Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brookings Book on Immigration Reform

U.S. Immigration Policy Keeps Skilled Workers Out,  Hurting American Businesses

New Brookings Book Calls for Automatic Green Cards for U.S.-Trained Foreign Students; Other Policy Changes

(Washington, D.C.) July 6, 2010 -- The United States grants only 15 percent of its visas to skilled, highly educated and talented workers needed by American businesses to grow and compete internationally, according to a new book released today by the Brookings Institution.  By comparison, countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom are way ahead of the United States, setting aside over 55 percent of their visas for skilled workers. 

"The U.S. has benefited greatly over the years from the 'brain gain' of immigration," stated Darrell West, author of Brain Gain: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy.  "Gifted immigrants have engineered advances in energy, information technology, international commerce, sports, arts, and culture.  To stay competitive, we must make way for the next Sergey Brin, Andrew Grove, and Albert Einstein and open our doors to attract the unique talents from other nations."

Brain Gain: Rethinking U.S. Immigration Policy Makes These Points:

· U.S. immigration policy went seriously off course after Congress passed legislation in 1965 making family unification the primary goal. Today, 64 percent of visas are granted for purposes of bringing members of the extended family into the U.S., including aunts, uncles, and cousins.

· If visas were limited to the immediate relatives of immigrants, hundreds of thousands of visas would be freed up to attract individuals with special talents or skills needed by American businesses. 

· When immigration policy is based on family unification, public opposition is high – in the U.S. and Great Britain, it is over 50% in both cases.  In Canada where the goal of immigration is to draw skilled workers to boost economic growth, opposition is much lower, at 27 percent.

· In 2007, immigrants raised American GDP by $37 billion a year.  

· Between 1996 and 2008, immigrants were twice as likely as native-borns to start new businesses. Immigrant-founded companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005.  

· Nearly a quarter of patents filed from the United States in 2006 were based on the work of foreign-borns living in America.  Fifty-three percent of patent-holders received their highest degree from a U.S. university. 

· The cost of getting an undergraduate degree is over $200,000 and for a Ph.D., the expense can run over $250,000. Much of this cost is covered by universities seeking to attract smart students from abroad. Yet, little effort is made to keep these knowledge workers in the United States. 

· Since 2001, the USA Patriot Act has created huge complications for colleges and universities seeking to admit foreign students.

· A review of U.S print and broadcast news coverage from 1995 to 2005 found that the media was twice as likely to stress the costs of immigration as the benefits.

Brookings Book Presents Revolutionary New Look at Immigration Reform:

Institute the Einstein Principle: Immigration should be seen as a “Brain Gain” to draw top international talent on the order of Albert Einstein. Here are West's key recommendations:

· Give automatic green cards to foreign graduates of American programs.  The U.S. is losing top talent to other countries. By creating an automatic “green card track” for foreign students in the fields of math, science, and technology, international students graduating from American universities would more likely stay here and help realize a return on thousands of dollars spent on their training and on developing their skill levels. 

· Give visas to immediate family members only which would free up at least 160,000 visa slots annually for high-skilled and seasonal workers, foreign graduates and others. 

· Provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants as long as they pay a fine for illegal entry, pay back taxes, pass background checks, and learn English.

· Put cost-effective border patrol methods in place.

Reaction from "Both Sides of the Aisle" to Brain Gain:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "For America to compete in the 21st century, we need to be able to attract - and keep - the world's best, brightest and hardworking."

Former Florida Jeb Bush: "A key element in a high-growth economic strategy is changing our immigration policies to enhance productivity and innovation.  Brain Gain provides a roadmap to do just that." 

About Brain Gain Author Darrell West:

Darrell West is vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He was previously the director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions at Brown University and held the John Hazen White Chair as a professor of public policy and political science. Among his sixteen previous books are Digital Medicine: Health Care in the Internet Era (Brookings, 2009), Biotechnology Policy across National Boundaries (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and Digital Government: Technology and Public Sector Performance (Princeton, 2005).

bh

July 3, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Another Immigration Policy is Possible

David Bacon on Truthout:

