Sunday, August 24, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Jhumpa Lahiri From England | Author

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Jhumpa Lahiri From England | Author

Lahiri-Jhumpa Photo courtesy of Random House Acclaimed author Jhumpa Lahiri was raised in the U.S. while also spending time with her extended family in India. Her fiction draws from these experiences, depicting the lives and conflicts of immigrant families in America. Her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Heminway Award. Her second book, The Namesake, was a novel that was adapted into a film by Mira Nair in 2007. Her recent novel The Lowland was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Man Booker Prize.

KJ

August 24, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Human Rights and Adolescence by Jacqueline Bhabha

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Human Rights and Adolescence by Jacqueline Bhabha, Editor

A volume in the Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights series .  While young children's rights have received considerable attention and have accordingly advanced over the last two decades, adolescent rights have been neglected, resulting in a serious rights lacuna. This manifests itself in pervasive gender-based violence, widespread youth disaffection and unemployment, concerning levels of self-abuse, violence and antisocial engagement, and serious mental and physical health deficits. The cost of inaction on these issues is likely to be dramatic in terms of human suffering, lost social and economic opportunities, and threats to global peace and security. Across the range of disciplines that make up contemporary human rights, from law and social advocacy, to global health, to history, economics, sociology, politics, and psychology, it is time for adolescent rights to occupy a coherent place of their own.

Human Rights and Adolescence presents a multifaceted inquiry into the global circumstances of adolescents, focused on the human rights challenges and socioeconomic obstacles young adults face. Contributors use new research to advance feasible solutions and timely recommendations for a wide range of issues spanning all continents, from relevant international legal norms to neuropsychological adolescent brain development, gender discrimination in Indian education to Colombian child soldier recruitment, stigmatization of Roma youth in Europe to economic disempowerment of Middle Eastern and South African adolescents. Taken together, the research emphasizes the importance of dedicated attention to adolescence as a distinctive and critical phase of development between childhood and adulthood, and outlines the task of building on the potential of adolescents while providing support for the challenges they experience.

Contributors: Theresa S. Betancourt, Jacqueline Bhabha, Krishna Bose, Neera Burra, Malcolm Bush, Jocelyn DeJong, Elizabeth Gibbons, Katrina Hann, Mary Kawar, Orla Kelly, David Mark, Margareta Matache, Clea McNeely, Glaudine Mtshali, Katie Naeve, Elizabeth A. Newnham, Victor Pineda, Irene Rizzini, Elena Rozzi, Christian Salazar Volkmann, Shantha Sinha, Laurence Steinberg, Kerry Thompson, Jean Zermatten, Moses Zombo.

Jacqueline Bhabha is Director of Research at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health.

KJ

August 23, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 22, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Hidden Lives and Human Rights in the United States Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration by Lois Ann Lorentzen, Editor

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Hidden Lives and Human Rights in the United States Understanding the Controversies and Tragedies of Undocumented Immigration by Lois Ann Lorentzen, Editor

The most comprehensive collection of essays on undocumented immigration to date, covering issues not generally found anywhere else on the subject. Three fascinating volumes feature the latest research from the country's top immigration scholars. In the United States, the crisis of undocumented immigrants draws strong opinions from both sides of the debate. For those who immigrate, concerns over safety, incorporation, and fair treatment arise upon arrival. For others, the perceived economic, political, and cultural impact of newcomers can feel threatening. In this informative three-volume set, top immigration scholars explain perspectives from every angle, examining facts and seeking solutions to counter the controversies often brought on by the current state of undocumented immigrant affairs. Immigration expert and set editor Lois Lorentzen leads a stellar team of contributors, laying out history, theories, and legislation in the first book; human rights, sexuality, and health in the second; and economics, politics, and morality in the final volume. From family separation, to human trafficking, to notions of citizenship, this provocative study captures the human costs associated with this type of immigration in the United States, questions policies intended to protect the "American way of life," and offers strategies for easing tensions between immigrants and natural-born citizens in everyday life.

