Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rhode Island Governor Urged to Reconsider Order

Racial profiling is a real problem in immigration enforcement. A commission in Rhode Island apparently understands this.

The Ray Henry of the Associated Press reports:

Gov. Don Carcieri's Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs urged him Friday to reconsider his executive order cracking down on illegal immigration because it could lead to racial profiling and may be inspired by unverified studies.

The advisory commission does not support illegal immigration, said its chairman, the Rev. Eliseo Nogueras. But he and others said they fear Carcieri's order could sow distrust between immigrants and police and government authorities.

Commission member Jenny Rosario, who comes from Puerto Rico, said she worried that police responding to Carcieri's order could single out Hispanics like her.

"Is this policy going to be implemented against all illegal immigrants, whether black, brown or whatever?" she said in an interview after a Statehouse news conference. "Immigrants are not only people of color." click here for the rest of the story.

bh

April 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Workplace Raids Hurt Economy!

Villairaigosa Lots has been going on in my hometown of Los Angeles on the immigration front.  A recent tragedy involving an apparent undocumented immigrant that has triggered a re-evaluation of LAPD policy.  Immigration raids have been on the rise.

Now, the L.A. Times reports that  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has asked the federal government to review its immigration enforcement priorities, warning that work-site raids on "non-exploitative" businesses could have "severe and lasting effects" on the local economy. "I am concerned that ICE enforcement actions are creating an impression that this region is somehow less hospitable to these critical businesses than other regions," Villaraigosa wrote in a March 27 letter to Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  In his letter, Villaraigosa said ICE has targeted "established, responsible employers" in industries that have a "significant reliance on workforces that include undocumented immigrants."

He said ICE should spend its limited resources targeting employers who exploit wage and hour laws. "At a time when we are facing an economic downturn and gang violence at epidemic levels, the federal government should focus its resources on deporting criminal gang members rather than targeting legitimate businesses," said Matt Szabo, the mayor's spokesman.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has cracked down on businesses that hire undocumented workers in California and around the nation in recent years, arresting scores of workers and their employers. In fiscal 2007, ICE made more than 4,900 work-site arrests, a 45-fold increase over the number in 2001, authorities said. In February, more than 130 undocumented workers were arrested at a Van Nuys manufacturing company during an ongoing investigation. Last week, more than 60 workers were arrested on immigration violations during routine federal inspections at South Bay area import warehouses.

In an op/ed, the Times expressed agreement with Mayor Villaraigosa made in asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to halt workplace raids and instead target illegal immigrants who have committed crimes or who are in gangs.

KJ

April 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Prospective Citizens Beware!

Julia Preston of the N.Y. Times has a story on a problem that few, except some immigration attorneys, are aware -- the growing group of legal immigrants who seek to naturalize and become citizens only to end up in deportation proceedings because they violated highly technical immigration statutes.  Preston tells the story of a family, headed by a doctor, who came from the Philippines 25 years ago, south to naturalize, and face removal because of a technical problem.

As the story reports:

"Largely overlooked in the charged debate over illegal immigration, many of these are long-term legal immigrants in the United States who were confident of success when they applied for naturalization, and would have continued to live here legally had they not sought to become citizens. As applications for naturalization have surged, overburdened federal examiners, under pressure to make quick decisions and also weed out any security risks, prefer to err on the side of rejection, immigration lawyers and independent researchers said. In 2007, 89,683 applications for naturalization were denied, about 12 percent of those presented. In the last 12 years, denial rates have been consistently higher than at any time since the 1920s." (emphasis added).

KJ

April 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 11, 2008

It's Tax Time! Immigrants and Taxes: Contributions to State and Federal Coffers

Immigration Policy Center (IPC):  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 11, 2008

Tax Day would seem to be an appropriate time to inject some bottom-line reality into the long-running debate over whether or not immigrants in the United States "pay their own way" as taxpayers. As with nearly all aspects of the immigration debate, the controversy over how immigrants impact the public treasury is far too often dominated by emotionally charged rhetoric rather than hard facts. Many of these much-needed facts are provided in a forthcoming report from the Immigration Policy Center by Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer at the Wall Street Journal and former director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2005 Current Population Survey and other sources, Moore and Vedder find that immigrants not only pay their own way in taxes, but play a hefty role in shoring up the teetering Social Security system, and provide a fiscal windfall to U.S. taxpayers by tending to come to the United States during their prime working years--after the costs of their education and upbringing have been borne by their home countries. Among the report's findings:

 Immigrant Households and Businesses Generate Billions: In 2005, immigrant households and businesses paid approximately $300 billion in federal, state, and local taxes: $165 billion in federal income taxes, $85 billion in state and local income taxes, and $50 billion in business taxes.

