Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Arizona Employer Sanction Law

ACLU, MALDEF and NILC Charge Discriminatory Law is Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the first challenge to the recent wave of state and local anti-immigrant laws to reach the Supreme Court.  The case, brought by a broad coalition of civil rights and business groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona, MALDEF, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the United States Chamber of Commerce, challenges an Arizona law that imposes penalties on businesses that the state determines have employed workers not lawfully authorized to work in the U.S.

One of the strictest such state laws in the nation, the Arizona scheme imposes severe sanctions on employers who have hired unauthorized workers and improperly requires all employers in the state to participate in an employment verification database system, E-Verify, that is explicitly voluntary under federal law.  The coalition’s lawsuit charges that the Arizona law conflicts with federal law and violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The U.S. Justice Department has filed a brief supporting the coalition’s position.

Linton Joaquin, general counsel, National Immigration Law Center: “In enacting comprehensive regulation of immigrant employment in 1986, Congress expressly prohibited state laws such as the Legal Arizona Workers Act.  Arguments presented today illustrated the dangers workers and employers face from such unjust and unconstitutional state efforts to create their own immigration regulations.  We are hopeful that the Court will finally put this matter to rest and quell the rising tide of state-level anti-immigrant legislation, which would result in an untenable system of patchwork immigration policy.”

Omar C. Jadwat, staff attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project: "Arizona’s employer sanctions law is an unwise, unfair and unconstitutional attempt to unilaterally override federal law that creates an unacceptable risk of discrimination against lawful workers. The Court should firmly reject the Arizona law.”

Cynthia Valenzuela Dixon, director of litigation, MALDEF:  “We hope that after hearing oral argument today, the Supreme Court understands and agrees that Arizona’s unconstitutional law carries with it serious civil rights implications.  Congress created E-Verify as a voluntary program for good reason.  The government’s own studies show that E-Verify is riddled with problems, and that the error rates are significantly higher for naturalized citizens, foreign-born workers with employment authorization, and workers with non-English surnames.  Allowing states and local jurisdictions to mandate what Congress made voluntary would blatantly disregard the civil rights protections that Congress purposely put into place.”

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs Valle del Sol, Chicanos por la Causa and Somos America include Jadwat, Lucas Guttentag and Jennifer Chang Newell of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Daniel Pochoda of the ACLU of Arizona; Jonathan Weissglass and Stephen Berzon of Altshuler Berzon LLP; Valenzuela Dixon of MALDEF; and Joaquin and Karen C. Tumlin of NILC.

More information about the case is available online at:
http://www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/state_local/index.htm#lit

bh

December 8, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles from SSRN

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

"The Unspoken Voices of Indigenous Women in Immigration Raids" KARLA MARI MCKANDERS, University of Tennessee College of Law.  ABSTRACT:  The voices of the most vulnerable populations often point towards social constructs in dire need of systemic change. The treatment of immigrant women in workplace raids exemplifies this concept. Over the last couple of years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has executed several workplace raids to deport undocumented immigrants who are unauthorized to work in this country. When discussing workplace raids, most news articles focus on the mass deportation of men, this paper will take a different perspective, and examine indigenous immigrant Guatemalan women’s stories in migrating to the United States, seeking employment with large factories, and their interactions with the immigration system. In May 2008, in Postville, Iowa, the largest raid in this country’s history occurred where 389 immigrants were arrested. Approximately, 76 of the immigrants detained in the raid were women. Similarly, in April 2008, approximately 300 immigrants were arrested in the Pilgrim’s Pride Poultry raid nationwide. In both cases the women were released pending their deportation proceedings on humanitarian grounds to care for children or because they were pregnant. This paper will explore how race, class and gender intersect to create the conditions under which indigenous Guatemalan women of color migrate to the United States, their work, and their unique experiences with the immigration system. As the intersection theory highlights the need to account for multiple grounds of identity when considering how the social world is constructed, this paper will use this theory to critically analyze the ways in which our legal system addresses undocumented women workers. The paper will proceed in four parts. The first section details how migratory laborers are forced to work in an underground system that fails to recognize their humanity and their work. The section will detail how immigration raids affect undocumented immigrant employees and the towns in which they work. The second section tells the story of a Mam Mayan indigenous woman from Guatemala who was detained in the Pilgrim’s Pride immigration raid. Her story illustrates firsthand how intersectionality theory can serve as a lens to examine how different legal and social constructs contribute to women’s subordination. The third section examines intersectionality theory’s applicability to immigration law. This section presents a detailed analysis of how ethnicity, immigration status, gender, and class intersect to subordinate indigenous Guatemalan women. The last section addresses how intersectionality theory can be used to dissolve the multiple layers of subordination within the immigration system. The goal is to critique the concept of citizenship that has been predicated upon exclusion of minorities, women and the poor and how the immigration system functions to perpetuate subordination within the system.  PROFESSOR McKANDERS CONTINUES TO BE PROLIFIC AND WRITE CUTTING EDGE SCHLARSHIP ON FASCINATING IMMIGRATION AND CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES.

