Saturday, July 21, 2007

Immigration: Hot Topic at Governors Convention

Matthew Benson writes in the Arizona Republic:

When Gov. Janet Napolitano gathers today in this lakeside resort town along with three-dozen of her gubernatorial colleagues, the biggest topic of discussion may be one that's not on the agenda: illegal immigration.

That die was cast nearly three weeks ago when Napolitano, the Democratic chairwoman of the National Governors Association, signed what is considered the nation's toughest law against the hiring of illegal labor. Even prior to today's start of the four-day NGA summer conference, Napolitano's office had been fielding questions from other governors' staff curious about the new law. Click here for the rest of the story.


July 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bribery of Immigration Official

Larry Neumeister of the Associated Press writes:

A former U.S. immigration supervisor admitted in court Friday that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to clear the way for dozens of ineligible aliens to receive citizenship. Jimmie Ortega, 59, of Lindenhurst, N.Y., entered the plea in Manhattan before U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan, who set sentencing for Oct. 24.

A plea agreement with prosecutors called for Ortega to face a sentence of between five and six years in prison for accepting bribes of up to $3,000 per person between October 2004 and April 2006 in exchange for passing citizenship tests. Click here for the rest of the story.


July 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Passport Backlog Reduction Act

Earlier this summer, lines formed at State Department offices across the United States as citizens sought to get passports for their summer vacation.  Complaints abounded.  Ultimately, in order to accommodate the vacation plans of citizens and to calm down harried would-be travelers, the State Department relaxed some new passport requirements.

Last week, Congress responded by passing S.966, the Passport Backlog Reduction Act" (text).  The Act, which is brief, seeks to make it easier for the State Department to catch up with the backlog.

As you all know, Congress failed -- for the second year in a row -- to pass immigration reform legislation this year.  Noncitizens will suffer the most as a result.  Reform failed even though almost all informed observers believe that change in U.S. immigration laws is necessary. 

i do not mean to compare passport reform with immigration reform.  Immigration reform obviously is much more complicated.  However, it is interesting to see how Congress can respond quickly when it wants to respond to the relatively minor concerns of U.S. citizens but not when it comes to the incredibly important concerns of noncitizens.


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration, The Board Game

Attorney Ferzana Hashmi and the Hashmi Law Firm have created a life size Immigration Board Game called, "Find a Legal Way to Immigrate" which seeks to inform and educate the public by simulating the real-life situations that result from broken immigration laws. Players will draw cards that will be actual scenarios that immigrants face on a routine basis. All scenarios will be based on current laws and the resulting challenges for immigrants. From there, the players must navigate the life-size game board in an attempt to immigrate legally. The general public is invited to participate in the game, which is to be held Saturday, July 21, 2007, in Des Moines, IA. For more details, see here.

Courtesy of Immigration Daily at


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

English Only Proposal in Bakersfield

From Genoveva Islas-Hooker:

Hi Everyone,

I am forwarding a letter against a resolution being proposed by Bakersfield city council member David Couch that would declare English the official language of Bakersfield, declare that the city is not a "sanctuary city" and ask staff to determine whether any city services can be withheld from illegal immigrants and an initial action being taken against it.

I am sending this to you knowing full well that many of you do not reside in Kern County or the City of Bakersfield.  My intentions are to provide a
prime example as to why our group must and should be organized.

In solidarity,


Dear Councilmember David Couch,  (FAX: 661-323-3780)

Please do not to introduce your divisive resolution against non-English speakers and undocumented immigrants for the following reasons:

1.           This type of resolution is aimed primarily at the Latino Community and would increase racial profiling and place the Bakersfield City Council in the same league as the Minute Men, the Aryan Nation and the Ku Klux Klan all of which have voiced and are acting on similar strategies.

Declaring Bakersfield as an English-only city would place non-English & limited English speakers in a vulnerable position prone to consumer fraud, misunderstandings of legal transactions, and numerous other misinterpretations.

The International Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) which was signed by the United States upon acquiring California from Mexico guaranteeing that Spanish would be a legitimate language.

Currently many Federal and State documents are posted in multiple languages to ensure unambiguous communication promoting Work Place Safety and other regulations.  In this era of globalization, we should be promoting additional languages other than English.

2.           Denying city services (public safety and fire protection) to anyone that might be undocumented would be a violation of Human Rights.

3.           One of Kern County's most important industries is agriculture and many of their workers are undocumented immigrants.  This resolution would have a negative impact on any emergency services or communication with those workers.

