Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mormons Divided Over Russell Pearce Recall and SB 1070

Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the architect of SB 1070 is facing a recall opponent who is also Mormon. Mormons are divided over the issue of undocumented immigration. Do you love thy neighbor and welcome the stranger, or stick to a strict view on following the law? Read more here and here.


October 15, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Jose Antonio Vargas in San Francisco Oct. 26


"Please join ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), the first Asian undocumented student group of its kind in our 2nd Annual Grassroots Fundraiser!

We're honored to have Jose Antonio Vargas, undocumented Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and founder of Define American as our guest speaker!

When: Wednesday October 26th 2011 6-8PM

Where: At the historical I-Hotel (868 Kearny St. San Francisco, CA). Just a 10 min walk from Montgomery BART station. 

Who: Host committee members include: Peggy Saika, Rev. Norman Fong, Professor Bill Ong Hing, Rev. Deborah Lee, Lillian Galedo, Vanessa Coe, Kathy Gin and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Why: Congress has failed to act in the last 10 years on the federal DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented youth. ASPIRE has created a safe space for Asian undocumented students to develop their leadership and political organizing capacity to advocate for humane immigration reform.

The funds collected at our first grassroots fundraiser enabled us to to grow to over 40 members, help create an ASPIRE chapter at UCLA, prevent the deportation of CCSF student Steve Li, make over 1,600 calls to advocate for the federal DREAM Act, hold summer leadership development internships, and host our very own conference, “Our DREAMs Can’t Wait”.

Please join us for a fun night of great speakers, food, and entertainment!

If you can't make it that evening, please still consider making a contribution, your support is vital to our work. You can follow the link below, and make sure to check the "ASPIRE" box:

RSVP at:!/event.php?eid=162919907116889

In solidarity,


October 15, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not All State and Local Governments are Like Alabama: Dayton, Ohio Passes Plan to Revitalize Economy through Immigrant Integration -- WELCOME DAYTON PLAN

Alabama is not the only state and local voice on immigration.  Immigration Impact reprts that Dayton, Ohio has passed legislation that welcomes and integrates immigrants with the hope that they will revitalize their slowing economy. Faced with a declining population, Dayton’s City Commission voted unanimously last week to adopt the Welcome Dayton Plan—a plan that is tapping into the very economic stimulus that Alabama is driving out.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alabama Immigration Law: Additional Provisions Stayed by the Eleventh Circuit

Ruthann Robson on Constitutional Law Prof Blog summarizes how a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit enjoined pending an appeal the implementation of two sections (one making it a crime for an immigrant not to carry a immigration registration document and one requiring public schools to check the immigration status of enrolling students, which may chill the exercise of a right to education for undocumented students guaranteed by Plyer v. Doe (1982) of Alabama's  immigration law pending an appeal of the district court decision upholding most of the law.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Detention Documentaries on PBS and CNBC

From Detention Watch Network:

Documentaries Highlight the Massive Expansion of the Immigration Detention System
On Tuesday, October 18th, PBS and CNBC will be airing two different investigative reports on immigration detention. DWN’s Executive Director, Andrea Black was interviewed for both documentaries which highlight the massive expansion of the immigration detention system and its key drivers.
DWN is conducting a national campaign for “Dignity not Detention” to end mandatory detention laws, which are among the primary reasons for the explosion in immigration detention. To endorse the campaign and learn more visit
PBS Frontline: Lost in Detention
Last year, the Obama administration set new records for detaining and deporting immigrants who were inside the country illegally. The government plans to best those numbers in 2011, removing more than 400,000 people. In partnership with American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, FRONTLINE correspondent Maria Hinojosa takes a penetrating look at Obama’s vastly expanded immigration net, explores the controversial Secure Communities enforcement program and goes inside the hidden world of immigration detention in Lost in Detention, airing Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings).
CNBC: Billions Behind Bars: Inside America's Prison Industry
A CNBC original documentary, goes behind the razor wires to investigate the profits and inner-workings of the multi-billion dollar corrections industry. With more than 2.3 million people locked up, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. One out of 100 American adults is behind bars – while a stunning one out of 32 is on probation, parole or in prison. This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government together spend roughly $74 billion a year on corrections, and nearly 800,000 people work in the industry. ALL TIMES IN ET: Tuesday, 10/18/2011: 9:00 PM, 10:00 PM,  12:00 AM, 1:00 AM. Friday, 10/21/2011: 8:00 PM. Sunday, 10/23/2011: 10:00 PM.


