Saturday, August 2, 2014

Computer Glitch, Visa Delay Threatens Las Vegas Fight, Sen. Harry Reid to the Rescue

Earlier this week, ESPN reported that the Brandon Rios/Diego Chaves professional boxing match  in Las Vegas tonight was in jeopardy Diego Chaves, was stuck in Argentina, just one of the thousands of people around the world unable to secure a visa to enter the United States because of a computer crash at the State Department last week.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said Wednesday that Chaves' visa had finally been taken care of and that he was expected in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Rios, a former lightweight titleholder, and Chaves, a former interim welterweight titlist, are scheduled to meet in the 10-round welterweight main event of an HBO-televised card on Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan.

Arum said Nevada Sen. Harry Reid was instrumental in assisting Chaves to obtain his visa.




August 2, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model


Paulina Porizkova From Czech Republic | Fashion Model

Paulina Porizkova became the first woman from Eastern Europe to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After appearing on covers of top magazines—and winning a contract of unprecedented value with Estée Lauder—American Photo named her “the model of the 1980s.” She has since branched out from modeling, appearing in several films, participating as a judge in America’s Next Top Model, and writing both a children’s book and a novel.

Porizkova holds dual U.S. and Swedish citizenship.  Born in Czechoslovakia, she was a toddler when her parents fled Czechoslovakia to Sweden to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. She was left in the care of her grandmother. Czechoslovakian authorities would not allow her parents to reclaim her, and the ensuing battle was widely publicized in the Swedish press, making Porizkova a cause célèbre. After a failed rescue attempt, in which her mother was detained by the national police, international political pressure caused the  government to allow the family to be reunited after seven years. Porizkova acquired Swedish citizenship.



August 1, 2014 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Sanya Richards-Ross (Jamaica)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry Orders Dallas Cowboys to Mexican Border


Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he was deploying the National Guard to the U.S./Mexico border.  Today, the Governor appraently has decided to pull out all the stops.

The New Yorker Reports (in jest?) that "In his boldest move yet to address the immigration crisis, on Thursday Texas Governor Rick Perry dispatched the Dallas Cowboys to the United States’ border with Mexico."  The article goes on to report that "there were questions about how effective the Cowboys would be in stopping illegal immigrants, since the team has the worst-ranked defense in the N.F.L." 

Rick perry

The Dallas Cowboys website has yet to confirm or fdeny the new assigmennt of America's Team.  Rumor has it that the Cowboys will open up the exhibition season in San Diego so as not to stray too far from the border region.

Hat tip to Cappy White.


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

Immigrant of the Day: Yulia Zagoruychenko (Russia)

Yulia Zagoruychenko, a professional dancer, won her first major title at the age of 12 when she became Russian Junior National Champion. Since immigrating to the U.S., she has won numerous titles, including the World South American Showdance Championship and the US National Professional Latin Championship. Beginning each year since 2010, Zagoruychenko and her partner Riccardo Cocchi have won the championship for the U.S. in the World Professional–Professional Latin competition category of the World Dance Council.




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

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Mario Andretti (Italy)


Andretti in 1984

Mario Andretti is considered one of the greatest racecar drivers in the sport’s history. Born in 1940 in Montona, Italy, he was inspired as a child by the Italian Grand Prix and built his first racecar as a teenager in America. Over a five-decade career, Andretti won numerous races, including the Formula One World Championship, the Daytona 500, and the Indianapolis 500, excelling in virtually every type of car and track. He has published three autobiographies and is currently at work on a number of business ventures.


July 22, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Yoenis Céspedes (Cuba) wins back-to-back Home Run Derbys


Major League Baseball Oakland A's slugger Yoenis Céspedes won the 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby last night at Target Field in Minnesota. He had 30 home runs on the evening, defeating Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier in the final round.

Born in Cuba, Céspedes also won the 2013 Home Run Derby last year in New York and becomes the first player to win back-to-back Home Run Derbys since Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1999.

The MLB All-Star game is tonight.




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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

America's Pastime? Foreign Born Well-Represented on MLB All Star Rosters


I understand that voting continues on the last spots on the Major League Baseball All Star teams.  Still, the final results of the foreign-born compositions of the teams will change little. 

