Saturday, April 9, 2011

USCIS Public Engagement: Final Policy Memoranda

USCIS has published the following final policy memoranda:


NOTE: If you are unable to access the memoranda through the links provided above, please do the following:

1.   Go to www.uscis.gov
2.   Select the “laws” tab at the top of the page
3.   Select “policy memoranda” on the left side of the page

bh

April 9, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Maryland Dream Act Moves Forward

From ParkPatch:

The Maryland House of Delegates has cleared a controversial bill that would grant in-state tuition status to undocumented immigrants.

The Maryland DREAM Act passed the House by a vote of 74-66 Friday.  The bill now goes to the Senate, which passed its version last month.

The bill would require applicants to public colleges and universities in Maryland to be students at public high schools in the state for three consecutive years before applying for in-state rates. Undocumented immigrants currently pay an out-of-state tuition fee, which in 2011 averages $10,000 more per year than in-state tuition. Read more...

bh

April 9, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 8, 2011

U.S. Naturalizations: 2010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released naturalization statistics for 2010.  Here is description of the recent and historical trends: 

"The number of persons naturalizing in the United States decreased to 619,913 in 2010 from 743,715 in 2009 and 1,046,539 in 2008. The 2008 number, an all-time record, followed a surge in applications in 2007 in advance of an application fee increase and efforts to encourage eligible immigrants to naturalize. The number of applications for naturalization, which declined from 2007 to 2008, increased to 570,000 in 2009 and 710,000 in 2010. The number of applications pending a decision decreased from 480,000 at the end of 2008 to 290,000 by the end of 2010.

Historical Trend

The average annual number of persons naturalizing increased from less than 120,000 during the 1950s and 1960s to 210,000 during the 1980s, 500,000 during the 1990s, and to 680,000 between 2000 and 2010 (see Figure 1). Naturalizations rose sharply during the mid-1990s. Factors that may have accounted for this increase include: 1) the 2.7 million undocumented immigrants legalized under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 becoming eligible for citizenship; 2) legislative efforts to restrict public benefits for non-citizens; and 3) implementation of a mandatory program requiring replacement of permanent resident cards issued before 1977. Until the 1970s, the majority of persons naturalizing were born in European countries. The regional origin of new citizens shifted from Europe to Asia due to increased legal immigration from Asian countries, the arrival of Indochinese refugees in the 1970s, and the historically higher naturalization rate of Asian immigrants. Consequently, Asia has been the leading region of origin of new citizens in most years since 1976."

KJ

April 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

The U.S. Department of State has released its 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  This report is submitted to the Congress by the Department of State in compliance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate by February 25 "a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act."  The report includes reports on several countries that do not fall into the categories established by these statutes and thus are not covered by the congressional requirement.

In the early 1970s the United States formalized its responsibility to speak out on behalf of international human rights standards. In 1976 Congress enacted legislation creating a Coordinator of Human Rights in the Department of State, a position later upgraded to Assistant Secretary.

Legislation also requires that U.S. foreign and trade policy take into account countries' human rights and worker rights performance and that country reports be submitted to the Congress on an annual basis.

The Department of State prepared this report using information from U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, foreign government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, and published reports. The initial drafts of the individual country reports were prepared by U.S. diplomatic missions abroad, drawing on information they gathered throughout the year from a variety of sources, including government officials, jurists, the armed forces, journalists, human rights monitors, academics, and labor activists. This information gathering can be hazardous, and U.S. Foreign Service personnel regularly go to great lengths, under trying and sometimes dangerous conditions, to investigate reports of human rights abuse, monitor elections, and come to the aid of individuals at risk, such as political dissidents and human rights defenders whose rights are threatened by their governments.

Once the initial drafts of the individual country reports were completed, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, in cooperation with other Department of State offices, worked to corroborate, analyze, and edit the reports, drawing on their own sources of information. These sources included reports provided by U.S. and other human rights groups, foreign government officials, representatives from the United Nations and other international and regional organizations and institutions, experts from academia, and the media. Bureau officers also consulted experts on worker rights, refugee issues, military and police topics, women's issues, and legal matters, among may others.

