Saturday, December 4, 2010
As a kid, I grew up with frequent taunts of "Ching Chong Chinaman." I learned to brush it off, because most of the taunts were from kids. But racist epithets are alive and well in the United States, unfortunately. Jeremy Lin was a star basketball player for Harvard University who is now a rookie for the Golden Gate Warriors in the NBA. In college, he averaged over 24 points a game. Time magazine ran a story on racial taunts directed at Lin during his college years: Some people still can't look past his ethnicity. Everywhere he plays, Lin is the target of cruel taunts. "It's everything you can imagine," he says. "Racial slurs, racial jokes, all having to do with being Asian." Even at the Ivy League gyms? "I've heard it at most of the Ivies if not all of them," he says. Lin is reluctant to mention the specific nature of such insults, but according to Harvard teammate Oliver McNally, another Ivy League player called him a C word that rhymes with ink during a game last season. On Dec. 23, during Harvard's 86-70 loss to Georgetown in Washington, McNally says, one spectator yelled "Sweet-and-sour pork!" from the stands. Read more here....
Lin is not a starter for Golden State. Thursday night I went to see the Warriors take on the Phoenix Suns at the Oakland Coliseum here in Northern California where there's a sizable Asian American population. When the Suns had the game well in hand, Lin came off the bench; lots of fans cheered. But a couple rows behind me, a couple of knuckleheads screamed "Chow mein...Chow mein!" Adult white guys. C'mon fellas; grow up.
From Equity News and Information:
Report: Asian American Academic Achievement in California Lags Heavily Within Certain Ethnicities: Despite the pervasive nature of the “model minority” myth, members of certain Asian ethnicities in California have disproportionate rates of never finishing high school, especially if they're poor or speak limited English, University of California researchers say.
In a report that arguably underscores national findings that are too-rarely part of the public discourse, UC researchers ascertained that some southeast Asians and other subgroups struggle to even reach college in the first place. Indeed, the 2008 American Community Survey already showed that 40 percent of Cambodians and Hmong as well as 32 percent Laotians in this country lack high school diplomas. Nationally, 19 percent of Cambodians and 23 percent of Hmong lived below the poverty line. Read more..
Friday, December 3, 2010
Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines:
Hector Lopez was a blissfully unencumbered college student before this all began. The second year undergrad wanted to study marketing, and worked at a Nike store. His dream was to move to New York after he finished school to move up the ladder at Nike’s headquarters. Lopez coached Little League and played football and basketball. He spent his Friday nights with his girlfriend checking out new places to eat, and on weekends they’d train for 10k races together. Life was busy, but easy. He had no reason to think it wouldn’t continue that way forever.
And then on Aug. 23 this year Lopez was arrested as he was coming out of his house at 7:30 in the morning. ICE agents had been staked outside his home since 5 a.m. waiting for him. “Once I was handcuffed and in their car, the officer said, ‘I have an 11-year-old warrant for your deportation.’ And I said, ‘Well I was nine then so I don’t think that’s possible.’ “
Lopez would later find out that it was indeed possible, and that unbeknownst to him, he was undocumented. Lopez was six months old when his parents immigrated to Portland, Ore., from Mexico. His parents were swindled by someone who promised to file immigration papers for them then but scammed the family, according to his lawyer, and a judge ordered his family deported when Lopez was nine.
“We didn’t know about the deportation order, none of us knew about it,” Lopez said. “I had a work permit, I had Social Security cards, I was going to school, I worked, I had my driver’s license.”
Under the current language of the DREAM Act, Lopez would have been eligible to stay in the country. Like the hundreds of thousands of other undocumented youth set to benefit from the DREAM Act, Lopez was American in every sense, except for his immigration status. But whenever the bill passes, should it ever do so, it will be too late for Lopez and many other DREAM Act-eligible youth the country has already deported. Read more...
FROM COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE: "Two more Superior Court judges have sued Sheriff Joe Arpaio for defamation, and a deputy county manager and a county administrator added complaints of their own, all alleging that Arpaio targeted them for baseless criminal investigations to retaliate for the judges' court rulings and the county employees work on budget cuts."
Should we rename Sheriff Joe as "America's Newsiest Sheriff"?
