Wednesday, October 31, 2007

LA 8 Case Dropped After 20 Years

Long before September 11 and the "war on terror," the U.S. governmemnt zealously pursured so-called terrorists.  One of the most egregious cases, The infamous LA 8 case, which made its way all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, is finally over.  Here are some of the published opinions in this long-running case.  See Reno v. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm., 525 U.S. 471 (1999), vacating and remanding 119 F.3d 1367 (9th Cir. 1997); American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. v. Reno, 70 F.3d 1045 (9th Cir. 1995); American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. v. Meese, 714 F. Supp. 1060 (C.D. Cal. 1989), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. v. Thornburgh, 970 F.2d 501 (9th Cir. 1991).  Volume 31 of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review published a symposium of papers presnted at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting about the case.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announced that after a 20-year legal battle, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has completely terminated the "L.A. 8" case (See order). This comes following the U.S. Government’s most recent court defeat this past January when Immigration Judge Einhorn terminated the proceedings against the two men, finding that the U.S. Government was in violation of the men's constitutional, statutory, and regulatory rights. As the court stated in its eleven-page opinion, "The Court finds that the Government has failed to carry its burden of proving respondents deportable based on clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence. Therefore, the proceedings against Hamide and Shehadeh are TERMINATED [sic]." The BIA dismissed the case at the request of the Government, which agreed in a settlement to drop all charges and not to seek removal of either of the men in the future based on any of the political activities or associations at issue in this case. Khader Hamide and Michel Shehadeh have agreed not to apply for citizenship for three years, and to have several judicial orders in the case vacated as moot. To read the immigration court's most recent opinion in its entirety, click here: http://www.adc.org/PDF/LA8.pdf

Over the past 20-years, ADC has been advocating for the dismissal of the government's longest running deportation case. In January 2007, following the Government’s most recent defeat in court when Judge Einhorn issued the decision, ADC called on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to drop the case. In a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff this past February, ADC requested that DHS no longer pursue this 20-year attempt that has repeatedly proved a failure when challenged in court. That same month, ADC also met with DHS officials in Washington on two occasions to advocate against continuing with this case. Previously, ADC President Hon. Mary Rose Oakar worked with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) who also sent letters advocating against continuation of the case. And for years before that, ADC had been engaged on the case, repeatedly asking for the case to be dismissed. To see ADC's February 2007 letter to Secretary Chertoff see: http://www.adc.org/uploads/media/LA_8_Chertoff_Letter_2007.pdf

ADC National Executive Director Kareem Shora said, "After 20-years of trials and tribulations, Michel Shehadeh, Khader Hamide, and their families can finally live their lives without fear of deportation." Shora continued, "ADC is delighted of the Government's decision to drop this case and calls upon government officials to take note of this 20-year example of shame on the part of government prosecutors to unfairly target a group of individuals based on political ideology. This is not what our country should stand for and we know, as this case has demonstrated, that our system will not allow for such persecution." Hamide and Shehadeh are two of the eight people arrested in January 1987, by immigration officials on charges of being affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). At the time, the government charged that any association with the PFLP was grounds for deportation under the McCarran-Walter Act, legislation written during the McCarthy era that allowed deportation for association with any organization that "advocated the doctrines of world Communism." Specifically, the government alleged that Hamide and Shehadeh had given talks and handed out magazines in support of the creation of a Palestinian state. In 1989, a Federal Judge declared the charges under the McCarran-Walter Act unconstitutional; the Government chose to pursue deportation by other means, some of which were retroactive applications of new laws, which throughout the years were successfully challenged in many different courts. Then the Government alleged that Hamide and Shehadeh had provided material support to a terrorist organization. The substance of these charges was that the two men had made donations in the 1980s as students to social services centers (such as hospitals and day care centers) associated with the PFLP. After bringing the constitutionality of the charges to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1999, the Court ruled that the cases could indeed be tried under these charges. The Government would later bring similar charges against the two men under provisions of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, for the material support of a terrorist organization. All these attempts proved a failure in court.

Marc Van Der Hout, National Lawyers Guild, and David Cole, Georgetown University Law Professor and volunteer attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, have represented the immigrants since the case began in 1987.

