Saturday, December 16, 2006

International Conference on Social Sciences

Call for Papers/Abstracts/Submissions
6th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences
May 30 - June 2, 2007
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Honolulu Hawaii, USA

Submission Deadline:  January 24, 2007

Co-Sponsored by:
University of Louisville - Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods

Web address:
Email address:

The 6th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences will be
held from May 30 (Wednesday) to June 2 (Saturday), 2007 at the Waikiki Beach
Marriott Resort & Spa in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The conference will provide many
opportunities for academicians and professionals from social sciences
related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own
particular disciplines.

Topic Areas (All Areas of Social Sciences are Invited):

*Area Studies (African, American, Asian, European, Hispanic, Islamic,
Jewish, Middle Eastern, Russian, and all other cultural and ethnic studies)
*Energy Alternatives
*Ethnic Studies/International Studies
*International Relations
*New Urbanism
*Political Science
*Preservation and Green Urbanism
*Public Administration
*Social Work
*Sustainable Development
*Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods
*Urban and Regional Planning
*Women’s studies
*Other Areas of Social Science
*Cross-disciplinary areas of the above related to each other or other areas

For detailed information about submissions see:

Submitting a Proposal:

1.  Create a title page for your submission.  The title page should include:

a. title of the submission
b. topic area of the submission (chooses from above list)
c. presentation format (see for format
d. name(s) of the author(s)
e. department(s) and affiliation(s)
f. mailing address(es)
g. e-mail address(es)
h. phone number(s)
i. fax number(s)
j. corresponding author if different than lead author

2. Email your abstract and/or paper, along with a title page, to Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged via email
within 48 hours.

Please note that there is a limit of two contributed submissions per lead


December 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More on the Immigration Raids

TPM Muckraker is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security is still holding and processing several hundred workers grabbed in early-morning raids Tuesday -- and finding some surprises. Agents have identified a number of legal workers they swept up in the raids, dubbed "Operation Wagon Train," and held for days before releasing them. The United Food and Commercial Workers union has rented vans to pick up newly-released workers from government holding facilities and bring them back home.  Stay tuned to the latest by clicking here.

Business Week reports that, when hordes of police and immigration officials stormed meatpacking plants in six states this week, the illegal workers arrested may not have been the only victims. Consumers and the industry itself may be feeling the repercussions in a shortage of meatpackers, higher wage costs and, ultimately, higher prices for the beef that lands on America's tables at home and in restaurants.  Click here for the story.


December 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Governor Bill Richardson on Immigration

20061207_richardson_1 New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson addressed the issue of immigration reform in a speech hosted by the Institute for International Law and Politics at Georgetown University on Dec. 7. Richardson, a Hispanic who served in the Clinton Administration, suggested four steps toward tackling the immigration issue: securing the border with more Border Patrol officers (and border fences will not work), increased legal immigration, preventing employers from hiring illegal employees, and providing a path to legalization for the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States. For a report on the talk, click here. For the Richardson press release on his views, click here.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post radio show had an interview with Gov. Richardson on immigration. Richardson’s views were clear: 1. Democrats must focus on both border security and a guest worker program. Either one alone is not enough. There is a real “human” side to border security–he talks about the devastating effects New Mexico’s border problems have had for the people in his state. 2. We can’t just turn 11 million undocumented workers into felons and then deport them all. That solution is not realistic. Check out the audio of interview by clicking here.

Governor Richardson sounds like he is in line with the "comprehensive" immigration reform endorsed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year.  However, he also sounds much like President Clinton on immigration (and crime) with one emphasis of his position being on increased enforcement.  And recall what President Clinton ultimately did on immigration in response to the political winds -- increased border operations such as Operation Gatekeeper (resulting in thorusands of deaths) and signing into law the tough-on-immigrants 1996 immigration reform and welfare reform legislation.


December 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Immigrant Intermarriage

An interesting article on "Intermarriage In The Second Generation: Choosing Between Newcomers And Natives" by Gillian Stevens looks at intermarriage of immigrants in the post-1965 period, a time when a larger proportion of Asians and latina/os have immigrated to the United States than in the past.  In the conclusion, teh article states, in relevant part, that

Intermarriage is often considered to be one of the most important signs of assimilation and integration of immigrant-descent groups for several reasons. First, high levels of intermarriage demonstrate and accelerate the fading of cultural and social boundaries between immigrant descent groups and the larger American population. Second, high levels of intermarriage are also typically accompanied by growing similarities in the educational and labor force achievements of immigrant groups and the larger American population. . . . The data presented here show that the two largest contemporary immigrant descent groups in the United States, Asians and Hispanics, are following the same generational patterns of intermarriage today [as European immigrants of the early twentieth century}.

