Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Where's the Prosecutorial Discretion? DREAMer Yanelli Hernandez Deported

Yanelli Hernandez has been deported. She was a DREAMer, 22 years old, suffering from severe depression. She had minor convictions for forgery and DUI. Deportation is not the answer for such a person. Counseling and treatment would have been the right course. She should have been granted deferred action under the Morton memo guidelines on prosecutorial discretion. Yanelli's deportation is truly an injustice.

Jorge Rivas writes for Colorlines:

Earlier today I wrote about the efforts of DREAMers across the United States to keep Yanelli Hernandez in the country because she’s tried to commit suicide twice. On Tuesday afternoon sources close to the 22-year-old confirmed she was in Mexico.

ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls:

"Yanelli HERNANDEZ-Serrano was removed to her native country, Mexico, today in accordance with a final order of removal from an immigration judge. ICE has adopted common sense policies that ensure our immigration laws are enforced in a way that best enhances public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As part of this approach, ICE has adopted clear priorities that call for the agency’s enforcement resources to be focused on the identification and removal of those that have broken criminal laws, recently crossed our border, repeatedly violated immigration law or are fugitives from immigration court."

In a letter to attorney Jorge Martinez, ICE Detroit field office director Rebecca J. Adducci wrote, “Your request is denied. The basis of this request is that your client cannot depart from the United States due to hardships she will face stamming from longstanding mental illness. You have provided no documentation to support this claim.”

“The removal of individuals with final orders of removal, as well as criminal aliens, is an ICE civil immigration enforcement priority. Ms. Hernandez was never lawfully present in the United States,” Adducci went on to write in the letter.

“An order of removal was entered in Ms. Hernandez’s case by the immigration judge on Jan. 25, 2012, at her request. Thus she is subject to a final order of removal. Further, Ms. Hernandez is a convicted criminal as she has convictions for forgery and driving under the influence.”

Immigrant youth around the country are holding vigils as part of “Undocumented Youth Mental Health Day” in response to Hernandez’s deportation order.

The National Immigrant Youth Alliance, which organized the nationwide vigils, also have plans to launch a 24-hr hotline in the future so that undocumented youth can reach out to fellow young immigrants. The plan is for the newly launched website, undocuhealth.org, to be a resource, and a way to address the very real mental health issues that come along with being young and undocumented.

bh

February 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mississippi Republicans Up to No Good

From the Mississippie Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA)

For a long time, the Mississippi House of Representatives was the only legislative chamber in the South controlled by Democrats.  That enabled all of the members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus to be named committee chairs or vice-chairs.  Our alliance with them over the years helped kill some 230 anti-immigrant bills, led by Rep. Jim Evans, who is President of MIRA. All of that has changed with the 2011 elections.  Now there are very few African-Americans leading any significant committee.

Below are summaries prepared by MIRA Legal Project intern, Andrew Stankevich, of the first racist, anti-immigrant bills introduced into the 2012 session of the Mississippi Legislature.  These first bills are all Senate versions, with more to come from that chamber.  The House has been slow to introduce bills, not because there are few, but with the Republicans in charge now for the first time, the new House leadership has had trouble getting started with their legislative process.  We expect many anti-immigrant bills to come from  that chamber as so many are ALEC members and Tea Baggers.

Our “new” Governor, Phil Bryant, is out of that group and triggered the xenophobia in Mississippi years ago with his overt attacks on immigrants.