KJ

April 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alien Language: Immigration Metaphors and the Jurisprudence of Otherness

Cunningham_web-1-10 


Keith Cunningham-Parmeter has a new -- and very thoughtful -- article entitled .  Here is an abstract: 

Alien Language: Immigration Metaphors and the Jurisprudence of Otherness

Metaphors tell the story of immigration law. Throughout its immigration jurisprudence, the U.S. Supreme Court has employed rich metaphoric language to describe immigrants attacking nations and aliens flooding communities. This Article applies research in cognitive linguistics to critically evaluate the metaphoric construction of immigrants in the law. Three conceptual metaphors dominate legal texts: IMMIGRANTS ARE ALIENS, IMMIGRATION IS A FLOOD, and IMMIGRATION IS AN INVASION. In order to gauge the prevalence of these metaphors, the Article engages in a textual analysis of modern Supreme Court opinions and presents original empirical data on the incidence of alienage terminology in federal court decisions. The Article explains how immigration metaphors influence not only judicial outcomes, but also social discourse and the broader debate over immigration reform. As such, the theoretical study of language has very practical consequences for the people defined by immigration metaphors. The Article concludes by proposing an oppositional metaphoric framework based on the concepts of migration and economic sanctuary. These metaphors describe immigration in terms of movement, work, and community, in contrast to existing legal metaphors that describe immigration in terms of danger, attack, and criminality. Thus, while today’s immigration metaphors signify a loss of economic security and cultural hegemony, the proposed terms emphasize immigrants’ economic contributions and potential for social belonging. This process of evaluation and substitution diminishes the power of existing metaphors to conflate and essentialize, while creating space in the legal imagination for new frames to emerge. 

KJ

April 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Moldova Top Per Capita Alcohol Consuming Nation

MoldovaMapView2 
Map courtesy of http://www.aboutromania.com/maps149.html

What nation has the highest per capita alcohol consumption? 

1. Moldova.  Per capita alcohol consumption: 18.22 liters

The United States is No. 15 (13.37 liters).  To see the rest of the top 15 alcohol consuming nations, click here.

KJ

 

April 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Needed: Probation and Restorative Justice in Deportation Proceedings

From Huffington Post:

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky -- a deportation case involving a 40-year lawful permanent resident of the United States who was a Vietnam War veteran. About 10 years ago, José Padilla, a commercial truck driver, based on advice from his defense attorney, pleaded guilty to transporting marijuana. His attorney had told him, incorrectly, that the conviction would not affect his immigration status. In fact, the conviction led to an automatic deportation order. Because of the incompetence of his attorney, the Supreme Court set aside Padilla's conviction, and imposed a duty on criminal defense attorneys to provide competent advice to noncitizens about potential immigration consequences in all future cases.

The Padilla case is important, of course, but an underlying problem persists: after competent defense advice is given to long-time lawful permanent residents, a conviction for certain crimes -- including a couple of petty thefts -- can still lead to deportation. And if the conviction is classified as an "aggravated felony," deportation is virtually automatic. In the latter situation, federal immigration judges lack any discretion or options to ordering the person removed from the country. That means that the following facts are irrelevant: that the person has resided lawfully in the United States for decades, the effect of deportation on a citizen spouse and children, a record of long and stable employment, contributions to the community or neighborhood, or that the person is fully rehabilitated and remorseful. Furthermore, while "aggravated felony" includes some very serious crimes, it doesn't take much for a conviction to fall into the classification. Many minor drug offense and offenses that can lead to a one-year sentence is all that's necessary. I'm aware of cases that were classified as aggravated felonies that included driving without a license when the person was on parole, medical benefits fraud, and multiple counts of joy-riding. And deportation comes after the person's incarceration for the underlying conviction. In other words, deportation is not used by "aggravated felons" to escape their jail time; deportation comes after they get out of jail.

Immigration judges need an alternative to deportation of long-time lawful residents who have usually made a single mistake. If Congress is afraid of outright reinstating discretionary power to judges to halt these deportations, at the very least, Congress should grant judges the power to order a probationary period for these individuals. During the probation, they can be monitored and allowed to go through restorative justice and relational-building processes with their families and neighborhoods. We can all benefit from that. Read more...

