Saturday, May 8, 2010

Linking Proposition 8 with Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law

From Blabbeando:

The link between Prop. 8 and Arizona's anti-immigrant law

by Dan Torres

The Arizona legislature recently passed and revised SB 1070, the so-called “papers please” anti-immigrant bill many believe will result in racial profiling. As a gay Latino man who comes from an immigrant family, I see a clear link between this measure and anti-gay marriage laws such as Proposition 8. Both laws make their victims feel marginalized and send a message that they do not deserve to be treated equally under the law. Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) people know what it’s like to be on the wrong side of laws like SB 1070 or Proposition 8.

Many of us, who fit into one or more minority communities, know all too well how it feels to be stripped of our legal protections and fundamental rights. Last year, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer, the same one who signed into law SB 1070, repealed benefits for LGBT domestic partners, further undermining the economic and emotional security of LGBT families. The LGBT community understands the threat when our leaders tell us that our families do not count. We know the pain caused by the government refusing to treat us equally. Accordingly, we should stand against SB 1070.

Arizona’s SB 1070 and California’s Proposition 8 are personal attacks because they deny our common humanity. SB 1070, which was passed ostensibly to allow the state police to more easily enforce federal immigration law, in reality it is a law that encourages racial profiling of Latinos. Even though the state made revisions to the law late last week restricting the use of race or ethnicity as a basis to question people, it nonetheless added provisions that allow the police to ask people about immigration status for violations of local ordinances. The original language of SB 1070 and subsequent revisions make clear that the law gives local police pretext or “cover” to engage in racial profiling. This is further made clear by the fact that the revision occurred only a week after Arizona lawmakers were publicly criticized for passing such a blatantly racist law. No one should be fooled by the recent cosmetic attempt to hide the clear intent of SB 1070, which is to target immigrants, many of whom are Latino and many of whom are LGBT.

The common denominator in SB 1070 and Proposition 8 is bigotry. These laws strip human beings of dignity. The indignity my husband and I feel when our marriage is not recognized by the federal government is no less painful than when my family gets harassed or pulled over for “driving while brown.” These are not minor inconveniences but rather a systematic erosion of our human rights and liberties. More and more lately we see government’s successful attempts to chip away at our fundamental right to be treated equally. With other states now wanting to follow Arizona’s lead, we cannot afford to ignore what is happening.

Immigration is an LGBT issue in that our broken immigration system affects hundreds of thousands of LGBT newcomers who have no path to citizenship and must live in the indignity and shame of the shadows. As gay people, we understand the harm of forced invisibility on our community. SB 1070 and Proposition 8 are attempts to push already marginalized people back into the closet and slam the door shut! Arizona’s law was passed in the absence of sane, effective and fair comprehensive immigration reform. Washington must act now to fix this country’s immigration system and stop the divisiveness that is driving a wedge between communities. America needs immigration reform that moves our country forward together and upholds our nation’s values of opportunity, fairness and justice, values every LGBT person holds dear. It is time to stand up, support the legal and political challenges to SB 1070 and condemn efforts to emulate it.

In a similar vein, we must remain vigilant and unified in our responses to the various and heinous attacks on our human rights. For an attack on the Latino immigrant community is no different from an attack on the LGBT community, or people of color, or people of faith, or who ever is next on the “hit list.” It is time we recognize our common struggles and work together to defend everyone from laws or policies rooted in bigotry.

---
Dan Torres is a staff attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and works at the intersection of LGBT and immigration advocacy to facilitate dialogue and mutual support between the traditional LGBT movement and immigrant communities.  This work has synergistic impact of furthering the rights of both LGBT and immigrant communities and, particularly, LGBT immigrants.   ILRC provides technical support to advocates working with LGBT clients who have fled persecution abroad, have been victims of crimes or are LGBT immigrant youth placed in foster care in the United States.  Through the ILRC’s civic engagement efforts, Dan worked with LGBT immigrants to be counted in Census 2010, coordinated dialogues with local and state public officials on education discrimination issues impacting LGBT students, and continues to organize around marriage equality.

Before joining the ILRC, Dan represented clients as a staff attorney at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in Sacramento, and served as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He worked as a clinical instructor at the UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, and was a member of both the La Raza and Lambda Law Student Associations. He is the son of Mexican immigrants, a fluent Spanish speaker, and a resident of Alameda with his husband.

bh

May 8, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Community Alert on Racial Profiling

From the South Asian Network:

Two Community Alerts:

1. Be Aware of Your Rights
2. We Are ALL Arizona Action Update

1. Update!

In light of the recent events in New York around the Times Square car bomb incident, we may see the FBI and Department of Homeland Security engage in increased surveillance and interrogations within our communities, leading to possible detentions.
 