October 14, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Language Assistance For Limited English Voters

From Demos:

Demos Applauds Expansion of Language Assistance To Millions Of  Voters Across The U.S.

NEW YORK— The national public policy center Demos welcomes the expanded availability of language assistance for limited-English-proficient voters in future elections, as announced yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase was occasioned by the Census Bureau’s recalculation of Latino, Asian American, Native American and Alaskan Native citizens needing such assistance, as provided for under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.

The Census Bureau found that 19,209,431 voting-age citizens in 248 jurisdictions were not sufficiently proficient in English, almost 6 million or 42.7 percent more than were counted in the last such calculation in 2002. Bilingual ballots, translated voter registration forms, and interpreters at polling places must now be offered in 248 jurisdictions in xx states.  30.7 percent of the total U.S. voting-age population resides in these jurisdictions.

Many of the new jurisdictions covered by the language assistance requirements of the Voting Rights Act are in states and localities that have not been commonly recognized as immigrant destinations in the past, such as Nebraska, Virginia and Wisconsin. South Asian languages will be offerd for the first time in four jurisdictions in California, Illinois, Michigan, and New York.

Demos has long-championed voter assistance programs on a state and national level, working to ensure that the these programs keep pace with a national electorate that is increasingly diverse and subject to the risk of disenfranchisement.

“Americans from communities from across the states, ranging from Filipino to Vietnamese to Bangladeshi will benefit from these newly announced assistance programs,” said Tova Andrea Wang, Senior Democracy Fellow. “This expanded access to language assistance, while encouraging, is now an issue of implementation. Full and thorough implementation and enforcement of these requirements are necessary to ensure all Americans are able and informed enough to exercise their right to vote.”

For a complete list of which jurisdictions are covered and for which language minority groups, see here:


October 14, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

What's it like to live in a family with mixed immigration status?

Are you in a family that has mixed immigration status? It's a common situation in Southern California, but seldom mentioned outside the family. What’s it like to be part of a family where some are U.S. citizens or have legal status and others could be arrested or deported? What insecurities arise at work and school? Are there things your family can’t do that others take for granted? How does mixed immigration status change the lines of authority within a family? How do you protect one another?

Help KPCC (Southern California Public Radio, click here) understand how a mix of immigration statuses works within the same family. Responses are confidential, and seen only by journalists. Nothing published without your permission.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sweet Home Alabama?


President of the Association of American Law Schools, Professor Michael Olivas, the 2010 ImmigrationProf Immigration Professor of the Year in Inside Higher Education critically analyzes the section of the Alabama immigration law that, absent an injunction, would have barred undocumented college students from Alabama's public universities.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: High-Skilled Immigration in a Global Labor Market by Barry Chiswick


 Recent U.S. immigration reform proposals have focused almost exclusively on regulating the population of low-skilled foreign workers. But the United States is increasingly falling behind other developed nations in science, technology, and economic growth. If the country is to remain competitive in the international economy, policymakers must make high-skilled immigration a priority.

High-Skilled Immigration in a Global Labor Market examines policies designed to attract and cultivate immigrants with exclusive skill sets--scientific, technical, engineering, and management (STEM) workers with advanced degrees, extensive technical training, and strong entrepreneurial skills. Because these workers are more likely than low-skilled immigrants to obtain high-salaried, full-time jobs, they tend to pay more in taxes than they receive in public benefits. Therefore, adding STEM workers to the labor force results in a positive net fiscal balance--in contrast to the negative fiscal impact of low-skilled immigration. High-skilled foreign workers also boost the U.S. economy by expanding production capability, increasing output per capita, and attracting foreign capital investments.

 STEM workers are in high demand in today's international labor market. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many countries in Western Europe have adopted policies designed to attract and efficiently employ high-skilled workers. The United States, however, remains mired in legislative battles over family-based and low-skilled immigration.

 Barry R. Chiswick and his fellow contributors contend that U.S. policymakers must act now to add immigrant STEM workers to the American labor force--or risk falling behind in the global economy.

