Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Huckabee Scrutinized by the Right

Fox News and the Washington Times are looking closely at Mike Huckabee's 2005 gubernatorial order for state police to cooperate with DHS.

Mike Huckabee’s immigration record in Arkansas is undergoing deeper scrutiny, with some opponents raising questions over whether he followed through on a policy decision he’s touting on the campaign trail.

Huckabee, the former governor, signed a bill in 2005 ordering his state police agency to begin working with the Department of Homeland Security to find ways for the state police to arrest illegal immigrants and enforce federal immigration law — a job generally left to federal agencies.

But apparently no follow-through on the law came, a former Arkansas assemblyman told The Washington Times in a story published Wednesday.

“Under Governor Huckabee’s administration, there was never even any effort to begin negotiating with Homeland Security,” said former state Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, the sponsor of the bill Huckabee signed. Hutchinson is now supporting Huckabee rival Fred Thompson in the Republican primary races.

The Fox story is here.
bh

December 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Alanis Nadine Morissette (Canada)

Morissette Alanis Nadine Morissette (born in Ottawa, Canada, June 1, 1974) is a dual U.S./Canadian citizen and singer-songwriter. She has won seven Grammy Awards, and has sold more than sixty million albums worldwide.  For a video of one one of her songs (Precious Illusions), click here.

Morissette began her career in Canada. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced "Jagged Little Pill," which became the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the biggest selling debut album worldwide in music history. She is one of the top 20 best selling female artists in music and is the best selling female rock artist ever.

Morissette was born in Ottawa, Ontario.  In 2005, she became a U.S. citizen but maintains her Canadian citizenship as well.  The singer was among some 4,500 people who took the citizenship oath during a ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Morissette has said:  “I consider myself a Canadian-American."

KJ

December 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

About Face on Immigration by Chris Simcox?

Five years ago, Chris Simcox began his rise from an obscure newspaper publisher in Tombstone, Arizona -- yes, there really is a town called Tombstone -- to a national figure in the debate over migration across the U.S.-Mexican border.  He called for citizens to bear arms and patrol the border, which eventually led to the creation of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.  Now, the Arizona Daily Star reports that Simcox is being criticized by his former restrictionist allies for some more generous -- most immigration law scholars would characterize some of them as mainstream -- statements on the issue of immigration.  "The children of illegal immigrants who are born in this country are citizens. Period," Simcox said. "It's crazy to think we shouldn't educate them. They want to go door-to-door and remove every person in this country that's here illegally. And I just think that's not a logical plan in how to address the situation."

KJ

December 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

John McCain Not Born in the Real United States!

Mccain_left_1 We have been doing an occasional series on the immigration histories of the various presidential candidates.  And we have uncovered some troubling news -- that explains a lot -- about one candidate who has been accused of being soft on immigration.

Senator and Presidential Candidate John McCain was born on August 29, 1936 in Panama at the Coco Solo Air Base in the then American-controlled Panama Canal Zone to Admiral John S. "Jack" McCain, Jr. and Roberta (Wright) McCain.

Although McCain was not born within a state of the United States, his U.S. citizenship (and future eligibility to be elected President) as a technical legal matter was assured at birth both by jus sanguinis, since both of his parents were U.S. citizens, and jus soli, as the Canal Zone was at that time a United States possession.

Besides being born outside the 50 states, McCain has immigrant ancestors!!!!!  The McCain family origins are Scotch-Irish. His great-aunt was a descendant of Robert the Bruce, an early Scottish king. John Young, an early McCain ancestor, served on Gen. George Washington's staff.  After the family moved to Mississippi, a number of McCain's ancestors fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. Source (for this paragraph):  Arizona Republic.

We will let you know if these immigration relevations will compel John McCain to withdraw from the Presidential race.  But do not hold your breath.  :)

KJ

December 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Family Reunited on Christmas Day

IMMIGRANT LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACTS:

                        For info on access to Tanya the mother    Tanya Cruz:   415 670 0451

                        For legal background on the case:  family’s attorney: Jason Marachi:  415 566-3526; jmarachi@aol.com  or Mark Silverman (415) 305-8217 from the ILRC

FAMILY TO BE REUNITED ON CHRISTMAS DAY – HUSBAND WHO HAD TO LEAVE FOR MEXICO BEFORE HIS FIRST CHILD WAS BORN TO RETURN AND JOIN HIS WIFE AND SEE HIS CHILD FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Broken immigration system forced young huHANKS.sband to leave the country weeks before his wife gives birth to their United States citizen child

When: December 25th at 9:30 p.m. at the arrival area for Continental Airlines flight #361, where …

What: his wife, and family will be waiting for Juan in the arrival area.

