August 11, 2007
New Immigration Articles
Brown, Stephen A. Comment. Illegal immigrants in the workplace: why electronic verification benefits employers. 8 N.C. J.L. & Tech. 349-394 (2007).
Failinger, Marie A. Recovering the face-to-face in American immigration law. 16 S. Cal. Rev. L. & Soc. Just. 319-370 (2007).
Liebmann, Theo. Family Court and the unique needs of children and families who lack immigration status. 40 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 583- 604 (2007).
Moore, Sarah A. Note. Tearing down the fence around immigration law: examining the lack of judicial review and the impact of the REAL ID Act while calling for a broader reading of questions of law to encompass "extreme cruelty". 82 Notre Dame L. Rev. 2037-2065 (2007).
Stith, Marah Carter. Immigration control: a Catholic dilemma? 84 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 73-98 (2007).
Pregnant Woman Dies in ICE Custody
Susan Carroll of the Houston Chronicle reports:
A pregnant woman died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities in Texas after being hospitalized earlier this week with leg pain, officials said.
Rosa Isela Contreras-Dominguez, a legal permanent resident facing deportation for a felony drug conviction, was seven weeks pregnant when she lost consciousness at a federal detention center in El Paso on Tuesday night and died at a local hospital.
The 35-year-old mother of five from Juarez, Mexico, was the second death in immigration custody reported this week. Click here for the rest of the story.
Bush on Undocumented from Ireland
From BBC News:
President Bush is committed to dealing with the issue of illegal Irish immigrants in America, the US consul for Northern Ireland has said.
The failure of recent legislation which would have allowed illegal immigrants who had left the US to return means many are afraid to visit home.
US consul Dean Pittman said the president wanted to resolve the issue.
"People from Ireland have played a tremendous role in building our country," he said. Click here for the rest of the story.
August 10, 2007
SEIU Statement on New DHS Enforcement Regs
As Kevin Johnson reported earlier, the Bush Administration has announced new employer sanction enforcement measures today. Here is a statement by Eliseo Medino on the new regs:
Bush Administration Slaps Immigrant Workers for Cheap Political Gain
New Regulations Abandon Principles and Promise More Hardship for Immigrant Community
Statement of Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
WASHINGTON, DC—“The Bush Administration revealed its true face with its new punitive, unrealistic immigration enforcement regulations today. Despite universal agreement that our current immigration system is broken, the administration is seeking cheap political points by bolstering tactics that are already flawed and failing.
We must ask why this president, who supports immigrants and workers when it’s politically expedient, would consider using precious federal resources to tear up families, militarize worksites, and hurt local communities. This is not America’s best face; it is a shameful rebuke of the values and principles this country was founded upon.
The proposed new regulations target people who babysit our children, who care for our grandparents, who pick and prepare our food. These proposals will intensify a wave of enforcement strategies that have already failed, leaving family tragedies and human misery in their wake.
President Bush has consistently said that enforcement alone does not work; yet his administration is suggesting strategies that foster discrimination, terrorize communities and promote an increasingly anti-immigrant climate that is fundamentally un-American. Putting millions of taxpayer dollars into a failed system will do nothing to solve our immigration problems. Instead we must work toward fair and practical ways to bring undocumented workers out of the shadows and create legal channels for much needed immigrant workers to come here in the future.”
Protest Over Border Patrol Shooting in El Paso
Border Network for Human Rights: Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 9, 2007
Contact: Fernando Garcia (915) 577-0724 or (915) 204-0337
Border Patrol Shooting Deepens Violence against Immigrants in El Paso Region
El Paso, Texas. August 9, 2007- Once again, last night a Border Patrol agent shot four times and killed Jose Alejandro Ortiz Castillo, a 23-year old immigrant who was crossing the U.S./Mexico border. This is no longer an isolated incident but a systematic violation of civil and human rights of immigrants, as well as a complete disregard and disrespect for human life. These actions from Border Patrol agents have already jeopardized the safety and security of border residents. It is unfortunate to say that El Paso Region is fast becoming one of the most violent cities against immigrants due to the series of irrational and unaccountable shootings by federal immigration agents against immigrants trying to cross the US/Mexico border.
Less than a month ago, the Border Network for Human Rights expressed their concern about the use of lethal force to deter and detain immigrants. At that time, at least two different incidents occurred on a one-week period. Border Network for Human Rights predicted that if the practices weren’t reviewed and a clear investigation carried out, these would evolve into a major human rights crisis. Border Network for Human Rights submitted a formal request and asked the Border Patrol for clarification on the policies and the training received by agents on the use of lethal force in the immigration enforcement. The few answers received so far only justified their actions, by saying that agents were doing their job and that they are in constant fear of being attacked by immigrants.