Contributors: Barry R. Chiswick, Sarit Cohen-Goldner, Joseph P. Ferrie, Volker Grossmann, James F. Hollifield, Martin Kahanec, Pramod Khadka, Linda G. Lesky, B. Lindsay Lowell, James Ted McDonald, Paul W. Miller, David Stadelmann, Casey Warman, Yoram Weiss, Carole J. Wilson, Christopher Worswick, and Klaus F. Zimmermann.


October 14, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The DOMA Dilemma by Nyier Abdou

For a thoughtful story on gay marriage, DOMA, and the immigration laws, click here.  For a video, clcik here.


October 14, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ACLU Targets South Carolina Law

From the Post and Courier:

South Carolina could be blocked by a federal judge before the state gets a chance to enforce its new law aimed at forcing undocumented immigrants across the border.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday led a coalition of civil rights organizations, labor groups and individuals to file a federal suit Wednesday in Charleston district court to throw out the law. In January, the measure would require law enforcement officers to check immigration status during a traffic stop or an arrest if they suspect the person is in the country illegally.

Gov. Nikki Haley, state Attorney General Alan Wilson, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson and Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon are the defendants.

Plaintiffs in the suit include the Lowcountry Immigration Coalition; the Charleston-based Mujeres de Triunfo; Nuevos Caminos, which serves the tri-county area; and the Service Employees International Union. Read more...


October 13, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Regulating Low-Skilled Immigration in the United States By GORDON H. HANSON

Regulating Low-Skilled Immigration in the United States By GORDON H. HANSON

In Regulating Low-Skilled Immigration in the United States, Gordon H. Hanson contends that efforts to curtail illegal entry will fail unless policymakers design a system that is responsive to market signals that encourage individuals to move to from low-wage labor markets in regions such as Central America to the more robust labor market in United States. On the whole, immigration benefits the U.S. economy by raising national income and making domestic capital more productive. However, increasing the low-skilled population may also increase the net tax burden on native residents. Successful reform depends on attracting immigrants with strong incentives to be productive laborers who will not place excessive demands on public services.


October 13, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Effects of Legal and Unauthorized Immigration on the US Social Security System

"Effects of Legal and Unauthorized Immigration on the US Social Security System" Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Working Paper No. 689 SELCUK EREN, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. HUGO BENITEZ-SILVAA, EVA CARCELES-POVEDA, State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook - Department of Economics.

ABSTRACT: Immigration is having an increasingly important effect on the social insurance system in the United States. On the one hand, eligible legal immigrants have the right to eventually receive pension benefits but also rely on other aspects of the social insurance system such as health care, disability, unemployment insurance, and welfare programs, while most of their savings have direct positive effects on the domestic economy. On the other hand, most undocumented immigrants contribute to the system through taxed wages but are not eligible for these programs unless they attain legal status, and a large proportion of their savings translates into remittances that have no direct effects on the domestic economy. Moreover, a significant percentage of immigrants migrate back to their countries of origin after a relatively short period of time, and their savings while in the United States are predominantly in the form of remittances. Therefore, any analysis that tries to understand the impact of immigrant workers on the overall system has to take into account the decisions and events these individuals face throughout their lives, as well as the use of the government programs they are entitled to. We propose a life-cycle Overlapping Generations (OLG) model in a general equilibrium framework of legal and undocumented immigrants’ decisions regarding consumption, savings, labor supply, and program participation to analyze their role in the financial sustainability of the system. Our analysis of the effects of potential policy changes, such as giving some undocumented immigrants legal status, shows increases in capital stock, output, consumption, labor productivity, and overall welfare. The effects are relatively small in percentage terms but considerable given the size of our economy.


October 13, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From the Bookshelves: Beside the Golden Door

Beside teh golden door

Beside the Golden Door U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization By PIA M. ORRENIUS and MADELINE ZAVODNY

ABSTRACT:  Beside the Golden Door proposes a radical overhaul of current immigration policy designed to strengthen economic competitiveness and long-run growth. Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny outline a plan that favors employment-based immigration over family reunification, making work-based visas the rule, not the exception. They argue that immigration policy should favor high-skilled workers while retaining avenues for low-skilled immigration; family reunification should be limited to spouses and minor children; provisional visas should be the norm; and quotas that lead to queuing must be eliminated.