2012 Anti-Immigrant Bills Summaries, Introduced into the Mississippi Legislature, as of 1/31/12

Senate Bill 2022 (Fillingane).  All higher learning institutions must verify immigration status of all students who receive financial aid, grants, or scholarships.  No unauthorized student may receive any such benefit.
Senate Bill 2089 (Fillingane) & Senate Bill 2089 (Watson).  Changes to 71-11-3. Mississippi Employment Protection Act.  Employers shall not knowingly hire an employee unauthorized to work, or knowingly hire such an employee through a third party.  District Attorney or Attorney General can investigate and DA’s Office will prosecute.  For first violation, employer will be on 3 year probation period where they will report every new employee’s information to the DA’s Office on a quarterly basis and have their licenses suspended for a minimum of 10 days.  Employers in violation will be published on AG’s website.  DA or AG’s Office will notify federal immigration enforcement entities of unauthorized workers, as well as local law enforcement.  Second violation will permanently revoke all of employer’s licenses.  Proof of employment verification will create a rebuttable presumption that employer did not knowingly hire unauthorized employee.  All employers must keep e-verification records on all employees for at least 3 years.  It will be a misdemeanor offense for an unauthorized foreign national to solicit work, even with gestures and nods in a public place.  Bill expands the state entities which can impose sanctions or penalties under the law to include the Dept. of Revenue, Board of Public Contractors, as well as any other government entity.  AG’s or DA’s Office must respond to written complaints using proper form without notarization, but can respond to complaints in any format, including anonymous complaints.  Knowingly filing a frivolous complaint will be a misdemeanor offense.
Senate Bill 2090 (Fillingane).  If during a lawful stop, arrest of detention, any law enforcement official, be they municipal or state, if such official has reasonable suspicion that individual is residing in the United States without authorization, the official will make a reasonable attempt to determine such status.  Police will determine immigration status of arrestees prior to release, even if arrest was warrantless.  Only federally approved individuals will verify immigration statuses. If convicted of any violation or crime, police will notify federal agents or may transport to such.  Judicial approval required for transportation out-of-state.  No government entity shall restrict a government official from providing or maintaining information regarding peoples’ immigration status for purposes of official business.  Private individuals may bring actions for $500 - $5,000 (plus court costs and attorneys’ fees) per day against any state actor who impedes the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  Misdemeanor offense for authorized foreign national to not have papers and will assume liability for jail costs.  Housing, driving, encouraging/inducing unauthorized people to come to MS becomes a misdemeanor (min. $1,000 fine) or felony if involving 10 (min. $1,000 fine per person) or more people.  Mandatory vehicle impound for driving unauthorized foreign nationals.  Providing charitable services, like medical, legal, food, or shelter, shall be legal.       
Senate Bill No. 2228 (McDaniel, Watson, Gandy, Hill).  The parole board may release a non-violent offender who has served one half of their minimum sentence into the custody of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal from the U.S..  If the offender returns to the U.S. after removal or if ICE does not remove the offender, such individual will serve the maximum length of their sentence minus time served.
Senate Bill 2231 (McDaniel, Watson, Gandy, Hill).  Verification of lawful presence in MS shall be required whenever anyone 14 years or older applies for local, state, or federal benefits. Emergency health services, non-cash emergency disaster relief, health assistance related to communicable diseases, as well as emergency mental health, food, and shelter services are exceptions to this law.  Prior to dispersing services, MS government entities must require applicant to execute affidavit under penalty of perjury stating that they are lawfully present in the U.S.  False statements in affidavits shall be considered “False Representations to Defraud Government,” subject to as much as $10,000 fine and incarceration of up to 5 years.  Then, eligibility of benefits shall be made through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement Program (SAVE).  Affidavit will create presumption of lawful presence while waiting for SAVE results.  Agencies may adopt variations to these requirements when such would impose an unusual hardship on a lawful MS resident.  Agencies will report compliance to MS AG’s Office.  AG’s Office will report non-compliance to U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, as well as to report if SAVE prevented lawful MS residents from accessing services.  
Senate Bill 2232 (McDaniel, Watson, Gandy, Hill).  No government official within the State of MS shall limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  No government entity shall restrict a government official from providing or maintaining information regarding peoples’ immigration status for purposes of official business.
Senate Bill 2284 (Watson, McDaniel).  Changes to 63-1-60 & 45-35-13, MS Code of 1972.  For 21 year and older offenders who unlawfully duplicate a driver’s license, display another’s license as their own, fraudulently alter a license, lend a license to another for unlawful purposes, etc… a lawful resident will be guilty of a felony, no more than 3 years of imprisonment and not less than a $5,000 fine under either statute.  However, the amended bill makes an unlawful resident who committed the same offense under either statute shall be guilty of a felony and serve no more than 10 years in jail and not less than a $10,000 fine.
Except for charitable services, the bill will make knowingly, or with reckless disregard for one’s unauthorized immigration status, providing shelter or transportation to an unauthorized foreign national a felony punishable by at least 1 year incarceration and/or at least $1,000 fine.
The bill will authorize and direct the Commissioner of Public Safety to enter into a written agreement between the U.S. Dept. of Justice or the Dept. of Homeland Security to train MS law enforcement.  MS law enforcement will act as federal agents in regards to determining the immigration status, detaining and transporting unauthorized foreign nationals into federal custody.  No MS government entity will enact any policy preventing such law enforcement from performing such functions.  Whenever law enforcement charge and detain a person with a crime or violation and place under arrest, law enforcement will make a reasonable effort to verify the immigration status.  If law enforcement arrests a foreign national, law enforcement will verify the foreign national’s immigration status prior to release.  No government entity shall prevent the communication or maintenance of immigration status information.

