along the border has been unecessarily exagerrated to secure funding for the sheriffs.  One passage of the article reads:

"The situation isn't as bad as they're saying. They're using the danger in Mexico to their advantage to fund their departments," said one border city police officer, referring to ongoing drug war violence on the border.  "In the process, they're scaring everyone," said the officer, who asked that his name and department not be used to avoid a breakdown in cooperation with the sheriffs.

Jay Johnson, owner of a Del Rio bed-and-breakfast who dedicates himself to border tourism, said the sheriffs did well to receive the funding, but that they overstated the threat from Mexico. "I know the sheriff and respect the sheriff, but I believe certain comments paint a picture that's quite unfair when it comes to our sister city of Acuña, even if it does bolster his argument for funds," he said. 

Obviously, more disinterested inquiry would be needed to get to the bottom of the issue.  But the rhetoric surrounding the issue of border security certainly ensures that if law enforcement officials cared to inflate the border security threats, fears would be easy to stoke.  It seems important to at least be aware of cautionary notes such as these, at a time when more and more state and federal resources are applied to border militarization.

A link to the full Express News story is here.

-jmc

January 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Wall Street Journal on Immigration

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed
11 January 2006



Clinical, Cynical


By Heather MacDonald

Democratic senators have repeatedly questioned whether Samuel Alito is in the legal "mainstream" during the opening days of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. To see what the "mainstream" means for the legal elites in the Democratic party, look no further than the law school "clinic." These campus law firms, faculty-supervised and student-staffed, have been engaging in left-wing litigation and advocacy for 30 years. Though law schools claim that the clinics teach students the basics of law practice while providing crucial representation to poor people, in fact they routinely neither inculcate lawyering skills nor serve the poor. They do, however, offer the legal professoriate a way to engage in political activism -- almost never of a conservative cast. A survey of the clinical universe makes clear how politically one-sided law schools -- and the legal ideology they inculcate -- are.

* * *

LETTERS

Clinics Link Law Students to the Real World

COMMENTARY

 

'Keep America, America'
By ANDREW S. GROVE

January 26, 2006; Page A10

Recently the House of Representatives passed an immigration bill -- the Sensenbrenner-King bill -- by a vote of 233 to 189. It is now on its way to the Senate.

This bill scares me.

It's not likely to affect me directly. I'm no longer in day-to-day business, nor do I have regular contact with immigrants. But it scares me because it has the potential of turning neighbor against neighbor -- and of changing our country into a place of fear and mistrust.

Let me illustrate. The bill contains a provision punishing anyone who "assists, [or] encourages . . . a person who . . . lacks lawful authority to remain in the United States" to remain here. Punishment: three to 20 years in prison, the same punishment meted out to professional smugglers who profit from transporting illegal aliens across the border.

This could change the nature of our society in a way that I have seen firsthand. As a Jewish child hiding from the Nazis in Hungary, I saw how the persecution of non-Jewish Hungarians who hid their Jewish friends or neighbors cast a wide blanket of fear over everyone. This fear led to mistrust, and mistrust led to hostility, until neighbors turned upon neighbors in order to protect themselves. Is this what we want?

Consider the potential effect of this bill. Victims of the hurricane that devastated New Orleans more often than not did not have proof of their immigration status. Relief workers who helped them -- for example, by providing schooling to their children -- could have been charged under this bill with assisting undocumented aliens. Volunteers who save the lives of individuals who are left to die by smugglers -- by providing water or food, or by taking them to a hospital -- could face arrest and prosecution. An immigration worker who encourages a refugee from political persecution to seek asylum in the United States could be charged with a felony; so could a manager who forgets to check the papers of a job applicant.

Prosecution of these well-intentioned people will lead to a growing schism. We will be forced to become a nation of identity-checkers; anyone who looked "foreign" would likely have to endure a lifetime of proving their status even if they were native-born American citizens. People will be deterred from helping anyone suspected of foreign origin. The events of World War II, the civil wars in Africa, the strife in the Middle East, ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, the decades-long civil disturbances in Ireland and the recent riots in France, all provide wrenching examples of fractured societies.

This bill forces us to answer the question: What kind of country do we want? Our country has promoted tolerance and diversity through most of its history, providing an outstanding and attractive example to others. Coming to this country and enjoying its openness has taught me how wonderful it is.

Church groups, relief organizations and legal scholars have spoken out against this bill. Business groups have not. Perhaps they consider this bill of little concern to them. I disagree. This is a time when we face increasing competition from well-educated and highly motivated workers from many corners of the world. The stability and diversity of our society are two key competitive differentiators we enjoy. We must hang on to them.

