Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reid Gives Schumer/Graham Three Weeks or Face Independent CIR Bill

From UPI:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has given Democratic and Republican point men three weeks to reach bipartisan agreement on immigration reform aides said.

Aides told The Washington Post Thursday that Reid, D-Nev., told Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., if they can't get it done by then, Democrats will forge ahead with their own bill. Click here for the rest of the article.

bh

April 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Take Four Actions Against Arizona's Hate Law

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

NNIRR urges you take four actions NOW to take a stand for justice and human rights.

1.   Raise your voices for fairness and equality at the border.
 
Call Gov. Brewer's office and tell her SB 1070 is a disaster for the rights of all our communities.

SB 1070 will intensify racial discrimination, criminalization of immigrants - or anyone who does not pass as white or a U.S. citizen.

CALL (602) 542-4331 | You can also email Gov. Brewer at: azgov@az.gov

2.   We are all Arizona:

Organize a house-meeting, a vigil and other actions to express support for immigrant rights in Arizona and in your community.

Also ask your family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends to talk about what is happening in Arizona. Ask them to make calls and send emails to Gov. Brewer with this message: We are all Arizona. Your law cannot break our spirit of community; your law will not stand. Racial profiling and racial discrimination are illegal and SB 1070 will be stopped.

3.   Build the movement for justice & human rights - tell President Obama to roll back the hate and end all immigration police-collaboration initiatives.

Call President Obama to  ask him to speak out against the climate of hate and SB 1070. SB 1070 depends on federal immigration policing programs.
 
Ask President Obama to roll-back the federal immigration enforcement programs that allow local police agencies to collaborate in immigration control. The 287(g) and Secure Communities programs are encouraging the kind of hateful activity we are witnessing in Arizona.

CALL the White House at (202) 456-1111.

4.   Give direct support and express your solidarity to communities organizing on the ground in Arizona.

The Coalición de Derechos Humanos, (DH) based in Tucson, is organizing and working with grassroots community groups and activists to demand accountability and an end to U.S. immigration and border control policies that deliberately funnel migrants through Arizona's deadly desert and mountain regions and where hundreds die and disappear every year.

Gov. Brewer has signed SB 1070 and also increasing the militarization of immigration and border communities, calling for the deployment of National Guard troops on the Arizona border. Derechos Humanos is in the frontlines of the fight for rights in justice and against the militarization of immigration control and border communities.

Click here to visit the Coalición de Derechos Humanos  and make a generous contribution to support community organizing for justice and human rights.

bh

April 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Ground Zero Arizona: Fallout from New Arizona Law Continues

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It will take weeks, if not years, for the smoke to clear from Arizona's new immigation law.  One thing is clear about the law -- it has stirred national controversy and has moved immigration to the front pages of newspapers across the United States.

President Barack Obama has asked the Justice Department to review Arizona’s controversial new immigration enforcement law. Obama said Friday that immigration reform is a federal issue, and that enacting piecemeal measures at the state level would be leaving the door open to “irresponsibility by others.” reported the Washington Post.

A lawsuit challenging the Arizona law is certain.  However, there is time to file a suit because the law does not go into effect until after the close of the Arizona legislative session.  The Mexican  American Legal Defense & Educational Fund offered a blueprint for the legal challenge to the law in its letter to Governor Brewer calling on her to veto the bill.

We can expect a public response as well.  The Black Allianace for Just Immigation blog has dubbed Arizona "The State of Hate."  Already, a "boycott Arizona" movement is emerging similar to the successful one when the state refused to recognize a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in 1993.  Within hours of Governor Brewer's signing of the law, the American Immigration Lawyers Association cancelled its annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  

Stay tuned for further developments from the desert!

KJ

April 24, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rights Leaders Condemn Arizona's New Racial Profiling Law

From the Tucson Citizen:

Community leaders across Arizona condemn Governor Jan Brewer’s signing of SB1070, the farthest-reaching anti-immigrant bill ever passed by a state. The law became a lightning rod nationally due to its mandate to law enforcement to use racial profiling and to give the state a backdoor entry to enforcing federal immigration law.