Summary:    Juan Cruz was forced to leave for Mexico with “voluntary departure”  on about August 11, 2007 leaving his U.S. citizen wife here.

                In September,  Tanya gave birth to their first son while Juan was forced to remain in Mexico.

   In December, the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez  approved Juan’s permanent residence visa (green card)

ON CHRISTMAS DAY, DECEMBER 25, AT 9:30 PM JUAN WILL BE ARRIVING AT SFO (San Francisco International Airport) WHERE HIS FAMILY WILL MEET HIM.

December 25th will be an especially joyful Christmas Day fpr Tanya and her husband, Juan..  It will be the first time Juan sees his recently born child. Unfortunately, Tanya and Juan were not be together for this birth –  separated, each in a different country, divided by a broken immigration system that allows families like this one to be torn apart.   On December 25th at 9:30 p.m. at the arrival area for Continental Airlines flight #361, Tanya , and family will be waiting for Juan in the arrival area. Juan will be flying back from Mexico where the U.S. Consulate approved his green card earlier this month.  Press can reach Tanya Cruz between now and the 25th, and while the family is at the airport.

Although Tanya is a U.S. citizen, Juan is not. He was brought to the United States from Mexico by his parents when he was four years old. The couple applied to obtain permission for Juan to immigrate legally as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. However, Juan’s parents had previously filed an application for themselves and Juan based on bad legal advice from an attorney who has since resigned from the State Bar. When all the appeals failed, Juan and his parents were given until August 13 to voluntarily leave the country. Juan left the United States on August 11 by plane to Mexico, just about one month before his wife will give birth to their child.  During his baby’s first months of life, Juan was be in Mexico, waiting to get an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez so that he could return to the U.S. The family has been told that the process can take longer than six months. 

This terrible example of the flaws in our immigration system prompted Tanya Cruz, el Comité de Padres Unidos, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and other supporters of this young family to bring this issue to the attention of the public. These supporters also requested that the immigration and consular authorities hold Juan’s interview as soon as possible.

bh

December 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lou Dobbs Makes "Fibs of 2007" List

Michael Dobbs of Fact Checker lists this doozy -- which was the subject of a number of stories on this blog -- among the "Best of the Rest" "Fibs of 2007":

"If we reported it, it's a fact."

--  Lou Dobbs of CNN, interviewed by CBS's 60 Minutes, May 6, standing by a false claim that there had been 7,000 new cases of leprosy in the United States between 2002 and 2004, as a result of illegal immigration. His source: "medical expert" Madeleine Cosman.

KJ

December 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Another Sad Christmas Story

For a sad story of families divided by deportations, click here.  I wish that I could say that there was a happy ending.

KJ

December 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Illusion of Workplace Enforcement

This year saw the Bush administration make many statements about aggressive workplace enforcement of the immigration laws, along with much-publicized raids in New Bedford, Mass. and other cities across the country.  As we on this blog have stated repeatedly, even after the largest of the raids, roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants remain in the United States.  The Washington Post today reports that "[i]n its announced clampdown on companies that hire illegal workers, the federal government has arrested nearly four times as many people in the past year as it did two years ago, but only a tiny fraction of those arrests involved criminal charges against those who hired the workers, according to a year-end tally prepared by the Department of Homeland Security. Fewer than 100 owners, supervisors or hiring officials were arrested in fiscal 2007, compared with nearly 4,900 arrests that involved illegal workers, providers of fake documents and others, the figures show. Immigration experts say the data illustrate the Bush administration's limited success at delivering on its rhetoric about stopping illegal hiring by corporate employers."  Click here for the data.

KJ

December 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Race for '08: Latino influx the talk of Iowa

Immigration has been a hot issue in the Iowa Presidential campaigning.  Why?  One reason is that changing demographics -- particularly the rising Latina/o population -- seen in the Midwest and South, not previously home to many Latina/os.  A Sacramento Bee story analyzes the issue in Iowa:  "Since 1990, the number of Latinos in Iowa has increased from 32,647, which was then 1.2 percent of the state's population, to 112,987, or 3.8 percent of the current population of 2.9 million. Some demographers expect the number to triple again in just over 20 years, increasing to 335,000 by 2030. The trend has pushed illegal immigration into the forefront of presidential politics – at least among Republicans – as Iowa prepares for its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Jan. 3. The topic reverberates through town hall meetings and Republican debates, with candidates scrambling to outdo one another in getting tough on illegal immigrants as they compete for fed-up voters who constitute a broad and vocal chunk of the GOP political base." (emphasis added).  Other states, such as Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia have seen similar increases in the latina/o population in the last two decasdes.