October 12, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

A DREAMer Deported

What happened to the Morton memo's prosecutorial discretion?


Yesterday Ramon, a DREAMer from Kentucky, was deported.  Ramon had been living here since he was just 7 years old.  He was a very talented artist, while in high school he was recognized by Kentucky Governor Paul Patton for a mural he created. During his 111 days in detention word got out and Ramon found himself sketching portraits for other detainees to send to their loved ones on the outside. Not wanting send black and white drawings Ramon would go as far as using jelly beans to add color. Ramon has a 4-year old son, Gabriel, and a United States citizen wife whom he’ll never get to see again.

Ramon's deportation could have been stopped had more people taken action.

Demand Senator Reid and Senator Durbin Not Allow Another DREAMer to be Deported

The blame for this deportation falls squarely on the shoulders of our democratic senators - Senator Reid and Senator Durbin - who continue to refuse to advocate for DREAMers they deem ineligible.  Ramon was a DREAMer, he met all of the requirements and yet he was all but ignored by those who could have helped. Now these same senators are refusing to help another DREAMer, Cesar Montoya.

Call Senator Reid and Senator Durbin: 'Why Are You Allowing Cesar Montoya to be Deported?'

In August Cesar was pulled over for a basic traffic violation.  Instead of a ticket he was arrested and charged with driving without a license. Today is Cesar's 56th day in ICE detention. He was refused bond. Both Senator Reid and Senator Durbin refuse to advocate for Cesar. Will you make a call to these Senators and demand they not let Cesar fall through the cracks like they did Ramon?

Take a minute and make a call: Senator Reid: 202-224-3542 (push 1) & Senator Durbin: (202) 224-2152
"Hi, I was calling to voice my disappointment at the Senator for refusing to help DREAMer Ramon Aguirre, he was deported to Mexico yesterday.  I am really upset that the Senator is now refusing to help another DREAMer, Cesar Montoya (A#200-297-690).  Cesar has been detained for two months now, his only criminal record is a driving without a license charge.  He is DREAM Act eligible, why is the Senator not helping Cesar?"

It is sad that we need to push even our strongest allies to help.  We know the Obama administration is full of lies but we didn't expect the same from our Senate allies. Work with us to keep them in line.

Thank you for your help and please keep Heidi, Gabriel and the rest of Ramon's family in your thoughts.

Maria Marroquin


October 12, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Volunteers Needed to Combat Alabama Law

From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In response to HB 56, Alabama's anti-immigrant law, a hotline has been set up for people who want to report problems related to the law, get information or legal assistance. The line is mostly being staffed by staff and volunteers from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Immigration Law Center and a lawyer affiliated with the ACLU of Alabama will also provide some assistance. Volunteers are still needed, so if you can volunteer, please send your name, organization, phone number, where the call should be forwarded and language capacity. If possible, people should be available for 2-3 hour periods. The overwhelming majority of the callers are Spanish speakers so that is the main need language need. If the volunteer is not an attorney ,s/he can ask that the organization the volunteer comes from have an attorney available for that volunteer to talk to if an urgent question arises they cannot answer.



October 12, 2011 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

University of New Hampshire has New Immigration Law Clinic

The University of New Hampshire School of Law has announced a new clinical opportunity for students that focuses on immigration law through a unique joint venture with a statewide social service agency. The school, in conjunction with New Hampshire Catholic Charities’ Immigration and Refugee Services division, offers up to six students each semester the opportunity to learn immigration law and procedures in a classroom setting, then apply that knowledge to real-life cases under the supervision of Catholic Charities attorneys. The clinic gives students practical experience in interviewing clients, preparing complicated legal cases and appearing before judges. They are likely to work on asylum, family reunification, naturalization and unwarranted removal cases. Additional work may include representing immigrants who are afraid to leave violent domestic relationships for fear of being sent back to their birth country.


“There’s always been a demand for a clinic offering on the subject of immigration law,” said Professor Erin Corcoran, who heads UNH Law’s Social Justice Institute and who will teach the classroom component of the clinic. “This is a wonderful partnership that offers real benefits both to our students and to New Hampshire Catholic Charities. I don’t know of any law school that has this kind of relationship with a social service agency.”

