Saturday, December 3, 2011
Coalition and Fund for Public Advocacy Announce Release of DREAM Fellowship Application
(New York, NY) This week, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and the Fund for Public Advocacy released the DREAM Fellowship Program application, as part of a new initiative that will provide 10 exceptional undocumented students with CUNY scholarships of $2000 each and the opportunity to participate in an internship and leadership development program. Internships will be with organizations that educate and empower immigrant families across New York City.
As advocates continue to push for passage of the federal DREAM Act, programs such as the DREAM Fellowship Program will, in the meantime, provide a group of exceptional DREAMers the chance to pursue a college education, gain valuable leadership-building experience, and participate in efforts to improve the quality of life for New York’s immigrant communities.
Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the NYIC said, “We are proud to be moving forward with the DREAM Fellowship Program, and are grateful to the Fund for Public Advocacy for raising the scholarship dollars. We look forward to working with the DREAM fellows, and taking this important step to expand educational opportunities for all our young people, regardless of status. The fight for the federal DREAM Act continues, but in the meantime, the DREAM Fellowship program can help young people fulfill their potential.”
Reshma Saujani, executive director of the Fund for Public Advocacy, said, "The Dream Fellowship is one of the cornerstone projects of the Fund for Public Advocacy this year. I cannot say how proud we are to be able to help ten students who are exemplars of self-determination. Although they face extreme adversity in their mission to attain a higher education, they study hard and work harder to ensure that their dreams become realities. This fellowship program extends ten exceptional students the opportunity to learn about community organizing, as well as a one semester scholarship. We are honored to help them on their journey."
For application materials, please click: http://www.thenyic.org/dreamfellowship
Friday, December 2, 2011
From the Guardian:
A judge has acted to put a Japanese employee of Honda Motor Company out of his misery by dismissing immigration charges against him, three days after he was booked under Alabama's new immigration laws that have been billed as the most sweeping in America. Ichiro Yada is one of about 100 Japanese managers of the company on assignment in southern state.
Yada was stopped in Leeds, Alabama, at a checkpoint set up by police to catch unlicensed drivers. He was ticketed on the spot, despite the fact that he showed an international driver's licence, a valid passport and a US work permit. Read more....
From the Immigrant Policy Center:
A Discussion about Women Immigrant Entrepreneurs
There is a quiet revolution of immigrant women’s business ownership that goes relatively unnoticed in the culture at large. The number of immigrant women entrepreneurs has increased dramatically in recent years, and today the business-ownership rate for immigrant women has outpaced that of native-born women. Immigrant women entrepreneurs are springing up in every region of the United States and they are creating new jobs, helping stabilize neighborhoods, creating products that consumers enjoy, building major infrastructure projects, and investing in a wide range of charitable social-justice projects.
Join us for a discussion of Our American Immigrant Entrepreneurs: The Women, a new publication by the Immigration Policy Center, adapted from the book, Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience by Susan C. Pearce, Elizabeth J. Clifford and Reena Tandon (New York University Press, 2011).
WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. EST
WHO: Rubina Chaudhary, MBA, President, MARRS Services, Inc., Fullerton, California
Yolanda Voss, President of Yolanda Voss Fashion Gallery of Savage, Maryland
Susan C. Pearce, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Research Associate with the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research at East Carolina University
Mary Giovagnoli, Director, Immigration Policy Center (Moderator)
Also available during Q&A Elizabeth J. Clifford, Associate Professor of Sociology at Towson University and Reena Tandon who teaches at the Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto and coordinates Service Learning at Ryerson University.
RSVP: Space is limited. Please RSVP for dial-in instructions to Wendy Sefsaf at email@example.com or 202-507-7524.
We've reported on recent announcements about guidelines for reviewing and terminating low priority deportation cases. Here's more:
From the Immigrant Advocates Network:
On Immigration Advocates Network Library contains:
- The November 17, 2011 Memorandum from Peter S. Vincent, ICE Principal Legal Advisor, on the review of incoming and pending immigration court cases at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?18648.