Jessica Slavin has written "Most Important United States Supreme Court Case in Refugee Law: I.N.S. v. Elias-Zacarias." Although I have written about the Court's narrow interpretation of the "on account of" requirement for refugee status in INS v. Elias-Zacarias (see, e.g., Download Zacarias), I tend to think that the two cases she mentions at the outset -- Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc., 509 U.S. 155 (1993) (upholding the Haitian interdiction and repatriation program) and INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987) (briefed in the Supreme Court by ImmigrationProf blogger Bill Hing), which held that the evidentiary burden for asylum is "more generous" than that for a related form of relief, withholding of deportation -- are probably more significant decisions.
Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines:
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano [yesterday] became the latest member in President Obama’s cabinet to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act when it comes up for a vote. A version of the DREAM Act could come up for a vote in the House as early as Friday, according to immigration advocacy groups.
“I know that Congress is going to be considering the DREAM Act soon and I wanted to reemphasize my support for it,” Sec. Napolitano said on a press call today, adding that even though the DREAM Act directly benefits many of the nation’s economic, education, and national defense priorities, it is important for her agency’s immigration enforcement work as well.
“From where I sit I think it’s important to point out that it fits into a larger strategy of immigration enforcement and complements the Department of Homeland Security plan to prioritize enforcement resources to remove dangerous criminal aliens from the country,” the Secretary said, omitting the fact that under her watch the U.S. has actually deported plenty of people with no prior criminal convictions, including DREAM Act-eligible youth.
The DREAM Act would grant undocumented youth with clean criminal records who came to the country as kids and who commit two years to the military or higher education a pathway to citizenship. Democrats are working a last-minute push to pass the bill in the lame-duck session before the Republicans take over the House and gain new seats in the Senate next year.
“The DREAM Act is one thing that Congress can do right now to help the Department of Homeland Security do its job of enforcing immigration laws in the way that makes the most sense for public safety for our national security,” Napolitano said.
Might the Department of Homeland Security consider putting a moratorium on deportations of DREAM Act-eligible youth while the bill is under consideration? Sec. Napolitano didn’t hesitate in her answer: “No.” Read more...
Papers for all Undocumented Youth!
by Alejandra Juarez
On Wednesday, November 10th just one week after the Midterm elections, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) came out in support of the DREAM Act. Along with Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Pelosi has promised to push for its passage during the lame duck session. Both legislators are keenly aware of their party’s dubious standing without Latino support. Certainly, it was the Latino vote which helped Reid maintain his congressional seat. Likewise, as Pelosi seeks to become House Minority Leader, her announcement to push for a vote on the proposed legislation is meant to rally support from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and progressives.
But what are they offering us?
In 2008 Barrack Obama won the presidency by securing the Latino vote on the promise of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) during his first year in office. Yet almost two years later 11 million undocumented immigrants continue to wait for a path to legalization. Worse yet, they wait in fear as the number of raids and deportations have skyrocketed under the Obama administration, a record 400,000 this past year alone. The intensification and institutionalization of repressive measures like S-Comm, 287(g), E-Verify, and the militarization of the border have all created an atmosphere of terror in immigrant communities. Obama's delayed promised of immigration reform also allowed for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s strike, enacting SB 1070, which represents a widespread attack on the immigrant community not only in Arizona but throughout the nation. Democratic leaders including President Obama have declared CIR dead. Instead they offer piecemeal legislation like AgJOBS and the DREAM Act.
The numbers don’t add up
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of undocumented youth living in the United States, estimates are in the millions. According to studies only around 2.1 million would potentially be eligible to apply for legal status under the DREAM Act. However, the Migration Policy Institute reports that a merely 825,000 or 38% of these 2.1 million would meet all the requirements for legal permanent residency (LPR). This is a tiny minority who would actually benefit from the DREAM Act, leaving the overwhelming majority with no way to legalize their status and vulnerable to deportation.
Furthermore, one of the requirements for gaining LPR is attending college or university for at least two years; an unlikely proposition taking into account the costs of higher education and the discrimination inherent in our national educational system. Nationally, the cost of attending college has increased 439% from 1982 to 2007 (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education). In California, tuition fees at the UC’s and CSU’s continue to increase from 32% last year to 15% this year and a scheduled 8% and 10% increase next year for UC’s and CSU’s respectively. The community colleges are no different. Last year they saw a fee increase of 54% and course offerings shrink.