Also see Deporting Our Souls.

bh

April 8, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

SF Board of Supervisors: End Racial Profiling Against AMEMSA Communities

From the Asian Law Caucus:

In Unanimous Vote, Supervisors Endorse Human Rights Commission Report to End Bias Practices of Surveillance & Profiling

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 04/07/11)  The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco (CSSF) applauds the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco for endorsing a historic Human Right's Commission (HRC) report on racial and religious profiling of Bay Area Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities.

"We are pleased that the Board of Supervisors shares our concerns about the erosion of civil rights and endorses the Human Rights Commission's recommendations to end profiling and the surveillance, monitoring, and infiltration of AMEMSA communities without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity," said Summer Hararah from the Asian Law Caucus.

In a unanimous 10-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors voted to pass a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, and co-sponsored by Supervisors David Chiu, Eric Mar, David Campos, and John Avalos, to endorse the HRC  report.

SEE: "Community Concerns of Racial and Religious Profiling of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian community members and Potential Reactivation of SFPD Intelligence Gathering." 

http://www.sf-hrc.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=983

The report documents community and expert testimony made during a September 2010 HRC hearing and makes recommendations to address grave concerns that were raised.  Testimony during the hearing affirmed frequent complaints received by local civil rights groups from AMEMSA community members facing racial and religious profiling while traveling and suspicionless interrogation, surveillance, and infiltration by local and federal law enforcement personnel at their homes, places of worship, and workplaces. 

The Board of Supervisor's resolution encourages relevant city agencies to consider implementation of the recommendations and findings detailed in the report, and commends members of the AMEMSA community and the HRC  for their efforts to resolve the ongoing civil rights violations impacting the community.

SEE: San Francisco Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes

http://www.sfbos.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/bosagendas/minutes/2011/m040511.pdf


Supervisor Mirkarimi highlighted the importance of the Resolution, stressing that the SFPD must respond to the various concerns raised. Supervisor Jane Kim, echoed this stating that she wanted answers about the assignments and funding of the SFPD's sixty new "terrorist liaison" officers.

Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, congratulated the Supervisors, "the Supervisors unanimous endorsement of this report and its recommendations is a step in the right direction, especially in light of rise in Islamophobia and suspicionless surveillance of American Muslim communities all over the country."                       

Veena Dubal, Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, also applauded the Board of Supervisors' endorsement of the report.  Dubal stated, "This is a huge step forward.  The recommendations endorsed by the Supervisors speak directly to the community's concerns about being profiled and spied on without any criminal suspion, in spite of the strong local regulations prohibiting this activity."

The SFPD's recent release of it's memorandum of understanding with the FBI confirm's the community's fears: SFPD officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force are permited to circumvent local and state privacy laws to spy without reasonable suspicion. 

SEE: SFPD officers working with FBI given more leeway to gather intelligence

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/04/sfpd-officers-working-fbi-given-more-leeway-gather-intelligence

An attorney from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Nour Chammas, affirmed, "We commend the Board of Supervisors and the HRC for their courage and for taking the lead in protecting San Franciscans from racial and religious profiling and overbroad surveillance."

The Coalition for a Safe SF is a grassroots alliance of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian American organizations as well as legal groups, which has been working on efforts to gain transparency and accountability around unconstitutional profiling practices to help safeguard the civil liberties and civil rights of all San Franciscans from overbroad national security policies.  The Coalition includes a diverse alliance of community organizations, legal groups and community activists, including the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC), Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area chapter (CAIR-SFBA), Asian Law Caucus (ALC), National Lawyers Guild (NLG-SF) and the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA).

bh

April 8, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Donald Trump (in his Dreams) to Obama: Your're Fired! Trump's Birther Talk Drives His GOP 2012 Support Up

220px-Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore 
Robert Schlesinger on the U.S. News blog
explains why new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that self-promoter and real estate developer Donald Trump has risen to second place among GOP 2012 primary voters. As ImmigrationProf previously reported, Trump recently became an unofficial spokesperson for the birther movement.  He has suggested that while part of this is no doubt a function of name recognition, his rise is also more evidence that the birther movement has grown to become a not insignificant portion of the Republican Party. Schlesinger offers new poll data supporting this theory.

