Saturday, December 6, 2008

Federal Judge Will Not Speed Up No-Match Rule Case

Bob Egelko writes for the San Francisco Chronicle:

A federal judge in San Francisco rejected the Bush administration's request today to speed up consideration of rules that would pressure employers to fire suspected illegal immigrants whose Social Security numbers didn't match records in the government's database. 

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer - who blocked the so-called no-match rule from taking effect in October 2007 - turned down a proposal by the Department of Homeland Security for an accelerated hearing schedule that might have allowed a new version to take effect before President Bush leaves office next month. 

Instead, Breyer set a standard schedule for consideration of a lawsuit by labor unions and business groups challenging the rule, with written arguments planned through Feb. 24. He observed that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama might want to take another look at the issue, said Scott Kronland, lawyer for the AFL-CIO and several other unions in the case. 

"There was no policy reason for trying to expedite things to prevent a new administration from looking at these last-minute rules," Kronland said. 

He noted that Homeland Security had taken more than a year after Breyer issued his injunction to submit its current version of the rule, which contains new rationales but is virtually identical to the previous proposal.  Click here for the rest of the story.


December 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Asian Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Cleveland

Robert Smith write for the Plain Dealer:

A rust belt city just gained some impressive, high-tech credentials and folks with a global view plan to celebrate.

Cleveland is home to the newest chapter of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, a trade group that represents many of the people driving the new economy.

Founded 15 years ago in Silicon Valley, TiE gatherings became the place for Asian Indian immigrants to meet and mentor one another as they founded companies like Sun Microsystems and Hotmail.

This fall, Cleveland became home to the 50th TiE chapter and the only chapter in Ohio. The people who made it happen expect the prestigious trademark to stoke new energy and jobs.

"The TiE brand is a beacon for entrepreneurs," said Eddy Zai, a local entrepreneur who will co-chair the Cleveland TiE chapter with Baiju Shah, president and CEO of BioEnterprise.

They and other charter members, including Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, will launch the chapter in festive fashion Monday, Dec. 8, at the House of Blues in downtown Cleveland. Click here for the column.


December 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Khouzam v. Chertoff

Federal Court rejects Bush Administration's Attetmpt to Deport Torture Victim Wihtout Due Process. "Rebuffing the Bush administration's efforts to deport Egyptian torture victim Sameh Khouzam, a federal appeals court today upheld his right to challenge Egypt's "diplomatic assurances" that it will not torture Khouzam upon his return." Many of these letters as well as the ACLU's brief and other documents related to the case are available at:


December 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tell Me It Ain't So: “Homeland Security USA,” Reality TV Over the Top

The N.Y Times blogs reports some news that is stranger than fiction.  To compete with the "Real Housewives of Orange County" (and Atlanta?), ABC will premiere in January "Homeland Security USA," a reality show produced with the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Watch in the comfort of your living rooms Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Transportation Security Administration, and the Coast Guard in action.

The premiere episode reportedly is entitled "This is Your Car on Drugs," whereviewers will see the Los Angeles International Airport and the arrival of a young "voluptuous" woman from Switzerland "with no working papers but a suitcase full of titillating surprises!"

Will we see raids a la New Bedford, Postville, etc. in later episodes? Will any new President-Elect Obama appointees make special guest appearances?  I guess that we will have to wait and see.


December 5, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Human Rights Award to Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Congratulations to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project for being awarded with the 2008 City of Seattle Human Rights Award!

The award will be presented to NWIRP by the City's Office of Civil Rights at a celebration event on Thursday, December 11th, in celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This event is free and open to the public.

What: Seattle Human Rights Day Celebration
Where: Town Hall Seattle (8th & Seneca)
When: Thursday, December 11th, 7-9pm


December 5, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Postville Deportee: "We're not criminals. We're workers."

Slate has a thoughtful piece by Eliza Barclay on the human impacts of the Postville raid, with interviews of deported Guatemalans convicted of criminal identity theft charges. One telling statement: 

"It's very unfair what they're doing," Granados told me over the phone recently, his voice squeezed by tears. "We're not criminals. We're workers."