For more information about ADC’s efforts on the L.A. 8 case, see

ADC Renews Calls to Drop L.A. 8 Case: http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2101

ADC Urges Government to Drop L.A. 8 Case: http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=1847

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children

The increase in immigration raids in recent months has had a devastating impact on children -- including U.S. citizen children.  For a report by the Urban Institute and National Council for La Raza entitled "Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children", which documents the many negative impacts (psycological and otherwise) on children, click here.

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Limbaugh Happy Halloween to our loyal readers.  Here is a Rush Limbaugh mask (care of the People for the American Way) for you to weaqr and scare the heck out of your friends!

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Deaths at the Border: Commemoration

PRESS ADVISORY
Wednesday October 31st, 2007

Press Contact:
Border Network for Human Rights: Fernando Garcia (915) 204-0337

Border Residents Remember the Hundreds of Migrants that have died during 2007 Due to Border Policy while Crossing the US/Mexico Border

The Border Network for Human Rights will hang 400 Crosses at the Border Fence and Hold a Candlelight Vigil to Ask for Policy Change


El Paso/Southern NM, October 31, 2007-. Border operations such as Hold the Line (El Paso, TX), Gatekeeper (San Diego), Safeguard (Arizona), and Rio Grande (Texas Valley) have created a crisis situation where more than one migrant dies per day, simply by crossing the US/Mexico border looking for a better life.

During the FY 2006-2007 more than 371 migrant deaths were reported along the border. Of those deaths, 25 occurred in the El Paso Sector which includes the County of El Paso and Southern New Mexico. More specific data and statistics will be provided at the Press Conference (see below).

Evidently this is a HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS at the US/Mexico border, and more specifically is of grave concern to our region. Border enforcement policies are directly responsible for these deaths. The Border Network for Human Rights believes that the number of migrant deaths occurring at the border represents a crime committed against migrant workers and their families.

The Border Network for Human Rights is, instead, seeking alternative and comprehensive solutions to the complex issues of border security and immigration, that will not result in hundred of migrant deaths along a militarized border.

On November 1st 2007, the Border Network for Human Rights and community members from the El Paso/Southern New Mexico area will hang 400 crosses in a one-mile stretch along the border fence starting near the Cordova International Bridge, carry out a Press Conference providing testimonies and data on migrant deaths and hold a community vigil remembering migrant deaths at the Chamizal National Park.


BORDER NETWORK FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVITIES
ON NOVEMBER 1, 2007.

The Setting Up of 400 Crosses at the Border Fence
Starting at 10 AM at the Fence in front of the Chamizal Park
near the Cordova International Bridge

BNHR Press Conference
At 1 pm at the Chamizal Park
Entrance on Delta St, at Rear Parking Lot
A Full Report on Death at the Border will be presented

Community Candlelight Vigil
At 6 PM dozens of Community Members will gather
At the First Amendment Area of the Chamizal Park

bh

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Moroccans and Ecuadorians in Spain

RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES
Fall Quarter 2007

The Roles of Migratory Policies, Family Networks, and Labor Markets in the Emigration of Moroccans and Ecuadorians to Spain

ANTÍA PÉREZ CARAMÉS AND BELÉN SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ
Ph.D. Candidates in Sociology at the University of A Coruña, Spain, and Visiting Research Fellows, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD

Tuesday, November 6, 3:00-5:00 p.m. (not previously announced)
Presentation in Spanish
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
Reception to follow

We will present preliminary results from a cross-national research project that seeks to explain the outcomes of immigration control policies in Spain and the United States. We will deal with the results of the survey taken within the Ecuadorian and Moroccan migrant communities in Spain regarding the role that migratory policies, family networks, and the labor market exert on the migratory patterns of migrants from Ecuador and Morocco.

bh

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Senate to Vote on AgJobs

Immigration reform keeps coming back, in part because business needs labor.  After the recent failure of a limited DREAM Act, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS) as an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill. AgJOBS provides a path to legal status and citizenship for farmworkers and guarantees a steady flow of labor for our nation's agricultural industry. There are many voices out there trying to block this legislation and the outcome on the vote is far from certain.

