Saturday, July 17, 2010

Death on the Border Continues: The Result of Increased Border Enforcement

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Many newspapers -- the L.A. Times, for example -- have been highlighting the fact that a growing number of state and local governments have been passing immigration-related legislation, which is an important phenomenon that has been going on for the last several years.  In some ways, Arizona's SB 1070 is simply the latest and most extreme example.  However, a story that was buried in my local newspaper really deserves greater attention.

The headline of the AP story is "Immigrant deaths in Arizona desert soaring in July" and the first line reveals much about the direct impacts of U.S. border enforcemment policies:

"The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico is soaring so high this month that the medical examiner's office that handles the bodies is using a refrigerated truck to store some of them, the chief examiner said Friday."

This human tragedy -- migrants dying horrible deaths in the deserts and mountains along the U.S./Mexico border -- has become an every-day occurrence along the U./S./Mexico border.  The implementation of Operation Gatekeeper near San Diego and Operation Hold the Line in El Paso in the 1990s, signalled a move by the United States toward greatly increased border enforcement along our southern border.  Since then, the undocumented population has increased from 5.5-6 million in the mid-1990s to 11-12 million today.  Increased border enforcement, which besides these operations includes increased technology, extension of the border fence, mass detention of migrants, and record levels of deportations, thus certainly has not reduced the size of the undocumented population in the United States.

However, by redirecting the flow of migrants from urban areas to more desolate and dangerous locations, thousands of migrants -- most of them from Mexico -- have died.  This is one of the oft-forgotten costs of our current immigration enforcement policies.  It is a cost that is likely to continue until we revisit and reform the U.S. immigration laws in a thoughtful and comprehensive way.

The bottom line:  As the mounting deaths on the border demonstrate, the "enforcement now, enforcement forever" policy of the current administration will not address all of the immigration issues facing the nation -- including undocumented immigration.

KJ

July 17, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Solis and Trumpka to Discuss Immigration Reform Needs

From the AFL-CIO:

Solis, Trumka Talk Immigration Reform, Worker Rights on Live Webcast http://bit.ly/cGFZGq

Join Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for a live video webcast Monday to address the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform from a worker rights perspective. The webcast will air at 1 p.m. EDT.

Solis will explore the corporate exploitation of undocumented immigrant workers and the depressing effect it has on labor standards nationally. She also will outline how fixing our nation’s broken immigration system is essential to advancing the rights of all workers.

Trumka will review the union movement’s immigration policy and discuss the AFL-CIO’s plans to advance this important piece of our program to create an economy that works for everyone.

bh

July 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Illinois Satisfies Feds on English-Language learners

Mary Ann Zehr writes for Education Week:

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that with the adoption of new administrative rules, the Illinois State Board of Education has satisfied a concern federal officials had that Illinois school districts weren't providing adequate services to English-language learners.

And in the July 13 press release making that announcement, Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, states that an English-language learner in this country has the right to receive special help to learn English as long as he or she has that label.

"All English-language learner students have the right to appropriate language support services until they achieve English proficiency, and when educational agencies terminate such services prematurely, they deny these students the equal educational opportunity that federal law guarantees them," Mr. Perez said in the press release. Click here for the rest of the column.

bh

July 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Closer Look at the Seven Lawsuits Challenging Arizona Law S.B. 1070

Almost immediately after Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070 into law, lawsuits were filed in federal court in Arizona challenging the law. The lawsuits all seek the same result - a halt to the law's enforcement-although each suit argues different grounds. Some suits cite civil liberty violations, racial profiling and unlawful regulation of federal immigration law, while another suit states that the police training videos exacerbate conflicts between federal and state law. As July 29, 2010, the date S.B. 1070 is set to go into effect, draws near, litigants and supporters on both sides of the lawsuits are seeking swift resolutions. Ultimately though, the timing of any resolution will depend on the court.

Read more from this Immigration Impact story.

KJ

July 16, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Townhall Meeting in L.A. this Sunday

From Todos Somos Arizona:

Dear Friends,

Please join us for a very important town hall discussion concerning rights and justice for our communities of color and resistance against the racist, unjust laws.  On Sunday, July 18th at 2pm Todos Somos Arizona will be hosting a community town hall in which we will be gathering together to educate each other on immigrant rights, histories of migration, current laws that legalize racial profiling and criminalize our communities, and upcoming actions to continue our struggle for dignity, humanity and peace.  We need your participation, your insights, your stories and your generosity to make this discussion successful and build towards the change we all desire.  
 