"Canada’s Refugee Determination System and the International Norm of Independence" Refuge, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2010 GERALD HECKMAN, University of Manitoba.  ABSTRACT:  Refugee protection decisions engage migrants’ fundamental life, liberty and security of the person interests. As a result, refugee protection claimants enjoy institutional and procedural rights under conventional international law. These include the right to a fair adjudication of their protection claims by an independent tribunal. To be independent, a tribunal must meet the formal guarantees of security of tenure, financial security and administrative independence and must actually be independent, in appearance and practice, from the executive and legislature, particularly in the appointments process. Refugee protection decisions must be made by first instance adjudicative bodies that either fully comply with the requirements of tribunal independence or whose decisions are subject to subsequent review by a tribunal that meets these requirements and has sufficient jurisdiction over the merits of the dispute. The Canadian refugee protection system fails, in certain respects, to meet international standards of independence. The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board’s Refugee Protection Division enjoys statutory, objective badges of independence and appears to operate independently of the executive. However, the independence of Canadian officials engaged in eligibility determinations and in pre-removal risk assessments is very much in question because they have a closer relationship to executive law enforcement functions.

"Preemptive Strike: The Battle for Control Over Immigration Policy – An Examination of the Ninth and Tenth Circuits Split Over Federal and State Authority in Regulating Immigration" JORDAN JODRE, Hofstra University - School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  From its inception, the United States has had a difficult and dichotomous relationship with immigration and the subsequent questions of citizenry and legality that it renders. Today has proven to be no different. Parties both for and against the expansion or exclusion of the United States’ current immigration policy continue to battle one another to a stalemate during every election cycle, impeding the other’s abilities to enact change. It is this perpetual inaction by the federal government that has led numerous state governments, in their individual capacities, to enact legislation intended to either supplement or enhance current federal statutes and regulations related to immigration. This paper focuses primarily on the recent conflicting opinions issued by the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, determining whether state legislatures are preempted from imposing their own illegal immigration penalties by revoking the licenses of businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens as employees. This split between the Ninth and Tenth Circuits remains an untenable point of contention and must be resolved. The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision later this coming year, but this paper will demonstrate that the Ninth Circuit was correct to conclude that states may impose separate civil sanctions upon employers who violate immigration statutes, and in doing so will not hinder, supersede, or preempt federal sovereignty.  THE SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR ARGUMENTS TODAY IN THE NINTH CIRCUIT CASE RAISING THE ISSUE OF FEDERAL PREEMEPTION OF AN ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW.

KJ

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

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fiscal Year 2011 Refugee Admissions Numbers

In accordance with section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1157, and after appropriate consultations with the Congress, the President made the following determinations and authorized the following actions:

"The admission of up to 80,000 refugees to the United States during Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest; provided that this number shall be understood as including persons admitted to the United States during FY 2011 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under the Amerasian immigrant admissions program, as provided below. The 80,000 admissions numbers shall be allocated among refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States in accordance with the following regional allocations; provided that the number of admissions allocated to the East Asia region shall include persons admitted to the United States during FY 2011 with Federal refugee resettlement assistance under section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988, as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100–202 (Amerasian immigrants and their family members):

Africa ................................................ 15,000

East Asia ...........................................   19,000

Europe and Central Asia .................                 2,000

Latin America/Caribbean .................                5,500

Near East/South Asia .......................             35,500

Unallocated Reserve ........................                3,000

See Download Refugee numbers.

