April 19, 2008
DNA of Undocumented may be Collected
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona is up to his old anti-immigrant tricks, pushing for the collection of DNA of undocumented who are detained, even though they have not been convicted of any violent offense.
Ellen Nakashima and Spencer Hsu write in the Washington Post:
The U.S. government will soon begin collecting DNA samples from all citizens arrested in connection with any federal crime and from many immigrants detained by federal authorities, adding genetic identifiers from more than 1 million individuals a year to the swiftly growing federal law enforcement DNA database.
The policy will substantially expand the current practice of routinely collecting DNA samples from only those convicted of federal crimes, and it will build on a growing policy among states to collect DNA from many people who are arrested.
The initiative, to be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register in coming days, reflects a congressional directive that DNA from arrestees be collected to help catch a range of domestic criminals. But it also requires, for the first time, the collection of DNA samples from people other than U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are detained by U.S. authorities.
"Innocent people don't belong in a so-called criminal database," said Tania Simoncelli, science adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union. "We're crossing a line."
The database expansion was authorized by Congress as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act and was billed primarily as a way to track down serial rapists, murderers and other offenders. "We know for a fact that the proposed regulations will save the lives of many innocent people and will prevent devastating crimes," said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), a sponsor of the legislation. "These regulations are long overdue -- we should have done this 10 years ago."
U.S. officials said that when the measure is fully implemented, roughly 1.2 million people a year could be added to the national database. About 140,000 of those would be people arrested for federal crimes. Many of the rest would be foreigners detained for being in the United States illegally.
Immigration rights advocates note that most illegal immigrants are detained for administrative violations, not federal crimes. By adding their DNA to the database, "it casts them all as criminals," said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
It was unclear whether Mexican border-crossers who are briefly detained and then released in Mexico will be covered. The Border Patrol made 877,000 apprehensions in 2007, most of them of Mexicans.
The proposed rule will be subject to a 30-day public comment period. Click here for the full story.
Hate Crime at Texas A&M
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund reports on an unfortunate incident at Texas A&M University:
A Sikh graduate student at Texas A & M University was viciously attacked by an unknown individual in Bryan, TX and had his turban forcibly knocked off of his head. The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) filed formal complaints with the Bryan Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and has learned that the attack has been classified as a hate crime.
On February 28, 2008, Mr. Singh (name withheld for privacy) was walking back to his vehicle at a local Wal-Mart parking lot when he was approached by an unknown male who called Mr. Singh a ‘terrorist’ and then made other disparaging and racist remarks. Mr. Singh responded by telling the suspect that he did not want any trouble at which time the individual approached Mr. Singh and punched him in the face and head, knocking both Mr. Singh and his daastar (turban) to the ground. Mr. Singh did not sustain any major injuries.
The immediate reaction of some of the police officers involved in the case was less than ideal. Mr. Singh was initially discouraged from making a police report on the night of the incident. Within two weeks of the incident occurring, the Bryan Police Department allegedly closed the case, despite overwhelming evidence involving witness identification of a vehicle at the scene of the crime and a partial license plate which later matched the vehicle description.
After Mr. Singh reported the incident, SALDEF immediately contacted Bryan Police Department Chief Ty Morrow inquiring about the status of police investigation. SALDEF asked for a vigorous investigation and for crime to be prosecuted and classified as a hate crime. On March 31, 2008 the Bryan Police Department informed SALDEF that the incident had been re-classified as a class ‘C’ assault with hate crime enhancement. The necessary paperwork has been filed and the case is currently in active investigation. Click here for the rest of the story.
2007 Economic Report of the President on Immigration
The 2007 Economic Report of the President, produced by the Council of Economic Advisers, includes Chapter 9 on immigration. The chapter advocates "more effective enforcement capabilities and a temporary worker program." (p. 189) The chapter concludes that some migration begets more migration, that the overall economic benefits of immigration are positive, and that policy shapes immigration flows and their effects (pp. 189-90).
The 2008 Economic Report was released in February and does not include a separate chapter on immigration.
April 18, 2008
Tommy T is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just when you thought it was safe, here comes Tom Tancredo! Thoroughly defeated as a Republican presidential candidate after being unable to collect more than a handful of votes (including from those "bitter" working folks), Tommy T -- not to be confused with Mr. T -- returned to the mountains of Colorado last December. Now, he is back a with a vengeance!