Sunday, July 18, 2010 2-4:30pm
Shatto Recreation Center
3191 W. 4th Street (between Vermont and Virgil) Los Angeles, CA 90020

bh

July 16, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Law and Adjudication Issue of Duke Law Journal

DLJ
The May 2010 (Vol. 59, No. 8) issue of the Duke Law Journal is the Fortieth Annual Administrative Law Issue.  The issue is on " Immigration Law and Adjudication."

Judicial Specialization and the Adjudication of Immigration Cases Lawrence Baum 

A Diversion of Attention? Immigration Courts and the Adjudication of Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights Jennifer M. Chacón

Restructuring Immigration Adjudication Stephen H. Legomsky

The Rights of Others: Legal Claims and Immigration Outside the Law Hiroshi Motomura

Constraint through Delegation: The Case of Executive Control over Immigration Policy Cristina M. Rodríguez

RESPONSE Practical Impediments to Structural Reform and the Promise of Third Branch Analytic Methods: A Reply to Professors Baum and Legomsky Russell R. Wheeler

KJ

July 16, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ENFORCEMENT NOW, ENFORCEMENT FOREVER: Immigration Enforcement Under Obama Returns to Highs of Bush Era

Liberty
TRAC
reports that the latest available data from the Justice Department show that criminal immigration enforcement by the two largest investigative agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased to levels comparable to the highest seen during the Bush Administration.

KJ

July 15, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

One View: Obama Should Trumpet Enforcement Success

Edward Schumacher-Matos in the Washington Post:

How do you sell success when its human face is one of innocent people being punished?

The Obama administration is doing a miserable job of selling its successes in immigration enforcement to the American people, and a central reason is because it can't answer that question.

The number of unauthorized immigrants in this country is dropping. The number crossing the border is lower than it has been in nearly 40 years. Federal, state and local police are cracking down on the very small number of immigrants who commit violent and other crimes.

Yet: Where are the telegenic Border Patrol leaders looking heroic on the cable television shows? Where are the Pentagon-like charts that capture the trend lines in a single, clear image? Where, above all, is the president, standing on the border, giving Americans confidence that the government is in control?  Click here for the rest of the column.

bh

July 15, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles From SSRN

Here is some new immigration scholarship from the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com):

"The Plenary Power Doctrine and the Constitutionality of Ideological Exclusions: A Historical Perspective" Texas Review of Law & Politics, Vol. 15, 2010 PATRICK J. CHARLES.  ABSTRACT:  For over a century it has been repeatedly but unsuccessfully argued that the First Amendment in the Constitution limits the federal government’s plenary power to exclude or expel aliens from the United States. Such arguments have persisted despite the Supreme Court having repeatedly determined that the First Amendment does not restrict such power. Instead, the Court has upheld the federal government’s plenary power to “forbid aliens or classes of aliens from coming within their borders, and expel aliens or classes of aliens from their territory” regardless of whether its justification is based upon ideological or association grounds. Numerous commentators, scholars, and attorneys have attacked this rationale by arguing that the Bill of Rights limits the federal government’s power to exclude or expel aliens.  This article sets forth the well-established, and often forgotten, doctrine of allegiance, the Anglo-American legal precedent for ideological exclusion and expulsion, the inherent authority of nations as understood by early international law commentators, how the Founding Fathers understood these doctrines, and the reasons this power resides with the federal government. The evidence demonstrates that ideological exclusion and expulsion are constitutionally permissible and are political questions to be determined by the people through their federal representatives.