For the full article, click here.


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Oh, the irony

While Congress hands us a splashy but largely unfunded border fence bill, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is abandoning its efforts to track the entry/exits of visitors to the United States. In today's NYTimes, Rachel Swarns and Erip Lipton write, " In a major blow to the Bush administration’s efforts to secure borders, domestic security officials have for now given up on plans to develop a facial or fingerprint recognition system to determine whether a vast majority of foreign visitors leave the country, officials say."

The tremendous cost of an effective entry/exit tracking system appears to be the primary obstacle. Where might we find the money for entry/exit tracking? Well, current immigration policies carry some high costs that do very little to boost security.

Our immigration system does not take realistic account of the need for migrant labor in certain sectors of the economy, nor does it take account of the economic and social forces that drive migration. Instead of working to realistically manage migration, we have increasingly criminalized migration and migrant labor. This requires us to engage in the sisyphean task of raiding workplaces, prosecuting illegal entries, prosecuting people who used false IDs to obtain work, detaining all of these new "criminals," and deporting them (often more than once), thereby breaking up families and leaving more citizen children in broken homes that lack a working parent.

Our present inability to face the realities of global migration is very, very costly. It also drives people underground. The more people we force underground, the less secure we become. And the less money we have for real security measures, which probably do require that government officials have some sense of who is actually in the country.

Swarns and Lipton write that the new announcment "sent alarms to Congress." If only the alarm bells were loud enough to wake them from the dream in which increasingly criminalizing noncitizens makes us more secure....


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Fence Company Pleads Guilt to Criminal Immigration Charges

S!Millions of illegal immigrants toil in America's factories, farms, homes and restaurants. Few get caught. Even fewer employers get charged with a crime. A southern California fence-building company became an exception to the rule Thursday when it pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court to knowingly hiring illegal immigrants from 1999 to 2005. Golden State Fence Co. agreed to pay a $4.7 million fine, one of the largest for immigration violations. Even more striking: Two company executives pleaded guilty to felony charges of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Mel Kay, 64, the company's founder, chairman and president, also agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and Michael McLaughlin, 42, manager of the company's Oceanside office, agreed to pay $100,000, bringing the combined financial penalty to $5 million. Golden State Fence Company built fences at military bases and along the border in San Diego. Click here for the story.

It previously had been reported (click here) that Golden State Fence Co. had won a contract in the late 1990s to help build the San Diego border fence with Mexico to thwart illegal immigration, federal records show. Federal authorities said there is no indication that Golden State Fence Co. hired undocumented workers on the fence project.

For the NPR story on this case, click here.


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Keith Aoki's Immigration Scholarship

Brian Leiter already (click here) has noted that Keith Aoki has accepted an offer to join the UC Davis law faculty.  The Immprof blog editors are happy that keith is joining our faculty.  I wanted to point out that Keith has done some important scholarship on immigration and immigrants.  At least two influential articles in this regard are worth mentioning:  (1) Centering the Immigrant in the Inter/National Imagination, 85 California Law Review 1395 (1997) (with Robert Chang); and (2) No Right to Own?:  The Early Twentieth-Century "Alien Land laws" as a Prelude to Internment, 40 Boston College Law Review 37 (1998) (published conciurrently in the Boston Third World Law Journal).

Centering the Immigrant thoughtfully analyzes the impacts of immigration on the Los Angeles suburb Monterey Park, which saw tensions in the 1980s and 1990s result from the transformation of the city from Anglo/Mexican-American working class to a majority Chinese immigrant city;  the article analyzes the successful political alliances between Latina/os and Asian Americans in Monterey Park.  Although I am far less sanguaine than Keith on the possibility of local government's positive interventions on immigration matters, see, e.g., the City of Hazleton, the article offers important insights about the local impacts of national immigration trends and how grass roots activists can constructively address the tensions.

No Right to Own? skillfully analyzes how the laws barring pwnership of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship (i.e., non-white immigrants) were directed at Japanese landowners and helped later facilitate the internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II.


