June 16, 2007
The Governator Does It Again!
Earlier this week in San Jose, California, hundreds of Hispanic journalists were gathered to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Marina Trasviña on Latina Lista (here) has a story about the Governator's controversial comments about Latinos learning English.
For the Spanish language section of the California Governor's official website, click here.
The Fight Over Taco Trucks?
Mexican immigration has brought many new and novel policy issues to the forefront. Who would have guessed that driver's license eligibility for undocumented immigrants would be a pressing civil rights concern (and lead to the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as California's Governor)? The issue today in many cities is the regulation of taco trucks. In Salinas, California, a proposed ordinance, which is still subject to revision, is the latest round in a two-year debate that some say has created a rift in this community, placing poorer Mexicans who are looking to better themselves at odds with longtime residents whose families emigrated years ago.
Salinas is not alone. Taco trucks, cultural icons and social magnets in Mexico, have become a flashpoint in at least a dozen cities in California — including Santa Rosa (near San Francisco), and Gardena (south of Los Angeles) — and in other states, like Arizona, Oregon and Tennessee.
For more on this story, click here.
P.S. A reader graciously provided us with a list of stories on taco truck controversies in Salinas and many other communities.
Proposed Ban on Taco Trucks Stirs Animosity in a California Town”, 6/15/2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/15/us/15taco.html
“Salinas, California proposes taco truck ban”, 6/17/2007 http://tacohunt.blogspot.com/2007/06/salinas-california-proposes-taco-truck.html
“The Fight Over Taco Trucks?”, 6/16/2007 http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2007/06/the_fight_over_.html
“Taco truck controversy elevated to next level”, 6/16/2007 http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_6156984?nclick_check=1
“Taco Trucks vs. The Restaurant Cartel in Salinas, CA”, 6/15/2007 http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/06/taco-trucks-vs-restaurant-cartel.html
“Taco Trucks Wind Up On Endangered Species List”, 6/15/! 2007 http://guanabee.com/2007/06/taco-trucks-wind-up-on-endange.php
“Restaurateurs Sic Government on Taco Trucks”, 6/15/2007 http://www.fee.org/in_brief/default.asp?id=1375
“Outta the Back of a Truck”, 06/15/2007 http://www.chow.com/stories/10609
“Taco Trucks Under Attack in Salinas”, 6/12/2007 http://www.seriouseats.com/required_eating/2007/06/taco-trucks-under-attack-in-sa.html
“Taco trucks banned?”, 6/12/2007 http://biteclub.pressdemocrat.com/default.asp?item=623342
“Salinas Taco Trucks in Jeopardy”, 6/12/2007 http://www.kqed.org/weblog/food/2007/06/salinas-taco-trucks-in-jeopardy.jsp
“Google Map of Salinas Street Food”, 6/02/2007 http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407568
“Debate continues over lunch wagons in Lodi”, 05/02/2007 http://www.rec! ordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070502/A_NEWS/705020336/0/A_CO MM08
“County takes on taco trucks”, 04/07/2007 http://www.tulareadvanceregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200770407001
“Truck vendors win lawsuit”, 08/19/2006 http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1248334.php
“Mobile food vendors could face restrictions”, 04/22/2007 http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070422/A_NEWS/704220330/-1/A_COMM08
“Sebastopol Road fixtures in flux”, 09/11/2006 http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060911/NEWS/609110326/1033/NEWS01
“Backlash emerges against Latino culture”, 07/19/2006 http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0719/p03s03-ussc.html
“Trailer Trash”, 11/24/2005 http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/News/2005/11/24/Trailer_Trash/index.shtml
“Opposition to taco trucks is senseless”, Oakland Tribune, 02/10/2004
Florida Latinos Alienated from GOP?
We have written recently on how the apparent failure of the immigration bill -- and the campaign to derail it -- may have turned off many Latinos to the Republican Party. Well, today the Los Angeles Times (here) has an article about how new Latino citizens in South Florida who have traditionally registered with the GOP have felt alienated by the party. Is it possible that many Cuban Americans, a part of the GOP base, may flee the GOP? This could have a big impact on the 2008 Presidential election, with Florida always a key state.
June 15, 2007
New Immigration Articles
Failinger, Marie A. "No more deaths": on conscience, civil disobedience, and a new role for truth commissions. 75 UMKC L. Rev. 401-435 (2006).
