Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Parade Organizers Say No To Minutemen

The Minuteman Project citizen patrol, known for its skirmishes over illegal immigration, is now in a skirmish over a Laguna Beach parade.

At issue is the 40th annual Patriots Day parade, a homespun event put on by a nonprofit group in Laguna.

The Minuteman Project applied this month to participate in the March 4 event through downtown Laguna but was rejected by parade organizers, who cited the 25-year-old parade bylaws that say, "No religious or political entries shall be permitted."

The Minuteman entry "is obviously a political entry," said Charles J. Quilter II, vice president of the Patriots Day Parade Assn. "This isn't that kind of event. It's got Brownies and Boy Scouts and Friends of the Library."

But Minuteman founder James Gilchrist says it has more than that.

The retired accountant, who recently ran unsuccessfully for Congress, says a gay men's choir, a peace group and a local center that runs a day laborer center are participating. They are just as political and potentially controversial as his group, he said.

His group's parade entry was turned down "within an hour" after applying. It left him feeling "offended, insulted and really taken aback," he said.

Gilchrist, who has appeared with supporters in Laguna Beach to protest a day laborer hiring center there, said his right to free speech was being violated.

Source: LA Times, Jan. 25, 2006


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

English Assistance for Arizona Students

Gov. Janet Napolitano unexpectedly vetoed a Republican-backed plan to help children who don't speak English, triggering a late-night emergency session in which lawmakers passed a new bill before a midnight deadline to avoid $500,000-a-day fines last week.

Napolitano pinned her veto on a last-minute amendment allowing a tuition-tax credit for private-school scholarships. She called the tax credit a "poison pill" that would drain hundreds of millions of dollars from public schools instead of helping them teach struggling children.

Republicans responded quickly with a new, but similar, "English-learner" bill that capped the tuition-tax credit at $50 million annually. That move avoided for now daily fines from a federal judge for violating the deadline to fix the state's instruction plan for English-language learners. The fines could grow to $2 million a day if lawmakers don't get a plan to U.S. District Judge Raner Collins by the end of the legislative session.

More than 150,000 students in Arizona speak foreign languages, mostly Spanish, and are struggling to learn English. That has contributed to Arizona's high dropout rate and sparked a class-action lawsuit 14 years ago.

Administrators in school districts with large immigrant populations have said they need extra money to shrink the size of classes, update materials and equipment, to provide individual instruction and to better train teachers.

Napolitano has a plan that would spend $45 million this year, and eventually up to $185 million a year, to help children learn English. Republican leaders have so far refused to consider the plan because they believe it spends too much and is not based on a credible cost study.

Source: Arizona Republic, Jan. 25, 2006


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Alito Confirmed

Samuel Alito was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice Tuesday after being confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 58-42.

The vote was the closest confirmation for a nominee since Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed 52-48 in 1991. 


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Clinic Needs Cases

Stephen W. Yale-Loehr [mailto:swy1@cornell.edu]

Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2006 3:00 PM

The Cornell Law School Asylum & Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic is seeking cases this semester for our students. We are looking for two appeals before the BIA that include interesting asylum /CAT / withholding issues, although they may include other issues as well. The briefs should be due at the latest by the end of April (including one extension motion).

Please email me or Estelle McKee (emm28@cornell.edu) if you think you might have a good case for us. Thanks, Steve Yale-Loehr


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Tidbits

DHS Welcomes Suggestions On Secure Border

According to a Government Executive news report, DHS invited solicitations from the private sector to improve the nation's border security. "This is an unusual invitation, we're asking you to come back and tell us how to do our business", DHS Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson told the packed audience. For the full story, see here.


The New Sensenbrenner Bill's Attack On Judicial Review: The Wrong Response To Widespread Judicial Criticism Of The Department of Justice's Unfair And Incompetent Handling of Immigration Cases:  Scott Mossman writes "The provisions of The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 that most significantly impact judicial review are summarized below, along with some of their implications." http://www.ilw.com/articles/2006,0201-mossman.shtm http://www.smossmanlaw.com

USCIS To Decouple Naturalization Applications:  The USCIS announced that in order to speed the processing of naturalization cases, USCIS will no longer group naturalization applications unless specifically requested by a family. http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/news/2006,0201-nat.pdf


