Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Looks Like Newt Gingrich is Running for President!

Newt It looks like Newt Gingrich may be joining Mitt Romney and Rudy Gingrich and run for President on the backs of immigrants.  Cox News reports that Gingrich, who it rumor has it is considering a run for the White House, targeted "illegal immigrants" for the horrible crime in Newark, New Jersey, in which three college students were murdered. It has been reported that one of the suspects -- Jose Carranza -- is an undocumented immigrant from Peru who was on bail on charges of raping a child when the murders occurred. Gingrich said another suspect is an illegal immigrant from Nicaragua with a long record of arrests who was ordered deported in 1993 but never left. However, the (Newark) Star Ledger reported Tuesday that the man has been a lawful permanent resident since 2001.

Before we overreact to the Newark tragedy, recall the recent studies showing that the crime rate among immigrants are lower than U.S. citizens. For example, a report by Ruben G. Rumbaut and Walter A. Ewing report entitled "The Myth of Immigrant Criminality and the Paradox of Assimilation: Incarceration Rates among Native and Foreign-Born Men" found that:

Because many immigrants to the United States, especially Mexicans and Central Americans, are young men who arrive with very low levels of formal education, popular stereotypes tend to associate them with higher rates of crime and incarceration. The fact that many of these immigrants enter the country through unauthorized channels or overstay their visas often is framed as an assault against the rule of law, thereby reinforcing the impression that immigration and criminality are linked. This association has flourished in a post-9/11 climate of fear and ignorance where terrorism and undocumented immigration often are mentioned in the same breath. However, data from the census and other sources show that for every ethnic group without exception, incarceration rates among young men are lowest for immigrants, even those who are the least educated. This holds true especially for the Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans who make up the bulk of the undocumented population. The problem of crime in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status. But the misperception that the opposite is true persists among policymakers, the media, and the general public, thereby undermining the development of reasoned public responses to both crime and immigration.

Another recent report reached similar conclusions.

And before somene talks about building a longer fence at our Southern border, keep in mind that it is not clear precisely how Carranza came to the United States. Was he a visa overstay?  If so, a border fence would not have prevented his lawful entry.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

NEW BIA Precedent Decision: Credibilty Findings After REAL ID

In In re J-Y-C-, 24 I&N Dec. 260 (BIA 2007) Interim Decision #3576 (August 9, 2007), the Board of Immigration Appeals ruled

(1) Under section 101(a)(3) of the REAL ID Act of 2005, Div. B of Pub. L. No. 109-13, 119 Stat. 302, 303 (to be codified at section 208(b)(1)(B)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii)), a trier of fact may, considering the totality of the circumstances, base a credibility finding on an asylum applicant’s demeanor, the plausibility of his account, and inconsistencies in statements, without regard to whether they go to the heart of the asylum claim.

(2) The Immigration Judge properly considered the totality of the circumstances in finding that the respondent lacked credibility based on his demeanor, his implausible testimony, the lack of corroborating evidence, and his inconsistent statements, some of which did not relate to the heart of his claim.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Law News from Immigration Daily

DHS Publishes No Match Letter Final Rule

DHS published a final rule in the Federal Register, effective September 14, 2007, providing safe-harbor procedures for employers who receive a no-match letter.

EOIR On Unaccompanied Alien Children In Immigration Proceedings

The Executive Office for Immigration Review issued a news release on unaccompanied alien children in immigration proceedings.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Attack Ads You'll Be Seeing

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post predicts some "Attack Ads You'll Be Seeing."  her column begins:

Here's an emerging line of attack you can expect to hear more of in the 2008 congressional campaigns -- especially if you live near a vulnerable Democratic incumbent: Democrats vote to give welfare benefits to illegal aliens.

Or, even better: Democrats vote to take benefits away from deserving senior citizens to pay for welfare for illegal aliens.

Ugly? Absolutely. Devastating? So Republicans hope. True? No.


Unfortunately, Marcus may be accurately predicting our future.  Just look at what we have seen already  in the 2008 Presidential race with Mitt and Rudy fighting over who is tougher on immigration and immigrants.  Just how ugly things will get before election day in November 2008 is anyone's guess.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Ann-Margret (Sweden)

Margret Ann-Margret (born April 28, 1941) is a five-time Golden Globe Award-winning, Kitten Academy Award, Emmy Award and Grammy-nominated American actress, singer, and dancer. Born Ann-Margret Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland, Sweden, she grew up in a small town "of lumberjacks and farmers high up near the Arctic Circle." Her father worked in the United States during his youth, and immigrated there in 1942. Ann-Margret and her mother moved to the United States four years later.  She grew up in Wilmette, Illinois, and attended Northwestern University without graduating.   In 1949, Ann-Margret became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

George Burns "discovered" Ann-Margret singing in a nightclub. She began recording for RCA in 1961r.  In 1961, Ann-Margret made her film début in "Pocketful of Miracles," starring Bette Davis, Glenn Ford, and Hope Lange. Her next starring role as the all-American teenager in "Bye Bye Birdie," made her a major star. When Ann-Margret filmed "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley, the two began an affair that received considerable media attention. In 1971, she starred in Mike Nichols's "Carnal Knowledge," garnering a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Throughout the 1970s, Ann-Margret balanced her live musical performances with a string of critically acclaimed dramatic film roles that played against her glamorous image. These included "Tommy" in 1975, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, she has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards and has won five times.

In 1994, Ann-Margret published an autobiography, Ann Margret: My Story. She has been married to actor Roger Smith since 1967.  In 1995, she was chosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history; she ranked 10th.  Ann-Margret has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6501 Hollywood Blvd.