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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One Stop Shopping: IPC Synthesis of 2008 Latino, Asian, and New American Voting Data, Immigration as a Election Issue, And Prospects For Reform in 2009

One month ago today, Latino, Asian, and New American citizens voted in an historic election that brought wholesale change to the White House and Congress. Since then, leaders on both sides of the aisle have been talking about how the record turnout of Asian, Latino, and New American voters was integral in the both the presidential and congressional victories. The Immigration Policy Center has released a comprehensive report merging the compelling data from various organizations on the Asian, Latino, and New American vote into one document with a united narrative: Asians, Latinos, and New Americans make up a critical new voting bloc-one with which immigrant-bashing equals a losing strategy for candidates seeking election. The report summarizes early, exit and election-day polling showing how many and why these voters turned out at a record rate and provides insight into how the immigration debate swayed their vote. The report concludes with early signals from the general American public, new administration and Congress on how they see the future of immigration reform playing out. To view the report visit Also, visit the IPC blog to learn more about immigration and the 2008 election at


December 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Munoz Elected Director for Intergovernmental Affairs

An 18-year veteran of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), who advocated for federal legislation to give the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path to citizenship, has been tapped for President-elect Barack Obama’s White House staff.

Cecilia Muñoz, who currently serves as senior vice president for the office of research, advocacy and legislation at the NCLR, will serve as director for intergovernmental affairs in the Obama administration. For the full story, click here.


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

Migration Policy Institute Database on State Immigration Measures

State Responses to Immigration is a free, searchable data tool designed to generate information about all immigration-related bills and resolutions introduced in state legislatures. Classified by state, region, subject area, legislative type, and bill status, this is the only database that allows users to find out, for example, the status of enforcement initiatives introduced in their state, compare the number of bills regulating employment, or evaluate the passage rate of health-related bills across the nation.


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

CIS Report on Marriage Fraud

Another CIS report, this time on marriage fraud, is again critiqued for shoddy reliance on anecdotal evidence to draw largely unsubstantiated claims of rampant marriage fraud.


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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Immigrants and Health Care

Effective Messaging on Immigrants and Health Care
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, December 11, 2008


Immigrants and Health Care
Progressive health policies for children's health coverage expansions and for health care reform at the state or federal levels, must address coverage for immigrants in order to succeed.  The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has recently completed research on voter values around immigrants and health care.  The results of this research illuminate both opportunities and challenges inherent in including immigrants in new coverage expansions.

Please join the National Immigration Law Center to hear findings from focus groups conducted with liberal to conservative voters.  The webinar will also include suggested messages and communication tips that advocates and policymakers can successfully use to ensure health care for all is truly inclusive.

Date:  Thursday, December 11, 2008
Time:  2pm-4pm EST; 11am-1pm PST
Please RSVP to Mai Huynh at   Call in info will be sent to those who RSVP.


December 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Napolitano Expected to Reassert Federal Authority Over Immigration

"Analysts expect Ms. Napolitano, introduced Monday as President-elect Barack Obama's choice for secretary of homeland security, to lead an effort to reassert federal authority over immigration. Her record as a proponent of enforcement signals that Mr. Obama will balance border-security concerns with the demands of employers wanting more foreign labor, they said."  For the full story, click here.


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

Food for Thought as Immigration Reform is On Our Minds

Roberto Lovato has written many articles touching on immigration that are well worth consideration at the coming dawn of the Obama administration, with high hopes for meaningful immigration reform.  This NACLA piece analyzes the emergence of the "homeland security state," with a focus on ICE activities over recent years.   Here is a very interesting piece in New America Media on the "dualism" of the Democrats on immigration, with both encouraging and discouraging insights.


December 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The U.S.-Mexican Border: A Changing Frontier

Teresa_4 NPR is running a series on the U.S. Mexican border.  Here are the first two parts of a five part series:

Part One: Deaths, Violence Plague Border In Tijuana December 1, 2008

Part Two: The Deported Struggle To Reenter U.S. December 2, 2008

UPDATE  For an interview with NPR's Mexico City corespondent Jason Beaubien about the series, click here.


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

Jan. 2008: Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano Sketches Border Fix

225pxjanetnapolitanoiraq "In the January 2008 interview [with ABC], [President- Elect Obama's nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security Janet] Napolitano laid out a four-part plan: beefing up border security with technology and manpower, cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers, increasing the availability of work visas, and offering the country's 12 million illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship."


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

Religious Activists in the Immigrant Rights Movement

From UC San Diego:

A Burning Issue: Motivating Factors for Religious and Secular Activists in the Immigrant Rights Movement

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo
Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California

Mia Diaz-Edelman
Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, Boston University

Tuesday, December 9, 3:00 PM
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor

This seminar will feature two related presentations.

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo will examine and analyze how religious people are using religion to promote immigrant rights, and immigrant integration in the United States. The talk will examine three cases: the efforts of Christian and Jewish clergy to support labor rights among disenfranchised immigrant workers;l Christians who are organizing against militarization and violence at the U.S.-Mexico border; and Muslim American immigrants mobilizing to defend their civil rights in the post-9/11 era. A particular focus will be placed on the different aspects of religion that the groups use, and the facility with which they can deploy religion in public sphere engagements. Also, how these activists negotiate changing political and religious identities, and how gender and race are involved in these processes will be considered.

