Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Study on Chinese-Americans challenges Stereotypes

A University of Maryland Study on Chinese-Americans, based on 2006 U.S. census data, interviews and other sources, challenged common portraits of Chinese Americans as affluent and well-educated model minorities. More than half of Chinese American adults have college degrees, twice the proportion of the general population. But one-fifth did not complete high school, one of the highest rates among Asian American groups. Immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong are better educated than those from mainland China.


November 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

UN Forcecasts Drop in Remittances Worldwide

Migrant remittances, a vital source of income for poor countries, could decline by up to 6 percent next year due to worsening economic conditions around the world, the U.N.'s trade chief said Friday.

Supachai Panitchpakdi, head of the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, also warned that rich countries' investment in the developing world will dry up as a result of the expected global downturn. He said the decline would be somewhat less than the 40 percent drop predicted by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Development. For the story, click here.


November 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Fighting Hate Crimes

We have posted lately about the increase in hate crimes against Latinos and the horrible killing of Marcello Lucero, the Ecuadoran immigrant.  The Southern Poverty Law Center is helping hate crime victims fight back.  CNN reports that a jury awarded $2.5 million in damages on Friday to a Kentucky teenager who was severely beaten by members of a Ku Klux Klan group because they thought he was an illegal Latino immigrant, the Southern Poverty Law Center said. Jordan Gruver, then 16, was targeted and beaten by Klan members, his lawsuit alleged. The jury found that the Imperial Klans of America and its founder wrongfully targeted 16-year-old Jordan Gruver, an American citizen of Panamanian and Native-American descent.


November 15, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Navarrette on the Killing of Marcello Lucero

Art As regular readers of the Immigrationprof Blog are aware, I do not always agree with Ruben Navarette Jr.'s columns.  However, I wholeheartedly agree with his analysis of the horrible killing of Marcello Lucero in New York last weekend.  Take a look.


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

New report details shattered lives of released Gitmo detainees

The UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and International Human Rights Law Clinic has released a report that details the shattered lives of released Guantánamo detainees.  Detainees suffer as a result of U.S. policies in the war on terror, according to a new report by human rights experts at UC Berkeley. The report, "Guantánamo and Its Aftermath: U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices and Their Impact on Detainees," based on a two-year study, reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of the policies on the lives of 62 released detainees.


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves

Elaine Congress (Fordham) and Fernando Chang-Muy (Pennsylvania), just published Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees: Legal Issues, Clinical Skills and Advocacy. For immigration clinics and service providers, the manual serves as a useful reference and “how-to” for social service providers who work with immigrants. For teachers for course adoption, order form at: social_work_and_immigration_nov_2008.pdf

Victor Romero (Penn State) just released Everyday Law for Immigrants. Download flyer_for_everylaw_for_immigrants_112008.pdfEveryday Law for Immigrants is an ideal guide for U.S. citizens who want a better understanding of our immigration laws as well as for migrants who make the United States their home. Romero deftly and comprehensively explains the basic challenges immigrants and foreign nationals face not only within formal immigration policy but also within American domestic law generally.


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant Rights March in January or February

Look for marches on behalf of immigrants in late January or early February across the country. Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty Day (February 2) is one possible day to mobilize discussed by some groups.


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Media's Impact on the Immigration Debate

A short while back, the Brookings Institution issued a report that deserves serious attention:  "The U.S. media have hindered effective policy making on immigration for decades, and their impact has been increasing in recent years as a result of an ongoing evolution in the media industry. Deeply ingrained practices in American journalism have produced a narrative that conditions the public to associate immigration with illegality, crisis, controversy and government failure. Meanwhile, new voices of advocacy on the media landscape have succeeded in mobilizing segments of the public in opposition to policy initiatives, sometimes by exaggerating the narrative of immigration told by traditional news organizations. The combined effect is to promote stalemate on an issue that is inherently difficult to resolve and that is likely to resurface on the public agenda when a new administration and a new Congress take office in January 2009."

The study examined how the media covered immigration going back to 1980, with a special focus on the immigration reform debates in 2006 and 2007.