- An additional document from the ICE website, stating that all jurisdictions will review the incoming cases, but initially only the pilot project locations, Baltimore and Denver, will review all the pending cases, at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?18649.
The degree to which the immigration debate has coarsened over the last few years is no more evident than in the pages of the recently released fifth edition of the New American Heritage Dictionary. Among the new entries is the term “anchor baby.” You might think that the definition would read something like: slang, a pejorative description of a child born in the United States to parents without legal status, implying that the parents intend to leverage the child’s citizenship to “anchor” their own presence in the U.S.” You would be wrong. Click here for Immigration Impact's analysis.
ImmigrationProf has previously blogged about the term "anchor babies" as hate speech.
UPDATE (12/4): American Heritage Dictionary responds.
New Report: Pew Hispanic Center, Unauthorized Immigrants: Length of Residency, Patterns of Parenthood
Nearly two-thirds of the 10.2 million unauthorized adult immigrants in the United States have lived in this country for at least 10 years and nearly half are parents of minor children, according to new estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.
As ImmigrationProf reported a few months back, the Georgia Board of Regents has barred undocumented students from the state's most selective public universities. A few University of Georgia professors began teaching a class at a "Freedom University" for undocumented college students. CNN reports about classes at Freedom UIniversity and tells the compelling of undocumented college students longing to learn.
The video made me wonder what kind of country we live in. How can government treat people like this?
Campaign for an American DREAM!
EACH YEAR, hundreds of thousands of people are being deported and thousands of families are being separated. The system is clearly broken. The nation has waited patiently for change, but all our communities can see is more suffering. Our elected officials tell us we must wait, “wait patiently for immigration reform.” Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is not waiting patiently to separate us from our families and we have seen the greatest number of deportations in history. WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT JUST SIT BACK AND WAIT! On January 3rd, 2012, a small team of brave, passionate students will embark on a 3,000 mile journey across the country, from San Francisco, CA all the way to Washington, D.C. creating needed dialogue around the unspoken causes of immigration and the reality of abuses that take place due to the broken system. The communities and students will share their stories, and together will raise up the many voices across our country that are concerned with the humane treatment of people and the values we hold dear as a nation as together we push for fairer reform.
For details, click here.
It is approaching the end of the year -- and the time for "top 10" lists for the year. Here is a list on immigration from Migration Information Source:
1. Arab Spring and Fear of Migrant Surge Expose Rift in EU Immigration Policy Circles
2. Economic Malaise Makes Immigrants a Target for Restrictive Legislation, Public Backlash - With unemployment rates remaining persistently high in the wake of the global economic crisis, ongoing turbulence in financial markets, and new austerity in public spending, anxious publics and governments trained their attention on immigration and immigrants during 2011.
3. Immigration in United States and Parts of Europe Gives Way to Increased Emigration - Immigration flows this year continued to respond sharply to the economic climate in major immigrant-receiving nations, as many struggled to gain a labor market foothold in the aftermath of the global economic meltdown.
4. Highly Skilled Migrants Seek New Destinations as Global Growth Shifts to Emerging Economies - Developing nations that were once primarily migrant-sending states are now experiencing a boom that is beginning to increase their attractiveness for highly educated and highly skilled migrants and beckoning their diaspora members home.
5. Substantial Investments to Court Diaspora Entrepreneurs for Development Gains - With the goal of building and sustaining economic growth in mind, some countries have intensified their efforts to court investments from their nationals and co-ethnics abroad, recognizing that diaspora entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to spot opportunities in their countries of origin and capitalize on them.
6. Heading into the 2012 Elections, Republican Presidential Candidates Walk the Immigration Policy Tightrope - The debate season is well underway for the Republican presidential primary races in the United States, and immigration has once again emerged as a highly contentious policy issue.