"Systemic Failure: Mental Illness, Detention, and Deportation" UC Davis Journal of Immigration Law and Policy, Forthcoming BILL ONG HING, University of San Francisco - School of Law; UC Davis School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Our detention and deportation system failed Tatyana Mitrohina. She was born in Russia with heart defects and deformed hands. She was rejected by her parents for many years, spending her infancy in hospitals and institutions. Though she was later able to move back home, her parents abused her and then abandoned her. She immigrated to the United States as a young teen, adopted by U.S. citizens. After more than a decade, she had a child of her own, whom she abused. Tatyana was diagnosed with mental illness. Although she was convicted of child abuse, the state court recommended medication, counseling, and a chance to regain custody of her child. But ICE took over, and Tatyana was removed and her child was taken away permanently. She should not have lost her child. She should not have been removed. This article discusses the victimization of Tatyana Mitrohina by the U.S. detention and removal system. However, this article also recounts some of the choices made along the way of Tatyana’s life, including choices that were manifested in the outcome of her removal proceedings. The choices include those made by her parents, the state court, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the immigration judge, her lawyers, and policymakers. Of course, Tatyana’s choices and even the choices made by the immigration clinic I help to direct are relevant. In this article, I describe Tatyana’s background, the incidents that led up to her being taken into ICE custody, and her removal proceedings. As she was in detention and suffering from mental illness, I describe some of the special challenges that detained respondents in removal proceedings encounter, as well as the special challenges faced by those who are suffering from mental illness. I describe how different choices made along the way affected the outcome of the case, and finally, I make note of how alternative choices could very well have resulted in a better outcome for Tatyana.

"Children in Transit: Results of Interviews with Central American Unaccompanied Minors Encountered in Mexico" Centers for Interamerican Studies and Programs Working Paper No. 21 ANITA KHASHU.  ABSTRACXT:  Unaccompanied minors are amongst the most vulnerable of migrants traveling through the Americas. As a result of their particular vulnerabilities, they become victims of some of the most serious security problems in the region, such as human trafficking, corruption of public officials in particular police, gang violence, and other more generalized forms of violence and crime. Despite the great need, there is very little research about this migration flow, particularly about Central American unaccompanied minors' experiences in Mexico. More research is needed to aid state and non-government actors in both the United States and Mexico in developing improved procedures for apprehension, detention, adjudication of immigration claims, and repatriation. This working paper summarizes findings from a study of unaccompanied minors experiences migrating from Central American to and through Mexico on their way to the United States. Findings from semi-structured interviews conducted with 77 detained and non-detained unaccompanied minors encountered in Mexico are summarized, including information on the demographic and social characteristics of the interview sample; their language skills, education, and levels of literacy; their living and employment situation prior to migrating; and their migration histories and experiences. The hope is that increased knowledge of this migration flow will assist policy makers in the region improve policies for the care, detention, and repatriation of unaccompanied minors, as well as develop effective preventative practices.

"Native Competition and Low-Skilled Immigrant Inflows" BRIAN C. CADENA, University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics.  ABSTRACT:  This paper demonstrates that immigration flows respond to differences in labor market conditions by documenting the systematic change in newly arriving low-skilled immigrants’ location choices in response to exogenous supply increases among the US- born. In contrast to previous treatments of this question, this paper relies on an identifiable source of exogenous variation that alters the expected returns to entering a labor market. Using pre-reform welfare participation rates as an instrument for changes in native labor supply, I find that immigrant inflows shifted away from cities with more welfare leavers toward cities with smaller reform-induced supply shifts. The empirical methods I use improve upon previous immigrant location studies by explicitly allowing for unobserved city amenities that provide different values based on the immigrant’s source country. The extent of the selection uncovered is substantial: for each additional native woman working in a city as a result of welfare reform, 0.8 fewer female immigrants choose to live and work there. These results provide direct evidence that selective location choices among immigrants tend to equilibrate labor market returns across geography.

"Asylum Policy in the European Union: An Examination of the Reception Conditions Directive and Housing Facilities for Asylum Seekers in Malta" THOMAS (BOBBY) ROBERT CAMERON, Ryerson University   ABSTRACT:  The working paper attempts to answer the following question: what are the legislative shortcomings in the European Union's Directive 2003/9/EC on the minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers which have subsequently contributed to legitimizing the State's “right” to accommodate asylum seekers in undignified, ghettoized housing facilities and why do these shortcomings exist? This Directive - which is framed in a language of humanity, dignity, and respect - attempts to establish adequate reception conditions for asylum seekers across the EU including access to employment, education, health care, and housing. Essentially this paper attempts to explain how ghettoized housing facilities for asylum seekers in the Mediterranean island-State of Malta are implicated by the contested meaning of 'adequate' and 'dignified' as stipulated in the Directive. In doing so, this paper demonstrates the extent to which, and why, asylum policy in the EU has contributed to the marginalization of asylum seekers.I n the context of a human rights-based approach, this paper combines a review of the literature in the field with an in-depth analysis of the lived experiences of asylum seekers in a State-funded housing facility for asylum applicants in Malta.