bh

February 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Undocumented Immigrant Denied Transplant Due to Immigration Debate

Amanda Peterson Beadle writes for ThinkProgress:

Jesus Navarro, a dialysis patient who will die without a kidney transplant, has private insurance. He has a donor to provide the needed kidney. But because he is an undocumented immigrant, hospital administrators at UC San Francisco Medical Center are refusing to allow the procedure, saying that there is no guarantee Navarro will receive the necessary follow-up care because of his immigration status. Now, Navarro is stuck in an “ethical gray area” for the hospital. “It puts the doctors in a very awkward and torn position,” said Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “You come into this trying to do good and find yourself stuck in the middle of a fight about immigration.”

For eight years, Navarro has used a home dialysis machine to cleanse his blood after his kidneys began to fail. He reached the top of the waitlist for a kidney in the spring, but doctors called off his transplant when they discovered his immigration status. Even after his wife offered her kidney for the transplant, administrators still refused to allow the surgery. Reece Fawley, executive director of transplantation at UC San Francisco, said in a statement that the hospital considers socioeconomic stability for all patients, including immigration status. read more...

bh

February 1, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City" by GARTH DAVIES & JEFFREY FAGAN

immigration debate in the United States. "Crime and Enforcement in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Evidence from New York City" Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 12-292 GARTH DAVIES, Simon Fraser University (SFU) - School of Criminology. JEFFREY FAGAN, Columbia Law School.

ABSTRACT: Immigration and crime have received much popular and political attention in the past decade, and have been a focus of episodic social attention for much of the history of the U.S. Recent policy and legal discourse suggests that the stigmatic link between immigrants and crime has endured, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. This study addresses the relationship between immigration and crime in urban settings, focusing on areal units where immigrants tend to cluster spatially as well as socially. We ask whether immigration creates risks or benefits for neighborhoods in terms of lower crime rates. The question is animated in part by a durable claim in criminology that areas with large immigrant populations are burdened by elevated levels of social disorder and crime. In contrast, more recent theory and research suggests that “immigrant neighborhoods” may simply be differentially organized and function in a manner that reduces the incidence of crime. Accordingly, this research investigates whether immigrants are associated with differences in area crime rates. In addition, we ask whether there are differences in the effects of immigration on neighborhood crime rates by the racial and ethnic makeup of the foreign born populations. Finally, we examine the effects of immigration on patterns of enforcement.