7. Immigrant Detention under Scrutiny in Australia, United Kingdom, and United States - Public backlash against the detention systems of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States mounted in 2011with allegations of unacceptable living conditions, abuse, prolonged detention, and government waste.
8. The Arab Spring and Other Crises in Africa Displace More Than 1 Million People - The succession of displacement and refugee crises in the Arab Spring, Côte d'Ivoire, Somalia, and Sudan has been characterized as the most troubling in some time.
9. A Decade after 9/11, Enforcement Focus Prevails in the United States; Broader Immigration Reforms Remain Stalled - As the United States paused in September to mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the enforcement paradigm that took hold immediately after the terrorist attacks showed no signs of waning.
10. Caught between Two Migration Realities, Mexico Passes New Immigration Legislation - In April 2011, the Mexican Congress unanimously approved an ambitious new migration law that sets out to address longstanding problems related to the immigration and transmigration of Central Americans and the emigration and return migration of Mexicans.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC), in collaboration with the University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic, is pleased to announce the release of a new practice advisory: Representing Clients with Mental Competency Issues under Matter of M-A-M-.
Until recently, attorneys and immigration judges had limited guidance about safeguards that might be available to ensure a fair hearing in immigration court for noncitizens with mental competency issues. As a result, many such individuals have been ordered deported without access to counsel or any assessment of their abilities. Others have languished in jail indefinitely while immigration judges delayed proceedings in the hope that they would find representation or that their conditions would improve. Extended stays in detention centers, however, have instead caused people’s conditions to deteriorate, at times resulting in psychosis and catatonia. The lack of protections has even led to mistaken deportations of U.S. citizens.
In May 2011, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision in Matter of M-A-M, which set forth a framework for immigration judges to follow when hearing cases involving noncitizens with mental competency issues. The LAC’s practice advisory provides a detailed analysis of that decision — the first published decision from the BIA in nearly fifty years to provide substantive guidance on hearings involving respondents with mental disorders — and offers strategic advice on how to address issues that may arise in the context of representing such individuals.
In connection with the LAC’s Practice Advisory, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has released a detailed fact sheet entitled The Protection & Advocacy (P&A) System: An Overview for Immigration Attorneys. The Protection and Advocacy System is a network of independent agencies in every state that provide, by federal mandate, legal representation and other advocacy services to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The NDRN fact sheet discusses the types of assistance that P&As may be able to offer immigration attorneys representing clients with mental competency issues. For more information about the LAC’s work on behalf of noncitizens with mental competency issues, please see Our Litigation and Advocacy. For a commplete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please click here.
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-507-7524.
From the Center for American Progress:
A Better Life
A Reel Progress Screening
December 7, 2011, 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Admission is free.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Chris Weitz, director, A Better Life
Demian Bichir, actor, "Carlos", A Better Life
Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy, Center for American Progress
Join award-winning director Chris Weitz and star actor Demian Bichir in a special screening of A Better Life , a heart breaking tale of the lives of today’s immigrants.
From Chris Weitz, director of About a Boy, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Golden Compass , comes A Better Life – a poignant, multi-generational story about a father’s love and everything a parent will sacrifice to build a better life for his child. This highly acclaimed film puts on the silver screen the perils and tribulations that immigrants face every day across our nation.
Carlos Galindo (Demian Bichir) dreamed of good things for his wife and future son when they crossed the border into the U.S. But after years of hard work and little reward, Carlos’ only goal became to make sure his son Luis was given the opportunities he never had. After everything he’s worked for is suddenly taken away, father and son embark on a physical and spiritual journey where they discover something more important – that family is the most important part of the American dream.
The Center for American Progress presents a special screening of A Better Life , followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session featuring Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Chris Weitz, Demian Bichir, and Angela Kelley.
Special thanks to the Gala Hispanic Theater for hosting this event.
Space is extremely limited. RSVP required.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed.
There will be a reception with light appetizers and a cash bar starting at 6:00 p.m.
Gala Hispanic Theater
3333 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
RSVP to attend this event.