 

April 8, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

California Dream Act Conference


MEDIA ADVISORY
CONTACT:
Conrado Terrazas, 213-200-6161, Conrado.terrazas@asm.ca.gov, conradoterrazas@roadrunner.com
ASSEMBLYMEMBERS CEDILLO AND ENG ANNOUNCE
THE CALIFORNA DREAM ACT (AB 130 AND AB 131) CONFERENCE
A press event to invite dream students, educators, families and community leaders to this conference at East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754, 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 8, 2011. The conference is on Saturday, April 9th 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at East Los Angeles College.
 
LOS ANGELES – Assemblymember Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), Angela Sanbrano, Executive Director, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean (NALACC), Jacqueline Amparo, Academic Coordinator of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Robert Cancio, Vice President, East Los Angeles College Associated Student Union, hold a press event to invite the public to the California Dream Act Conference for dream students, educators and families and community leaders at East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754, Friday, April 8, 11:00 a.m. The Dream Act Conference is on Saturday, April 8th, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is a free event open to the public.
 
The purpose of the Conference is a call to action to mobilize dream students, educators, families and community leaders to advocate to members of the State Assembly, Senate and Governor Brown to pass and sign the California Dream Act – AB 130 and AB 131.  To register for the conference, go to www.CaliforniaDreamAct.org or call 323-225-4545.        
The California DREAM Act, first introduced by Cedillo in 2006, was introduced in two bills in January of this year. The first bill, AB 130 would allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds. AB 131 would allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities. The types of financial aid these students would be eligible for include: 1.) Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver 2.) Institutional Student Aid: Student aid program administered by the attending college or university (i.e. State University Grant, UC Grant) and 3.) Cal Grants.
 
The California Dream Act Conference – AB 130 and AB 131 is co-sponsored by the Associated Student Union, California Dream Network (CDN), California Dream Team Alliance, Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas (COFEM), Equality California, Hermandad Mexicana Latino Americana, Latino Equality Alliance (LEA), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California and SEIU Local 721.
WHO: Assemblymember Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), Assemblymember Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park, Angela Sanbrano, Executive Director, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean (NALACC), Jacqueline Amparo, Academic Coordinator, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Robert Cancio, Vice President, Associated Student Union, East Los Angeles College. The conference also features Fernando Espuelas, Univision Radio Host, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Assemblymember Ricardo Lara and Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal.
 
WHAT:  Announce and invite the public to the California Dream Act Conference for dream students, educators, families and community leaders in support of the California Dream Act - AB 130 and AB 131.
WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 8, 2011
 
WHERE: East Los Angeles College, Administrative Building Lobby, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

bh

April 7, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

8th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference

The conference will offer law and policy analysis and discussion on cutting-edge immigration issues, and featured panelists will include government officials, academics, advocates, and other immigration experts. Confirmed Speakers include:

Michelle Brané, Director, Detention and Asylum Program, Women’s Refugee Commission

Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI at NYU School of Law

Geoffrey Heeren, Fellow, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center

Asa Hutchinson, Former Member of Congress (3rd District of Arkansas); former Undersecretary, US Department of Homeland Security; Partner, The Asa Hutchinson Law Group

Donald Kerwin, MPI Vice President for Programs

David A. Martin, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of Virginia, School of Law

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of the US Immigration Policy Program, MPI; former Commissioner of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service

Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center-A Heartland Alliance Partner

Julie Myers Wood, Former Director, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement; President, Immigration and Customs Solutions, LLC

Maria M. Odom, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Daniel Olmos, Senior Counsel, Access to Justice Initiative, US Department of Justice

Margo Schlanger, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, US Department of Homeland Security

Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Visiting Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies; Deputy Director, Georgetown University Institute for the Study of International Migration

The conference will take place at the Georgetown University Law Center.  It is sponsored by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Georgetown University Law Center, and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

KJ

April 7, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Caribbean Immigrants in the United States

Caribbeanmap 

Courtesy of Definitive Carribbean.Com

The Migration Information Source has just published a new Spotlight examining detailed characteristics of Caribbean Immigrants living in the United States. In the Spotlight, MPI’s Kristen McCabe examines the size and distribution and the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of immigrants from the Caribbean region, with specific emphasis on immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, among others. Using the most recent government data available, the analysis found:

• Immigrants from the Caribbean number about 3.5 million, accounting for 9.0 percent of all foreign born currently residing in the United States. The largest groups of immigrants from this region are from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago.

