Saturday, April 7, 2007

Le Pen's Surprise Visit to Muslim Immigrant Neighborhood

The leader of the French far-right paid a surprise visit Friday to a rough suburb home to the veiled and robed immigrants he has blamed for the country's problems, calling the bemused residents legitimate children of France.

The unannounced flash campaign stop by Jean-Marie Le Pen was cloaked in secrecy, probably to head off any possible protests or violence against a man reviled by many minorities, in a town where even front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy fears to tread.

When his bus rolled to a halt, Le Pen made his way into a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, mobbed by photographers and veiled women in long robes, some snapping pictures too. Click here.


April 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Geraldo v. O'Reilly

It's come to this..."intelligent" debate on immigration policy between Geraldo Rivera and Bill O'Reilly?

It felt as if you had wandered into a barroom brawl, people were cowering under their tables, and the only question was when someone would get smashed with a broken beer bottle.

It was the battle of cable goliaths, Geraldo Rivera vs. Bill O'Reilly, a trash-talking, vein-popping, finger-thrusting shoutfest complete with cries of "Cool your jets!" and "That's bull!"

The rising decibel level Thursday night on "The O'Reilly Factor," an arena not exactly renowned for delicate discussion, was an instant YouTube classic as the two Fox fighters went at it on the subject of undocumented immigration.

Rivera did what few guests dare in the "No-Spin Zone" -- accuse the host of making "a cheap political point." O'Reilly, undeterred, said Rivera wanted "open-border anarchy." And although Rivera didn't get his nose broken, as happened during a 1988 scuffle with a neo-Nazi guest on his old syndicated talk show, both men were clearly fuming. Click here.


April 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

The Latest on the Luis Posada Carriles Case

The Miami Herald (here) reports that Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles, now 79 years old, must be released on bond while awaiting trial for allegedly lying to immigration authorities, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, ordered Friday.  Posada, however, was not freed because the federal government quickly filed a motion asking the judge for a seven-day delay to review the ''adequacy'' of her release conditions -- and to decide whether to appeal. Posada could be taken into custody by immigration officials as soon as he posts bond. Judge, Cardone noted that even if Posada were the daring covert operative of legend, accused of masterminding tourist site bombings in Havana that killed an Italian in 1997 -- and even if he did escape from a prison in Venezuela once in connection with the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 -- all that was in the past.

One of the reasons that the case has received such attention, especially in South Florida, is that Posada, as Judge Cardone wrote, "has spent his life opposing Fidel Castro. As a result, he has allegedly been involved in and/or associated with some of the most infamous events of the 20th century . . . the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Iran-Contra Affair, the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455, the tourist bombings of 1997 in Havana, and even -- according to some conspiracy theorists -- the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.'' But all those things, she added, have no bearing on Posada's current circumstances. ''He is now older and more frail than he was when those events allegedly occurred,'' she wrote. ``He has ample ties to the community, as evidenced by the thousands of supporters who have signed petitions on his behalf and volunteered their personal resources to aid in his defense.''

To see the district court's ruling, click here.


Postscript  The Fifth Circuit (here) on April 12 blocked Carriles' release from jail just as he began the process to be freed on $250,000 bond.

April 7, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Border Network Denounces Raids

El Paso and Southern New Mexico Communities March and Rally for Just, Humane and Comprehensive Immigration Reform NOW!

Stop the Raids! Do Not Divide American Families!
“We are not the Enemy, We are part of the solution.”

Commemorating the 1st Anniversary of the massive mobilizations against the criminalization of immigrants, El Paso and Southern New Mexico border communities (including students, elected officials, unions, local businesses, and members of human rights and faith organizations) will march again on April 10th to ask the US government to STOP THE RAIDS, DO NOT DIVIDE AMERICAN FAMILIES and insist that “We are not the Enemy, We are Part of the Solution.”

The March and Rally in downtown El Paso on April 10 will also emphasize the need of our border communities for an new immigration policy that provides means for immigrants living and working in the US to attain permanent residency and new a border policy that upholds community security as well as border security.