Along with that grant and scholarship offerings are also shrinking. And contrary to popular belief “students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families” (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education). Likewise, DREAM Act students would not be eligible for federal financial aid -- only loans and work study. Moreover, the DREAM Act gives states the prerogative to decide if these students qualify for in-state tuition (repealing Section 505 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996).
Moreover, the barriers to socio-economic progress are stack such that racial and ethnic minorities have a slim chance of success in this country. For example, although Latino, black, and Native Americans accounted for 29% of high school graduates, they only made up 13% of incoming freshmen at the UC’s in 2007. And that number has decreased in recent years. The national high school drop-out rate among Latinos is around 40%. In California the drop-out rate is 36%.
In addition, a significant percent of the 1.5 generation coming to the United States without papers arrive with very little schooling and come to work to contribute to the family income. These undocumented youth would not even qualify for conditional LPR status.
Guns for papers
The other option the DREAM Act offers in order to gain LPR status is two years of military service. Given the new higher education framework, the military option then becomes the de-facto choice to gain LPR status for most undocumented youth. Those non-citizens already fighting overseas have gained very little as permanent residency is not guaranteed and posthumous citizenship brings no benefits to families of the deceased. Besides, the threat of deportation even for those in uniform is still a possibility.
With the continued occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, it is very likely that those joining the military under the DREAM Act will see combat. And although the DREAM Act asks for only two years of military service, we must be aware that there is no such thing as a two-year military contract. Since the National Call to Service Plan passed in 2003 all enlistment requires a minimum of eight years.
For a DREAM Act with no military strings attached!
Undocumented youth are tired of the vast inequities and limited opportunities afforded to them because of their citizenship status. We fight for the right to education for all, the right to have a job that helps our families get out of poverty, the right to live without fear of incarceration and deportation, the right to keep families together.
We denounce the Democrats for their political maneuvering offering empty promises in exchange for our vote. We should not be asked to assist in the continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, or in any new militaristic adventures in Latin America, Iran, or elsewhere in order to obtain papers for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Nor should we have to subjugate our Peoples in their native lands or on the border.
We in the immigrant community are not discouraged by the lack of political will in Washington. We will continue to fight for a new and just immigration policy based on human and workers' rights. More than ever, it is necessary to (re)build an independent mass movement for legalization. It will take huge mobilizations and strikes like those that took place in the spring of 2006 to force the ruling elite to grant our just demands.
More than ever, the passing -- and the content -- of the DREAM Act depends on our independent struggles today. The future of the DREAM Act depends on us being able unify and push forward in united action!
Students, parents, community activists and their organizations are mobilizing on December 3 in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco to demand papers for ALL! Join the anti-military, pro-legalization contingent calling for a DREAM Act with No Military Strings Attached! And join us in San Francisco or organize a solidarity action in your community.
From the Center for Constitutional Rights:
On December 9, join us for a rally to say NO to "Secure Communities" in NY.
No More Deportations.
Police Should Not Be Immigration Agents.
Governor Paterson Must Stop ICE's "Secure Communities" in NY Now!
Thurs. December 9, 2010 11:00 AM
Rally in Midtown Manhattan (location TBA)
After the rally, on December 9 at 2:00 p.m. a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, presiding over NDLON v. ICE will hear arguments in an urgent request to make all documents public that explain how jurisdictions can request not to participate in Secure Communities.
If you would like to endorse the rally, please send organization name to email@example.com .
We are still continuing our efforts to rally attention around Secure Communities and show widespread opposition to the Program. Outlined in the email below are steps that you can take to move forward. I have attached the Toolkit for Action for your consideration, and it is also posted online
at: http://uncoverthetruth.org/toolkit-for-action-stop-secure-communities-in-new-york .
Many thanks for your continued support in the struggle for justice.