 Immigrants Pay More in Taxes Than They Use in Services Over Their Lifetimes: Depending on skills and level of education, each immigrant pays, on average, between $20,000 and $80,000 more in taxes than he or she consumes in public benefits.

 Immigrants' Relative Youth Contributes To Social Security's Health: Current levels of immigration will provide a net benefit to the Social Security system of nearly $450 billion in taxes paid over benefits received during the 2006-2030 period-and almost $4.4 trillion during the 2006-2080 period. This is because 75 percent of immigrants arrive in the United States when they are in their prime working years (age 18 to 65). But the share of native-born citizens in their prime working years now stands at only 60 percent, and will decline rapidly over the coming decades as the Baby Boomers retire.

 Immigrants Educated on Home Country's Tab: The roughly 26 million immigrants now in the United States who arrived when they were over the age of 18-after their upbringing and basic education were paid for in their home countries-represent a windfall to American taxpayers of roughly $2.8 trillion. The United States receives all of the tax payments made by these immigrants, while bearing almost none of the costs of raising and educating them. Several recent studies of the economic impact that immigration has at the state level have yielded similar findings:

 ARIZONA: A 2007 study by the University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy concluded that "the total state tax revenue attributable to immigrant workers was an estimated $2.4 billion (about $860 million for naturalized citizens plus about $1.5 billion for non-citizens). Balanced against estimated fiscal costs of $1.4 billion (for education, health care, and law enforcement), the net 2004 fiscal impact of immigrants in Arizona was positive by about $940 million." Moreover, the "2004 total economic output attributable to immigrant workers was about $44 billion ($15 billion for naturalized citizens and $29 billion for non-citizens). This output included $20 billion in labor and other income and resulted in approximately 400,000 full-time-equivalent jobs." [i]

 ARKANSAS: A 2007 study by the Urban Institute found that "Arkansas immigrants had an estimated total after-tax income of $2.7 billion in 2004. Approximately 20 percent of this was sent home to families abroad, saved, or used for interest payments. The remaining spending had a total impact on the state of $2.9 billion." In addition, "without immigrant labor, the output of the state's manufacturing industry would likely be lowered by about $1.4 billion-or about 8 percent of the industry's $16.2 billion total contribution to the gross state product in 2004." [ii]

 FLORIDA: A 2007 study released by Florida International University found that the state's "immigrant workers paid an estimated annual average of $10.49 billion in federal taxes and $4.5 billion in state and local taxes from 2002 to 2004." The study concluded that "comparing taxes paid to assistance received shows that immigrants in Florida contribute nearly $1,500 per year more than they receive" in Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, disability income, veterans' benefits, unemployment compensation, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, food stamps, housing subsidies, energy assistance, Medicare, and Medicaid. [iii]

 NEVADA: A 2007 report from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada found that Hispanic immigrants in Nevada paid roughly $2.6 billion in federal taxes and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes (including $500 million in sales taxes) in 2005. According to the report, "the money that immigrants earn and spend in Nevada accounts for about 25% of the State's Gross State Product" and "Hispanic immigrant employment, income and spending results in the creation of 108,380 jobs in Nevada." [iv]

 NEW YORK: A 2007 study by the Fiscal Policy Institute concludes that "New York's immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in economic output in New York State. That's 22.4 percent of the total New York State GDP, a share slightly larger than immigrants' share of population, and slightly smaller than their share of the workforce." Moreover, "immigrants in New York State are entrepreneurs, managers, and workers in jobs at all levels of the economy, from the lowest-paid day laborers to the highest-paid investment bankers." [v]

 WASHINGTON, DC: A 2006 study by the Urban Institute found that immigrant households in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area "paid $9.8 billion or 17.7 percent of total taxes paid by metropolitan-area residents in 1999-2000 ($55.2 billion) virtually the same as their share of the total population (17.4 percent)." Approximately 72 percent of these tax payments went to the federal government. [vi] The Immigration Policy Center also has published a survey of local- and state-level studies that examine the costs and contributions of immigrants in communities throughout the United States.

IPC is a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation. Visit its website at www.immigrationpolicy.org

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Congressional Budget Office: Immigration Reform Proposal Would Cost BILLIONS!!!!!!