Fenn, Sarah B. Note. Defining last habitual residence for stateless asylum applicants. (Paripovic v. Gonzales, 418 F.3d 240, 3d Cir. 2005.) 40 UC Davis L. Rev. 1545-1576 (2007).
Gee, Harvey. Asian Americans and citizenship rights. (Reviewing John S.W. Park, Elusive Citizenship: Immigration, Asian Americans, and the Paradox of Civil Rights.) 8 Rutgers Race & L. Rev. 51-77 (2006).
Naber, Tarik. Comment. Judicial review under 8 U.S.C. section 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii): how a minority of federal circuit courts are keeping non-citizens out of court. 40 UC Davis L. Rev. 1515-1544 (2007).
Immigrant of the Day: Tony Parker
William Anthony (Tony) Parker, II (born May 17, 1982) is a National Basketball Association player with the San Antonio Spurs and captain of France's national basketball team. After playing for two years in the French basketball league, Parker entered the 2001 NBA Draft and was selected by the San Antonio Spurs. He quickly became the team's starting point guard, and has been selected as an NBA All-Star twice and helped the Spurs win three of their four NBA Championships.
Parker is currently engaged to "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria (who as a native of Corpus Christi, Texas would not be eligible for Immigrant of the Day honors), and the two are to set to be wed in July 2007.
Last night, Parker was named 2007 NBA Finals MVP as the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 0.
Parker was born in Bruges, Belgium, but raised in France. His father, Tony Parker Sr. played basketball at Loyola University Chicago, as well as professionally overseas. His two younger brothers, T.J. and Pierre, would go on to play basketball at professional and college levels, respectively.
Tony was asked to attend the National Institute for Sports and Physical Education in Paris. He turned professional and signed with Paris Basket Racing in 1999. He then played two years with Racing in the French championship before entering the 2001 NBA Draft.
Parker was drafted 28th overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. When Parker played against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 30, 2001, he became the third French player ever to play in an NBA game, after Tariq Abdul-Wahad and Jerome Moiso.
Anna Husarska of the International Rescue Committee writes this commentary in the Wall Street Journal about the plight of Iraqi refugees:
Every day Iraqi civilians are killed on the streets and in their homes by insurgents. And many of them are targeted for a simple reason: They have either worked for or have some other connection to the U.S. government. As a matter of policy the U.S. has officially opened the door for many of these civilians by offering them refugee status here.
But in practice that door has been effectively closed. This became increasingly clear recently when the State Department revealed how many Iraqi refugees were allowed into the U.S. during the month of May. That count stands at precisely one. In April, the U.S. also admitted just a single Iraqi refugee. Click here for the rest of the commentary.
Senate Reopens Immigration Debate
Here we go again. As Robert Pear and Jeff Zeleny report in the NY Times, looks like the Senate will reopen consideration of immigration legislation.
Senate Democratic and Republican leaders announced on Thursday that they had agreed on a way to revive a comprehensive immigration bill that was pulled off the Senate floor seven days ago.
The majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, and the minority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said they expected the bill to return to the floor before the Fourth of July recess.
In a joint statement, Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell said: “We met this evening with several of the senators involved in the immigration bill negotiations. Based on that discussion, the immigration bill will return to the Senate floor after completion of the energy bill.” Click here for the rest of the story.
June 14, 2007
What We Owe Illegal Immigrants
Barbara Ehrenreich has an interesting column in the current issue of The Nation, that argues that we owe undocumented immigrants:
"Rush Limbaugh has been expecting liberals to start "whining" about the $5,000 fine undocumented immigrants will have to pay to gain citizenship under the new immigration bill. But most liberals have been too busy chortling about the immigration-induced split in the GOP to make their own case against the bill. So let a mighty whine rise over the land: Undocumented workers shouldn't be fined; they should get a hefty bonus!"
"When our debt to America's undocumented workers is eventually tallied, I'm confident that it will be well in excess of the $5,000 fine the immigration bill proposes. There is still the issue of the original "crime." If someone breaks into my property for the purpose of trashing and looting, I would be hell-bent on restitution. But if they break in for the purpose of cleaning it — scrubbing the bathroom, mowing the lawn — then, in my way of thinking anyway, the debt goes in the other direction. " Click here for the article.
California GOP goes outside the U.S. to hire top aide
The San Francisco Chronicle (here) reports that the California Republican Party has decided no American is qualified to take one of its most crucial positions -- state deputy political director -- and has hired a Canadian for the job through a H-1B visa. Christopher Matthews, 35, a Canadian citizen, has worked for the state GOP as a campaign consultant since 2004 and recently was hired as full-time deputy political director, with responsibility for handling campaign operations and information technology for the California Republican Party.