Linda Greenhouse on the NY Times Opinionator takes Florida to task on Fliorida's treatment of U.S. citizen college students who cannot establish the legal immigration status of theire parents:
In the current race to the bottom to see which state can provide the most degraded and dehumanizing environment for undocumented immigrants, Arizona and Alabama have grabbed the headlines. But largely unnoticed, it is Florida, home to nearly one million Cuban refugees and their descendants, that has come up with perhaps the most bizarre and pointless anti-immigrant policy of all. Beginning last year, the state’s higher education authorities have been treating American citizens born in the United States, including graduates of Florida high schools who have spent their entire lives in the state, as non-residents for tuition purposes if they can’t demonstrate that their parents are in the country legally. (emphasis added).
As reported on October 24 here on ImmigrationProf, the Southern Poverty Law Center is challenging Florida's deprivation of the rights of full access to public colleges and universities to U.S. citizens because o fthe immigration status of their parents.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
Earlier this year, Los Angeles resident Isaura Garcia made a 9-1-1 call that changed her life…and did not result in the help she desperately sought to protect herself from violence. Instead, as a result of her call, Isaura was arrested, spent a week in jail, and was placed in deportation proceedings! Isaura, a victim of domestic violence, called for help and was instead arrested on mistaken charges of committing felony domestic violence. Although the charges were dropped, under the federal government’s Secure Communities program, Isaura’s fingerprints were passed along to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and checked against civil immigration databases.
Secure Communities(S-Comm) is designed to identify immigrants in the U.S. criminal justice system, who may be deportable under federal immigration law. However, it is now also being used to reveal non-criminal violations such as undocumented status, resulting in notification to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE is then taking individuals, such as Isaura, into custody and placing them in deportation proceedings.
Thankfully, after community partners in Los Angeles held a press conference to publicize Isaura’s case, ICE ended the deportation proceedings against her. Coming forward to tell her story, Isaura says: “Secure Communities turned my life upside down. My 9-1-1 call for help resulted in the worst possible punishment I could have suffered.”
The ILRC has been opposed to S-Comm since the program began in 2008 and has participated in national, state, and local efforts to prevent or rescind implementation of S-Comm and limit local enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Now, more than ever, the ILRC needs your continued support. Please consider a tax deductible gift to support the ILRC in the fight against ICE enforcement efforts like S-Comm. Your support will ensure that our important work opposing S-Comm continues. Click here to make your donation today.
At the national level, the ILRC has provided technical assistance and participated in a national campaign against S-Comm. We engaged in administrative advocacy with ICE against the program and worked with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security to put pressure on ICE. We also helped produce the authoritative report, alongside other national immigration rights organizations, entitled “Restoring Community: A National Community Advisory Report on ICE’s Failed Secure Communities Program.”
At the state level, the ILRC helped establish a network of advocates to combat the program, organized a “teach-in” with over 120 advocates, and created an S-Comm “toolkit” for advocates. We also have been engaged in strategies focused on educating the Attorney General, the California Department of Justice, and state lawmakers. Locally, we have supported advocacy and coalition building efforts to garner opposition to the program from local officials. We have been instrumental in establishing anti-S-Comm organizing efforts in at least seven counties and providing assistance in several other counties.
Our work in partnership with other key organizations has resulted in three California sheriffs and many police chiefs opposing S-Comm, and the passage of resolutions opposing the program in the counties of Alameda, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, and the cities of Richmond, Oakland, East Palo Alto, and Los Angeles. In San Francisco, our work centered on supporting the sheriff in his efforts to opt-out of S-Comm. Based on our collaboration in Santa Clara, the County Counsel’s office issued a public memo which laid out the county’s options regarding S-Comm participation; this was the first known public document to state that, under federal law, immigration enforcement by local authorities is not mandatory, but voluntary, and therefore localities can limit their cooperation with ICE.