4.           If Bakersfield were to join other enlightened cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, Watsonville, Oakland, San Francisco, New York, Denver, and Houston, they would declare Bakersfield a Sanctuary city preventing our police from becoming Immigration agents.  Our police force is overworked on handling crime and other safety issues.

5.           Kern County has progressed in the area of civil rights and human rights.  We would not want to see a return to the days of cross burnings and book burnings that happened when the "Grapes of Wrath" book was published and prohibited in Kern County.


cc:          Mayor Harvey Hall
Bakersfield City Council Members


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Fact of the Day: more than half of University of California undergraduates are immigrants or the children of immigrants

According to a new (for details, click here), more than half of University of California undergraduates are immigrants or the children of immigrants, says a new survey that paints an interesting picture of students by the numbers.


Update  Grace O'Malley at Intlawgrrls writes about this study here.

July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrants: You have the Right to Remain Silent . . . .

KEITH CUNNINGHAM-PARMETER (Willamette) has a paper forthcoming in the Cornell International Law Journal, which is particularly timely given the recent spate of immigration radis.  Here is an abstract:

Do you have papers? Immigrant workers increasingly face this question in civil litigation. Citing the Supreme Court's decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, which stated that undocumented immigrants cannot recover monetary damages for labor law violations, employers argue that many employment protections no longer apply to this group of workers. Consistent with this argument, employers pose immigration-related questions during discovery, causing an already uneasy class of plaintiffs to cease suing employers in order to avoid answering questions about their immigration status. Professor Cunningham-Parmeter explains how status-based discovery not only inhibits immigrant employees from vindicating their workplace rights but also undermines the employment protections at issue. Without an effective method for stemming the flood of status-based inquiries born of Hoffman, immigrants will continue to opt-out of civil litigation, unwilling to assert even the strongest claims for workplace violations. Cunningham-Parmeter argues that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination provides the most effective method for serving immigrants' competing litigation interests: protection from intimidation and vindication of substantive employment rights. He contends that the policies in support of extending the privilege to the civil context play a prominent role in immigrant-initiated litigation. Civil libertarian values traditionally ascribed to the privilege such as fairness, privacy, and the prevention of cruelty are threatened when courts grant defendants unfettered access to status-based discovery. After outlining the policies and principles of the privilege, Cunningham-Parmeter explains the process and potential consequences of invocation, including the adverse inferences a court may draw from the witness's silence. Cunningham-Parmeter outlines factors counseling against adverse inferences such as the unreliability of silence and the irrelevance of immigration status to most employment claims. Even if courts infer that silent plaintiffs are undocumented immigrants, Cunningham-Parmeter argues the outcome would improve the current state of affairs by clarifying the courts' position on the relevance of status. Thus, the privilege serves both protective and explanatory functions by guarding the witness's status-based information, while requiring a determination of immigrant-based employment rights in the post-Hoffman era.

Click here for a link to download the paper.


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lost in Tijuana

(Sadly) reminiscent of the Cheech Marin movie "Born in East LA," a mother is searching for her U.S.-born (and U.S. citizen) son who was deported.  Click here for the story.  The L.A. Weekly story also offers a picture of the life of deportees in Tijuana.


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Should Identity of Day Laborer Employers be Protected?

The Associated Press reports on a law suit in Vista, California, involving the disclosure of names of employers who hire workers at a day laborer site:

An anti-illegal immigration activist asked a court to join a legal battle over access to the names of people who employ day laborers.

Michael Spencer, leader of a group called the Vista Citizens Brigade, sparked the dispute after submitting a public records request last month for a list of employer names.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the city to prevent Vista from releasing the names, addresses and telephone numbers of private employers. Last year, the city began requiring people who hire temporary workers off the street to register with the city, display permits in their car windows and present workers with written terms of employment.

Vista Superior Court Judge Michael Orfield has temporarily blocked the city from releasing names and scheduled a hearing July 26 on whether to make the ban permanent. Click here for the rest of the story.


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Louise Berliawsky Nevelson

Louise Berliawsky Nevelson (born Leah Berliawsky, September 23, 1899, Kiev, 400pxlouise_nevelson2c_transparent_ Ukraine; died April 17, 1988, New York) was one of the most important American sculptors of the twentieth century, whose works can be found in almost every major museum in Europe and America. Her sculptures included wood assemblages typically painted in either jet black or, later, in white and gold as well, ranged in size from the small and personal to the large and monumental.