KJ

February 1, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Congress: Don't Raise Taxes on Immigrant Families

From the National Immigration Law Center:

Though 2012 has just begun, Congress is right now considering a tax change that will hurt children in mixed status families.  Legislators have proposed funding a payroll tax break extension by denying critical tax credits for children in the lowest income immigrant families – even as millionaires are protected.  

Call (202) 224-3121 to connect with House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and members of the tax package conference.
Say you OPPOSE funding the payroll tax credit on the backs of working families. 

Under the House of Representatives’ proposal, a taxpayer or spouse must have a Social Security Number to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit – a tax credit that is designed to keep working families from falling into poverty.  This means that millions of  working immigrant families who file using the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number will effectively receive tax increases.  It is expected that these families will lose on average $1,800 of much-needed tax credits, forcing immigrant parents to cut back on essential items for their children.

We need you to help us fight this change! On Wednesday and Thursday, NILC and other organizations are organizing a national call-in day to protect working immigrant families. Please call (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and members of the tax package conference, and  your representative to tell them that you OPPOSE funding the payroll tax credit on the backs of working families.

Together, we must tell our legislators to live up to their pledge of fairness and equality and reject any changes to eligibility for the Child Tax Credit.  

Thank you,

Tyler Moran
Policy Director
National Immigration Law Center

bh

January 31, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Connecting the Tea Party with the Anti-Immigrant Movement

From Immigration Impact:

The lines between the anti-immigrant movement and the Tea Party movement are blurred. That is the most important finding of a new report from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR), entitled Beyond FAIR: The Decline of the Established Anti-Immigrant Organizations and the Rise of Tea Party Nativism. As its title suggests, the report finds that the revenue and membership of traditional anti-immigrant groups have declined in recent years, at the same time some of the Tea Parties have become hot beds of anti-immigrant activism. The report, however, overstates its case in concluding that “to a significant extent, the Tea Parties have usurped the Nativist Establishment and in the process swallowed up many of its activists.” This conclusion discounts the large amount of money and political power that some of the traditional anti-immigrant groups still possess. After all, it is the anti-immigrant groups and not the Tea Parties that have been moving anti-immigrant legislation through state legislatures and town councils from Arizona to Alabama over the past few years. Read more..

bh

January 31, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Book of the Day: War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities Edited by Arnoldo De León

War

War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities Edited by Arnoldo De León

ABSTRACT:  In 1910 Francisco Madero, in exile in San Antonio, Texas, launched a revolution that changed the face of Mexico. The conflict also unleashed violence and instigated political actions that kept that nation unsettled for more than a decade. As in other major uprisings around the world, the revolution’s effects were not contained within the borders of the embattled country. Indeed, the Mexican Revolution touched communities on the Texas side of the Rio Grande from Brownsville to El Paso. Fleeing refugees swelled the populations of South Texas towns and villages and introduced nationalist activity as exiles and refugees sought to extend moral, financial, and even military aid to those they supported in Mexico. Raiders from Mexico clashed with Texas ranchers over livestock and property, and bystanders as well as partisans died in the conflict. One hundred years later, Mexico celebrated the memory of the revolution, and scholars in Mexico and the United States sought to understand the effects of the violence on their own communities. War along the Border, edited by noted Tejano scholar Arnoldo De León, is the result of an important conference hosted by the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies. Scholars contributing to this volume consider topics ranging from the effects of the Mexican Revolution on Tejano and African American communities to its impact on Texas’ economy and agriculture. Other essays consider the ways that Mexican Americans north of the border affected the course of the revolution itself. The work collected in this important book not only recaps the scholarship done to date but also suggests fruitful lines for future inquiry. War along the Border suggests new ways of looking at a watershed moment in Mexican American history and reaffirms the trans-national scope of Texas history.

KJ

January 31, 2012 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Prospects and Challenges of Educational Reform for Latino Undocumented Children: An Essay Examining Alabama’s H.B. 56 and Other State Immigration Measures

Maria lopez

"The Prospects and Challenges of Educational Reform for Latino Undocumented Children: An Essay Examining Alabama’s H.B. 56 and Other State Immigration Measures" Loyola New Orleans Law Research Paper MARIA PABON LOPEZ, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law; DIOMEDES J. TSITOURAS, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; PIERCE C. AZUMA, Attorney at Law, New Orleans.

