Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Immigration Proposals Divide Cuban Americans

John Lantigua writes for the Palm Beach Post:

MIAMI — An immigration bill recently introduced in the Florida Legislature is doing something to the Republican Party's Cuban exile base in South Florida that Democrats have had trouble accomplishing over the years.

It is turning some Cuban-Americans against each other.

Senate Bill 2040 authorizes state law enforcement and corrections officials to increase cooperation with federal authorities in identifying undocumented immigrants being held in jails and prisons, which could lead to deportations. It also requires employers to confirm the legal status of new hires, in part by using E-Verify, a federal database.

The bill is not as tough as an immigration bill in the House, HB 7089, sponsored by Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart. Snyder's bill allows all state, county and local law enforcement personnel on the street to determine the legal status of any person they investigate for a crime.

Critics of both bills say they would lead to racial profiling and target Latinos for deportation, and could discourage undocumented immigrants from reporting crimes or cooperating with police if they witness crimes. Read more...

bh

April 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Detention Riot in Australia

From the Associated Press:

Police investigating a riot at an Australian immigration detention center were on Friday questioning 22 people about the protests started by asylum seekers whose visa applications had been rejected.

A handful of protesters remained camped out on rooftops at Sydney's Villawood Detention Center on Friday, with officials sending up supplies of food and water, an immigration department spokeswoman said on customary condition of anonymity.

Around 100 people at the facility were involved in the riot, which began Wednesday night when two detainees climbed onto a roof. Protesters set an oxygen cylinder alight, which led to an explosion, and fire destroyed nine buildings. No one was injured. Read more..

bh

April 23, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 22, 2011

GAO: Criminal Alien Statistics

Download GAO Report

United States Government Accountability Office GAO Report to Congressional Requesters CRIMINAL ALIEN STATISTICS Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs March 2011.  Here is the gist of the GAO's findings:

"What GAO Found

The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available), and the majority were from Mexico. The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons increased about 7 percent from about 51,000 in fiscal year 2005 while the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails increased about 35 percent from about 220,000 in fiscal year 2003. The time period covered by these data vary because they reflect updates since GAO last reported on these issues in 2005. Specifically, in 2005, GAO reported that the percentage of criminal aliens in federal prisons was about 27 percent of the total inmate population from 2001 through 2004.

Based on our random sample, GAO estimates that the criminal aliens had an average of 7 arrests, 65 percent were arrested at least once for an immigration offense, and about 50 percent were arrested at least once for a drug offense. Immigration, drugs, and traffic violations accounted for about 50 percent of arrest offenses. About 90 percent of the criminal aliens sentenced in federal court in fiscal year 2009 (the most recently available data) were convicted of immigration and drug-related offenses. About 40 percent of individuals convicted as a result of DOJ terrorism-related investigations were aliens. SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in selected state prison systems in Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas were convicted of various offenses in fiscal year 2008 (the most recently available data at the time of GAO’s analysis). The highest percentage of convictions for criminal aliens incarcerated in four of these states was for drug-related offenses. Homicide resulted in the most primary offense convictions for SCAAP criminal aliens in the fifth state—New York—in fiscal year 2008.

GAO estimates that costs to incarcerate criminal aliens in federal prisons and SCAAP reimbursements to states and localities ranged from about $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion annually from fiscal years 2005 through 2009; DOJ plans to update its SCAAP methodology for reimbursing states and localities in 2011 to help ensure that it is current and relevant. DOJ developed its reimbursement methodology using analysis conducted by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2000 that was based on 1997 data. Best practices in cost estimating and assessment of programs call for new data to be continuously collected so it is always relevant and current. During the course of its review, GAO raised questions about the relevancy of the methodology. Thus, DOJ developed plans to update its methodology in 2011 using SCAAP data from 2009 and would like to establish a 3-year update cycle to review the methodology in the future. Doing so could provide additional assurance that DOJ reimburses states and localities for such costs consistent with current trends.

In commenting on a draft of this report, DHS and DOJ had no written comments to include in the report. View GAO-11-187 or key components."

(emphasis added). 