Important
If approached by government agents you may choose the following:

Do Not Open the Door.  Without a court warrant, no one can enter your home unless you let them in.
Talk to them outside.  If you feel that you want to talk to the agents, or if they say they have a warrant and you want to check it, step outside.  Do not let them in the house to talk to them, because if you do this you are giving up the right to keep them out of your home.
Ask if you are Free to Leave.  Whenever you speak with any government official, ask if you are free to leave and if the conversation is voluntary.  If they say it is, or if they do not answer, then tell them that you want to talk to them later, with a lawyer.  If you have a lawyer's card, give it to them and tell them to contact your lawyer.
Do Not Lie to the Officers.  Lying to the federal officers is a serious crime, whereas remaining silent is not.  You are better off not answering questions than giving false answers.
Send a Citizen or Legal Resident to Talk. If you want someone to talk to the officers, send a citizen or legal resident to speak with them.  Someone who is not documented should not speak to the agents if possible.
Never sign anything without reading, understanding, and knowing the consequences of signing any document.

Remember
Citizens and non-citizens have certain constitutional rights. 

Please be polite and assert your right.  You have the right to:

§     Remain silent
§     Speak to a lawyer before answering questions
 
If you have recently been contacted or visited by the FBI, IMMIGRATION, or other LAW ENFORCEMENT agencies or want more information, please contact SAN immediately.

2. We are All Arizona!
On Thursday, May 6, 2010, over 100 community members gathered to support a non-violent civil disobedience outside the Downtown Los Angeles Federal Building.  14 immigrant rights activists and leaders were arrested, processed and are currently being detained.

The “We Are All Arizona 14” and those in solidarity demand:

·     The immediate repeal of SB 1070

·     An end to all racial profiling and the criminalization of our communities

·     An end to ICE and police collaboration, including but not limited to 287g agreements, the Secure Communities Program, and the use of local jail facilities as immigrant detention centers

·     That the Department of Homeland Security make public the location of all detention centers and immediately dismantle them

·     A moratorium on immigration raids, detentions and deportations, as well as their eventual abolition

·     Immediate and unconditional legalization of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in our communities

·     The demilitarization of our borders and immigration control

·     The redistribution of funding and resources away from prison-building, policing and criminalization to social, health and education services, family reunification, ending the backlog in visas and applications for permanent residency and citizenship, and full civil and labor rights protections for all persons, regardless of immigration or citizenship status

Act NOW!
South Asian Network stands in solidarity with all oppressed communities in Arizona and throughout the United States, to demand justice and fairness.  We stand in solidarity to demand an end to State Violence in all it forms, whether its detentions, deportations, raids, surveillance and the move to rid the United States of immigrants and people of color.

Visit the www.facebook.com/WeAreAllArizona <http://www.facebook.com/WeAreAllArizona> for updates, actions, and alerts.

bh

May 8, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

You're In the Army Now! Immigration Woes of Military Families

Julia Preston of the N.Y. Times writes about the thousands of people in the military who have spouses or close relatives who are undocumented. Many of those service members have hit a legal dead in regularizing the immigration status of those relatives due to 1996 amendments to the U.S. immigration laws.

KJ

May 8, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reframing Immigration

Here is a piece on why immigration reform benefits the middle class.  Key points include:

• More than ever, current and aspiring middle-class Americans depend on the goods and services immigrants produce and consume, and the businesses they run. Only an earned legalization program would enable the country to maximize the contributions of millions of immigrants already participating in our economy.

• We also shed light on the fact that unscrupulous employers use the threat of deportation to intimidate unauthorized immigrant workers, ensuring that they won’t complain about poor wages or unsafe working conditions. This drives down labor standards for all workers. But an earned legalization program will increase the ability of unauthorized immigrants to stand up for their workplace rights and build coalitions with American workers to improve job quality.

• As Republicans and Democrats reconsider a timeline for comprehensive immigration reform, they must make the case to middle-class Americans that an immigration overhaul would benefit the entire country and even help drive economic recovery.