Nevelson is known for her abstract expressionist “boxes” grouped together to form a new creation. She used found objects or everyday discarded things in her “assemblages” or assemblies, one of which was three stories high.

Born in 1899 to a Jewish timber merchant in the Ukraine, Leah (as she was originally known) migrated to the United States around 1905 after her father's business brought him to Rockland, Maine. Reports suggest the young girl played with timber almost from the time she arrived in Maine, and set her sights on becoming a sculptor by age ten.

In 1929 Nevelson enrolled at the Art Students League of New York. In the early 1930s she worked with renowned Mexican painter and political activist Diego Rivera at the New Workers School in New York. During this period she worked as an art teacher with the New Deal's WPA. During the 1940s she showed five major exhibitions revealing the influences of surrealism and collage. In her 1958 show, Moon Garden + One, walls of wood collages surrounded the viewer in darkened rooms. This helped secure her reputation as a pioneering American environmental artist. During the following two decades, Nevelson--known for her forceful public personality, a flamboyant style of dress, and her trademark false eyelashes--exhibited widely throughout the major art centers of the world and received many public commissions.

To commemorate her work, the Louise Nevelson Plaza in Lower Manhattan, an entire outdoor garden of her metal collages, was established in 1978 and dedicated in 1979.

Nevelson died in her home in 1988, but has retained her reputation as one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. She has been commemorated on a number of postage stamps.


July 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tancredo Wants to Reduce LEGAL, as well as Illegal, Immigration

Tancredo_interview2 Rep. Tom Tancredo recently introduced an immigration proposal. According to the Rocky Mountain News (here), Tommy T's big proposal includes "reduc[ing] the number of legal immigrants to the US by two-thirds ..."


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

Funding for REAL ID Act

This draft letter being circulated by many advocacy organizations can be used for those who oppose the implementation of REAL ID.

Oppose Funding for Real ID Act Implementation

Dear Senator,

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to oppose S Amdt. , to S. 1644, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008, offered by Sen. Lamar Alexander. This amendment would provide partial funding to states to implement the unworkable Real ID Act, which the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") states will cost $23.1 billion to implement. If this amendment is adopted, states that receive these limited funds might be coerced into spending billions more to implement a driver's license mandate that threatens unacceptable privacy and civil rights violations.

This amendment is offered at a time when many states are engaged in an all-out revolt against the Real ID Act. To date, 17 states have enacted anti-Real ID bills or resolutions, and 21 additional states have had anti-Real ID bills and resolutions pending in state legislatures in 2007. Of those seventeen states, seven - Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington - will never issue a Real ID license because those states have enacted binding legislation prohibiting participation in the Real ID program.

We do not believe this program merits further funding, and, in any case, funding is premature. In 2005, $40 million was appropriated to states for Real ID implementation. Of that amount, only $6 million was provided in grants, and only $3 million was accepted by one state: Kentucky. New Hampshire was offered federal funding, but wisely rejected it, knowing that the acceptance of those funds might obligate New Hampshire to spend an additional $40 million or more raised solely from new state taxes. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security has yet to release the final regulations for Real ID Act compliance making any appropriation by Congress premature. Without these guidelines, states would be forced to guess at how to spend their federal Real ID funding, inevitably leading to wasted money and effort when the finalized regulations are released with major changes.

Further, the funding provided by the Amendment provides only a small fraction of the total funding cost for states- estimated by DHS itself in its Proposed Rules filed in the Federal Register to be at least $23.1 billion- of implementing the Real ID Act. In short, passage of the Alexander amendment will not substantially alleviate the unprecedented unfunded mandate imposed upon state governments. That means that governors and state legislatures will be forced to raise taxes and dramatically hike license fees in order to even begin to close the huge funding gap. These new state taxes and dramatically heightened license fees are sure to be widely unpopular. Congress should revisit the Real ID Act, perhaps replacing it with a more cost-effective licensing alternative such as that proposed in the bipartisan S. 717, the Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2007. The Alexander amendment, instead, may obligate states that accept some Congressional funding to pay far more in the future to actually begin to implement Real ID.

Even substantial appropriations by Congress will not alleviate the burdens of Real ID Act implementation. The real cost of implementing the program will be borne by individuals because it amounts to a hidden tax increase, invades everyone's privacy, and embodies the worst excesses of bureaucratic government. State administrators, governors, and advocates have been warning about the disruption and chaos that actual implementation of Real ID will likely bring. These new burdens include longer wait times and service times at DMVs, as well as the time necessary to obtain new source documents, which some citizens may not have access to in the first place. Real ID particularly harms the poor, victims of domestic violence, immigrants and religious minorities.