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the estimated cost to implement H.R. 4088, the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act of 2007, and found that the proposed legislation would cost taxpayers more than $40 billion over 10 years.  For a link to an ACLU press release (and CBO estimate), click here.

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fact Sheet on Detention of Student Visa Holders

Jorjani2 Raha Jorjana (UC Davis) put together an fact sheet about DHS detention of student visa holders (F-1s).  Talking about the detention of student visa holders is usually a powerful way to talk about the injustice of the US detention system because many people can identify with being students and registering late, having to work to pay for school, dropping classes, or dropping grades - all things that can get a student visitor with no criminal convictions and who has never been to jail, detained in the United States.

As an immigration attorney In Arizona before coming to UC Davis, Jorjana saw increased cooperation between ICE and local universities. Universities would contactg ICE to report students, which would frequently result in the student being placed in detention.

Download detention_of_student_visa_holders_fact_sheet_2008_pdf_final.pdf

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tommy Lee Jones on Immigration

Tommyleejones 02138 has an interview with Tommy lee Jones, Al Gore's old Harvard buddy, and the topic of immigration came up.

Question: Speaking of borders, all the Republican presidential candidates supported building a fence along the border to keep Mexicans from crossing illegally. Mitt Romney advocated repatriating millions of Mexicans. Are those viable ideas?

Jones:  The idea of a fence between El Paso and Brownsville bears all the credibility and seriousness of flying saucers from Mars or leprechauns. Or any manner of malicious, paranoid superstition. In other words, it’s bullshit. But you hear the talk.

For more, click the link above.

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration and Youth Violence

The deportation of immigrants who committed crimes as young adults is a big issue, of course. Here's an interesting presentation that is very relevant to the topic:

The Institute for the Study of Social Change and the Center on Culture, Immigration and Youth Violence Prevention present:
ISSC Graduate Fellows Program Working Paper Presentations:

Immigrant Youth and Institutions:
Cultural Contexts of Agency and Illegality
Friday, April 25
12:00 – 1:30 pm
ISSC Conference Room, 2420 Bowditch Street (at Haste), Berkeley, CA

Speakers:

Vincent Chong, M.D./M.S. Student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program & ISSC Youth Violence Prevention Fellow, UC Berkeley: "Negotiating with Agency: Towards an Intersectional Understanding of Violence and Resilience in Young Southeast Asian Men"

Carmen Martínez-Calderón, Ph.D. Student in the Graduate School of Education & ISSC Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley: "Out of the Shadows: Undocumented Latino College Students"

with Jonathan Simon, Associate Dean, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, and Professor of Law, UC Berkeley, as respondent
***
Vincent Chong is an M.D./M.S. Student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program & ISSC Youth Violence Prevention Fellow, UC Berkeley. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Chong went on to complete his B.A. in ethnic studies from Brown University.  Before enrolling in medical school, Chong worked as a community health worker and reproductive health counselor at Asian Health Services in Oakland Chinatown.  His current research is focused on the use of culture in medical and public health discourses on Southeast Asian youth violence and the use of violence in the construction of masculinities.

Carmen Martínez-Calderón is a Ph.D. Student in the Graduate School of Education & ISSC Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley. Martínez-Calderón, a native of the state of Michoacan in Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight without knowing a word of English.  She went on to receive a double B.A. in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.  Martínez-Calderón is a first generation college student and a Gates Millennium Scholar. Her research project is an ethnographic inquiry into the lives of "undocumented" students in higher education.  It explores the reasons why these students opt to leave their state of "social invisibility" to participate in one of society's major social structures – higher education - and traces what happens to them upon completion of their degrees.  By focusing on the social structure of higher education she hopes to illuminate linkages between education, social stratification, and inequality.
Jonathan Simon is Associate Dean, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley. His scholarship concerns the role of criminal justice and punishment in modern societies, insurance and other contemporary practices of governing risk, and the intellectual history of law and the social sciences. Simon serves as faculty co-chair of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Simon is the author of Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 (1993) and the co-editor of Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies, and the Law: Moving Beyond Legal Realism (with Austin Sarat, 2003). His most recent book is, Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (2007). Simon also serves as co-editor of Punishment & Society and associate editor of Law & Society Review. Simon is the Principal Investigator of "Youth Violence and Neighborhood Change: New Immigrants in Oakland, California," a new research project of the Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Violence Prevention.
For more information contact Usree Bhattacharya at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, (510) 642-0813; or email ubhattacharya@berkeley.edu .   