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Report on State and Local Enforcement of the Immigration Laws

Appleseed, one of the nation’s largest pro bono networks, just released a report, "Forcing Our Blues into Gray Areas: Local Police and Federal Immigration Enforcement," that outlines the legal history behind local enforcement of federal immigration laws, and outlines why an increase in this activity is a bad public policy decision.  A one-page description of the report can be found at http://appleseeds.net/servlet/PublicationInfo?articleId=70


January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

RIP -- Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., died Monday night in California, according to a former aide and a public relations firm representing her family. King, 78, suffered a stroke and a mild heart attack last August. She was receiving further medical treatment in California in her rehabilitation. "This is a very sad hour," U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Democrat from Georgia, said today.

Here is a heart-felt message to the UC Davis law school community on Coretta King's passing

January 31, 2006

King Hall Community

I am sad to report that Coretta Scott King, who turned a life shattered by her husband=s assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, died last night at the age of 78. The widow ofMartin Luther King Jr., she had suffered a stroke and heart attack last August. This is very sad news for the King Hall community. After her husband's assassination, Coretta Scott King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. The center became deeply involved in issues of hunger, unemployment, voting rights, and racial discrimination. King was a public figure for decades and, among many positions, was a part of a U.S. delegation to the United Nations when Jimmy Carter was President. She was the recipient of many honors and awards for her commitment to social justice.

Born in 1927 in rural Alabama, Coretta Scott King picked cotton during the Depression to help her family and later worked as a waitress to earn her way through Antioch College. King was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music when a friend introduced her to a young Baptist minister studying at Boston University, Martin Luther King Jr. Coretta Scott King delivered the commencement address to the Class of 1981 and sought to inspire the graduates to continue Dr. King's nonviolent struggle for social justice. She spoke of the history of the civil rights movement and the need for the law graduates to continue their commitment to change.Despite the sadness of her death, we should celebrate Coretta Scott King's life and the principles that she, and Martin Luther King Jr., proudly stood for throughout their lives. They taught us by sterling example that, especially in the dark times, struggle and commitment for justice is all-important.

Rex Perschbacher



January 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Day Laborer Study

First National Study of Day Laborers Exposes Abuse, Injuries
Study co-author Abel Valenzuela Jr.

A newly released nationwide study, co-authored by UCLA Department of Urban Planning Associate Professor Abel Valenzuela Jr., reveals information about the lives and plight of day laborers in the United States. The study, a collaboration of research from UCLA, the University of Chicago, and New York's New School University, is titled,

"On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States,"

and provides important information about an often seen, but little understood, group. Since its release, the study has received wide media coverage in both print and television.

The following release details the study:

They attend church, raise children and participate in community activities and institutions. Yet, when America's day laborers go to work, they have experiences that would shock any other upstanding community member: police harassment, violence at the hands of employers, withheld wages and conditions so dangerous that is not unusual for them to be sidelined for more than a month with work-related injuries or to work for weeks on end in pain.

This is the vivid portrait painted by the first nationwide study of America's 117,600 day laborers. Orchestrated by social scientists from UCLA, the University of Illinois at Chicago and New Yorks New School University, "On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States" presents findings from a survey of 264 hiring sites in 143 municipalities in 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

"The goal was to document a population that, though quite visible on the corners of U.S. cities, is poorly understood by the public and by policy makers," said Nik Theodore, an assistant professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Program at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and one of the study's three lead authors. "We hope to inform policy debates so that decision-makers can devise thoughtful and effective strategies for resolving many of the problems that day laborers face."

Three years in the making, the report includes the first-ever national count of U.S. day laborers, little-known characteristics of these workers backgrounds and troubling aspects of their working conditions across five U.S. regions: the West, Midwest, Southwest, South and East.
"Day labor has been thrust into the public consciousness, but we're concerned that the debate has gone on without an understanding of what gives rise to the phenomenon or what the many downsides are to work in this field," said Abel Valenzuela, a UCLA social scientist and study co-author.

Among the findings:

Once contained to ports-of-entry cities along the East and West coasts, day labor is now a nationwide phenomenon, spilling into small and rural towns throughout America, including the South and Midwest.

Day labor may be widespread, but the total count of these workers is actually one-tenth to one-20th the size bandied about by anti-immigration forces.