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Complexity of Immigration Law

Something that all immigration law professors can appreciate!  A short collection of quotes from www. on "The Complexity Of Immigration Law" by Michele Kim

"...we are in the never-never land of the Immigration and Nationality Act, where plain words do not always mean what they say." Yuen Sang Low v. Attorney General, 479 F.2nd 820 (9th Cir. 1973)

"We have had occasion to note the striking resemblance between some of the laws we are called upon to interpret and King Minos's labyrinth in ancient Crete. The Tax Laws and the Immigration and Nationality Acts are examples we have cited of Congress's ingenuity in passing statutes certain to accelerate the aging process of judges. In this instance, Congress, pursuant to its virtually unfettered power to exclude or deport natives of other countries, and apparently confident of the aphorism that human skill, properly applied, can resolve any enigma that human inventiveness can create, has enacted a baffling skein of provisions for the I.N.S. and courts to disentangle. The fate of the alien faced with imminent deportation often hinges upon narrow issues of statutory interpretation. The instant petition, which requires us to determine whether the petitioner is ineligible for the discretionary relief afforded by Section 212(c) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. s 1182(c), because he has not accumulated seven years of residence in this country since his admission to permanent resident alien status, is no exception. Emboldened by Thesean courage and fortified by a close examination of the statutory language, we believe that the Board of Immigration appeals erred in denying the petitioner relief on the ground that it did, and remand for consideration on a proper basis." Tim Lok v. INS, 548 F.2nd 37 (2nd Cir. 1977).

"In its brief the INS states "the public, of course, has a right to obtain guidance from the regulations for its dealings with the Service." We devoutly hope the INS and those who draft the regulations and Operations Instructions under which it operates will take this statement to heart. Whatever guidance the regulations furnish to those cognoscenti familiar with INS procedures, this court, despite many years of legal experience, finds that they yield up meaning only grudgingly and that morsels of comprehension must be pried from mollusks of jargon. There is nothing esoteric about the subject matter. The regulations concern simple matters of great concern to human beings, most of them of limited education. They should be so written as to be comprehensible by intelligent laymen and unspecialized lawyers without the aid of both lexicon and inner-circle guide." Kwon v. INS, 646 F.2nd 909 (5th Cir. 1981)

"It would seem that should be a simple issue with a clear answer, but this is immigration law where the issues are seldom simple and the answers are far from clear." Alanis-Bustamante v. Reno 201 F.34d 1303 (11th Cir. 2000)

"...this case vividly illustrates the labyrinthine character of modern immigration law-a maze of hyper-technical statutes and regulations that engender waste, delay and confusion for the government and petitioners alike. The inscrutability of the current immigration law system, and the interplay of the numerous amendments and alterations to that system by congress during the pendency of this case, have spawned years of litigation, generated two separate opinions by the district court, and consumed significant resources of the court. With regret and astonishment, we determine, as explained more fully below, that this case still cannot be decide definitively but must be remanded to the district court and then to the board of immigration appeals ("bia") for further proceedings. Drax v. Reno 338 F. 3d 98, 99-100 (2d Cir. 2003).

Click here for the full article.


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Book on Immigration and Pop Culture

"Immigration and American Popular Culture: An Introduction" By Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick. NYU Press, 288 pp. Hardcover (2006).  Through a series of case studies, Rachel Rubin and Jeffrey Melnick uncover how specific trends in popular culture—such as portrayals of European immigrants as gangsters in 1930s cinema, the zoot suits of the 1940s, the influence of Jamaican Americans on rap in the 1970s, and cyberpunk and Asian American zines in the1990s—have their roots in the complex socio-political nature of immigration in America. Supplemented by a timeline of key events and extensive suggestions for further reading, Immigration and American Popular Culture offers at once a unique history of twentieth century U.S. immigration and an essential introduction to the major approaches to the study of popular culture. Melnick and Rubin go further to demonstrate how completely and complexly the processes of immigration and cultural production have been intertwined, and how we cannot understand one without the other.