Features

Discusses topics rarely covered, including sexual migration, religion, values, and mental health

Features essays across disciplines in the fields of psychology, law, politics, social work, public policy, history, education, and health

Includes tables, maps, photos, and a bibliography for each volume to provide visual interest and additional learning opportunities

Probes the latest controversies centered on recent immigration legislation in Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama

Familiarizes readers with history, theories, and legislation related to undocumented migration in the United States.

Lois Ann Lorentzen, PhD, is professor in the theology and religious studies department and codirector of the Center for Latino/a Studies at the University of San Francisco. Her published works include Etica Ambiental; Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc.; and Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: Politics, Identity, and Faith in New Migrant Communities. She received her doctorate in social ethics at the University of Southern California.

KJ

August 22, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Three Books on Immigrants and Religion

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Immigrant Faith: Patterns of Immigrant Religion in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe by Phillip Connor

Immigrant Faith examines trends and patterns relating to religion in the lives of immigrants. The volume moves beyond specific studies of particular faiths in particular immigrant destinations to present the religious lives of immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Europe on a broad scale.

 

 

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The Shared Parish Latinos, Anglos, and the Future of U.S. Catholicism by Brett C. Hoover

As faith communities in the United States grow increasingly more diverse, many churches are turning to the shared parish, a single church facility shared by distinct cultural groups who retain their own worship and ministries. The fastest growing and most common of these are Catholic parishes shared by Latinos and white Catholics. Shared parishes remain one of the few institutions in American society that allows cultural groups to maintain their own language and customs while still engaging in regular intercultural negotiations over the shared space. This book explores the shared parish through an in-depth ethnographic study of a Roman Catholic parish in a small Midwestern city demographically transformed by Mexican immigration in recent decades. Through its depiction of shared parish life, the book argues for new ways of imagining the U.S. Catholic parish as an organization. The parish, argues Brett C. Hoover, must be conceived as both a congregation and part of a centralized system, and as one piece in a complex social ecology. The Shared Parish also posits that the search for identity and adequate intercultural practice in such parishes might call for new approaches to cultural diversity in U.S. society, beyond assimilation or multiculturalism. We must imagine a religious organization that accommodates both the need for safe space within distinct groups and for social networks that connect these groups as they struggle to respectfully co-exist.

 

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Changing Faith The Dynamics and Consequences of Americans’ Shifting Religious Identities by Darren Sherkat

More than anywhere else in the Western world, religious attachments in America are quite flexible, with over 40 percent of U.S. citizens shifting their religious identification at least once in their lives. In Changing Faith, Darren E. Sherkat draws on empirical data from large-scale national studies to provide a comprehensive portrait of religious change and its consequences in the United States.

KJ

August 21, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Unsettled / Desasosiego Children in a World of Gangs/Los niños en un mundo de las pandillas By Donna De Cesare

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Unsettled / Desasosiego Children in a World of Gangs/Los niños en un mundo de las pandillas By Donna De Cesare Foreword by Fred Ritchin Translation by Javier Auyero

Culminating thirty years of photographing gang members and their families and collecting images that have been featured in Aperture, Mother Jones, and other publications, award-winning photojournalist Donna De Cesare uncovers the effects of decades of war and gang violence on the lives of youths in Central America and in refugee communities in the United States in this bilingual book.

Central American nations have recently had the highest per capita homicide rates in the world—surpassing the per capita death toll even in war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan—and gang violence has been the dominant explanation for this tragic state of affairs. But why has gang activity become endemic in the region? Photojournalist Donna De Cesare began covering Central America during the civil wars of the 1980s, focusing especially on the disrupted lives of children and youths, and continued her photography project in Central American refugee communities in the United States in the 1990s and postwar Central America in the 2000s. She documents a history of repression, violence, and trauma, in which gangs are as much a symptom as a cause of trauma, trapped as they are by social neglect.