Wage theft is the most common abuse suffered by day laborers, with nearly half of all workers having been denied payment in the two months prior to the survey.

Just over three-quarters of day laborers are undocumented immigrants, meaning that the share of American citizens working in day labor is much higher than commonly supposed and that day laborers account for only a small fraction of the estimated 7- to 11-million undocumented immigrants in America today.

Valenzuela, Theodore and New School economist Edwin Meléndez directed teams of surveyors during July and August 2004 as they interviewed 2,660 randomly selected day laborers at 264 hiring sites across the nation.

Interviewers asked about the workers educational backgrounds, family lives, occupational histories and experiences as day laborers, including injuries sustained on the job and the nature and frequency of abuse at the hands of employers, merchants, police and security guards.
Using statistical methods pioneered by researchers of another shifting and hard-to-quantify American population - the homeless - Theodore, Valenzuela and Meléndez were able to create a statistically valid snapshot of day labor in America today, a portrait previously considered too difficult to capture.

Many day laborers turned out to be family men. A significant number are married (36 percent) or living with a partner (7 percent), and almost two-thirds have children. Furthermore, many are engaged in community activities. More than half regularly attend church, one-fifth are involved in sports clubs and more than one-quarter participated in community worker centers. Many (40 percent) have been in the United States for more than six years.

"These guys proved to be much more active and ensconced members of their communities than commonly supposed," said Valenzuela, a UCLA associate professor of urban planning and Chicana/o studies and director of UCLA's Center for the Study of Urban Poverty.

The researchers say that the prevalence of abuse proved to be the most defining characteristic of the market. In the two months leading up to the survey, 44 percent of day laborers were denied food, water and breaks; 32 percent worked more hours than initially agreed to with the employer; 28 percent were insulted or threatened by the employer; and 27 percent were abandoned at the worksite by an employer.

"Coming into the study, we knew that the low-wage market is rife with violations of basic labor standards, but we still found the statistics shocking and disturbing," said Theodore, who also is the director of UICs Center for Urban Economic Development.

Day laborers suffered violence at the hands of employers, fellow day laborers and bands of youths who see easy marks in the workers who are paid in cash for a days work.

"I dont know of any other occupation so susceptible to so many abuses," Valenzuela said.

Injuries were also common. In the year leading up to the study, 20 percent of day laborers were injured on the job, and of those two-thirds missed work as a result. In fact, accidents sidelined injured workers for an average of 33 days and caused them to work in pain for an average of 20 days. More than half did not receive the medical care they needed for the injury, either because the worker could not afford health care or the employer refused to cover the worker under the company's workers compensation insurance.

The Midwest displayed the highest rates of abuse in almost every category. Also with the highest overall injury rate, the regions laborers were the most likely to face physical risk. A whopping 92 percent said they considered their work to be dangerous.

"The dangers and injuries in the Midwest may have to do with the fact that roofing jobs are undertaken at significantly higher rates than in the other regions," Theodore said.

Anti-immigration forces have portrayed illegal immigration as the driving force behind day labor. But the researchers found a market fueled by a growing zeal for home improvement and by employers under pressure to cut wages and benefits. The report characterizes the market as 'employer-driven' with more than two-thirds of day laborers hired repeatedly by the same employers, including contractors in the building and landscaping trades.

The researchers call for greater worker protections, better monitoring of safety conditions and increased access to legal services to adjudicate workers rights violations.

"Many day laborers believe that avenues for enforcement of labor and employment laws are effectively closed to them," Valenzuela said. "This belief is reinforced by the general climate of hostility that exists toward day laborers in many parts of the country."

The researchers also advocate support for strategies that can help day laborers make the transition from the informal economy into better jobs and what the report calls realistic immigration reform, including the normalizing of the immigration status of undocumented workers.

"Employers are often able to deter workers from contesting labor violations by threatening to turn them over to federal immigration authorities," Theodore said. "Even when employers do not make these threats overtly, day laborers, mindful of their undocumented status, are reluctant to seek recourse through government channels. We want to change that."

A complete copy of "On the Corner: Day Labor in the United States" can be found at http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/issr/csup/index.php


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration 101 -- The Agencies and What They Do

Who Does What In US Immigration

Megan Davy, et al. write "Over the last few years, there have been significant organizational changes in the structure of the agencies that oversee immigrant-related functions in the US."