ABSTRACT:  This essay analyzes the provisions of Alabama’s recent anti-illegal immigration law that affect the education of undocumented children and examines their constitutionality in view of current federal law, as embodied in Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). As immigration law is an area of federal legislative authority, a key constitutional concern is whether Alabama’s law is preempted. This essay further discusses the recent litigation filed following the passage of this act. This essay also examines other recently enacted state anti-immigrant measures which pose obstacles to undocumented students and concludes by offering thoughts regarding the use of children as pawns in the raging immigration debate in the United States.

KJ

January 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

How US Policies Fueled Mexico's Great Migration

The Nation (Jan. 23, 2012) features an article by David Bacon analyzing Mexico's "Great Migration." It describes NAFTA's effect on Mexican migration to the United States.

KJ

January 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Guest Post: The faulty logic of self-deportation by Alexandra Filindra

The faulty logic of self-deportation Alexandra Filindra, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Political Science William Paterson University filindraa@wpunj.edu

At a recent debate in Florida, Republican candidate Mitt Romney suggested that the solution to the problem of undocumented immigration is to make it so difficult for undocumented people to get a job and remain in the United States that they will “self-deport.” Romney’s idea comes from a simple, though flawed, line of reasoning that was first proposed by restriction advocates in the legal community. The reasoning is that individuals will act in a “rational” manner which means that they will calculate the benefits of staying in the United States against the new, increased cost resulting from intensified enforcement and employment restrictions. The calculation goes something like this: I now make $7 an hour washing dishes. With these new measures, it is likely that I will lose my job and also likely that I will be caught at a traffic stop, arrested, maybe imprisoned for a time, and then deported. This is not a good bet to take, so I better “self-deport.”

As you may have noticed, there are three basic assumptions at play here. To make rational analysis work, first, we must assume that people’s response to risk is fixed, and second that they generally tolerate only small risks. Finally, the theory of rationality assumes that individuals disregard sunk costs. Sunk costs are the investments that a person has already made: in the case of the immigrant, “sunk costs” reflect the home she has made and other assets she has accumulated, not to mention the family and community ties. If individuals are intolerant to risk and willing to disregard “sunk costs,” then “self-deportation” would be a preferred response to intensified enforcement.

If only humans behaved in the way expected by rational economic logic, Mr. Romney would have an effective, if harsh and inhumane, policy. However, research in behavioral economics exposes the faults in the logic of “self-deportation.” Through a series of experiments, scientists have determined that people do not seek to maximize what they have. Rather, humans are concerned about positive and negative change in assets from a specific reference point known as “the status quo.” In essence, our happiness is reflected in winning and losing not in how much we have.

Because people care most about change in assets not about the absolute value of their assets, they worry about avoiding losses not achieving maximum wealth. The experiments also suggest that when people expect losses from their current position, they tend to take on risks that otherwise they would not. The economic logic requires that people are risk averse asset maximizers; the human logic suggests that people tend to accept more and more risk in hopes of avoiding setbacks.

The first implication of these findings is that humans do take into account “sunk costs” when making decisions. In the case of the undocumented immigrant, this means that what she stands to lose by leaving the U.S. will weigh heavily on her decisions. The second implication of the behavioral theory is that when faced with tighter enforcement and employer penalties, immigrants will take on more risk in order to not lose their lives in the United States. This suggests that people will go deeper underground, rely more on the private economy and accept more exploitation. Behavioral economics thus tells us that “self-deportation” as a result of intensified enforcement will be marginal and surely not proportionate to the financial cost to states.

