Saturday, December 12, 2009
The California Assembly's apology for the State's role in pushing for the Chinese exclusion laws that began in 1882 made Time Magazine's list of Top 10 Everything for 2009:
Most of the original perpetrators and victims are long dead, but California's apology this year to thousands of Chinese immigrants was hailed as a landmark all the same. A measure passed by the California Assembly in July formally expresses regret for a series of discriminatory laws passed in the state beginning during the 19th century gold rush. Chinese immigrants flocking to California for the dangerous work of building the transcontinental railroad, gold mines and other infrastructure were greeted with legal bans on such fundamental rights as owning property, voting or marrying white people. The Chinese Exclusion Act, a federal law passed in 1882, singled out the laborers for special immigration restrictions, dashing many newcomers' hopes of reuniting with their wives. That measure and several others were not repealed until the 1940s. California's apology does not include financial reparations or other compensation, but supporters say money was never the point. Dale Ching, 88, was detained by immigration authorities for 3½ months when he arrived in northern California as a teenager in 1937. As he told TIME in July, "Finally someone has said sorry." See more on the history and effects of Asian exclusion laws in Bill Ong Hing, Making and Remaking Asian America through Immigration Policy (Stanford Press 1994).
Nicholas Riccardi of the Los Angeles Times has a revealing, and deeply troubling, story about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Joe, well-known for his anti-immigrant shenanigans and public rousting of everything Latino in search of undocumented immigrants, appears to be leveling law enforcement resources at whoever stands in his way, including Republican as well as Democratic political officials in Arizona. Arpaio has brought a racketeering suit against the board of supervisors, arrested a political official on multiple occasions on trumped up charges, searched city hall, and generally generated a climate of fear among immigrants, Latinos, and whoever stands up for their rights. As it has been put, it really does sound like El reino de terror de Joe Arpaio.
I visited Arizona a few weeks ago, on the day that the story of the racketeering suit against the board of supervisors hit the headlines. The suit and Arpaio were hot topics of converataion and few folks seemed to defend his antics. Yet, Arpaio won relection last year by a wide margin and reportedly is a frontrunner for governor. What's up in Arizona?
Hat tip to Robert Gittelson.
Friday, December 11, 2009
286 arrested in ICE’s largest ever enforcement surge targeting criminal aliens
2 convicted rapists and armed robber among those captured in 3-day California operation
LOS ANGELES – Nearly 300 foreign nationals with criminal records have been removed from the United States or are facing deportation following a three-day enforcement surge in California, making it the biggest operation targeting at large criminal aliens ever carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
During the operation, which concluded late Thursday, ICE officers located and arrested a total of 286 criminal aliens statewide. More than 80 percent of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent crimes, such as rape by force, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Also included in the group are 30 convicted sex offenders, many whose crimes involved sexual assaults on children. Of those arrested, at least 100 have already been removed from the country.
At a news conference here Friday morning, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton announced the results of the special operation, which involved more than 400 agents and officers from ICE, the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as several other state and local agencies. Assistant Secretary Morton cited the operation as another example of the vital role multi-agency cooperation and targeted immigration enforcement play in protecting our communities.
“Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE’s mission,” said Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary John Morton, who oversees ICE. “Legal immigration is an important part of our country’s history and the American dream exists for many immigrants. However, that dream involves playing by the rules and those who break our criminal laws will be removed from the country. Sadly, many of the people victimized by aliens who commit crimes are other members of the immigrant community, who are following the rules.”