"Empowering Our Children to Dream Without Limitations: A Call to Revisit the ‘Natural Born Citizen’ Requirement in the Obama Era" Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review, Vol. 29, p. 43, 2010 CLAUDINE V. PEASE-WINGENTER, Phoenix School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  This article examines the unique requirement in the U.S. Constitution that American presidents must be “natural born” citizens. Although U.S. citizenship is constitutionally required to serve in other elected offices, the presidential requirement of “natural born” citizenship is anomalous. Indeed, it has been criticized as establishing a type of second-class citizenship by excluding whole segments of our citizenry from ever aspiring to our country’s highest office. Because naturalized citizens are excluded by the “natural born” requirement, the exclusion now disproportionately impacts people of color since most naturalized citizens are originally from Latin America or Asia. The “natural born” citizen requirement directly impacts only a handful of politicians who might campaign for the White House but for their foreign birth. Nonetheless, the requirement indirectly impacts large numbers of children who can never aspire to the presidency due to a fluke of birth, over which they had no control.  Modern scholars have consistently concluded that the “natural born” requirement has outlived any usefulness it once had, and it is blatantly discriminatory. Nonetheless, past efforts to eliminate the requirement have not been successful.  This article advocates that the families of children excluded by the “natural born” requirement would be the best candidates to take up this cause. Specifically, a powerful alliance could be forged between parents serving in the military, the parents of foreign-born adoptees, and the parents of immigrant children.

"Strengthening Accountability in UNHCR" International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 22, Issue 2, pp. 159-172, 2010 VOLKER TURK.  ABSTRACT:  Accountability is an important principle for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) because of the Office's particular mandate to lead and coordinate international action to protect, assist, and find solutions for refugees and other populations of concern. The dependency by populations of concern on humanitarian action and international protection creates a situation of power that requires a corresponding system of checks and balances. This needs to be balanced with the obligation of organizations like UNHCR to account for the use of financial, political, and material means that have been put at their disposal by states. Bearing in mind its various dimensions, accountability is defined by UNHCR as a commitment to deliver results for populations of concern within a framework of respect, transparency, agreed feasibility, trust, delegated authority, and available resources. Correspondingly, UNHCR's aim is to build a modern system of accountability that is sufficiently robust and comprehensive to respond to the different accountability requirements expected of today's international multilateral organizations.

KJ

July 15, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Poll: Latino Community Remarkably Unified on Immigration

Despite all of the recent and current major public policy distractions, the Latino community finds itself remarkably unified in support of immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and unified in opposition to Arizona's SB1070. These are the main findings of a poll co-sponsored by the Hispanic Federation and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and conducted by LatinoMetrics. For detailed findings, click here.

Bicultural Latinos show similar positions on the key issues as low-acculturated Latinos. Even a majority of those with "high" acculturation, who are mostly U.S. born and are more likely to be fully integrated into U.S. society, stand with the community in favor of reform and against Arizona's SB 1070.  Nearly a third of those polled believe that racism is at the cnetre of the immigration debate.  For more on the poll, click here for a Los Angeles Times story.

KJ 

July 15, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Leonard Zeskind on the Tea Party

Excerpt from Leonard Zeskind's presentation to the NAACP National Convention Sunday, July 11, 2010 00:00 Leonard Zeskind   
Branch, College & Youth Councils Officers Luncheon

July 11, 2010

I am going to talk briefly about the Tea Party phenomenon and why it is important for all of our branches to educate themselves and their communities about this dire threat.

The Tea Parties are a little bit like a poison apple--with three layers. At their center is a hard-core group of over 220,000 enrolled members of five national factions, and hundreds of thousands more that we have not yet counted but are signed up only with their local Tea Parties. At the next level is a larger less defined group of a couple of million activists who go to meetings, buy the literature and attend the many local and national protests. And finally there are the Tea Party sympathizers. These are people who say they agree with what they believe are the Tea Parties' goal. These rank at about 16% to 18% of voters, depending on which organization is doing the polling. That would mean somewhere between 17 million and 19 million adult American voters count themselves as Tea Party supporters.