“Even though we’re not surprised by the Governor’s action, we are still outraged,” said Carlos Garcia, of PUENTE, a Phoenix-based community group.  “Governor Brewer has prioritized gathering votes for her election over her responsibilities as governor to uphold the basic civil rights, our constitution, and the well-being of our state.”

Somos America, Border Action Network, PUENTE and other community, faith, business and law enforcement groups as well as elected officials across the state have ardently opposed this bill.  On-the-ground organizing in Arizona resulted unprecedented outpour of opposition including more than 80,000 petition and postcard signatures and thousands of phone calls and emails flooding the Governor’s office every single day.

The law’s sponsor, Senator Russell Pearce claims that ten other states are interested in similar legislation. However, the law continues to ignite national outcry. This morning, President Obama spoke against the bill, calling it a “misguided effort.” This Sunday, Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez will be in Arizona to condemn the law at a rally and local church. Congressman Grijalva is hosting a rally in his district on Saturday and protests have sprouted up in New York, Colorado, Washington, New Jersey and other states across the country.

“Governor Brewer’s signature on SB1070 will stain her political career and the people won’t forget it,” says Jennifer Allen, Director of Border Action Network, a statewide community organization. “This is an unjust and unconstitutional law that people won’t stand for. The bill may have been signed into law today, but the struggle will only gain momentum after today.”

The law will come into effect early August or 90 days after the adjournment of the state legislature. Somos America, PUENTE, Border Action Network and other groups around the state are launching an intensive community education campaign to respond to the fear and resentment that is emerging. Legal challenges are calling for an immediate injunction against implementation of the law.

“The signing of this immoral, illegal and unjust bill puts Arizona on the wrong side of history,” said Lydia Guzman, President of Somos America.  “But the groundswell of opposition to SB1070 demonstrates that we can and will change the course of history. From the voting polls, to the airwaves, to the courtroom, we will not rest until this law is defeated.”

With President Obama’s condemnation of the law today, groups are also putting pressure on the Administration to block implementation of the law. “This law depends on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s cooperation. We need to see today’s comments turned into commitment that Washington will not play Arizona’s game,” says Garcia.

Throughout the weekend, events and rallies are expected to turnout out thousands of people across the state.


From the Center for American Progress Action Fund:

Statement by Angela M. Kelley, Vice President of Immigration Policy and Advocacy, on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's signing of “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (SB 1070) into law.

"With the stroke of a pen, Arizona’s governor has taken the state to a new low. Against the admonitions of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, the Arizona state house and the governor have enacted sweeping radical legislation that puts communities of color in the crosshairs, turns the Constitution on its head, and will likely deepen Arizona's financial crisis. The law legalizes the detention and arrest of people who might appear to be undocumented immigrants, simply based on how they look. As President Barack Obama noted today, the legislative efforts in Arizona threaten to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Our nation’s history is marked by poor policy decisions that were made under political pressure, but which were eventually corrected. Arizona’s action now makes it clearer that Congress needs to enact federal comprehensive immigration reform that is fair, responsible, and holds people accountable. It is the federal government’s responsibility to carry out immigration law enforcement—the job does not belong to the states—and Congress is obligated to lead.

The time to repair the immigration system is now, before mavericks in other states try to take the law into their own hands."


From America's Voice:

Washington, DC - America’s Voice is disappointed and outraged by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to sign into law a highly punitive bill that puts a target on the backs of all Latinos in Arizona and does nothing to solve the state’s, and the nation’s, pressing immigration problem. It will breed chaos on the ground, destroy community policing, cost Arizona taxpayers millions, and fail to restore control and order to the broken immigration system.  Today is a sad day for Arizona and the nation. The Governor’s action only points to the urgent need for the federal government to step up and enact comprehensive immigration reform.

“This legislation is not just about immigrants,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “It’s now open season on all Latinos and it’s an absolute travesty that Arizona lawmakers would go to this extreme in the year 2010. It might as well be Mississippi in the 1960’s.”

