Saturday, November 27, 2010

Faith Leaders Support the DREAM Act

From the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights:

Faith leaders across the country support the DREAM Act that provides the opportunity for students who grew up in the United States to earn legal status. The urge us all to call Congress (1-866-220-0044) to urge our representatives to vote yes on the DREAM Act. Click here for more information.

bh

November 27, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration crackdown in Prince William is a cautionary tale

Several years ago, Prince William County's began to pursue a crusade against undocumented immigrants, which, according to the Washington Post, "has confirmed the county's reputation as a national symbol of intolerance."  A study "has exposed just what was achieved, and wasn't, when Virginia's second-largest locality undertook its campaign against undocumented workers."

KJ

November 27, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 26, 2010

From the Bookshelves: European Immigration and Asylum Law: A Commentary

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European Immigration and Asylum Law A Commentary Edited by Kay Hailbronner
The EU has usurped essential parts of the national laws of immigration and asylum. Hence, European Directives and Regulations have become more important for the immigration departments and administrative tribunals. From German Courts alone, more than five referrals on the interpretation of Directives, especially in the area of the so-called Qualification-Directive (criteria for the recognition as a refugee,) have been made to the European Court of Justice. The immigration departments, too, are obliged to interpret national law, according to European Directives and Regulations. Accordingly, in most of the European member states numerous courts are required to decide on the basis of the European law in the field of immigration and asylum. For example, the following pieces of European legislation have been dealt with in detail: Directive on the qualification and status of refugees Directive on asylum procedure Directive on the admission of students Directive on the admission of researchers Family reunion Directive Blue Card Directive Directive on the return of third-country nationals Dublin Regulation, including Dublin Implementation Regulation and Eurodac.

Professor Hailbronner is Director of the Center for International and European Immigration and Asylum Law at the University of Konstanz. Contributors: Professor Astrid Epiney, University of Fribourg Ryszard Cholewinski, International Organisation for Migration in Geneva Dr Martin Schieffer, European Commission Professor Achilles Skordas, University of Bristol Professor Thomas Spijkerboer, VU University, Amsterdam.

KJ

November 26, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Luis Perez (Mexico)

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Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

Our Immigrant of the Day is Luis Perez, a 2010 law graduate from UCLA School of Law, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico.  Click the link above to read Hector Tobar's column about Luis.   "Perez is the first undocumented immigrant to graduate from UCLA's law school. He's taking the bar exam in January."  He earned his B.A. in political science at UCLA before going to law school.

KJ

November 26, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Israel's Response to Immigration from Africa

Immigration news from the Middle East:

 "Israel's Cabinet, hoping to stanch the illegal flow of Africans through the country's porous southern border with Egypt, is scheduled to vote Sunday on a proposal to build a massive detention centre to hold the migrants. Some of the Africans seek political asylum, but officials say most come looking for work and have become absorbed into the country's sizable illegal work force. The centre is meant to make infiltration a less attractive prospect, and will be voted on just days after Israel began building a barrier along the border."

KJ

November 26, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Employer Sanctions Punish Workers

Employer sanctions should be repealed. Instead, labor law rules and employment law rights should be enforced. Whether or not they are motivated by economic gain or anti-union animus, the current firings that result from I-9 audits of employers who hire undocumented workers highlight larger questions of immigration enforcement policy.  Nativo López, director of the Hermandad Mex-icana Latinoamericana, a grassroots organizer who organized protests against the firings at Overhill Farms and American Apparel, puts it this way: "These workers have not only done nothing wrong, they’ve spent years making the company rich.  No one ever called company profits illegal, or says they should give them back to the workers.  So why are the workers called illegal?  Any immigration policy that says these workers have no right to work and feed their families is wrong and needs to be changed."

bh

November 25, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Economist Supports the DREAM Act!

The Economist has offered its powerful logic in support of the Dream Act, emphasizing that:

"The DREAM Act sends the message that although American immigration law in effect tries to make water run uphill, we are not monsters. It says that we will not hobble the prospects of young people raised and schooled in America just because we were so perverse to demand that their parents wait in a line before a door that never opens. It signals that we were once a nation of immigrants, and even if we have become too fearful and small to properly honour that noble legacy, America in some small way remains a land of opportunity.

Yes, the DREAM Act also incentivises illegal activity. But if the activity is not one that ought to be illegal, perhaps we should consider changing the law? Something to consider, anyway. In the meantime, this small reform will make America a somewhat more decent place."


KJ

November 25, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and their families and friends.

Here is an interesting story about the Pilgrims as immigrants.

KJ

November 25, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Our DREAM Students

Stephen V. Sundborg is President of Seattle University. His Op-Ed appeared in the LA Times today:
 
"Is there anything you can do so that my life does not come to a stop when I graduate from Seattle University in two years?"

The sophomore who asked me that question had just been elected a student body officer at SU, where I'm the president. I told him then that I would do everything I possibly could to help him and his undocumented college classmates. The best way to do that is to tell his story, which is also the story of so many others. "Hernando" is a pseudonym. He told me I could use his real name, but I'm not willing to do that.