Nahal Zamani | Education and Outreach Associate | Center for Constitutional Rights
The Migration Information Source has published its global Top 10 Migration Issues of 2010:
#1: Evidence from the Great Recession Is In: Migration Flows Dropped, Unemployment Among Certain Immigrants Rose
#2: The Arizona Effect: When National Governments Fail, Others React
#3: Painful Cuts to Integration Budgets — Even in Places Committed to Immigrant Integration
#4: Europe, Wary of Immigration and Immigrants, Reaches an Inflection Point
#5: United States Still Stalled on Immigration Reform, Republican Victories in Midterm Elections Change Landscape
#6: Remittances Rebound After Recession
#7: When All Else Fails, Leave: Emigration from Europe's New Destinations on the Rise
#8: Not Just the Highly Skilled — Only the Best and Brightest, Please
#9: Crackdown on Illegal Migration Makes Greece Main Entry Point to Europe
#10: Natural Disasters in Haiti and Pakistan Highlight Diaspora Response
Stay tuned for the ImmigrationProf Top 10 Immigration News Stories in the United States at the end of the month. Hint: Arizona's SB 1070 probably will be No. 1.
Public Discourse has a topical article entitled "Illegal Immigration and the Rule of Law" by Carson Holloway, which calls for a rational and careful debate concerning the rule of law and the enforcement of the U.S. immigration laws: "Laws regulating immigration are analogous to those requiring the payment of taxes or the licensing of physicians. Granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is not in itself unjust, but it may be imprudent. If the considerations and precedents discussed above are to be taken seriously, an amnesty for illegal immigrants would not necessarily make a mockery of the rule of law."
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Ms. blogger Caroline Heldman, documents the latest in victim-blaming in her latest post: "In Hostess Club Raid, Did Police Arrest the Victims?" From the report of LAPD's recent arrest of sex workers, 81 women of the 88 arrested might classify as victims of trafficking and exploitation according to the FBI's definition. The Los Angeles Police Department, however, is not investigating that possibility. To add insult to injury, the club is still open for business and already looking to hire replacements for the arrested women!
Battle/fields: braceros, agribusiness, and the violent reproduction of the California agricultural landscape during World War II
This article sounds very interesting -- and topical! Battle/fields: braceros, agribusiness, and the violent reproduction of the California agricultural landscape during World War II Journal of Historical Geography, Volume 36, Issue 2, April 2010 by Don Mitchell.
ABSTRACT: The first years of World War II were marked by a series of battles in and over the fields of California. Workers struggled with growers, growers struggled with the state, and federal and California bureaucrats struggled to gain control over the anarchic labor conditions that marked California agriculture. The introduction of a guest worker program - the bracero program - that brought farmworkers from Mexico to the harvests of California and other states, brought these battles to a head as growers ought to secure their traditional access to 'cheap labor' and their presumed right to control the farm labor process in the state. This paper examines these battles to show how growers fought - and managed - to preserve a landscape of great power and profit. The paper argues that the agricultural landscape extant at the beginning of the war shaped the nature of these multifaceted struggles, even as it was an object of those struggles.
Notwithstanding the commonly held perception that the United States has enacted only one legalization program in its history -- through the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) -- programs to legalize the status of unauthorized immigrants have been an enduring and necessary feature of US immigration law and policy since the nation's first quota restrictions in the 1920s.
With one exception (IRCA), these programs have targeted discrete groups of unauthorized or temporary residents, through population-specific programs and through "registry" programs that cover very long-term unauthorized immigrants. In the current political and policy context, the DREAM Act and AgJobs fall in the category of population-specific legalization proposals.
In a new report out today, More than IRCA: US Legalization Programs and the Current Policy Debate, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Vice President for Programs Donald M. Kerwin provides an historical overview and yearly data on US legalization programs, a discussion of the current debate over the nation's estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants, and a primer on the statutory language used to describe the differing types of legalization programs.
The analysis shows that even since 1986, more immigrants have legalized through population-specific and registry programs than through IRCA's general legalization provisions, the only program of its kind in US history. The IRCA general legalization program (as distinguished from its three population-specific legalization programs) granted legal status to 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants; in contrast, a conservative count finds that more than 2.1 million persons were legalized through the major population-specific and registry provisions since 1986, and a far higher number since the 1920s.
This report is the second in an MPI series on how to shape and administer a legalization program, with the intent of providing solutions for some of the most important issues that policymakers in Congress and the administration would need to consider in designing and implementing effective legislation. The first, Structuring and Implementing an Immigrant Legalization Program: Registration as the First Step, argues that an essential first step to any legalization should be a registration process that rapidly identifies, screens, and processes potential applicants -- both to enhance public safety and national security while also allowing qualified applicants to live and work legally in the United States as they attempt to earn legal permanent status and to integrate into society.