Bacon
Thousands of left-wing activists just spent a week at the US Social Forum in Detroit, gathered again under the banner "Another World is Possible." Among them hundreds added a new subtext: "Another Immigration Policy is Possible!"
This theme was especially popular among grassroots organizations in immigrant communities. Today, nontraditional worker centers are spreading across the US, including ones for day laborers, domestic workers, farm workers and other low-wage immigrants. Most are Spanish-speaking migrants from Mexico and Central America, but many also come from the Philippines, India, Pakistan, China and the Caribbean. If anyone should be in favor of immigration reform, these groups should be. Yet, instead of embracing the proposals made in Washington by Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Sen. Charles Schumer, they reject them.
The Social Forum was over by the time President Barack Obama made a speech about immigration policy a week later, but the forum's message could as easily have been given to him as well. There are no significant differences between Obama's ideas and those of Gutierrez and Schumer.
These grassroots groups don't like the proposals for new guest worker programs. They have been fighting raids, firings and increased immigration enforcement for years, and are angry that the Washington proposals all make enforcement heavier. They want the border demilitarized. And they believe any rational immigration reform must change US trade policies that displace people in other countries.
Washington's proposals for immigration reform all have a similar structure. They assure a managed flow of migrant labor to employers at low wages, through expanded recruitment by contractors in countries like Mexico. Immigrants must work to stay, and those who aren't working must leave. To force the flow of undocumented workers into this program, the Washington bills all increase penalties for working or crossing the border without visas. And as the carrot, they propose limited legalization for undocumented people currently in the US.
These proposals originally came from large corporations in the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, and were then supported by some unions and civil rights groups. These groups argued that corporations would never support legalization if they weren't guaranteed a future flow of displaced people.
It's not uncommon in Washington to hear arguments that "Mexicans would rather come to the US as braceros than die in the desert on the border," or even "Mexicans are so desperate to migrate, they don't care what kind of visa they have."
In Detroit, it was obvious that immigrants do care. They don't want to be used just as cheap labor, and want rights and equality with the people living around them. "We need a better alternative," says Lillian Galedo, director of Filipino Advocates for Justice.
Renee Saucedo, who was born in Mexico and today directs the day labor program in San Francisco, says the biggest problem with the Washington consensus is that "it continues to mischaracterize migration as a 'criminal,' or 'illegal,' issue, rather than as a consequence of economic trade agreements and political repression that displace millions. Employers want to keep it this way to ensure their supply of cheap, vulnerable, exploitable labor."
The Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB), with an indigenous membership on both sides of the Mexico/US border, has historically opposed contract labor, or guest worker programs. "Migrants need the right to work, but these workers don't have labor rights or benefits," says FIOB's binational coordinator, Gaspar Rivera Salgado. "It's like slavery." Many FIOB members are farm workers, and some remember the abuses of the old "bracero" program.
At the same time, Rivera Salgado cautions, "We need development in Mexico that makes migration a choice rather than a necessity - the right to not migrate. Both rights are part of the same solution. But the right to not migrate has to mean more than the right to be poor or the right to go hungry and homeless." For that reason, after a long consultation process, FIOB announced it would "work to renegotiate NAFTA, because it creates migration by forcing poverty and inequality on the communities we come from in Mexico."
Immigrant activists in Detroit called for broad legalization that would give papers to all undocumented people. They want the US to make more residence visas available, allowing migrants to choose where to live without making them vulnerable to employers. They opposed trade agreements like NAFTA. But most of all, they called for ending the criminalization of immigrants, whether by Arizona's infamous SB 1070 law, or through the firings of thousands of people for lacking work papers. Over 350,000 undocumented migrants were incarcerated last year alone, in private detention centers.
"We should never fight for the rights of some at the expense of others." Saucedo declares. "Legalization would be an empty victory if most immigrants still faced high exploitation, firings and raids."

bh

July 3, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sweet Honey In The Rock: Are We A Nation?

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Earlier this week, we reported that Ry Cooder had written a song responding to Arizona's new immigration law.  Now, Grammy award winning and internationally renowned acappella ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock® have released their new single and music video “Are We A Nation?,” a response to Arizona Law SB-1070. With “Are We A Nation?” Sweet Honey In The Rock® has utilized their favorite form of expression – music - to communicate their feelings on the complex issues of immigration and their outrage regarding Arizona’s Law SB-1070. They believe that this law encourages and creates opportunities for hatred, ignorance, and prejudice to prevail.