AgJOBS provides two paths to legal status for farmworkers. First, AgJOBS offers currently undocumented farmworkers the earn temporary legal status by meeting a past-work requirement in American agriculture. These farmworkers may later earn permanent immigration status and citizenship by meeting a future-work requirement of 3 to 5 additional years in the U.S. agriculture industry. Second, AgJOBS revises the H-2A visa program and would make it easier for seasonal laborers to work legally in the U.S.

It has been estimated that more than 50% of farmworkers are undocumented. These workers, like other undocumented immigrants, live in constant fear of being deported and separated from their families. AgJOBS, the product of years of careful negotiation, is supported by farmers, farmworker organizations and members of Congress from both parties.

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Driver's Licenses an Issue in Democratic Presidential Debate

The Democratic candidates debated in the historic city of Phiadelphia last night.  Driver's license eligibility came up.  Here is the MSNC report:

"[Sen. Christopher] Dodd . . . was the only candidate who raised his hand when Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of `NBC Nightly News,' asked whether anyone believed illegal immigrants should not have driver’s licenses. “This is a privilege, not a right,” he said. Clinton may have given her opponents an opening to bear down on their “doubletalk” attack. In a convoluted answer to the same question, Clinton first said she thought New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to let illegal immigrants have driver’s licenses “makes a lot of sense.” Then she said she did not endorse Spitzer’s plan even though she repeated that he had the right idea. Then she accused Russert of asking a “gotcha” question. Edwards leaped, noting that Clinton appeared to have given two different answers in less than two minutes. “I think this is a real issue for the country,” he said. “I mean, America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”"

For more on the debate, including a link to a video of the entire debate, click here.  According to Frank Luntz's Democratic Focus Group, Senator Obama was the "overwhelming" winner of last night's debate.  See Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8ocKiHEzvM

Postscript Some readers may want to look at Lou Dobbs' latest -- a critique of NY Governor Spitzer's position on driver's license eligibilty for undocumented immigrants.  Dobbs has been conducting war on Gov. Spitzer, calling him an "idiot," among other things.  As I said before, the national safety/public safety argument for denial of driver's licenses to certain groups of drivers makes no sense to me.  I want all driver's on the road to be safety tested and to have liabilty insurance.

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Oliver Smithies (UK)

Smithiesoliver3 Oliver Smithies (born July 23, 1925) is a geneticist and Nobel laureate, credited with the invention of gel electrophoresis in 1950, and the simultaneous discovery with Mario Capecchi of the technique of homologous recombination of transgenic DNA with genomic DNA.

Smithies was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.  He studied Physiology for a BA First class and earned a second bachelor's degree in chemistry; he also received a MA and a DPhil in Biochemistry at Balliol College, Oxford.  Smithies dropped out of medical school to study chemistry.

From 1953 to 1960, Smithies worked in the Connaught Medical Research Laboratory, University of Toronto, Canada, due to visa problems, before he could return to his originally planned post at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he worked from 1960 to 1988.

Since 1988, Smithies has been designated an Excellence Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smithies also works at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy.

Smithies' work has advanced research in cystic fibrosis and could possibly have applications in other human diseases. Along with gel electrophoresis, he developed gene targeting, a method of creating mice with more human-like characteristics for use in research. Smithies and Mario Capecchi both came to the same discoveries regarding gene targeting independently. Smithies developed the technique while at the University of Wisconsin. In 2002, Smithies worked along with his wife, Dr. Nobuyo Maeda, studying high blood pressure using genetically altered mice.  As of 1995, he still worked in his lab seven days a week.

On October 8, 2007, Smithies was announced as co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah (previously honored as Immigrant of the Day ) and Martin Evans of Cardiff University "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells." Smithies is the first full professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to receive a Nobel Prize.

For a news story about how the success of Capecchi and Smithies shows why the United States must get its immigration policy right, click here.

