November 4, 2006
Immigration in the News
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas launched its ambitious effort to use Internet users to watch the border for illegal immigrants. But the network of surveillance cameras Friday was plagued by technical problems, the images were grainy and the cameras were placed so high that it was hard to distinguish a person from, say, a bush. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061103/ap_on_re_us/border_cameras
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (Reuters) - Leaders at this weekend's Ibero-American Summit were set to rebuke the United States for its plan to build a fence along the Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants, an official said on Friday. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061103/us_nm/latam_summit_immigration_dc_3;_ylt=AiqpFYUy4gPXxxcZ0xLXol1H2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTA2ZGZwam4yBHNlYwNmYw--
New Immigration Books
Bauder, Harald. Labor movement : how migration regulates labor markets. Oxford ; New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, c2006
Bloemraad, Irene Becoming a citizen : incorporating immigrants and refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006
Boswell, Christina The ethics of refugee policy. Aldershot ; Burlington, Vt. : Ashgate, 2005
Challenging citizenship : group membership and cultural identity in a global age / edited by Sor-hoon Tan. Aldershot ; Burlington, Vt. : Ashgate, c2005
Ubiquitous citizens of Europe : the paradigm of partial migration / Oxana Golynker. Antwerpen : Intersentia, 2006
Martínez, Glenn A. Mexican Americans and language : del dicho al hecho. Tucson, Ariz. : University of Arizona Press, c2006
Menchaca, Martha Recovering history, constructing race : the Indian, black, and white roots of Mexican Americans. 1st ed Austin, Tex. : University of Texas Press, 2001
Portes, Alejandro. Immigrant America : a portrait / Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut. 3rd ed., rev., expanded, and updated Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006
Federal Grant to Assist Immigrant and Refugee Victims of Domestic Violence
Immigrant and Refugee Victims of Domestic Violence To Receive Civil Legal Aid as Massachusetts Organization Obtains New $250,000 Two-Year Grant From US DOJ
Western Massachusetts Legal Services (WMLS) has obtained a two-year, $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to create an innovative program to assist immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence. WMLS will partner with four domestic violence organizations and three immigrant and refugee programs in western Massachusetts to implement the program. WMLS plans to use the funding to reach immigrant and refugee domestic violence victims who, due to many factors, including language limitations, literacy problems, racism, and limited financial resources, often find it difficult to leave abusive relationships. The new program will provide holistic service, combining legal representation, education and training, as well as community outreach, in an intensive effort to respond to the needs of immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence. Legal Services Agency Gets Grant, The Berkshire Eagle (Massachusetts), 0ct. 29, 2006.
Student Protester Acquitted
A jury today acquitted the first Texas high school student who went to trial after being cited for disrupting class in March during protests against federal immigration legislation. The jury of three men and three women found 15-year-old Irvin DeLuna not guilty of the Class C misdemeanor violation after deliberating about an hour and 20 minutes. DeLuna was one of more than 100 Round Rock High School students who marched to Stony Point High School and back on March 31 in protest of the proposed immigration legislation. Stony Point High School students had marched to Round Rock High School in protest the day before. Round Rock police issued 204 citations to students following the second day of student protests. Some students were charged with violating the city's daytime curfew, disrupting class or both. Since then, 49 cases of curfew violation were dismissed by Round Rock Municipal Court Judge Dan McNery at the prosecutor's request. Other students pleaded guilty in exchange for fines and community service. For the full story, click http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/11/04/4STUDENT.html
November 3, 2006
Margaret Stock on Immigrants in the Military
Here is Margaret Stock's latest work on immmigrants in the military. There is an executive summary at http://www.ailf.org/ipc/infocus/infocus_11206.shtml and the full paper at http://www.ailf.org/ipc/infocus/infocus_11206_ft.shtml
Call for Papers
Texas Tech University will be hosting a conference on Hispanics in the Southwest April 26-28, 2007 in Lubbock, Texas. We hope your faculty or students may be interested in participating in this event, either by presenting a paper or by attending. Attached is the official call for papers. Download call_ttu_immigration_conf_07.pdf
New Economic Data on Second-Generation Americans
The Washington Post reports that adult children of immigrants earn more than Americans whose families have lived here for many generations. Second-generation Americans are also more educated than Americans who have more history here, a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows. Some 38 percent of second-generation adults (ages 25 to 54) graduated from college vs. 29 percent of third-and-higher-generation Americans.
November 2, 2006
Election Day Monitoring Tool
In collaboration with the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation and with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, and the Open Society Institute, we are writing to let you know about a new tool we have developed to assist voters who may experience problems voting on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Because of the dramatic increase of electronic voting machines and longstanding concerns about the integrity of the democratic process, we created www.VoterStory.org, a distributed web "widget" to help record and gather individual voter problems experienced on Election Day.
VoterStory.org is an open source distributed web site widget that we hope you will place on your website for Election Day. It is our hope that this distributed widget will appear across the web and throughout the country so voters who are having trouble can get their story recorded.