Events on Monday April 9th

Press Conference:
Monday, April 9th, 2007
12 pm noon
Downtown El Paso at the
Plaza de los Lagartos

Representations: Community Members and Organization from Southern Mexico; East El Paso; Central El Paso; as well as Students and Professors from UTEP;

Events on April 10th

Community March and Protest:
Starting at 4:30 pm at the Leech Grove (UTEP)
Walking towards San Jacinto Plaza through Oregon St.
Hundreds of Border Residents will join!

Concentration and Rally
Starting 5 pm at the Plaza los Lagartos
(San Jacinto Plaza)

Participant Elected Officials:, Sunland Park Mayor Ruben Segura, Socorro Mayor Trinidad Lopez, City Council Member Susie Byrd, County Commissioner Veronica Escobar, County Attorney Jose Rodriguez, among others.

Participant Organizations and Institutions: A.Y.U.D.A; Border Network for Human Rights; Centro de Mujeres de la Esperanza; Intercultural Woman Center; Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECHA) - UTEP; Border Workers Association, Promotoras de Sunland Park, NM; St. Pius X. Catholic Church, El Paso de Norte Civil Rights Project, University Democrats, Anthropologist Association at UTEP, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), and DMRS (Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services.), BNHR Regional  Coordinator Southern New Mexico, BNHR Regional  Coordinator Central El Paso, and BNHR Regional Coordinator East El Paso.

Participating Academics: Josiah Heyman – UTEP Sociology and Anthropology Dept., Cristina Morales-UTEP Sociology and Anthropology; Gina Núñez- UTEP Sociology and Anthropology

WHY: On the 1st anniversary of the massive marches, communities of El Paso and Southern New Mexico are coming out demanding that a Comprehensive Immigration Reform be issued this year.   

Visuals & Interviews: On April 10th the marches will be led by immigrant children and families and will include huge numbers of protesters carrying mostly American banners, signs and wearing white clothing.   Immigrants and their families, elected officials, and organization representatives will be available for interviews at the start of the March and at the rally in Plaza de los Lagartos (San Jacinto Plaza).
Fernando Garcia
Border Network for Human Rights
1101 E. Yandell
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 577-0724


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006

On April 5, the State Department released a report titled "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2006," which is submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with Section 665 of P.L. 107-228, the FY 03 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (requiring the Department to report on actions taken by the U.S. Government to encourage respect for human rights). This fifth annual report complements the longstanding Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, and takes the next step, moving from highlighting abuses to publicizing the actions and programs the United States has employed to end those abuses.  Click here for a link to the report.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Newt Backtracks from Suggestion that Spanish is a "Ghetto" Language

We have previously reported on Newt Gingrich's insulting statements about bilingualism (here) and the protests of Asian American groups (here).  CNN now reports (here) that Gingrich is trying to assuage Latinos over the recent comments by delivering a video statement -- in Spanish and English (here) -- in which he concedes his word choice was "poor." In the statement, posted Wednesday on YouTube, Gingrich said his comments were not an "attack" on Spanish, and he revealed he has been taking Spanish lessons "for some time now." "I know that my Spanish is not perfect, but I am studying so it will be better," he said.

One is left to wonder what Gingrich really thinks about Spanish speaking in the United States.  He evidently sees potential political gain in him speaking it.  But, by suggesting that Spanish was "ghetto," he seems to think that Spanish is somehow inferior to English.  And, in stating that his word choice was "poor" but not apologizing, Gingrich  brings to mind the racist who claims that his "best friend is Black."


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

More on Assimilation

Jack Citrin and others have released a study responding to Samuel Huntington's claim that "Hispanics" are not assimilating.  the study concludes that hat Hispanics are following traditional immigration patterns and do not represent an outlier. For a link to teh study, click here.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Scholarship

Goodsell, Todd H. Comment. On the continued need for H-1B reform: a partial, statutory suggestion to protect foreign and U.S. workers. 21 BYU J. Pub. L. 153-177 (2007).

Holland, Laura H. Note. Government contractors hiring undocumented workers: national security implications and solutions. 36 Pub. Cont. L.J. 263-276 (2007).