Sweet Honey In The Rock® have been using their music to express outrage and compassion, to nurture and empower audiences, to document the times, and to preserve and extend African American vocal traditions since 1973, and to this day their music continues to change people’s lives. By drawing more attention to “Are We A Nation?” the group hopes to stimulate interest in and debate surrounding the Arizona law SB-1070 to foster an understanding of the broad implications of this law.

The band will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of ARE WE A NATION? to The Center for Community Change. Founded in 1968 to honor the life of Robert F. Kennedy, the organization empowers low income communities, especially low-income communities of color, to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives.

In addition, Sweet Honey In The Rock® has also joined The SOUND STRIKE and will be listed with other artists who have joined in boycotting Arizona in protest of the law.

The song is available to stream at www.facebook.com/sweethoneyintherock and the recently premiered music video can be viewed at YouTube here – http://www.youtube.com/sweethoneyinrock. The song was released by Sweet Honey’s independent record label SHE-ROCKS 5 and is now available at CD Baby and iTunes.

KJ

July 2, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Mexican migration and the U.S. economic crisis and Immigration law : a primer

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Mexican migration and the U.S. economic crisis : a transnational perspective / edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, David Fitzgerald
[et al.] La Jolla, Calif.: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego c2010.

Liberty
Scaperlanda, Michael A.  Immigration law : a primer
. Washington, D.C. : Federal Judicial Center, 2009.  Download Immlaw09[1]

KJ

July 2, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Obama's Immigration Reform Speech

Here is a link to the text of President Obama's speech calling for comprehensive immigration reform delivered at American University yesterday.

bh

July 2, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

California Endorses Same-Sex Couple Immigration Rights

Earlier this week, the California State Senate passed a resolution with a 23-12 vote that included bipartisan support, endorsing a federal law that would permit U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor a same-sex partner for immigration. The resolution, AJR 15, introduced by Assembly Member Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and co-sponsored by Equality California and Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE), formally requests that the United States Congress pass and President Obama sign the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).

"Our broken immigration system unfairly discriminates against thousands of families headed by same-sex couples by keeping them apart," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "It is in the hands of Congress and President Obama to end this grave injustice. We call on them to pass and sign into law the Uniting American Families Act, thus ensuring that all families, regardless of sexual orientation, enjoy the security and stability that all families deserve."

Under current federal law, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can file visa petitions on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse. The UAFA, introduced by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would amend the nation's Immigration and Nationality Act by adding same-sex "permanent partners" to the list of family members for whom a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can petition. The bill defines a "permanent partner" as an adult who is in a committed, intimate, financially interdependent relationship with another adult in "which both parties intend a lifelong commitment."

"Thousands of American families and committed same-sex couples are denied basic rights and legal protections, including the ability to petition for a partner to immigrate to the U.S.," said Assemblymember De León. "They live in legal limbo and are torn apart by outdated immigration policies. In ensuring a true state of equality, Congress must take immediate steps to reunite and protect all families once and for all."

According to the U.S. Census, approximately 35,000 bi-national same-sex couples currently live in the United States. At least 16 other nations already have immigration policies allowing the sponsorship of same-sex partners, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

There are currently 115 co-sponsors of the UAFA in the U.S. House of Representatives and 21 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate. Endorsed by the State Assembly in September of last year, the resolution now awaits a procedural concurrent vote in the Assembly.

For more information about EQCA's legislation, visit www.eqca.org/legislation.

bh

July 2, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW AMERICANS IN THE BLUEGRASS AND MOUNTAIN STATES: Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a Growing Economic Force in Kentucky and West Virginia

The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are important contributors to the economy, labor force, and tax base in both Kentucky and West Virginia. Immigrants and their children in particular are a growing economic 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 of the Bluegrass and Mountain States.

Highlights from Kentucky include:

• Immigrants made up 2.8% of Kentucky's population (or 119,503 people) in 2008.

• The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $2.1 billion and Asian buying power totaled nearly $1.8 billion in Kentucky in 2009.

• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Kentucky, the state could lose $1.7 billion in economic activity and $756.8 million in gross state product.

Highlights from West Virginia include:

• Immigrants made up 1.3% of West Virginia's population (or 23,273 people) in 2008.

• The purchasing power of Latinos totaled $549.6 million and Asian buying power totaled $567.7 million in West Virginia in 2009.

• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from West Virginia, the state could lose $26.6 million in economic activity and $11.8 million in gross state product.