While Border Network for Human Rights acknowledges that criminal activities do happen at the border and that criminal elements have dared to threaten federal agents, the vast majority of people crossing the border are indeed immigrant workers.
But it seems no one is listening and now the crisis on the border has deepened. It seems that the Constitution of the United States it is not respected and does not apply to our border region or our border communities. It seems that the current policy of the Border Patrol is to shoot first and investigate later. It seems that human lives are worth nothing at the U.S/Mexico border.
Today the Border Network for Human Rights and several border communities in El Paso/Southern New Mexico region insist and demand the following:
A full federal investigation on every shooting that has happened in the last six months involving Border Patrol agents in the El Paso Sector with the purpose of bringing justice and accountability.
For the current administration and federal immigration agencies to establish an independent federal structure to review incidents on the use of lethal force against immigrants at the US/Mexico border
To clarify the training of Border Patrol agents or any other federal immigration agents on the use of lethal force and to put those standards and procedures to the public discussion.
And finally we ask Border Patrol to publicly explain to our border community the reasons, motives and procedures that have resulted in this crisis in the El Paso sector.
In addition to this statement, the Border Network for Human Right and border community residents will hold a vigil this Friday August 10th 2007 at 7 pm, in front of the U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters on 8901 Montana Ave.
Immigrant of the Day: Nadia Elena Comaneci (Romania)
Nadia Elena Comaneci (born November 12, 1961) won five Olympic gold medals, and was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She is one of the most well-known gymnasts in the world and, along with Olga Korbut, is credited with popularizing the sport around the world.
Comaneci was born in Oneşti, Romania. At age 14, she became one of the stars of the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. During the team portion of the competition, her routine on the uneven bars was scored at a 10.0, the first time in modern Olympic gymnastics history that the score had ever been awarded. The scoreboards were not even equipped to display scores of 10.0--so Nadia's perfect marks were reported on the boards as 1.00. Comaneci would earn six additional 10s, en route to capturing the all-around, beam and bars titles and a bronze medal on the floor exercise. She was the first Romanian gymnast to win the all-around title at the Olympics. Comaneci also holds the record as the youngest Olympic gymnastics all-around champion ever.
Comaneci's achievements at the Olympics generated incredible worldwide media attention. She was the 1976 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in the overseas athletes category. In Romania, Comaneci's success led her to be named a "Hero of Socialist Labor." Comaneci participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, placing second in the all-around. She defended her Olympic title in the balance beam and tied for the gold medal in the floor exercise. Comaneci retired from competition in 1981.
From 1984 to 1989, Comaneci was a member of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation and helped coach junior gymnasts. In 1989, she defected with a group of young Romanians. Comaneci journeyed through Hungary, Austria, and, finally, to the United States. In 1994, she became engaged to U.S. gymnast Bart Conner, whom she had met for the first time in 1976. She returned to Romania for the first time since her defection in 1976 and the couple were married in Bucharest.
In 2001, Comaneci became a naturalized citizen of the United States. She has also retained her Romanian passport, making her a dual citizen.
Comaneci is active in many charities and international organizations. In December 2003, she published a book, Letters To A Young Gymnast, which answers questions that she received in fan letters.
Sex Trafficking Ring Indicted
The N.Y. Times reports that nine Guatemalans were indicted for their roles in an alleged sex trafficking ring that lured young women to the United States with promises of good jobs and then forced them into prostitution, according to federal court records. Four of the defendants pleaded not guilty in January to sex trafficking charges in the case. A superseding indictment, unsealed Thursday, includes more serious allegations that five of the 12 victims were minors. According to the new 50-count indictment, the defendants at times sold Guatemalan women and girls to one another like slaves and allegedly brought the victims to witch doctors who threatened to put curses on them and their families if they ran away.
DHS to Announce New Enforcement Measures Today
The L.A. Times and the Washington Post are reporting that the Bush administration plans to announce a new initiative today to sharpen immigration enforcement, including measures to raise fines for employers who hire illegal workers, require federal contractors to use an employment verification system and add thousands more agents at the southern border. Other provisions will restrict the types of documents employees can use to prove their legal status and speed up background checks for legal immigrants. Administration officials also intend to streamline a cumbersome agriculture guest worker program. The 25 measures -- some new and some of which expand upon current policies -- come in addition to the expected announcement today of a plan to crack down on illegal immigrants by forcing employers to fire workers with discrepancies in their Social Security information. Today's announcement is expected to paint in broad brush strokes with few details, but an administration outline of the proposals indicates a multipronged effort.
A press statement should be on the DHS website later in the day.
UPDATE Here is a DHS Fact Sheet on the agency's new enforcement measures.