• Nearly seven out of ten Caribbean immigrants live in Florida and New York, and almost all of those reside in just three metropolitan areas.

• Compared to other immigrant groups, the foreign born from the Caribbean are less likely to be new arrivals, tend to have higher levels of English-language proficiency, and become naturalized US citizens at higher rates.

• Caribbean immigrants are more likely than other foreign-born groups to be naturalized as US citizens, but naturalization rates vary by country of origin. For example, Barbadian immigrants had the highest rate of naturalization (70.9 percent) among all Caribbean groups, while the foreign born from Dominica had the lowest rate (44.8 percent).

KJ

April 7, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

National Boycott of Georgia

From:

Paulina Hernandez, Southerners on New Ground 919.323.2057
Xochitl Bervera, SomosGeorgia 404.861.0756
B. Loewe, National Day Laborers Organizing Network 773.791.4668
Russell Roybal, National Lesbian and Gay Task Force 202.306.3047
Sue Hyde, National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change 617.320.6635

IMPENDING NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF GEORGIA

Local and national groups press Governor Deal to commit to veto Arizona-style anti-immigrant legislation

Allowing passage of Arizona-copycat law will cost Georgia millions

A national network of organizations instrumental in coordinating the boycott in Arizona after controversial anti-immigrant legislation passed there in 2009 has sent a letter to Governor Deal of Georgia “notifying [him] of efforts underway to organize a national boycott of Georgia, in the event that Georgia’s Arizona copycat legislation -- HB 87 and SB 40 -- should become law. “

The National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) and The Turning the Tide campaign sent the letter via facsimile early this morning.  B. Loewe, a spokesperson for the organization, said “We are currently prepared to contact all conventions, organizations, companies, cities, counties, and states that participated in the Arizona boycott to advise them of the current status of Georgia’s legislation and tell them to be ready to change plans, divest, and/or issue travel alerts to avoid the state of Georgia.”

B. Loewe said that various organizations and community members of Georgia, including the SomosGeorgia/WeAreGeorgia campaign, notified them of the efforts by Georgia’s Republicans to drive immigrants out of the state.  NDLON and Turning the Tide will wait for those groups to give the go-ahead in the event that the bills pass and the Governor does not issue a veto.

Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort said he and others will give just such a go-ahead. "If House bill 87 passes and the Governor refuses to veto it, we, in Georgia, will call for a boycott. These laws have devastating effects on families, students, workers, and entire communities.  People of good conscience will find other places for their vacations and conventions until this state gets back on the right side of history."

The National Lesbian and Gay Task Force is in support of the boycott, and also sent a letter to Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, stressing that “should the State of Georgia follow Arizona down a regrettable path to codifying anti-immigrant bias in its laws, we would be forced to reconsider our choice of venue and host city for the 2013 Creating Change Conference.” Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people living in Georgia will be disproportionately affected by increased 'identity' policing.

Supporters of the boycott state that Georgia has historically thrived in part because it's a state with some of the largest and most minority-owned businesses in the Southern region. These businesses in particular will suffer economically if immigrant communities and people of color are driven out.

Referring to the recent New York Times report that Arizona had, less than six months after passage of the controversial HB1070, lost $45 million in convention revenue and stands to lose upwards of $750 million overall, Paulina Hernandez, co-Director of Southerners on New Ground said “A boycott will undoubtedly hurt the state of Georgia as it did the state of Arizona and our Governor will be squarely to blame if he does not do the right thing and commit to vetoing these anti-immigrant bills.”

Georgia Representative Virgil Fludd (D-66) commented on the economic impact of multiple pieces of legislation pending in the legislature. “Republican are proposing to turn down $175 million in unemployment benefits from the federal government for over 20,000 Georgians who are currently unemployed and looking for work. The current tax proposal we will be voting on next week has a fiscal note of $200 million--creating a massive hole in the state's budget.  Should an anti-immigrant Arizona style law pass, and a boycott ensue, the economic impact will simply be devastating. Georgia has always been known as a business friendly state and HB 87 is not business friendly. We cannot afford this.”