According to the Chronicle, U.S. Department of Labor records show the state Republican Party applied for an H-1B visa to fill the job of "political consultant" and was granted a visa labor certification in March 2007.
Rallies Planned for June 20, 21
Pro-immigrant marches and demonstrations are planned across the country next week. Many immigrants and their supporters seeking reasonable, fair and comprehensive reform will converge on Washington on June 20. Here's one story from the San Jose Mercury News.
Immigrant of the Day: Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington (born Arianna Stassinopoulos (Greek: Αριάννα Στασινόπουλου) on July 15, 1950 in Athens, Greece) is a nationally syndicated columnist, author of eleven books, and the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post (here), a news and blog site that is a widely read and linked to, website. She is also co-host of “Left, Right & Center,” public radio’s popular political roundtable program. In 2006, Huffington Post to Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Her latest book is On Becoming Fearless.... in Love, Work, and Life.
Huffington describes herself as a "former right-winger who has evolved into a compassionate and progressive populist."
Originally from Greece, Huffington moved to England at the age of sixteen and attended Girton College at Cambridge University where she was President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1971 and graduated with an MA in economics in 1972. After graduation, she moved to London and later moved to the United States in 1980. She met millionaire Michael Huffington in San Francisco and the couple married in 1986. The Huffingtons moved to Washington, D.C., when Michael was appointed to a post in the Department of Defense. They later established residency in Santa Barbara, California. In 1992, Michael sucessfully ran as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1994, he narrowly lost the race for a U.S. Senate seat from California to incumbent Dianne Feinstein. The Hufingtons divorced in 1997.
Arianna Huffington was a candidate for Governor of California in 2003. She finished fifth among the replacement candidates in the election to recall California Governor Gray Davis, despite the fact that she dropped out of the race a week before the election. Huffington is a naturalized citizen. Today, she lives in Los Angeles with her two daughters.
Ann Coulter on 'No Drug Smuggler Left Behind!'
Yesterday, we posted a link to an Alien & Sedition article collecting some of the anti-Mexican comments made in the name of oppoising the Senate immigration reform bill. Ann Coulter is a bit more sophisticated. Human Events.com (here) has a story 'No Drug Smuggler Left Behind!' by Coulter that attacks President Bush on immigration. It starts like this:
"President Bush was so buoyed by the warm reception he was given in Albania that he immediately gave all 3 million Albanians American citizenship, provided they learn Spanish. The offer was withdrawn when Bush found out most Albanians haven't broken any U.S. laws. Bush keeps claiming he's dying to enforce the border, but he just can't do it unless we immediately grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens. I wonder if that worked on Laura Bush:
Laura: George, it's time you quit drinking.
George: OK, honey, let's discuss it over cocktails."
June 13, 2007
CRS On Immigration Statistics On The Web
The Congressional Research Service (here) has issued an updated report on select websites examining immigration issues.
Believe It or Not!?
In an attempt to break the nagging logjam over immigration, congressional leaders announced today that they are hiring illegal immigrants to write the nation’s new immigration bill. For the Newsweek story, click here.
Chavez Deals With Conservatives Who Hate Latinos
Alien & Sedition (here) has a nice post about the difficulty experienced by conservative Linda Chavez's difficulties in dealing with the racism of some of her fellow conservatives. The nation got to see a fair amount of this in the recent ruckus over immigration reform.
If you look at the link, please brace yourself for some VERY racist and disgusting anti-Mexican comments posted in response to an article by Chavez.
The Economic Impact of an Undocumented Immigrant
Economist Steven Landsburg has an interesting calculation of the impact of an undocumented immigrant on the U.S. economy in is essay "One-Fifth of an American: How Much is an Immigrant Life's Worth, Exactly?" He concludes:
"[T]o justify keeping the immigrant out, you'd have to say he's worth less than one-fifth of an American citizen. By contrast, there was a time when the U.S. Constitution counted a black slave as three-fifths of a full-fledged citizen. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley has recently apologized for the ravages of slavery. How long till politicians apologize for the ravages of our restrictive immigration policies?"
See the whole piece Slate.com.