Call for Papers -- Battleground: Immigration
Battleground: Immigration. Greenwood Publishing is producing a series on contemporary issues in the United States as part of a larger multi-volume reference collection on controversial issues and debates in contemporary society. It is seeking authors for the series on immigration. Each author is asked to write about a wide range of issues and debates concerning the chosen topic. Entries range from 1,000 to 5,000 words, depending on the theme. Authors will be awarded an honorarium for her/his contribution. Contact: Judith Ann Warner, Texas A & M International University, 5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900; email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
August 9, 2007
It is Almost "Back to School" Time! What We Might Expect at A Local Elementary or Secondary School this Fall
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) today issued a letter (Download north_chicago_school_district.pdf) demanding that a district official in the North Chicago Community Unit Schools refrain from contacting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about parents seeking to enroll children who may not have legal immigration status. Earlier this week, MALDEF’s regional office was contacted by a parent who was told by the district’s office that she should home teach her children because of the parent’s immigration status, despite the fact that the parent was a resident of the school district. MALDEF reminded district officials that the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe (1982) that public schools cannot deny admission to a student based on the student’s or parent’s immigration status and that school officials can not ask students or parents questions that may expose their undocumented status.
Unfortunately, we might see Latinos in a number of states to experience similar treatment as the new school year begins because of heightened anti-immigrant tensions over the last few months and the desire of many local governments to enter the national immigration debate.
Death By ICE
Immigration Orange has a story on some important breaking news. A Brazilian national died in federal custody after he couldn't get access to mediction for his epilepsy. According the Boston Globe, Edmar Alvez Araujo was arrested on Tuesday by police after a traffic stop and transferred to custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of an outstanding deportation order. ICE took custody of Araujo at 3 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at at 4:18 p.m. For more on this story, click the link above.
Bruce Morrison on Immigration Reform
Former Congressman Bruce Morrison's op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle emphasizes a focus on family and employment visas:
The resounding defeat of the Senate immigration reform bill was a relief to true friends of American immigration. No more urging a "yes" vote just "to move the process forward." Let's speak the truth - the Senate bill was not merely imperfect, it would have made many things worse.
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform" sounded good, but it reflects a flawed strategy.
Immigration opponents put illegal and legal immigration into the same bucket because they want to convince Americans that there's just one problem - too many immigrants. When immigration supporters make coming or staying illegally seem like just another immigration option, they invite the same wrongheaded conclusion - that cutting all immigration is the answer.
The Senate bill was the inevitable result. To secure support for legalization (which opponents will always call amnesty regardless of the technicalities), both family and employment immigration would have been cut and crippled by broadly unpopular, ideologically driven changes demanded by restrictionists. Employers all around the Bay Area and in Silicon Valley, who have created thousands of American jobs with the help of key immigrant employees, would have been hurt by these changes. Yet all the Senate's concessions produced no additional support in the end. Click herefor the rest of the piece.
Immigrant of the Day: Edwidge Danticat
Edwidge Danticat (born January 19, 1969 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) is a author.When she was two years old, her father André immigrated to New York from Haiti, to be followed two years later by her mother Rose. This left Danticat and her younger brother Eliab to be raised by her aunt and uncle. It was during these years that she was exposed to the Haitian practice of storytelling. While still in Haiti, Danticat wrote her first short story about a girl who was visited by a clan of women each night.
At age 12, Danticat moved to Brooklyn, New York to join her parents in a heavily Haitian American neighborhood. As an immigrant teenager, her accent and upbringing were a source of discomfort for her, thus she turned to literature for solace. After graduating high school, Danticat entered Barnard College in New York City and she received a BA in French literature. Later, Danticat earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown. Her thesis at Brown was her novel Breath, Eyes, Memory, which was published by Soho Press in 1994. This would later become an Oprah's Book Club selection in 1998.
Danticat has taught creative writing at New York University, and the University of Miami. She has also worked with filmmakers Patricia Benoit and Jonathan Demme on projects on Haitian art and documentaries about Haïti. Her short stories, such as "New York Day Woman", have appeared in over 25 periodicals and have been anthologized several times. Her work has been translated into other languages such as French, Korean, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.
Although she is a U.S. citizen, Danticat remains connected to Haiti, which she has visits regularly.
Danticat has been honored with manytfollowing awards. She was named "1 of 20 people in their twenties who will make a difference" by Harpers Bazaar, was featured in the New York Times Magazine as one of "30 under 30" people to watch, and was called one of the "15 Gutsiest Women of the Year" by Jane Magazine. In short, Danticat has become one of America's most celebrated new writers.
September 6 Immigration Policy Discussion
Immigration Reform and Enforcement EXPOSED
An Immigration Policy Presentation and Discussion with La Raza Centro Legal
When: Thursday, September 6, 2007. 6:30-8:00PM.
