Saturday, January 5, 2008

Immigration Questions Continue for McCain

Bennett Roth writes for the Houston Chronicle:

When John McCain opened up a town hall meeting here for questions on Friday, someone immediately asked if he favored pardoning illegal immigrants.

The GOP presidential contender, who has been harshly criticized for backing a comprehensive immigration plan that was rejected by Congress last summer, denied he supported an amnesty. He said he first would secure the country's borders, then create a temporary workers program for illegal immigrants.

With that answer the audience, comprised of employees of BAE Systems, a military contractor, quickly moved on.

While the hot-button immigration issue had threatened to sink McCain's campaign six months ago, it still dogs him but no longer appears to be a major liability in the final days before Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary here.

Independents and moderate Republicans who supported him in the state's 2000 primary seem to be returning to the fold, and recent polls suggest the Arizona senator has rebounded and is now tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the lead.

A number of voters interviewed said that while they continued to disagree with McCain on immigration, they appreciated his honesty and liked his stance on other issues, particularly foreign policy. Click here for the full story.


January 5, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Globalization and Mexican Agriculture

Winter Quarter 2008

Globalization and Its Impact on Migration in Mexican Agricultural Communities

David Lindstrom
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University

Wednesday, January 9, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
Reception to follow

Research on the economic re-incorporation of U.S. migrants who return to Mexico has focused almost exclusively on the purchase of farmland and small business formation: little is known about the occupational trajectories of return migrants who do not make capital investments. This paper seeks to fill this gap in the migration literature by examining the impact of return migration and cumulative U.S. migration experience on occupational mobility in Mexico. Occupational and migration histories collected in 93 Mexican communities by the Mexican Migration Project are used to estimate hazard regression models of occupational transitions and logistic regression models of life-time occupational mobility. Results suggest that return migrants encounter difficulties in reentering the Mexican labor market, and realize no long-term occupational gains in Mexico from U.S. labor force experience.

David Lindstrom received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago with specializations in Demography and Statistics, and joined Brown University in 1994. He is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, a core faculty associate of the Population Studies and Training Center, and a former Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics, survey research, and migration. His research examines the determinants and consequences of migration in economically developing societies, the transition into adulthood, and the changing dynamics of reproductive health and behavior. He has received grants for his research in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ethiopia from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, RAND, the Packard Foundation, and the Compton Foundation. He currently directs a major longitudinal study of adolescent health and transitions into adulthood in southwestern Ethiopia.

These seminars are open to all members of the UCSD community, as well as faculty and students from other universities and the general public. For directions to CCIS, visit our website. Parking permits can be purchased at the information booth on North Point Drive (north end of campus). Visitors may also use metered parking spaces (max. 2 hours) in the North side parking lot. Papers previously presented at CCIS seminars can also be downloaded from our website under “Working Papers.” For further information, please contact Ana Minvielle (E-mail:, Tel#: 858-822-4447).

Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
9500 Gilman Drive
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0548


January 5, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mother and Son Reunited Across Borders

For a fascinating -- and upbeat -- story of family reuinification, click here.


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Economic Impacts of Immigration

Angela M. Kelley of the Immigration Policy Center writes "Most studies claiming to calculate the net "costs" of immigration to the U.S. economy suffer from one or more fatal flaws."  To find out what they are, click here.  Recall that too consider the net economic impacts of immigration, a study must consider the economic benefits as well as the costs of immigration.  Too many sensationalistic studies focus on costs without any attempt to calculate the benefits.

And do not forget that immigrants are taxpayers too, which Blog Emperor reminds us of here.  For a summary of state and local studies demonstrating the net contribution of undocumented immigrants to the economy (dated 12/28/07), click here.

Thanks to Francine Lipman (Chapman) for the tips!


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Economist on Immigration

0108sr1 The Economist has a special report about why immigration is good for a nation and calling for more liberal admissions.  It is worth a read, especially for those calling for making immigration more restrictive.


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program 2008-2010 Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellowship

The Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program is accepting applications for its 2008 Fellowship in Clinical Teaching and Advocacy. The Fellowship allows an early- to mid-career attorney or law graduate to supervise clinical students and work on a variety of projects starting in the summer/early fall of 2008. The position is for a renewable two-year term with opportunities for advancement. Graduates of all U.S. law schools and attorneys admitted to the bar of a U.S. jurisdiction are invited to apply.This announcement is also available online at


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration an Issue in New Hampshire?

Marc Santora and Brian Knowlton write in the International Herald Tribune:

As the race for the White House moves from the frigid plains of Iowa to the snow-capped mountains of New Hampshire, there will be an equally dramatic realignment of the contest, especially in the Republican field, where Senator John McCain has been posing an increasingly stiff challenge to Mitt Romney.