KJ

 

April 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Panic (among Latinos and Immigrants) in Detroit

Todd Heywood of the Washington Independent (see also here and here) has a nice report on a Detroit conroversy that will not go away.  Activists in Detroit say Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded a school in order to detain an undocumented resident.

In a follow up on the press conference held by the Alliance for Immigrants Rights and Reforms, Khaalid Walls, spokesperson for ICE in Michigan, first issued the following statement:

April 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

State Department Reports on Human Rights Practices

Earlier this month, the Department of State released its 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The reports, which provide detailed accounts of the human rights conditions in over 190 countries, address specific instances of arrest, torture, abuse and other physical, political, religious and social human rights violations.  These reports provide substantial support for asylum, withholding of removal and Convention against Torture (CAT) cases, as well as for waivers based on hardship in countries outside of the United States.  We want to alert you to resources and information on country conditions available through the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), our partners, and other advocates.

- A link to the DOS country reports from 1999-2010 at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?17483.

- A link to DOS reports on international religious freedom from 1999-2010 at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?17484.

- A Country Conditions Documentation folder in our Asylum and Refugee Issues library at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?17485

bh

April 22, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The White House Blog: Working Together to Create a 21st Century Immigration System

President_Official_Portrait_HiRes 

Earlier in the week, the President met with a number of political and other leaders to discuss immigration reform.  The White House blog  has now unveiled its latest cheer in favor of immigration reform.

Is it possile that meetings and blog posts are not enough?  What about a halt to the mass deportations, a moratorium on Secure Communities, a de-militarization of the border, a reduction in immigration detentions, an end to workplace and home raids?  I could go on but you get the idea.

KJb

April 22, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

First Person Immigrant Narratives: Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

From the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund:

The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund is launching a series of first-person narratives on our website this month. The stories spotlight people whose voices shed light on the issues and the values at the heart of the Fund's work. This oral history approach was inspired by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Dave Eggers and his nonprofit organization, Voice of Witness, which sees oral history as a way to connect all of us in a deeper way with the complex social issues of our time — and to help lift up the voices of people and groups who are often ignored.

The series kicks off with Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa. His is a uniquely American story. Alfredo leaves a difficult life in Mexico as a teenager, becomes a farmworker in the San Joaquin Valley, and ends up attending U.C. Berkeley and Harvard Medical School on his way to a career as a leading U.S. brain surgeon and medical researcher.

"I came here with a dream that I could one day make a difference in this country," he told us. We hope you enjoy the stories — and we encourage you to keep checking back for more.

bh

April 21, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $11.2 Billion in Taxes

Albor Ruiz writes for the NY Daily News:

I bet most of you didn't know undocumented immigrants contributed more - much more - to the national treasury last year than General Electric. Surprised? Yet it's true.

While GE - which earned a whopping $14 billion last year - is reported to have paid nothing, nada, zero in taxes (GE denies it), the undocumented paid billions in state and local taxes in 2010.

No, it's not me talking; it's the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (itepnet.org), a prestigious, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that works on federal, state and local tax policy issues.

. . .

Ironically the vilified undocumented population, among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country, does its part when it comes to taxes.

They pay sales taxes and property taxes - even if they rent, ITEP said. At least half of them pay income taxes. And, I believe, if they were ever legalized, close to 100% would do the same. "Add this all up," ITEP said, "and it amounts to billions in revenue to state and local governments."

ITEP estimates that households that are headed by undocumented immigrants (which may include members who are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants) paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes last year. That included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. Read more....

bh

April 21, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Who's really eligible to be president?

Chin_jack 
Law Professor Jack Chin, who I am proud to say will be joining the UC Davis law faculty this fall, takes on the anti-Obama birthers in this CNN piece.  Herre is the punch line: 

"even if Obama had been born overseas, he is still a natural born citizen, because he obtained citizenship at birth through his mother who unquestionably was a U.S. citizen."

KJ

April 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Determining Whether a Crime Involves Moral Turpitude

Matter of AHORTALEJO-GUZMAN, 25 I&N Dec. 465 (BIA 2011)

Evidence outside of an alien’s record of conviction may properly be considered in determining whether the alien has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude only where the conviction record itself does not conclusively demonstrate whether the alien was convicted of engaging in conduct that constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude.  Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I&N Dec. 687 (A.G. 2008), followed.