Northern California accounted for the largest number of arrests during the operation where a total of 119 criminal aliens were taken into custody. The Los Angeles-area recorded the next highest number of arrests with 96, followed by San Diego and Imperial counties collectively with 71. The arrestees, 257 men and 29 women, represent more than 30 different nations, including countries in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Because of their serious criminal histories and prior immigration arrest records, at least 17 of those arrested during the enforcement surge will face further federal prosecution for reentering the country illegally after a formal deportation. A conviction for felony re-entry carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
Among the arrestees being federally prosecuted is a previously deported Guatemalan national with ties to the Mid-city street gang whose criminal history includes a prior conviction for first degree robbery. Ulises Vazuiz Arucha, 37, was taken into custody by ICE officers Dec. 8 in Reseda, Calif. Also facing felony re-entry charges is Ignacio Camacho-Madrigal, 43, a Mexican national formerly convicted of committing a lewd act on a child under 14. Camacho-Madrigal was arrested by ICE Dec. 8 in Rialto, Calif.
The foreign nationals detained during the operation who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining aliens are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
This week’s special enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting, and removing at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives - aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation’s immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.
Last year, ICE’s 104 FOTs nationwide made 35,094 arrests. More than 31,000 of those arrests, or nearly 89 percent, involved immigration fugitives and aliens with prior criminal convictions. Criminal aliens specifically accounted for approximately 45 percent of the overall total, including more than 3,600 individuals with prior convictions for violent crimes, such as murder and assault.
The officers who conducted this week’s special operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) located in South Burlington, Vermont. The FOSC conducted exhaustive database checks on the targeted cases to help ensure the viability of the leads and accuracy of the criminal histories. The FOSC was established in 2006 to improve the integrity of the data available on at large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives nationwide. Since its inception, the FOSC has forwarded more than 150,000 case leads to ICE enforcement personnel in the field.
ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program is just one facet of the Department of Homeland Security's broader strategy to heighten the federal government’s effectiveness at identifying and removing dangerous criminal aliens from the United States. Other initiatives that figure prominently in this effort are the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities and the agency’s partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies under 287(g).
Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE removed a total of 136,126 criminal aliens from the United States last year, a record number. Click here for the LA Times story.
From the Center for American Progess:
Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor and Gary Locke, Secretary of Commerce on Immigration
December 16, 2009, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Admission is free.
Hilda L. Solis, United States Secretary of Labor
Gary Locke, United States Secretary of Commerce
John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for American Progress
The story of the United States—from its beginnings as a nation to today—has a common thread: Immigrants and their descendants created and continue to contribute to the development of this great country.
Two members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, are part of the American story and are helping shape its future. One was born of parents who met while learning to become U.S. citizens; the other did not learn to speak English until the age of five. Now, they are in charge of fostering and promoting the welfare of the nation’s labor force, expanding economic growth at home and abroad, and carrying out the decennial 2010 Census count. Together, Secretaries Solis and Locke will work to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
Please join Secretaries Solis and Locke at the Center for American Progress as they tell their "American Stories" and their perspectives of today’s immigration debate.
Space is extremely limited. RSVP required.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed.
Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.
Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Map & Directions
For more information, call 202-682-1611.
From America's Voice:
By Voting Against American Workers, Members Show True Intentions
Washington, DC – Champions of the anti-immigrant agenda in Congress have recently characterized their opposition to comprehensive immigration reform as concern for American workers and say they are working to ensure that these workers, not undocumented immigrants, get good jobs and high wages. However, a report released yesterday by America’s Voice Education Fund found that the voting records of these lawmakers reveal them to be some of the most consistent opponents of legislation that would benefit American workers in Congress.
The report and its implications for the upcoming congressional debate on immigration reform were the subject of a telephonic press conference yesterday featuring labor and immigration experts Esther Lopez, Director of Civil Rights and Community Action for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW); Eliseo Medina, International Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the America’s Voice Education Fund.
According to the report, The Anti-Worker Truth about the Anti-Immigrant Lobby, 87 members of the House of Representatives and one member of the Senate received an “A” grade in the 110th Congress from the hard-line anti-immigrant organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. But when it comes to fighting for workers, these same lawmakers are among the worst performers according to a range of congressional scorecards. Of those who received an “A” grade from FAIR in the 110th Congress, 92% voted against providing equal pay to women, 68% voted against increasing the minimum wage and 80% voted against extending unemployment benefits. Furthermore between 93% and 95% of these House lawmakers earned a “F” grade in scorecards from the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Clearly, these members of Congress are more committed to advancing the agenda of the extreme anti-immigrant lobby than they are to policies that would benefit American workers.