KJ

May 7, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW AMERICANS IN THE SOONER STATE: Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an Economic Powerhouse in Oklahoma

The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an important part of Oklahoma's economy, labor force, and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, Latinos, Asians and immigrants will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future in the Sooner State. Highlights from Oklahoma include:

* Immigrants made up 5.0% of Oklahomans (or 182,186 people) in 2007.

* The Latino share of Oklahoma's population is 7.2% (or 260,447 people) in 2007.

* The 2009 purchasing power of Latinos in Oklahoma totaled $5.8 billion - an increase of 708.2% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $2.1 billion - an increase of 386.9% since 1990.

* If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Oklahoma, the state would lose $580.3 million in economic activity, $257.8 million in gross state product, and approximately 4,680 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make in Oklahoma and the important role they will play in the states' political and economic futures.

KJ

May 7, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Charles Barkley Denounces Arizona's Law

Former NBA basketball star Charles Barkley hasspoken out against the Arizona immigration law:

Barkley
"As a black person, I’m always against any form of discrimination or racial profiling. I really respect Adrian Gonzalez for coming out and saying something. I didn’t realize that in the major leagues there’s 30 percent Hispanic players, and in the minor leagues it’s like 50. Those are some daunting numbers. … Living in Arizona, I’m disappointed that we came up with the law. … I’m very disappointed in John McCain. He used to be somebody I really admired and respected. … [M]ost of those immigrants here are busting their hump, doing a great job, and to go after them every couple years because you want to raise hell doing something to get re-elected, that’s disrespectful and disgusting."

bh

May 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Pennsylvania Immigration Protests

Stephanie Esposito reports for WFMZ:

Tensions sparked by the renewed debate over immigration reform are beginning to boil over.

Opponents of a controversial new law in Arizona rallied in Philadelphia [yesterday], stirred by the possibility of a similar law taking hold in Pennsylvania.

Screaming no justice, no peace, immigration activists flooded the streets of Philadelphia.

Their mission was to prevent Pennsylvania from going the way Arizona did with immigration reform.

People have a right to come here, said Tuan Luu.

If there's a European immigrant, they're not going to stop him because he's white, said Amaya Pabon.

Reform Immigration for America called on U.S. Senator Bob Casey to denounce proposed immigration legislation in Pennsylvania that has been inspired by the new Arizona law.

This would have a devastating impact on the capacity of the police to do their primary job, but also really damage trust that police officers have worked so hard to build with immigrant communities, said Regan Cooper, executive director, Pa. Immigration and Citizenship Coalition. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

May 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rep Challengers Concede Latino Vote in General Election to Senator Boxer

In their only on-camera debate, the three Republicans seeking to replace U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer each supported Arizona's new immigration law.  Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina,  and former Rep. Tom Campbell thus have effectively said adios to  the Latino vote in the general election.

KJ

May 7, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Filmmakers and Progressive Organizations to Launch "Entre Nos Moms for Family Unity" Campaign

Home_left
On the heels of Mother’s Day weekend a partnership of organizations including the Center for American Progress, America’s Voice Education Fund, and Reform Immigration for America joined Indiepix Studios and the filmmakers of the award-winning film “Entre Nos” to launch the Entre Nos Moms for Family Unity campaign. This unique culture and advocacy partnership leverages a powerful immigration-related story to continue building momentum for comprehensive immigration reform. It is also a unique opportunity to engage a new and active constituent group in the debate: women, and, more specifically, mothers.

The Entre Nos Moms for Family Unity campaign will bring together mothers and their children at house parties throughout the country where they will share their stories and highlight the importance of keeping families together by passing meaningful immigration reform legislation this year. The campaign will launch with a Mother’s Day weekend screening of “Entre Nos.” Written and directed by Paola Mendoza and Gloria La Morte, and starring Paola Mendoza, “Entre Nos” tells the inspirational story of an immigrant mother and her children as they struggle to build a life in a strange city after being abandoned by their father. Mendoza made the film as a tribute to her mother and will show the film in the Jackson Heights community of Queens, New York, where the film was shot. The screening will be on Friday, May 7, at 8:00 p.m. at Natives Theatre, 82-22 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, and will be followed by a live Q&A with Paola Mendoza, her mother Liliana Legge, and Vanessa Cárdenas, Director of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress.

The theatrical release of “Entre Nos” is slated for May 14 at the Quad Theatre in New York City, and DVDs of the film will be provided for the Moms for Family Unity campaign house parties.