Whatever the results in Iowa, a largely different set of issues is likely to rise in importance.

For months, the leading Republicans, with the notable exception of Mike Huckabee, have been dividing their time between Iowa and New Hampshire. The Democrats, on the other hand, have largely been absent from the New England state, and with only five days until the voting here Tuesday, their absence could have the effect of making the results in Iowa much more important.

McCain is the story of the moment in New Hampshire on the Republican side, resurrecting his campaign from near death this summer. Mostly through sheer force of will and aggressive retail campaigning, he now leads in several recent polls. His nearest competitor is Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.

Romney comes to New Hampshire after a bruising battle with Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, with a heavy focus on religious and social issues.

In Iowa, McCain faced hurdles before he even started campaigning, including his opposition to farming subsidies and decision to skip the state when he ran for president in 2000. His campaign has worked aggressively to make sure that the results in Iowa have little effect here, spending most of their time, money and effort in New Hampshire.

Romney in recent days has retrained his fire from a focus on Huckabee to McCain, once again trying to slam him for supporting immigration reform and also challenging his opposition to the Bush tax cuts. McCain has told voters that he opposed the reductions because there was no corollary cut in spending. Click here for the full story.


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Elizabeth Arden (Canada)

180pxelizabeth_arden_nywts Elizabeth Arden (1878-1966) was born Florence Nightingale Graham in Canada where she lived until she was 24. After joining her elder brother in New York City, she worked briefly for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist. In 1909, Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another culturist. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name "Elizabeth Arden." In 1912, Arden travelled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques and returned with a collection of rouges and tinted powders. Arden introduced modern eye makeup to North America and introduced the concept of the "makeover" in her salons. Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a "fluffy" face cream; the cream is called Venetian Cream Amoretta and the corresponding lotion is named Arden Skin Tonic.

In 1915, Arden married a U.S. citizen and later became a citizen. The same year she began international operations and started opening salons across the world. During World War II, Arden recognized the changing needs of the American woman and showed women how to apply makeup and dress for careers outside the home. She created a lipstick called Montezuma Red, for the women in the armed forces that would match the red on their uniforms. Arden is also notable for creating foundations that matched a person's skin tone; creating the idea of the "Total Look" in which lip, cheek, and fingernail colors matched or coordinated. Arden died in in 1966. Her cosmetics company continues to operate today, with its current "face" Catherine Zeta Jones.


January 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

U.S. Failing to Admit Iraqi Refugees on Pace

The Associated Press reports:
U.S. admissions of Iraqi refugees are nose-diving amid bureaucratic infighting despite the Bush administration's pledge to boost them to roughly 1,000 per month, according to State Department statistics.

For the third month, since the United States said it would improve processing and resettle 12,000 Iraqis by the end of the current budget year on Sept. 30, the number admitted has actually slid. The steady decline - from 450 in October to 362 in November and 245 last month - means the administration will have to admit 10,943 Iraqis over the next nine months, or roughly 1,215 per month, to meet its target. Click herefor the rest of the story.


January 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why Should Iowa Outcome Influence Immigration Policy?

Ruben Navarrette's views in the San Diego Union-Tribune:
What's the matter with Iowa?

Maybe I'm experiencing a little geographic jealously. When I moved to California, I assumed that San Diego - as a border town - would be ground zero in the immigration debate. So when did Sioux City, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids cut in line?

If Iowa is, in fact, the new center of the immigration debate, what sense does that make? If you've been paying attention, you know that despite the lip service given to border security and fighting terrorism, much of the debate is driven by demographics and the concern that the United States is becoming too Latino. In some parts of the country, such anxiety might make sense. But who would have imagined you'd find traces of it in a region that is still overwhelmingly Anglo?

According to the 2000 Census, Iowa is about 94 percent white, 3 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black and 1 percent Asian.

That is not exactly a majority-minority state in the offing. And yet, we're told the outcome of the Iowa caucuses - especially on the Republican side - could come down to the candidates' views on immigration. Click herefor the rest of the column.


January 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Immigrant of the Day: Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (India)

Thumbnail Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (born October 28, 1955 in India) is chair and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the world's fourth-largest food and beverage company. Forbes magazine ranks Nooyi as number 5 on the 2007 list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women. Forbes named Nooyi the #1 Most Powerful Woman in Business in 2006 and 2007 by Fortune magazine.

Nooyi received a Bachelor's degree from Madras Christian College in 1974, and entered the Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration program at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. She earned a master's degree in management from the Yale School of Management.