With profound empathy for a reality that is too easily defined and dismissed as repugnant, Unsettled/Desasosiego takes us on a visual journey into the lives of children deeply affected by civil war and gang violence. De Cesare’s photographs and bilingual personal narrative trace the evolution and expansion of the notorious 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha gangs from the barrios of Los Angeles to the shanties of Central America. They show how decades of war and violence—as well as the illegal drug trade—have created a culture that allows gangs to flourish. At the same time, her photographs portray the humanity of gang members and their families, encouraging us to understand the lives of youths at the margins and to take responsibility for the consequences of political and social actions that have ruptured Central American society for generations.

Click here for a review by David Bacon.

KJ

August 20, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Immigration Relief: Legal Assistance for Noncitizen Crime Victims by Elizabeth Anne Campbell, Rachel DeLia Settlage, Veronica Thronson

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Immigration Relief: Legal Assistance for Noncitizen Crime Victims by Elizabeth Anne Campbell, Rachel DeLia Settlage, Veronica Thronson

This essential resource synthesizes, explains, and guides the reader through all of the crucial components of this area of the law. Its careful organization, thorough explanations, and clear presentation demystify the daunting array of immigration statutes, cases, regulations, practice manuals, and policy memoranda that govern the adjudication of applications for immigration relief for immigrant victims of crime.

KJ

August 19, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 18, 2014

From the Bookshelves: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRATION: CONTEXTS AND CONSEQUENCES by Alissa R. Ackerman and Rich Furman (eds.).

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THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRATION: CONTEXTS AND CONSEQUENCES by Alissa R. Ackerman and Rich Furman (eds.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014.

Immigration has become an increasingly popular topic often leading to passionate and powerful debate. The visceral emotions that stem from such debates transcends fact and paves the way for value conflicts over what it means to be an American. For most of our history, one of our most important narratives has been that we are a country that was built by and for immigrants. Indeed, the inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads, in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” For many generations we welcomed new generations of immigrants who added new levels of richness and possibility to our nation. This certainly influenced U.S. policy on the handling of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Yet, at the same time, a coexisting argument threatened this discourse. In this story, America is a country for Americans, and is threatened by “others”. While this part of the story is certainly not new, it has resurfaced in the wake of September 11th and, even more recently, has become a political tool utilized to serve the interests of those in power.

The Criminalization of Immigration: Contexts and Consequences explores these competing narratives and the consequences of criminalizing immigration in the United States and abroad. It examines the impact of national, state, and local legislation on the psychosocial well being of immigrants. The book explores key ways in which immigration is criminalized, and examines how the problematization of immigration becomes a political tool. The first chapters of the book explore the criminalization of immigration through the lens of pacification and the theater of cruelty. In both chapters, the authors seek to understand the process of “othering” members of the immigrant population to exact social control and to mollify the public. These front chapters set the tone for remainder of the book. They provide the impetus for why states have enacted, or have attempted to enact state level immigration laws that make it nearly impossible for the undocumented to live within the boundaries of these states. In section two, three U.S. states are highlighted: Arizona, Alabama, and Indiana. While the chapters on Arizona and Alabama summarize key aspects of state laws, author Sujey Vega highlights the life of one undocumented immigrant as she navigates life in the Heartland.

The book then turns its focus to the criminalization of immigration in a socio-political context. Here, four chapters provide explorations of the criminalization of immigration on labor standards enforcement, immigrant detention, the right wing perspective in the United States and in Europe, and white supremacy. Labor standards impact the rate by which undocumented immigrants are paid, which in turn impacts their health and safety within and outside the workplace, protections from workplace discrimination, and collective activity protections. The criminalization of immigration erodes many of the workplace and labor protections that we have come to view as essential. Similarly, the privatization of corrections has influenced the incarceration and detention of many undocumented immigrants and has even influenced the very laws described in section two of this book. If not for the possibility of profiting off of the detention of the undocumented, many of immigration related laws would not have come to fruition.