As you can see, the tool is designed to document individual instances or stories where a voter is having trouble voting or has been denied the right to vote. Once a "story" is submitted, it will automatically be referred to nonprofit, nonpartisan voter protection organizations that will be standing by to intervene or lend support, if they can. With your participation, we believe VoterStory.org will increase the capacity to address the specific voter problems that may occur on Election Day by organizing the relevant stories and making sure the information is forwarded to the appropriate authorities. Voters using the system will receive an e-mail confirmation and will be registered in a database of election incidents that can be used by numerous groups to document the need for election reforms in the future. Please visit VoterStory.org to register your organization and help us roll out this important utility. We would appreciate it if you would spread the word to other groups active in this election so they will consider joining this effort. Every voter should be able to go to the polls with the confidence that their vote will count. With your help VoterStory.org will play a vital role in ensuring protecting voters now and in future elections.
More on Immorality of Border Deaths
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) held a Press Conference on Monday October 30th 2006 to release the "2006 Migrant Deaths Report at the US/Mexico Border". Representatives presented a comprehensive report of migrant deaths in our region as well as for the whole US/Mexico Border.
BNHR compiled this report by collecting information from the US Border Patrol, the Mexican Consulate, the Medical Examiner, and other border organizations. A dramatic finding of our research is that in the 2005-2006 Fiscal Year (FY), the number of migrant deaths in El Paso-New Mexico increased almost in 100% with reference to the previous 2004-2005 FY. These migrant deaths numbers deepen the human rights crisis at the US/Mexico border, specifically in our El Paso/New Mexico border communities.
In light of increased irrational border enforcement policies and xenophobic climate, there has been no consideration to this migrant deaths' crisis. Current policies have created a situation were more that one migrant dies per day, simply by crossing for a better life.
The Border Network for Human Rights is asking you to review the report and invites present your perspectives and to address the current political rhetoric and policies that have caused migrant deaths and other human rights violations at the border. To request a copy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Border Network for Human Rights
2101-A Myrtle Ave
El Paso, TX 79901
Office of Immigration Statistics Data
The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) has released a series of interesting maps showing the distribution of foreign nationals who became legal permanent residents of the United States between 1980 and 2004 by metropolitan area of residence and country of birth. The maps, in PDF format, are available at: http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/data/lprmaps.shtm Maps of Naturalized Citizens can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/data/natzmaps.shtm, Legal Permanent Resident Profiles at http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/data/dslpr.shtm, and Naturalization Profiles at http://www.dhs.gov/ximgtn/statistics/data/dsnat.shtm
November 1, 2006
Fewer Arrests at the Border
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents made fewer arrests of undocumented immigrants trying to enter the country last year, the government said Monday in a report that credits stronger enforcement.
Arrests fell 8.4 percent, to 1.1 million last year from 1.2 million in fiscal year 2005. It was the first decrease since 2003, the Homeland Security Department said in releasing its annual statistics on illegal immigration. Click here.
New Immigration Book
Cornell University press has published COMMUNITIES WITHOUT BORDERS: Images and Voices from the World of Migration by David Bacon. In a work of photojournalism and oral history, Bacon documents the new reality of migrant experience: the creation of transnational communities. Today's indigenous migrants don't simply move from one point to another but create new communities all along the northern road from Guatemala through Mexico into the United States, connected by common culture and history. Drawing on his experience as a photographer and a journalist and also as a former labor organizer, Bacon portrays the lives of the people who migrate between Guatemala and Mexico and the United States. He takes us inside these communities and illuminates the ties that bind them together, the influence of their working conditions on their families and health, and their struggle for better lives. Bacon portrays in photographs and their own words Mixtec and Triqui migrants in Oaxaca, Baja California, and California; Guatemalan migrants in Huehuetenango and Nebraska; miners and indigenous communities in Sonora and Arizona; and veterans of the bracero program of the 1940s and 1950s. Bacon's interviews with this first wave of guest workers are especially relevant in light of the current political focus on guest-worker programs as a model for reforming immigration, an approach with which Bacon strongly disagrees. Throughout Communities without Borders, Bacon emphasizes the social movements migrants organize to improve their own working conditions and the well-being of their enclaves.
Latest Issue of Migration Information Source
The latest issue of Migration Information Source by the Migration Policy Institute is out. This issue highlights trans-Saharan migration (click here) to North Africa and Europe, France's new law, and immigration issues in Denmark and Japan. We also analyze the latest US legislation, the idea of "global classes," the link between history and immigration policy, and the number of foreign students in the United States.
USCIS Website Revisions
USCIS News Release - November 1, 2006
USCIS Launches New and Improved Website
Web Portal will serve as a “one stop shop” for all U.S. immigration and citizenship information
Washington, DC – One of the most trafficked websites in the Federal government has a fresh new look. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has replaced its old website with a new, more effective, redesigned Web Portal available at the same Internet address, www.uscis.gov . USCIS hosts an average of 135,000 daily visitors for a total of nearly six million total visits a month.
