Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ugandan team denied U.S. visas

Little league 
ESPN reports
that  a Little League baseball team from Uganda has lost its bid to become the first team from Africa to play in the Little League World Series had the State Department denied its players visas because of discrepancies over players' ages.  For the official response of Little League baseball, click here.


July 30, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Improving Mexican Economy Leads to Fewer Undocumented Immigrants

Stephen Magagnini writes for the Sacramento Bee:

There are fewer undocumented immigrants in California – and the Sacramento region – because many are now finding the American dream south of the border.

"It's now easier to buy homes on credit, find a job and access higher education in Mexico," Sacramento's Mexican consul general, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said Wednesday. "We have become a middle-class country."

Mexico's unemployment rate is now 4.9 percent, compared with 9.4 percent joblessness in the United States.

An estimated 300,000 undocumented immigrants have left California since 2008, though the remaining 2.6 million still make up 7 percent of the population and 9 percent of the labor force, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Read more...

For some time it's been clear that if folks are really concerned about undocumented migration from Mexico, then we should be working on helping to improve Mexico's economy. Click here and here.


July 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The ICEman Cometh: ICE Raids University of Northern Virginia

MSNBC reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided offices at the University of Northern Virginia's Annandale campus on Thursday. It apparently relates to a problem with foreign students. The UNV Chancellor issued a statement trying to calm concerns.

UPDATE: (Aug. 1): Here is ICE's statement on teh enforcement action.


July 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

How Long Do Immigrants “Wait in Line?” Sometimes Decades

No news to readers of this blog.  Cllick here.


July 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


On Immigration Impact, TERRY GODDARD, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ARIZONA, writes on the latest immigration scam:

"Over the years, Arizona has seen an exceptional number of frauds, consumer scams and rip offs. Maybe the heat stimulates the flimflam artists, but the sad fact is they come here and discover new and creative ways to take other peoples’ money. As Arizona’s Attorney General for the past eight years, I was dedicated to exposing and prosecuting scams, large and small. Unfortunately, the latest ploy is perpetrated by one of Arizona’s own politicians, state senator Steve Smith, who has developed a new scheme for taking money from well-meaning Americans—building the border fence."  (emphasis added).

The heat may explain a lot.



July 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

State of U.S./Mexico Border Security

From the Center for American Progress:

The State of US/Mexico Border Security
Assessing the Past, Present and Future From the Early Build Up to Today and Beyond
August 4, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:30pm

RSVP to Attend
Watch Live Online

Featured panelists:
Alan Bersin, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program

Moderated by:
Marshall Fitz, Director of Immigration Policy at Center For American Progress

Immigration reform opponents persist in leveling sensational—and often patently false—claims meant to scare the public about border violence and insecurity. The reality, however, is that surges in manpower, technology, and physical infrastructure have fundamentally enhanced the Border Patrol’s ability to prevent and intercept unauthorized migrants and smugglers.

Illegal immigration flows at our southern border have slowed dramatically and recent reports highlight that violent crime rates along the U.S.-Mexico border have been falling for years and that border cities of all sizes have maintained crime rates below the national average.

This panel of distinguished experts and officials will help separate fact from fiction in the debate over border security. The participants will discuss how far we’ve come since the border buildup began 18 years ago and what additional steps we need to take to enhance the integrity and safety of our border.

WATCH this event via live video on our website
*Video available LIVE and after the event has occurred.

To attend in person, RSVP is required.


July 29, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "The Impact of Recessionary Politics on Latino-American and Immigrant Families: SCHIP Success and DREAM Act Failure" by MARIELA OLIVARES

"The Impact of Recessionary Politics on Latino-American and Immigrant Families: SCHIP Success and DREAM Act Failure" MARIELA OLIVARES, Howard University School of Law.

ABSTRACT: The current financial crisis affects Americans of all backgrounds. Research shows, however, that the hardest hit families are the same families that struggle to make ends meet even in good times - and many of the most impoverished families in the United States are Black, Latino Americans and immigrants. The U.S. government has responded with only mixed success to meet the needs of these families. As budgets are slashed, the needs of the poor - in particular, the voiceless poor - are often ignored. The resulting policies put additional stress on American families and immigrant families - forcing them to make difficult decisions and sometimes breaking families apart. This essay will examine two government programs that have been targeted in the American recession and comment on how such programs have affected the fabric of Latino and immigrant families living in the United States. First, this essay will discuss the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and note how Obama’s 2009 reauthorization of the federal program thwarted the years-long efforts to diminish and extinguish this health insurance coverage for children and their families. Second, this essay will consider the demise of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (or DREAM) Act, a law that would have provided a path to citizenship for immigrants who were illegally brought to this country as children and succeeded academically and/or through service in the United States military. Through this discussion, this essay will examine how these two federal programs have affected Latino-American and immigrant families in the United States.