Note the interesting "missing link" in the story.  Latina/os have increased as a percentage of the Iowa population.  Thus, increasing concern among the public with "illegal immigration."  But not all -- and far less than a majority of -- Latina/os are undocumented.  (According to the Pew Hispanic Center, about one-quarter of Hispanic adults are undocumented.)   The story again leaves one to wonder whether all the concern with immigration really is a concern with increasing numbers of latina/os in the United States.

KJ

December 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 24, 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

To all our loyal readers, have a wonderful -- and relaxing -- holiday season!!!!!!!

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Year-End Review from Dallas

Dianne Solis of the Dallas Morning News provides a year end review of immigration:

The Dallas suburbs of Farmers Branch and Irving erupted with rancor, fear and protests.

Farmers Branch passed a renters ordinance that was later challenged in the courts. And Irving's police department began aggressive use of a federal program to ferret out illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.

As 2008 rolls out, immigration promises to play front and center in political campaigns, law enforcement practices and human resource departments at companies around the nation, and especially in North Texas, said some key players locally and nationally.

"People aren't going to go apathetic," says Jean Towell, president of Citizens for Immigration Reform, a Dallas group that favors the crackdown. "We are not backing down. We are going to take care of what we need to take care of."

That's why Ms. Towell has made herself familiar with the details of a federal law enforcement program, called 287(g), named after its numerical placement in immigration law.

The program allows for special training of local police officers to enforce federal immigration law. No city or county yet in Texas has received 287(g) certification, but Tulsa County implemented such a program in 2007.

Collin, Denton and Dallas counties also have started using Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Criminal Alien Program, and so have the cities of Garland, Grand Prairie and Irving and Farmers Branch. Under the program, municipal agents call ICE when they believe they have someone in custody who is in the U.S. illegally and needs further questioning.

Late this year, use of the program was so extensive in Irving that ICE said it would be performing a sort of law enforcement triage, where Class C misdemeanors such as certain traffic offenses would be looked at on a case-by-case basis. This followed protests, public and private, that included pastors and the Mexican and Salvadoran consuls.

ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said that the vigorous use of the program had stretched ICE resources.

"This does demonstrate the need for comprehensive immigration reform," Mr. Rusnok added.

Much 'screaming'

In Washington, D.C., Frank Sharry of the National Immigration Forum, a legalization proponent, said immigration has moved from policy debate to political football.

"The labor market is screaming for immigrant workers, and the political world is screaming for tough laws," Mr. Sharry said. "As that conflict gets played out ... employers might be screaming this spring for the federal government to do something."

The Texas unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent in November, and, nationally, the rate was 4.7 percent.

Indeed, many bosses are fearful they'll be in the crosshairs in 2008, say those who follow immigration matters.

Many are watching two courtrooms – one in Phoenix and the other in San Francisco.

In Arizona, a stiff new employer sanctions law gives the state power to suspend and even revoke a business license if the employer is found to have knowingly hired an illegal immigrant.

On Friday, an Arizona federal judge refused to block the Jan. 1 start of the law. There will be a Jan. 16 hearing before that same judge on the preliminary injunction sought by the Arizona Contractors Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

"Differences are bound to arise where Congress has left it to the states to regulate a given area concurrently with the federal government," Judge Neil Vincent Wake wrote in his decision.

At issue for many businesses is whether the Arizona measure will get cloned around the country.

No-Match Rule

In San Francisco, the federal government and a cluster of groups, including the AFL-CIO, the ACLU and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are wrangling over whether employers should intensify their policing of Social Security numbers. Employers receive a so-called No-Match letter from the Social Security Administration when an employee's name doesn't match the Social Security number the government has on file.

"Sometimes there is an innocent explanation for this discrepancy, such as a clerical error," said Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff in a statement in early December. "But sometimes the discrepancy reflects the fact that the employee in question is an illegal alien. When employers receive such No-Match letters, they are on notice that the employees in question may not be authorized to work."

Under the No-Match Rule, no employer should terminate an employee based upon a No-Match letter alone, said Mr. Chertoff. But no boss should ignore the letter either. The No-Match rule gives employers and employees 90 days to correct discrepancies.