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New SSRN Immigration Articles

"Hospitality: How a Biblical Virtue Could Transform United States Immigration Policy" ELIZABETH MCCORMICK University of Tulsa PATRICK MCCORMICK Harvard University-John F. Kennedy School of Government Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1024050

"Days without Immigrants: Analysis and Implications of the Treatment of Immigration Rallies under the National Labor Relations Act" MICHAEL C. DUFF University of Wyoming College of Law Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1020688

"Public Interest Lawyers and Resistance Movements" SAMEER M. ASHAR CUNY School of Law Abstract: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1023728

"Guantánamo is Here: The Military Commissions Act and Noncitizen Vulnerability" MUNEER I. AHMAD American University - Washington College of Law Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1024222

"Voluntary Departure and the Right to Reopen Removal Proceedings on the Merits" MARC TARLOCK University of Chicago Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1024241

KJ

October 31, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

British Newscaster "Jokes" of "Extermination" of Immigrants

Sky News presenter Julie Etchingham returned to work today after her embarrassing on-air gaffe. Yesterday she did not realise her microphone was still on when she "joked" during a David Cameron speech that Conservatives favoured a policy of "extermination" on immigration. Embarrassed bosses at Sky News, which 37-year-old Miss Etchingham leaves in a matter of weeks to join ITV, apologised over the incident yesterday, describing it as "regrettable".   For the full story, click here.

What kind of person would thionk that the 'extermination" of any human being was a joke?

Kj

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Off the Bookshelves: Almost All Aliens Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity

Spickard I just ran across "Almost All Aliens Immigration, Race, and Colonialism in American History and Identity" by Paul Spickard (History, UCSB) (Routledge 2007).  It is my next book to read.  Here is a description from the publisher:

Almost All Aliens challenges what we thought we knew about America’s history as an immigrant nation. Written by one of America’s foremost authorities on immigration history, it is a complete revision of the field. Almost All Aliens is destined to become the book on immigration history.

There is no hotter topic in American politics today than the future of US immigration policy. This book does not specify a policy, but it provides the essential historical background for understanding what is true about immigration and what is not. For generations, Americans have understood immigration through the story that Ellis Island has come to symbolize. According to this story, people came from all the countries of the world to seek freedom or prosperity, and they found those things in the United States. There was a sharp break between the old world and the new. Over a few generations, they gradually put off their old language, habits, viewpoints, and allegiances, and they took on American ways. They ceased to be foreigners and became simply Americans. That version of the immigrant story has more or less been true for European immigrants, except that they did not just become Americans—they became White Americans. The Ellis Island story has not been true the experiences of migrants from Asia, Africa, or Latin America. They have gone through processes of cultural change, but they have never been admitted to American society on anything like an equal basis. The difference is race. What is more, the Ellis Island assimilation paradigm leaves out some basic truths. It treats English people as if they were not immigrants at all, but rather as if they were the first Americans, when in fact most of them migrated here during the 19th and 20th centuries. It misses the immigrant nature of the experiences of Africans and treats them simply as slaves, as tragic exceptions to a triumphal narrative of American assimilation. And it fails utterly to consider the consequences of immigration for those people who already lived on this continent—Native Americans. Almost All Aliens is the first complete revision of the immigrant paradigm to be written in more than half a century. It traces the immigrant story across the whole of US history, from before European colonization to the 21st century. It is filled with stories and lavishly illustrated. Based on thirty-five years of research and written by one of our most prolific historians of race and immigration, Almost All Aliens will remake our understanding of the meaning of immigration in American history."

Paul Spickard is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author or editor of thirteen other books.

I will post a review of the book, which sounds fascinating, as soon as I finish the book.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Kennedy Looking for Immigration Policy Counsel

Senator Kennedy seeks a Chief Counsel for Immigration Policy to work on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security. Responsibilities include drafting legislation, planning legislative strategy, building coalitions, preparing for hearings, and writing memos, speeches, and talking points. Interested applicants must have extensive experience in immigration law and a record of leadership and initiative. Ideal candidates must be excellent writers who are able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment and possess strong legal, negotiation, and legislative skills. The office is an equal opportunity employer; which does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. For more information, please email your cover letter, resume, and references to immigration@judiciary-dem.senate.gov or fax them to 202-228-0464.

bh

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Have You No Shame? NC Police Use Churches to Arrest Undocumented Immigrants

From the "just when you think you've seen it all" department:

The pastor of the María, Reina de las Américas parish in Mt. Olive, North Carolina has a majority Latina/o congregation, including many of undocumented immigrants. The church is less than two miles from al slaughterhouse, where many parishioners work. Several months ago, local law enforcement officials set up roadblocks three weekends in a row on the two roads that provide access to the church. Parishioners were stopped and asked to show their driver's licenses on the way to and from services. Attendance at Mass eventually began to drop as the roadblocks increased in frequency.