Nooyi started at The Boston Consulting Group, and moved to Motorola and ABB. Nooyi serves on the board of directors of several organizations, including Motorola, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the International Rescue Committee, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.


January 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Good Immigration News: Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center in Brooklyn

Img_1359 It often is hard to find good news on immigration in this dismal immigration epoch.  But here is an upbeat story about Ruth Ford's decision to take over the Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center in Brooklyn, where immigrant women learn English, finish high school, and develop job skills.  The Center draws several hundred women each year to learn English and other subjects. sponsible for her decision. The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary on May 15, 2008.

The center is named after Ruth Ford's aunt, Sister Ita C. Ford, and Sister Maura Clarke, two Maryknoll missionaries from New York who were among four North American churchwomen raped, tortured and killed by soldiers in El Salvador on December 1980. The women had worked with the poor in Salvador and, for that reason, were classified as "communists" and enemies of the Salvadoran government. Archbishop Oscar Romero also was killed for his efforts to help the poor.

The Maura Clarke-Ita Ford Center seeks to promote integration of immigrants in U.S. society, which is often ignored as a policy option by restrictionists who decry the alleged failure of immigrants to assimilate and clamor for pie-in-the sky policy options such as mass deportations and closing the borders.


January 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Naturalization Delays to Affect 2008 Elections?

We previously have reported about the backlog in naturalization petitions, with current delays of 16-18 months to process the paperwork for citizenship. A surge of petitions were filed when the federal government increased the fees for naturalization petitions in the summer of 2007.  The processsing delay could affect the Presidential elections -- tens of thousands of petitions may not be processed before the 2008 elections. For analysis of this issue, click here.

My guess is that newly-naturalized citizens would be much less likely than other citizens to support the "get-tough-on-immigrants" approach embraced by the Republican candidates stumping for votes in Iowa.

UPDATE  The N.Y. Times reported that, on January 11, federal officials announced that they had agreed on an emergency plan to hire back about 700 retired government employees in an effort to pare an immense backlog in applications for citizenship by legal immigrants.


January 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

Immigrant of the Day: Charles Atlas (Italy)

Atlas1 Charles Atlas (1892–1972) developed his body from that of a “scrawny weakling” to become the most popular muscleman of his day. His company, Charles Atlas, Ltd., (founded 1929 and continuing today) markets a fitness program for the “97-pound weakling,” a registered trademark.

Born Angelino Siciliano in Italy, Atlas immigrated to Brooklyn, New York at a young age. Siciliano worked hard to develop his physique. Contemplating the strength of a tiger in a zoo, he conceived the idea of “pitting one muscle against another.” This system was later dubbed “Dynamic-Tension” and turned him into an 180-pound man who was able to pull a 72 ton locomotive 112 feet along the tracks. He was given the nickname “Charles Atlas,” after the statue of Atlas on top of a hotel in Coney Island, New York. He became the strongman in the Coney Island Circus Side Show.

Atlas's advertising became iconic, presenting a scenario in which a boy is threatened on the beach by a sand-kicking bully while his date watches. Humiliated, he goes home and subscribes to Atlas' "Dynamic-Tension" program. Later, the the boy, now muscular, goes to the beach again and beats up the bully.

Charles Atlas was a naturalized U.S. citizen.


January 2, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

More on Iowa and Immigration Issues

Dan Nowicki writes in the Arizona Republic:

Iowa is roughly 1,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexican border, and less than 5 percent of its population is immigrants.

But illegal immigration is a burning issue in this largely White, Midwestern state, and it's dominating the Republican presidential race here.

On Thursday, Iowa will decide in its caucuses whether to reward the candidates who have vowed to crack down on border crossers. If it does, the debate could get even hotter in the general election. Click here for the full story.


January 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Obama Immigration Statement

160pxobamabarack There are four days to go until the Iowa Caucuses! Here is the Senator Barack Obama campaign's latest statement of Immigration Policy priorities. Note the emphasis on working with Mexico, increasing the number of legal visas, and fixing bureaucratic problems delaying thousands of citizenship applications. We have reports that the Obama campaign's contacts with likely voters have revealed a positive respones to the Senator's immigration policy ideas.


January 1, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 31, 2007

UT Immigration Clinic in the News

Hines_barbara Earlier this month, we posted a story about the University of Texas law school's immigration clinic.  Here is another story " the UT law students on front line of immigration" byJAMES PINKERTON in the Houston Chronicle.  Law professor Barbara C.  Hines, a two-time Fulbright scholar and immigration attorney with more than 30 years of experience, runs the clinic.