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Possible Lawsuit in Connecticut

A group of students at Yale Law School is expected to file suit today in federal court in a bid to find out how the Department of Homeland Security put together its immigration sting in Danbury, Conn. n Sept. 19. Questions linger about the methods used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that September day in rounding up 11 immigrants, all from Ecuador. The day laborers have become a symbol for both sides in the immigration debate: those insisting on equal rights for all, and those pushing for tighter borders and tougher enforcement of national immigration laws. The Yale law students want to know what role Danbury played in the operation and if the policies guiding the department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm may be unconstitutional. Their inquiry began with a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act. "We asked nicely," said Simon Moshenberg, a second-year student from Washington, D.C. "They didn't answer. We sued." The lawsuit is an attempt to shine light on Homeland Security's secretive post-9/11 strategies. There is reason to suspect the local authorities played a role in the sting. Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican who speaks some Spanish, has been accused of selectively enforcing city ordinances to drive away unwanted immigrants. Under his watch, the city has cracked down on housing code violations, minor driving infractions and late night volleyball games. Boughton denies any part in the September sting, but a series of events, summarized in the suit, suggest the city may have played a supporting role.   Click here for the full story.

Is it just me or does it seem that ICE enforcement operations have gone up lately?


December 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 18 International migrants Day

International Migrants Day Celebration with Culture, Action & Solidarity!

* Monday, December 18, 2006, starting at 6:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m.
* At the YWCA in Oakland, California
* 1515 Webster (Corner of 15th and Webster, close to the 12th Street BART Station)

In Benefit for Oakland's Lucha Unida del Jornalero!


* Mamacoatl -- border-crossing woman warrior in song and struggle
* Xago from headRush theater group, solo performance piece on migrant workers!
* Slide show of photographs from new book "Communities without Borders," by independent writer and documentary photographer David Bacon
* Community speakers on significance of December 18th & looking at 2007 challenges!

$5.00 to $25.00 Donation Requested at the Door! No one turned away for lack of funds.

Food and refreshments provided!

This will be a benefit to support Oakland's premier day laborer organization: Lucha Unida del Jornalero! Please make checks out to "NNIRR" (with Lucha Unida in the memo) if you cannot attend and mail to: NNIRR, 310 8th St STE 303, Oakland, CA 94607. Thanks!

On Monday, December 18, 2006, starting at 6:00 pm, the National Network along with BAIRC and other members and partners will celebrate International Migrants Day with a program of music, poetry and voices from our communities speaking on the challenges and exciting opportunities for immigrant rights and human rights in 2007.

Sponsored by the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights with the Bay Area Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the American Friends Service Committee (partial listing).

For more information, call: (510) 465-1984 ext. 306


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rosie Apologizes

Earlier today, I reported on Rosie O'Donnell's offensive "ching, chong, ching" mocking of Chinese.

O'Donnell, a regular on the television talk show "The View," apologized this morning for mocking spoken Chinese - following mounting protest from Asian Americans in the Bay Area and across the country.

"I'm sorry for people who were hurt," O'Donnell said.

On Thursday, O'Donnell expressed surprise when she learned that some Asian Americans considered speaking in that kind of sing-song accent an insult as grave as calling a black person by the N-word. She sympathized with people who were teased for their language on the playground while they were growing up. Click here.


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

City of Escondido Surrenders on Its Immigrant Ordinance

Escon280 The housing ordinance the Escondido City Council passed in October to make it unlawful to rent to illegal immigrants is dead. A month after it was passed, a lawsuit was filed challenging its constitutionality. At a closed meeting last night, the council agreed to end all litigation and permanently keep the city from enforcing the ordinance, which would have severely penalized landlords for renting to undocumented immigrants. Two Escondido landlords, two illegal immigrants living in the city and the Escondido Human Rights Coalition filed suit Nov. 3. The ordinance had been scheduled to go into effect Nov. 17, but a judge put it on hold and sided with the challengers in a series of preliminary rulings last month. In a statement released at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, the city said, “Continuing the present policy approach would be unnecessarily costly to the city, and unnecessarily consume the court's time, when other approaches could provide the answers to the problems more efficiently.”

Click here for the story.  Click here for the City of Escondido's official explanation.


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More on the Local Immigration Front

The Butler County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office has been granted federal authority to arrest and detain suspected illegal immigrants pending training of local deputies and the signing of a formal agreement. The power has been granted to only eight other local-level law enforcement agencies in the United States. But with that power comes concern from some community leaders worried that racial profiling could become a greater problem than illegal immigration. Sheriff Richard K. Jones' office was notified Wednesday that his request for those powers under the Immigration and Nationality Act had been approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. ICE will now provide the sheriff's office with training and "direct authority to identify, process and, when appropriate, detain immigration offenders" encountered during regular, daily law enforcement activities, according to a statement from the sheriff's office. "I'm elated. I've been waiting for this for a year and a half. It's been a long time coming, but finally, the Butler County Sheriff's Office is going to have the authority to enforce what some have said we would never have the authority to enforce," Jones said. "Those naysayers should never underestimate the sheriff's office." Click here for the story (free subscription required).