KJ

May 7, 2010 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CIVIL RIGHTS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS WILL BOYCOTT ARIZONA TO PROTEST UNJUST IMMIGRATION LAW

On May 6, National Council of La Raza joined with the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to announce a boycott against the state of Arizona in protest of SB 1070.

KJ

May 7, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Distinguishing Faisal Shahzad From Other Muslim Pakistani Americans

From Salon.com:

What I understand about Faisal Shahzad
As a Muslim Pakistani, I can't tell you why he did it. But I know one violent nut can change how Americans see me
By Wajahat Ali
 
SalonLast Saturday, I was drinking my chai, reading the latest Green Lantern comic, and participating in the glorious American hobby that is Googling when I saw the news about the foiled NYC Times Square terror plot. I immediately began reciting the "Post-Crisis Minority Mantra," familiar to many ethnic minorities and religions in these troubled times:

"Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude. Please don't let it be a Muslim or Pakistani dude."

Back then, it wasn't. They had footage of a suspicious white guy.

"Phew! Thank God!" I said out loud.

But I had to invoke the mantra repeatedly over the next few days, as details emerged and the truth became all too clear: The terrorist was a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan named Faisal Shahzad. A Muslim Pakistani.

"No! Not again! Why, God, why??"

A Muslim born and raised in America with Pakistani parents, I was the "token" at early age. Growing up, I was like any other socially awkward, overweight, dorky American kid who wanted to date Alyssa Milano and beat Contra on my Nintendo without using the secret, unlimited life code -- except my T-shirts were smeared with turmeric and lentil stains instead of PB and J, and in place of Lunchables my mom fed me homemade, green-colored, lamb patty burgers. I was the kid comfortable with all his identities -- Muslim, American, Pakistani -- and as such, I became the one people consulted when uncomfortable questions had to be asked, or misconceptions and stereotypes needed to be explained.

After news of the averted attack, I was hit with a blitzkrieg of texts, Facebook updates and gchat pings. Friends from varying backgrounds -- Mexican-American, African-American, Arab-American -- wanted to know what I thought about another "Rage Boy" foolishly attempting to commit violence with an amateurish terror plot. Several made a similar confession: How glad they were that the suspect didn't belong to "their tribe." What I did know, with a sinking feeling, was that many moderate, peaceful Pakistani Muslims like me were further doomed to collective mistrust and suspicion.

America has a long tradition of scapegoating (see African Americans, Jews, Irish and Japanese Americans), in which the criminal and moral bankruptcy of a few perverse individuals becomes an archetype for multitudes. But when painting the complex experience of Muslim Pakistanis in the mainstream media, there seems to be only two colors: "Crazy" and "Hella Crazy." Islam was recently voted "the third worst brand disaster of the decade" thanks to a few deluded individuals -- out of the vast 1.5 billion members of Muslim communities -- who have engaged in violent jihadi movements, honor killings, suicide bombings and pathetic assassination threats directed at satirical cartoonists. Honestly, I cannot blame the average American, who gets his information from cable news or hate radio, for harboring such caricatures. The misunderstanding cuts both ways: When I travel in the Middle East, I'm asked why I invaded Iraq and want to impose my imperialistic might on sovereign nations. Thanks, George W. Bush, for this staggering global misconception.

But if "Muslim Pakistani American" were an asset, it would be more toxic than the Goldman Sachs Abacus CDO. If it were a stock, it would plummet to Enron levels.

Sometimes, I long for the blurry cultural identities of the 80s, when elementary school friends lumped all Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Egyptian immigrants in one brown-hued bucket: "India." Who wouldn't rather be affiliated with "Slumdog Millionaire," Metro PCS's Ranjit and Chad, Chicken Tikkah Masala, Bhangra remixes and Bollywood instead of religious extremism and Al Qaeda? Pakistani culture has some bomb biryani, lively and critical political commentary, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and dubious Lollywood entertainment. But we rarely hear anything about that.

Sometimes, I feel Muslim Pakistanis are like Daffy Duck, always cursed to have the anvil drop on our heads, regardless of our patriotism, lack of criminal record, good credit score and groomed facial hair. The moderate and innocent majority collectively bear the brunt of the sins of a deluded minority, such as Faisal Shahzad.