KJ

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

Geraldo Rivera: Remember Jose Gutierrez and Pass the DREAM Act

Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez was posthumously awarded U.S. citizenship.

Before they cast their votes on the DREAM Act, I want every senator to read Jose’s story. If they still chose to vote against the act, to adjust that sentence from my frequent anti-immigration critics, ‘Sir, what part of patriot don’t you understand?’

Geraldo Rivera is host of "At Large" on Fox News Channel.
***

OPINION

GERALDO RIVERA:

Read This Before Voting on the DREAM Act

By Geraldo Rivera

Published December 02, 2010 | FoxNews.com

In my ten years at Fox News, much of it as the network’s senior war correspondent, it has been my good fortune to spend countless days and weeks at or near the front lines in Afghanistan or Iraq in the honorable company of the brave, patriotic men and women who risk everything to keep the rest of us safe.

In the forward operating bases or walking the dusty, dangerous roads with them, one of the most inspirational aspects has been watching the service of tough, often urban Latino soldiers and Marines doing their duty for God and Country.

Many of those GI’s began life as gang members, others bearing the burden of being undocumented immigrants. Coming from the rough side of the tracks, you can see the obvious scars of that hard life in their tattoos or other relics from the barrios or from the other side of the border.

Yet, I’ve come to appreciate that most of them, like their comrades in the Armed Forces are some of the finest, smartest, most able young men and women I have ever met.

They serve with guts, determination and dignity; proud of being part of the crusade to keep this country safe.

Most of those undocumented soldiers and Marines serve under the radar of the toxic debate over the nation’s illegal aliens.

That is largely a function of the fact military recruiters are not supposed to sign them up in the first place.

And yet, don’t we all have fond memories of news reports covering that sacred moment when as a tribute to their honorable service in our military and their commitment to the U.S. Constitution, those foreign-born GI’s stand solemnly at attention, raise their right hands, and swear fidelity and to preserve and protect this country as citizens of the United States?

So it has always been, in the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and now; and who can deny that it makes sense for the perennially recruit-starved Services and for our embattled nation?

Yet, given the current political climate, infected as it is with an almost unreasoned passion directed against any legislative initiative that seems to favor undocumented families, (or as I am constantly reminded; ‘Geraldo, what part of illegal don’t you understand?’) the DREAM Act probably stands only a remote chance of passage.

How can it succeed with one typical right-wing blogger calling it the “Treason Lobby’s DREAM Act,” and claiming that among its provisions it envisions an “Illegal Alien (as opposed to Foreign) Legion?”

Along with providing deportable high school graduates of good moral character who finish two years of college provisional resident status, the DREAM Act currently being contemplated by Congress provides the same benefit to those who have served honorably in the uniformed services for two years. It is a terrific idea, but one still challenged by critics of the bill.

Despite well-documented, heart-wrenching stories of courage and commitment, even some sober anti-immigration activists worry publicly about the ultimate loyalty of these non-citizen soldiers; many of whom technically retain citizenship in their country of origin, particularly Mexico and the various nations of Central America.

But there is not one scintilla of evidence to support the notion that these GI’s are less loyal than their citizen comrades-in-arms.

There is, on the other hand, a plethora of proof to support their unswerving commitment to the United States.

In testifying on behalf of one of the earlier versions of the DREAM Act, President George W. Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense David Chu said:

“According to an April 2006 study from the National Immigration Law Center, there are an estimated fifty thousand to sixty-five thousand undocumented alien young adults who entered the U.S. at an early age and graduate from high school each year, many of whom are bright, energetic and potentially interested in military service.

Provisions of S. 2611, the DREAM Act, would provide these young people the opportunity of serving the United States in uniform.”