Foreign Born                                          22   (33%)

U.S. Born (including Puerto Rico)     44   (67%)


American League Starters                                        Country of Birth

C Matt Wieters, Orioles                                                United States

1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers                                            Venezuela

2B Robinson Canó, Mariners                                       Dominican Republic

SS Derek Jeter, Yankees                                                United States

3B Josh Donaldson, Athletics                                       United States

DH Nelson Cruz, Orioles                                               Dominican Republic

OF José Bautista, Blue Jays                                          Dominican Republic

OF Mike Trout, Angels                                                   United States

OF Adam Jones, Orioles                                                United States


AL Reserves

C Salvador Pérez, Royals                                               Venezuela

C Derek Norris, Athletics                                              United States

C Kurt Suzuki, Twins                                                     United States

1B José Abreu, White Sox                                             Cuba

1B Víctor Martínez, Tigers                                            Venezuela

1B Edwin Encarnación, Blue Jays                               Dominican Republic

1B/OF Brandon Moss, Athletics                                  United States

2B José Altuve, Astros                                                   Venezuela

SS Alexei Ramírez, White Sox                                      Cuba

3B Adrián Beltré, Rangers                                             Dominican Republic

3B Kyle Seager, Mariners                                               United States

OF Yoenis Céspedes, Athletics                                      Cuba

OF Alex Gordon, Royals                                                 United States

OF Michael Brantley, Indians                                       United States


AL Pitchers

RHP Yu Darvish, Rangers                                              Japan

RHP Max Scherzer, Tigers                                             United States

RHP Félix Hernández, Mariners                                  Venezuela

RHP Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees                                  Japan

LHP Jon Lester, Red Sox                                               United States

LHP David Price, Rays                                                   United States

LHP Scott Kazmir, Athletics                                         United States

LHP Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays                                      United States

LHP Sean Doolittle, Athletics                                       United States

RHP Greg Holland, Royals                                            United States

LHP Glen Perkins, Twins                                               United States

RHP Dellin Betances, Yankees                                      United States


National League Starters

C Yadier Molina, Cardinals                                            Puerto Rico

1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks                         United States

2B Chase Utley, Phillies                                                 United States

SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies                                         United States

3B Aramis Ramírez, Brewers                                       Dominican Republic

OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates                                  United States

OF Carlos Gómez, Brewers                                           Dominican Republic

OF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers                                                Cuba


NL Reserves

C Jonathan Lucroy,                                                        United States

C Devin Mesoraco, Reds                                               United States

1B Freddie Freeman, Braves                                        United States

2B Dee Gordon, Dodgers                                              United States

2B Daniel Murphy, Mets                                              United States

SS Starlin Castro, Cubs                                                 Dominican Republic

3B Todd Frazier, Reds                                                  United States

3B Matt Carpenter, Cardinals                                     United States

IF/OF Josh Harrison, Pirates                                     United States

OF Charlie Blackmon, Rockies                                   United States

OF Hunter Pence, Giants                                             United States

OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins -- starting DH        United States


NL Pitchers

RHP Johnny Cueto, Reds                                            Dominican Republic

LHP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers                                 United States

RHP Zack Greinke, Dodgers                                       United States

LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants                             United States

RHP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals                           United States

RHP Tyson Ross, Padres                                             United States

RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals                     United States

RHP Julio Teherán, Braves                                         Colombia

RHP Craig Kimbrel, Braves                                        United States

LHP Aroldis Chapman, Reds                                     Cuba

RHP Francisco Rodríguez, Brewers                         Venezuela

LHP Tony Watson, Pirates                                          United States

RHP Pat Neshek, Cardinals                                        United States


Thanks to UC Davis undergraduate Arden Gabor for pulling this information together.


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

Monday, July 7, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: MLB All Star Yasiel Puig (Cuba)


An immigrant from Cuba, Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig yesterday was named to the National League All Star team.  Having an outstanding season after coming up to the majors last season, Puig has is an amazing immigration story about coming to the United States.

This year, Puig is hitting .307 with 12 home runs, 50 RBIs and 50 runs.


July 7, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swiss Pin World Cup Hopes on Immigrants

Friday, June 20, 2014

Judge: Oath Of Citizenship Cannot Be Used Against Accused Bostin Marathon Bomber


Here is some immigration-related news from the Boston Marathon bomber case.  A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the oath of citizenship cannot be used against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at his coming trial.