The fundamental problem with Real ID is that it imposes the United States' first-ever national identity card system. National IDs would threaten privacy by consolidating data in huge, insecure government databases that could be accessed by hundreds of thousands of government employees. National IDs also facilitate tracking of innocent citizens' movements by the government. The end result could be a situation where citizens' movements inside their own country are monitored and recorded through these "internal passports." In addition, Real ID mandates significant changes to the amount and type of sensitive, personally identifiable information states will obtain, store and share about each and every applicant for an ID card. These mandates will likely lead to rampant identity theft and significant invasions of personal privacy.

Finally, expansions to Real ID have already been proposed in a host of areas, from voting to employment. If those changes are enacted, the Real ID database will become a de facto requirement for participation in American life. Errors at the DMV could affect an individual's ability to get a job, receive medical benefits, vote or participate in civic life. Senators Akaka (D-HI) and Sununu (R-NH), have introduced S. 717, the Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2007 to address these problems by repealing Title II of the Real ID Act and restoring section 7212 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. S. 717 demonstrates that the implementation of the Real ID Act is not a prerequisite for secure driver' s licenses. The increase in ID theft and document fraud will also make it easier for sophisticated criminals and terrorists to obtain the identity of another person and pass themselves off as that person. The aggregation of the data and the source documents thus opens a substantial security loophole. This loophole is exactly contrary to the intent of the 9/11 Commission. Because of the rigidity of the Real ID Act's language, DHS had little flexibility to resolve this concern. As a result, unless Congress revisits this portion of the Real ID Act, we will be more vulnerable, not less.

For the above reasons, we urge you to oppose the Real ID Funding Amendment to S.1644, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008.


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Saving the Americas

Andres Oppenheimer's new book  Saving the Americas: The Dangerous Decline Of Latin America...And What The U.S. is slated for publication by Random House in October.  According to the press release (Download saving_the_americas_press_release.pdf), the book contends that today's undocumented immigration results from U.S. foreign policy.

Oppenheimer is the Latin American editor and foreign affairs columnist with the Miami Herald. His syndicated column, "The Oppenheimer Report," appears twice a week in the Herald and many and Latin American newspapers. He is a regular political analyst with CNN en Español, and a frequent guest on PBS' Jim Lehrer News Hour.

Thanks to Felipe for the scoop.


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cornyn and Feinstein Seek Pardons of Border Patrol Agents

Cornyn The Austin Statesman (here) reports that two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urged President Bush on Wednesday to commute the prison sentences of a pair of former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed man and trying to cover it up. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in Fein a letter to the White House that the case involved "prosecutorial overreaching." "We urge you to commute their prison sentences immediately," they wrote. The agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, are serving 12 and 11 years in prison, respectively, for wounding a suspected drug dealer after he entered the United States illegally in a van with more than 700 pounds of marijuana. The suspect, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, was given immunity to testify against the officers.

Thanks to Cappy White for the scoop.

UPDATE  Immigration guru Dan Kowalski added some helpful context to this story:

In re "Cornyn and Feinstein Seek Pardons of Border Patrol Agents," please consider the observations and links below. The hearing was, in my opinion, a colossal waste of taxpayer money and political grandstanding of the worst kind by Cornyn and company. Sutton cleaned their clocks. You can read the witnesses statements here: and watch the webcast here: It's over 3 hours long, but I found it riveting, unlike most congressional hearings. One of the most shocking moments came at 2:56 when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) suggested that Border Patrol agents should "wing" (shoot to injure or disable) any/all fleeing bad guys they see. Sutton politely reminded the good doctor from Shootlahoma (Coburn's an M.D. ... first, do no harm?) that it's against the law to shoot at folks just 'cause you're mad at 'em. Remember, Sutton is a conservative Republican, tough-on-crime prosecutor. His testimony clinched it for me. The willingness of the Republicans like Cornyn to eat their young (Sutton, Iglesias, Charleton, etc.) continues to amaze. Here's another conservative Republican, tough-on-crime former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who rightfully supports Sutton: d=451502

and d=46 3870

McCarthy's bio: d=97 16

Here are Sutton's sites:

I've opposed Sutton's assistant U.S. Attorneys in many an immigration case in Texas, but my hat is off to him here.

