Saturday, June 21, 2008
The Stockton Record reports that the uncle of Maria Jimenez, the teenager who died May 16 of heatstroke while pruning a vineyard in the Central Valley of California, was fired last week on the very same same day that his sister, Maria's mother, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the vineyard company and the contractor in charge. "I knew this would happen," Doroteo Jimenez said. Juan Chavez, the new contractor, fired Jimenez for missing a safety meeting. According to Jimenez, he was given permission from Chavez to miss work. Supervisors didn't inform him of the safety training, he said. Jimenez accompanied lawyers to file the lawsuit and spoke at a news conference that day. Afterward, he returned to work. Jimenez said he was fired at the end of his shift.
It seems fair to say that the firing will not help the defendants in the wrongful death litigation.
Politico.com reports that "House and Senate Democrats are outbidding the White House on spending for immigration enforcement." Immigration Daily asks for comment and provocatively portrays the issue as follows:
While decrying ICE abuses and other less-noticed abuses under the excuse of "law enforcement" by other federal agencies, Democrats are adding fuel to the flames by appropriating greater and greater funds for enforcement. That abuses and enforcement go hand in hand when funding is raised at extremely fast rates is forgotten (properly training large numbers of new agents is always a challenge). Furthermore, increasing enforcement without increasing benefits is not good policy for the country, Democrats are pandering to bigotry here. While it is true that Republicans are pandering to bigots, at least the Republicans cannot be accused of hypocrisy too. The Hispanic Caucus and other immigrant-friendly representatives in Congress should take a close look at these enforcement appropriations. Even if these amendments do not get enacted, just voting on them sends a strong message to the immigrant community that at least some in Congress remember that America is a country of immigrants. We urge the Hispanic Caucus to adopt the motto "no enforcement without benefits".
Emily Bazar of USA Today reports that three West Coast mayors are asking the leaders of other cities to take a stand against workplace immigration raids that they say hurt local economies and may force companies to relocate. At the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week in Miami, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will ask their colleagues to challenge how the government raids businesses in search of undocumented workers.
Friday, June 20, 2008
USA reports that English as an official language has gained momentum as proponents keep going to the ballot box with measures that discourage bilingual ballots, notices and documents.
Thirty states now have laws specifying that official government communications be in English, says U.S. English Inc., a group that promotes the laws. This year such bills are under consideration in 19 legislatures. For the full story, click here.
Matt Purple discusses on Townhall.com the views of conservatives who part ways on immigration issues and favor more legal immigration. For that story click here.
Of course, the devil is in the details. The story does not explain this but overwhelmingly the type of legalization that free-market advocates favor are guest worker programs, under which persons have no path to permanent legalization and receive few or no labor/employment protection. Guest worker programs are perhaps better than nothing at all for immigrants because it would reduce the risk and cost of unauthorized border crossing and allow them the mobility to visit home. But it is not realistic as to family and community ties that immigrants build in the US, nor does it address the huge implications this would have on labor and worker protections for immigrants and non-immigrant workers forced to compete with "exploitable" workers.
The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona's employer-sanctions law faces tough challenges from the 9th Circuit.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that discrepancies found in 'no- match' letters the Social Security Administration sent to Aramark, the employer in the 2003 case, 'does not automatically mean that an employee is undocumented or lacks proper work authorization.'
This ruling raises questions about the accuracy of E-Verify, a key component in Arizona's employer-sanctions law. The Arizona law is currently on appeal before the 9th Circuit. For the full story, click here.
The Huffington Post reports that Senator John McCain assured Hispanic leaders he would push through Congress legislation to overhaul federal immigration laws if elected to a group of Latino leaders who attended a private meeting with him yesterday. Democrats questioned why the Arizona senator held the meeting late Wednesday night in Chicago. But supporters who were in the room denied that McCain held the closed-door session out of fear of offending conservatives, many of whom want him to take a harder line on immigration. "He's one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he's a different John McCain in front of Hispanics," complained Rosanna Pulido, a Hispanic conservative who attended the meeting. Pulido, who heads the Illinois Minuteman Project, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, said she thought McCain was "pandering to the crowd" by emphasizing immigration reform in his 15-minute speech. "He's having his private meetings to rally Hispanics and to tell them what they want to hear," she said. "I'm outraged that he would reach out to me as a Hispanic but not as a conservative."
UPDATE For Political Punch's Jake Tapper's perspective on John McCain's "dual" consciousness, click here.