This is an overwhelmingly white and solidly middle class slice of the population, slightly older and less troubled financially than the rest of us. Please, remember this point when some political pundit or the other tells you these are economically strapped Americans hitting out at scapegoats. These are not populists of any stripe. These are ultra-nationalists (or super patriots) who are defending their special pale-skinned privileges and power.

There are six national Tea Party factions: FreedomWorks Tea Party, headed up by Dick Armey--a man who needs no further introduction to this meeting. There is Tea Party Nation, which held the convention in Nashville last February where Sarah Palin of the "real Americans" spoke. There is 1776 Tea Party, the leadership of this group comes directly from the Minuteman Project, the anti-immigrant vigilante group. There is the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, responisble for organizing the cross-country Tea Party Express bus tours. There is also ResistNet which sponsors Tea Parties and Tea Party Patriots.

Now much of the media attention has been focused on FreedomWorks Tea Party, because it is headquartered in the DC area, and because Dick Armey was a big deal Republican. There are some who mistakenly speculate that this is an "Astroturf" phenomenon, that is a fake grassroots thing conjured up solely by Republican money and party officials.

But it is a real grass roots problem for us, and Dick Armey's FreedomWorks Tea Party is not one of the larger Tea Party groups. ResistNet and Tea Party Patriots are actually the largest of the six national factions.

The Tea Parties are not just about taxes and budgets. They are against everything we are for, beginning with President Barack Obama. From health care reform to immigration reform, from a jobs program to unemployment benefits to union check off. And, as Rand Paul the Republican candidate from Kentucky has shown us, they are also against federal civil rights legislation.

Indeed, major sections of the Tea Party movement are opposed to the Fourteenth Amendment and equality before the law (because the oppose birth-right citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants). And some--the followers of Texas Cong. Ron Paul among them--are even opposed to the Seventeenth Amendment and the direct election of United States Senators.

Now when polling was first started on the Tea Parties, one California poll showed that people of color were less likely than white people to know much about the Tea Parties. That was only natural, since the Tea Parties were recruiting at gun shows not at African American barbershops.

Now that the spitting, and name calling on Capitol Hill has occurred, we all know more about this problem. Nevertheless, there is much more to learn.

The Tea Parties say they want to "Take This Country Back." We have to ask, from whom do they want to take the country away? Who do they want to give it to?

Our response is to say: One Nation. One Dream.

Leonard Zeskind, author of Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream, is president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights. He is also a lifetime member of the NAACP.

bh

July 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Crime Down in LA, Immigrants to Blame?

Lacityp_010797
For the eighth year in a row, crime is down in Los Angeles.  This is the case even though the City has suffered the same severe economic downturn that the rest of the nation has.  Click here to see the press conference with Mayor Villaraigosa announcing the latest crime data for LA. 

And, as you no doubt are aware, Los Angeles is viewed by many as the immigrant capital of the United States.  So be it for the claim that immigrants bring crime with them.  Arizona, which enacted its new immigration law based on the exagerrated claim by, among others, Governore Jan Brewer, that there was an immigrant "crime wave" in Arizona, appears to have seen a decrease in violent crime in the state (even before its new law goes into effect).

Maybe we should have more immigrants in larger numbers in other cities to decrease the crime rate?

KJ

July 14, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Roger Ebert Reviews 9500 Liberty

9500 Liberty is a great documentary about the rise and fall of Virginia Prince William County's local a law that would require local police to stop people for "probable cause" and ask them to show their proof of citizenship. (Sound familiar, Arizona?)  At the time, this measure seemed to have popular support, and there was resentment against a Mexican-American citizen who erected a large sign on his property (at 9500 Liberty St.) to object to it.

"9500 Liberty" is currently touring the country with a 25-city theatrical release (CLICK HERE for theaters).

Here is an excerpt from Roger Ebert's review:

"Latinos were united in opposing the law. Many were longtime, well-known American citizens. But the balance was finally tipped by the voices of thoughtful Republicans and their distaste for the hate stirred up by Letiecq and his group. Calling Chief Deane a traitor was the last straw.

"[Filmakers] Park and Byler began as objective documentarians who found this story being pressed upon them. They become advocates and are clear about that. They try to show both sides of the debate, but (inevitably, perhaps?) the anti-law faction comes across more positively.