July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights Report on Effects of U.S. Deportation Policy

Thanks to Ana Maria Patino for this:

Human Rights Watch has published a new report on the separation of families and the harm suffered by immigrants as a result of the effect of the deportation policy of the United States. on immigrants and their families. You can read the entire report here:

From the summary comes this excerpt:

“…Hundreds of thousands of families throughout the United States are being forced apart by punitive and inflexible US deportation policies. Regularly, legal immigrants who have lived in the country for decades with family members who are citizens or lawful permanent residents are being deported from the United States.

Contrary to popular belief, US deportation policy did not become more severe after the terrorist attacks on September 11; instead, drastic changes made in 1996 have been at work for more than a decade, devastating communities across the nation. Also, contrary to popular belief, these policies do not target only undocumented immigrants—they apply to long-term lawful permanent residents (or green card holders) as well. When these members of the community of the United States are deported, their absence is felt because shops close, entrepreneurs lose their business partners, tax revenues are lost, and, most tragically, US citizen and lawful permanent resident children and spouses are forced to confront life without their fathers, mothers, children, husbands, or wives.

Deportation is a necessary part of every country’s enforcement of its immigration laws. To be sure, the non-citizens featured in this report are being deported for a reason—they have violated the criminal laws of the United States, making them subject to deportation after they have finished serving their criminal sentences. However, many immigrants being deported from the United States are a far cry from the worst and most violent offenders. Non-citizens have been forced into permanent exile for non-violent misdemeanor offenses, even if they served a short sentence with a perfect record of good conduct. …..the 1996 laws have also had sweeping retroactive effects: a criminal offense committed in the 1980s that did not trigger deportation at that time can now render a non-citizen deportable, even if the non-citizen served a prison sentence, successfully completed all terms of probation, and has since lived, worked, and raised a family in the community without ever running into trouble with the law again.

Not only have deportation laws become more punitive—increasing the types of crimes that can permanently sever an immigrant’s ties to the United States—but there are fewer ways for immigrants to appeal for leniency. Hearings that used to happen in which a judge would consider immigrants’ ties to the United States, most especially their family relationships, were stopped in 1996 for those convicted of a long list of crimes. There are no exceptions available, no matter how long an individual has lived in the United States and no matter how much his spouse and children depend on him for their livelihood and emotional support.

A retired immigration judge shared the frustration he felt when he was unable to prevent deportation because of the strict requirements of the changed laws:

My 30-year career with the Department of Justice has been exciting and stimulating. Each case I hear is a life story. I have been able to grant refuge to persons who have a genuine fear of persecution. I have been able to unite or re-unite families. On the other hand, in many cases I have had to deal with the frustration of not being able to grant relief to someone because of the precise requirements of the statute, even though on a personal level he appears to be worthy of some immigration benefit.4

In the United States between 1997 and 2005 (the most recent year for which data are publicly available), 672,593 non-citizens have been deported for criminal offenses.5 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has only recently disclosed general statistics on the criminal convictions that formed the basis for removal orders. In 2005, 64.6 percent of the immigrants deported were removed for non-violent offenses like drug convictions, illegal entry, and larceny; 20.9 percent were removed for violent offenses; and 14.7 percent were removed for “other” crimes.

Unfortunately, we have no idea whether and how many of those 672,593 non-citizens were lawful permanent residents or otherwise in the country with legal permission, and how many were undocumented. There are also no hard data on their family relationships. However, based on the 2000 US Census, we estimate that approximately 1.6 million spouses and children living in the United States were separated from their parent, husband, or wife because of these deportations.

Human rights law recognizes that the privilege of living in any country as a non-citizen may be conditional upon obeying that country’s laws. However, a country like the United States cannot withdraw that privilege without protecting the human rights of the immigrants it previously allowed to enter. Unfortunately, that is precisely what US immigration law fails to do—it gives no opportunity to immigration judges to balance the individual’s crime against his or her family relationships, length of time in the US, military service, economic ties to the US, likelihood of persecution, or lack of connections to the country of origin.

Without being able to raise these issues in their immigration hearings, people’s rights to have these factors taken into account are violated. In this respect, the United States is far out of step with international human rights standards and the practices of other nations, particularly nations that it considers to be its peers. …”


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Person Claiming U.S. Citizenship Fights Indefinite Detention

FROM (here):

At first glance, the story of Thailand-born convicted drug pusher Yuttasak Simma fits the mold of an immigration lawyer's typical case: The 34-year-old was convicted on an aggravated felony drug charge, served his jail sentence and is now being detained by immigration officials. The government alleges Simma is subject to deportation. But what makes this case unique, according to one of his pro bono attorneys, Sin Yen Ling of the Asian Law Caucus, is that he is a U.S. citizen being held illegally. And in their attempts to get him out of Santa Clara, Calif., County Jail, his lawyers are using the same federal statute highlighted in a major enemy combatant case (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld).