This week Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate reiterated their commitment to immigration reform and promised to move reform legislation in Congress this year. Pres. Obama also restated his support for reform legislation and urged Congressional Republicans to join Democrats in crafting a bi-partisan measure. In his comments today at a naturalization ceremony for immigrant active-duty service members the president made clear that doing nothing is not a solution to the nation’s pressing immigration challenges and, in fact, only aggravates the problem.

“Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,” he said. “And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Sharry noted the incongruity of the president attending a ceremony for immigrants who are serving this country— immigrants who were already Americans in their hearts but are now Americans on paper but would still be targeted under the Arizona law.

“This is a perfect illustration of how egregious this law is,” he said. “It will treat Latino military veterans who have served and protected this country honorably in times of war like common criminals. It will allow legal immigrants and U.S. citizens of Latino descent who work hard, play by the rules, and contribute to our society, to be viewed with suspicion and as possible threats to peace and security. It will stigmatize Latino children and make them possible targets of bullying in school. The legislation is a symbol of the worst, most narrowly-minded and bigoted instincts of the past and has no place in government today. Gov. Brewer should be ashamed of her decision.”

bh

April 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

BREAKING NEWS: Governor Brewer to Sign Anti-Immigrant Bill into Law

At a press conference at 1:30 today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced that she will sign the Latino Racial Profiling Act of 2010.  Here is a copy of Senate Bill 1070 that was signed into law.

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ICE Enforcement Policies Make No Sense

Ken Dilanian writes for the LA Times:

Advocates say the deportation case against one Nevada couple highlights the continued harassing of many who pose no threat – despite Obama’s promises to target bad actors and help legalize others.

When the Obama administration went before California's 9th Circuit Court last year seeking to deport a middle-class couple from Nevada, one judge criticized the government's case as "horrific." Another labeled it the "most senseless result possible." A third complained of "an extraordinarily bad use of government resources."

"These people have worked hard. They have paid their taxes," Judge William Fletcher said. "Why don't you go after the bad guys?"

The case against the carpenter and the clerk is one of many examples, immigrant rights advocates and labor activists say, of how the Obama administration has continued a policy of tough immigration enforcement against people who are no threat to the United States, even as the administration calls for a new immigration law designed to legalize many of them.

President Obama promised to "target enforcement efforts at criminals and bad-actor employers," said Eliseo Medina, international vice president of the Services Employees International Union, a major Obama backer. "And that would have been the right thing to do. But they have not done that."

Asked by a reporter about the case against Ulises Martinez-Silver and Saturnina Martinez, the Department of Homeland Security said this week that it would indefinitely suspend action against the couple. DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler said the decision reflected the "current enforcement priorities" of pursuing criminals.

But immigrant rights activists and immigration attorneys point to climbing deportation levels and say the government is pursuing untold numbers of equally disturbing cases against students, nannies and janitors.

In one, two Chicago college students, brought to the U.S. by their parents at 13, are facing deportation after being arrested last month on an Amtrak train in Buffalo, N.Y.

"How is that making the country better?" asked Medina, whose union spent millions to help elect Obama.

"People feel betrayed," said Deepak Bhargava, executive director of Center for Community Change, a pro-immigrant group. "The president never said he was going end immigration enforcement, but he sent a clear signal that he would redirect it to a focus on people with criminal records who are a threat to the country. That hasn't happened."

John T. Morton, the former Justice Department prosecutor who runs the Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, disputed the criticism. His agency has indeed prioritized deporting criminals, he said, noting that removals of such immigrants were slated to increase 40% this year. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

April 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Tyranny of Priority Dates

For an article entitled "The Tyranny of Priority Dates" by Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta, click here.

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Guest Column: Enough with Draconian Anti-Immigrant Laws! by Alvaro Huerta

Immigrant bashing, like baseball, has become a favorite American pastime. The draconian, anti immigrant bill (SB 1070) in Arizona only adds credence to this reality.