Empirically, we already know the limited effectiveness of restrictions from the failure of earlier attempts such as California’s Proposition 187. We also know it from history and sociology: many persecuted people did not seek to leave their homes in the face of major restrictions. Most people don’t leave their homes just because they are poor or getting poorer. If they did, international migration flows would be much larger than they are today. It takes mass violence and organized removal, as in the case of Nazi Germany, 15th century Spain, or the Balkans in the 1920s for large numbers of people to seek exit.

What intensified enforcement will produce is not an exodus to the border. Instead, it will create a permanent underclass of scared immigrant families with bleak opportunities and no access to justice. An enforcement-based response to the problem of undocumented immigration will not be effective except at the margins. Behavioral economics tells us as much. But it will be inhumane and unjust, inconsistent with the founding principles of this country.

January 31, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Latinos and Immigrants in Florida

From the Center for American Progress:

As Floridians Head to the Polls for the GOP Primary Here Is What You Need to Know About Latinos and Immigrants in the State

Tomorrow Floridians will go to the polls in their state’s GOP primary. Latino voters make up 16 percent of the eligible voting population, and will play a significant role in deciding the outcome of the contest. The Center for American Progress Action Fund has put together these resources on the role of Latinos and immigrants in Florida.

Ann Garcia and Philip E. Wolgin review the “Top 10 Things You Should Know About Florida’s Latinos and Immigrants,” (CAP) which looks at the power of Latino voters in the state, the role that they played in handing Sen. John McCain a win over Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2008 primaries, and how voters in the state feel about immigration. Both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have taken a tough approach to immigration that might ultimately alienate Latino voters.

bh

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

East Haven Police Chief Resigns

From Center for Community Change:

East Haven Police Chief Steps Down After Immigration Rights Group Calls on Him to Resign
More than 15,000 People Signed Reform Immigration FOR America’s Petition
8,000 People Text ‘Taco’ for Justice in East Haven
 
Taco2
(WASHINGTON)—Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A) is pleased with East Haven Police Chief Leonard Gallo’s announcement he is stepping down but the immigration rights group says the history of racism in the community will not be overcome by this single act.
 
“This is a real victory for racial understanding and a clear indication of the power of our community.  Going forward, we are committed to holding the leadership of East Haven accountable to the needs, desires and hopes of the residents,” said RI4A spokesman Henry Fernandez. “We are ready to talk, we are committed to monitoring the next steps and rhetoric of the mayor, and we are watching the police department, which must take advantage of this transition to institute new policies and a new culture.”
 
“Everyone in East Haven must come together to work toward improving relations with the Latino community, and we intend to be heard on this issue, loud and clear,” said Latrina Kelly, interim Executive Director of JUNTA for Progressive Action. JUNTA, an RI4A member, is based in New Haven.
 
Fernandez and Kelly called on East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo to include strong representation of the Latino community on the search committee for a new police chief.
 
“Maturo said today the search process would be transparent. We would go further and demand that the Latino community should be involved in the selection process and the U.S. Department of Justice should participate as well,” Fernandez said.
 
RI4A sent out an online petition, http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-mayor-maturo-replace-east-haven-chief-of-police-and-send-a-clear-message-that-racial-profiling-wont-be-tolerated, last Wednesday calling on Gallo to resign. The petition has garnered more than 15,000 signatures in a few short days.
 
The petition followed RI4A’s ‘text a taco’ social media campaign initiated to blast Maturo for his quip that he “might have tacos” when asked what he would do to reach out to the Latino community in light of a federal probe into four of East Haven’s police officers charged with terrorizing Latinos. As of today, nearly 8,000 texts have been sent in solidarity for the Latino community.

bh

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Not-So-Secret negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement

As I've written, free trade agreements have resulted in massive migration pressures from many industrializing countries that cannot compete with certain U.S. economic policies. Here's information on more proposals that should be closely monitored.