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

On Immigration Reform Under President Obama

Rupa Dev at New American Media has an interesting story about the prospects for immigration reform in an Obama administraion.  It begins:  "The results of elections 2008 are good news for immigration reform. It's not just the election of Barack Obama, say advocates. From the Senate to Congress, immigration failed as a wedge issue. And some anti-immigrant candidates have lost their seats. "


November 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2009 Albert M. Sacks Fellowship at HLS

The Harvard Law School Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs is now accepting applications for the 2009 Albert M. Sacks Fellowship in clinical teaching and advocacy. The 2009 Fellowship will provide an opportunity for an early to mid-career attorney or graduating law student to work at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program on a variety of projects, starting in the summer of 2009. The 2009 Sacks Fellowship provides an outstanding opportunity for attorneys to initiate a career in clinical legal education, legal services, and public interest immigration law. The 2009 Fellow will work closely with experienced attorneys, clinicians, and academics at Harvard Law School and Greater Boston Legal Services. Fellows will also enjoy opportunities for training and professional development in the areas of both immigration law and clinical legal education.

About the Program: The Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program supervises law students in the direct representation of noncitizens applying for U.S. asylum and related protections. The Program also provides representation in cases involving family reunification, protection of domestic violence and crime survivors, and avoidance of forced removal in immigration proceedings. In addition, the Program is active in appellate and policy advocacy on local, national and international levels. Fellow's

Responsibilities: The Fellow's responsibilities will include supervising student casework, developing teaching and training materials, and conducting exploratory research into new case types and clinical methods. The Fellow will also help develop links with external immigration legal services and policy organizations with an eye toward establishing joint projects in which students can take part. The Fellow may set aside time to research and write articles for scholarly and clinical journals and/or immigration-related publications. The HIRC Fellow will be based on the Harvard Law School campus and will collaborate with other programs in Harvard's vibrant clinical community. The Fellowship is a one-year placement renewable for a second year.

Qualifications: Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in immigration and asylum law, strong academic credentials, superior research and writing skills, and a commitment to public interest lawyering. Outstanding interpersonal and team-building skills are required. Ability to work sensitively with a diverse population of clients, students, and staff is essential, and multi-lingual and/or multi-cultural candidates are encouraged to apply. The Fellow's position includes Harvard benefits and a salary commensurate with other major public interest fellowship programs.

To Apply: Applications for the 2009 Fellowship will be accepted through February 1, 2009. To apply, please send the following to * Resume * A statement of interest (approx. 750 words) that addresses your potential for clinical teaching and advocacy, your relevant prior experience, and any other information you believe will help the hiring committee evaluate your candidacy. * A writing sample (approx. 10 pages, preferably in a subject area relevant to the position) * A least three references (please include email and phone contact information) * Law school transcript (an informal copy or list of all grades and coursework is acceptable; applicants accepted for final round interviews will be asked to have a sealed transcript sent from their registrar's office).


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Condelezza Rice on Immigration

From a NY Times article that is to be published in the upcoming Sunday magazine:

Mexico has benefited from Nafta. In the current globalfinancial crisis, of course, a lot of people are going to be questioning free trade and international integration and all of those things. . . . Yes, the financial system clearly got out of kilter, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and the president and Congress are dealing with that. But it shouldn't go to the core principles of markets, the importance of open trade, the fact of globalization — which is not going to go backwards.

We didn't get comprehensive immigration reform. . . . I think everybody knows that this president tried. I remember the first foreign-policy meeting that I went to with the then-governor, before he was inaugurated, was with the then-governor, soon to be president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and they talked about the need to fix this problem. I am a firm believer in defending our laws and defending our borders. . . . But it's also true that there are a lot of hardworking people in this country who live in the shadows.

I was a major proponent of the temporary-worker program and finding some way to normalize the status for these people. I think that it goes to the core of who we are. I hear some people talking about, well, maybe there should be a timeout on legal immigration, check your last name and see whether or not it came over on the Mayflower.

Improving the economic conditions that would allow people who are clearly ambitious — if they're going to walk across the desert to get here, they're ambitious people — improving the capability of those people to stay home and contribute is the last piece of that puzzle. Comprehensive immigration reform is the one thing I wish we'd been able to do, and it's going to have to be done, and I hope it's done soon.


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

New Study on Immigrants' Business Contributions

A new study suggests immigrants are far more likely than non-immigrants to start and own businesses.

The study, released by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, uses U.S. Census data to determine just how much immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy.
The findings: The 1.5 million U.S. immigrant business owners comprise 12.5% of the 11.5 million U.S. business owners. By comparison, immigrants make up 12.2% of the total U.S. work force – “implying a higher business ownership rate than the U.S.-born rate,” the study says. About 9.7% of immigrants own businesses, compared with 9.5% of non-immigrants.