The AFL-CIO and others argue that the rules place too many burdens on businesses.

Dallas Chamber of Commerce officials couldn't be reached for comment on the two issues. But the chamber has supported a comprehensive overhaul of the laws that would include a guest worker program, a "workable solution" for those illegal immigrants already here, and measures to reduce backlogs for employment and family-based immigrant visas.

Mayor's stance

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, a former construction firm executive, has taken a similar position, and as a candidate this spring, he said he would oppose any renters' ordinances similar to those in Farmers Branch.

"Immigration will continue to be an issue" in 2008, Mr. Leppert said. "You haven't seen any progress in Congress, so there are still issues that have to be dealt with on a federal level. It still has to be on the agenda.

"We need a comprehensive approach, and that needs to come from the federal government."

Presidential campaign

Immigration already is dominating the presidential campaign, with candidates eager to show they'll take a tough stance on the issue.

"Secure the border" is a catchphrase. Some support extending the border wall and fencing that already exists in small portions of California, Arizona and Texas. And many call for enforcement of existing employer sanctions against the bosses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. That measure was passed in the 1986 overhaul of federal immigration laws.

In the Dallas County sheriff's race, candidate Charlie Richmond, a Mesquite police lieutenant, is hammering hard on illegal immigrants, arguing they are behind a crime wave. The primary is March 4, and early voting starts Feb. 19.

"If the federal government is not going to take care of that border down there, you have to do something here," Mr. Richmond said. "National security starts at home."

Mr. Richmond, one of several challengers to incumbent Sheriff Lupe Valdez, supports implementing the 287(g) training program in Dallas County for sheriff's deputies. He calls Irving's use of ICE's Criminal Alien Program only "a first step."

Mexico's top diplomat in North Texas, Consul General Enrique Hubbard Urrea, takes on all comers. He tries to answer his angry e-mail, and those that come up to him to complain about illegal immigrants when they see the diplomatic plates on his vehicle. The majority of illegal immigrants don't commit crime; they avoid crime, he said.

'A labor problem'

"We don't think immigration is a national security problem; it is a labor problem," Mr. Hubbard added.

Kenneth Walder, a construction worker, agrees immigration is a labor issue. And immigrant labor is undercutting his pay, said Mr. Walder, 42, who was born in the U.S. He arrived at the Plano Day Labor Center at 5:30 a.m. Friday and nearly five hours later hadn't been chosen for a job. Presidential candidates should focus on immigration, Mr. Walder said.  Click here for the full story.

bh

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

News from the IntLawGrrls Blog

Check out IntLawGrrls blog, which always has timely and interesting stories.  Here are a couple.  As the Iowa caucus gets closer, see the collection of resorces on the presidential race (here).  And last week the European Union's borderless Europe expanded to the East (here).

KJ

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Fay Wray (Canada)

Fay_28king_kong29_publicity_photo Kingkongposter Fay Wray (1907–2004), an actress in U.S. films, was born on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. Her family moved to the United States when she was three. Wray's family lived in in Arizona and Utah before settling in Los Angeles, where she got her first film work in Hal Roach comedy shorts and in low-budget westerns in the early 1920s.

Wray is best remembered for her role as Ann Darrow, the blonde seductress of a gigantic gorilla in the classic film King Kong (1933). She wore a blonde wig over her naturally dark hair for the role.

Wray became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1935.

Wray's autobiography, On the Other Hand, was published in 1988. Wray was a guest at the 70th Academy Awards, where the show's host, Billy Crystal introduced her and paid tribute to her film legacy. Wray was approached to appear in a small cameo for the 2005 re-make of King Kong (2005). Before filming commenced, however, Wray died in her sleep in August 2004 of natural causes.

KJ

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Non-Christmas Story: An Immigrant's Five-and-a-Half Years in Detention

The Village Voice has an in-depth story about a noncitizen's lengthy indefinite detention.  Here is the gist:

"In the spring of 2002, in the fervid months after the 9/11 attacks, [Narinder] Singh flew to India, where his mother had just died. When he returned, an immigration official at JFK suspected that his marriage was a sham to gain permanent-resident status, and he began proceedings to deport Singh. Because Singh had been questioned in an airport—technically crossing a border—immigration law allowed for Singh to be detained indefinitely as his case made its way through the system. As immigration officials lost his paperwork for months, or sent his case to other jurisdictions, Singh was transferred from one facility to the next, waiting for what was always supposed to be a few more months until everything would work out. Without having committed a single crime, Singh ultimately spent five and a half years in what amounts to federal prison—one of the longest detention spells in recent history."