Additional papers in the series will analyze how various unauthorized populations would fare under differing legislative scenarios, legal issues in structuring successful legislation, and the role of states and localities in implementing such a program.
A Father’s Perspective: Why We Must Pass the DREAM Act Now
I’m going to be honest and up-front. I am writing this in advocacy of the DREAM Act. Those that know me probably know that most of my articles or essays speak to the need in our country for a full comprehensive immigration reform. More specifically, they might know that most of the time, I am expounding on the economic merits of CIR, as my background is in the business world. This is not one of those articles.
Sure, I can make compelling economic arguments for the DREAM Act. It’s pretty easy to make the case that enabling high achieving kids to go to college, and/or to join the legitimate workforce after college or military training and service benefit’s our economy – how could it not? However, my argument today is not as a businessman, or as some kind of moral spokesman. I would note that I am the Co-Founder of the Conservatives for CIR coalition, and that for the record, our little coalition represents almost two trillion dollars in annual contribution to the United States’ GDP, and that we represent over sixty seven million churchgoing Americans.
But no, today I am speaking out in a different capacity. I am speaking out as a dad. My kids were the beneficiaries of one of life’s greatest blessings, they were born Americans. After years of travel around the world, I am here to say that nothing in this world is quite so significant, or perhaps as underappreciated, as the happy accident of being born a U.S. citizen. And yet, today I am speaking out for the hundreds of thousands of kids that, for all intents and purposes are Americans, but are being quite literally held back from having an opportunity to pursue their American Dream. It is a tragedy. Let’s call it as we see it. Let’s call it what it is.
Over the past several months, I have spent a significant amount of time in Washington, DC. In point of fact, I have participated during this timeframe in over 200 meetings in Washington with Senators, Congressman, their staffs, and the Administration. And yet, what I want to discuss today stems from some much more impactful meetings. I’m talking about accidental meetings that I’ve had in the hallways of Congress, not the boardrooms or conference rooms. You see, over the past several months, almost anywhere you go on Capitol Hill, you run into kids. These are the DREAMers. These are kids that are coming to Washington in droves, trying desperately to meet with Senators and Congressman to press their case for being able to pursue their dreams.
I want to tell a couple of stories. First, I want to talk about some kids that I met a couple of weeks ago in the hallway of the Hart Senate Building. Now, when I see these DREAMer kids, I usually walk over to them and chat them up. I listen to their stories, and perhaps offer a word of advice or encouragement. However, I mention this particular meeting because it moved me. I ran into this group as they were just walking out of a meeting. They were from different places, one from New York, one from Kansas, and one from my home state of California. However, I mention this chance meeting because of what I saw, not because of what they said. As I looked into their eyes, I didn’t see hope. I didn’t see youthful optimism. What I saw both moved me and frankly depressed me. What I saw in their young and perhaps no-longer hopeful eyes was something that you never want to see in a young person. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and in their eyes I saw cynicism. I saw despair. I saw kids that were losing hope.
Our nation’s children are our blessings, our hope, and our future. I think back to my years and years as a youth coach, coaching my kid’s little league baseball teams. Never once did I look at these kids as either citizens or illegals. Dads don’t do that. Parents and Grandparents don’t do that. You look at these kids with pure love, because they are pure, and innocent, and they should be full of hope and dreams and optimism about the future. How did we get to a place that in our country, and on our watch, we can look these kids in the eye and say “No. I’m sorry, but you can’t have a dream, you can’t have a future, tough luck kid.” These aren’t the American values that we hold in our hearts. In our hearts, we know what is right. Obstructing the future of innocent and high achieving kids is not right, it is not American, and in our hearts we all know that to be true.
The other day, our coalition organized a press conference. We had some very prominent and notable speakers; Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Regent University President Carlos Campo to name a few. However, in my opinion, the most notable speaker we had scheduled on the press call never spoke. He couldn’t speak because he was in Jail.
Bernard Pastor is a DREAMer kid. The 18 year old son of a pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio, Bernard graduated in the top five of his high school class. He was a star soccer player for his school team, and even sang our national anthem to the crowd before all of his soccer games. Bernard is, himself, a youth pastor to other kids, and would, if given the opportunity, became a minister like his father. Unfortunately, Bernard was involved in a minor fender bender a couple of weeks ago. He was not at fault in the accident, but when the local police ran his information, they discovered that Bernard is one of the 2.1 million kids that came with their parents to this country without documents, or stayed after their documents expired. Bernard is locked up in county jail, and looking at deportation to a country that he hasn’t seen since he was three.