Johnson, Kevin R. and Bill Ong Hing. The immigrant rights marches of 2006 and the prospects for a new civil rights movement. 42 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 99-138 (2007).

Lucas, Erika. Comment. Preserving due process: staying voluntary departure periods in immigration proceedings with the constitutional avoidance canon. 42 Gonz. L. Rev. 299-320 (2006/07).

Traven, Michael R. Comment. Restricting innovation: how restrictive U.S. visa policies have the potential to deplete our innovative economy. 34 Cap. U. L. Rev. 693-740 (2006).

Wong, Kam C. Implementing the USA PATRIOT Act: a case study of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 2006 BYU Educ. & L.J. 379-454.


Roman, Ediberto. The citizenship dialectic. 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 557-609 (2006). Neuman, Gerald L. Discretionary deportation. 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 611-655 (2006).

Chen, Estella F. Note. Judicial deference after United States v. Mead: how streamlining measures at the Board of Immigration Appeals may transform traditional notions of deference in immigration law. (United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218, 2001.) 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 657-679 (2006).

Inlender, Talia. Note. The imperfect legacy of Gomez v. INS: using social perceptions to adjudicate social group claims. 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 681-710 (2006).

Swanwick, Daniel. Current development. Legislative Branch: a House-Senate standoff over immigration reform. 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 713-715(2006).

Elbert, Maya. Current development. Executive Branch: ICE establishes IMAGE Program. 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 717-719 (2006).

Gitsham, Denise. Current development. Judicial Branch: a recent decision ... (Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 126 S. Ct. 2422, 2006.) 20 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 721-723 (2006).


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Study on the Assimilation of Immigrants

A study entitled "Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height" by JONI HERSCH (Vanderbilt University Law School, Owen Graduate School of Management, Department of Economics) sheds interesting, perhaps expected, light on the ease of immigrant assimilation.

ABSTRACT: Whether and how quickly immigrants assimilate into the U.S. labor market is an issue of great policy importance and controversy. Using newly-available data from the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that new lawful immigrants to the U.S. who have lighter skin color and are taller have higher earnings, controlling for extensive labor market and immigration status information, as well as for education, English language proficiency, outdoor work, occupation, ethnicity, race, and country of birth. Immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 8 to 15 percent more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin tone. Each extra inch of height is associated with a 1 percent increase in wages. The skin color advantage is not due to preferential treatment of those with lighter skin color in country of birth or to interviewer bias. The findings of this paper are consistent with discrimination against new immigrants on the basis of skin color.  Full Text:


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Free Immigration Zone in Malaysia Halted

Malaysia has dropped a plan to create an immigration free zone in a multibillion-dollar industrial park project in the southern state of Johor, bordering Singapore, newspapers reported Friday.

Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Othman said an area that allowed foreigners to come and go without passing immigration would no longer be set up because such a zone was not necessary to encourage investment.

"The (free access zone) no longer exists. It was just a proposal, but we do not need it," the New Straits Times quoted Ghani as saying at a conference on the Iskandar development project in the state Thursday.

The immigration free zone, envisaged as an incentive to attract investors, was severely criticized recently by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said it would compromise national sovereignty. Click here.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

ICE Arrests of Human Rights Violators

Immigration agents have arrested three former foreign military officers who entered the U.S. after lying about their pasts during Peru's struggle with the Shining Path guerrilla movement and Argentina's "dirty war."

The arrests of the three, who are accused of crimes against humanity in their home countries, points out how often alleged human rights violators have sought refuge in the United States.

They were arrested under expanded powers granted to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement under changes in 2004 to U.S. intelligence law. The agency is part of the Homeland Security Department.

Telmo Ricardo Hurtado-Hurtado was arrested in Miami and charged with criminal visa fraud. Ernesto Guillermo Barreiro was arrested in a rural area in the state of Virginia., where he sold artwork and antiques, and charged with criminal violations of U.S. visa laws. Juan Manuel Rivera-Rondon was arrested in Baltimore and detained pending proceedings to send him back to Peru. Click here.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

WitnessLA: A Social Justice Blog (Focused on Los Angeles, The Latino Metropolis)

Celeste Fremon and Sonata Lee have a great social justice blog that is worth a look.  Here are a couple of the blog's recent immigration-related stories:

Fatherless Citizens: About the impact the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act has had on illegal immigrants convicted of minor offenses.