The Joe Hodnicki's Law Librarian Blog has some interesting background on this development.  Click here to check it out.


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Rosie O'Donnell Mocks Chinese

Ask any Chinese (or for that matter Asian) American who has grown up in America. You get a lot of "Ching, Chong, Ching" kind of mocking on the playground or even walking on the street. I know; it happened to me. It's derogatory and offensive. In Mary Paik Lee's book, Quiet Odyssey, she writes about the same type of experience as a Korean immigrant child. And now, Rosie O'Donnell.

O'Donnell imitated how she thought Chinese broadcasters might sound discussing actor Danny DeVito's recent drunken appearance on "The View."

"You know, you can imagine in China it's like, 'ching chong, ching chong chong, Danny DeVito, ching chong chong chong, drunk, The View, ching chong,' " O'Donnell said to applause and laughter from the audience. The Organization of Chinese Americans, the Asian American Justice Center, New York City Councilman John Liu, the Asian American Journalists Association, and UNITY -- which represents more than 10,000 minority journalists -- are among the growing number of critics, demanding an apology. So far, she has not apologized for her Dec. 5 comments as Asian Americans in the Bay Area and across the country are demanding.

But she has responded on her blog at

She writes that she "wasn't mocking / that's my best impression" and that her "bad accent was not meant to insult or degrade / linguistic incompetence -- guilty / mocking -- never." She tells one detractor to go "f- urself."

Spoofing a language belittles the people who speak it, community leaders say. They also say it's disappointing to hear such insensitivity from O'Donnell, who has championed gay and lesbian rights and taken others to task for being homophobic.
"What's disturbing is that Rosie, Barbara (Walters) and the producers of 'The View' are all aware of the controversy and they're not giving any response," said Rene Astudillo, executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, headquartered in San Francisco. "She owes it to the community to acknowledge a lot of people were hurt, even if she says it wasn't her intention. 'The View' is a popular program aired on a respectable network. If we don't say something about it, every other person will say it's OK. Had Rosie faked ebonics or exaggerated a lisp to imitate gays, would she expect people to be quiet?" Click here.


December 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC-San Diego is pleased to The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC-San Diego is pleased to announce the publication of IMPACTS OF BORDER ENFORCEMENT ON MEXICAN MIGRATION: THE VIEW FROM SENDING COMMUNITIES, coedited by Wayne A. Cornelius and Jessa M. Lewis. The book is a co-publication of CCIS and Lynne Rienner Publishers (Boulder, Col.), which is distributing it. To order, go to: This is the first in a series of volumes produced by the Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program (based in CCIS and UCSD's Eleanor Roosevelt College). Each volume is based on original survey and qualitative research conducted by binational teams in Mexican migrant-sending and U.S. receiving communities. The inaugural volume focuses on how stricter U.S. border-control activities have affected the behavior of migrants and potential migrants in rural Mexico. The book, based on data collected in 2005 in Jalisco and Zacatecas, presents detailed and direct evidence of the failure of the post-1993 U.S. border enforcement strategy to deter unauthorized entry across the U.S.-Mexico border, and discusses the reasons for this failure of deterrence. Other topics explored in the volume include the process of migrant settlement in the United States, gender differences in U.S.-bound migration, and the impacts of migration on economic development, culture, and political life in the sending communities.


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Skin Color as a Proxy for Immigration Status?

A troubling report from the Department of Homeland Security immigration raids yesterday, from the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune. In this case, DHS agents allegedly separated workers by their skin color -- light-skinned were considered citizens, dark-skinned got scrutiny. Predicatably, they swept up at least one dark-skinned U.S. citizen up with immigrant workers: Click here for discussion.


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Lawyer Forced to Resign from Bar

A San Francisco immigration lawyer who took thousands of dollars from unsuspecting clients and used a risky legal strategy that exposed them to possible deportation resigned from the State Bar. WALTER PINEDA [#97293], 55, surrendered his license Oct. 25, saying he is gravely ill and needs a liver transplant. His resignation will take effect when accepted by the Supreme Court.

Pineda was accused by the bar of a "despicable and far-reaching pattern of misconduct" in 41 matters involving at least 50 clients. He had appeared for trial before the State Bar Court on 14 dates since March. The bar was seeking his disbarment.