The improved Web Portal will serve as a “one stop shop” for all information about U.S. immigration and citizenship. Visitors to the “new” USCIS.gov will find it easier to download petitions and applications, file forms electronically, and sign up online for appointments at their local district offices using InfoPass. The new site is easier to navigate, visitors can use the built-in search engine to easily locate needed information and can find answers to their immigration questions through the interactive “How Do I…?” page.
“USCIS.gov is often the first point of contact for USCIS applicants, their families and the interested public. Our previous website left many of those visitors without answers to their questions,” said USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez. “With the launch of the new Web Portal, visitors will find the in-demand information they need within a sleek, modern framework. You’re going to like the updated Web Portal, it’s a giant step forward for our agency and a helpful new tool for our applicants.”
Many of the pages that visitors have bookmarked have changed. Please refer to the USCIS Fact Sheet, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Launches New Website,” for new links to your favorites: Applications & Petitions, Services & Benefits, Information for Lawful Permanent Residents & Green Cards, e-filing, Booklets & Fact Sheets and InfoPass.
Please visit the new USCIS Web Portal at www.uscis.gov for answers to all your citizenship and immigration questions.
Immigration Lawsuit Claiming Racial Profiling in Immigration Raids in Georgia
Federal immigration agents conducted illegal searches and relied on racial and ethnic profiling while carrying out a massive series of raids that terrorized residents of several towns in southeast Georgia in early September, according to a federal lawsuit filed today by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The series of raids across several towns in at least three counties began on September 1 and lasted for several weeks. The raids, involving dozens of ICE agents, were ostensibly intended to locate undocumented immigrants who worked at a poultry plant in Stillmore, a town of about 1,000 people in Emanuel County. But rather than conduct a raid only at the plant, the agents fanned out across residential areas -- stopping motorists, breaking into people's homes and threatening people with tear gas and guns. Hundreds of people were terrorized. Many actually fled into the woods. "These kinds of dragnet tactics are completely inconsistent with our constitutional guarantees," said Mary Bauer, director of the Center's Immigrant Justice Project and attorney for the plaintiffs. "Just because you are poor and have brown skin doesn't mean you don't have rights under the law. We want to make sure this doesn't happen again." Click here for details.
Canadian Immigration Quota Expands
Ottawa has increased its annual immigration target to the highest level in 25 years, and aims to accept between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers in 2007 -- human capital needed to fill Canada's "extraordinary" labour market requirements, Immigration Minister Monte Solberg says.
Mr. Solberg also acknowledged that Canada's current immigration model is flawed and pledged to introduce changes to address the enormous backlog of 800,000 applicants, as well as to adjust the selection process so that skilled tradespeople can qualify to come here.
"We were built on immigration and we think it wasn't just important in the past but is critical to the future," he said in an interview. "The numbers are big because we think they'll help the country." Click here.
The Latest George Borjas on the (Negative) Impacts of Immigrants
From a N.Y. Sun story:
Immigrants have been accused of debasing our culture, overcrowding our schools and hospitals, and lowering our wages. Now a Harvard professor is blaming them for sending African-Americans to jail. George Borjas of Harvard University, a Cuban immigrant, writes in his latest National Bureau of Economic Research paper that "As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, we find a reduction in the wage of black workers in that group, a reduction in the employment rate, and a corresponding increase in the incarceration rate." The story goes as follows. Low-skilled immigrants arrive in America and take jobs away from African-Americans. Due to the lack of job opportunities, African-Americans are drawn into illegal activities, get arrested, and are then put in prison.
For the full story, click here.
Jim Chen on Immigration, Border Fences, Etc.
For an interesting -- and very readable -- essay on immigration, the new border fence, and immigration reform by Minnesota's Jim Chen, click here.
October 31, 2006
Breaking News: Judge Issues TRO Against Hazleton Anti-Immigrant Ordinance
No big surprise but Judge James Munley of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued a temporary restraining order against Hazleton City Council, preventing it from enforcing its Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance. The measure has become a model for other U.S. towns that blame illegal immigrants for a range of social problems. The law, which had been scheduled to take effect Wednesday, would fine landlords found to be renting space to illegal aliens, close down businesses that hire them, and allow legal employees to sue the businesses for employment lost during such a shutdown. A related law also establishes English as the town's official language. The restraining order is valid until November 14. To see the TRO, click here. Download hazleton_1030_tro_decision.pdf For the CNN story, click here.
A New Immigration Movie
Immigrationprofs are often looking for films to show their students. This one sounds like it might fit the bill:
“Romántico” is a sympathetic portrait of Carmelo Muñiz Sánchez, an illegal Mexican immigrant living in San Francisco who, after scuffling for three years as a mariachi musician, returns home to care for his ailing mother.
I've not seen it, but the review is here.