I have dozens of stories to back my support of the DREAM Act, particularly as it applies to those who serve honorably in the U.S. military.

Here is one.

At the age of fourteen, following the well-trod path of hundreds of thousands of his Guatemalan countrymen, Joselito Gutierrez began his trek to the United States alone, hopping freight trains and hitch-hiking the dangerous two thousand miles through perilous rural Mexico.

Without papers, money or friends, living by his wits and through the kindness of strangers, it took the teenager a month and fourteen different trains to make it to the U.S. border near Tijuana.

Detained there by U.S. immigration authorities, Jose benefited from the informal rule in place during that kinder Bush-era time: we did not deport minors who arrived without adult family members.

So Jose was placed in a series of group homes and foster families. Despite obvious challenges, under the tutelage of legal resident Marcelo Mosquera, a machinist from Ecuador, and his wife Nora, the lanky teenager learned English and managed to finish high school in suburban Lomita, California.

His foster parents say he wanted to become an architect and dreamed of earning enough money to bring his sole surviving sibling, his sister Engracia, here from Guatemala.

But in 2002, he put his college plans on hold to join the U.S. Marines.

There was a war on. “He wanted to give the United States what the United States gave to him.

He came with nothing. This country gave him everything,” his foster sister said.

Lance Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, who came to America as an illegal alien, was one of the first GI’s killed in combat in Iraq.

He died in a firefight on the third day of the war in the assault on Umm Qasr, the important Iraqi Persian Gulf naval base.

His biological sister Engracia arrived from Guatemala in the United States in time to meet his flag-draped coffin and attend a standing-room only Mass at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Lomita in April 2003.

Corporal Gutierrez was called “a great man” by immigration-activist Cardinal Roger Mahony, who presided.

In a poem Jose called his “Letter to God,” which was read at his funeral, Jose wrote, “Thank you for permitting me to live another year, thank you for what I have, for the type of person I am, for my dreams that don’t die. May the firearms be silent and the teachings of love flourish.” Later sister Engracia told reporters, “I do feel proud, because not just anyone gives up their life for another country. But at the same time it makes me sad because he fought for something that wasn’t his.”

It became his.

Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez was posthumously awarded U.S. citizenship.

Before they cast their votes on the DREAM Act, I want every senator to read Jose’s story. If they still chose to vote against the act, to adjust that sentence from my frequent anti-immigration critics, ‘Sir, what part of patriot don’t you understand?’

Geraldo Rivera is host of "At Large" on Fox News Channel.

bh

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

DREAM Act Prayer Vigil Tonight

From United We DREAM:

Dear DREAM Act Supporters,

Hope you are ready to the DREAM Act Victory! As the vote nears this Wednesday, United We DREAM will be holding a prayer vigil for the wellness of our 27-day hunger striker from San Antonio, Lucina Martinez and also pray for a positive vote for the DREAM Act. Lucina Martinez, 19-year old DREAMer, who traveled across the country to DC this weekend states "I am not feeling as well, as I use to.  I can no longer walk normally and not eating has weakened me. I know my health is at risk but I keep going because of the DREAM Act.  I want our senators to see how urgent this is."

The lives and hopes of many amazing, hard-working youth is on the line.  We hope you can join us today, Tuesday (12/7/10) from 5pm to 8pm at the First Trinity Lutheran Church (located at 309 E Street NW Washington, D.C. 20001).

Hope to see you!

Emilio 

bh

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Republican Senators: Please Pass the DREAM Act

From the United We Dream Network:

For Immediate Release:                                 Contact: Justin Nunez

December 7, 2010                                          202-331-2389

A Call to Conscience for Republican Senators: Please Pass the DREAM Act

Washington – The United We Dream Network is stepping up its efforts as Congress prepares to vote on the DREAM Act this week.  The group is talking to every Senate and House office, sharing their stories and calling on Members of Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis to pass the DREAM Act.  Today, United We Dream sent a letter to Republican senators, who have been trying to stall a vote on the DREAM Act because of the need to address “other priorities.”
 