This pernicious bill not only targets undocumented immigrants in this desert state, but also punishes Latinos in general, both legal residents and citizens. Apart from criminalizing undocumented immigrants with misdemeanor and felony charges, not to mention imposing monetary fines and imprisonment for deportation purposes, the bill allows for the police and other authorities to stop and interrogate individuals “suspected” of lacking legal documents in this country.

In other words, the bill, if upheld on constitutional grounds, allows for the police to single out individuals of Mexican decent, along with other Latinos, and interrogate them due to the color of their skin.

Apart from skin color, what will prevent the police from randomly questioning the legal of brown-skinned individuals simply for speaking Spanish in public? Apart from skin color and language, what about clothing? Will the police question individuals for wearing a soccer jersey from the Major Soccer League or El Tricolor, the Mexican national team?

This seems to fall under “reasonable suspicion” since “everyone knows” that immigrants love soccer. Don’t they?

This very broad concept of “reasonable suspicion” provides the police and others with too much power to make subjective judgments against individuals based on phenotype, linguistic and clothing characteristics. Where are the national Republican leaders, who argue vehemently against government intrusion on individual rights, when we need them? Or do individual rights only apply for Americans of European descent?

This statewide bill—which undermines federal jurisdiction of immigration regulation, commonly enforced by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—inevitably leads to racial profiling. We’ve witnessed racial profiling against Arab Americans after 9/11 and now we see it in Arizona against Latinos. It seems like racial profiling only occurs against racial minorities. If not, we would have seen it against whites after Timothy McVeigh, a young white male, blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City. Whites, after all, also represent a racial group.

Essentially, this bill represents a violation of civic rights against American-born Latinos and permanent residents. Speaking of permanent residents, under this bill, any individual who fails to carry his or her legal document, proving their status in this country, will be subject to harsh consequences, such as financial fines and imprisonment. This type of policy goes back to the dark days of Germany in the early 20th Century.

This anti-immigrant hysteria goes beyond Arizona’s borders. Conservative politicians, talk-show hosts and average Americans frequently scapegoat undocumented immigrants for this country’s financial and social ills. For instance, many Americans commonly argue that undocumented immigrants represent a threat to the American way of life by taking jobs away from citizens, depreciating wages, depleting social services and causing financial havoc. While these simplistic arguments make for good sound bites on mainstream television, radio and print media outlets, whereby fueling anti-immigrant sentiments and laws throughout the country, they are rarely substantiated with hard facts.

It’s dumbfounding to hear these self-righteous arguments especially when Americans, both employers and consumers alike, benefit from undocumented immigrants and their willingness to perform jobs that most Americans reject due to meager wages, low social status and hazardous work conditions. For example, one doesn’t see long lines of unemployed Americans applying for jobs as farm workers, performing back-breaking tasks such as picking grapes, lettuce or tomatoes. Nor do we see hordes of unemployed Americans in front of The Home Depot and other stores, chasing down eager employers / homeowners in search of temporary cheap labor.

In addition, the notion that undocumented workers lower wages represents another falsehood. Immigrants don’t control wages; employers do. No rational worker argues for lower wages and no benefits. Lower wages in the market place result from employer greed and the bottom line. For instance, by lowering operating costs, such as wages, employers may increase their profit margins.

Moreover, by paying undocumented immigrants lower wages, employers can afford to sell their products and services at lower costs to the public, whereby American consumers ultimately benefit by saving money. Thus, instead of appreciating immigrants when purchasing a garden salad, going to the dry cleaners, getting their homes remodeled and lawns mowed, hiring a nanny or domestic cleaner at reasonable prices, many Americans blame these honest, hard working individuals for everything that goes wrong in America.

This hypocrisy must come to an end! Americans who blame undocumented workers—the same workers who make their lives more comfortable and affordable—need to appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that immigrants go through on a daily basis in this country. This goes for all of those in Arizona who support this draconian bill and federal authorities, under the Obama Administration, who conduct daily raids against human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity instead of like pariahs.