New Hampshire Catholic Charities serves all people, regardless of faith, throughout the state. Its Immigration and Refugee Services division has three staff attorneys and two immigration specialists. The division is the only low-income immigration service provider in the state, and it currently has approximately 2,500 open cases. It is based in Nashua and active in the southern part of the state but had seen a real need for a stronger presence in Concord and points north.

The clinical partnership came about in large part because of the organization’s history of working with UNH Law interns. “We have been very impressed with students at the school,” said Cathy Chesley, who heads Immigration and Refugee Services. “We have created a sort of interdependence, and so when we needed to move north, it made sense to work even more closely.”

Chesley and staff attorney Francis Agyare, who will direct students’ clinical work, also have another tie to the school: They are both alumni. Chesley earned her JD in 1987, and Agyare, who is originally from Ghana, earned his JD/LLM in 2003.

For one student who is participating in the clinic, the subject matter hits home. Beatrice Damas, a 3L, is herself an immigrant: She came to the United States with her mother, who is from Haiti, and her father, who is from Jamaica, when she was around 12 years old. But, she says, the subject didn’t have a real resonance with her until last summer, when she began talking to her husband, who emigrated from Ivory Coast, about his experiences coming to America. “His story was so compelling,” she said. “He started crying as he told it to me. He came to America and had nothing – no family, no money. He had an immigration lawyer who wasn’t helpful, so even though he didn’t really speak English, he had to draft his own paperwork.” Damas, who has a background in biochemistry and molecular biology, came to UNH Law intending to study intellectual property law, but after her experiences so far this fall working in the immigration clinic, “I’m thinking that maybe there are other paths out there for me,” she said.

The real-life work she is doing is giving Damas a different perspective on the law, too. “When you are looking at these cases on paper, it’s easy to read the facts and say, ‘tough luck.’ But once you get to meet the person, you have a really different perspective. There’s a human being behind that story, and you want to help them.” Damas says the clinical offerings at UNH Law are invaluable. “Instead of reading case law after case law, this is a firsthand experience, “ she said. “You get to meet the client, you get to bond and have a relationship with the client, which gives you a better idea how to help that person. Clinics give you an opportunity to experience different types of law which can potentially make you wonder what career path you want to pursue.”


October 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Duel at Dartmouth: Republican Presidential Candidates Spar in Debate

It was a big night at Dartmouth College last night. The Republican Presidential candidates debated on Tuesday night, with a focus on Herman Cain and the U.S. economy. Even though immigration has big ecomonic impacts, the candidates ignored the topic.  Given the tenor of the Republican candidates' previous discussions of immigration, the lack of discussion of immigration probably was for the best.

For a summary of the debate from the Washington Post, click here.  For the transcript, click here


October 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Crackdown in the UK?

The Guardian reports on unsettling immigration developments from across the pond.


October 12, 2011 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: The Slums of Aspen Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden by Lisa Sun-Hee Sun-Hee Park and David N. Pellow

The Slums of Aspen Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden Lisa Sun-Hee Sun-Hee Park and David N. Pellow

ABSTRACT: Environmentalism usually calls to mind images of peace and serenity, a oneness with nature, and a shared sense of responsibility. But one town in Colorado, under the guise of environmental protection, passed a resolution limiting immigration, bolstering the privilege of the wealthy and scapegoating Latin American newcomers for the area’s current and future ecological problems. This might have escaped attention, save for the fact that this wasn’t some rinky-dink backwater. It was Aspen, Colorado, playground of the rich and famous and the West’s most elite ski town. Tracking the lives of immigrant laborers through several years of exhaustive fieldwork and archival digging, The Slums of Aspen tells a story that brings together some of the most pressing social problems of the day: environmental crises, immigration, and social inequality. Park and Pellow demonstrate how these issues are intertwined in the everyday experiences of people who work and live in this wealthy tourist community. Developing the idea of “environmental privilege”—the economic, political, and cultural power that some groups enjoy, which enables them exclusive access to coveted environmental amenities such as forests, parks, mountains, rivers, coastal property, open lands, and elite neighborhoods—they argue that this odd marriage of environmental and nativist groups occurs because of population fears—both want less people, especially if they are the brown sort.


October 12, 2011 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (1)