The Economic Policy Institute will hold a discussion on Thursday, December 9 in Washington, D.C. on "Labor shortages and immigration reform: promises and pitfalls of an independent commission." To RSVP, click here. For the agenda, click here.
The general topic is whether to open the U.S. labor market to more foreign workers. This is an issue raised in the debates about comprehensive immigration reform. This all-day conference will explore EPI's recommended solution, an independent commission that could study labor markets and make recommendations on how to meet labor market needs, including the criteria that employers would need to meet to be granted access to guest workers. The United Kingdom's Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has, since 2007, advised the British government on these issues and serves as a case study for the potential promise and pitfalls of such a commission here in the United States.
Ray Marshall (former U.S. Secretary of Labor), Philip Martin (University of California, Davis), and Doris Meissner (former Commissioner, INS; Migration Policy Institute) will be among the presenters.
From CASA de Maryland:
Please Sign my Petition: Ask President Obama to save María
and halt ICE's "Secure Communities" program.
To read more about what I'm trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:
Who is María?
María, is the mother of a U.S. citizen baby named Melisa, she is now at risk of deportation because of the notorious “Secure Communities” program. “Secure Communities” puts local police at work enforcing immigration law - misusing local resources and undermining of community/police relations. U.S. citizens, babies and kids are separated from their parents and family members because of “Secure Communities.”
Whats happening to Maria affects us all. Justice is not served by the deportation of Melisa’s mom. Ask President Obama to halt ICE's "Secure Communities" program and stop Maria’s deportation.
Community Organizing & Political Action Department
CASA de Maryland & CASA in Action
8151 15th AvenueHyattsville, MD 20783
NOW IS THE TIME TO TURN THE DREAM ACT INTO A REALITY!!
CALL YOUR U.S. SENATORS AND U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TODAY AND TELL HIM OR HER TO MOVE ON THE DREAM ACT DURING THE LAME DUCK SESSION!
LOS ANGELES, CA - For the last decade, MALDEF and other organizations nationwide have pushed to make the DREAM Act (the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) into a reality. With your help, we can achieve a long-awaited victory and ensure a path to citizenship for thousands of immigrant youth and young adults seeking to obtain a college degree or to serve in the U.S. Military.
How Can You Help?
Call your respective senators and house member to tell them to call the DREAM Act for a vote before the end of this Congress, this year! We need your help to make sure that each elected member understands the support for this bill. As early as this week, Senator Reid will seek to bring the DREAM Act for a vote on the Senate floor. House leaders, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have also stated it is time to vote on the DREAM Act.
How Will Calling Your Senators and House Representative Help?
Your call will help the Senate and House understand the broad support for the DREAM Act. Every Senate and House office needs to hear from supporters like you. Rest assured, opponents of the DREAM Act are doing everything they can to stop this bill. We must match them call for call and ensure that the DREAM Act becomes law.
The vote will need 60 Senators voting in favor. The vote in the House will need a simple majority.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION:
Dial: 1-888-254-5087 or 202-224-3121. Ask for one of your home state Senators and U.S. Representative and leave a message with their office. Call back and ask for the other Senator and then again for your member of the House of Representatives.
If you can't get through, keep trying!
CALLED ALL OFFICES THAT REPRESENT YOU IN CONGRESS?
CALL AGAIN AND HAVE YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY DO THE SAME!
What is the DREAM Act?
For close to ten years, bipartisan leaders have repeatedly introduced different versions of the DREAM Act before Congress. Earlier this year, the Migration Policy Institute estimated that roughly 825,000 immigrants would benefit from the Act. According to recent research from UCLA, a conservative estimate of the combined income generated by those benefiting from the DREAM Act would amount to $1.4 trillion (in current dollars) over the next four decades.
The DREAM Act would help provide a path to citizenship otherwise not available to immigrant youth and young adults, particularly those completing two years of college or military service. Key criteria for a young person to qualify for conditional relief and eventually permanent relief include:
entry into the U.S. before the age of 16;
presence in the U.S. for five consecutive years;
completion of high school (through graduation or G.E.D.) or acceptance into college;
being between 12 and 35 years of age at the time of application; and
establishment of "good moral character" as defined under immigration law.