The decision can be found here.

bh

April 21, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Only in the OC: Birther Distributes Racist Email of Commander in Chief

Featured-hate-e-mail-300x226 
This blog has been critical -- perhaps very critical of the President's immigration policy.  There, however, are limits to our criticism of the Obama administration.  But the birthers apparently see no bounds.  Here is the latest unbelievable racist smear out of the OC:

"GOP official Marilyn Davenport is coming under fire for sending other Republican officials an email depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, in the arms of chimpanzee “parents,” claiming, “Now you know why– no birth certificate! [sic].” Davenport is sticking to her guns, blaming the media for making too much of a fuss."

KJ

April 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Scholarship on SSRN

Here is the latest immigration scholarship posted on the Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com):

"Disappearing Parents: Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System" Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2011 NINA RABIN, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law.  ABSTRACT: This article presents original empirical research that documents systemic failures of the federal immigration enforcement and state child welfare systems when immigrant parents in detention and deportation proceedings have children in state custody. The intertwined but uncoordinated workings of the federal and state systems result in severe family disruptions and raise concerns regarding parental rights of constitutional magnitude. I document this phenomenon in two ways. First, I present an "anatomy of a deportation," providing a case study of an actual parent whose detention and eventual deportation has separated her from her four young children for over two years and threatens her with the permanent termination of her parental rights. Next, I present the results of empirical research I conducted of child welfare personnel to demonstrate that the case study is not an isolated occurrence. On the contrary, my analysis of the results of over 50 surveys and 20 interviews with attorneys, caseworkers, and judges in the juvenile court system in one Arizona county makes clear the concerns identified in the case study occur with alarming frequency. The analysis section of the paper provides a discussion of the constitutional and structural concerns raised by the case study and data presented. Finally, the article concludes with reforms that could be adopted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, child protective services agencies, and Congress to address the systemic failures described.

"Guantanamo as a 'Legal Black Hole': A Base for Expanding Space, Markets, and Culture" University of San Francisco Law Review, Vol. 45, pp. 141-214, 2010 ERNESTO ADOLFO HERNANDEZ LOPEZ, Chapman University School of Law.  ABSTRACT: Guantanamo appears as a "legal black hole" especially when examining detainee rights, but in reality empire purposefully creates these jurisdictional anomalies. To further U.S. interests overseas in 1903, base jurisdiction was crafted as anomalous between Cuban sovereignty and American occupation. For the 174 still detained, it's still a black hole. After four Supreme Court decisions, anomaly continues to pervade detention litigation. Functional tests for extraterritorial constitutional rights, habeas proceedings, and the unclear fate of Uighur-detainees all suffer from doctrinal obfuscation. Detainees rights, or lack of, are just one aspect of anomaly. Empire's dynamic forces produced these ambiguities. Guantanamo represents American assumptions on: expanding geographic authority, overseas market protections, and cultural superiority. Alejandro Colas explains empires require these three, i.e. "space, markets, and culture." Accordingly, this Essay explores the base and: extraterritorial authority as "empire's space," intelligence acquired through detention for resources wars as "empire's markets," and discriminatory detention for Middle-Eastern and Central Asian nationals as "empire's culture." This Essay asks how assumptions on these three concepts shape law's extraterritorial application.

"Gauging Credibility in Immigration Proceedings: Immaterial Inconsistencies, Demeanor, and the Rule of Reason" Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Forthcoming SCOTT REMPELL, South Texas College of Law.  ABSTRACT:  Credibility is a determinative factor in many of the immigration cases adjudicated every year (and, each year, the federal immigration agency adjudicates hundreds of thousands of cases). Given the numbers of affected immigrants and the stakes involved, it is essential that the legislature, agency, and courts employ a well-grounded framework for assessing credibility. In a previous article, I analyzed the then recently enacted REAL ID Act credibility amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This article builds on the previous analysis by discussing the rules and guiding principles recently established by the federal courts of appeals that now govern the adjudication of credibility determinations under the REAL ID Act in certain jurisdictions. Specifically, precedential decisions in the federal courts of appeals have focused on the incorporation of a rule of reason test into credibility determinations, the role that "trivial" inconsistencies play in credibility determinations, and the importance of demeanor in an assessment of credibility. The purpose of addressing these rules and guiding principles is threefold. The first goal is to examine whether they are congruent with the REAL ID Act specifically, and credibility determinations generally. Second, in providing an objective assessment, this article seeks to aid immigration adjudicators and reviewing bodies, either by explaining further the implications of rules that have already been established in a jurisdiction, or by answering the question of whether and how to employ them in jurisdictions that have not yet adopted them. Lastly, this article will highlight some of the issues regarding credibility determinations that apply, to a certain extent, to all agency proceedings where credibility is at issue, and even to those outside the agency context. The express credibility findings required of immigration judges provide a unique window into the "black box" of the decision-making process that often surrounds the credibility assessments of triers of fact.