KJ

July 2, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ABA Adds Voice to Challenge to Arizona's SB 1070

The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief in the federal court action seeking to block enforcement of Arizona's new immigration law.  It is unusual for the ABA to file an amicus brief before a case reaches the appellate level.  The brief argues that the federal government has exclusive power over immigration matters.  The ABA also lists three other reasons to block enforcement of the law:

• By requiring that officers verify immigration status if they have a reasonable suspicion that a person is here unlawfully, the law will increase use of racial profiling.

• By mandating the jailing of suspected undocumented immigrants until their immigration status can be verified, the law will result in unlawful and unreasonable detentions.

• Arizona will be required to appoint defense counsel for poor individuals detained under the law, increasing the burden on the indigent defense system.

The ABA filed the brief in Friendly House v. Whiting, a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups.

KJ

July 2, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Irregular Migration at Two Borders: The Turkish-EU and Mexican-U.S. Cases

to announce the release of a new German Marshall Fund policy brief as part of the Immigration Paper Series titled “Irregular Migration at Two Borders: The Turkish-EU and Mexican-U.S. Cases.” The paper was written by Ahmet İçduygu and Deniz Sert, and is a product of two workshops held in November 2008 and May 2009 at Koç University in Istanbul, focusing on irregular migration at two borders: the Turkish-EU and Mexican-U.S. The paper explores three central points. The first focuses on the Mexican-U.S. and Turkish-EU borders, and how they can be analyzed and compared via two interrelated aspects of the recent politicization of the international migration systems: securitization and economization. The second highlights the variance in perceptions of irregular migration, and how current debate revolves around the security-versus-human rights tradeoff: while the policy world emphasizes mostly the security aspects of irregular migration - with a focus on border protection, terrorism, and criminal networks - academia and civil society highlight the fact that there are basic human rights that even the irregular migrants are entitled to. The third covers the difficulties associated with researching irregular migration. In the Turkish-EU case, the problem lies primarily with policymakers and implementers not sharing their data with academics. The Mexican-U.S. case is characterized by conflicting research findings, especially in economic arenas, which allow for different groups to cite studies that suit their own interests.

KJ

July 1, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ICE Raid in Southern California Results in 43 Arrests

Arrests and deportations under the Obama administration continue at a higher pace than that under the Bush regime. Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times reports on the most recent evidence of this trend:

Production resumed Wednesday at a manufacturing plant in Fullerton after an immigration raid that resulted in the arrests of 43 workers and the temporary shutdown of the facility.

Employers at Terra Universal Inc., which produces equipment for semiconductor and pharmaceutical manufacturers, spent the day reassuring customers, checking employees' documents and questioning why they were targeted, according to the company's attorney.

Chief Operating Officer Ken Harms said the raid took him by surprise and disrupted the entire plant. "It was completely unexpected," he said.

Immigration agents executed a search warrant at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, according to Lori Haley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Haley declined to specify what agents were investigating but said the operation was conducted in a professional manner.

"We are not there to cause disruption to the company," she said. "We are there to gather evidence."

Terra Universal, which opened in 1976, has about 230 employees. Haley said all but two of the workers arrested were later released and given notices to appear in immigration court.

According to the search warrant, agents were looking for job applications, employment verification forms, immigration documents and correspondence from the Social Security Administration regarding the use of Social Security numbers that didn't match the employees' names. In addition, agents were searching for documents related to the company's reporting of wages and taxes paid and documents that showed any cash payments to employees.

The company's attorney, David Ross, criticized the agency for using a search warrant and employing "SWAT" techniques rather than simply asking for the employment records. Ross said agents spent the whole day at the plant on Raymond Avenue, preventing workers from leaving and stopping sales, production and shipping.

"It was total overkill," he said. "You don't need a warrant and 40 ICE agents to come in and storm the place."

Ross said he believed the move was political and that President Obama is trying to show that his administration is cracking down on illegal immigration. Obama is expected to speak Thursday in Washington, D.C., about the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

July 1, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Philanthropic California Endowment Reconsiders Arizona Investments

The California Endowment is reconsidering its $5.2-million in financial investments in companies based in Arizona because of that state’s strict new immigration law.

“There is no question that immigration reform is sorely needed, but the law passed recently by Arizona isn’t it, not by a long shot. We strongly believe that this law should be repealed,” said a letter sent to six Arizona companies by the Los Angeles foundation. It was signed by Robert K. Ross, the organization’s chief executive, and Ruth Wernig, chief investment officer.