If Congress votes and passes the DREAM Act, President Obama will sign it into law.
From the Center for American Progress:
Please join the Center for American Progress for a special presentation:
abUSed: The Postville Raid
A Reel Progress Screening
December 7, 2010, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Admission is free.
Luis Argueta, Director and Co-Producer, abUsed - The Postville Raid
Randy Capps, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute's Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress
Luis Argueta, critically acclaimed director of The Silence of Neto, presents abUSed: The Postville Raid, the full-length documentary that tells the story of the most brutal, most expensive, and one of the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE raids in the history of the United States. By weaving together the personal stories of the individuals, the families, and the town directly affected by the events of May 12, 2008, the film presents the human face of the issue of immigration reform and serves as a cautionary tale against abuses of constitutional human rights.
Please join the Center for American Progress for a provocative discussion immediately following the film.
December 7, 2010, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Space is extremely limited. RSVP required.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed.
Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Here are some new immigration articles from the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com):
"Presidential Pardons and Immigration Law" Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2010 SAMUEL T. MORISON, Attorney at Law. ABSTRACT: Despite a rich history of doctrine and practice defining the contours of the President’s authority under the Pardon Clause, both the federal courts of appeals and the Board of Immigration Appeals remain systematically confused about the immigration consequences of a presidential pardon. Most importantly, there is a widespread consensus that Congress is free to define the circumstances under which any pardon, state or federal, will waive a criminal conviction as a ground of removal, because of its inherent authority over immigration matters. The existing academic literature has not seriously challenged the validity of this conventional view, even though it has no basis in the Supreme Court’s Pardon Clause jurisprudence, which establishes that the President’s exercise of the clemency power is not limited by the generally applicable terms of the existing statutory framework, much less by deliberate attempts at legislative restriction. Moreover, a presidential pardon does not merely relieve the grantee from punishment in the technical constitutional sense, but also removes the collateral disabilities imposed by reason of the commission or conviction of the pardoned offense, including those arising under the immigration laws. Accordingly, a presidential pardon defeats the use of any federal offense as a ground of removal, notwithstanding the contrary terms of the INA’s pardon waiver provision. Finally, because the existing waiver statute subjects federal and state pardon grantees to disparate treatment for immigration purposes, I conclude that the courts should reconsider the equal protection implications of the current pardon waiver regime.
"The Development of Gender within the Particular Social Group Definition Under the United Nations Refugee Convention and United States Immigration Law: Case Studies of Female Asylum Seekers from Cameroon, Eritrea, Iraq and Somalia" Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, Winter 2010 TY SHAWN WAHAB TWIBELL. ABSTRACT: This article’s main proposition is that women who seek asylum in the United States based on gender do not have sufficient protection. It first discusses the evolution of gender in asylum law and the growing Northern and Southern dichotomy. This includes a discussion of the specific legal protections of refugees and asylees within the UN Refugee Convention and the relatively recent introduction of gender-based asylum in general. The core of this article is the detailed case discussion of female asylum seekers, particularly from Somalia, but also from Cameroon, Eritrea and Iraq. These female asylum seekers’ claims were augmented by their gender in some aspect and their claims were generally accepted. This article discusses how their legal arguments were raised, the context and the outcome. Within each case discussion, the woman’s rights conditions in the respective country are discussed both at the time her case was filed and contemporaneously. The cases discussed herein all involve women, many of whom were elderly. Others were children, including a sixteen-year old girl from Somalia who was smuggled into the United States, but had no family waiting for her. Another involved a refugee mother who paid to smuggle her six-year old son into the U.S. from Somalia. One of the longest running cases, and one based purely on gender, concerns a compassionate and devoted woman from Cameroon, who was beaten and threatened by her in-laws after her husband passed away. Her case has been pending since 2001 and her appeal was granted by the Eighth Circuit in 2008. Other major cases discussed include a brilliant woman from Iraq who filed for asylum only months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq and a sensitive and inexorable woman from Eritrea who trekked most of her life as a refugee from Eritrea. After the case discussion, this article addresses the development of other gender-based asylum cases in the United States. It discusses Northern resistance against refugees in general and the politics of gender-based asylum. As the article concludes, it discusses the cases within the background of the recent findings of a detailed, comprehensive study of asylum adjudication published in 2008 in the Stanford Law Review and the findings of recent Congressional executive oversight reports by the GAO regarding asylum adjudications in 2008. The article concludes that although obtaining gender-based asylum in the United States is possible and the situation is improving in some ways, a problem remains; women do not have sufficient protection. More broadly, the discussion on gender-based asylum and the corresponding human rights conditions in particular countries, discussed in the context of protections afforded in the UN Refugee Convention, illustrate the continued female struggle against oppression globally and within the United States. Interwoven into this article is my essay on the need for greater acceptance of gender-based asylum and arguments against its opponents. America can be a safe-haven for women; but it must go much further to fulfill its status as a leader in protecting women. Currently, women can obtain protection, but as my own experience and wider analysis confirms, it is insufficient; a woman’s ability to seek protection may depend on where she files for asylum and the particular adjudicator or judge assigned. It could also affect an adjudications credibility determination.