January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Expansion of Expedited Removal

WASHINGTON, DC – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff announced today the implementation of Expedited Removal (ER) along the entire U.S.-Canadian border and all U.S. coastal areas, as part of the Secure Border Initiative. Today’s announcement reflects the further implementation of ER that was initially implemented along the Southwest border and will now be implemented along all of the United States’ border areas. ER is an effective border management process that swiftly returns illegal aliens to their countries of origin while maintaining protections for those who fear persecution.

"With the Secure Border Initiative, we made a commitment to implement new tactics throughout the U.S. in order to gain control of our borders," said Secretary Chertoff. "We have seen success in deterring illegal border crossers since Expedited Removal was implemented throughout the Southwest. Implementing this process along all borders will provide DHS agents and officers with an additional tool to protect our nation’s boundaries and quickly remove those who entered our country illegally."

Expedited Removal authority was established by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and applied initially at our nation’s ports-of-entry. Since last September, DHS has successfully implemented ER between the ports-of-entry at all nine U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Border Patrol Sectors on the Southwest border. CBP Border Patrol agents have been trained and are now ready to implement ER in all Border Patrol Sectors. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal officers have devoted significant detention space to ER and have removed more than 4,750 aliens under the program since September.

ER provides DHS the authority to expeditiously return applicable illegal aliens to their country of origin as soon as circumstances will allow. DHS will be applying ER to aliens who have spent 14 days or less in the United States, and are either apprehended within 100 miles of the border with Mexico or Canada or arrive by sea and are apprehended within 100 miles of a coastal border area.

Individuals in ER proceedings are generally not released into the United States. ER disrupts the various human smuggling cycles that occur along the border by substantially reducing the time from arrest to ultimate removal from the United States and foreclosing opportunities for these illegal aliens to reconnect with their smugglers and guides.

Under the Secure Border Initiative, the Expedited Removal process has proven to be a successful tool in rapidly returning illegal aliens to their country of origin, while providing those aliens who have a credible fear of persecution or torture the opportunity to present their case before an immigration judge. By implementing ER more widely, ICE and CBP personnel in all border sectors will be provided the mechanism to effectively deter future entries and accelerate removals.


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Border Tunnel Story on CNN


Monday Jan. 30, 2006 show:

Tonight on 'Anderson Cooper 360'


Live with an exclusive tour of the largest and most elaborate smuggling tunnel running into the U.S. from Mexico. Tune in at 10 p.m. ET.

This is sure to rile people up, to what end I am not sure. For a blog discussion of the show, see http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Death on the Border Chapter 1001

Mexican authorities using new database to identify dead, missing migrants. Jose Arnulfo Cuenca was supposed to call his wife when he reached New Jersey, after sneaking into the United States through the Arizona desert. She's been waiting for that call since October. The full article will be available on the Web for a limited time: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/state/13747002.htm


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

College for all Californians?

Former San Diego congressman Brian Bilbray filed a lawsuit last month challenging California's law that allows California high school graduates (including undocumented students) who have spent at least three years in a California high school to attend California colleges at in-state tuition rates. However, the law is not restricted to undocumented immigrants. Even a US citizen who gratuates from a California high school, leaves the state for any reason and then returns later, would qualify for the in-state rate. In fact, last year 1,339 UC students qualified for in-state tuition under the law, and more than two-thirds were US citizens. Only 430 were likely undocumented (out of a total 211,780 students enrolled at the University of California campuses.

San Francisco Chronicle editorial writer argues today that Bibray's lawsuit is wrong, and that we should be encouraging more students to go to college. See


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

MPI on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

With the State of the Union address tomorrow night and Congressional debate coming soon, the Migration Policy Institute is releasing a new publication by VIsiting Scholar Marc Rosenblum that evaluates the current immigration reform proposals from Congress and the Administration.

Dr. Rosenblum’s Policy Brief, “Comprehensive” Legislation vs. Fundamental Reform: The Limits of Current Immigration Proposals, differs from other background materials because he not only analyzes the elements of each proposal, but also critically evaluates their potential to address the fundamental flaws characterizing the current immigration system.