July 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Sohail Mohammed (India)

Sohail Mohammed, a lawyer who defended Muslims detained after the Sept. 11 attacks, was sworn in as a New Jersey Superior Court judge earlier this week. His appointment angered some "who said they were concerned about the influence of Sharia law, an Islamic code of law. [Governor Chris] Christie defended Mr. Mohammed, who is Muslim, calling him an extraordinary American and an outstanding lawyer who helped strengthen ties between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Muslim community after the 2001 attacks." For more on the controversy, click here.

Mohammed, who is New Jersey's first Indian-American judge, immigrated to the United States from India and is a naturlizaed U.S. citizen. He was an engineer and attended law school at night at Seton Hall. As a lawyer, he was an immigration attorney.


July 29, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Me thinks that this New Yorker story is likely to rile folks up about "asylum abuse." However, although at first one might think that the article is describing rampant asylum abuse by educated and relatively well-heeled and sophisticated immigrants, it in fact indicts the U.S. asylum system for having unreasonable requirements even for bona fide refugees.

UPDATE For a response to the article on IntLawGrrls, click here.


July 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Appointed Counsel for Immigrants?

Mark Noferi
(Brooklyn) has a recent op-ed in the New York Law Journal interesting for the ImmProf Blog. The op-ed argues that the recent U.S. Supreme Court case Turner v. Rogers, which considered the right to appointed counsel in civil cases where incarceration is at issue, supports a right to appointed counsel for immigrant detainees in the future.

Is appointed counsel the next step to protect immigrants facing removal after the Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky?


July 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Court Decision Times Lengthen

During the first six months of FY 2011, decision times continued to climb in cases disposed of by the Immigration Courts, according to timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The increasingly long average wait reached 302 days -- up 7.5 percent in the last six months, and almost 30 percent higher than the average disposition time during FY 2009. Average times varied, depending upon the nature of the court's decision, from 141 days for removal orders up to 714 days for grants of relief.

Accompanying this special report is TRAC's Immigration Court Outcomes Tool, now updated through March 2011. This application provides a way to view the numbers of completed cases and outcome decision times for each state, court, hearing location and nationality. This information is also available separately for removals, voluntary departures, relief granted, and terminations.


July 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Apprehensions by the U.S. Border Patrol: 2005 - 2010

From DHS:

This fact sheet provides information on recent trends in U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions and the gender, age, country of nationality, and geographic location of persons apprehended between 2005 and 2010. For example, in 2010 almost 40 percent were under age 24; 86 percent were male; and 97 percent were apprehended in the Southwest.

To access the report, click here.


July 28, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Microsoft General Counsel at Congressional Hearings on The Economic Imperative for Immigration Reform

On Microsoft on thr Issues, Brad Smith, General Counsel & Senior Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft summarized his testimony on the need for education and high-skilled immigration reform on Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security at a hearing on “The Economic Imperative for Immigration Reform.” He said that "The essence of my testimony is that while we undoubtedly have a jobs problem in this country, closer analysis shows it is also a talent and skills problem. In a world where jobs follow talent, we need to increase the skills of the American workforce if we are to succeed economically."

For a report on the hearings, click here and here.


July 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "What We Know About Unauthorized Migration" by KATHARINE M. DONATO AMADA ARMENTA

"What We Know About Unauthorized Migration" Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 37, pp. 529-543, 2011 KATHARINE M. DONATO, Vanderbilt University and AMADA ARMENTA, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

ABSTRACT: Unauthorized migration has been an important issue for decades. Because much has changed about this type of migration in the past two decades, this review takes stock of recent scholarship. These studies reveal a new complexity in the unauthorized migration in the early twenty-first century. First, compared with the past, unauthorized migration is more diverse. Whether based on gender, age, or how people enter, there is considerable heterogeneity in the unauthorized migrant population. Second, nation-states approach the issue of unauthorized migration differently than in the past, a fact that has increased the size and prominence of the unauthorized population and is related to the emergence of scholarship emphasizing the social construction of immigrant legal status.


July 28, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Immigration Reform Champion Arrested in Protest


Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a champion of immigration reform, and 10 other immigration reform supporters were arrested in front of the White House on Tuesday for protesting against the Obama administration's deportation of young people and families.  See the Huffingtpn Post report, with a video.

Who will stand with the good Congressman?


July 27, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

How Islamaphobic Bloggers in the US Contributed to the Nightmare in Norway

In this interview on The Take Away, Wajahat Ali talks about Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian charged with mass murder, claimed to be saving Norway from Muslim domination. Breivik, an anti-Muslim extremist, was heavily influenced by American bloggers. As Bill Hing previously reported, Breivek also opposed Norway'ss immigration policies. Ali is a journalist who is currently researching Islamophobia in America for the Center for American Progress.

Here is a snippet from thr interview:

" He was ideologically inspired, I think we can safely say that, by the what I would call the hateful anti-Muslim writings and opinions of several notorious American Islamaphobes whom he cites many, many times over again in the memo who have a history of working together to profit off of the creation and promotion of misinformation, fear and bigotry against Muslims."

UPDATE  For an article about how Breivik's views are shared by others in Norway, click here.