"Prosecuting Immigration" Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 4, 2010 UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 10-30 INGRID V. EAGLY, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law. ABSTRACT: The rise of immigration prosecution as the central feature of the federal criminal justice system challenges conventional understandings of the relationship between the criminal and immigration systems. This Article shows that, in the domain of immigration, the immigration state and criminal state operate as an integrated process in which defendants’ rights and criminal procedural mecha-nisms have been redefined. On a doctrinal level, the integration of immigration and criminal enforcement has meant that rights traditionally accorded criminal defendants - such as Miranda and bail pending trial - are unevenly distributed along alienage lines. On an institutional level, immigration prosecution has supported an alternative federal adjudicatory structure, largely outside the confines of Article III criminal courts, that is defined by quick, mass processing of guilty pleas. Drawing on court rulings, government documents, legislative history, statistical data, and interviews, this Article argues that there are two significant consequences of the federal immigration prosecution regime. First, it incentivizes prosecutors to borrow the tools of civil immigration enforcement to support criminal prosecution, thereby distorting the criminal procedural rules that would otherwise apply. Second, it deputizes criminal prosecutors to act as de facto immigration screeners, thereby threatening the substance and process of immigration law. This Article’s study of the interdependence between the immigration agency and the criminal prosecutor thus reveals a fundamental disruption in one of the central dichotomies in our legal system - the civil/criminal divide. In practice, the immigration agency interacts with criminal process to erode procedural protections afforded criminal defendants, expand criminal law enforcement power beyond the confines of the criminal state, and reorder the aims of the criminal law.
"The Coercion of Trafficked Workers" Iowa Law Review, Vol. 96 Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2010-53 KATHLEEN KIM, Loyola Law School Los Angeles. ABSTRACT: Theories of coercion exist across multiple disciplines to explicate the ability of one actor, the coercer, to diminish the free will of another, the coercee, in the absence of overt physical force. A valid claim of coercion places legal blame on the coercer or relinquishes the coercee from legal responsibility for a coerced act or omission. Defining the point at which coercion occurs, however, is the conceptually more difficult task. Recently, coercion has emerged as a significant source of analytic concern in a developing area of the law - contemporary involuntary labor or human trafficking. It is in this setting where coercion is explicitly codified as a fundamental legal element in human-trafficking crimes. However, the laws addressing human trafficking continue to struggle with delineating the dimensions of coercion. Legal scholars, moreover, have not yet engaged in a focused exploration of this issue to bring efficacy and substantive meaning to coercion within the human-trafficking framework. This Article examines the empirical and normative scope of coercion in the laws addressing contemporary involuntary labor. Incorporating perspectives from modern philosophy, this Article critiques older standards of coercion within Thirteenth Amendment doctrine and advances a new theory of coercion sensitive to the intricate power dynamics that characterize many human-trafficking cases. Called “situational coercion,” this new paradigm recognizes that instead of experiencing coercion through direct threats of harm from their traffickers, many trafficked workers comply with abusive working conditions due to circumstances that render them vulnerable to the exploitation, such as a lack of legal immigration status and poverty. By more accurately capturing the sociological realities of human trafficking, which victimize workers in subtle ways, the situational coercion framework advances the Thirteenth Amendment’s aim to ensure free labor and protect a broad category of coerced workers.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010