Immigrants start about 17% of the 484,000-some businesses created each month, and are 30% more likely than non-immigrants to start businesses each month. (Office of Advocacy senior economist Ying Lowrey said in a phone interview today that immigrants’ business formation rates tend to be so much higher than the U.S. born rates, even though their business ownership rates aren’t that high, because immigrants are more likely to drift in and out of entrepreneurship.)


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

New Report on Unaccompanied Minors

A Child Alone and Without Papers, released today by the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP), reveals what happens to more than 43,000 undocumented, unaccompanied children removed annually from the United States and repatriated to their home countries. Policy analysis and interviews with adults and children in the system revealed the U.S. often compromises children's rights, safety, and well-being, contrary to international law and U.S. child welfare standards.


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Yesterday, Kevin Johnson posted a link to a study entitled "Estimating the Contribution of Immigrant Business Owners to the U.S. Economy" by Robert W. Fairlie, Ph.D. (Nov. 2008). Here is announcement from Jonathan Bowles on an upcoming conference related to the same topic:

Hi. I thought you might be interested in a national conference the Center for an Urban Future will be having in New York City this coming Tuesday about the growing impact that immigrant entrepreneurs are having in American cities. 

The conference will focus on the role that immigrant-owned businesses are having cities, discuss the obstacles that immigrants face as they try to start and growing businesses and explore what, if anything, local economic development officials could do to support the growth of immigrant-run businesses. It will examine questions such as: Could immigrant entrepreneurs play a key role in helping cities restart their economic engines after the current economic meltdown? Will immigrant-run firms fare better or worse than other businesses in this economic downturn? What can mayors and local economic development officials do to ensure that more immigrant-run firms grow beyond the mom-and-pop stage? What could the new administration in Washington do to support the growth of immigrant enterprises? In today’s tight credit market, how can cities expand upon existing micro-enterprise programs that provide microloans and technical assistance to immigrant entrepreneurs? 

We have an all-star group of speakers from Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and New York. They include Maria De Lourdes Sobrino, founder of Los Angeles-based Lulu's Desserts and author of Thriving Latina Entrepreneurs in America; Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution; Maria De Lourdes Sobrino, founder of Los Angeles-based Lulu's Desserts and author of Thriving Latina Entrepreneurs in America; Paul Quintero, Chief Operating Officer, ACCION New York and New Jersey; Fatimah Muhammad, Manager, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians; Joyce Moy, Executive Director, Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York; Yanki Tshering, director of the Business Center for New Americans; Manny Miranda, a Colombian immigrant who is president of Delicias Andinas, an arepas manufacturing company based in Queens; Victor Vora, an Indian immigrant who owns 8 retail businesses in Brooklyn; and Sewell Chan, a reporter at the New York Times.

The conference is a follow-up to the Center’s highly publicized 2007 report documenting the powerful impact that immigrant entrepreneurs are having in cities from New York to Los Angeles, titled A World of Opportunity.

We’re expecting a packed house, so please RSVP if you would like to attend.


Jonathan Bowles
Center for an Urban Future
120 Wall Street, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10005


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Application for Employment Authorization

USCIS has posted a new version of the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization on with an edition date of 10/16/08. The previous edition of this form (5/27/08) had an expiration date of 8/31/08 and therefore had to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before the current edition could be posted to the website. Because the last edition of this form expired while it was pending review with OMB, the expired edition (5/27/08) could still be used. Also, since the only change made to the form was an update to the expiration date, the previous edition of 5/27/08 may continue to be used.

In addition, new versions of Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, with edition dates of 10/16/08, have also been posted to  Previous editions will still be accepted.


November 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

U.S. Mexico Border Policy Report

"This U.S.-Mexico Border Policy Report is the culmination of years of effort among border
leaders to provide local law enforcement, government and community expertise to the
national debate over immigration policy and border security. For too many years, we have
witnessed efforts to secure the border that are grounded not in the complex realities of
border life but in simplistic sound bites and assumptions that building a wall can somehow
keep our country safe. Our conclusions and policy recommendations start with the premise
that the “border” is a dynamic concept, that border communities have important ties to
both the United States and Mexico, and that these ties create a unique set of opportunities
and challenges that affect both the border areas and the broader national interest.
Recognizing that millions live and work in U.S. border communities, border and
immigration policies must be formulated and implemented in a way that respects the
rights of these community members and the needs of their hometowns and cities. When
properly carried out, these policies can substantially improve security and safety in the
border region and in the nation as a whole."