From the California Fair Trade Coalition:

Dear fair traders,
This is just a quick reminder about the events we have planned around the secret negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Southern California this week. As you know, the Trans-Pacific FTA, which include nine countries from around the Pacific Rim, are angled to be the latest NAFTA expansion. While over 600 "corporate advisors" have access to the negotiations, civil society is effectively shut out.
Join us to help bring the Trans-Pacific FTA out of the shadows and to demand a "Fair Deal or No Deal!:
PANEL: Trans-Pacific FTA: Is this a NAFTA of the Pacific?, Monday, Jan. 30 at 6PM, USC University Club, 645 West Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90089.

RALLY: "Fair Deal or No Deal!" Wednesday, Feb. 1 at noon, Hotel Sofitel Los Angeles, 8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
RALLY: Say NO! to a "Free Trade Ring of Fire!" Friday, Feb. 3 at noon, UC San Diego, Library Walk.
For more information, contact tim@citizenstrade.org, or you can RSVP here!
Hope to see you there!
Tim Robertson, California Fair Trade Coalition

bh

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

San Jose Sate University Immigration Symposium

From San Jose State University:

Save the Date Announcement
Immigration Symposium
Immigration: Policy and Reality
MLK Library 225/229 and 255/257
San José State University, San José, CA
April 12 (Thursday) and April 13 (Friday), 2012

TO:    Communities of Academics and Practitioners
FR:    Yoko Baba, Coordinator of SJSU’s Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies
RE:    Immigration Symposium on April 12 and 13, 2012
 
The title of this year’s immigration symposium is: Immigration: Policy and Reality.
Keynote speakers are: Mr. Andrew Lam, Author, Editor of New America Media, and Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernández, History Professor at UCLA.  Mr. Lam’s title of speech is “Beyond Leal vs. Illegal: Telling The Stories of Immigrant America” and his presentation will be held on Thursday, April 12, 2012.  Dr. Hernández will speak about “Amnesty or Abolition?: Felons, Illegals and America’s Unfinished Abolition Movement” on Friday, April 13, 2012.
Topics include immigrant workers, Asian and Mexican mental health and domestic violence, international migration, state immigration politics, immigrant youths and families, role of Congress in illegal immigration policy, the Indian Diaspora, Immigration and new black diversity in the U.S., documentary film on the Bracero Program, etc.
The presenters consist of diverse groups, with respect to disciplines, interests, training, etc., of scholars and community partners around the Bay area as well as across the U.S. and around the world. 
The symposium is free of charge, and everyone is invited to attend.
We hope that you will join us.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact yoko.baba@sjsu.edu

bh

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant Rights Groups Available to Discuss the Taco Mayor

From Cener for Community Change:

RESPONSE TO MAYOR MATURO’S NEWS CONFERENCE
 
Immigration Rights Group That Called on East Haven Police Chief to Step Down and That Sent Tacos to Mayor Maturo to Hold Media Availability
 
Representatives and members of Reform Immigration FOR America (RI4A) will be available today to talk to the media following Mayor Joseph Maturo’s news conference. Last Wednesday, RI4A sent out an online petition calling on Police Chief Leonard Gallo to resign. The petition has garnered more than 15,000 signatures.
The petition followed RI4A’s ‘text a taco’ social media campaign initiated to blast Maturo for his quip that he “might have tacos” when asked what he would do to reach out to the Latino community in light of a federal probe into four of East Haven’s police officers charged with terrorizing Latinos. As of today, nearly 8,000 texts have been sent in solidarity for the Latino community.
RI4A, a national campaign of more than 800,000 immigration leaders and grassroots activists committed to achieving humane comprehensive immigration reform, has:
*Posted a petition, http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-mayor-maturo-replace-east-haven-chief-of-police-and-send-a-clear-message-that-racial-profiling-wont-be-tolerated, to send a message to East Haven officials that racial profiling will not be tolerated.
*Sent 500 tacos to Mayor Maturo’s office. One was given to the mayor along with an invitation to attend a community dinner to open up a dialogue with the Latino community to improve relations. The remaining tacos were sent to a local community kitchen.
*Called attention to East Haven’s unfortunate history of poor treatment of the Latino community for years.
*Supported the federal probe of the East Haven police department.
Available to talk to reporters:
 