He finds that the existing proposals do not change the basic structure of the immigration system, and therefore do not adequately address:

  • The mismatch between visa supply and demand;
  • The country's over reliance on temporary workers, who have surpassed lawful permanent resident immigrants as the primary source labor migration,
  • Cumbersome and ineffective regulations to combat  wage deflation in sectors heavily affected by      immigration; and
  • The presence of 11 million unauthorized immigrants.

“Comprehensive” Legislation vs. Fundamental Reform: The Limits of Current Immigration Proposals is available on MPI’s website at: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/ITFIAF/TF_13_Rosenblum.pdf.

A side-by-side comparison of current proposals is available at:


January 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Immigration Conference at the University of Virginia

The Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia will be holding its annual interdisciplinary symposium on March 30 and 31. This year, the topic is of special interest to immigration practitioners and scholars. For information on registration and for a list of hotels where we have reserved blocks of rooms at special rates, please see the Center's website:

http://www.virginia.edu/ccfl/conference.html. We hope to see many of you here in March. The conference is entitled Welcome to America: Immigration, Families, and the Law. All sessions will be held in the Caplin Pavilion at the UVA School of Law, March 30, 8:45 a.m-5:15 p.m. and March 31, 8:45 a.m. -12 p.m.


January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rhode Island Agencies Support McCain-Kennedy

Three Rhode Island agencies announced their support for legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to come forward, pay a fine, and earn their way to legal status.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, the International Institute and Progreso Latino say that the bill drafted by Senators Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, and John McCain, R-Arizona, would allow undocumented immigrants who live and work in the United States to come forward, pay fines and earn their way to legal status.

They held a press conference on the issue this past week:



January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Crime Spree in Vegas -- No Immigrants Involved -- or Blamed Yet :)

14 arrested in Las Vegas street fight

LAS VEGAS (CNN) -- At least 14 people were arrested after a street fight involving partygoers and police officers on the Las Vegas Strip, police said. Several people, including officers, sustained minor injuries.

The incident began at a party at the Hawaiian Marketplace on the Strip, said Lt. John Farrell of the Las Vegas Metropolitan police. About 10 to 20 people were involved in the initial altercation among partygoers.

When officers arrived and attempted to break up the fight, Farrell said, "the people started fighting with the officers." The arriving police called for help, and about 70 or 80 police responded, he said.

The section of the Strip that is home to the MGM Grand Hotel and the Bellagio and Aladdin casinos was closed to traffic for about 20 minutes as police attempted to get the situation under control.

About 14 people were arrested for "a bunch of tiny charges," he said, but the number could increase as police were still wrapping up loose ends early Sunday.

One person was transported to a hospital and would probably need stitches, Farrell said, but those injuries stemmed from the initial fight. "Everybody got hurt in the original, not because of police," he said.

Some officers were complaining of minor injuries such as twisted ankles, Farrell said.


January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Religious Perspective on Immigration Reform and Border Enforcement

For the an interesting take on border enforcement and immigration reform from a member of the Christian Legal Society, see Download religious_views_on_immigration_reform


January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Website on Borders

Dignity through Dialogue and Education, a group that advocates for the human rights of all immigrants in the Greater Denver Metro Area, recently established a website at


Check it out!


January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Playboy Playmate" Seeks Employment Visa After Deportation: Will the Bush Administration or Congress Intervene?

Here‘s a believe it or not story. Talented foreigners around the world are flashing their skills to get into this country, of course. But very few have the assets of Argentine bombshell Dorismar. The former "Playboy" playmate was rounded up by immigration authorities and deported with her husband on January 5 after living illegally in Miami for five years.

Now her attorney is trying to get the calendar pinup back into this country by classifying her as, quote, "an alien of extraordinary ability."

Tucker Carlson was joined by Dorismar‘s attorney, Michael Feldenkrais, to discuss this quest for special immigration status.




: You can‘t see the screen, but we unfortunately have—we‘ve blotted out her extraordinary ability that you‘re talking about. And that‘s her rear end, of course. She was named by "Mirror" magazine as a woman who possessed one of the top 25 rear ends in all of entertainment. You‘re saying that because this girl has a cute butt, she should be a U.S. citizen?
Well, the INS has already considered her as an extraordinary ability, and that‘s probably her looks, her singing abilities, and her looks, I guess.
What exactly is Dorismar‘s extraordinary ability?

For the rest of the story, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11046018/


January 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)