Release and presented by the Border Network for Human Rights, the Border Action
Network, and the U.S.-Mexico Border and Immigration Task Force, in collaboration with the
National Immigration Forum.


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Latino New Americans Move the Political Dial in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia: Immigration Concerns Swing Latino Immigrant Vote

Latinos weren't the only group that flexed its muscles this past Election Day.  New Americans --naturalized citizens and the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were born during the current era of immigration that began in 1965 -- make up another important demographic group that demonstrated its ability to swing an election.  While complete data on New Americans is not yet available, exit polling among native-born Latinos and Latino immigrants tell two important stories. 

First, Latino immigrants voted for Obama at a higher margin than native-born Latinos.  While Obama made an impressive gain among native-born Latino voters, capturing 67% of the Latino vote compared to Kerry's 56% in 2004, the records were smashed with Latino immigrant support coming in at a whopping 78%.  What charged the immigrant vote? Immigration.

Meanwhile, these New American Latino voters made a difference in districts we've never detected their presence in before.  In unprecedented fashion, they provided the critical, extra push for Obama in North Carolina and Indiana, without which victory would have been impossible; and played a significant role in winning Virginia.  These findings suggest that immigrants are having a tsunami impact beyond the Sunshine and Rocky Mountain states and throughout the country.

A preliminary analysis conducted for the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) by Rob Paral and Associates explores the electoral power that was exhibited on Election Day by Latino New Americans and shows:

Indiana and North Carolina Latino New American Voters Helped Push Obama to Victory.

  • In North Carolina, Obama won by approximately 14,000 votes and received the votes of nearly 26,000 more Latino New Americans than McCain-nearly double the margin of victory.
  • In Indiana, Obama won by roughly 26,000 votes, and received the votes of nearly 24,000 more Latino New Americans than John McCain.  The additional votes that Obama received from Latino New Americans who chose him over McCain equals more than 90% of his margin of victory.

Virginia's Latino New American Voters Amounted to a Fifth of Obama's Margin of Victory.

  • In Virginia, Obama won by roughly 156,000 votes, and received the votes of approximately 35,000 more Latino New Americans than McCain. The number of additional votes that Obama received from Latino New Americans who chose him over McCain was equal to one-fifth (more than 20%) of his margin of victory.

Immigrants Voted for Obama Largely Due to Their Concerns About Immigration.  Interviews conducted by Bendixen & Associates among Latino immigrant voters just before the election found that "a rise in discrimination against Hispanics because of the tone of the immigration debate contributed to the rejection of the Republican nominee for President."

President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress cannot afford to disregard the needs and future of the fastest growing part of the American electorate without facing a backlash in 2012.  These stunning election results represent a clear mandate to work towards enacting reform that restores the rule of law, renews confidence in America's immigration system and realistically tackles illegal immigration.
To read more about the New American Electorate click here.


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Report: "Estimating the Contribution of Immigrant Business Owners to the U.S. Economy"

For a study entitled "Estimating the Contribution of Immigrant Business Owners to the U.S. Economy" by Robert W. Fairlie, Ph.D. (Nov. 2008), see Download economic_benefits.pdf.  Needless to say, the benefits are substantial.


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

Immigration Rights Advocates want to Weigh in With President-Elect Obama

Immigration turned out not to be a pressing issue in the 2008 Presidential campaign.  But President-Elect Obama, it appears, will be getting an earful on the subject.

The Washington Post reports that "Dozens of immigrant advocates from across the country convened in Washington yesterday to call on President- elect Barack Obama to halt work-site immigration raids and fulfill campaign pledges to offer the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path to citizenship within his first year in office."

The El Paso Times reports that "A delegation from El Paso that includes some top elected officials will join a coalition of immigrant advocates in Washington, D.C., next week to urge President-elect Barack Obama to adopt changes in immigration policies and procedures. The coalition will present a 38-page report titled "Effective Border Policy: Security, Responsibility and Human Rights," which contains 70 recommendations for federal policymakers, community advocates and faith leaders."


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

Free Web Site Launched to Help Immigrants Learn English

"The U.S. Department of Education today launched U.S.A. Learns, a free Web site to help immigrants learn English. The Web site, which is located at, provides approximately 11 million adults who have low levels of English proficiency with easily accessible and free English language training."


November 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)