Members of the faith and nonprofit communities have also opposed HB 87 stating that provisions of this legislation create new, significant criminal and civil liabilities that will chill the work of communities of faith across Georgia who provide critical physical and spiritual support to some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities.

bh

April 7, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

In Unanimous Vote, Supervisors Endorse Human Rights Commission Report to End Bias Practices of Surveillance & Profiling

The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco (CSSF) applauds the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco for endorsing a historic Human Right's Commission (HRC) report on racial and religious profiling of Bay Area Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. "We are pleased that the Board of Supervisors shares our concerns about the erosion of civil rights and endorses the Human Rights Commission's recommendations to end profiling and the surveillance, monitoring, and infiltration of AMEMSA communities without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity," said Summer Hararah from the Asian Law Caucus.

In a unanimous 10-0 vote, the Board of Supervisors voted to pass a resolution sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, and co-sponsored by Supervisors David Chiu, Eric Mar, David Campos, and John Avalos, to endorse the HRC report. See Community Concerns of Racial and Religious Profiling of Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian community members and Potential Reactivation of SFPD Intelligence Gathering. The report documents community and expert testimony made during a September 2010 HRC hearing and makes recommendations to address grave concerns that were raised. Testimony during the hearing affirmed frequent complaints received by local civil rights groups from AMEMSA community members facing racial and religious profiling while traveling and suspicionless interrogation, surveillance, and infiltration by local and federal law enforcement personnel at their homes, places of worship, and workplaces.

The Board of Supervisor's resolution encourages relevant city agencies to consider implementation of the recommendations and findings detailed in the report, and commends members of the AMEMSA community and the HRC for their efforts to resolve the ongoing civil rights violations impacting the community. See San Francisco Board of Supervisors Meeting Minutes.

Supervisor Mirkarimi highlighted the importance of the Resolution, stressing that the SFPD must respond to the various concerns raised. Supervisor Jane Kim, echoed this stating that she wanted answers about the assignments and funding of the SFPD's sixty new "terrorist liaison" officers. Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, congratulated the Supervisors, "the Supervisors unanimous endorsement of this report and its recommendations is a step in the right direction, especially in light of rise in Islamophobia and suspicionless surveillance of American Muslim communities all over the country." Veena Dubal, Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, also applauded the Board of Supervisors' endorsement of the report. Dubal stated, "This is a huge step forward. The recommendations endorsed by the Supervisors speak directly to the community's concerns about being profiled and spied on without any criminal suspion, in spite of the strong local regulations prohibiting this activity."

The SFPD's recent release of it's memorandum of understanding with the FBI confirm's the community's fears: SFPD officers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force are permited to circumvent local and state privacy laws to spy without reasonable suspicion. See SFPD officers working with FBI given more leeway to gather intelligence

An attorney from the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Nour Chammas, affirmed, "We commend the Board of Supervisors and the HRC for their courage and for taking the lead in protecting San Franciscans from racial and religious profiling and overbroad surveillance."

KJ

April 7, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Public Discourse on Immigration

From the Opportunity Agenda:

Telebriefing Invitation: Public Discourse on Immigration in 2010
 
National Telebriefing
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
3:00-4:00PM EST
 
Please join The Opportunity Agenda and Loren Siegel Consulting for a review of our fourth analysis on public discourse around immigration. This report comes at a time when the passage of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law (S.B. 1070) sparked amounting media coverage, bringing the topic back to the policy debate and signaling Congress' and the administration’s failure to break party lines to find a national solution. Public Discourse on Immigration in 2010 provides an analysis of print and broadcast media coverage, Web 2.0 discourse, and a meta-analysis of public opinion research from 2010. There will be time for questions from the audience following the presentation.
 
Speakers: The Opportunity Agenda's Alan Jenkins, Executive Director, and Julie Rowe, Framing and Messaging Coordinator; and Loren Siegel of Loren Siegel Consulting.
 
Please RSVP to partners@opportunityagenda.org by April 22. Call-in information will be sent out a few days before the telebriefing.
 