In Connecticut:
*Latrina Kelly, Junta for Progressive Action (a member of RI4A): (203) 787-0191, ext. 16
*Henry Fernandez, RI4A spokesman: (203) 889-1104
In Washington:
*Donna De La Cruz, press secretary, Center for Community Change (202) 339-9331
 
bh

January 30, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Celebrating Fred Korematsu Day

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson encouraged all Californians to observe the annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on Korematsu’s birthday, Monday, January 30, 2012.

Korematsu was born in Oakland, California in 1919. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, he defied President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which authorized the U.S. military to forcibly remove more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent from their homes and incarcerate them in camps throughout the country. Two-thirds of the people were American citizens. Korematsu was arrested and convicted of violating the federal order. He lost appeals all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Four decades later, after a legal historian discovered evidence proving that U.S. intelligence agencies knew that Japanese Americans posed no military threat to the country during World War II, Korematsu’s conviction was overturned in federal court.

Fred Korematsu went on to champion the cause of civil liberties, not only seeking redress for Japanese Americans who were wrongfully incarcerated, but also traveling the country to advocate for the civil rights of other victims, especially after 9/11. He received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton. Korematsu passed away in 2005 at the age of 86.

California legislation made January 30 Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution. California Education Code Section 37222.15 encourages schools and local educational agencies to “conduct exercises remembering the life of Fred Korematsu and recognizing the importance of preserving civil liberties, even in times of real or perceived crisis.”

For more educational resources on civil rights and the U.S. Constitution, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. To learn more about Fred Korematsu, download free teaching kits developed through private donations, and access online educational resources, please visit the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education website. The Seattle University School of Law Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality seeks through reasearch, advocacy, and education to promote Korematsu's vision for equality and justice for all.

KJ

January 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Angelo Paparelli: "I Hate [Bleep]ing Immigration Law"

Angelo Paperelli on Nation of Immigrators has thoughtful suggestions for practitioners on how to appropriately respond to Requests for Additional Evidence from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

KJ

January 30, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sin Yen Ling to be Honored by the American Constitution Society

Sin Yen Ling, a prominent immigrant rights and civil rights advocate and leader, will be honored on March 7 by the American Constitution Society:

Sin-Yen-Ling-cropped
From the American Constitution Society:

Third Annual Gala Reception.Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 6:00pm
University of California Hastings College of Law Alumni Reception Center
200 McAllister Street, First Floor
San Francisco, CA
Chapter(s): Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland area) Lawyer Chapter
The Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society presents:

Third Annual Gala Reception

Featuring a keynote address by:

•Honorable Carlos Moreno, Retired Associate Justice, California Supreme Court; Of Counsel, Irell & Manella LLP
 
Honoring:

•Jeffrey L. Fisher, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School
•Sin Yen Ling, Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus
•Donald Specter, Director, Prison Law Office

RSVP here

bh

January 29, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Nominations for Immigrant and Refugee Justice Awards

From the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project:

Now Accepting Nominations for the Golden Door and Amicus Awards!

Do you know of another organization or individual doing outstanding work to promote justice for immigrants and refugees? 

Nominate your unsung hero today for NWIRP's Golden Door or Amicus Award!  Awards will be presented at our 28th Anniversary Celebration on May 4, 2012.

The Golden Door Award is presented to one organization or individual who has furthered the cause of immigrant and refugee rights on a national, state, or local level, while the Amicus Award is presented to a law firm which has shown exceptional participation in legal proceedings that assist and further the rights of low-income immigrants and refugees.

Click here for the nomination packet and a list of past recipients. 

Deadline for nominations:  February 20, 2012.

bh

January 29, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)