Eliseo Medina of SEIU had this to say: “From someone who has fought for workers’ rights—organizing workers from California to Texas to Florida and to New York — it’s shameful to watch these members demonize immigrants while championing policies that are bad for workers at every level. It’s like watching a fox claim to be president of the chicken protection league. The only way we can truly turn around declining working conditions in America is to get undocumented immigrants out of the underground economy, into the system and on an equal playing field with all workers. Only then will we be able to restore economic fairness and raise wages and living standards for everyone.”
Esther Lopez of UFCW added, “This report further exposes the hypocrisy of these anti-immigrant members of Congress. If my kids came home with a report card that had this many ‘Fs,’ I’d send them to their room and tell them to get back to their studies. The mass deportation agenda is not a real solution to the immigration problem or the jobs problem. What workers really want is for our elected officials to engage in a rational discussion about solutions to our broken immigration system.”
Instead of the mass-deportation policy prescription advocated by some lawmakers, today’s speakers noted that an essential part of protecting American workers and securing a level economic playing field for all is for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The two largest labor federations in America, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win (CTW), have released a common framework for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to legal status for undocumented workers and a commission to regulate the entry of workers in the future.
“Our country simply can’t build for long-term economic growth atop the crumbling foundation of a broken immigration system,” said Frank Sharry. “We need an economy that gives Americans the chance to move up the economic ladder, not down it, and policy solutions that create new jobs, not waste billions of tax dollars trying to round up 12 million immigrant workers and their families.”
To read the complete report, click here: The Anti-Worker Truth about the Anti-Immigrant Movement.
"Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity" to be Introduced December 15
On Tuesday, December 15, CongressmanLuis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives. Gutierrez will be joined by members of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus.
Who: Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), Chair of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32) Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-7) Rep. Pedro R. Pierluisi (PR-At large) Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2) Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) Rep. Jose E. Serrano (NY-16) Other Members of Congress What: Introduction of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
When: 12:30 pm, Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Where: Room 2220, Rayburn House Office Building
"We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President," said Rep. Gutierrez. "The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year. It is the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. It is an answer to too many years of pain -mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border- all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system. This bill says 'enough,' and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of."
Press should confirm their attendance with Rebecca Dreilinger at 202-225-8203 or via email at Rebecca.Dreilinger@mail.house.gov.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
NEW AMERICANS IN THE BADGER STATE Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are Growing Economic and Political Force in Wisconsin
The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an important part of Wisconsin's economy, labor force, and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as workers, consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs. With the state working towards recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of the Badger State. Highlights from Wisconsin include:
• Wisconsin was home to 252,150 immigrants in 2007.
• 41.2% of immigrants in 2007 (or 103,291 people) in Wisconsin were naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote.
• Latinos accounted for 4.8% (or 268,879) and Asians 1.9% (or 106,431) of Wisconsinites in 2007.
• The 2008 purchasing power of Latinos totaled $5.3 billion and Asian buying power totaled $3.0 billion in Wisconsin in 2007.
• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Wisconsin, the state would lose $2.6 billion in expenditures, $1.2 billion in economic output, and approximately 14,579 jobs.
There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they will play in Wisconsin's political and economic future.
But the real question is whether immigrants in Wisconsin root for the Pack (aka Green Bay Packers)?
From the Asian American Justice Center:
Call Your Senators TODAY
Tell Them to Support Senator Menendez’s Amendment Allowing Legal Immigrants Access to Medicaid without Delay
Senator Menendez’s amendment would allow states to drop the five-year waiting period imposed on legal immigrants seeking enrollment in Medicaid. These taxpayers, including children, cannot wait five years for adequate health care.