bh

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Book: THE ETHNIC PRESIDENCY HOW RACE DECIDES THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE BY EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON

Earlpic_4 EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON's new book The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House considers how racial and ethnic conflict has openly and covertly played a crucial role the past three decades in influencing, shaping and ultimately deciding who wins the White House. It tells how racial politics will play an even bigger role in the 2008 presidential election and future elections. It examines Obamamania, the Hillary and Bill factor, the soaring Latino vote, the silent but potent Asian-American vote, the immigration wars, the GOP’s love-hate relationship with black and Latino America, and Bush’s effort to recast the GOP from a clubby, ole white guys party to a party of racial diversity.

Readers of this blog may find the book's discussion of immigrtaion of special interest.  Click here for exceprts from the book on the GOP and immigration.  Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author, syndicated columnist, political analyst and commentator.

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: LEOPOLDO ALONSO (Cuba)

LEOPOLDO ALONSO, entrepreneur and humanitarian, came to the U.S. from Cuba with nothing more than the shirt on his back. He started working in the grocery business at age 19 and worked his way up to store manager. He then set out on his own and founded FRESH VALUE MARKETS. Alonso's grocery business had annual sales of $45 million and employed 250 workers. Alonso realized that Latinos often had trouble getting home mortgages. He set up a mortgage lending business to serve the Latino community. As Vice President of Metropolitan Mortgage Bankers Inc., he and his 15 Latino loan officers are trained to educate the community and to provide fair mortgages.

Alonso also works with the Virginia Special Olympics where has been a coach for teams from elementary school through the university level.

KJ

April 11, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resources for Non-Profit Advocates and Providers

National Immigration Law Center (NILC) INVITES YOU TO JOIN IAN

The Immigration Advocates Network ("IAN") is a free exciting and innovative resource for non-profit advocates, organizers and service providers. IAN is a collaboration of leading immigrants' rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low income immigrants. IAN will promote more effective and efficient communication among existing immigration organizations by providing easily accessible and comprehensive online resources in a password-protected website for legal service providers, pro bono attorneys and advocates. By establishing a website for non-profit organizations with timely information and links to other sites, we will enhance our collective advocacy efforts, share information, and support the work and visibility of our members

WHAT IAN DOES
IAN's services to non-profit, pro bono and public interest advocates include:

      A library of substantive resources, including manuals, podcasts, online videos and web-based trainings

      A national calendar of immigration trainings and events

      Immigration news and practice alerts

      Listservs and announcement lists on immigration topics

IAN's first phase will include information on family-based immigration, immigration and crimes, naturalization, raids, driver's licenses, and immigration program management.

JOIN IAN

To join IAN, go to www.immigrationadvocates.org and click "register." Membership is free. If you have any questions, please contact IAN at info@immigrationadvocates.org.

IAN PARTNERS

    ACLU IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT
    ABA COMMISSION ON IMMIGRATION
    AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
    AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAW FOUNDATION
    CATHOLIC LEGAL IMMIGRATION NETWORK, INC.
    IMMIGRANT LEGAL RESOURCE  CENTER
    LUTHERAN IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE SERVICE
    NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER
    NATIONAL IMMIGRATION PROJECT OF THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
    PRO BONO NET
    THE ADVOCATES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

      SUPPORTERS
    THE CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK
    JEHT FOUNDATION
    MORRISON & FOERSTER

bh

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Abuse of Guest Workers

The Houston Chronicle reports that about workers from India who came to work in Orange and Pascagoula, Miss., as welders and pipe fitters for Signal International. The visas were temporary, but many of the 500 guest workers were led to believe they eventually would receive green cards and could move their families to the United States, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. To pay the $20,000 in recruiting fees, many sold their homes and depleted their life savings. When they got here, the foreign workers were put in bunkhouses and charged $1,050 a month for bed and board. Several workers in Pascagoula complained about their living conditions and were threatened with deportation. A protest drew the attention of the press and led to the center's lawsuit last month against the giant marine and fabrication service company. Signal said it was a mistake and blamed third-party recruiters.