"Some Observations about Immigration Journalism" PETER H. SCHUCK, Yale University - Law School.  ABSTRACT:    Part of a conference volume, Covering Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue (Marcelo Suarez-Orozco et al., eds., U. of California Press, forthcoming), this chapter identifies a number of deficiencies in the coverage of immigration issues by some of the leading daily newspapers, and suggests how those deficiencies might be remedied.

"The Board of Immigration Appeals’ Standard of Review: An Argument for Regulatory Reform" Administrative Law Review, Forthcoming SCOTT REMPELL, South Texas College of Law Email: [email protected] Immigration judges adjudicate hundreds of thousands of cases each year. A substantial percentage of these cases are then appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“Board”). In 2002, the Attorney General issued regulations that drastically altered how the Board should review decisions rendered by immigration judges. Commentators have been critical of many of these regulatory changes, but they have consistently overlooked one particular aspect of the 2002 reforms: a change to the Board’s standard of review. Prior to 2002, the Board could evaluate de novo all aspects of an immigration judge’s decision, but under the 2002 regulations, the Board could only reverse the immigration judge’s findings of fact if those findings were clearly erroneous. This regulatory change appeared to do nothing more than place the Board on par with other appellate bodies that defer to the factual findings of the initial adjudicator. However, the regulation has left the Board’s scope of review in disarray. The Attorney General provided an interpretation of the regulation that opened the door to divergent applications of the enunciated standards. Subsequently, the Board issued several precedential decisions that contained multiple interpretations of its scope of review authority, creating contradictions between its own opinions, and between its opinions and the Attorney General’s commentary. Reviewing the Board’s decisions, the federal courts of appeals have reached different conclusions on several principal aspects of the Board’s authority under the scope of review regulation. Moreover, the Attorney General’s justifications for amending the Board’s standard of review have not come to fruition. In light of all these problems, the regulation should be amended to again provide the Board with de novo authority to review findings of fact.

KJ

April 21, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Immigrant Children Face Bleak Future, New Research Shows: Quality preschool, improved English instruction, and more postsecondary education would improve educational outcomes and the economic contributions of immigrants

With immigrant youth now making up one-quarter of all U.S. children – and projected to be one-third by 2050 -- their impact on the U.S. labor force in the coming years will be profound because these children are also more likely to experience poverty, face significant gaps in school readiness, and are less likely to have access to health care than their native-born peers. These and many additional facts are found in the new The Future of Children journal entitled “Immigrant Children,” published by Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.

Specifically, The Future of Children volume recommends that the nation provide preschool education to all low-income immigrant children, improve English language instruction for school-age immigrant children, and pass a revised version of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that would allow undocumented adolescents brought as children to the United States to attend postsecondary institutions or join the military services and subsequently become citizens.

Research in the new volume focuses on the well-being of immigrant youth in the United States: demographic trends and family arrangements, educational trends and differentials, and youthful immigrants’ health status, social integration, and participation in welfare and other public programs. Key facts include:

• Depending on their country of origin, immigrant children vary widely in their educational achievement, legal and health status, living arrangements and economic resources. Some children, such as those of Mexican origin, tend to struggle; others, such as those of Asian and black Caribbean origin, tend to do well.

• Although participation in early childhood education programs can offset problems such as poverty, poor parental education, and language barriers, immigrant children attend such programs at lower rates than do native children. Barriers to participation in early education include affordability, availability, bureaucratic complexity, and distrust of government programs.