This is something my white friends can never understand. They never get personal blowback when one of their members commits crimes. They are like Bugs Bunny to our Daffy Duck: They can get hit with a McVeigh, Madoff, Kaczynski, the Hutaris, even W. Bush. They just brush it off, make a wisecrack, and move along untouched. They are never asked to "prove their loyalty" or face increased racial profiling and "extra loving" pat downs at the airport.

In the last two days, many other Pakistani American Muslims like me have been bombarded with one question: "Why did Faisal Shahzad do it?" Let it be known that Pakistanis and Muslims are not like the Borg, some cybernetic species with a collective consciousness. There is no broadcast frequency that alerts us to the internal machinations of an angry or confused individual who simply happens to share our skin color, ethnicity or religious affiliation. We are not "alerted" when they create their diabolical plans to commit mayhem. It's akin to me asking all my white friends: Why does the Tea Party think Obama is a Muslim? What goes on in the mind of those crazy-ass white, Christian militias who hate the government? Or really: Why do white people wear cargo shorts?

But what I can tell you is that the news hits us differently. A friend of mine born and raised in this country, who is both a religious Muslim and shares strong Pakistani roots, emailed me saying he was "ashamed and disgraced" about Faisal Shahzad. A Pakistani immigrant uncle in the Texas community was outraged that the suspect tried to commit terror despite having just "recited a pledge of allegiance to his adopted country ... still the greatest country on the fact of the earth, warts and all notwithstanding." We face increased calls to "police our own." (Perhaps people forget that it was a Senegalese Muslim immigrant by the name of Aliou Niasse responsible for tipping off the NYPD to the burning vehicle.)

But the overwhelming response to this averted tragedy amongst Pakistani Muslim Americans was simple: anger, disgust, outrage. Just like any other American.

Wajahat Ali is the author of "The Domestic Crusaders," a play about Muslim Pakistani Americans that will be published by McSweeney's in the Fall 2010. He blogs at Goatmilk.

bh

May 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A TakePart Guide to the Schumer-Graham Immigration Overhaul

Here is a break down of the proposed immigration plan by Senators Schumer and Graham:  A TakePart Guide to the Schumer-Graham Immigration Overhaul.

KJ 

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alameda County Joins "Secure Communities"

According to Oakland North, Alameda County, California, which includeds Berkeley and Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area, recently became the fourth Bay Area county to participate in a federal immigration enforcement program (Secure Communities) that mandates fingerprint checks on everyone booked at local jails to determine whether they are subject to deportation. Civil rights defenders criticize the program, claiming that its implementation could lead to racial profiling and the deportation of immigrants who do not pose a public safety threat.

Secure Communities is administered by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  

Under the program, ICE will receive alerts whenever the system reveals that someone booked in a local jail is subject to deportation.

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Class Action Challenges Unlawful Asylee Family Reunification Policy

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) filed a class-action complaint, Tsamcho v. Napolitano, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York today on behalf of a class of immigrants granted asylum in the United States who are seeking to bring their spouses and children to this country. The lawsuit challenges a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy that threatens to deprive asylees of the opportunity to reunite their families in the United States.

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Film: BROTHER TOWNS, PUEBLOS HERMANOS

Home_pict
Brother Towns
chronicles a story of how and why people migrate across borders, how people make and remake their communities when they travel thousands of miles from home, and how people maintain families despite their travel. Because we are all immigrants, this is a universal human story, and a quintessential American one. Brother Towns is also a story of local and international controversy.

News of undocumented immigrants is familiar in nearly every community across the U.S., and citizens must choose how they respond to this issue. This story includes voices of those opposed to undocumented immigrants as well as advocates helping migrants who seek work and hope, whether documented or not. Directed by Charles D. Thompson, Jr & Michael Davey, 58 minutes. More details, including a film clip, can be found on the filmmaker's webpage at http://www.brothertowns.com/

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Asian American Groups Join To Challenge Arizona Law

Asian American Civil Rights Groups Announce Intent to Join National Civil Rights Groups in Challenge to Anti-Immigrant Arizona Law

LOS ANGELES— Leaders of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian Law Caucus (ALC) and Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) announced today that their organizations will jointly challenge SB 1070, a sweeping and profoundly anti-immigrant piece of state legislation that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law April 23.
“By requiring Arizona law enforcement, with limited exceptions, to determine the immigration status of anyone who law enforcement officers ‘reasonably suspect’ is an undocumented immigrant and expanding their authority to make warrantless arrests, this divisive and oppressive law will encourage overbroad and indiscriminate targeting of entire immigrant communities,” said Julie A. Su, litigation director of APALC.