According to, New York University School of Law professor Nancy Morawetz conceived the strategy on behalf of clients in predicaments like Simma's.


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

On Court Stripping

Donald S. Dobkin has an interesting article in the Justice System Journal entitled "Court Stripping and Limitations on Judicial Review of Immigration Cases." Here it is.  Download LegalNoteDobkin.pdf   


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tension Over Likely Arrival of Iraqi Refugees In Michigan

Dan Corez and Niraj Warikoo report in the Detroit Free Press:

Chaldean leaders expressed outrage Wednesday after Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh blasted a federal plan that could place thousands of Iraqi refugees in Warren and Sterling Heights in the coming months.

Steenbergh said he was concerned that as many as 15,000 refugees could arrive in the two cities, based on federal officials' estimate of how many refugees could come to the United States this year and the city's interpretation of conversations with county officials. Click here for the rest of the story.


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

DHS/FBI Meet with Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs, South Asians

DHS and FBI Discuss National Intelligence Estimate

ADC Press Release:
DHS and FBI Discuss National Intelligence Estimate with ADC

Washington, DC | July 17, 2007 | | Today, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) joined Muslim, Sikh and South Asian American organizations in a conference call with FBI, US Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and State officials to discuss unclassified information concerning today's release of the National Intelligence Estimate report.

This follows a similar call held yesterday evening with ADC and the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) to discuss today's announcement. ADC and Sikh and South Asian American organizations have been actively addressing these issues since 9/11 and are active members of the DHS IMT. During the call, all organizations re-confirmed their commitment to developing best practices to combat extremism and radicalization, while also protecting civil rights and civil liberties.

Daniel Sutherland, Director of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at DHS, convened the call of the DHS Incident Management Team (IMT) with the American Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American communities which included briefings by senior-level officials at the FBI and DHS. During the call Federal officials emphasized that the National Intelligence Estimate summary released earlier today is a tool for policy makers based on generic information that is not geographically specific. Government officials confirmed that these communities, "are real assets in the struggle against ideological violence." They added, "Some of the key successes we've had since 9/11 have come as a direct result of the partnership between government agencies and these communities."

ADC acknowledges the DHS and FBI efforts in conducting this outreach and discussing these details. ADC emphasizes the need for continued dialogue and cooperation with law enforcement and other government agencies in order to combat negative misconceptions and the stereotyping of entire communities based on the actions of a few individuals.

The federal officials assured ADC and the other organizations that there is no evidence suggesting that recent terrorist incidents overseas have any relation to the United States. The officials also stated that these incidents are not and should not be reflective of any specific religion or communities and should not be taken as such by members of the media or the general population.

Further, ADC asks members of the media to be mindful of using terminology that associates these terrorist incidents or any generic assessment of national security threats with any specific religion as a whole or any particular ethnic or racial communities. Rather, as the officials clearly indicated today, these threats are inbound from outside the United States and are threats to all Americans regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religious orientation.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee |
1732 Wisconsin Ave., NW | Washington, DC | 20007
Tel: 202-244-2990 | Fax: 202-244-7968 | E-mail:


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Ted Koppel

275pxkoppelpressEdward James "Ted" Koppel (born February 8, 1940) is an American journalist, best known as the former anchorman for ABC's Nightline.

Koppel has won every major broadcasting award, including 37 Emmy Awards, six George Foster Peabody Awards, 10 duPont-Columbia Awards, nine Overseas Press Club Awards, two George Polk Awards and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, the highest honor bestowed for public service by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Koppel was born in Lancashire, England, after his Jewish parents fled Germany due to the rise of Hitler. His family came to the United States in 1953. Koppel graduated from Syracuse with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Stanford University with a Master of Arts degree in mass communications research and political science.

Koppel started working at ABC in 1963, first as a foreign correspondent for the network. He is most widely known as the long-time lead anchorman for Nightline, a position he held when the program debuted in 1980. Koppel gave up that position on November 22, 2005.

Koppel is multilingual, speaking German, Russian, and French, in addition to his native English.

Trivia:  Koppel is mentioned briefly in the Simpsons episode "Homer Loves Flanders." Homer wakes in a sweat and utters "I think I hate Ted Koppel". He then thinks for a moment and instead says "No wait, I find him informative and witty."

For more about Koppel, including links to other websites, click here.


July 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)