More here from the TCE website:

http://www.calendow.org/Article.aspx?id=2416

bh

July 1, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Remittance Disclosure Included in Financial Reform

From Appleseed:

With Congressional agreement on financial reform legislation, Appleseed's Fair Exchange principles are now much closer to implementation in the remittance market. The Conference Committee agreement would benefit countless U.S. immigrants and their families and entire economies that depend on the flow of remittance dollars. The legislation includes important transparency requirements for remittance service providers that will help guarantee the safe and affordable transfer of money from immigrant workers to their relatives abroad.
 
Reflecting recommendations generated by Appleseed during years of research and advocacy, the legislation requires remittance providers to disclose vital service information prior to a transaction. Among the details to be provided in a written pre-transaction notice are the amount of currency that will be received by the designated recipient, the amount of transfer, any fees charged by the remittance transfer provider, and any exchange rate to be used by the provider for the transfer.
 
"These disclosures will help consumers ensure that their hard-earned wages go as far as possible in supporting the financial welfare of their families and themselves," said Annette LoVoi, director of Appleseed's Financial Access and Asset Building Program. "The benefits of improved remittance transparency will be felt around the world."
 
The legislation also requires a receipt showing the amount to be received, the promised date of delivery, identifying information about the recipient, and a statement containing the senders' rights regarding error resolution. Further, the act requires disclosure of contact information for the remittance provider and the state and federal government regulators for complaints, and the disclosures will be available in the foreign languages most commonly used by remittance customers.
 
"Informed consumers are responsible consumers," said Appleseed Executive Director Betsy Cavendish. "And remitters are a huge population. Market transparency will help people protect their earnings, creating economic stability from the ground up."
 
Remittance flows from United States, which reached an estimated $47 billion in 2008, play integral roles in both poverty alleviation abroad and asset building in the U.S. About 80 percent of remitters earn less than $30,000 per year, so even small savings are vital to both sides of a remittance transaction, and up-front disclosures will not only allow for comparison shopping, but likely drive down costs through increased competition.
 
As a nearly decade-long advocate for increased transparency in the remittance market, Appleseed applauds the efforts of lawmakers to help transform our carefully crafted proposals into action. To view Appleseed's full body of work on international remittances, including our Fair Exchange pilot program and Congressional testimony, visit www.appleseednetwork.org.

bh

July 1, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ry Cooder to Donate "Quicksand" Proceeds to MALDEF

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Ry Cooder
created his new single “Quicksand” in response to Arizona's immigration law SB 1070, wjich requires police to demand "papers" from people they stop who they suspect are "unlawfully present" in the United States. "Quicksand" tells the story of six migrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. Today, Ry Cooder's "Quicksand" went on sale exclusively on iTunes, and Cooder has pledged to donate all proceeds from the song to the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), one of the civil rights organizations that has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona law.

“Quicksand” features Cooder's son Joachim on drums, with backup vocals by Lucina Rodgriguez and Fabiola Trujillo of the Mexican roots band Los Cenzontles. The artwork for the single features the piece "Nuthin' To See Here, Keep On Movin'!" by frequent collaborator Vincent Valdez.

A link to Ry Cooder’s page featuring “Quicksand” is here. To show your support for Ry Cooder and MALDEF, visit the iTunes store to purchase “Quicksand” here.

KJ

June 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

President's Speech on Immigration Reform

Obamabarack
As Bill Hing reported earlier today, President Barack Obama claims to be pushing for immigration reform.  He is set to deliver a speech about immigration policy tomorrow at 10:45 AM on the campus of American University.  Watch it live!  For some pre-speech speculation from Alex Wagner at Politics Daily, click here.

Here is how the White House is touting the speech: 

"The President believes that we must have a practical, common-sense approach that reflects our heritage and our history -- as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. Government must be accountable for enforcing the law, businesses that seek unfair advantages over competitors must be accountable for exploiting the system, and those who break the law must be accountable as well. But as always, the President will put it more eloquently than I can, so tune in for the speech streamed live at WhiteHouse.gov at 10:45 a.m. EDT. If you miss it, at 1:00 p.m. EDT, you can still join Cecilia Muñoz, one of the President's closest advisors on this issue, who will be taking questions from Americans all over the country in a unique online roundtable."