We have ICE raids in the U.S. The UK has immigration raids as well, in this case, focused on alleged bogus colleges. The Independent reports:
Police and immigration officers swooped to close down a massive immigration racket today with a series of dramatic raids on bent solicitors and bogus colleges.
But the operation - part of a new Home Office crackdown on immigration offenders - was marred by a break-out at an immigration detention centre.
The embarrassing security breach at the Campsfield detention centre in Oxfordshire led to seven escapes, three of whom were later re-captured.
Four men who were facing deportation are still being hunted by Thames Valley Police, the Prison Service and officials from the private security firm which runs the centre.
In today's wave of early morning raids, the police arrested at least eight men and women linked with companies they believe helped illegal immigrants to settle in the UK.
Officials believe the firm of solicitors at the centre of the inquiry was issuing false education certificates to immigrants.
The illegals would then "enrol" at one of four bogus colleges across the capital and fraudulently apply for student visas.
The operation involved nearly 80 police officers and immigration officials. Click here for the rest of the story.
More support is needed to make sure the Filipino Veterans Equity Act is enacted:
On April 24th, the US Senate passed S.1315, the Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act by a bi-partisan vote of 96-1. The passing of this bill holds historic significance because S.1315 contains provisions to correct the over 60 year injustice to Filipino WWII Veterans by restoring their US Veteran status. It will not reduce benefits for other veterans.
The House of Representatives is close to bringing Filipino WWII veterans legislation to the floor for a vote (as part of the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act), but your help is needed to make sure that when this happens, we will emerge victorious!
In less than 5 minutes, you will impact this campaign immensely. Please ACT NOW!
What YOU can do today:
1. Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to any member of Congress at their DC office. You can also find information on your particular Representative by clicking here.
Tell them: "I urge Congressmember [insert name] to pass the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act. This bill (S. 1315) includes provisions to restore US veteran status for Filipinos and provide them with the resources they need to live out the remainder of their lives with the honor and dignity their service to this country in World War II deserves."
2. Help us secure support from both sides of the aisle--Democrats AND Republicans.
Below are additional talking points and a sample letter:
It's now time for the House to act. The Senate has passed the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act, which includes restoration of veterans status for Filipino WWII veterans.
The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act not only corrects this injustice, but provides a range of benefits for ALL veterans and will NOT take a dime from any current veteran.
The 1946 Rescission Act took away US Veteran status for Filipino WWII vets and we need to right this wrong and give them the honor and recognition they deserve.
Nationals from more than 60 other countries who also served under US command during WWII received US veteran status--Filipinos were singled out for discriminatory treatment.
We are writing to request your support for the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act which includes provisions to restore veterans status to Filipino WWII veterans. Time is running out for this bill, and we strongly urge your leadership on this important issue.
ON April 24th, the Senate voted to pass this bill (S.1315) by the overwhelming bipartisan vote of 96-1 and it is time for the House to follow suit. This bill is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE to our community and we call on you to support this bill in its current form, and to vote for it when it comes to a floor vote. We strongly urge you to oppose any efforts to weaken the provisions of the bill.
Out of the original 250,000 Filipino soldiers originally called to serve, only 18,000 remain, and the time is now to rectify the 62-year injustice done to these brave soldiers. We call on you to restore full equity to our veterans so that they can live out their remaining years with the full measure of honor befitting their service to this country.
For more information about the bill, or about the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, contact Ben de Guzman, NAFVE Campaign Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (202) 422-4909.
Thank you for your time.
As a community, we must unite at this critical time to pass S.1315 in the House. The remaining Filipino WWII veterans cannot wait much longer.
Equity for Filipino WWII Veterans! Mabuhay!
Please call Lillian Galedo at (510) 465-9876, extension 308 with your questions.
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1968, Junot Díaz moved to the United States at age six, settling in New Jersey. Central to Díaz's work is the duality of the immigrant experience. In New Jersey in 1974, Diaz was re-united with his father who had been working in the United States.
Díaz completed his BA at Rutgers in 1992, majoring in English. He worked his way through college by delivering pool tables, washing dishes, pumping gas and working at Raritan River Steel. After graduating from Rutgers, he was employed at Rutgers University Press as an editorial assistant. He earned his MFA from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1995.
Diaz is best known for his two major works: the short story collection Drown (1996) and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), which earned him the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
The stories in Drown focus on the teenage narrator's impoverished, fatherless youth in the Dominican Republic and his struggle adapting to his new life in New Jersey. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao plays on similar themes.