Alvaro Huerta Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of City & Regional Planning (UC Berkeley) Visiting Scholar, Chicano Studies Research Center (UCLA)

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New York City Celebrates the Seventh Annual Immigrant Heritage Week April 15 – 21, 2010

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The Big Apple apparently has an entirely different perspective on immigrants than the state of Arizona.  Declared an official, annual celebration by Mayor Bloomberg in 2004, Immigrant Heritage Week honors the vibrant immigrant cultures, heritages and communities found in every corner of the City. This year Immigrant Heritage Week is celebrated from April 15 to April 21. Throughout the week, a rich collection of family friendly events, film screenings, art exhibits and walking tours will promote and reflect the diversity of the immigrant communities in our City.

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The President (Finally) Chimes in on Arizona's Latino Racial Profiling Act of 2010

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President Obama
 has correctly characterized Arizona's anti-immigration law as misguided and identified the solution as comprehensive immigration reform.

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

THE 9TH ANNUAL ELLIS ISLAND FAMILY HERITAGE AWARDS

On April 22, 2010 in the historic Great Hall on Ellis Island four esteemed individuals were honored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. for their contributions to the American Dream. The 9th Annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards, given annually to a select number of Port of New York and Ellis Island immigrants or their descendants, along with the B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award were presented by Lee A. Iacocca, Founding Chairman of the Foundation, and Thomas L. Strickland, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Department of the Interior, in an 11:00 a.m. ceremony hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation presents the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards to celebrate the Golden Door to America for the 17 million immigrants who came to this country through the Port of New York and Ellis Island. The B.C. Forbes Peopling of America® Award, sponsored by the Forbes Family, honors the lives of immigrants who arrived at another time or through another port of entry. Each year, a select number of these immigrants or their descendants are chosen through a process that is guided by an Awards Committee of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The 2010 Ellis Island Family Heritage Award recipients are:

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ENTERTAINMENT One of this blogger's favorite musicians, Bruce Springsteen — His recording career spans more than thirty years, beginning with 1973's Columbia Records release 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ.' He has released twenty-four albums, garnered nineteen Grammy Awards, won an Oscar, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is a 2009 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. His maternal grandfather Antonio Zerilli immigrated to America through Ellis Island from Italy in 1900.   Listen to the Boss sing This Land is Your Land.

Jung
B.C. FORBES PEOPLING OF AMERICA AWARD—BUSINESS Andrea Jung — Elected chairman of Avon Products in September 2001, she has been CEO since November 1999. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the General Electric Company, Apple, Catalyst, and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Ms. Jung came to the U.S. from Toronto as a child, is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, and is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin).

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BUSINESS Peter G. Peterson — Founder and Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, he is Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group. Peterson has served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is Chairman Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Nixon in 1972. His parents emigrated from Greece, arriving at Ellis Island in 1912 and 1920.

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B.C. FORBES PEOPLING OF AMERICA AWARD—SPORTS Dikembe Mutombo — In his 18 years with the NBA, he was the first four-time Defensive Player of the Year, an eight-time NBA All-Star, and the second most prolific shot blocker in NBA history. Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mutombo came to the U.S.A. in 1987 and became a citizen in March 2006. For the last 14 years he has dedicated himself to improving health, education and quality of life in his native Congo and across Africa.

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

FROM THE BOOKSHELVES: Ethical Borders: NAFTA, Globalization, and Mexican Migration by Bill Ong Hing

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In his topical new book, Ethical Borders, Bill Ong Hing asks, why do undocumented immigrants from Mexico continue to enter the United States and, what would discourage this surreptitious traffic? An expert on immigration law and policy, Hing examines the relationship between NAFTA, globalization, and undocumented migration, and he considers the policy options for controlling immigration. He develops an ethical rationale for opening up the U.S./Mexican border, as well as improving conditions in Mexico so that its citizens would have little incentive to migrate.

April 23, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Stephen Colbert: "Harassing Latinos" the "entire point" of Arizona bill

The Colbert Report offers a fun tongue-in-cheek analysis of Arizona's Latino Racial Profiling Act of 2010.  Click the link and watch the video.

Hat tip to Cappy White!

KJ

April 23, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

CONSERVATIVES FOR C.I.R.