Marc Ambinder at theAtlantic.com reports that "[f]ormer Catholic and soon to be former Congressman Tom Tancredo blasted the pro-immigrant message of visiting Pope Benedict XVI and accused the leader of the Catholic Church of supporting immigration because it swells attendance at U.S. churches." Tancredo specifically accused the Pope of fostering a welcome environment for immigrants because of an interest in "recruiting new members." Click here to read Tancredo's comments. The Democratic National Committee denounced what Tancredo said about the Pope.
POSTSCRIPT For a N.Y. Times (April 20) story on the controversy over the Pope and immigration, click here.
Remittances Affected by Economic Downturn
The economic downtown in the U.S. is affecting the remittance rate among immigrants as well. Manuel Roig-Franzia reports in the Washington Post:
The effects of the subprime mortgage crisis and the downturn in the U.S. economy have cascaded into Mexico, causing a sudden, precipitous drop in the flow of money sent home by Mexican immigrants and highlighting this country's dependence on its wealthier northern neighbor.
In January, the cash transfers, known as remittances, sagged almost 7 percent compared with a year earlier, the steepest monthly dip in at least 13 years, according to Mexican government statistics. Economists here believe the decline in remittances is already pushing thousands into extreme poverty and could lead to a significant increase in migration as desperate Mexicans, deprived of support from abroad, flee to an ever more difficult U.S. job market. Click here for the rest of the story.
Border Network for Human Rights - 10th Anniversary
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
This 2008 is a very important year for the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR), its Human Rights Community Based Committees, and its board of directors. This will be the 10th Year Anniversary of the Border Network for Human Rights! We will be celebrating this prominent event with a fundraising dinner and the 1st BNHR Human Rights Award Event to be held in July 18th 2008 at St. Pius Church.
This BNHR Human Rights Award & Dinner will be a relevant event for the communities and organizations working along the US/Mexico Border for justice to immigrants; working for Human and Civil Rights recognition for all; and especially to those families that live the day to day struggle to survive and maintain their families. Moreover, on this day BNHR will also recognize those important individuals whom have contributed to the advancement of Human Rights along our US/Mexico Border and Nationally as well.
This email is to notify you so that you can save the day, RSVP and purchase tickets for this dinner event. The solidarity tickets are only $50.00. We greatly appreciate your support for Human Rights & Justice in our Border Communities.
To reserve your seat and to purchase tickets for this important human rights event please contact BNHR Administrative Director Saul Soto at the BNHR office at (915) 577-0724; cell (915) 494-4213; and at email BorderHumanRights@gmail.com
Border Network for Human Rights
Forget the Wall--Build Mexico
The Houston Chronicle ran this interesting commentary on NAFTA by University of Houston Professor Stephen Zamora a few days ago:
If the root cause of Mexican migration to the United States is found in Mexico, then why do we continue to believe that 2,000-mile walls will solve the immigration problems associated with undocumented workers?
The answer, in part, is that barriers will always be easier to construct than workable economic solutions. Voters typically yawn when they hear politicians call for meaningful dialogue with Mexico, but they are disposed to cheer loudly when candidates clamor for more barbed wire and stricter border controls.
In the 1990s, the United States, Mexico and Canada pursued a purely economic partnership when they cobbled together the North American Free Trade Agreement. Social or political issues were largely avoided at the NAFTA negotiating table, and potential repercussions of trilateral economic integration (including the immigration of undocumented workers) were deemed "domestic concerns" to be handled within the borders of each country.
Today, 14 years after NAFTA was enacted, we know that "social repercussions" stemming from the agreement flow freely past international borders. As NAFTA prodded Mexico's formerly closed economy to become more competitive, the country's inefficient producers — from old manufacturing plants to family-run farms raising corn on small plots of land — faltered or failed. Facing ruin or starvation, many of the displaced workers saw jobs in the United States as their only chance of survival.
NAFTA's framers had theorized that the free trade agreement would spur economic growth in Mexico. Today, we know this was wishful thinking. A large percentage of the Mexican population was mired in poverty before NAFTA, and remains mired in poverty today. And with Mexico now inextricably tied to a U.S. economy that is flirting with recession, there is little hope of effecting dramatic improvements anytime soon. Click here for the full piece.
USCIS Fact Sheet On Naturalization Through Military Service
USCIS has issued a fact sheet on naturalization through military service.