Thank you,
The Opportunity Agenda

bh

April 7, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles from SSRN

"Reason Over Hysteria: Keynote Essay" Loyola University Journal of Public Interest Law, 2011 BILL ONG HING, University of San Francisco - School of Law; Professor Emeritius, UC Davis.  ABSTRACT:  We are a nation of immigrants, but we also are a nation that loves to debate immigration policy, and that debate reflects the battle over how we define who is an American. The anti-immigrant movement in the United States is as strong as ever. Immigrant bashing is popular among politicians, talk radio hosts, private militiamen, and xenophobic grassroots organizations. They take full advantage of the high-tech era in which we live, as they complain about the "illegal alien invasion." Their common thread is the rhetoric of fear. This hysteria leads to tragic policies that challenge us as a moral society. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, enormous funding for border enforcement, anti-immigrant ordinances and state laws, and record levels of detention are manifestations of the venom, while immigrants and citizen relatives are forced to suffer. Arizona’s SB 1070 is an example of the hysteria-driven results. The controversial law would make it a state crime for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying the required documents, bar state and local officials from enacting sanctuary laws, and crack down on those sheltering, hiring, and transporting undocumented aliens. The intent of the legislation is to make life miserable for the undocumented in Arizona in hopes of achieving "attrition through enforcement." Critics charge that the law invites racial profiling and exceeds state authority. In this keynote essay, delivered at Loyola University New Orleans on November 5, 2010, Professor Hing provides an overview of the background on local and state laws that attempt to regulate immigration, how much of the racist attitudes toward immigrants have become institutionalized within the current immigration system, and current enforcement strategies that prey heavily on immigrant workers who are victims of trade policies and globalization. I argue that given an understanding of how our nation’s immigration laws have evolved in the context of globalization we should calm down and stop the anti-immigrant rhetoric. We should gather ourselves and use our collective wisdom to address immigration policy and the need for reform in a thoughtful, reasoned manner.

"Car Stops, Borders, and Profiling: The Hunt for Undocumented (Illegal?) Immigrants in Border Towns" Nebraska Law Review, Vol. 89, June 2011 BRIAN GALLINI, University of Arkansas School of Law.  ELIZABETH YOUNG, University of Arkansas School of Law.  ABSTRACT: The much-discussed Arizona immigration statute, SB 1070, continues an effort – this time at the legislative level – to broaden the discretionary power of law enforcement. Yet, a fascinating question lies at the base of the public’s pervasive criticism of the Act: where have all the critics been? Numerous Supreme Court cases already allow for law enforcement to engage in the very practice – racial and ethnic profiling premised on “reasonable suspicion” – that has incited the emotions of so many citizens nationwide. This Article therefore argues that the Arizona’s SB 1070, while notable for the public response to it, is merely emblematic of a much larger and systemic problem that exists because of the collective core holdings from several Supreme Court Fourth Amendment cases. Indeed, law enforcement stops of persons lawfully present in the United States using an “illegal immigrant” profile have existed since the mid-1970s and will remain permissible regardless of the Act’s ultimate fate. Several Supreme Court cases already bestow upon local law enforcement an inordinate amount of discretionary power both on the street and in an automobile. The combination of that power alongside the immigration consequences for a criminal violation provides law enforcement with a level of power and discretion comparable to that bestowed by the Arizona Act. Thus, although citizens may object to its enactment, one thing is clear: SB 1070 does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

"Life Without Parole: An Immigration Framework Applied to Potentially Indefinite Detention at Guantánamo Bay" New York University Law Review, Forthcoming LAURA J. ARANDES, New York University (NYU) - School of Law.  ABSTRACT: The Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that detainees at Guantánamo Bay have the right to challenge their detention in habeas corpus proceedings and that the courts hearing these claims must have some ability to provide “conditional release.” However, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that if a detainee cannot be released to their country of origin or another country abroad, a court sitting in habeas cannot grant them release into the United States. The court based its determination on the assumption that the Uighurs’ request for release implicated “admission,” the terms and conditions of which are generally considered within the purview of the political branches and inappropriate for judicial review. This Note argues that “parole,” a more flexible mechanism for release into the United States, is not limited by the admission precedent requiring extreme deference. This Note then surveys cases where the judiciary has granted parole as a remedy, and argues that courts grant the remedy primarily in cases of executive misconduct. Thus, courts confronting requests for domestic release from executive detention without legal basis should consider parole as a remedy distinct from admission, one that serves a valuable purpose in maintaining a meaningful check on the Executive.