Info@conservativesforCIR.com

4750 Bryant Irvin Rd., Suite 808

PMB 312, Fort Worth, TX. 76132

 

April 22, 2010

Open and Public Letter Supporting a Veto of Arizona S.B. 1070

 To All Americans of Good Will,

A broad coalition of Evangelical, Business and other Conservative Leaders, joined as Conservatives for CIR, feel compelled at this time to speak out on the issue of Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill 1070. We are motivated to speak out for compassion, and the rule of law. Certainly, if we are lead by the biblical and moral teachings on compassion, we must note that at this precarious time, a new chapter in our Nation’s Human and Civil Rights history is being written for posterity. Therefore, we must first mention that we pray for Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer and her family. As she must now agonize over what most certainly will be a difficult and complex political decision over whether or not to sign this bill into law, we urge her to search her conscience, and look to the greater moral and ethical questions surrounding this issue. When and if the Governor ultimately makes her decision within the framework of that context, we feel that her decision should be to veto this bill. Vetoing SB 1070 is certainly what we would urge her to do, and this decision will become easier for her to justify to her constituents, and to herself, when viewed within a moral, legal, and compassionate context.

We are encouraged to note that the Arizona Republic Newspaper stated, “At day's end… she's not afraid to make an unpopular choice in an important matter. ‘She agonizes over these things,’ said Doug Cole, Brewer's campaign spokesman. As of Monday, the Governor's Office had received 1,356 calls, e-mails and faxes in favor of SB 1070 and 11,931 against the bill. “Somos Republicans,” and other grass-roots groups are working to register more Latino Republicans, telling her that if she supports the bill, they will request that she ‘leave the Republican Party.’”

Since some 90% of the public reaction seems to be in favor of a veto by the Governor, it would seem that our coalition is speaking for the vast majority of people even within the State of Arizona.

Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today called on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the unconstitutional anti-immigrant bill recently passed by the state legislature, emphasizing that failure to do so will result in severe economic penalties for the state. The bill, SB 1070, forces police to stop and question anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant, including a demand for papers verifying U.S. citizenship. The language contradicts the long-held legal principle that only the federal government establishes immigration policy.

NAFSA, a professional organization that promotes the exchange of students and scholars to and from the United States, writes “The United States is a nation of immigrants. We come in all colors and ethnicities and speak many languages with many different accents. We also seek to attract talented people from around the world to attend our colleges and universities, to fuel innovation and to strengthen our economy. It simply does not make sense to create a situation in which our laws imply that it is okay to look unfavorably on a certain group of people who do not fit a certain mold of what some believe an ‘American’ is.”

Law Professor and Immigration Scholar Bill Hing of UC Davis Law School wrote, “The VETO of SB 1070 will send a historic signal to Congress, the Obama Administration and the country that the further criminalization of immigrant workers, families and communities will not solve the problem.”

A spokesman for our Conservatives for CIR group, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who heads the Hispanic NAE, stated “It is difficult to justify being a supporter of family values and support deportation. It is irreconcilable.”  He insisted that CIR “transcends politics” and “extends from biblical and moral imperatives.”

Another prominent member of our group, Rev. Jim Tolle, pastor of The Church on the Way in California, addressed the issue of the rule of law. Though it is important to maintain the rule of law, he said, it is necessary to “forge a balance” between law and “the needs of our Hispanic brothers.” In support of this argument, Tolle posited that it is the “Christian position” to allow for redemption once an individual shows contrition for breaking the law. Stressing another “conservative theme,” Tolle argued that the brokenness of the immigration system affects families and makes it difficult for the children of immigrants to earn sustainable employment.

Conservatives for CIR, is strongly in favor of a Federal solution to our nation’s broken immigration system, and we urge our Nation’s leaders in the strongest possible terms to work toward and enact a just, fair, and comprehensive reform to our immigration laws. While we understand and acknowledge that there exists throughout our nation a sense of frustration over the heretofore inability of our leaders to come together and pass a national immigration reform, we remind the people of our country to urge their national representatives to act courageously and swiftly, and to pass a Comprehensive Immigration Reform solution this year.