When the government announced its intentio to seek the death penalty against Tsarnaev, it alleged a number of aggravating factors and described Tsarnaev’s actions as “especially heinous, cruel and depraved,” thus justifying the death penalty.   The “aggravating factors” included the multiple killings, the death of a child, the large crowd that the Boston Marathon draws, the iconic event and the shootout that Tsarnaev allegedly engaged in with police several days after the bombings.  Tsarnaev’s attorneys objected to the government’s listing of “betrayal of the United States” as another aggravating factor. It was, according to the government, a betrayal of the oath he took when he became a U.S. citizen:  “I will bear true faith and allegiance.”

Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen whose family came from Dagestan, took that oath seven months before the bombings that killed three, injured 260 others and led to the shooting death of a police officer.

“He betrayed his allegiance to the United States by killing and maiming people,” the government asserted in January.

In a status conference Wednesday, Judge George O’Toole granted a defense motion and dismissed the government allegation as “unduly prejudicial.”“Drawing a distinction between naturalized and natural-born is highly inappropriate,” O’Toole said.


June 20, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Team USA Without Immigrants!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Here's What World Cup Teams Would Look Like If Immigrants Weren't Allowed To Play

We have seen a rose in xenophobia in Europe in recent years.  Jason Overdorf on Business Insider raises the interesting question of what World Cup soccer would look like if immigrants were banned from the competition.

Broadly defining “foreigner” as anyone with at least one foreign-born parent, Switzerland would lose two-thirds of its players.  France and the Netherlands might be knocked out of contention. And Algeria, Ghana, Turkey or even Suriname could win it all.

BTW the US team opens against Ghana today.


June 16, 2014 in Current Affairs, Religion, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

International Team, San Antonio Spurs, Win NBA Championship

A truly international team,the San Antonio Spurs routed the Miami Heat 1 and win the NBA championship.  The Spurs have a team with players from all over the world, including Australia, Italy, France, Argentina, Canada, and Brazil. Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Tony Parker (France) are the most well-known, but the Spurs have several other international players as well.

In contast, the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James, is a home grown United States team, with the team composed of players born in the United States.

June 16, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Denied Visa to Visit UK

Sunday, June 1, 2014

San Antonio Spurs -- an International Team -- in NBA Finals


The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma Thunder last night in the National Basketball Association playoffs and advance to the finals to play the Miami Heat.  The Spurs have a team with players from all over the world, including Australia, Italy, France, Argentina, Canada, and Brazil. Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Tony Parker (France) are the most well-known, but the Spurs have several over international players as well.

In contast, the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James, is a home grown United States team, with the  team composed of players born in the United States.



June 1, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Immigrant of the Day: Professional Boxer Bermane Stiverne (Haiti), New Heavyweight Champion


Born in Haiti and now fighting out of Las Vegas, Bermane Stiverne knocked out Chris Arreola and became the first Haitian-born heavyweight champion.  For the ESPN report on the fight, click here.

Stiverne won a vacant heavyweight world title in the first boxing event to be held at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California.  With the victory, Stiverne became the first Haitian-born heavyweight titleholder.  He claimed the belt that Vitali Klitschko vacated in December to turn his focus on politics in Ukraine.


May 11, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig's Untold Journey to the Dodgers


Jesse Katz in Los Angeles Magazine tells the story of enigmatic Los Angeles Dodger star Yasiel Puig, who fled Cuba by hook or by crook to Mexico and ultimately the United States.  As Los Angeles Tims reporter Bill Plaschke writes,

"In an account featuring on-the-record interviews and court records, Katz details how, in June of 2012, Puig was smuggled to Mexico by members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel, his trip funded by a Miami air-conditioning repairman named Raul Pacheco who was on probation for attempted burglary. The smugglers held Puig in a seedy Mexican hotel for more than two weeks while attempting to extract increased payments from Pacheco. Eventually Puig was taken from the hotel by a gang organized by Pacheco and soon thereafter joined the Dodgers by signing a $42-million contract.

The stunning timeline doesn't even scratch the surface of a compelling tale that recounts Puig's humble childhood in a tiny rural village, how he was dropped from his Cuban league team for disciplinary reasons, reports of his failed defections, and accusations that he turned in potential defectors to the Cuban government while planning his own escape."


April 16, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Former Immigrant of the Day Signs Multi-Year NBA Contract

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Former DREAMER Gets NBA Contract


Former Dreamer, ImmigrationProf Immigrant of the Day, and Pacific 12 2012 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, Cal basketball player Jorge Gutierrez recently signed a 10 day contract with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.  Gutierrez is one of a handful of Mexican nationals, including Horacio Llamas, Eduardo Nájera, and Gustavo Ayónto, to play in the National Basketball Association.



March 16, 2014 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)