Here is the letter:

December 7, 2010

Dear Republican Senators,

For ten years, we’ve been fighting to pass the DREAM Act.  We simply can’t wait any longer for the perfect process.  For us, this is not a “political” issue – it is a fight for our lives, our futures.

We came to the United States as children, born in many different countries, but we grew up as Americans.  Read our stories and you will see for yourself: we’ve done everything that has been asked of us – studied hard, followed the right path, given back to our communities.   All we want is a chance to become full citizens of the only country we know, by going to college or serving in the military.

Though we grew up here, our nation’s current policy is to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to find us, jail us, and deport us to countries we may not even remember.  You hold the power to end this nightmare.

Please do the right thing.  Pass the DREAM Act.

Respectfully,

The immigrant youth of the United We Dream Network

Arizona Dream Act Coalition
Arkansas Natural Dreamers
California Dream Network
Students United for the DREAM Act (San Antonio, TX)
Dream Act OK (Tulsa, OK)
Dream Team Delaware
DreamActivist Pennsylvania
DreamActivist Virginia
FIEL (Houston, TX)
Florida Youth Movement
El Pueblo Inc (Raleigh, NC)
Georgia Dreamers
IDEAS at UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Immigrant Youth Justice League (Chicago, IL)
Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance
Kentucky Dream Coalition
Latino Youth Collective (Indianapolis, IN)
Make The Road NY
Metro Organizations for People (Denver, CO)
MinKwon Ctr. for Comm. Action (New York, NY)
Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network
New Jersey Dream Act Coalition
New York State Youth Leadership Council
North Carolina Dream Team
Padres y Jovenes Unidos (Denver, CO)
ONE Michigan
Orange County Dream Team (Santa Ana, CA)
Salt Lake Dream Team (Salt Lake City, UT)
Student Immigrant Movement (Boston, MA)
Students Working for Equal Rights (Miami, FL)
Tennessee Immigrants and Refugee Rights Coalition
University Leadership Initiate (Austin, TX)
Youth Empowered in the Struggle (MIlwaukee, WI)

bh

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Paterson Pardons Six Deportable Immigrants

Kirk Semple reports for the NY Times:

Gov. David A. Paterson announced pardons on Monday for six immigrants facing deportation because of old criminal convictions, including a financial administrator at the City University of New York.

The governor said the pardons addressed “shortcomings in our federal immigration laws relating to deportation.”

Mr. Paterson began a special clemency process in the spring with the principal aim of helping permanent legal residents — green card holders — who were at risk of deportation because of long-ago or minor convictions.

“Federal immigration laws,” he said, “are often inflexible, arbitrarily applied and excessively harsh, resulting in the deportation of individuals who have paid the price for their crimes and are now making positive contributions to our society. These pardons represent an attempt to achieve fairness and justice.” Read more..

bh

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sad News: A DREAMer Takes His Own Life

From the Immigrant Youth Justice League

Last week Chicago lost a young undocumented dreamer because he lost hope that he could ever be considered a full part of this society. Today the Immigrant Youth Justice League is planning  a powerful action to talk about suicide, mental health and the DREAM Act.

If you are someone who has thought about, or attempted suicide, or even if you know of someone who has, will you work with us to write and tell your story? Please contact  iyjleague@gmail.com.

Rigo Padilla
Immigration Youth Justice League

"I graduated in June of 2009, a day after my graduation I attempted suicide because I was tired, because I did not want to tell my mom we’d have to pay for my education out of our own pocket. And when schools gave me scholarships I didn’t want to put her through the pain of telling me that we still couldn’t afford it. That’s when a funeral started to look less expensive than 4-years of education at the school of my choice. I’ve decided to come out about this because every day that passes by without addressing this is another day another student is probably thinking the same and I don’t want that anymore."
 
"I know that for the past months we’ve worked under an unpredictable legislative schedule and it has come down to this: a vote in the House and Senate as early as next week. I know that this is something that some of us have experienced, or thought about, and I can only imagine how many other undocumented people there are just like us, who need hope and inspiration. And others need to realize that this is what fighting for DREAM is about, fighting for our lives."