Who Should Be LA’s Gang Czar: Celeste Fremon gives her picks on who Mayor Villaraigosa should appoint as gang czar of Los Angeles.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Germany makes immigration easier for non-European scientists

Germany has become the fourth nation in the European Union to sign an EU directive into law that will make it easier for scientists from non-European countries to gain work visas. Austria, Slovenia, and Slovakia have already signed the new directive into law. The EU directive of 12 October 2005 outlines a procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purpose of scientific research. It instructs member nations to establish a mechanism of fast-tracking procedures for admitting scientific researchers with local research centers establishing the validity of an applicant's credentials. Click here for the full story.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Future Need for Labor: An Impending Crisis?

SHANNON O'NEIL, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who teaches in the political science department at Columbia University, wrote an interesting op/ed in the LA Times (here). It begins:

AS MANY IN Congress, in the media and in homes across the country debate the best way to stem the flow of undocumented workers across the Rio Grande, they don't seem to be aware that this perceived problem is becoming increasingly irrelevant. In fact, the immigration concern of the future could well be how to entice Mexicans and other Latin Americans to cross into the U.S. in the numbers we need. Mexico is undergoing a demographic transition. According to the Mexican census bureau, long gone are the days of families with six, seven or 10 kids. Instead, Mexican women now average 2.2 births — only slightly above the average 2.1 births that occur in the United States and that are considered the "replacement rate," the level needed to maintain a stable population over time. Life expectancy in Mexico has increased to 75 years, compared to 77 in the United States. With fewer births and longer lives, by 2050, Mexico will become as old as the United States. In short, Mexico is about to age dramatically.


The commentary proceeds to contend that Mexican labor is drying up and the United States will likely soon find itself in dire need of immigrantlabor. For a discussion of the commmentary on The Economist's View blog, click here.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

CRS On Immigration-Related Detention

The Congressional Research Service issued a report (here) on current legislative issues related to immigration related detention.  As CRS reports do, this report lays out the basic issues surrounding immigrant detention in a noncommittal way.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Costs of Hiring and Training A Border Patrol Officer

According to a United Press International (here), "It costs nearly $200,000 to recruit, bring on and train each of the 6,000 new border patrol agents now being hired by US Customs and Border Patrol." For the full story, see here.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

"Collateral Arrests" a Benefit of Immigration Enforcement Efforts

According to AP (here), more than one-third of 18,000 people arrested in a nearly yearlong federal crackdown on illegal immigrants were not the people authorities targeted, according to government figures. The so-called "collateral arrests" involved people picked up by immigration agents while seeking fugitives such as drug smugglers, thieves, drunken drivers and others who flouted deportation orders.When tracking down fugitives, authorities visit a suspect's last known address and often find other immigrants, who are then asked to prove they are legally entitled to live in the United States. Critics say the campaign against fugitive illegal immigrants ensnares many hard-working people who are in the country illegally but do not pose a danger.


April 6, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Gang Removal: Los Angeles

Today's LATimes ran a story about efforts to remove suspected gang members. The local police are enlisting the aid of ICE to deport suspected individuals that they have identified as gang members.  ICE can deport noncitizens on the basis of immigration violations, regardless of whether charges are ever brought on the basis of the offense underlying the arrest.

Supporters of the plan say that this is a good way to crack down on gangs without having to establish that a gang member has actually committed a gang-related crime.  Critics note that because of anti-gang injuctions, suspected gang members can be arrested for loitering and carrying spay cans (because of graffiti concerns).  Under the current arrangement, even before these minor offenses are charged, a person can be deported on the basis of immigration violations.   The story is here.

To many -- indeed, to the vast majority of readers of the LATimes article who have been polled -- this sounds like a no-brainer: let's deport gang members.  In some cases, that may be the right answer.  But  perhaps a little reflection ought to go into this.  I know -- it sounds nutty -- but let me give you some reasons to at least slow down a little....