Where: Offices of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, 39 Drumm Street (between California and Sacramento), San Francisco.
At a time when major changes are afoot in immigration laws and the conditions within immigrant communities, we invite concerned attorneys and other professionals to hear from San Francisco’s leading Legal, Policy and Grassroots Leader on Immigration Issues about:
Federal Immigration Reform: What passed, what didn’t, and what proposals are still on the table.
Immigration Enforcement Today: ICE Raids, Detention and Deportation, and the impact on immigrant communities. What’s happening in San Francisco, the Bay Area and throughout the country.
Anamaria Loya, esq., Executive Director, La Raza Centro Legal
Renee Saucedo, esq., Community Empowerment Director and national policy advocate, La Raza Centro Legal
Rosy Cho, esq., Immigration Attorney, McVey, Mullery, Dulberg & Cho. Member of La Raza Centro Legal Fund Advisory Board and current liaison of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Unit of Department of Homeland Security.
Avantika Rao, esq. Immigration Law Coordinator, La Raza Centro Legal.
This event is co-sponsored by the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association.
A short reception with refreshments will be held before the program begins. For more information, please call 415.553.3411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraud Prosecutions in Massachusetts
Mike Underwood reports in the Boston Herald:
Immigration officials rounded up 27 people yesterday in an effort to smash a suspected document and benefit fraud operation in Chelsea.
Seven people, all illegal immigrants, will face criminal charges in U.S. District Court while the remaining 20 will face immigration charges in a Federal Immigration Court.
“This was a targeted enforcement operation,” said Paula Grenier, spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which carried out the raid.
She said she could not comment on exactly where or when the raid happened, but said one woman was released from custody because of “child care” reasons.
The raid comes as federal authorities are poised to release tough new rules aimed at making it harder for employers to hire undocumented immigrants. The new rules force employers to confirm Social Security numbers or fire the workers on the spot. Those who fail to comply could face fines of $250 to $10,000 per illegal worker. Click here for the rest of the story.
Minorities Becoming a Majority?
U.S. Census data to be released today showing a growth in the minority population, including the dramatic growth of the Hispanic population in parts of the country that had relatively few Hispanics, is getting much press attention. USA Today, the N.Y. Times, CNN, and many other news agencies have the story as a top feature, often with a few ominous statements about whites becoming a minority. Interestingly, some of the places seeing the largest growth in the Hispanic population, such as the county in which Hazleton, Pennsylvania is located, are seeing much anti-immigrant activity.
Romney Bashes Guiliani: Immigrant-Baiting on the Campaign Trail
The game apparently is who can be tougher on immigrants. ABC News reports that Mitt Romney attacked rival Rudy Giuliani Wednesday, implying that Giuliani supported illegal immigration when he was mayor of New York. "If you look at lists compiled on Web sites of sanctuary cities, New York is at the top of the list when Mayor Giuliani was mayor," Romney said. "He instructed city workers not to provide information to the federal government that would allow them to enforce the law. New York City was the poster child for sanctuary cities in the country."
August 8, 2007
Immigration Agent Guilty of Assault
Larry Welborn writes in the Orange County Register:
A former immigration official wept Tuesday when a Superior Court jury found him not guilty of a felony charge of attempting to force a 29-year-old female client to perform a sex act.
But the same nine-woman, three-man jury also found Eddie Romualdo Miranda, 60, a former district officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, guilty of misdemeanor assault. He could get a year in jail.
The jury also deadlocked – at 9-3 for not guilty – on a whether Miranda, of Fontana, committed felony sexual battery when he fondled the woman in his car after he asked her to meet him to discuss her application for naturalization in January 2006.
Deputy District Attorney Karen Schatzle said she will decide by Sept. 14 whether to re-try Miranda on that count.
The woman testified that she met Miranda at a Starbucks coffee shop when he called to discuss her case. She said she did not resist Miranda's advances out of a fear that he would ruin her chances to become a United States citizen. Click here for the rest of the story.
Have a Chiquita Banana?
Immigration Orange has a thoughtful post calling for a boycott of the Chiquita Brands International, Inc., formerly the United Fruit Company.
Giuliani Advisor Quits After Advertising Minuteman "Stop the Illegal Invasion" Rally
AP reports that Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's southwest political director left a top position at the Nevada Republican Party last year after breaking rules by advertising a Minuteman border patrol rally in internal GOP e-mails. The notices publicizing a "Stop the Illegal Invasion" rally in October 2006 outraged some Hispanic Republicans in the state.
Given this misstep, one is left to wonder what kind of immigration advice the candidate is receiving. he currently endorses more enforcement and opposed the Senate reform package that was defeated in July (here).