What have we come to as a nation? 

For more details, click here and here.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Marina Belotserkovsky (Former USSR)

Marina_belotserkovsky Marina Belotserkovsky, Director of Russian Communications and Community Outreach for Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in New York City is our Immigrant of the Day. As director of Russian Communications and Community Outreach at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), Belotserkovsky is responsible for assisting over one million members of the U.S. Russian-speaking community. She produces and hosts "HIAS Answers," a radio and television program developed to provide information for new immigrants when they arrive in the United States. Together with her HIAS colleagues, Belotserkovsky has been instrumental in the success of Local Russian-speaking Émigré Organizations (LOREO) and The Civic and Voter Educational Initiative, HIAS' key national outreach programs for Russian Americans.

Belotserkovsky immigrated to the United States in 1989 as a refugee from the Former Soviet Union. In 1996, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen. Before coming to the United States, Belotserkovsky founded and ran a school for gifted children in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has a graduate degree in linguistics and teaching from the Pedagogical State University in St. Petersburg.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Guantánamo Testimonials Project

Some readers might be interested in the Guantánamo Testimonials Project, which strives to collect and make accessible all available testimonies of detainees' experiences at Guantánamo. The project is a product of the University of California, Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA). Testimonies are organized by witness type and include statements of prisoners, FBI Agents, interrogators, prosecution and defense lawyers, military physicians, a chaplain, a marine, a CIA asset, and others.  All testimonials are keyword searchable using the search box at the top of the screen. The Guantánamo Testimonials Project is a useful source of primary materials of the conditions at Guantánamo.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Information on Immigration Statistics

Data about immigration is often not absorbed in the public debate about immigration or misreported in the popular press.  To help us all get the available facts right, the Migration Information Source released a Spotlight today on some of the most frequently requested U.S. immigration statistics. The Spotlight includes data on: Current and historical numbers and shares of immigrants to the United States Immigrants’ demographic, educational, and linguistic characteristics Immigrants in the workforce Immigrants’ geographical distribution in the United States Annual immigration flows Immigration from Mexico -- including maps on Mexican states from which migrants come and US states where they settle Unauthorized immigrants -- estimates of numbers from top source countries, as well as apprehension and deportation figures Immigration control and enforcement spending Naturalization trends Backlogs -- including processing times of legal permanent resident applications.

For example, the 2006 data show the following (including a few surprises):

Almost 60 percent of all foreign born in the United States came from ten countries.

Of the nearly 1.3 million new lawful permanent residents, 45.8 percent were an immediate relative of a US citizen, 17.5 percent came through a family-sponsored preference, and 12.6 percent through an employment-based preference.

Another 17.1 percent adjusted from a refugee or asylee status, and 3.5 percent were diversity-lottery winners.

Between 2000 and 2006, the five states with the largest percent growth of the foreign-born population were Delaware, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, and Tennessee.

The Department of State issued about 5.8 million nonimmigrant visas. The majority (52.3 percent) were temporary business and tourist visas, followed by J-1 exchange visitor visas (5.3 percent), and F-1 and F-2 academic visas for students and their families (5 percent).

In terms of the highest rates of unauthorized population growth between 2000 and 2006, India was first (125 percent), followed by Brazil (110 percent) and Honduras (75 percent).

Between 2003 and 2006, the budget for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security branch responsible for immigration enforcement, grew 53 percent to $3.6 billion.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More on the San Diego Fires

I received this update on conditions in San Diego County for farmworkers that I thought worth sharing (because not all of the victims of the fire will be visible to the public eye) :

"The fires in San Diego have created both immediate and long term needs for farmworkers in our County. Reports from the field say that farmworkers living in camps, trailer parks and in rural and urban housing are in dire need of immediate relief such as food, baby supplies (diapers), water, and clothing. In addition there is a huge need for gasoline cards and grocery store cards for relief efforts. Farmworkers will be out of work for a while and this will have a huge impact on their lives and that of their families. For fear of border patrol, which has been active and present in all agricultural communities, many evacuated farmworkers have sought shelter with friends and family in other regions. In one case there are close to 30 people living in one house in Temecula without food, money, and diapers for the children."

Thankfully, the fires have been contained.

KJ

October 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 29, 2007

News Flash: Tancredo To Retire!