"Reforming the Good Moral Character Requirement for U.S. Citizenship" Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 87, 2012 KEVIN LAPP, New York University School of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Since 1790, naturalization applicants have been required to prove their good moral character. Traditionally, courts applied a flexible standard that recognized the potential for reform, making full membership possible even for those with a criminal record. This article demonstrates how recent changes in immigration law and the handling of naturalization petitions by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have turned the good moral character requirement into a power exclusionary device. Hundreds of permanent statutory bars to a good moral character finding based on criminal conduct have been added, some triggered by misdemeanor convictions. At the same time, USCIS trains naturalization adjudicators to deny applicants on character grounds. Those same adjudicators compound that training by misapplying the law and regulations about good moral character, resulting in wrongful and inexplicable denials on character grounds. This article argues that the current good moral character scheme fails in three fundamental ways. First, drawing on literature about the relationship between naturalization law and integration, it contends that foreclosing citizenship to some permanent residents frustrates social cohesion. Second, by preventing their full political participation, it threatens the integrity of American participatory democracy. Finally, it wrongly denies redemption its proper place in the law by permanently casting individuals as morally corrupt outsiders, a conclusion that, among other things, contradicts criminological research on desistance from crime and emerging trends in the law about fixed character judgments. To address these failures, the article proposes that Congress amend the INA to eliminate or restrict any good moral character bar triggered by criminal convictions and that USCIS ensure that adjudicators apply the law correctly. These reforms would create a naturalization scheme that, at no cost to public safety, promotes social cohesion and advances democracy and equality by making redemptive citizenship possible.

KJ

April 7, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Glenn Beck Daily Show to End!

Beck 

Here is some news!  We know that Lou Dobbs left CNN in November 2009.  Now, Fox News anchor Glenn Beck, not known as a friend to immigrants, has announced that he will end his daily show later this year to develop other projects.  A big Glenn Beck "fan," Stephen Colbert has registered his sadness about the demise of the "GlennPocalypse" and "a world without Glenn." 

 

KJ

April 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Atlanta DREAMers Arrested

I posted an announcement about the seven DREAMers in Atlanta yesterday. These courageous young folks were arrested:

From CNN:

Seven students were arrested Tuesday after staging a sit-in at an Atlanta intersection, blocking traffic in a symbolic effort to raise awareness about a controversial immigration issue.

Georgina Perez, Viridiana Martinez, Jose Rico, Dayanna Rebolledo, Andrea Rosales, David Ramirez and Maria Marroquin were arrested near Georgia State University.

"We want to show the people that we are undocumented and we're not afraid," Marroquin said.

All are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children, they said, and were protesting the lack of support for the Dream Act in Congress.

The bill -- which was defeated in December 2010 -- would have given children who have grown up in the United States an opportunity to earn citizenship despite their family's immigration status.

Georgia's public colleges have adopted policies that officials say will prevent illegal immigrants from attending five high-demand schools and from being admitted ahead of legally and academically qualified residents at the rest of the state's public institutions of higher learning.

"That's why I'm here today, because I'm fighting for education for everybody," Perez said. "It should not matter whether you have a nine-digit Social Security number. We're all human beings!" Read more...

bh

April 6, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Some DREAM students face nightmare scenarios

Olivas 
Immigration Professor of 2010
, and Association of American Law Schools President, Michael Olivas (Houston) explains why the Obama administration must keep its promoises to DREAM students.

One of the comments reminds us that it is college admissions season:

"REAL NIGHTMARE: My American born son gets a rejection letter from his college of choice, because his slot was taken by an "Illegal Alien.""

 KJ

April 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Professor Angela Banks Discusses Arizona's Immigration Reform Legislation

Banks-969 
Watch
William & Mary Law School Professor Angela Banks discussing the Arizona Immigration Reform legislation and its subsequent pending litigation.  By the way, Professor Banks gave a first rate presentation to the law faculty at UC Davis last week on the topic of crime and immigration.

KJ

April 6, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)