• Performance of immigrant children in K–12 education varies by generational status and national origin. Immigrant youths, even some from economically disadvantaged families, often outperform their native peers in school. Poor parental education, poor-quality schools, and segregated neighborhoods, however, pose risk factors for immigrant children generally.

• Immigrant youths from Asia and the Middle East are well represented in the nation’s postsecondary educational institutions; those from Latin America, Laos, and Cambodia, less so. The sharp rise in demand for skilled labor over the past few decades has made it urgent for the nation to provide access to postsecondary education for all immigrants, but especially for Latinos.

• Barriers to postsecondary education are especially formidable for youth who lack legal status despite having attended U.S. elementary and secondary schools and having qualified for admission to college. Because federal efforts to ease these barriers have stalled, state legislatures that have not already done so must address this issue.

• Achievement disparities between immigrant children who do not speak English fluently and English-proficient students are wide and persistent. Closing that achievement gap requires effective English language instruction so that immigrant children are fluent in English by third grade.

• Immigrant children are less likely than native children to have health insurance and regular access to medical care. Improving access to health care substantially influences the physical and emotional health status of immigrant children and can improve the long-term economic prospects of the next generation.

• Although disadvantaged immigrant families face formidable barriers to upward mobility, their children can overcome these obstacles through simultaneously learning the language and culture of the host society while preserving their home country language, values, and customs.

Addressing the challenge posed by poorly educated immigrant children is not only vital to the wellbeing of immigrant children themselves, but also important to ensuring our country’s future, noted Future of Children Issue Editor and Princeton Professor Marta Tienda. “Policies that bolster the development of young immigrants will produce an economic dividend for our aging population in the form of a larger and higher-earning workforce that contributes more to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds,” she said.

“Before arguing that undocumented minor children brought into the U.S. by their parents have done something wrong, it is important to embrace the tenets of U.S. law which holds that children are not fully responsible for their actions. We should do everything we can to support these children as they develop and contribute to our society,” said Issue Editor and Brookings Senior Fellow Ron Haskins.

Future of Children Journal: Immigrant Children - Volume 21 Number 1 Spring 2011 – papers:

• Demography of Immigrant Youth: Past, Present, and Future – by Jeffrey S. Passel, Pew Hispanic Center

• The Living Arrangements of Children of Immigrants – by Nancy S. Landale, Kevin J. A. Thomas, Jennifer Van Hook, Pennsylvania State University

• Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families by Lynn A. Karoly and Gabriella C. Gonzalez, RAND

• Effective Instruction for English Learners – by Margarita Calderon and Robert Slavin of Johns Hopkins University and Marta Sanchez, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

• K–12 Educational Outcomes of Immigrant Youth – by Robert Crosnoe of University of Texas, Austin and Ruth N. Lopez Turley, Rice University • Immigrants in Community Colleges -- by Robert T. Teranishi, Carola Suarez-Orozco, and Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, New York University

• Higher Education and Children in Immigrant Families – by Sandy Baum, Skidmore College and Stella M. Flores, Vanderbilt University

• The Physical and Psychological Well-Being of Immigrant Children – by Krista M. Perreira, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and India J. Ornelas, University of Washington

• The Adaptation of Migrant Children – by Alejandro Portes and Alejandro Rivas, Princeton University • Poverty and Program Participation among Immigrant Children – by George J. Borjas, Harvard University

To read the policy brief, click here.

The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families.

KJ

April 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Brewer Vetoes Birther Bill

From New York Magazine:

Brewer 
Last week the Arizona legislature passed a controversial bill that would require presidential candidates to present "long-form birth certificate or two or more other permitted documents, including an early baptismal certificate, circumcision certificate, hospital birth record, postpartum medical record signed by the person who delivered the child, or an early census record" in order to get on the ballot in the state. But late Monday night, Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed the measure, saying it was going "too far." "I never imagined being presented with a bill that could require candidates for President of the greatest and most powerful nation on earth to submit their 'early baptismal or circumcision certificates' ... this is a bridge too far," she said in a statement. "This measure creates significant new problems while failing to do anything constructive for Arizona." Read more...