Tancredogun1_2 Roll Call has informed me that Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), founder of the Immigration Reform Caucus, has announced that he will retire at the end of next year.  He revealed late Sunday that he will retire upon the conclusion of his current term, regardless of how his long-shot presidential bid turns out, according to the Rocky Mountain News. As promised, Tancredo, 61, waited until after the Colorado Rockies' last out of the World Series on Sunday night before announcing that he plans to leave Congress at the end of this, his fifth term.

KJ

October 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

An Unlikely Alliance for AgJobs: Growers and Immigrant Workers Seek Immigration Reform

Politico.com has an interesting immigration story ("Immigration laws dry up farming work force") by Samuel Loewenberg.  It discusses the unlikely alliance of lobbyists Sharon Hughes and Bruce Goldstein for immigration reform. Hughes is the chief lobbyist for a coalition of agribusiness interests. Goldstein is a longtime advocate for farm worker rights. Long on opposite sides of the negotiating table, the two now are allies in a heated campaign to pass legislation (AgJobs) offering legal status to more than 1.2 million immigrant workers. Needless to say, the legislation faces tough opposition.

Recent crackdowns have left both growers and workers badly in need of relief. According to the Loewenberg article,

"The shortfall of workers is estimated at 20 percent, forcing farmers to forgo planting and let fields lie fallow. The legislation that Goldstein and Hughes are pushing, called AgJOBS, shorthand for the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act, has attracted broad support, including from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 800 other organizations, such as church groups, as well as state agriculture officials.

'Without AgJOBS, there will be shortages, crops will rot and American agriculture could face significant disruption,' Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement. The California Democrat has been busily schmoozing her fellow senators, including sympathetic Republicans, to build support for the bill."

KJ

October 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Renu Khator (India)

Khatorgreen175250 Our Immigrant of the Day is Dr. Renu Khator, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida. Born in India, Dr. Khator received her undergraduate degree in liberal arts from Kanpur University. Dr. Khator came to the United States at the age of eighteen. She earned her master's degree and doctorate from Purdue University in Political Science and Public Administration. Dr. Khator has published five books, numerous book chapters, and journal articles in leading national and international journals. Her areas of specialization include water policy and the impact of globalization on the environment.  Dr. Khator has participated in workshops and conferences around the globe and serves on a number of important boards.

Dr. Khator was appointed to her current position at the University of South Florida in 2003 after serving for three years as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and three years as Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program.

Dr. Khator is the first female Provost of University of South Florida and one of the first Indian Americans to become provost at a comprehensive research university in the country.  She is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Dr. Khator has received many honors and awards, among them are the 2006 Outstanding American by Choice Award (given by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for outstanding achievements by a naturalized citizen), the 2007 Hind Rattan Award (Jewel of India Award - given to a non-resident Indian for making outstanding contributions in her/his adoptive land), the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts, and the 2006 Outstanding Educator Award by the American Foundation for Greek Language and Culture.

Dr. Khator has a long history of community engagement. She serves on several local community boards. She enjoys writing poetry and fiction, several of which have been published.

Dr. Khator has described her philosophy of life as follows: "When life gives you lemons and everyone else is busy making lemonade, think about making margaritas!"

Postscript:  After I posted this story, I learned that the University of Houston has made the following announcement:

"Dr. Renu Khator, provost and senior vice president at the University of South Florida, a major research institution and the ninth largest university in the country, has been selected as the sole finalist for the position of University of Houston System chancellor and UH president. A devoted teacher, seasoned educational administrator and respected scholar, Khator has a doctorate and master’s degree in political science from Purdue University and earned her bachelor’s degree from Kanpur University in India. UH System Board of Regents Chairman Welcome Wilson made the announcement Monday following a vote by the board. Texas law requires that the board give public notice at least 21 days prior to a meeting in which final action is taken on the employment of a university chancellor or president. The board can meet anytime on or after November 5 and vote to confirm Khator. If approved, she will become the third person to hold the dual title of UH System chancellor and UH president. She follows Arthur Smith, who retired in 2003, and Jay Gogue, who became president of Auburn University, his alma mater, this summer. A 20-member search advisory committee, led by Regent Leroy Hermes, submitted to the board a list of candidates to consider as Gogue’s replacement."

KJ

October 29, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)