July 27, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Restaurant Labor Shortage in Georgia

Jeremy Redmon writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia restaurants are reporting labor shortages following the passage of the state’s tough new immigration enforcement law, a new survey by the Georgia Restaurant Association shows.

Nearly half of the 523 restaurateurs across the state who voluntarily participated in the electronic survey this month are having trouble finding workers, a summary of the survey results shows. That summary, however, doesn't say how many pinned the labor shortages on Georgia's new anti-illegal immigration law, also called House Bill 87.

Of the respondents, more than three-quarters are located in the metro Atlanta area. Almost a third of those who took part in the survey gave additional feedback, and 91 percent of them said they were opposed to Georgia's "immigration reform." Read more...


July 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Obama Needs a "Dance Partner" on Immigration

Julianne Hing writes for Colorlines:

On Monday President Obama took a break from debt ceiling talks to address immigration, education and the economy in a speech at the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. And while the president insisted that he remains an ally of immigrant communities, his administration’s deportation numbers tell an entirely different story.

Obama committed himself once more to “the unfinished business” of immigration reform, and asked Americans who want change to keep pressing Republicans on the issue.

“We have a system that separates families, and punishes innocent young people for their parents’ actions by denying them the chance to earn an education or contribute to our economy or serve in our military,” Obama said.

“So yes, feel free to keep the heat on me, and keep the heat on Democrats,” Obama said. “Here’s the only thing you should know. The Democrats and your president are with you.”

“Are with you,” Obama repeated. “Don’t get confused about that. Remember who it is we need to move in order to actually change the laws.”

When the DREAM Act failed a Senate filibuster threat in December, five Democrats voted against allowing the bill to move ahead to a vote. Three Republican senators backed the narrow legalization bill for undocumented immigrant youth.

Obama also said by design, American democracy didn’t allow him to exercise any power over deportation policies in the country, a claim that immigration advocates and legal experts dispute. Under President Obama, deportations have reached record highs.

On Friday, numbers from ICE confirmed, yet again, immigrant communities’ criticisms of the Obama administration deportation agenda. A little more than half of the 243,821 people who were deported from the country between October 2010 and May 23, 2011 had no criminal record whatsoever. And for those who had been convicted of some crime, those numbers were driven by a spike in deportations of people who had been convicted of drunk driving or some other traffic violations, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Under President Obama, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has rapidly expanded the program Secure Communities, which allows immigration officials to peer into the databases of anyone who’s booked in any local or county jail that has a standing agreement with the federal government allowing them access to that information. Read more....


July 26, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

¡Viva México! The Film

¡Viva México! is a film that tells a fascinating story.  

City of Los Angeles, USA. In the heart of the city, undocumented Mexican immigrants are hunted by the police and struggle to earn a living without losing their identity. On the other side of the border, in the mountains of southeastern Mexico, dawn arrives, hidden in mist. It is January 1st, 2006; thousands of indigenous Zapatistas prepare to say farewell to their spokesman Subcomandante Marcos. His mission: to travel across the country for the next six months to learn from the resistance of Mexican men and women who fight for a better Mexico.So begins a journey that plans to reach the border with the United States, at the other end of the country... From Chiapas to Quintana Roo, from Yucatan to Oaxaca, from Nayarit to Colima, from Michoacan to Guerrero, from the State of Mexico to the heart of the country and the enormous metropolis known as Mexico City, we follow the steps of this journey that traces the face of the "other" Mexico, made up of the humble and simple people, a face much different from the one TV shows us every day. It is a journey that dares to “start building the image of the people we really are.” as expressed by Subcomandante Marcos. This challenge is not without risks . .  . by uncovering Mexico’s dignified and rebellious face, irrigating the seeds of rebellion and solidarity of an entire country, this journey is a provocation against those who control the country's economy and it's image. What starts as an isolated murmur will become a clamor of hundreds of thousands of voices, ¡Viva Mexico! How will those in power respond?


July 26, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Economic Integration of Immigrants in the United States: Long- and Short-Term Perspectives

Immigrants and their children represent a large and growing share of the country's workforce, and thus are set to play a significant role in the US economy in coming decades. The United States has traditionally provided excellent economic opportunities for generations of immigrants, who tend to experience low unemployment and high rates of labor participation, even if many are concentrated in low-wage or low-skill occupations. However, the 2007-09 economic crisis accentuated their vulnerabilities in the labor market, and there is a risk that the global economic crisis and slow recovery could realign the social and economic forces that have in the past assisted immigrants in their upward socioeconomic mobility.

In a new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), The Economic Integration of Immigrants in the United States: Long- and Short-Term Perspectives, MPI Policy Analyst Aaron Terrazas examines the trend of immigrant integration in the US labor force and the potential fallout from the economic crisis. The report finds that historically, in the absence of explicit government policies integrating newcomers, the workplace has acted as a powerful immigrant-integration institution — although it is unclear whether this approach can be relied upon to ensure good economic integration in the future.


July 26, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)