A DREAM DEFERRED A LIFE DENIED
Undocumented youth talk about suicide, mental health and the DREAM Act, in memory of those who took their lives because their dreams and futures were denied.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010
12:00 PM, Federal Plaza

Reyna Wences,
Immigrant Youth Justice League

bh

December 7, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Action Alert on the DREAM Act

From Filipino Advocates for Justice:

ACTION ALERT
Congress & Senate Targets Updated (12/3/10): DREAM Act will be voted on this week; Time to Step up Calls!

The DREAM Act comes to the floor this week and we need your help today to pass this historic bill that would provide the opportunity for more than 65,000 undocumented high school grads a pathway to legalization and a chance to further contribute to our county and economy.  Congressman and Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Mike Honda, said "Passage of the DREAM Act is a top priority for CAPAC, as 1 in 10 DREAM Act beneficiaries would be Asian American and Pacific Islander...Failure to pass the DREAM Act would disproportionately impact AAPI students, especially in California, where more than 40% of DREAM Act beneficiaries would be Asian."

How YOU can help make history this week:

1) Tell Congress and Senate to PASS the DREAM Act today!

2) Contact these targeted Senators by calling toll-free at: 1-866-996-5161.

Senate Democrats:

Conrad (ND)
Dorgan (ND)
McCaskill (MO)
Webb (VA)
Warner (VA)
Landrieu (LA)
Pryor (AR)
Tester (MT)
Hagan (NC)

Senate Republicans:

Hutchison (TX)
Brownback (KS)
Murkowski (AK)
Kirk (IL)
Bennett (UT)
Voinovich (OH)
Snowe (ME)
Collins (ME)
Lemieux (FL)
Lugar (IN)
Bunning (KY)

Contact these targeted Congress members by calling toll-free at: 1-866-967-6018.

Cooper, Jim TN-05, Tanner, John TN-8, Bishop, Sanford GA-02, Boccieri, John OH-16, Boucher, Rick VA-09, Dahlkemper, Kathy PA-03, Hall, John NY-19, Herseth-Sandlin, Stephanie SD-AL, Holden, Tim PA-17, Kirkpatrick, Ann AZ-01, Kissell, Larry NC-08, Marshall, Jim GA-08, Michaud, Michael ME-02, Mollohan, Alan WV-01, Nye, Glenn VA-02, Peters, Gary MI-09, Ross, Mike AR-04, Shuler, Heath NC-11, Spratt, John SC-05, Visclosky, Peter IN-01, Wilson, Charlie OH-06, Barrow, John GA-12, Peterson, Colin MN-07, Murphy, Scott NY-20, Arcuri, Michael NY-24, Baird, Brian WA-3, Boyd, Allen FL-02, Deutch, Ted FL-19, Ellsworth, Brad IN-08, Higgins, Brian NY-27, Matheson, Jim UT-02, Miller, Brad NC-13, Owens, Bill NY-23, Ryan, Tim OH-17, Schrader, Kurt OR-05, Scott, David GA-13, Stupak, Bart MI-01, Chandler, Ben KY-06, Adler, John NJ-03, Space, Zach OH-18, Halvorson, Deborah IL-11, Pomeroy, Earl ND AL

3) When the switchboard receptionist picks up, tell them you want to leave a message for the Senator/Congress member. You can leave them this message:

"When the DREAM act comes to the floor for a vote this week, I urge you to please VOTE YES and support immigrant students." 

4) Encourage your friends, families and communities to do the same!

For more information and background on the DREAM Act, please see:

http://www.dreamactivist.org/

DREAM Act Students Defy Deportations, Tell Congress to Vote: on TruthOut Report by David Bacon

New report that says DREAM Act would contribute $1.4 billion to the Economy!

bh

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Oral Argument in the "Other" Arizona Immigration Law Case: Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting.  For SCOTUS blog materials on the case, click here.

Here is the issue in that case in a nutshell from the SCOTUS blog:

"An Arizona law requires state employers to check the immigration status of job applicants through a federal computer database, although the federal law creating the database makes its use voluntary. Arizona also revokes the business license of state companies that hire undocumented workers. Are these provisions pre-empted by federal immigration laws?"