Immigrant of the Day: Midori
Midori was first taught the violin by her mother, Setsu Goto, who discovered her daughter's innate musicality at the age of two, when she found Midori humming a Bach theme she had rehearsed a few days earlier. Midori gave her first public performance at the age of seven, playing a piece from the 24 Caprices of Paganini. She and her mother moved to New York in 1982, and started violin studies under the renowned instructor Dorothy DeLay at Julliard.
As her audition piece, Midori performed the 13-plus minute long Chaconne by Bach in its entirety (generally considered to be one of the most difficult solo violin pieces ever written). In the same year, she made her concert debut New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, a conductor with whom she would record many concertos on the Sony Classical label. In 1986 would come her now legendary performance at Tanglewood. An astonishing success, she broke the E-string on her violin twice (she had to borrow violins from the concertmaster and associate concertmaster), and had Leonard Bernstein, the conductor, kneeling before her in awe. The next day the New York Times front page carried this headline: "Girl, 14, Conquers Tanglewood with 3 Violins."
When Midori was 15 years old, she decided to leave Juilliard. In 1992, she formed Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization that aims to bring quality music education to inner-city children in New York City. In 2001, Midori received the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, an award issued to outstanding musicians only once a year, if at all. With the award money, she started a foundation program called Partners in Performance. In the following years Midori has inaugurated two further community-based projects called the University Residencies Program and the Orchestra Residencies Program. In 2000, Midori graduated from New York University`s Gallatin School magna cum laude where she studied Psychology; subsequently earning a Master's Degree in Psychology from NYU a few years later.
Midori has been appointed to the Jascha Heifetz Chair in Music at USC's Thornton School of Music. Previously, she was on the faculty at Manhattan School of Music. Midori is also a board member of the American String Teachers Association.
For more about Midori, click here.
Opening the Floodgates
Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink its Borders and Immigration Laws
NYU Press: Critical America Series (Release Date: 10/1/2007). Click here to pre-order.
Finally, an unflinching response to immigration alarmists! This brilliant, challenging book outlines an immigration proposal based on the reality that migration flows are not regulated by border enforcement but by social, economic, and political pressures.
—Mary Romero, author of Maid in the USA
Seeking to re-imagine the meaning and significance of the international border, Opening the Floodgates makes a case for eliminating the border as a legal construct that impedes the movement of people into this country.
Open migration policies deserve fuller analysis, particularly on the eve of a presidential election. Kevin R. Johnson offers an alternative vision of how U.S. borders might be reconfigured, grounded in moral, economic, and policy arguments for open borders. Importantly, liberalizing migration through an open borders policy would recognize that the enforcement of closed borders cannot stifle the strong, perhaps irresistible, economic, social, and political pressures that fuel international migration.
Controversially, Johnson suggests that open borders are entirely consistent with efforts to prevent terrorism that have dominated immigration enforcement since the events of September 11, 2001. More liberal migration, he suggests, would allow for full attention to be paid to the true dangers to public safety and national security.
On the Opposition to Legalization
From a reader:
There was a recent radio report done by National Public Radio (NPR) where Senator Dianne Feinstein was interviewed. She stated she had been watching and listening to several talk-show host programs where the host whipped up opposition against immigration reform by using the word “amnesty”. These talk show hosts rallied their audience into a frenzy. They have a very large audience of hundreds of thousands of people.
Feinstein stated, in the 15 years that she has been in Congress, she had not received as many phone calls and faxes that were as hateful, racist and threatening as she received on the immigration legislation.
Others Senators said they received the same kind of hate phone calls and faxes.
Steve Elliot, President of grassfire.org, an on-line website opposed to the immigration legislation, told NPR his organization sent 700,000 faxes and e-mails and made 1 million personal contacts with Senators. Elliot stated he has a $175,000 budget to carry on his campaign against any form of legislation that would give citizenship to immigrants. You can check out his website at http://grassfire.org/
Steve Elliot is only one person among hundreds and perhaps thousands who are opposed to any form on immigration reform. They are organized, high tech and have lots of $$$ to promote their political point of view! That is what we are up against!
The GOP's Alienation of Latino Voters
Thomas B. Edsall on The Huffington Post (here) writes about the GOP hard line on immigration refom as alienating Latino voters and possibly affecting elections for years to come. Recall Pete Wilson? Most folks don't. He disappeared after getting re-elected as California's Governor in 1994 based in no small part on his support for the anti-immigrant Proposition 187. At least for a time, California Latinos abandoned Wilson and the Republican Party. For over a decade, Republican candidates carefully avoided Wilson's mistake. We will see what happens in Election 2008.