"The outcome: Passing the law led to higher taxes, not lower ones. And as for the crime rate? Chief Deane has charts showing that crime dropped every single year over the past decade." Click here for the entire review.

bh

July 14, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Undocumented Immigrants (Black)LIsted in Utah

Governor-herbert-headshot
Just when you think that you have seen the worst when it comes to the anti-immigrant movement in the United States . . . 

UPI reports that "Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered an investigation into whether state employees helped make a list of alleged illegal immigrants e-mailed to state authorities. The list of 1,300 people accused of being undocumented immigrants was sent Monday to law enforcement agencies, the Utah House and Senate and media organizations . . . ."

The good news, I guess, is that Utah law enforcement is not trying to track down the people on the list

KJ

July 14, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TPS Extended for Haitian Nationals

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced an extension to the registration period for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Haiti. Initially, the 180-day registration period for nationals of Haiti was from Jan. 21 through July 20, 2010. This registration period is now being extended through Jan. 18, 2011. Download 2010-17116[1]

KJ

July 13, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

San Francisco Labor Council Resolution on Immigration Reform

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT AN IMMIGRATION POLICY BASED ON LABOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS San Francisco Labor Council
Passed unanimously, with one abstention, 7/12/10

WHEREAS:  Thousands of U.S. union members have been fired as a result of the enforcement of employer sanctions against workers in the workplace, including 1200 janitors in Minneapolis, 300 janitors in  Seattle, 475 janitors in San Francisco, as well as workers who have stood up to lead organizing drives into our unions, including 2000 sewing machine operators at American Apparel in Los Angeles, and

WHEREAS:  Immigration reform bills in Washington, including the Schumer-Graham proposal, the REPAIR proposal by Senator Schumer and several other senators, and the CIR-ASAP proposal by Congressman Luis Gutierrez, all strengthen employer sanctions, which will cause more of our members to be fired through programs like E-Verify, the national ID card and employment verification, and will make it more difficult for unions to organize non-union workplaces by making immigrant workers even more vulnerable to firings, deportations and the denial of their rights through workplace enforcement, and

WHEREAS:  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has said that that"we need to make sure every worker in America - documented or undocumented - is protected by our labor laws." and that we need immigration reform that "allows immigrants to be securely part of our country from day one-able to assert their legal rights, including the right to organize, without fear of retaliation," and

WHEREAS:  the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, and other similar agreements, and structural adjustment policies and other so-called economic reforms continue to boost corporate profits while creating massive poverty in countries like Mexico, El Salvador and others, and that as a result, millions of workers and farmers are displaced and have no alternative but to migrate in search of work, and therefore will continue to come to the United States to work, join our unions and participate in our organizing drives, and

WHEREAS:  President Trumka has said that "the failures of our relationship with Mexico ... cannot be solved with guns and soldiers and fences.  They must be addressed through an economic strategy for shared prosperity based on rising wages in both countries," and

WHEREAS:  the Mexican government fired 44,000 electrical workers and has tried to smash their union, the Mexican Electrical Workers (SME), and brought thousands of heavily armed police into Cananea to try to smash the 3-year strike of the Mineros, in both cases to create better conditions for giant corporations by breaking unions, privatizing workplaces and throwing workers out of their jobs, and that as a result many of those workers will be forced to come to the United States in order to find work and help their families survive, and

WHEREAS:  the largest corporations and employer groups in the United States, including WalMart, Marriott, Smithfield, the Associated Building Contractors and others have sought to expand guest worker programs, forcing people to come to the United States only through those schemes that treat them as low wage workers with no rights, in conditions described as "Close to Slavery" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and

WHEREAS:  our labor movement has called for basic reform of our immigration laws, and adopted a position at the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles in 1999 that demands the repeal of employer sanctions, immediate amnesty for all undocumented workers, protection of the right to organize for all workers, the strengthening of family reunification as the basis of immigration policy, and opposition to guest worker programs, and