First, while the article focus on undocumented immigrants, this seems to me to be misleading.  The program is broader than that, even as it is described in the article.  Names are turned over to ICE to see if there are "immigration violations."  This might include people who are here without authorization, but it would also include currently lawful permanent residents who are determined by ICE to be potentially deportable for one reason or another.  It's important to realize that at least some of these individuals have been here since childhood and have no ties to the country to which they are being deported.  Regardless of their ties, once deported, they will face extremely harsh conditions and even death, as you can read in these USAID reports.  Maybe people will conclude that an effective death sentence for a parole violator is appropriate, but the LATimes article doesn't ask us to consider that this is part of the program - so let's at least be clear about this possibility.

We should also consider the fact that not everyone labeled a gang member is the same, and that deportation may not be the appropriate remedy in every case of every noncitizen identified as a gang member.  Since the law gives immigration judges little flexibility, and since many noncitizens will not have counsel in their deportation proceedings, we should at least recognize that some people may be wrongly deported, and some people who are lawfully deported may have equities that suggest that they ought not be deported.  This comment is more a criticism of post-1996 immigration laws than the state-federal collaboration, but unfortunately, here the issues are intertwined.

While I understand the general enthusiasm for state-federal collaboration in preventing violent crime, I am also concerned that the use of broad and damning labels ("gang members" and "illegal immigrants") is used to paint the targeted group here as consisting entirely of the most hardened criminals, who also happen to be here illegally.  That may be true in some cases, but it's not going to be true in every case.  I raise these points because state and federal authorities are not likely to bother making these distinctions if an uncritical press and public jump eagerly on board without reading all of the fine print.


April 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

Office of Immigration Statistics: New Reports


The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) would like to announce the release of *Legal Permanent Residents: 2006*. This report presents information on the number and characteristics of persons who became legal permanent residents in the United States during fiscal year 2006. The PDF is available on the OIS web site at:


Access data on immigrants who became legal permanent residents during fiscal year 2006 by class of admission, country of birth, state of residence, and other characteristics. The data tables, in Excel format, are available at:


*Naturalization Rate Estimates:Stock vs. Flow*

*Border Apprehensions:2005*


Older editions of the *Yearbook of Immigration Statistics* back to 1996, including PDF files and Excel tables, are available on the OIS website at:


April 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Asian Americans Criticize Gingrich

Washington, D.C. – The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and its affiliates -- the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Institute and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California -- strongly condemn former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s crude remarks disparaging bilingual education and language assistance in voting during a recent speech before the National Federation of Republican Women.

“We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,” Gingrich said Saturday, adding that the government should also not have to create ballots “in any language except English.”

“Mr. Gingrich’s remarks are deeply offensive to Asian Americans who speak a language other than English, and who take the time to fulfill their responsibilities to participate in our democracy,” said Karen K. Narasaki, AAJC’s president and executive director.

Stewart Kwoh, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Law Center, noted that Gingrich’s speech reflects a view that is out of touch with the times and with the Republican party. “Last year, Congress overwhelmingly, with bipartisan support, reauthorized the Voting Rights Act and Section 203 language assistance provisions, which mandate bilingual ballots.”

Kwoh also pointed out that, "Section 203 is working. In fact, a Vietnamese American Republican candidate recently was elected to the Board of Supervisors in Orange County due to the fact that limited English proficient communities had a voice in this election. This law is extremely important to the political engagement of our communities. "

Gen Fujioka, director of programs of the Asian Law Caucus, noted Gingrich’s offensive choice of words. “His use of the word ‘ghetto’ in regards to languages other than English signals a deep and abiding contempt for Asian Americans and other immigrant communities,” said Fujioka.

“Asian Americans well understand that becoming fluent in English is the key to their family’s future,” said Tuyet Le, executive director of Asian American Institute of Chicago. “If Mr. Gingrich is sincerely concerned about immigrants, he should instead be talking about the need to increase funding for ESL for children and for adults.”

# # #
The Asian American Justice Center, formerly known as NAPALC, is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates – the Asian American Institute of Chicago, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles – and over 100 community partners in 47 cities and 24 states in the country.


April 5, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)