The next section of the book provides a transnational and international context to the criminalization of immigration. With chapters focusing on human rights violations, the transnational dimensions of Mexican migration, the making of the Maras, and the criminalization of immigration in the United Kingdom, these chapters ask the reader to examine the criminalization of immigration from a broader perspective. The reader learns how national issues become international and, likewise how international immigration issues influence national policy.

The final chapters of the book put the human face on the criminalization of immigration. Each chapter represents a case study of a specific aspect of the criminalization of immigration. They approach the issue from the viewpoint of a day laborer, an undocumented woman who has become a victim of domestic violence, a child whose parents are undocumented, and a detention officer who wrestles with his decisions to continue his job. Regardless of which chapters one reads, the raw emotion felt by placing oneself in each context is overwhelming.

Overall, The Criminalization of Immigration: Contexts and Consequences provides a complete examination of an issue that cuts through emotional value conflicts. It provides the facts and knowledge essential for a fair and balanced debate.

The book was reviewed in Law and Politics Book Review by Bianca Easterly, Department of Political Science, Lamar University and concludes that

"THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRATION: CONTEXTS AND CONSEQUENCES makes innovative use of real life stories of immigrants to acquaint readers with the multi-governmental complexities of the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. Although varied in style and tone, each well written essay commits to exposing the politics of immigration policymaking and, most importantly, to advocating for a humanitarian perspective on immigration which is likely to appeal to both academic and non-academic audiences."

KJ

August 18, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Porochista Khakpour From Iran | Author

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Immigrant America: A Portrait (Updated, and Expanded) by Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut

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Immigrant America: A Portrait (Updated, and Expanded) by Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut

This revised, updated, and expanded fourth edition of Immigrant America: A Portrait provides readers with a comprehensive and current overview of immigration to the United States in a single volume. Updated with the latest available data, Immigrant America explores the economic, political, spatial, and linguistic aspects of immigration; the role of religion in the acculturation and social integration of foreign minorities; and the adaptation process for the second generation. This revised edition includes new chapters on theories of migration and on the history of U.S.-bound migration from the late nineteenth century to the present, offering an updated and expanded concluding chapter on immigration and public policy.

KJ

August 13, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Mexicans in the Making of America by Neil Foley

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Mexicans in the Making of America by Neil Foley

According to census projections, by 2050 nearly one in three U.S. residents will be Latino, and the overwhelming majority of these will be of Mexican descent. This dramatic demographic shift is reshaping politics, culture, and fundamental ideas about American identity. Neil Foley, a leading Mexican American historian, offers a sweeping view of the evolution of Mexican America, from a colonial outpost on Mexico’s northern frontier to a twenty-first-century people integral to the nation they have helped build.

Mexicans have lived in and migrated to the American West and Southwest for centuries. When the United States annexed those territories following the Mexican–American War in 1848, the unequal destinies of the two nations were sealed. Despite their well-established presence in farm fields, workshops, and military service, Mexicans in America have long been regarded as aliens and outsiders. Xenophobic fantasies of a tidal wave of Mexicans overrunning the borders and transforming “real America” beyond recognition have inspired measures ranging from Operation Wetback in the 1950s to Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 anti-immigration law and the 700-mile security fence under construction along the U.S.–Mexican border today. Yet the cultural, linguistic, and economic ties that bind Mexico to the United States continue to grow. Mexicans in the Making of America demonstrates that America has always been a composite of racially blended peoples, never a purely white Anglo-Protestant nation. The struggle of Latinos to gain full citizenship bears witness to the continual remaking of American culture into something more democratic, egalitarian, and truer to its multiracial and multiethnic origins.