Díaz is active in the Dominican community and teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is also the fiction editor for the Boston Review. He is a founding member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Writing Workshop, a writing workshop focused on writers of color.
The New Yorker magazine listed Junot Diaz as one of the 20 top writers for the 21st century.
Diaz has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
As of Dec. 31, 2006, the U.S. prison population stood at 2,258,983 ahead of #2 China and #3 Russian Federation. Expect the U.S. to stay at Number 1 for a while. Prosecutions of immigration crimes hit an all-time high in March 2008. Immigration cases accounted for 57 percent of all new federal criminal cases. The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that the three highest offenses for incarceration today are:
1. Drug offenses.
2. Weapons, Explosives, Arson.
For more on this story, click here.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Immigration Policy Center (IPC)
Immigration Policy Center | 1331 G St., NW, Suite 200 | Washington | DC | 20005
...providing factual information about immigration and immigrants in the United States.
June 19, 2008
Dead-Ends and Deportation for America’s Youth
2 Million Reasons to Find a Solution
As the school year ends, millions of children throughout the United States are looking forward to summer vacations. Many will soon be packing their bags as they head off to summer camp or to their first year of college. But others are not so lucky. Some children are packing all of their belongings and preparing to leave what may be the only home they have ever known, as the U.S. government prepares to expel them to countries they may not even remember. Others with the potential for higher education and a professional career are resigned to a life that’s underachieving and underground.
* Arthur Mkoyan was due to be deported by the end of this month, just after graduating from Bullard High School in Fresno, California. The 17-year-old valedictorian was to take his 4.0 grade point average, his acceptance letter to the University of California at Davis, and his talent back to Armenia - a country he has not seen since the age of two. His deportation was delayed after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a private bill on his behalf in Congress on June 10. But whether or not he will be allowed to remain in the United States, and for how long, remains unknown (“Senator tries to keep valedictorian from deportation,” CNN.com, June 11, 2008).
* Santiago Cordero graduated from Postville High School in Iowa on May 25, 2008. In addition to starting the school’s first soccer team, his participation in varsity football and volunteer programs was applauded by the Superintendent. Despite an immigration raid that tore his mother from their family, Cordero graduated in the top ten of his class. But because Santiago is undocumented, he faces an uncertain future (“Raid mars future for 3 graduating today from Postville,” Des Moines Register, May 25, 2008).
* Laura just graduated from high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a 4.0 grade point average and dreams of becoming an engineer. But then she learned that Central Piedmont Community College, which she planned to attend for two years before switching to a four-year college, is no longer admitting undocumented students such as herself. Now Laura’s plans for college and a career are in limbo (“Yearning to learn, but rule says no,” Charlotte Observer, June 17, 2008).
As lawmakers keep trying to “deport their way out” of a dysfunctional immigration system that has fueled a growing undocumented population, they would do well to consider the cases of Arthur, Santiago, Laura, and approximately 1.8 million others, whose deportation would be traumatic not only for the students themselves, but for the American workforce as a whole. An IPC fact sheet, Dreams Deferred: The Cost of Ignoring Undocumented Students, details the financial and emotional costs of deporting these students and wasting human resources that are vital to our nation’s future. The fact sheet is drawn from a larger IPC report, Wasted Talent and Broken Dreams: The Lost Potential of Undocumented Students, by Roberto Gonzales:
Lost Potential: Children account for 1.8 million (15 percent) of the roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. Though born abroad, these children primarily identify with this country. Many were brought at such a young age that they have attended most of their K-12 education here. Roughly 65,000 undocumented students who have lived in the United States for at least five years graduate from high school each year, but only an estimated 5-10 percent go on to college, which means that the potential of these honor students, valedictorians, aspiring teachers, and engineers goes unrealized.
Lost Tax Dollars: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $962 per week in 2006 (as opposed to $419 per week for workers without a degree). The Department of Labor found that the wages of immigrants who legalized their status under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) increased by about 15 percent after only five years. Given the opportunity, undocumented students will improve their education, work in higher-paying jobs, and pay more in taxes.
Lost Workers: The BLS identified 15 occupations expected to grow at least twice as fast as the national average between 2004 and 2014, nine of which require at least an Associate’s degree, and four of which, in 2005, had a significantly greater share of immigrant workers than native-born workers; 46 percent of medical scientists, 35 percent of computer engineers, and 20 percent of postsecondary teachers are immigrants.