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

New I-9 Requirements

James Pinkerton writes in The Houston Chronicle:

Starting the day after Christmas, every employer in America must use a new employment verification form that immigration officials say will help reduce document fraud.

To comply with a 1996 law, the new I-9 form drops five documents from the list that employers could use to verify employees' identities and work eligibility.

But for now, the new I-9 form is not expected to present significant problems when it becomes mandatory today, according to government officials, immigration experts in Houston and the nation's largest employer.

''We're anticipating a smooth transition from the old form to the new one,' said Chris Bentley, a spokesman with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Washington. ''It's one we've publicized to the employer community, one they know is coming, and it's as simple as downloading the new form and using that."

Bentley said the decade-long delay in implementing the form was due to the transition from the old Immigration and Naturalization Service to the USCIS, part of the federal reorganization that created the Department of Homeland Security.
The documents' removal ''has to do with frequency of how they can be fraudulently produced,' he said.

At Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer with 1.3 million workers, there have been ''no issues' raised by the revised document, said spokeswoman Sharon Weber.

The new form took effect Nov. 7, but did not become mandatory until last week.

In Houston, veteran immigration attorney Gordon Quan said the I-9 will have minimal impact on existing employment verification procedures.

''We knew these amendments were going to happen,' he said. ''It's an update of the form. ... I don't think the excluded documents will affect very many people.'

The five excluded documents are all immigration forms, including certificates of U.S. citizenship and naturalization, that government officials believed could be counterfeited. The new form retains five documents that establish identity and employment eligibility, including the U.S. passport and the so-called Green Card or permanent resident card.

The new I-9 form must be used for employees hired after Nov. 7, 2007, but existing workers who have the old I-9 on file do not have to fill out new forms. Civil penalties remain unchanged and range from fines of $250 to $2,000 for a first offense of knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant, and $100 to $1,000 for paperwork errors.

Companies don't have to submit the forms to the government but are required to have an I-9 available for inspection for every employee hired after November 1986. The company officials must also certify that supporting identity documents presented by their employee ''appear to be genuine.'

On the I-9 form, an employee's Social Security card is only required when a company participates in the government's voluntary E-Verify program. This pilot program allows employers to electronically check the card's number against Social Security Administration and immigration databases.

'It's just housekeeping'

''We realize employers aren't forensic document examiners,' said Bentley, the USCIS spokesman. ''Their responsibility is to look and make their best estimate as to whether a person is authorized to work, and

E-Verify takes that process a step further.'

In October, a federal judge blocked new Department of Homeland Security regulations that would force employers to fire an estimated 8 million workers whose names did not match their Social Security numbers. Labor unions and business groups sued to stop the ''No Match' rules, citing liability to businesses and hardship to workers who couldn't correct errors in Social Security in time to avoid dismissal.

Elaine Morley, a Houston immigration attorney, said the new I-9 form will not make a ''material difference' in efforts to reduce unlawful employment since the government has long advised against using the five excluded documents.

''It's just housekeeping by the federal government,' said Morley, who is chief executive officer of Lookout Services Inc., which has sold software systems for I-9 management and

E-Verify checks to more than 4,000 companies.

However, Morley says the government is planning to propose regulations that will further exclude allowable identity documents and predicts a firestorm of criticism and court challenges.

''They're touting that they're going to make significant changes to documents that are available, but in my opinion they don't have a lot of wiggle room in the documents they can remove,' said Morley.

But she's not complaining about any changes.

''Every piece of legislation has proposed changes to greatly increase these penalties as a deterrent,' she said. ''The phone rings off the hook every time they start talking about increasing enforcement and increasing fines. It's scaring people.'


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

Immigrant of the Day: ALFREDO QUINONES-HINOJOSA (Mexico)

Alfredo The life of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa is a classic American dream.  Twenty years ago, he hopped a fence from Mexico into the United States and became a migrant farmworker. Today, he is a neurosurgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a researcher who is looking for a breakthrough in the treatment of brain cancer.

Quinones-Hinojosa's remarkable journey began in a tiny farming community, 60 miles south of the U.S. border, where he was born there.  By age 5, he was working at his father's gas station. His grandmother was a village healer and a midwife.

A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School, Quiñones-Hinojosa has been named to Popular Science Magazine's annual Brilliant 10 list.

In sum, Quiñones-Hinojosa began his life in American as an undocumented immigrant farm worker who was able to legalize. He later naturalized and became a U.S. citizen.  He searches for a cure for brain cancer.

NPR did a wonderful story about Quinones-Hinojosa, which includes an interview.


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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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