KJ

August 12, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Immigration Article of the Day: Arguing for Open Borders by Andy Lamey

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Arguing for Open Borders by Andy Lamey, University of California, San Diego April 1, 2014 Literary Review of Canada, Vol. 22, No. 3, April 2014

Abstract: A review of the Ethics of Immigration, by Joseph Carens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Joseph Carens is arguably the most prominent political theorist to defend open borders, a view which he did much to make intellectually respectable in a famous 1987 article, “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” In The Ethics of Immigration, Carens again defends the open borders view, but with a new rationale. Whereas before he argued that seemingly opposed philosophies provided converging support for open borders, now he bases his case on “democratic principles,” by which he means uncontroversial moral commitments that are widely shared in liberal states. Carens argues that one such commitment is to freedom, which can be understood as “not being the subject of the will of another.” A commitment to such a value would explain why freedom of movement within a state is considered a basic human right. But, Carens asks, if we have a general right to freedom of movement within countries, why not between them?

Carens has long noted that despite the attractiveness of open borders at the level of pure justice, it is deeply at odds with how immigration policy is normally viewed. Given this, Carens’ many writings on immigration have long approached it from a second perspective, one that puts aside questions of ideal theory and takes for granted the conventional view that states are entitled to discretionary control over their borders. This second perspective is the dominant one in The Ethics of Immigration, as Carens spends most of the book outlining standards of fair treatment for permanent residents, temporary workers, refugees and other migrants that do not presuppose any commitment to open borders. In this mode Carens offers a revised version of one his most thought-provoking and controversial arguments, defending amnesty for immigrants who first arrive illegally.

Carens’ investigation of immigration issues at both the level of ideal justice and the more immediate plane of the debate over amnesty and related issues makes his book unusually rich. It has the rare virtue of being both philosophically rigorous and politically relevant.

KJ

August 7, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 25, 2014

From the Bookshelves: The Right to Equality in European Human Rights Law The Quest for Substance in the Jurisprudence of the European Courts by Charilaos Nikolaidis

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The Right to Equality in European Human Rights Law The Quest for Substance in the Jurisprudence of the European Courts by Charilaos Nikolaidis Routledge – 2015 – 238 pages

A right to equality and non-discrimination is widely seen as fundamental in democratic legal systems. But failure to identify the human interest that equality aims to uphold reinforces the argument of those who attack it as morally empty or unsubstantiated and weakens its status as a fundamental human right. This book argues that an understanding of the human interest which equality aims to uphold is feasible within the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

In comparing the evolution of the prohibition of discrimination in the case-law of both Courts, Charilaos Nikolaidis demonstrates that conceptual convergence within the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU on the issue of equality is not as far as it might appear initially. While the two bodies of equality law are extremely divergent as to the requirements they impose, their interpretation by the international judiciary might be properly analysed under a common light to emphasise the substantive dimension of equality in European Human Rights law.

The book will be of great use and interest to scholars and students of human rights, discrimination law, and European politics.

 Charilaos Nikolaidis holds an LLB (Hons) from City University London, an LLM (Hons) from University College London and a PhD in law from the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, where he also taught public law for several years. Dr Nikolaidis currently practices law in Greece.

KJ

July 25, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Human Rights Law Second Edition by Merris Amos

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Human Rights Law Second Edition by Merris Amos

In this completely revised and updated second edition of Human Rights Law, the judicial interpretation and application of the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act 1998 is comprehensively examined and analysed. Part I concerns key procedural issues including: the background to the Act; the relationship between UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights; the definition of victim and public authority; determining incompatibility including deference and proportionality; the impact of the Act on primary legislation; and damages and other remedies for the violation of Convention rights.

In Part II of the book, the Convention rights as interpreted and applied by United Kingdom courts, are discussed in detail. All important Convention rights are included with a new chapter on freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Other Convention rights considered in the national context include: the right to life; freedom from torture; the right to liberty; fair trial; the right to private life, family life and home; the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions; and the right to freedom from discrimination in the enjoyment of Convention rights. The second edition of Human Rights Law will be invaluable for those teaching, studying and practising in the areas of United Kingdom human rights law, constitutional law and administrative law.

Merris Amos is a member of the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London. She has many years of experience in researching and teaching human rights law and has published widely in the area. Her particular area of expertise is the United Kingdom's Human Rights Act.