The ILRC will continue working with immigrant communities and immigrant rights advocates to pressure the federal government to protect the civil rights of all members of our community, including those of immigrants. We hope you will join us in our fight, and provide support with a tax-deductible contribution that reaffirms your commitment to fairness in immigration laws, justice in immigration enforcement policies, and to safeguard the basic human rights of all of this nation’s people.
Thank you again for your continued support.
Chair, Board of Directors
P.S. – Don’t forget that our Monthly Giving Club option provides you with an easy way to multiply the impact of your gift. To join the Monthly Giving Club you can pledge a monthly gift by completing and returning the enclosed envelope. We will take care of the rest. Any total pledge of $500 or more automatically includes you in our Circle of Friends’ special events, updates and recognition. Click here to make your donation today. It is fast, easy, and saves a stamp.
Executive Summary: The U.S. Census data are clear: In the coming years, America’s Latina/o community will continue to drive population and labor force growth. Therefore, federal and state policymakers, higher education leaders, and communities small and large across the pre-K to college continuum would be wise to seize this sizeable demographic shift to help propel the United States into a position of economic and social prosperity. Yet, as advocates have articulated, improving the proportion of Latinas/os that access and complete college armed with the knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century will require much work. The pressing reality is that men of color, and Latino males in particular, lag significantly behind their female peers in terms of both college access and degree attainment. This situation weakens the nation’s ability to utilize its great human capital and ensure the success of its diverse families and communities. This brief seeks to elevate the grave statistics and realities of the growing gender gap in educational attainment among Latinas/os and provides recommendations for education practitioners, institutional leaders, and federal and state policymakers on how to support Latino males on the road to and through college and into the workforce. A first step in ensuring the success of Latino males is to provide information and strategies for stakeholders at the federal, state, regional, and local levels to both embrace and implement a comprehensive agenda that spans early childhood through college. This agenda should emphasize family and community engagement; college and career-ready curricula; linked academic and social supports; and affordability, transparency, and financial literacy. To that end, the authors provide (1) a review of recent census and educational attainment data and related transition points in early childhood, secondary, and postsecondary education for Latinas/os; (2) a promising blueprint to help develop and implement education programs and initiatives to increase the success of Latino male students; and (3) policy and programmatic implications for stakeholders seeking to enact change at the pre-college and college levels and within national, state, and local contexts. Such a comprehensive approach must prioritize the needs of Latino males and value their cultural contexts. Missing this opportunity to provide economic and social advancement for this community will have a profound impact on the future of U.S. citizens and the nation’s economy Executive Summary: The U.S. Census data are clear: In the coming years, America’s Latina/o community will continue to drive population and labor force growth. Therefore, federal and state policymakers, higher education leaders, and communities small and large across the pre-K to college continuum would be wise to seize this sizeable demographic shift to help propel the United States into a position of economic and social prosperity. Yet, as advocates have articulated, improving the proportion of Latinas/os that access and complete college armed with the knowledge and skills to compete in the 21st century will require much work. The pressing reality is that men of color, and Latino males in particular, lag significantly behind their female peers in terms of both college access and degree attainment. This situation weakens the nation’s ability to utilize its great human capital and ensure the success of its diverse families and communities. This brief seeks to elevate the grave statistics and realities of the growing gender gap in educational attainment among Latinas/os and provides recommendations for education practitioners, institutional leaders, and federal and state policymakers on how to support Latino males on the road to and through college and into the workforce. A first step in ensuring the success of Latino males is to provide information and strategies for stakeholders at the federal, state, regional, and local levels to both embrace and implement a comprehensive agenda that spans early childhood through college. This agenda should emphasize family and community engagement; college and career-ready curricula; linked academic and social supports; and affordability, transparency, and financial literacy. To that end, the authors provide (1) a review of recent census and educational attainment data and related transition points in early childhood, secondary, and postsecondary education for Latinas/os; (2) a promising blueprint to help develop and implement education programs and initiatives to increase the success of Latino male students; and (3) policy and programmatic implications for stakeholders seeking to enact change at the pre-college and college levels and within national, state, and local contexts. Such a comprehensive approach must prioritize the needs of Latino males and value their cultural contexts. Missing this opportunity to provide economic and social advancement for this community will have a profound impact on the future of U.S. citizens and the nation’s economy.