Mia Diaz-Edelman will look at ways that religious and secular activists in San Diego County, As part of the national Immigrant Rights Movement, are committed to obtaining “just and humane comprehensive immigration reform” and improving the quality of life for documented and undocumented immigrants. While many persons do not move beyond passionate dialogue around immigration, activists continue their struggle for immigrant rights despite personal sacrifice and repeated setbacks. What is it about this particular topic that makes it a burning issue for movement organizers? Why do they connect to the Immigrant Rights Movement and the current political and economic refugees with enough ganas so as to motivate action and much sacrifice? Is there something about participants’ faith and value systems that inspire such boundary crossing for and with immigrants? From April 2006 until November 2008, Diaz-Edelman gathered data from eleven faith-based, interfaith-based, and secular organizations through ethnographic participant observation and forty-eight, in-depth, formal interviews in San Diego County. Using preliminary results from this qualitative study, she will propose a framework for understanding what factors motivate local activist efforts for immigrant rights.

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. Her published research has focused on gender and immigration, Latino sociology, informal sector work, and religion and the immigrant rights movement. She is the author or editor of seven books, the most recent of which is God’s Heart Has No Borders: How Religious Activists are Working for Immigrant Rights (University of California Press 2008).

Mia D. Diaz-Edelman is a Guest Scholar at UCSD’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies and a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Boston University. Her doctoral research investigates coalitions between faith-based, interfaith-based, and secular organizations in San Diego County organizing within the national Immigrant Rights Movement. Her research interests include social movements, religion, immigration, gender, race and ethnic relations, political sociology, and sustainable business practices.
These seminars are open to all members of the UCSD community, as well as faculty and students from other universities and the general public. For directions to CCIS, visit our website. Parking permits can be purchased at the information booth on North Point Drive (north end of campus). Visitors may also use metered parking spaces (max. 2 hours) in the North side parking lot. Papers previously presented at CCIS seminars can also be downloaded from our website under “Working Papers.” For further information, please contact Ana Minvielle (E-mail:, Tel#: 858-822-4447).


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

Latino Immigrants and the Current Economic Crisis

For an interesting analysis of Latino immigrants and the current U.S. economic crisis, see Juan Torneo's article on Andererson Coopers 360 degrees.


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

Star student not allowed back into U.S. because of illegal past

For a story showing some of the "inadequacies" of the U.S. immigration laws, click here.  A star high school student, who entered the U.S illegally as a child, destined for college (after a public high school education) is derailed after she tries to "follow the rules."  What a shame!


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

Monday, December 1, 2008

Immigration Issue Less Controversial in Virginia

The Washington Post reports:

Undocumented immigration does not seem to be the effective wedge issue in Virginia that some politicians once hoped it would be. One percent of likely voters rated immigration the most important issue in Virginia, according to a Washington Post poll taken before this year's election; the share was nine times larger last year. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R), notoriously hostile to illegal immigrants, lost to Democrat Tom Perriello in an upset in Virginia's 5th District, which stretches from Danville to Charlottesville.

State lawmakers should take these results as a warning. Legislators squandered energy and tax dollars by introducing an abundance of immigration bills during their last session. Many of the bills were more punitive than constructive; few were voted on, let alone approved.

Lawmakers in search of a pragmatic approach can find inspiration in the findings of the Virginia Commission on Immigration. The commission, a coalition of state leaders, studied immigration for more than a year. As The Post's Anita Kumar reported, the commission will recommend in coming weeks that the state offer more English classes, make it easier for immigrants to receive Medicaid benefits and offer in-state college tuition rates to qualifying immigrants. Panel members also rejected unreasonable proposals that have gained traction in the past, such as requiring immigrants to carry special identification cards. Click here for the whole story.


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

Reports on Women's Asylum Claims

Asylum Aid has posted two reports (here) that you might find of interest.

Internal relocation:  As women’s asylum and human rights claims are more likely than men’s to be based on non-state persecution, women are disproportionately affected by the principle of internal relocation. This means even if you are recognised as being persecuted and at risk if you return to your home area, you may be told you can relocate to another part of your country. This report discusses the legal application of internal relocation and questions the appropriateness of this principle for women asylum seekers who have experienced gender based persecution.

Women's Asylum Claims in the UK:  This report was produced jointly by the Poppy Project and the Refugee Women's Resource Project at Asylum Aid. It considers all the asylum claims made by women who were trafficked into the UK and subsequently supported by the POPPY Project during 2007 and who went through the New Asylum Model process. Whilst improvements were found on procedural issues such as providing female case owners and interpreters, the rate of success at appeal showed that the quality of initial decision-making remains an issue.


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