WHEREAS:  our labor movement believes that solidarity with workers fighting for their rights in Mexico and around the world is an important part of immigration reform,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council reiterates its support for the immigration position adopted by the AFL-CIO Convention in 1999, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council rejects all the proposals in Congress that promote the firing of immigrant workers, open the doors to new guest worker programs, and do not contain a program for the quick and inclusive legalization of undocumented workers, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council supports only those proposals for immigration reform that would force the renegotiation of NAFTA, CAFTA and all other trade agreements, in order to stop the enforced poverty that displaces communities abroad and to protect jobs in the United States, and will oppose any new trade agreements that cause such displacement and do not protect jobs, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council, supports the proposal for an alternative immigration reform bill made by the Dignity Campaign, because it is based on protecting the labor and human rights for all people, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council supports the SME and the Mineros, and calls on union members and working people to defend their rights by picketing the Mexican consulate and taking other supportive actions, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the San Francisco Labor Council forwards this resolution for adoption to the California Labor Federation, the AFL-CIO, and to other local unions and central labor bodies.

bh

July 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Rebellious Lawyering - Santa Fe: Hotel Reminder

Book your hotel by July 15 so receive the reduced rate:

STANDING UP TO ARIZONA – AND TO ANY COPYCAT STATES

The Rebellious Lawyering Institute

September 23-25 2010/Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico

On every front, Arizona presents major challenges: how do we influence public perceptions? litigate effectively? lobby to avoid similar laws or to enact better ones? organize communities? learn and teach about law enforcement practices? assess the wisdom of and ways to implement boycotts?  Not surprisingly, no one group or no single strategic scheme dominates current thinking about and action in Arizona – much less across the United States or in other countries. Instead an often heated and fractured debate shapes compatible and divergent paths. 

Because of the significance of this crisis, the Rebellious Lawyering Institute has specially designed a training focusing on (1) how we can best stand up to Arizona and (2) what the Arizona experience can teach us about preparing for and avoiding the copycat actions of anti-immigrant and racist forces in other states.   In designing this special training, we have drawn on the wisdom of many and look forward to working with you in Santa Fe. 

A Big Heads-Up about Hotel Reservations:

New Mexico’s beautiful fall attracts lots of events and guests to Santa Fe, so please do book early.  If you book a room at Bishop’s Lodge on or before July 15, 2010, you can secure a special conference rate (mention Rebellious Lawyering-

Click here.

From July 15 forward, you may still reserve a room at Bishop’s Lodge but only if rooms are available and only at the regular rate.  Or of course you may book your stay elsewhere in Santa Fe.  Please do book early, though. 

See you in September,

Kip Bobroff, Tara Ford, Bill Ong Hing, Gerald P. López, Shauna Marshall – and the many close friends and allies who will be with us in Santa Fe.

bh

July 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Baseball Players Speak Out Against SB1070

From America's Voice:

Players and Fans of National Pastime Forced to Confront What SB1070 Would Mean for Their Clubhouses and Communities

Washington, DC – As Major League Baseball celebrates its All-Star game tonight in Anaheim, CA, a number of players are speaking out in opposition to Arizona’s anti-Latino SB1070 law.  Some are even promising to boycott next year’s All-Star Game, scheduled to be held in Phoenix, AZ, if it is not moved to another state. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “In contrast to the Arizona law, which pits neighbor against neighbor and makes everyone who looks or sounds “foreign” into a suspect, our nation’s pastime brings together people from all walks of life and nationalities.  As a country, we are better and wiser than what the Arizona law represents and we should commend these players for standing up for American values.” 

Among the players speaking out against the Arizona law include the following:

· St. Louis Cardinals first baseman and three time Most Valuable Player Albert Pujols highlighted his opposition to the Arizona law, saying, " How are you going to tell me that, me being Hispanic, if you stop me and I don't have my ID, you're going to arrest me? That can't be.''
· Milwaukee Brewers All-Star pitcher Yovani Gallardo stated that “If the game is in Arizona, I will totally boycott."
· Jerry Hairston Jr. of the San Diego Padres said, "It reminds me of seeing the old movies with the Nazis when they ask you to show your papers.  It's not right. I can't imagine my mom -- who's been a U.S. citizen longer than I've been alive, who was born and raised in Mexico -- being asked to show her papers. I can't imagine that happening.  So it kind of hits home for me."
· All-Star pitcher Heath Bell, also of the Padres, called for Bud Selig to move next year’s All-Star Game and noted that he may not attend next year’s game if he is once again selected, in a show of support for his Latino teammates.  Said Bell, "If I'm voted I'm going to have to really think about it, because I have a lot of friends that are not white.  Sometimes you need to stick up for your friends and family."