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KJ

July 24, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer by Sylvia Longmire

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Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren't Making Us Safer by Sylvia Longmire, Publication Date April 2014, Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

When confronted with the challenges of border security and illegal immigration, government officials are fond of saying that our borders have never been as safe and secure as they are now. But ranchers in the borderlands of Arizona and Texas fear for their lands, their cattle, their homes, and sometimes their lives due to the human and drug smuggling traffic that regularly crosses their property. Who is right? What does a secure border actually look like? More importantly,is a secure border a realistic goal for the United States? Border Insecurity examines all the aspects of the challenge - and thriving industry - of trying to secureour land borders. It looks at on-the-ground issues and controversies like the border fence, the usefulness of technology, shifts in the connection between illegal immigration and drug smuggling, and the potential for terrorists and drug cartels to work together. Border Insecurity also delves into how the border debate itself is part of why the government has failed to improve information sharing and why this is necessary to establish a clear and comprehensive border security strategy.

Sylvia Longmire was a Special Agent in the Air Force and a senior intelligence analyst for the state of California. Currently, Longmire is an independent consultant, and testifies as an expert witness on U.S. asylum cases. She lives in Arizona.

KJ

July 23, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 21, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America by Ruth Gruber

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Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America by Ruth Gruber

 The powerful story of a top-secret mission to rescue one thousand European refugees in the midst of the Second World War. In 1943, nearly one thousand European refugees from eighteen different countries set out on a journey for asylum in the United States. Accompanying them was Ruth Gruber, who with the backing of the United States government, was made a simulated General to escort the refugees on their secret mission across the Atlantic from a port in Italy to a camp in Oswego, New York-a dangerous endeavor that carried the threat of Nazi capture with each passing day. While on board the ship that was to transport them to America, Gruber recorded the stories of the refugees, and she presents them in vivid detail here. The result is a poignant and engrossing story of suffering under Nazi persecution and bravery in the face of the most overwhelming of circumstances.

KJ

July 21, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Refugee Protection and the Role of Law Conflicting Identities Edited by Susan Kneebone, Dallal Stevens, Loretta Baldassar

 

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Refugee Protection and the Role of Law Conflicting Identities Edited by Susan Kneebone, Dallal Stevens, Loretta Baldassar Routledge – 2015 – 324 pages

Sixty years on from the signing of the Refugee Convention, forced migration and refugee movements continue to raise global concerns for hosting states and regions, for countries of origin, for humanitarian organisations on the ground, and, of course, for the refugee. This edited volume is framed around two themes which go to the core of contemporary ‘refugeehood’: protection and identity. It analyses how the issue of refugee identity is shaped by and responds to the legal regime of refugee protection in contemporary times. The book investigates the premise that there is a narrowing of protection space in many countries and many highly visible incidentsof refoulement. It argues that ‘Protection’, which is a core focus of the Refugee Convention, appears to be under threat, as there are many gaps and inconsistencies in practice.

Contributors to the volume, who include Erika Feller, Elspeth Guild, Hélène Lambert and Roger Zetter, look at the relevant issues from the perspective of a number of different disciplines including law, politics, sociology, and anthropology. The chapters examine the link between identity and protection as a basis for understanding how the Refugee Convention has been and is being applied in policy and practice. The situation in a number of jurisdictions and regions in Europe, North America, South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East is explored in order to ask the question does jurisprudence under the Refugee Convention need better coordination and how successful is oversight of the Convention?

KJ

July 18, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Religious and Ethical Perspectives on Global Migration

Religious perspectives

Religious and Ethical Perspectives on Global Migration by Elizabeth W. Collier (Editor) and Charles R. Strain (Editor).  Contributors include Marie T. Friedmann Marquardt, Gemma Tulud Cruz, Ogenga Otunnu, Marianne Heimbach-Steins, Marco Tavanti, Moses Pava, Azam Nizamuddin, Frida Kerner Furman, Rev. John M. Fife, Kim Bobo, Sioban Albiol, Rev. Craig B. Mousin.