UPDATE (JULY 1):  Here is a transcript to the speech.  In it, the President seemed to try to build support for immigration reform by appealing to the "better angels of our nature," to quote Lincoln.  He emphasized  the humanity of immigrants as well as the good they have done for the U.S. economy and the nation (through military service).  In terms of policy proposals, there was nothing especially new in the speech, although (1) President Obama did acknowledge his support for earned legalization (for immigrants who register, pay their taxes and a fine, and learn English; and (2) recognized the need to reform the provisions of the U.S. immigration laws dealing with legal immigration.  Reaction to the speech has been decidely bipartisan.  Supporters of immigration reform have tended to voice support (for Jesse Jackson's positive reaction, click here) for the President's speech with others were more critical about "where's the beef?"

KJ

June 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Obama, Labor, and Activists Will Target Republicans and Push Reform

Erica Werner writes for the Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is enlisting activists and labor leaders in a push for comprehensive immigration legislation that will showcase Republican opposition and include a speech by the president.

The strategy was discussed during a meeting Monday by a range of prominent labor leaders and activist groups. Participants said Obama reiterated his support for immigration legislation but noted the political realities that have stalled it in Congress.

Latino leaders say they will work in coming months to pressure Republicans to give way and support an immigration bill - and make opponents pay at the ballot box if they don't.

"We're going to make absolutely crystal clear who's at fault here," said Eliseo Medina, a leader of the Service Employees International Union.

Prospects for passage of comprehensive immigration legislation look bleak this election year, and even many Democrats are wary of wading into the hot-button issue. But Obama, who pledged as a candidate to make immigration reform a top priority during his first year in office, faces pressure from the Hispanic community to act - or at least to try. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

June 30, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Asylum Cases Can Truly Mean Life or Death

Julia Preston in a New York Times article reminds us that asylum cases, in this instance a young Salvadoran man who fled gang violence in El Salvador but was ordered deported there after his asylum claim was denied in the United States, can have life-or-death consequences.

KJ 

June 30, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law Comes Up in Kagan Confirmation Hearings

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Seth Freed Wessler of ColorLines
writes on the immigration questioning directed by Arizona's John Kyl to Solicitor General Elena Kagan at her Supreme Court confirmation hearings yesterday:

" Day one of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings have wrapped up and she's already heard a mouthful of criticism, some of which is plain inaccurate. In a notable example, Arizona Sen. John Kyl, while suggesting that President Obama picked Kagan because `he wants justices who will use the bench to advance progressive goals,' pointed to a brief from the solicitor general's office clarifying the government's position on U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria. The case, recently taken up by the Supreme Court, challenges a 2006 Arizona law that punishes businesses for hiring undocumented immigrants. In his comments, Kyl said he is `deeply troubled' by a brief released by the solicitor general calling for the Court to overturn the 2006 law, which takes business licenses away from employers found to have hired undocumented workers. But Kagan did not write the brief. The brief was released by an acting SG after Kagan's recusal, following her nomination to the court." (emphasis added).

It is good to know that ColorLines' authors read ImmigrationProf blog, which reported very clearly long ago the facts surrounding the brief submitted on behalf of the United States in the Candelaria case.  It unfortunately appears that Senator Kyl and his staffers do not read our blog!

KJ

June 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Securing America’s Borders: The Role of the Military

The Congressional Research Service has released a paper entitled Securing America’s Borders: The Role of the Military (June 16, 2010), which includes helpful background on the subject.  This is an especially topical paper given that President Obama recently deployed more than 1000 troops from the National Guard to the U.S./Mexico border.

KJ

June 29, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Research at ASU

Arizona State University's College of Public Programs has created a website presenting research about how communities are responding to unauthorized immigration. We focus particularly on the challenges that confront local police departments in communities where immigration has become a political issue. The website includes a summary of the results of a national survey of police executives, as well as related work by this research team and other sources. Also included is a reference list of relevant research and policy information related to immigration, communities, and policing.

KJ 

June 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Dynamic Diaspora: Women and Immigration

Women’s eNews have a Dynamic Diaspora: Women and Immigration series that highlights the experiences of immigrant women, exploring topics such as: domestic violence, prenatal care, and access to the workforce. The full articles can be found here and here (Spanish).

KJ

June 29, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)