States Step In: So far, ten states have passed laws permitting undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition if they attended and graduated from in-state high schools. New Mexico and Texas also allow undocumented students to compete for financial aid. The experience of these states reveals that the number of undocumented students is far too small to deprive their native-born counterparts of college admission slots or financial aid.
Angela Kelley, Director
Michele Waslin, Senior Policy Analyst
IPC is a division of the American Immigration Law Foundation.
Visit our website at www.immigrationpolicy.org
Following the lead of California's infamous Proposition 227 that attacked bi-lingual education in the state, anti-immigrant forces in Oregon have placed a similar initiative on their November ballot. Edward Walsh writes in the Oregonian:
Two more initiatives sponsored by conservative activists have qualified for the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
One would allow bigger deductions on state income taxes, shrinking the state budget by more than $1.7 billion. The other initiative, part of a broader battle over immigration policy, would limit the amount of time non-English-speaking students can be taught in their native language.
Both initiatives are sponsored by Bill Sizemore, a veteran anti-tax activist, and Russ Walker, vice chairman of the Oregon Republican Party and state director of a Washington, D.C-based conservative advocacy group.
The English language initiative states that its goal is "to insure the cessation of the long-term English as a Second Language programs currently in use in many" Oregon public schools. The limits on teaching in a language other than English would range up to two years for students entering high school, with lesser amounts of time allowed for younger students. Click here for the rest of the story.
Mary Ann Zehr, of Education Week, points out the anti-immigrant overtones of these types of initiatives, and reminds us of Ron Unz's role in similar initiatives in California and elsewhere. She notes that immigrant rights organizations are opposing the Oregon initiative. Click here.
We have blogged about the EU's proposed "Return Directive." Yesterday, EU lawmakers passed the measure, which allows undocumented migrants to be held in detention centers for up to 18 months and banned from European Union territory for five years.
Jaya Ramji-Nogales of IntlawGrrls has a nice critical post about the Return Directive, whci pone commentor (Naomi Norberg) says is known by many in France as the Shame Directive.
José Plácido Domingo Embil (born January 21, 1941), better known as Plácido Domingo, is a world-renowned operatic tenor, known for his versatile and strong voice, possessing a ringing and dramatic tone throughout its range. He is also admired for his acting ability, his musicality and musical intellect, and the number and variety of opera roles that he has mastered. In addition to his singing roles, he has also taken on conducting opera and concert performances, as well as serving as the General Director of the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles Opera in California.
Domingo has sung at practically every other important opera house and festival worldwide. Throughout the years, Domingo has also turned his hand to conducting opera as well as, occasionally, symphonic orchestras. In 1981 Domingo gained considerable recognition outside of the opera world when he recorded the song "Perhaps Love" as a duet with the late American country/folk music singer John Denver.
Throughout 1990s until today, Domingo has continued performing in many of the same but also new operas. Between the middle of 1990 to the early of 2008 only, he has added 38 new roles into his repertoire covering opera in six different languages (English, Italian, French, German, Russian and Spanish).
Domingo holds a world record for the longest ovation on the operatic stage with 101 curtain calls and 80 minutes non-stop applause after performing Otello, Verdi's operatic version of Shakespeare's Othello, as the Moor of Venice in Vienna on July 30, 1991.
On 16-17 April 2008, Domingo sang during the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park and at the Italian embassy in Washington DC. From 1990 to 2008, Domingo has received many awards and honors for his effort in music, benefit concerts and charity. On August 21, 2007, in Mexico City, a two meters tall statue and weighs about 300 kg (660 lbs) was build in his honor. On March 23, 2008, the New Orleans City Council honors his contribution at the Gala Benefits Concert by naming the city theatre's stage, the "Plácido Domingo stage". On April 2008, he was voted as the greatest tenor in history in BBC Music Magazine.
Domingo was born to two Spanish zarzuela stars who nurtured his early musical abilities. His father was a violinist performing for opera and zarzuela orchestra. Domingo's mother was an established singer who made her zarzuela debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. His parents later stayed permanently in Mexico and established their own zarzuela troupe, the Domingo-Embil Company.
For Domingo's official website, with audio of his singing, click here.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a data analysis organization affiliated with Syracuse University, produced findings that Criminal prosecutions of immigrants by federal authorities surged to a record high in March, as immigration cases accounted for the majority — 57 percent — of all new federal criminal cases brought nationwide that month. The record number of 9,350 new immigration prosecutions in March was part of a “highly unusual surge” that began in January, the report said, and represented 73 percent more new immigration cases compared with March 2007.