Hernando is among the 65,000 undocumented students across the country who graduate each year from U.S. schools, where they have a right to K-12 education. Many colleges accept them, as we are allowed by law to do, and provide them institutional financial aid. In California this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that undocumented immigrants can be eligible for in-state tuition, but across the nation these students are barred from federal aid, and in most states, barred from state aid as well. Without Social Security numbers, they can't get a job to help pay for college. Yet they are among our hardest-working, most accomplished students and our most popular leaders. They could be deported at any time. When they graduate, they are unable to put their degrees to work.

These students are setting their hopes on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, which has been reintroduced in the lame-duck session of Congress by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.). It applies to undocumented students who meet its residency and age requirements and who have good moral character. Once they have completed at least two years in college or in the military, the act provides two things: protection from deportation and a pathway to permanent legal residency after a conditional period during which they can work.

Though we cannot as a country yet get our arms around comprehensive immigration reform, we should be able to agree on the DREAM Act as a place to start. Hernando's story shows why. Read more..

bh

November 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

LatinoJustice PRLDEF seeks new President and General Counsel

LatinoJustice PRLDEF is launching a nationwide search for the position of President and General Counsel. The ideal candidate should have 8+ years of direct litigation involvement, with experience in the area of civil rights and demonstrated interest in and commitment to the Latino community. Admission to New York Bar or eligible for admission is also required. For additional information contact latinojustice.org

November 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New USCIS Fee Waiver Form

Yesterday, USCIS Introduced a First-Ever Fee Waiver Form, a standardized form for requesting waivers of the fees charged for immigration-benefit processing. Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, is now available. Yesterday the USCIS’s latest fee schedule also took effect.  Read the news release.

bh

November 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DREAM Act National Day of Action

from the Asian American Justice Center:

Tuesday, National Day of Action!

CALL to Urge Congress to Support the DREAM Act

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have promised to bring the DREAM Act to a vote during the lame-duck session. Tuesday, Nov. 30 is a "national day of action." We need everyone to call Congress and urge passage of this important legislation!

With a DREAM Act vote possible as early as Dec. 1, we need your help now more than ever to remind our elected officials that we should give talented youth a chance to contribute to this country.

TELL CONGRESS TO VOTE FOR THE DREAM ACT!

An estimated 65,000 students graduate from high school every year without legal immigration status, including many young Asian Americans. Watch "A DREAM A Part" to hear their stories and learn how they are fighting for the DREAM Act - http://vimeo.com/12126979.

If the DREAM Act becomes law, young people who were brought to this country as children and remained in school or joined the military will be allowed to work toward citizenship. Passage of the DREAM Act would not only enable these young people-who grew up here and work hard-to capture the American Dream, but to contribute to the country they call "home."

Call your senators and representatives in their district offices NOW and urge them to vote for the DREAM Act. We must act to support equal opportunity for all students. To contact your state's senators and your representative visit: www.house.gov; and http://senate.gov.

To be connected through the Capitol switchboard call: 866-996-5161.

bh

November 24, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freed student Steve Li returns to S.F.

Read on.

KJ

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

They Keep Coming: Arizona Style Initiative in California?

The Sacramento Bee is reporting that the California Secretary of State's office today authorized a signature drive to place an Arizona-style immigration law before California voters. Called the "Support Federal Immigration Law Act," the proposal was submitted by a Tea Party activist.

KJ

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

NJ's Terroristic Threats Statute Ruled a Divisible Statute.

Lazaro Javier Larios v. U.S. Attorney General

U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit

No. 08-3306

2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23837

November 19, 2010

Mr. Lazaro Javier Larios, a Salvadoran immigrant was convicted in 1998 of terroristic threats under N.J. Ann. Sec. 2C:12-3. The statute reads:

a. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. ...

Factually, Mr. Larios was standing outside a bar in New Jersey when a man approached him and asked for directions to another bar. Mr. Larios pulled a knife from his pocket, waived it in the man’s face, and demanded all the man’s money. The man got away and called the police. Mr. Lazaro was arrested, pled guilty, and was sentenced to three years probation plus a $2000 fine.

In 2006, Mr. Larios was denied asylum on its merits and placed in removal. He applied for Cancellation of Removal (8 USC Sec. 1229b(i)(C) before the Immigration Judge (IJ). The IJ ruled that Mr. Larios was not eligible for cancellation because the conviction for terroristic threat constituted a crime of moral turpitude. The BIA affirmed.