Approximately 17 percent of our community lacks health insurance and more than 60 percent is foreign born. Menendez’s amendment would grant many of the newly-arrived, low-income members of OUR community access to quality, affordable care.
Your voice is vital to ensuring that the Senate passes this critical provision. Please help TODAY by calling the Capitol switchboard (202)224-3121 and asking for your senators' offices.
The United Nations says intolerance, prejudice and discrimination lie at the heart of human rights violations. To mark this year's Human Rights Day, the United Nations is calling on governments and people around the world to live up to the international laws and standards that exist to protect the human rights.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay admits sometimes she, too, has been guilty of discriminating against others.
"And, really in my own life, in my adult life, I must confess that - and my young children pointed it out to me - they said 'Mommy you are being racist,'" Pillay said.
Pillay says, growing up in South Africa, during the era of apartheid, conditioned blacks and other minority groups to view all white people as oppressors.
"I myself, growing as a child and as a young adult really suffered the inferiority complex. You really think that, because of your color, you are ugly and no good," Pillay said. "And, you have no sense of self-confidence."
Pillay is of Tamil descent and grew up in a poor neighborhood in Durban. She overcame the discrimination she suffered under apartheid to become the first non-white woman on the High Court of South Africa.
But, she says hundreds of millions of other people, around the world, have not been able to overcome the discrimination that continues to deprive them of their human rights. Click here for more.
According to U.S. Bureau of the Census released earlier this week, "[n]early one in six American workers is foreign-born, the highest proportion since the 1920s . . . ." See the New York Times story. In 2007, immigrants accounted for more than one in four workers in California (35 percent), New York (27 percent), New Jersey (26 percent) and Nevada (25 percent).
A group of organizations have asked Secretary of State Clinton and DHS Secretary Napolitano for an end to the "special registration" program, also known as the National Security Entry/Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which is focused on Arab and Muslim noncitizens and has been a part of the U.S. government's security responses to September 11, 2001. The groups incllude the American‐Arab Anti‐Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Arab American Institute (AAI), National Immigration Forum (NIF), Rights Working Group (RWG), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Clinical Professor and Director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Penn State.
USA Today reports on the increase in Chinese students coming to the United States. "Last year alone, 98,510 Chinese graduate and undergraduate students poured into U.S. colleges and universities, lured by China's emphasis on academic achievement and the prestige of U.S. higher education."
A University of Denver panel of experts have called for U.S. immigration reform and has made 25 specific recommendations that put national interests first when dealing with immigration. The report, “Architecture for Immigration Reform: Fitting the Pieces of Public Policy,” is the work of the nonpartisan DU Strategic Issues Program. Led by Chairman Jim Griesemer, the program’s panel consists of 20 leaders in politics, academics and business who sought input from all perspectives as they dug for the root issues plaguing immigration policies. Throughout 2009, the panel heard from more than 30 experts in all aspects of society, from immigrant rights advocates to high ranking law enforcement officials.
Some of the experts the panel heard from included Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and former governors Dick Lamm and Bill Owens, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Department of Public Safety Executive Director Peter Weir and local police officials. From a national and international perspective, the panel sought input from the president of the National Venture Capital Association, Canada’s immigration consul, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Among other things, the report recommends a national identification card, simplifying visa processes, and a legalization program for undocumented immigrants.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Washington Post presents the second installment (here is a story on the first) of its series on second generation Latino immigrants. Of all the disadvantages that U.S.-born children of Hispanic immigrants might confront, none is more significant than being raised by parents who are in the country illegally. Forty percent -- or 3.3 million of these children -- have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant, mostly from Mexico or Central America, according to a recent analysis of census data by demographer Jeffrey S. Passel of the Pew Hispanic Center. And researchers warn that the long-term consequences for the country could be profound. The most immediate result has been a substantial increase in the number of American children growing up in poverty. Partly because illegal immigrants tend to have low levels of education and partly because their immigration status makes it harder to move up the job ladder, their U.S.-born children are almost twice as likely to be poor as the children of legal immigrants or native parents, the Pew Hispanic Center found.