KJ

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

ILRC's Anti-Fraud Campaign

Unfortunately, immigrants often are victimized by unscrupulous notarios and others who claim immigration expertise. Here's once campaign against these practices waged  by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

ILRC Announces Major Immigration Fraud Public Awareness Campaign

ILRC is currently engaged in a massive public relations campaign to warn immigrants about immigration fraud. Too often, immigrants fall prey to scam artists that promise them an easy path to legal status only to cheat them out of their hard-earned money and, often, put them at risk of deportation. To combat this problem, ILRC has produced and distributed thousands of graphic novels, or comic books, in English, Spanish and Chinese that warn immigrants about typical immigration fraud scams. If you or your agency are located in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in ordering some of these, go to:  http://www.ilrc.org/fraud.php

ILRC has also produced tri-lingual Bus Signs that have been carried on public transit agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area from March 1 through April 15, 2008.  To see the bus signs and all of our other anti-immigration fraud materials, go to:  http://www.ilrc.org/fraud.php

Nora Privitera
Special Projects Attorney, ILRC
bh

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Man Behind the "Running Immigrants": John Hood

SpickardEver wonder who created the now-iconic image of immigrants running acrossing the freeway that on California traffic signs near the U.S./Mexico border?  John Hood, a Navajo and Vietnam vet, has created many works in his job as a Caltrans graphic artist. His most famous: the picture of an immigrant family running.  For more about Hood and his work, click here for the L.A. Times story.

KJ

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Border Art Exhibit -- UW-Oshkosh

An excellent art exhibit "Border: A Multi-Artist Project" recently opened at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (April 9 to May 3, 2008).  There is a symposium on immigration and border issues on Tuesday, April 22, at 2 p.m.  The group exhibition includes filmmaker Dan Banda, painters Jeff Lipschutz and Fred Stonehouse, and fiber artist Ximena Soza. The exhibit examines "global immigration through the prism of the US-Mexican dilemma."

"The debate over immigration may be an old story, but the artwork born of its unsettling return, as witnessed here, is new. At the very least, border art, as an evolving subgenre, has expanded its boundary northward and into communities previously unimagined. Crossing borders, while challenging at the checkpoints, is worth the journey. You can try to stop them, but they'll make it across anyhow." - from With a Wall by Teri Tyne.

For more information, including some pictures, about the exhibit, click Download borderFinalBODYlowres.pdf

KJ

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: GEORGE MCPHEE (Canada)

Mcphee GEORGE MCPHEE, General Manager and Vice President of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, grew up in Canada. He was a highly decorated college ice hockey player and received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is given to the game's top college player.

McPhee played pro for seven years in the NHL for the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Here are his career stats.  He then moved into management: first with the Vancouver Canucks and then with the Washington Capitals. In his first season as the Caps' general manager (1997), McPhee took them on their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

April 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tragedy Causes Review of LAPD Policy

Seventeen-year-old Jamiel Shaw was a Los Angeles High School student and football star. Last month, someone who thought Shaw was in a gang gunned him down near his home. The Los Angeles Police Department reports that the suspected gunman was a member of the 18th Street Gang, and possibly unlawfully in the United States. Jamiel's father asked the L.A. City Council to overturn Special Order 40 -- at least for gang members -- a guideline that keeps LAPD officers from asking about the immigration status of people they've arrested. To read and hear the story on this case, click here.

This story is a very sad one.  my heart goes out to the Shaw family.  However, effective law enforcement will suffer if the local police enforce the immigration laws as well as the criminal laws.  The reason that the LAPD -- not known for being soft on crime -- has its current "don't ask, don't tell" policy is to ensure that all residents (undocumented or not) feel comfortable in cooperating with the police.  This is essential to effective policing and law enforcement.  Whatever their immigration status, witnesses and victims must feel that they can provide information, report crime, and otherwise work with local police.  If they fear local police, fewer crimes will be reported, witnesses will not report crime, and the job of local police will be even more difficult than it currently is.

P.S.  According to the L.A. Times (April 11), LAPD officers would be required to report gang members found to be undocumented immigrants to federal authorities under a proposal introduced in the Los Angeles City Council. The proposal, by Councilman Dennis Zine, a former LAPD officer, would result in a closer relationship between the department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and is likely to generate controversy. The plan comes amid a new debate over Special Order 40, a Los Angeles Police Department rule that defines when officers can inquire about the immigration status of suspects. The 29-year-old rule is a cornerstone of the department's policy toward immigrants and is designed to encourage undocumented residents who are victims of crimes or witnesses to cooperate with police without fear of deportation.

UPDATE (April 18):  Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton has said that the department's policy dealing with undocumented immigrants was widely misunderstood. Bratton strongly defended the basic intent of Special Order 40, which prohibits officers from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are illegal immigrants.