Let's keep America, America.

Mr. Grove, former chairman of the Intel Corporation, is a member of the board of overseers of the International Rescue Committee.
---

Forget the fringe; look at the mainstream. I taught in asylum clinics at Seton Hall and Brooklyn law schools for more than 15 years. Hundreds of our students learned real lawyering through research, writing, client contact and court appearances. They saw law practiced apolitically as a learned profession, not as a business. We represented clients, not causes.

In a typical case, two Seton Hall students fought for months to free a Somali refugee from U.S. immigration jail. They won in court, sprung their client, fed and housed him until he could get on his feet, then defeated a frivolous government appeal of the judge's asylum grant. They were not social engineers; true conservatives, they protected an individual from the power of the state. And they were not starry-eyed nitwits; both were officers in the U.S. military.

Jeffrey Heller, J.D.
University of Chicago, 1980
Cranford, N.J.

(Mr. Heller was adjunct assistant clinical professor, Brooklyn Law School 1992-2004, and adjunct clinical professor, Seton Hall University School of Law, 1995-99.)

Ms. Mac Donald says clinics fail at serving the poor and at teaching practical skills. My experience as a third-year law student in the Rutgers Urban Legal Clinic has shown otherwise. Under the supervision of an attorney, I have worked on adoptions, a divorce, a house sale, a will, a landlord-tenant dispute, and other civil legal issues on behalf of indigent clients. My classmates and I are able to interview clients, go to court, draft pleadings, and fully participate in all stages of litigation.

My classmates in other Rutgers Law clinics assist small businesses in transactional issues and provide representation to parents of students in need of special education services, to name just some of what is done. The Urban Legal Clinic has allowed me to learn about different substantive areas of the law and the procedure used in practice, despite Ms. Mac Donald's argument that clinics are of little pedagogical value. My clinical experience has been of tremendous value to me, and I hope and believe it has been of value to the clients we represent.

Allison Herron
Rutgers Law School
Class of 2006
Camden, N.J.

As director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic since May 2000, I am familiar with one of Ms. Mac Donald's examples: the controversy over a proposed Shintech PVC plant in St. James Parish, La. In response to a 1997 petition that students in Tulane's environmental law clinic prepared on behalf of clients, including St. James Citizens for Jobs and the Environment, the EPA found that the plant's air emissions permit was illegal. Ms. MacDonald thinks it would be "specious" to claim that Tulane's student attorneys represented "the poor" because the NAACP favored the project. But lawyers represent specific clients, not "the poor" or "industry" or any other general sector of society. And the St. James Citizens are entitled to legal representation even when the NAACP disagrees with them.

Law clinics serve three valuable functions: 1) they teach law students to apply their legal training in the real world; 2) they help the legal profession meet its obligation to see that people have an opportunity to vindicate their rights in court even if they cannot pay high-billing rates or if their points of view are unpopular, and 3) they promote the rule of law by making it possible for ordinary people to challenge powerful interests.

Adam Babich
Director
Tulane Environmental Law Clinic

New Orleans

========================================

Heather Mac Donald's "Clinical, Cynical" (editorial page, Jan. 11) uses fringe examples to claim that law school clinics are politically one-sided and that their litigation mostly concerns "the allocation of taxpayer resources."

January 26, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Immigration Articles

Douglas, J. Allen. The "priceless possession" of citizenship: race, nation and naturalization in American law, 1880-1930. 43 Duq. L. Rev. 369-428 (2005).

Gordon, Christine M. Student article. Are unaccompanied alien children really getting a fair trial? An overview of asylum law and children. 33 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 641-673 (2005).

Lee, Stephen. Comment. Citizen standing and immigration reform: commentary and criticisms. 93 Cal. L. Rev. 1479-1508 (2005).

Meyerstein, Ariel. Comment. Retuning the harmonization of EU asylum law: exploring the need for an EU asylum appellate court. 93 Cal. L. Rev. 1509-1555 (2005).

KJ

January 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tom Tancredo and Business Contributions

FROM www.ILW.com

Dollars To Rep Tancredo

According to a Rocky Mountain News news report, federal campaign records indicate that Rep. Tancredo, widely regarded as the leading anti-immigration advocate, received about $385,000 in contributions in 2005, down from 2004 contributions totaling $983,000. It must be borne in mind that 2004 was an election year whereas 2005 was an off-year. However, the notable absence of significant corporate contributions to Rep. Tancredo shows that American business recognizes Rep. Tancredo's anti-American leanings. For the full story, see here.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/elections/article/0,2808,DRMN_24736_4388408,00.html

KJ

January 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)