bh

April 20, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Another Presidential Meeting on Immigration: Action and Leadership are Needed

Obama_portrait 
As Bill Hing reported, the White House yesterday convened a meeting of prominent leaders from the business, Latino and immigrant communities to discuss a strategy to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.  Along with the President, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis attended the meeing.  Among those in attendance were:

Leith Anderson, President, National Assn. of Evangelicals

Hon. Michael Bloomberg, City of New York

William J. Bratton, Former Police Chief, City of Los Angeles and City of New York

Hon. Julian Castro, Mayor, City of San Antonio

Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary Homeland Security

Gov. John Engler, President and CEO, Business Roundtable

Hon. Eric Garcetti, City Council, President City of Los Angeles

Carlos Gutierrez, Former Secretary of Commerce

Raymond Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department

Mel Martinez, Former United States Senator/Chairman, Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean JP Morgan Chase

Greg Page, Chairman and CEO, Cargill

Federico Pena, Former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Energy

John Podesta, CEO, Center for American Progress

Charles Ramsey, Chief of Police, City of Philadelphia/President, Major City Chiefs

Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network

Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former California Governor

Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO

John C. Wester, Bishop, Archdiocese of Salt Lake City

The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, who also attended the meeting:

“Today’s meeting of business CEOs, key leaders of the faith and civil rights communities, as well as elected officials, is a useful step in moving forward the national conversation about comprehensive immigration reform. While we welcome this meeting, the President can and must do more to address our nation’s serious need for immigration reform.

As a result of federal inaction, state legislatures have taken matters into their own hands. Several considered or are considering extreme measures similar to Arizona’s immigration legislation. While most of these efforts have failed, too many have succeeded. Any day now, the Governor of Georgia is expected to sign a harsh law similar to Arizona’s. Attorney General Holder must promptly file suit against Georgia and other states that pass extreme, unconstitutional measures.

The Administration, however, can do much more than sue Arizona. The President can make changes now to help to alleviate the crisis. He should:

· Grant extreme hardship waivers of three- and 10-year bars to parents of U.S. citizen children so they may live in the United States and raise their American citizen children.

· Wisely deploy enforcement resources including prioritizing enforcement resources so that DREAM eligible students are not deported and so that hard working families aren’t ensnared in the detention and deportation disaster fostered by our broken immigration system.

· Halt the expansion of the Secure Communities program until the Administration has created the internal safeguards and accountability needed to ensure that it focuses on the worst criminals and protects everyone’s civil rights.

· Immediately end the wasteful, fatally flawed 287g program.

Moving forward, the President should also convene key Democratic and Republican leaders to craft comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Such legislation is long overdue, and the President should insist that the key leaders produce a bill that can move immediately.

However, the President should not wait for Congressional leaders. He should introduce his own vision for reform and lay out a legislative strategy to get it done. We would like the President to use the full power and resources of his office, and the bully pulpit, to push comprehensive immigration legislation forward.”

For a more critical view of the meeting -- indeed referring to it as a "PR stunt," click here.  Although the Obama administration has expressed a commitment to immigration reform, it to this point has pursued an "enforcement now, enforcement forever" policy that has had a devastating impact on immigrants and the greater community.

KJ

April 20, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Obama Calls Meeting on Immigration Reform

The President met with a number of individuals today to discuss the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Besides several cabinet members, the guest list included Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Janet Murgia, Wade Henderson, John Podesta, Ali Noorani, Frank Sharry, Eliseo Medina, Karen Narasaki, and William Bratton. The President called on the group to mount a vigorous public education campaign on the need to pass legislation that reunites families that has a pathway to citizenship.

Read more here.

bh 

April 19, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Change.org Job Opening

From Change.org:

Deputy Director of Organizing, Immigrant Rights

Want to help create and lead the world’s largest organizing platform for immigrant rights? Change.org is the fastest growing platform for social change on the web, gaining more than 250,000 new members a month and pioneering a new model of collective action that empowers anyone, anywhere, to start their own social action campaigns to change their community, city, or country.