Monicavarsanyi Monica Varsanyi, a professor of the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State, defended the LAPD policy in the L.A. Times:

"The LAPD's reluctance to make it easier to ask individuals about their immigration status before arrest is in keeping with the views of the overwhelming majority of the police chiefs we surveyed. Allowing L.A. officers to check the immigration status of known gang members before arrest would certainly take some of them off the streets. But as the chiefs in our surveyed cities worried, becoming more of an arm of ICE would likely send a chill through immigrant communities, decrease trust between police and vulnerable residents and sacrifice overall public safety."

KJ

April 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Report of the Visa Office 2007

FROM Immigration daily (www.ilw.com):

The Visa Office of the DOS recently issued "Report of the Visa Office 2007" which "is an annual report providing statistical information" about the Visa Office's doings. We highlight some of the fascinating information contained therein below (see full Table of Contents here), all years below are fiscal. http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/statistics/statistics_4179.html

For the Immigrant Visa applications in 2007 288,878 grounds of ineligibility were found, of which 174,438 (60%) were overcome, a misleading statistic, as we shall soon see. The most common ineligibility finding, amounting to 5/6ths of the total, was 221(g) "Application does not comply with provisions of INA or regulations issued pursuant thereto", and overcoming this finding was 91% of the total findings overcome. In other words, of all the other ineligibility findings, only 30% were overcome. For the Non-Immigrant Visa applications in 2007, 2,117,250 grounds of ineligibility were found, of which 470,052 (22%) were overcome, a most misleading statistic, as we see below. The most common ineligibility finding, about 3/4ths of the total, was 214(b) "Failure to establish entitlement to nonimmigrant status", and this finding was overcome only about 1% of the time. In other words, about 99% of the time, a 214(b) finding was not overcome. (From Table XX Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Ineligibilities (by Grounds for Refusal Under the Immigration and Nationality Act) Fiscal Year 2007) http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY07AnnualReportTableXX.pdf

It is not hard to guess what visas were the ones selected for special 214(b) treatment. Of the 6,444,263 Non-Immigrant Visas issued in 2006, almost 60% were B1s and/or B2s. Based on the numbers in this table, it's a safe bet that no other type of visa could approach the magnitude necessary for the huge quantity of 214(b) findings above. (From Table XVII Nonimmigrant Visas Issued Fiscal Year 2006) http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY07AnnualReportTableXVII.pdf

Nor is it difficult to guess where 214(b) was used to liberally deny vast quantities of applicants. The numbers of 214(b) denials are so staggering that only four countries can possibly supply the bulk of the applications involved: India, China, South Korea and Mexico. (From Table XIX Nonimmigrant Visas Issued by Issuing Office (Including Border Crossing Cards Fiscal Years 1998-2007) http://www.travel.state.gov/pdf/FY07AnnualReportTableXIX.pdf

The conclusion from the three documents above is that B1/B2 applicants from India, China, South Korea and Mexico face an approximately 1/3rd chance of denial based on 214(b) "finding" (a "finding" typically made in an "interview" lasting approximately 100 seconds), the chance of overcoming which "finding" are only about 1%. While the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Race Quotas of the 1921 and 1924 Acts are no longer in force, some of the same outcomes of those bygone days can be found in current Visa Office reports.

KJ

April 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

ALIEN INVASION!: Interview with Hing and Johnson

For an interview on Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair's Counterpunch with Bill Hing and Kevin Johnson on the "immigration hysteria" grippining the United States, click here.  Among the topics covered are "illegal immigration hysteria," the reality of immigration reform, the racism against Mexican and dark skinned folk, the faults with Democrat (including Bill Clinton's immigration policies)and Republican plans, the Bush plan of last year, and of course, Sweet Lou Dobbs.

KJ

April 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More From Breakthrough TV

We have previously mentioned the the game ICED - I Can End Deportation. Now the producers of the game have developed follow up programs:

Greetings!

We're excited to share that Breakthrough's video game on immigration - ICED - I Can End Deportation has been played by close to 80,000 visitors. And that's not all-- check out the latest on the game:    

New Products!

*We've recently produced two companion products to ICED to aid both teachers and organizers.  Click to download the ICED Curriculum and the ICED Discussion Guide.

*View the 30 second video trailer titled, "ICED - The Immigrant Shuffle."

Please continue to play and forward the game, because when we let the government deny due process and human rights to some, we put all of our freedoms at risk.

Thanks for your continued support,

The Breakthrough Team

bh

April 9, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)