Texas A&M-Kingsville Locked Down for Immigration Arrests
The Houston Chronicle reports that a truckload of suspected undocumented immigrants fled when pulled over at the Texas A&M-Kingsville on Wednesday, forcing a lockdown of the school for three hours as police chased them, officials said. The truck driver said he had been forced at gunpoint to take the immigrants to Kingsville, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Eric Hinojosa.
Immigrant of the Day: Eileen Chang (China)
Eileen Chang (1920–1995) was a writer. Her works are considered by some scholars to be among the best Chinese literature of the period. Chang's work describing life in 1940s Shanghai and occupied Hong Kong is remarkable in its focus on everyday life.
Born in Shanghai, Eileen Chang wrote her debut short novel in 1932. In 1939, Chang received a scholarship to study in the University of London, though the opportunity had to be given up due to the ongoing war in China. She went on to study literature at the University of Hong Kong. Just one semester short of getting her degree, Hong Kong fell to the Empire of Japan on December 25, 1941.
In the spring of 1943, Chang made a fateful trip to meet an editor to give him her writtings. The rest was history: Chang became the hottest writer in Shanghai in 1943-1944. It was during this period when her most acclaimed works, including Qing Cheng Zhi Lian (倾城之恋) and Jin Suo Ji (金锁记), were penned.
Chang then left for the United States in the fall of 1955, never to return to Mainland China again. Chang became a U.S. citizen in July 1960.
Chang held short-term jobs at Radcliffe College (1967) and UC Berkeley (1969-1972). Chang relocated to Los Angeles in 1972. Three years later, she completed the English translation of The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai. She became increasingly reclusive in her later years.
April 17, 2008
Pope, President Bush Discuss Immigration
During Pope Benedict's meeting with President Bush, the two discussed, among other things, immigration and called for a "coordinated policy" toward the humane treatment of immigrants and well-being of their families. Pope Benedict has spoken forcefully in the past about the damage caused by punitive immigration laws.
Filipino Veterans Equity Act
Advocates are organizing another push on the Filipino Veterans Equity Act this week. Here is an important announcement:
Thank you to those who contacted Congress in February and March on behalf of the Filipino Veterans Equity Act (S. 1315); your efforts have moved us closer to realizing full equity for the Veteranos. The Senate may bring S. 1315 to the floor as EARLY AS THIS WEEK! This is the moment we've fought hard for. With the House poised to act after the Senate takes this vote, THIS IS THE MOST URGENT MOMENT OF OUR CAMPAIGN!
The Senate needs to hear from you. Every Senator needs to know that they must pass S. 1315 and oppose any efforts to weaken the bill. Our veterans deserve nothing less. We especially urge those who live outside of California to reach out to your Senators as we need votes from over 60 Senators to pass S. 1315.
What YOU can do :
1. Contact both your Senators: Send calls, e-mails and faxes and call on them to support S. 1315 and to vote YES when it comes to a floor vote. You can contact the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to any member of Congress. (See below for talking points)
2. Oppose efforts to water down the provisions of the current bill.
If you are directly connected to a Filipino veteran, let them know the bill impacts you.
For more information about the bill, contact the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE). Please click here or contact Ben de Guzman, Campaign Coordinator at (202) 422-4909.
To contact us as Filipinos for Affirmative Action, please call (510) 465-9876.
Thank you for your support and together, let's PASS the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Act NOW!
The 1946 Rescission Act took away US Veterans status for these veterans, and the Filipiino Veterans Equity Act will not only restore this status, but will restore the honor and recognition of their service that they deserve.
Nationals from more than 60 other countries who also served under US command received US Veteran status. Filipinos were singled our for discriminatory treatment.
All of our veterans deserve to be treated the same--we are committed to full support of ALL our veterans, but want to make sure that we take care of the veterans who are a part of the "Greatest Generation." S 1315 allows us to provide needed services and benefits for ALL veterans, as well as correct a 62 year injustice to veterans who held the line for us in WWII.
Pass S. 1315 NOW!
Comment on DHS SSA No-Match Rule
The Low-Wage Immigrant Worker Coalition has sent out this important message on the opportunity to comment on the proposed DHS SSA No-Match Rule that would be the basis for an important aspect of ICE enforcement.
Comments Urgently Needed!
As many of you know, DHS published its proposed rule regarding No-Match letters in the Federal Register on Wednesday, March 26th. Although they did make small changes, they have basically re-submitted the same flawed rule which was preliminarily enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in October of last year.