Thoughtfully and Prayerfully Signed,

Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

 

April 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Report on Involuntary Medical Repatriations

Earlier this week, the Seton Hall University School of Law Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic and International Human Rights and Rule of Law Project joined with the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Health Justice Program to submit to the United Nations a report on involuntary medical repatriations. (Download CSJ NYLPI UPR Submission).  The report documents the practice of extrajudicial medical repatriations of seriously ill or injured indigent immigrant patients to countries lacking adequate medical care, in violation of international human rights law and U.S. law. The submission also suggests measures the U.S. can take to and curb medical repatriations to uphold its obligations under international law, including increased oversight and enforcement of existing US laws by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The United Nations Human Rights Council will consider this report when it meets this November as part of its first Universal Periodic Review of the United States, which will assess the US’s compliance with its human rights obligations and commitments. In December of 2010 the United States will go under review by the Human Rights Council for the UPR. This is an important moment for holding the US accountable to its human rights obligations.

KJ 

April 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Law Enforcement Groups Are Opposed to Arizona's Racist Immigration Law

As my fellow blogger, Dean Kevin Johnson, has noted, the anti-immigrant legislation at Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's desk is best dubbed the Latino Racial Profiling Act of 2010. She should veto the law, as recommended by law enforcement officals across the nation.

Randal Archibold writes for  the NY Times:

A bill the Arizona Legislature passed this week that would hand the state and local police broad powers to enforce immigration law has split police groups and sown confusion over how the law would be applied.

While Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has yet to say whether she will sign the bill into law, on Wednesday a national police group condemned it as likely to lead to racial and ethnic profiling and to threaten public safety if immigrants did not report crime or did not cooperate with the authorities out of fear of being deported.

The police group joined a growing list of organizations and religious and political leaders far from the state’s borders urging Ms. Brewer to veto the bill. Her spokesman said that of the 15,011 calls and letters her office had received on the bill, more than 85 percent opposed it.

The law would require the police “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced.

Members of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative, a group of police leaders pressing for a federal overhaul of immigration law, said they worried that other states would copy Arizona, despite the likelihood that the law will be challenged in federal court.

“Just because it is in Arizona doesn’t mean it’s likely to remain there,” said George Gascón, the chief of the San Francisco Police Department and a former chief in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. “We are very concerned about what could happen to public safety.”

The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and several sheriffs have also come out against the bill, calling it burdensome and an intrusion into a federal matter. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

April 22, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

United States' Stock, Flow, Naturalization, Asylum, and Net Migration Data

Using the most recent statistics from the Department of Homeland Security's 2009 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, the US Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, and other sources, the Migration Policy Institute has updated its immigration data for the United States on its Data Hub. The tool allows you to chart current and historical trends regarding the number and origin of immigrants who reside in the United States, as well as naturalization and green card statistics.

For the updated US page, go to the Country and Comparative Data tool, select the United States on the right, and then choose one of the available tables. Among the statistics you will find:

* More than 1 million immigrants became US citizens in 2008. From an historical perspective, the number of naturalizations has increased dramatically in recent decades. Between 1970 and 1979, an average 141,000 legal permanent residents (LPRs) naturalized each year. The annual average rose to about 205,000 in the 1980s, 498,000 in the 1990s, and 629,000 for the 2000-2008 period.

* More than 1.1 million immigrants received legal permanent status in 2009. In general, new legal permanent residents (aka green-card holders) have similar rights as US citizens except that they cannot vote, have limited access to federally tested public benefits, and are not eligible to work in jobs that require US citizenship or special clearance.

* For each year over the last two decades Mexican-born immigrants received the highest share of annual green cards. In 2009, immigrants from Mexico received 15 percent of the 1.1 million green cards; the next group - immigrants from China - accounted for about 6 percent.

* According to the 2008 American Community Survey, there were 37.9 million immigrants in the United States, representing 12.5 percent of the total US population. In contrast, 9.3 million immigrants in 1890 accounted for a higher share - 14.8 percent - of the US population, the all-time high.