“We stand in solidarity with the Latino community, which has long felt the full force of Arizona’s anti-immigrant laws,” Su, who will lead the litigation effort for the Asian American community, added.

The Arizona law, which imposes a state and local immigration enforcement regime that is preempted by and in conflict with, federal law, is yet another manifestation of Arizona’s history of anti-immigrant sentiment and continues a pattern of reckless immigration enforcement actions that ignores basic notions of fairness and decency. 
 
“Arizona’s action is unconstitutional because it impermissibly expands Arizona’s authority to enforce federal civil and criminal immigration law,” said AAJC senior staff attorney Ronald Lee. “Arizona’s recent—and telling—attempts to circumscribe the scope of SB 1070 through passage of HB 2162 will do nothing to save this fundamentally flawed legislation from being struck down.”
AAJC, ALC and APALC will file their legal challenge with other civil rights organizations, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center and the National Day Labor Organizing Network, as well as with leaders of the Arizona Asian American community.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are vulnerable to misguided immigration enforcement efforts, especially those that implicitly condone racial profiling, as our communities continue to face difficulties achieving acceptance in mainstream American society,” said Sin Yen Ling, senior staff attorney at ALC.

AAJC, ALC and APALC, along with the Asian American Institute (AAI), are affiliate organizations advancing their work to protect and expand the civil rights of Asian Americans as members of the newly formed Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.

bh

May 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona is Not the First State to Take Immigration Matters into their Own Hands: Local Measures on the Rise with Twelve States Considering Similar Laws

According to the Immigration Policy Center, Arizona's controversial new immigration law (SB 1070) is the latest in a long line of efforts to regulate immigration at the state level. Yet while the Grand Canyon State's foray into immigration law is one of the most extreme and punitive, other states have also attempted to enforce federal law through state-specific measures and sanctions. Oklahoma and Georgia have recently passed measures, with mixed constitutional results, aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration through state enforcement. Legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions in the first quarter of 2010 alone, compared to 570 in all of 2006. While some of the state laws are beneficial to immigrants, others, including Arizona SB 1070 are overreaching and misguided. Twelve states - Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah - have introduced or are considering introducing similar legislation. This leap into federal enforcement, however, represents a disturbing trend fueled by the lack of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

President Speaks on Immigration Reform on Cinco de Mayo

160px-ObamaBarack
At a Cino de Mayo reception at the White House, President Obama said Wednesday
he wants to start working on immigration legislation this year. “The way to fix our broken immigration system is through coommon sense, comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. Watch the video of his reamarks at the link.  He mentioned the need to “secure our borders” and hold businesses accountable for exploiting undocumented immigrants, while also mandating that undocumented people admit they broke the law, pay a penalty, and taxes and learn English. The President also spoke out again against Arizona’s new immigration law.

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

San Diego Baseball Star Speaks out Against Arizona Law

My co-blogger Dean Kevin Johnson is an LA Dodgers fan. I live and die with the SF Giants. But we both admire San Diego Padres superstar Adrian Gonzalez for his stand against the anti-immigrant Arizona law.

AdrianGonzalez
From Tom Krasovic of FanHouse.com:

Known mostly for his booming bat and deft glove, Padres star Adrian Gonzalez drew attention on Saturday with his mouth.

Gonzalez, fed up with disputed strike calls against teammates and himself, was thrown out of a major league game for the first time after words with umpire Rob Drake in San Diego's 2-1 loss to the Brewers.

Afterward at Petco Park, Gonzalez had more to say about not only Drake's calls but a controversial ruling in Arizona aimed at stemming illegal immigration.

He told FanHouse that he will not attend next year's All-Star Game in Phoenix if the law is in effect, and that he'd like for major league baseball to boycott spring training in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law on April 23.

"I know it can't be done, but they should take spring training out of (Arizona) if it's possible." Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

May 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Impact: The Best of the Worst in Recent Anti-Immigrant Proposals

Immigration Impact has come up with this best of the worst list, which makes Arizona law look like a cakewalk:

Hasta Luego, Ethnic Studies Programs (Arizona)

Accented Teachers Under Fire (Arizona)

Tag, You’re Undocumented: Implanting Microchips in Immigrants (Iowa)

One-Way Tickets for U.S. Tots: Deporting U.S. Citizen Children (California)

KJ

May 6, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)