To view the full series, go to: www.washingtonpost.com/latinos
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has written her first opinion for the Supreme Court -- and she already has made a difference. As the N.Y. Times observed, "Justice Sotomayor’s opinion in the case, Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, No. 08-678, marked the first use of the term `undocumented immigrant,' according to a legal database [in a Supreme Court opinion].The term 'llegal immigrant' has appeared in a dozen decisions." The decision in the Mohawk Industries case involved a technical legal issue that only civil procedure professors could love -- whether an interlocutory order on an attorney-client privilege matter could be appealed immediately or must await a final judgment on the case -- in a case involving a business that allegedly employed undocumented immigrants. Click here for details.
As Bill Hing has previously posted on ImmigrationProf, and I have written on Concurring Opinions, the choice of terminology -- aliens. illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, people -- matters in the discourse over immigration. Consequently, by employing a more neutral term, Justice Sotomayor has added significantly to the Supreme Court's dialogue on immigration, which is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Justice Department Releases Video Explaining Federal Protections Against Immigration-Related Discrimination in the Workplace
The Justice Department has released a new video aimed at educating employers about worker rights and employer responsibilities under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The anti-discrimination provision forbids citizenship status and national origin discrimination in the workplace. The half-hour video, available online and in DVD format, describes the types of discrimination prohibited and how employers can avoid discriminatory practices.
From the Center for American Progress:
How to Welcome the World’s Best Educated, Boost Economic Growth, and Create Jobs
By Marshall Fitz
Immigrants who come to the United States to study at our best universities and then go to work at our nation’s leading companies contribute directly and immediately to our nation’s global economic competitiveness.
Yet despite the critical importance of such immigrants to the nation’s economic success in a global economy, our current high-skilled immigration system is a two-fold failure: arbitrary restrictions prevent companies from effectively tapping the full potential of this talent pool, while inadequate safeguards fail to prevent against wage depression and worker mistreatment.
The reforms outlined in this paper will help establish a 21st century immigration system that serves the nation’s economic interests and upholds our responsibilities in a global economy.
Last week I posted a blog on how the Salvation Army and Fire Department in Houston were checking the immigration status of parents who were bringing their children to holiday giveaway programs. The grinches at Salvation Army aren't so grinchy anymore. That is they won't check for citizenship anymore at their toy drives. Last week the Houston Chronicle reported that the Salvation Army and other charities in Houston were asking for documentation to prove citizenship before they'd give out toys.
Later in the week, the Salvation Army and the Houston Fire Department said in a Houston Chronicle story that they won't check children for immigration status anymore. It only took a barrage of bad publicity to get them to change their ways, but hey, at least they came around before Christmas. Click here for the story.
The Wayne Law Review is pleased to announce its upcoming Symposium Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Problems, Possibilities and Pragmatic Solution.
Featuring Keynote Speakers
Kevin R. Johnson, Dean of UC Davis School of Law and author of "Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders" and "How Did You Get to Be Mexican?: A White/Brown Man's Search For Identity"
Michael A. Olivas, President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools and William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law, University of Houston Law Center.
Given the new administration and new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, this Symposium will ask: What are the politically feasible options for immigration reform; and what would immigration reform look like in an ideal world? Some topics to be addressed include criminal law and the fairness of immigration courts, the impact of the current system on immigrant families, the role of the states and federal government in immigration reform, legislative barriers to immigration reform, and social solidarity issues.
Thursday, February 4, 2010 Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium Wayne State University Law School 471 West Palmer Street Detroit, MI 48202.
Contact Information: Tim Rimer The Wayne Law Review Phone: (586) 596-9879 Fax: (313) 577-8689 firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jonathan Weinberg Phone: (313) 577-3942 email@example.com
This symposium is free and open to the public. Parking is available for $4.25 in parking structure #1 across from the Law School on West Palmer Street.
Monday, December 7, 2009