The Deputy Director will work hand-in-hand with the Director of Organizing for Immigrant Rights in managing our advocacy and organizing efforts across the U.S. and the globe -- crafting and executing rapid-response campaigns while helping millions of activists start and successfully run their own local campaigns around pressing immigrant rights issues.

While applicants based in Washington, DC, New York, or San Francisco are preferred, we are flexible on location if the right person requires it. Pay and benefits are very competitive. This job is exceptionally fast-paced and can sometimes require work at night and on the weekend, dependent on campaign needs.

The Deputy Director of Organizing, Immigrant Rights will:

Work with the Director of Organizing to design and execute rapid-response advocacy campaigns with the potential for explosive growth and swift victories.
Track promising grassroots campaigns started by activists on Change.org, and help these campaigns win by developing campaign-related actions and  articles, conducting media outreach, and promoting content across the web using social media platforms.
Identify potential Immigrant Rights action campaigns before they happen by keeping an eye on local, state, and federal legislation and monitoring immigrant rights blogs and news sources on a daily basis.
Help establish and maintain deep partnerships with other leading immigrant rights organizations – both local and global in scope.
Collaborate daily with a team of Change.org staff and organizers to identify opportunities for creating effective grassroots campaigns that win measurable social change.
Utilize and leverage social media tools like Facebook and Twitter to help advance grassroots campaigns on the Change.org platform.
The ideal candidate should have the following:

Strong verbal and written communication skills; Spanish or other foreign language skills ideal, but not required.
Immigrant rights campaigning experience and an understanding of key issues including the DREAM Act, deportation and asylum, labor rights, Arizona-style copycat laws, corporate exploitation, hate crimes, immigrant portrayal in the media, detention and for-profit prisons, and many other related areas.
Innovative ideas for how to use online organizing to win local, national, and international campaigns – and a willingness to take risks, to fail and to adapt.
A strong interest in aiding local, member-driven online organizing campaigns and developing member capacity for ever-larger campaigns. (This is the backbone of our work and what we see as the biggest opportunity for transformational change.)
A track record of executing effective local and/or national campaigns with a concrete theory of change and specific, measurable results.
Experience activating and growing communities of fans/followers on Facebook and Twitter
A track record of successful organizing within diverse communities; candidates with an immigrant background encouraged to apply.
 
To apply, please send a brief introductory email and your resume (or a link to your LinkedIn profile) to [email protected]

bh

April 19, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Resumption of Social Security No Match Letters

Talk Immigration writes that "On April 6, 2011, the Social Security Administration’s Commissioner directed the agency to resume sending employer “no-match letters.” It is imperative that employers understand – how an employer responds to the letter can subject the company, its owners, and its human resources executives to severe civil and criminal liability."  Read more here.

KJ

April 19, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 18, 2011

From the Bookshelves: Piloto: Migrant Worker to Jet Pilot Henry Cervantes

Piloto 
Piloto: Migrant Worker to Jet Pilot [Paperback] Henry Cervantes
 (2d ed. 2003) 
tells the story of Hank Cervantes, son of migrant field workers, who rose above the poverty and hardship of Central California's sweltering farm fields to become one of only a handful of Mexican-American pilots in the annals of the U.S. Air Force. His trials and triumphs as an anomaly in the tight fraternity of white pilots follow the Air Force's transformation from the B-17 battle wagons of WWII to the Strategic Air command's supersonic B-58 Hustler. Provocative, witty, and intensely personal, PILOTO offers a fascinating portrait of a pioneer who helped pave the way for today's Latino men and women pilots--and for all those who will fly into the future.

For a warm story in the L.A. Times about Hank Cervantes, now 88 years old and living in Marina Del Rey, click here.

KJ

April 18, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Kenyan Runners Not Welcomed in Holland

From Dutch News:

The organizers of the Utrecht marathon are offering prize money of just €100 to Kenyan nationals if they win the event, but a Dutch winner will get €10,000, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

The aim is to discourage Kenyans from taking part in the 42 km race, nicknamed the Dutch Battle, on April 25, the organisers say.

Last year Kenyan runners won the Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Enschede and Leiden marathons. The Utrecht race has been won by a Kenyan for the past four years and the organisers hope to give top Dutch athletes a chance to win this year. Read more...

bh

April 18, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)