Justice Kagan, who was involved in the case as Solicitor General, previously recused herself in the case.  The L.A. Times' David Savage opines that Kagan's absence may ultimately affect the decision in the case. In turn, the decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting may affect the judicial fate of the Arizona's subsequent SB 1070 as well as the many other state and local attempts at immigration regulation.

KJ

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

Call Congress to Pass the DREAM Act

From the Center for American Progress Action Fund:

Dear Friends:

We need you to pick up the phone right now.

We've just heard that Congress will vote this week on the DREAM Act—a key immigration bill that could make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people.

Call Congress now at 1-866-996-5161 and tell them to vote YES on the DREAM Act.

The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that would enable high-character undocumented young people to work towards their dream of American citizenship. The bill enjoys broad support from leaders in the military, education, immigration, and religious communities.

And this week, the House of Representatives and Senate are both planning to vote on the DREAM Act.

Call 1-866-996-5161 and tell Congress to vote YES on the DREAM Act.

Our partners at Campus Progress have a new TV ad and more information about why it's so crucial that Congress act now on this bill.

The DREAM Act creates a way for bright and talented young people who grew up in America to legalize their status and achieve their dreams. It would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who work hard and pursue higher education or military service.  And the bill makes economic sense, too—the Congressional Budget Office found that it would reduce the deficit by $1.4 billion over ten years.

Mobilization in support of this bill has reached a tipping point. Young activists are seeking what we all want—a bona fide shot at the American DREAM. Join us in telling Congress to give them that shot.

Thanks for your support as we work to make this DREAM a reality.

 Best wishes,

Angela Maria Kelley
Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy
Center for American Progress Action Fund
 
P.S. This is urgent. Please, pick up the phone. Then post the phone number, 1-866-996-5161, to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and forward this email to your friends, family members, and co-workers and ask them to call Congress too.

bh

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Access to Counsel in Non-Removal Proceedings

From the American Immigration Lawyers Association:

Have you ever been refused access to the room where your client was being interviewed by USCIS? Have you ever been told that you are not allowed to speak while ICE questioned your client? Has CBP ever refused to allow your client to call you during a complicated secondary inspection?

AILA and the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center are undertaking a nationwide outreach effort to gather information about procedures and trends encountered by attorneys when providing representation to clients during various types of interviews with DHS agencies. The scope of this survey does not include right to counsel issues in the EOIR context. Please take a moment to complete this survey, which is designed to provide AILA and the American Immigration Council with an overview of your experiences.

To take the survey, visit http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=33195&linkid=223447

All evaluations will be kept confidential, so we encourage your candor. Please use the comment section at the end of the survey to add any additional information that you feel may be helpful. If you would like a response to a specific question, please send your inquiry to survey@aila.org.

bh

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Bloomberg Urges Passage of the DREAM Act

MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES THE DREAM ACT IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
 
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared
for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 5, 2010
 
            “Good Morning.  This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
 
“As we are reminded every day in New York City, we are a nation of immigrants – and a nation that believes in rewarding talent and hard work.  And since the first days of the republic, immigrants have played a critically important role in doing the work and creating the businesses that keep our economy strong and growing. 
           
“That makes immigrants absolutely key to our nation’s economic recovery.  In these tough times, what the United States needs is more immigrants, not fewer.  At the same time, our country must have more control of our borders, so we are the ones who decide who comes to our country. 
 
“As hard as it’s been to achieve this kind of comprehensive reform, right now Congress is considering new legislation called the DREAM Act.  This legislation would allow young people who have grown up here a conditional path to citizenship provided they complete two years of higher education or military service.
 
“Just think: there are more than 100,000 students in New York City schools whose future inability to become citizens is not a matter of their choice; their parents brought them here as children.  There is no argument that they broke our immigration laws themselves.  Unfortunately, as things stand today, once they leave school, instead of facing bright futures, they must contend with a heartbreaking reality:  Ineligible for student loans and legal jobs, many of these children end up doing low-wage, off-the-books work, and some end up facing deportation.  That not only hurts them; it hurts our country.
 