For more information on the All-Star Game 2011 boycott movement, please visit www.movethegame.org  

bh

July 13, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: A Country for All: An Immigrant Manifesto by Jorge Ramos

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A Country for All: An Immigrant Manifesto
(Vintage) by Jorge Ramos

For decades, fixing the United States’ broken immigration system has been one of the most urgent challenges facing our country, and time and time again, politicians have passed the buck. With anti-immigrant sentiment rising around the country, as evidenced by the passage of a controversial new law in Arizona, it is now more important than ever to remember the role immigrants play in enriching our economy and culture, and to find a way to incorporate the millions of productive, law-abiding workers who have been drawn to the United States by the inexorable pull of freedom and economic opportunity. No longer should they be forced to work in the shadows, with no hope for equal rights as American citizens. In this timely book, award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos makes the case for a practical and politically achievable solution to this emotional issue. Ramos argues that we have a simple choice: to take a pragmatic approach that deals with the reality of immigration, or to continue a cruel and capricious system that doesn’t work, wastes billions of dollars, and which stands in direct opposition to our national principles.

Jorge Ramos is an Emmy Award winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and author of nine previous books. Hailed by Time magazine as one of “the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States,” Ramos anchors the nightly news and hosts a weekly political show on Univision, the country’s largest Spanish-language television network. Born in Mexico City, Ramos has lived in the United States for more than twenty-five years. Visit his website at www.jorgeramos.com

KJ

July 13, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Profiling's enabler: High court ruling underpins Arizona immigration law

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In an op/ed in the Washington Post, Jack Chin and I look at the racial profiling promoted by Arizona's SB 1070 and trace its roots to U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

As with many op/eds on immigration, the comments posted on the Washington Post website (which are nothing compared to those on Fox News' Greta Van Susteren's blog, which reposted the op/ed) are, to be polite, entertaining.  Here is one that does not include pejoratives, attacks on Chicana/o Studies, etc. but also does not seem to be connected with the op/ed that we wrote: 


"If these two have there way we could just as well close down the Border Patrol and open the border with Mexico. There would be no defense to the illegals other than actually observing them crossing the border. Any of you who live anywhere near the border know that the Border Patrol opperates as many as 200 miles north of the border. The Supreme Court, or at least a majority, won't allow that. But I suspect Sotomayor, as well as all latino politicans and leaders, will support the author's views. They all want an open border at least in so far as latinos are involved. If they have their way the US will soon be Mexico or at least South LA."

Here is a comment that reveals all-too-much about what animates the debate over immigration to the modern United States:

"Oh give me a home,

Where no brown people roam

Where no queers no liberals play

Where seldom is heard

An accented word

And we all worship Jesus all day"

No, I did not conjure this up myself.  Look at the comments on the Post website of your are a doubter.

And here's a memorable comment attacking the President on the GretaWire blog:

"when you speak about Illegal, how can Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama expect Mex illegals to show Documentation, Barry is sitting in our Oval, where is his Documentation Barack hussein Obamas Kenya Original long form Birth Cert & Barrys History 1964 to 2010 School Records all in Barry's name age 5 Pelosi provided Indonesian School reg Barry Soetoro age 5 Citizenship Indonesia Religion Muslim. No Vetting (Raciest) 2010 Demand the Usurpers Documentation for President of USA #1 Illegal in USA Indonesia/Britsh USA Naturalborn Citizen NO!"

Some bloggers and commenters seemed surprised about the fact that racial profiling has been sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  I guess that I am surprised that anyone is surprised because I have been writing about racial profiling in immigraton enforcement, criminal law enforcement, and the "war on terror" for many years.  Most recently:

How Racial Profiling in America Became the Law of the Land: United States v. Brignoni-Ponce and Whren v. United States and the Need for Truly Rebellious Lawyering, 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1005 (2010).

Other pieces include:

The Case Against Race Profiling in Immigration Enforcement, 78 Washington University Law Quarterly 675 (2000).

Racial Profiling After September 11: The Department of Justice’s 2003 Guidelines, 50 Loyola Law Review 67 (2004).

The Case for African American and Latina/o Cooperation in Challenging Race Profiling in Law Enforcement, 55 Florida Law Review 341 (2003).

Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims, 58 NYU Annual Survey of American Law 295 (2002).

KJ

July 13, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)