* More than 40,000 asylum applications were made in the United States in 2007, compared to 36,000 in Sweden - a country with a much smaller immigrant and overall population.

For these and other quick statistics, go the Country and Comparative Data tool, select the United States or any of the remaining 17 countries, and pick a table of interest. In the case of the United States and Spain (and eventually other countries) you can download the tables to make your own analysis easier.

Did you know that according to recent estimates from the United Nations Population Division:

* There are about 214 million international migrants around the world, representing 3 percent of the world's population. About 52 percent of them reside in just ten countries.

* While the United States accounts for 5 percent of the world population, it is home to about 20 percent of all international migrants.

* Among traditional countries of immigration (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States), New Zealand's immigrants account for the highest share of the country's population (22 percent). But it is certainly not a world record: More than 85 percent of people in Qatar are international migrants.

* The only country that is among both the top ten countries with the largest size and highest share of international migrants in its population is Saudi Arabia: the 7.3 million international migrants account for 28 percent of its population.

KJ 

April 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!!!!!!!!!

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April 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Book Questions Efficacy of Post-9/11 Immigration-Related Security Policies and Proposes New Paradigm for Meeting U.S. Mobility and Security Goals

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As the thwarted Christmas Day attack on a Detroit-bound airliner vividly demonstrated, the U.S. government faces a daunting challenge in protecting people on the move from the risk of direct attack and preventing the travel-and-immigration system from being exploited by terrorists and criminals. In a new book published by the Migration Policy Institute, Securing Human Mobility in the Age of Risk: New Challenges for Travel, Migration, and Borders, Susan Ginsburg argues that the nation's post-9/11 approach to immigration and border security is off-kilter and not keeping pace with the scope and complexity of people's movement around the world, nor with expectations regarding freedom of movement. Ginsburg, an MPI non-resident fellow who served as senior counsel and team leader on the staff of the 9/11 Commission, proposes a new paradigm that seeks to secure mobility and promote the rule of law in global migration channels while moving away from a system that too often conflates border and immigration enforcement with counterterrorism.

KJ

April 22, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Boycott Arizona?!

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Clearly, Arizona has been in the immigration news this week, even dividing local law enforcement officers who would be entrusted with enforcing th efederal immigration laws.  And now, the Arizona Republic reports that, "U.S. Rep Raul Grijalva, a Democrat who represents southern Arizona's Congressional District 7, on Tuesday called for a convention boycott of his own state. In a statement, he said the National Football League's pulling of the Super Bowl after the state refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. day was effective in changing the state's policy." 

Here is the full statement:

Grijalva Calls on Arizona Gov. Brewer to Veto Unconstitutional Anti-Immigrant Bill Before State Is Sanctioned

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today called on Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the unconstitutional anti-immigrant bill recently passed by the state legislature, emphasizing that failure to do so will result in severe economic penalties for the state. The bill, SB 1070, forces police to stop and question anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant, including a demand for papers verifying U.S. citizenship. The language contradicts the long-held legal principle that only the federal government establishes immigration policy.

Authored by state Sen. Russell Pearce, the bill has been denounced by religious, civil rights, immigrant and Hispanic organizations around the country before even coming to the governor’s desk. “This bill will be rejected by the courts, and in the meantime, Arizonans will be subjected to unnecessary indignity at the hands of a racist law,” Grijalva said. “I cannot stress enough the scale of the damage Arizona’s prestige and credibility will suffer if this bill is finalized.”

Grijalva called on national organizations of all kinds to reject Arizona as a convention destination unless the bill is vetoed. A Super Bowl ban by the National Football League Players Association after the state refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. day was effective in changing the policy in 1993. “If the state follows through with this, the cost will be high,” Grijalva said. “This bill is not a serious approach to the immigration issue. This is grandstanding at taxpayer expense. Turning every police officer in the state into a roving immigration official, armed with a racial profiling mandate, is un-American on its face and cannot withstand even casual legal scrutiny.”

I would vote for the good Congressman over the two "mavericks" running in the Arizona Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

KJ

April 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)