For the full story as reported in the New York Times, click here.
For the report, click here.
Outrage over the ICE raid in Postville, and suspicion over letting Agriprocessors off the hook for labor laws continues. From America's Voice:
Congressional Leaders Call for Answers from Agriprocessors
Immigration Raids Must Not Prevent Enforcement of Labor Laws
Washington, DC – Leading Members of Congress are demanding that the Administration answer key questions about the largest worksite immigration raid in U.S. history. Letters to the U.S. Department of Labor and other agencies from Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representatives Bruce Braley (D-IA), Phil Hare (D-IL), George Miller (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) seek answers from the Bush Administration about its handling of the May 12th immigration raid at the Agriprocessors meat-packing plant in Postville, IA. During the raid, more than 300 immigrant workers were rounded up, charged with crimes, and processed for deportation. Despite serious evidence that the company itself violated multiple labor, immigration, and criminal laws, no Agriprocessors managers or owners have been charged with an offense.
Congressional leaders are concerned that the fast-track deportation of immigrant witnesses will make it impossible for the government to bring appropriate charges against this unscrupulous employer. They are also concerned that an ongoing child labor investigation was disrupted by the immigration raid, and that the Administration has prioritized immigration enforcement against the worker over labor law enforcement against abusive employers.
Senator Harkin's letter to Secretary Elaine Chao of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and Secretary Michael Chertoff of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) called for both agencies to investigate "all possible illegal activities committed by Agriprocessors.” Representative Bruce Braley sent a letter to Secretary Chao, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Matt Dummermuth, asking "whether ICE communicated with DOL prior to the enforcement action," and inquiring as to the status of investigations into federal labor law violations at the Postville plant. In a guest column in the Des Moines Register, Rep. Braley also highlighted the way the Bush Administration has selectively enforced immigration laws: “[A]s each day passes without even a hint of a probe into Agriprocessors' actions, Iowans grow more anxious that an employer who apparently has violated laws concerning workplace safety, child labor, food safety, the environment and immigration is going to get away without even a slap on the wrist.”
Representative George Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Representative Lynn Woolsey, Chairman of its Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, also sent a letter to Secretary Chao expressing concern about "the impact this raid will have on labor law enforcement and whether the Department's investigation into child labor violations will be disrupted or compromised in any way because of this raid." A letter to Secretary Chao from Representatives Phil Hare (D-IL), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) cited the raid's potential "chilling effect on existing workers who could raise concerns about violations and uncover other unlawful acts in their plants." Their letter also stated that "DOL investigations must take precedence to ICE's processing of the workers detained from the Agriprocessors raid." And at a June 4 hearing on ICE’s incompetence in running its immigration jails, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) told ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers that he thought they needed a Congressional hearing on the Administration’s treatment of Agriprocessors.
If you are at all interested in refugees and human rights, then keeping up with what is happening in the Sudan is critical.
Sudan: What's Happening, What Needs to Happen Now?
A public event co-sponsored with the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Date and Time
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
U.S. Institute of Peace
2nd Floor Conference Room
1200 17th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Sudan needs to implement a North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement even as it faces a major crisis in Darfur, where the UN is deploying its forces only with difficulty. In May, the contested oil-producing area Abyei suffered a confrontation between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army that has left tens of thousands displaced and homeless, placed in doubt implementation of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement and threatened a return to civil war. A subsequent agreement reached earlier this month may provide a way forward, including a new arbitration procedure, security measures and establishment of an administration in the Abyei area. Questions linger about what happened in Abyei, what is happening in Darfur and what needs to happen now to reestablish peace and stability and prevent recurrence of violence.
* Rich Williamson
U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan
* Alex de Waal
* Andrew Natsios
* Vanessa Jimenez
The Public International Law & Policy Group
* Steve Morrison, Moderator Center for Strategic and International Studies
Please contact Ian Larsen (+1.202.429.3870) or Lauren Sucher (+1.202.429.3822) in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications.
To RSVP, please send your name, affiliation, daytime phone number, and name of the event to Duke Lindsey at email@example.com.
David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball player with the Boston Red Sox. Previously, Ortiz played for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002).
Nicknamed "Big Papi" or "Señor Papi," Ortiz has played in four All-Star Games (2004-07) and holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, set during the 2006 season. Ortiz was an integral member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team that won the World Series
In 2007, Ortiz released a book about his life called Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits, written with Tony Massarotti.
On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Big Papi became a U.S. citizen with 220 other immigrants from 57 countries at the ceremony.