According to State Bar prosecutors, Pineda mishandled numerous matters in which his mostly Mexican clients were trying to gain legal status.

On Pineda's advice, the clients applied for political asylum, a status granted for religious or political persecution but rarely given to immigrants from Mexico. When the applications were denied, the INS forwarded the cases to immigration court.

There, Pineda tried to have his clients avoid deportation by claiming that returning to their home country would result in "extreme hardship."

In April 1997, a new federal law went into effect that dramatically raised the bar for demonstrating hardship and increased the time for an immigrant to have been in the U.S. from seven to 10 years. In addition, an immigrant had to have a close relative who is a permanent resident or an American citizen. Although Pineda was well aware of the new law, bar prosecutors argued, he continued to advise clients to take their chances before the immigration court.

Calling the asylum applications "meritless," the bar said Pineda would routinely "take client money to file frivolous applications, spend no time actually trying to develop a viable position for the clients to stay legally in the United States, lose the applications for asylum and take more money to file frivolous appeals."

Once the client's effort to remain in the U.S. was denied, Pineda frequently urged his clients to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals and then to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The bar accused Pineda of failing to perform legal services competently, supervise his non-lawyer staff, aiding and abetting the unlawful practice of law and failing to communicate with clients. He also was accused of committing acts of moral turpitude by lying to his clients about the status of their cases and their chances for success.

Prosecutors estimated that clients paid an average of between $7,500 and $10,000 for Pineda's services.

Pineda argued that if he got his clients into immigration court before the 1997 law took effect, it was the "functional equivalent" of starting proceedings under the old law that required a lesser showing of hardship.

However, experts who testified at his trial called his technique extremely risky, as did a Ninth Circuit decision in another case.

According to Tammy Albertsen-Murray, deputy trial counsel who prosecuted Pineda, her office "felt this case was important because Mr. Pineda was doing significant damage to many people, including at least 50 clients whose cases were at issue in the State Bar Court. . . Mr. Pineda took thousands of dollars from these clients and performed services that were not helpful to the clients and were risky and dangerous to their legal status."

Some of his clients were deported and others hired new lawyers and continue to fight for legal residency.

It was not until years later that the bar received a flood of complaints about Pineda and began an investigation. Albertsen-Murray built enough evidence to fill 60 binders of documents.

Pineda, who was born in San Francisco to Nicaraguan immigrant parents, claimed to have helped 5,000 families with immigration issues in his 25 years of practice. He said the complaints against him were filed because immigrants can have their cases reopened based on ineffective assistance of counsel.


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Illinois Seeks to Integrate Immigrants

The Washington Post reports that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) will announce on Wednesday a wide-ranging set of measures meant to better integrate immigrants, legal and illegal, into the state's economy, education system and workforce. The measures are the result of an executive order that Blagojevich signed in November 2005 requiring state agencies to coordinate with community groups, business leaders and religious institutions to better serve immigrant populations. Key points of the New Americans program include increasing the number of dual-language schools, English-as-a-second-language programs and bilingual staff members at state agencies, as well as providing job training for skilled and unskilled immigrants. The program is described as the first of its kind nationwide.   Click here for the full story on this program.

In my estimation, Governor Blagojevich has the right idea.  Given the fact that we have millions of immigrants in the United States, the nation should strive to foster assimilation and integration of immigrants into U.S. society.  As President Bush has acknowledged in the past, the existence of a "shadow" population of undocumented immigrants living on the margins of American social life is simply unfair.  Mass deportation campaigns will neither be politically acceptable or effective as a matter of policy.   Nor are border enforcement measures alone going to do the trick.


December 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More on Contemporary Slavery

Today, Nick Kristof writes another op-ed calling attention to the global slave trade. Although he often focuses on forced prostitution, today he correctly reminds us that "slavery is what this is. The real problem isn’t prostitution or trafficking, it’s the enslavement of people."

It is not a simple problem, and it is a substantial one. Kristof writes:

“It seems almost certain that the modern global slave trade is larger in absolute terms than the Atlantic slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries was,” notes an important article about trafficking in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. It adds, “Just as the British government (after much prodding by its subjects) once used the Royal Navy to stamp out the problem, today’s great powers must bring their economic and military might to bear on this most crucial of undertakings.”

The link to Kristof's full op-ed is here:

Bipartisan concerns over trafficking led to the 2000 passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Unfortunately, the criminalization of migrants -- both domestically and abroad -- is clearly a factor that further enables traffickers.


December 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)