“But why shouldn’t our economy benefit from the skills these young people have learned right here in our public schools?  They’ve played by the rules, worked hard, and shown they value education or military service.  They are just the kind of immigrants we need to help solve our unemployment problem.  Some of them will go on to create new small businesses and hire people.  Others may discover the next life-saving drug or pioneer the next big invention. 
 
“This legislation has had bipartisan support in the past, so we hope the two parties in Washington will come together and pass the DREAM Act. 
 
“I’ve always believed that immigrants are the lifeblood of our nation – which is why we’ll continue empowering immigrants to contribute to our economy here in New York City.  And we’ll do that by continuing to do what we’ve done for the past nine years:  By helping more immigrants learn English, by turning low-wage jobs into middle-class careers, by cracking down on the crooks who exploit those trying to obtain green cards, and by continuing to open the doors of City Hall to every single community in every borough. 
 
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.  Thanks for listening.” 

bh

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Record 392,862 Deported By ICE in 2010

The Washington Post reports today on the 392,862 record number of deportations by ICE during fiscal year 2010. Apparently, in order to reach these numbers, a period of pushing arrestees to accept voluntary return instead of going before an immigration judge was used. Read more here....

bh

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Jeb Bush on Arizona Immigration Law

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"Jeb Bush [former Governor of Florida] said today that if his children walked the streets of Phoenix they might look awfully suspicious to police. His wife Columba is from Mexico." Saint Petersblog, Dec. 4, 2010.  Recall that the first President George H.W. Bush made a mild news stir when he referred to Jeb's children as "the litlle brown ones." 

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

California Republicans are split on possible anti-illegal immigration measure

The L.A. Times reports on the proposed California ballot measure that copycats Arizona's SB 1070 and is dividing California Republicans.  Some prominent Republican strategists and leaders fear that teh initiative could further harm the party's relationship with Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. Currently, it is unclear whether the ballot's backers will have the financial resources to gather enough signatures to place the measure on the 2012 ballot.  Backers need to collect 433,971 valid signatures by April 21, 2011, which they hope to do with a paid signature-gatherers and volunteers.

KJ

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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adoption Bill for Haitian Children Passes House

Joanna Anderson writes for Congressional Quarterly:

The House cleared a measure Wednesday aimed at easing the adoption process for Haitian children admitted to the United States after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The bill (HR 5283), which now goes to the president, was cleared by voice vote.

The measure would authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to grant permanent U.S. residency to Haitian children brought to the United States as part of a humanitarian entry policy after the earthquake. It would then grant those children adoption eligibility if they obtain permanent resident status prior to turning 18 and are adopted by a U.S. citizen. Read more..

bh

December 5, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Margaret Regan (Author of The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands) Vistis UC Davis

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We previously have blogged about Margaret Regan's insightful book about life-and-death along the U.S./Mexico border, The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands.  For anybody interested in the the human impacts of border enforcement -- and heartbreaking stories about the migrants, this book is a "must read."  Besides telling the stories of migrants, Regan offers the perspectives of Immigration & Custom Enforcement Officers, environmentalists, landowners along the border, Minutemen, and others about life along the modern U.S./Mexico border in Arizona.  It is an even-keeled and thoughtful account of the impacts of border enforcemnent, a relative rarity in books on immigration. 

Last week, Regan visited UC Davis and gave a talk about the border to the Institute of Governmental Affairs.  She talked about the rising death toll along the U.S./Mexico border south of Tucson and narrated slides showing, among other things, an overflowing morgue.  Her sobering account, as well as the book, reminded me of my visit in 2006 to the migrant port of Altar, Mexico, with a plaza that Regan referred to as the "WalMart for migrants," with packs, boots, energy drinks, and food for sale.  Human rights activists Kat Rodriguez and John Fife, both of whom showed me and a group of journalists around the Arizona border region, are referrred to the book.

KJ

December 5, 2010 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)