We now have less then 10 days to submit comments to let DHS know we oppose their rule but less then 300 comments have been submitted. We need to generate as many comments as we can. The deadline to submit comments is April 25. Please take a few minutes to submit comments now. Forward this message as widely as possible and urge others to submit comments.
We have posted several model comments on the Low-Wage Immigrant Worker (LWIW) Coalition's website (http://www.lwiw.org/SSA_NM/lwiw_comments.htm) and instructions on how to submit comments. We now have Spanish comments available as well as postcards.
If you submit your own comments please be sure include the Docket Number in your comments - ICEB-2006-0004.
Click here for NILC's Talking Points about the new Supplemental Proposed Rule
Summary of the DHS Supplemental Rule on No-Match Letters
Facts About the Social Security "No-Match" Letter
Click here for a copy of DHS' Proposed Rule
If you have any questions please contact Mike Munoz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigrant of the Day: SPRUHA MAGODIA (India)
SPRUHA MAGODIA became a published novelist when she was 13. Now 16, she is completing the final chapters to her second novel. Her first novel, Entwining Worlds: From the Other Side is sold throughout the U.S. at Barnes & Noble bookstores --where she was named "Author of the Month" when she was 14. This talented writer also won a global competition for writing an alternate ending to the fifth novel in the Harry Potter series.
Earlier this year, Magodia received the Michael Maggio Youth Immigrant Achievement Award in honor of immigration attorney Michael Maggio, whose legal philosophy was founded on justice, the rule of law and human rights.
April 16, 2008
ICE Raids Focus on Poultry Farms
The Associated Press reports on five ICE Raids this week:
Federal immigration agents raided Pilgrim's Pride poultry plants in five states today in a crackdown on an alleged scam to provide fake identification for illegal immigrant workers.
Julie Myers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement assistant secretary, told The Associated Press that more than 100 people were expected to be arrested on criminal charges related to identity theft.
"This identity theft is a horrible problem that can ruin a person's good name," Myers said.
It was unclear how many more would be detained on immigration charges at the plants in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia, she said. Agency spokeswoman Kelly Nantel had estimated at least 100 such administrative arrests.
Ray Atkinson, a spokesman for Pittsburg-based Pilgrim's Pride, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Those facing criminal charges will be detained by U.S. marshals, Nantel said. ICE agents will interview others to decide whether they would be detained or released pending immigration hearings.
In Arkansas, federal agents raided a north Arkansas poultry plant over suspected immigration violations, authorities said.
Temple Black, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the arrests were part of an ongoing criminal investigation that involved a poultry plant in Batesville, Ark. Black declined to say how many people were arrested or describe the nature of the investigation. Click here for the full story.
Breaking News: The Boss Backs Barack!
CNN reports that rocker Bruce Springsteen, champion of the down-and-out, has endorsed Barack Obama for president. Check out the endorsement of the official Bossman website. Will this help swing Pennsylvania, a Boss stronghold? See a story on the Huffington Post analyzing the importance of the endorsement.
Immigrant Integration in the Latino Metropolis
The Migration Policy Institute has issued a report Los Angeles on the Leading Edge: Immigrant Integration Indicators and Their Policy Implications, which details the need for development and implementation of coordinated integration strategies and policies that will benefit immigrants and the broader U.S. society alike. “Despite the transformative nature of immigrant demographic trends in recent decades, the integration of immigrants remains an afterthought in policy discussions and could be considered one of the most overlooked issues in American governance,” said one of the report’s authors, MPI Vice President Michael Fix.
As the largest immigrant metropolis in the nation, with more than one-third of its 9.9 million residents comprised of immigrants, Los Angeles County stands at the leading edge of national immigration trends because of demography, geography and history — and thus can serve as a policy laboratory for other U.S. communities. While the immigrant population grew dramatically from the 1970s through the mid-1990s, the story today is Los Angeles’ transition from city of immigrants to one dominated by their American children, with over half of students in the Los Angeles schools the U.S.-born children of immigrants (known as the second generation.).
Immigrant of the Day: Yanni (Greece)
Yanni (born November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a pianist, keyboardist, and composer. Yanni left his homeland at the age of 18 to attend the University of Minnesota. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he sought a life in music.
After playing keyboards in local rock bands, Yanni moved to California. In 1987, he put together a small band and began touring to promote his earliest instrumental albums, Keys to Imagination, Out of Silence, and Chameleon Days. He later earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time.