Religious and Ethical Perspectives on Global Migration examines the complicated social ethics of migration in today’s world. Editors Elizabeth W. Collier and Charles R. Strain bring the perspectives of an international group of scholars toward a theory of justice and ethical understanding for the nearly two hundred million migrants who have left their homes seeking asylum from political persecution, greater freedom and safety, economic opportunity, or reunion with family members. Migrants move out of fear, desperation, hope, love for their families, or a myriad of other complex motivations. Faced with both the needs and flows of people and the walls that impede them, what actions ought we, both individually and collectively, take? What is the moral responsibility of those of us, in particular, who reside comfortably in our native lands? There is no univocal response to these questions. Instead multiple perspectives on migration must be examined.

This book begins by looking at different geographic regions around the world and highlighting particular issues within each. Finding that religious traditions represent the strongest countervailing sources of values to the homogenizing tendencies of economic globalization, the study then offers a plurality of religious perspectives The final chapters examine the salient issues and the proposed solutions that have emerged specifically within the U.S. context. These studies range from militarization of the U.S. border with Mexico to the impact of migrants on native-born low-skilled workers.

Encompassing a wide range of cultural and scholarly voices, Religious and Ethical Perspectives on Global Migration provides insight for ethics, moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, religious studies, social justice, globalization, and identity formation.

KJ

July 15, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 11, 2014

From the Bookshelves: Mediating Human Rights: Culture, Media and the Human Rights Act by Lieve Gies

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Mediating Human Rights:  Culture, Media and the Human Rights Act by Lieve Gies Routledge – 2015

Drawing on social-legal, cultural and media theory, this book is one of the first to examine the media politics of human rights. It examines how the media construct the story of human rights, investigating what lies behind the apparent media hostility to human rights and what has become of the original ambition to establish a human rights culture. The human rights regime has been high on the political agenda ever since the Human Rights Act 1998 was enacted. Often maligned in sections of the press, the legislation has entered popular folklore as shorthand for an overbearing government, an overzealous judiciary and exploitative claimants. This book examines a range of significant factors in the mediation of human rights, including: Euroscepticism, the war on terror, the digital reordering of the media landscape, press concerns about an emerging privacy law and civil liberties.

Mediating Human Rights is a timely exploration of the relationship between law, politics and media. It will be of immense interest to those studying and researching across Law, Media Studies, Human Rights, and Politics.

Lieve Gies is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. Her main research interests are in the area of media representations of the law.

KJ

July 11, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

From the Bookshelves: The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers, Second Edition by Robert J McWhirter

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The Criminal Lawyer's Guide to Immigration Law: Questions and Answers, Second Edition by Robert J McWhirter

This concise guide focuses on the criminal lawyer's most common questions about immigration law and representing noncitizens. The answers are clear and carefully focused and in most instances direct you to specific cases or more in-depth resources. 

KJ

July 9, 2014 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

8 REASONS U.S. TRADE AND IMMIGRATION POLICIES--NOT "LAX IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT"--HAVE CAUSED MIGRATION FROM CENTRAL AMERICA

David Bacon explains that U.S. foreign and immigration policy is responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America.  Importantly, the migration of children and families didn╒t just start recently. It has been going on for a long time, although the numbers are increasing. The tide of migration from Central America goes back to wars that the U.S. promoted in the 1980s, in which we armed the forces, governments or contras, who were most opposed to progressive social change. Two million Salvadorans alone came to the U.S. during the late 1970s and 80s, to say nothing of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans. Whole families migrated, but so did parts of families, leaving loved ones behind with the hope that some day they'd be reunited.

The recent increase in the numbers of migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is virtually the only reason given in U.S. media coverage. Growing migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can't survive where they are. 

The failure of Central America's economies is mostly due to the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements and their accompanying economic changes, including privatization of businesses, the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and cuts in the social budget. The treaties allowed huge U.S. corporations to dump corn and other agricultural products in Mexico and Central America, forcing rural families off their lands when they could not compete.

KJ

July 9, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)