In reviewing the statute, the Third Circuit panel considered whether the statute prohibits both turpitudinous and non-turpitudinous conduct. If the least culpable conduct constituting a ‘crime of violence" in the statute is non-turpitudinous, the statute can be considered as being divisible. However, nothing in the N.J. code defines a "crime of violence" and therefore the court chose to adopt the definition used in the Pennsylvania and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 16 statutes. Both statutes define "crime of violence" as having as an element "the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another." Using this definition, the panel determined that simple assault is encompassed within the meaning of "crime of violence." For that reason a conviction under Sec. 2C:12-3 can be sustained by proving a threat to commit simple assault, a non-turpitudinous crime. Therefore, the statute is divisable and Mr. Larios’s conviction should have been evaluated under the modified categorical approach, not the categorical approach. The case was remanded. EQ

November 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Jorge Ramos Supports DREAM Act Students

From Educators for Fair Consideration:

Jorge Ramos Donates Money to Benefit Future DREAM Act Beneficiaries and Calls Upon Others to Do The Same  

Award-winning author, newscaster, and columnist Jorge Ramos has donated $20,000 of his personal funds to support scholarships for future beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, undocumented students who have grown up in the United States.  The scholarships will be administered by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), a San Francisco-based non-profit that provides direct support and advocacy for low-income immigrant students who do not yet have legal residency or citizenship.

bh

November 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Dispelling DREAM Act Myths

From the Immigration Policy Center:

Dispelling DREAM Act Myths
   
November 23, 2010

Washington D.C. - The DREAM Act - a popular proposal to provide legal status to undocumented youth who entered the U.S. as children, graduated from U.S. high schools, and attend college or enter the military - is the target of a smear campaign from anti-immigration hardliners. This tired effort to pit immigrants and native-born, whether they are workers or students, against one another is not only destructive, but has no basis in fact.  Moreover, it ignores the economic benefits that come from legalizing a group of talented, hard-working individuals who want nothing more than to contribute to America and repay the country for the opportunities they've been given.

Research has shown that providing a legal status for young people who have a proven record of success in the United States would be a boon to the economy and the U.S. workforce. The U.S. military also needs the DREAM Act. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, Bill Carr, stated that the law would be "good for readiness" and would help to recruit "cream of the crop" students.  The DREAM Act is part of the Department of Defense's 2010-2012 Strategic Plan to assist the military in its recruiting efforts.

Yet, despite the popular support and extensive data that should make passage of the DREAM Act a no-brainer, there are those who continue to spread half-truths. The Immigration Policy Center has compiled a fact check that breaks down typical myths about the DREAM Act.

To view the fact check, in its entirety see:

Dispelling DREAM Act Myths (IPC Fact Check, November 23, 2010)

bh

November 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Time to Make the DREAM Act Reality

From First Focus:

The Time has Come to Make DREAM a Reality!!

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he will bring the DREAM Act up for a vote as a stand-alone bill after Thanksgiving. We need to you to take action to make sure that Congress passes this important piece of legislation!

After nearly a decade of hard work, this is the closest we have ever come to providing nearly 1 million children and youth who have grown up in the U.S. with improved access to higher education and an earned pathway to citizenship. The DREAM Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) is legislation that would provide certain undocumented students with the opportunity to earn permanent legal status if they came to the United States as children, have good moral character, finish high school or obtain a G.E.D, and complete two years of college or military service.

Given that a vote will happen when Congress comes back from Thanksgiving, we need you to let both your Representatives and Senators know that this bill is important for children and their supporters. This is our chance.

DREAM Act Resources from First Focus:

·           One-pager on the DREAM Act·         First Focus DREAM Act Public Opinion Poll

WE NEED YOUR HELP:

·          Send a fax to your Members of Congress and urge them to vote for the DREAM Act by clicking here (http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/speakout/SupportDREAM )

·          Call your Senator and urge them to vote for the DREAM Act at 1-866-996-5161

·          Call your Representative and urge them to vote for the DREAM Act at 1-866-967-6018

·          Stay tuned for information on how to show your support through a national day of action on Monday November 29th

bh

November 23, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Court Rules That Defendants With Limited English Proficiency Have A Constitutional Right To Court Interpreters

The Supreme Court of Georgia ruled today that defendants with limited English proficiency (LEP) have a constitutional right to court interpreters in criminal trials. The ruling came in a case in which the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Georgia and Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) filed a friend-of-the-court brief asserting that denying LEP defendants interpreters violates the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws.

The case involved Annie Ling, a Mandarin Chinese-speaker who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years probation after a trial without any interpreter to assist her. Because of her limited English, Ling did not understand that she had the option to plead guilty rather than going to trial and facing a much longer sentence. At her trial, she could not understand the testimony for or against her. Her own trial attorney admitted that because of Ling's limited English skills, he could not properly communicate with her without an interpreter. However, the attorney decided not to ask the court for an interpreter because he felt it would make the trial "take a lot longer" and make the jury "impatient."

Ling's conviction was appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which today vacated the ruling upholding her conviction and sent her case back to the Georgia trial court.  The Court  instructed all Georgia state courts to practice "vigilance in protecting the rights of non-English-speakers" and to provide "meaningful access" to LEP individuals in order to comply with Title VI.

KJ

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

Professor Victor Romero on Immigration and Civil Rights

Romero 
Click here to see and hear legal scholar Victor Romero (Penn St.) discuss immigration and immigrant and minority rights. Professor Romero teaches and writes about immigrant and minority rights at Penn State.  A member of the American Law Institute, Romero is co-editor of the anthology, Immigration and the Constitution, and author of Alienated: Immigrant Rights, the Constitution, and Equality in America

KJ

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