Yanni's breakthrough success came with the release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, a concert filmed in 1993 in Athens, Greece. Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. His North American concert tours in 1995, 1998 and 2003-5 each finished in the Top 10 concert tours of the year. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies.
Yanni's compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. In 1997, he become one of the few performers allowed to perform at the Taj Mahal, India. His most recent live concert film, Yanni Live! The Concert Event, was released in 2006.
Yanni's music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental."
April 15, 2008
New Immigration Articles
Annand, Katie. Note. Still waiting for the DREAM: the injustice of punishing undocumented immigrant students. 59 Hastings L.J. 683-709 (2008)
Guerra Thompson, Sandra. Latinas and their families in detention: the growing intersection of immigration law and criminal law. 14 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 225-244 (2008).
Huang, KoKo Ye. Note. Reimagining and redefining the dream: a proposal for improving access to higher education for undocumented immigrants. 6 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 431-477 (2007).
Symposium. Immigration Policy: Who Belongs? 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 1-142 (2008).
Chang, Howard. The economics of international labor migration and the case for global distributive justice in liberal political theory. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 1-25 (2008).
Cunningham-Parmeter, Keith. Fear of discovery: immigrant workers and the Fifth Amendment. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 27-81 (2008).
Pfeffer, Max J. The underpinnings of immigration and the limits of immigration policy. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 83-100 (2008).
Ansley, Frances. Doing policy from below: worker solidarity and the prospects for immigration reform. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 101-114 (2008).
Chishti, Muzaffar. A redesigned immigration selection system. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 115-126 (2008).
Griffith, Kati L. A supreme stretch: the Supremacy Clause in the wake of IRCA and Hoffman Plastic Compounds. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 127-138 (2008).
Compa, Lance. Think globally, film locally. (Reviewing Morristown, produced & directed by Ann Lewis.) 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 139-142 (2008).
Getgen, Jocelyn E. Note. Reproductive injustice: an analysis of Nicaragua's complete abortion ban. 41 Cornell Int'l L.J. 143-175 (2008).
White, Stephen E. Note. Brave new world: neurowarfare and the limits of from the United States and the destruction of their families. 32 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 55-81 (2007).
Thronson, David B. Custody and contradictions: exploring immigration law as federal family law in the
context of child custody. 59 Hastings L.J. 453-513 (2008).
Immigrant Dreams of Returning Home
Here's an interesting upcoming talk at UC San Diego of the Dreams of Mexican Migrants:
RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES
Spring Quarter 2008
Joint Seminar with Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies
The Mexican Dream: The Imagined Return Among International Migrants from Rural Mexico
Social Anthropologist, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología (CIESAS), Visiting Fellow, CCIS
Tuesday, April 22, 3:00 PM
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
Reception to follow
Two seemingly oppositional myths sustain Mexican migration to the United States. One myth leads migrants to the north and it promises prosperity and material achievements. It is the American Dream. The other points to the south. It is the myth of The Return to Paradise which is based on the deep desire to return to one’s hometown. These contrasting myths form a great paradox for migrants. They usually move abroad with the idea to return once they have improved their situation, in economic and other terms. Although migrants do not always go back, the imagined return persists for a long time in their minds. This study focuses on ways in which migrants imagine a better future, a future made possible by migration. Therefore, these powerful images of a more prosperous tomorrow inspire migrants. As an alternative to studies that treat migration as a purely demographic and economic phenomenon, this study views massive migration as inspired by significant hope. However, migrants’ hope is rooted in and focused precisely on their hometowns. Migrants often plan their return before leaving. Because their imagined return remains such a powerful idea, migrants remain embedded in their original systems of prestige, economy, and power. This paradox of migrants leaving home in order to return is what I refer to as the “Mexican Dream."
Dr. Javier Serrano began his studies in social anthropology at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) in Argentina. He later completed his master’s and doctorate at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico. Currently, he is a Visiting Research Fellow at CCIS. His work on migratory processes has focused on the Patagonia region of Argentina and several states in western and southern Mexico. In the past, he has done work on economic phenomenon from a cultural perspective. Currently, he is carrying out research on the hopes and aspirations of labor migrants and preparing his manuscript “The Mexican Dream: The imagined return among international migrants from rural Mexico” for publication.
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: email@example.com, Tel#: 858-822-4447).
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
9500 Gilman Drive
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0548