Fortunately, Nartinder Singh has been released -- at least for now.  But read the story and consider whether the immigration proceedings can even arguably be said to be part of some sort of "justice system."

KJ

December 24, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Proof of Citizenship Required in Scottsdale, AZ

AP reports that suspects in police in Scottsdale, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb, have begun routinely asking for proof of citizenship from every suspect they arrest and turning those who are in this country illegally over to federal immigration officials. The procedure was started after the September killing of a Phoenix police officer an undocumented immigrant. Scottsdale police had arrested ths suspect on a misdemeanor charge 16 months earlier but they released him then because they didn't know he was undocumented.

KJ

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Supreme Court News: Ali v. Achim Voluntarily Dismissed

Lawyers for a man who came to the U.S. eight years ago as a refugee from Somalia notified the Supreme Court on Friday that his case, granted review by the Court on Sept. 25, has been settled, and will now be voluntarily dismissed. The case is Ali v. Achim, et al. (06-1346).

Ahmed Ali fled ethnic strife in Somalia, coming to the United States with his family in 1999.  Two years later, he was involved in a fight during which he injured another man. He pleaded no contest to a felony charge of substantial battery with a dangerous weapon and was sentenced to an 11-month prison term as well as seven years of probation. When he was released, immigration authorities began deportation proceedings.

The immigration court ruled that the man could stay in the U.S. because he faced retribution if he returned to Somalia, but refused to offer additional forms of protection because it deemed his felony “particularly serious.” The man appealed, arguing that his crime cannot be considered “particularly serious” because it was not an "aggravated felony" under the immigration laws. The Seventh Circuit denied most of the relief sought by Ali.  See Ali v. Achim,  468 F.3d 462 (7th Cir. 2007).

KJ

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Scottsdale Police Checking Immigration Status

Carol Sowers writes in the Arizona Republic:

With pressure mounting across the nation to crack down on illegal immigration, the Scottsdale Police Department is seeking the citizenship of every arrested suspect and holding undocumented immigrants for federal immigration officials.

Sgt. Mark Clark, a Scottsdale police spokesman, said officers are not acting as immigration officials.

But under a new policy, officers are documenting calls they make to federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents about suspects and logging details about their immigration status. Click here for the full story.

bh

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Migrant Deaths From San Diego Fire

Fire We previously reported on deaths of migrants from the San Diego fire in Octoier.  AP now reports that a married couple and a plumber were among those killed in October's Southern California wildfires and identified by investigators Friday, nearly two months after their bodies were found near the U.S.-Mexico border. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said the dead were Ruben Santos Ramirez, 28, and his wife Areli Peralta Rivera, 25, from a small town near Acapulco, Mexico; Lourdes Eugenio Tadeo, 21, from the same town; and Ruben Mendez Hernandez, 23, a plumber from Mexico's Guanajuato state. The charred remains of the four were found in a ravine on Oct. 29. Investigators from the California Department of Justice used DNA analysis to help identify them. Another member of the group, 20-year-old Alejandro Martinez of Mazatlan, died last month at UCSD Medical Center.

The victims were among eight people killed by the Harris Wildfire in San Diego County, which also seriously injured four firefighters and a teenage boy and consumed hundreds of homes in the rural communities along the U.S.-Mexico border east of San Diego

KJ

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Save the Old Dominion"

This has been a big year for anti-immigrant agitation in Virginia, especially Prince William County.  The Washingtpon Post reports that anti-immigrant groups in Virginia are marshaling forces into a new umbrella organization, Save the Old Dominion, that will lobby state lawmakers to place further restrictions on those residing in the state unlawfully. Save the Old Dominion members said they want to coordinate their efforts to avoid a repeat of last year's legislative session, when almost every illegal immigration-related proposal failed.

The name "Save the Old Dominion" harkens back to the days of the Confederacy.  I wish that a new, if not improved, name could have been coined.

Here are some of the new immigration groups in Virginia.

KJ

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Mexico town puts on a holiday show for migrants

Hector_tobar_la_times Migrants living in Chicago, Los Angles, and other U.S. cities are warmly greeted during the holidays in Jalpa, Zacatecas, their native home.  "For Jalpa's civic leaders, organizing a good party for the migrants is the least they can do -- over the years, the migrants have sent home millions of dollars to their families and communities. They have helped build roads, and funded scholarships."  For a wonderful holiday story, click here.

KJ

December 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)