From the Immigration Policy Center:
The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns
Washington D.C. - Today, the House Immigration Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the controversial Secure Communities program. In advance of the hearing, IPC has updated The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, which provides expert analysis of the Secure Communities program and recommendations for its improvement.
Initiated in 2008, Secure Communities is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law. ICE plans to implement Secure Communities in every state and local jail across the country by 2013. However, there are a wide range of ongoing concerns with the program that have not been answered to date. This paper describes the Secure Communities program, identifies concerns about the program’s design and implementation, and makes recommendations for the future of the program.
To view this special report in its entirety, visit:
Amy Wilkinson of Harvard's Kennedy School writes on CNN:
If we want to create jobs in America, we must welcome foreign-born innovators. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of immigrant entrepreneurs yearning to breathe free": This is the message we need Lady Liberty to shine forth into the world.
Yet Ellis Island has put up a velvet rope line. To vital job generators, we are saying, "There's no room for you."
Inviting immigrants in to create jobs may seem counterintuitive, but the facts are clear. Immigrant-led innovation is key to creating U.S. jobs. According to statistics from Partnership for a New American Economy, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were created by immigrants or their children. Further, between 1995 and 2005, 25% of high-tech startups in the United States had at least one immigrant founder, and these companies have created more than 450,000 jobs. Read more...
"The Challenges of Family Law and Policy in Immigration Regulation" LYNNE MARIE KOHM, Regent University - School of Law.
Stable nations and societies are largely based on stable family law and policy. Questions of family preservation and stability in immigration policy present new dimensions of legal intervention. Offering a review of the relevant literature, this paper presents the challenges in the family law and policy discussion. It considers challenges to United States policies, particularly regarding marriage definitions, Mexican migration, and the challenge of family preservation and restoration. This research further examines global concerns, namely national stability and the need for family restoration in light of diminishing fertility rates, and multiculturalism. Finally, it offers policy principles for developing national immigration regulation, particularly toward building national stability through strong families. A comprehensive approach to family law and immigration policy is necessary, and possible. Providing principles for the formulation of strong family policy promoting national stability in the face of global mobilization of families is the key to building strong and stable future nations.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The $4.3-million project between Tijuana and Imperial Beach aims to seal off space that opens when the waters recede at low tide. A steel fence 18 feet tall will replace a gap-riddled barrier. The Obama administration's idea of a modern "make work" project to stimulate the economy?
For more details, read here.
Alabama's controversial immigration law continues to draw the attention of the U.S. government. The Justice Department has challenged the constitutionality of Alabama's immigration law, with an appeal of a district court order upholding most of the law pending in the Eleventh Circuit.
A delegation of DOJ attorneys visted Alabama.
"The more we hear, the more we are concerned about the impact of Alabama’s immigration law on a wide range of federal rights,” said Tom Perez, who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division as an assistant attorney general, at a press conference in Birmingham, Ala. The quote comes from an article by Tim Mak on POLITICO.COM.
According to POLITICO.COM,
"Perez told reporters that he has heard reports of children dropping out of school due to fears related to the immigration law; that some employers may be using the law as an excuse not to pay workers; and that some people may have been racially profiled after the passage of the immigration statutes. Hundreds of people have made calls to a Justice Department hotline set up to receive complaints about discrimination in the wake of Alabama’s H.B. 56 immigration law, the assistant attorney general noted."
This is not the DOJ's first expression of concerns over the civil rights impact sof Alabama's immigrration law. In addition to the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, a few weeks back, Perez had requested information from Alabama school districts about changes in enrollment after passage of the law. Click here for further analysis of that data request.