Click here for the official Ann-Margret website.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant to Leave Chicago Sanctuary

Sophia Tareen of the Associated Press writes:

A woman who has come to personify the struggles of illegal immigrant parents says that for the first time in a year she will venture beyond the walls of the church that has protected her from deportation.

Elvira Arellano took refuge inside Aldalberto United Methodist Church on Aug. 15, 2006, and has lived there on the second floor with her 8-year-old son Saul, who is a U.S. citizen.

She hasn't left the church for fear of being sent back to Mexico and separated from her son.

She was to announce Wednesday that she plans a Sept. 12 trip to Washington to lobby Congress for immigration reform, according to the Rev. Walter Coleman, pastor of the church and longtime Chicago political activist.

It's not clear how she'll get there, but she likely won't be flying, Coleman told The Associated Press Tuesday. He and others worry Arellano will be arrested, but she plans to go anyway.

"I will go with my Bible and my son and I will read to him from the Holy Scriptures as I do every day," Arellano said in a statement sent Tuesday to The AP. "If this government would separate me from my son, let them do it in front of the men and women who have the responsibility to fix this broken law and uphold the principles of human dignity." Click here for the rest of the story.


August 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Which Plausible Presidential Candidate Can Be Tougher on Immigration? Romney vs. Guiliani, Mano a Mano (to the death?)

195pxrudy_giuliani On August 9, we reported that Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had accused fellow Republican Rudy Guiliani of being "soft" on immigration when he was mayor of New York, a cruelly ironic accusation given that Romney stands accused of employing undocumented workers at his home in Massachusetts.  As they say, for every action, there is a reaction.  CNN now reports that Giuliani promised today to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States by closely tracking visitors to the country and beefing up border security.  For a video of Guiliani's statement that the nation can end illegal immigration, click here.

Although Tom Tancredo is the current Republican presidential candidate who takes the toughest stance on immigration, most agree that his campaign is going nowhere but back to Colorado.  The Reps now seem resigned to be jockeying over which one is the most plausible candidate who is enforcement-first when it comes to immigration.  At least for now, the more mainstream conservative approach to immigration, like that endorsed by President Bush  (at least before the last Congressional immigration refom debacle), seems to be in full retreat.  That, of course, is bad news for reasonable minds on immigration reform.  One can hope that cooler minds will prevail after the 2008 Presidential election.

UPDATE   Giuliani also said that, along with his various immigration enforcement efforts, he would propose that all immigrants who want to become citizens learn English.  He seems a bit behind the law (Isn't he a lawyer?), however.  Immigration and Nationality Act § 312 requires that naturalization applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand ordinary English.  Some applicants are exempt because of age or mental condition.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

MALDEF Settles Albuquerque Immigration Suit

Today, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and a coalition of community organizations led by El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos announced that the Albuquerque Police Department and the city of Albuquerque have agreed to implement new police procedures related to the city's policy against local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The new procedures clearly state that Albuquerque police are not to engage in investigating a person’s immigration status nor are they to enforce federal civil immigration laws. "The new police procedures adopted by the city reinforce its policy that no city resources are to be used to investigate any immigration-related matter, which is strictly a federal responsibility," said David Urias, MALDEF staff attorney and lead counsel in the case. "The policy will in no way prevent officers from arresting anyone that commits a crime or that threatens the public safety, but instead only ensures that police officers focus on keeping all communities safe and encourages members of the immigrant community to trust officers." The implementation of the new APD procedures is the result of community efforts and part of a settlement between MALDEF and the city, which resolves the case of Gonzalez vs. the City of Albuquerque, a civil rights lawsuit filed in May of 2005. The suit alleged that Albuquerque police and employees of Albuquerque Public Schools violated the civil rights of three high school students by seizing and detaining them at Del Norte High School until immigration officials could question them about their immigration status. Rachel LaZar, Director of El CENTRO, stated, "We are proud to have engaged in dialogue with MALDEF, faith and civil rights leaders, victims’ advocates, the immigrant community, and law enforcement officials to ensure that the Albuquerque Police Department’s standard operating procedures reflect Albuquerque’s long history of passing non-discrimination policies that promote public safety, and reflect the unique needs and demography of our community. We will now work with the community to ensure that APD is held accountable for its implementation and that this policy is not violated."

MALDEF previously settled the portion of the case against the Albuquerque Public Schools, which resulted in changes in school district policies. Under that settlement, school officials must ensure that all students, regardless of their immigration status, are safe and secure while in school. The settlement also prohibits school officials from reporting students to immigration officials while they are at school.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Navarette On Undocumented Immigrants in the Military

Artnavarette Always controversial, Ruben Navarette Jr. writes on about the pros and cons of giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through the military (and currently through the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan).

UPDATE  For Professor Margaret Stock's powerful response to Navarette, click here.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Brazilians Leaving U.S.

In the middle of the national debate over immigration to the United States, something unusual is happening in Massachusetts: Brazilian immigrants are quietly packing up and leaving. The falling dollar has made it less attractive for them to work in the United States, and tightened immigration laws are making it uncomfortable to stay. Listen to the Massachusetts local NPR affiliate (WBUR) report here.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Karl Rove on Immigration

As influential White House strategist Karl Rove steps down, what was his position on immigration policy?

This question was asked of Karl Rove at the 21st Annual John M. Ashbrook Memorial Dinner on April 21, 2005.

Q: Would you please comment on the Bush administration’s positions on the border immigration problem?

Rove: We have two problems on the border. One is, it’s awful long and we have to do a better job of securing it because we now have not only the normal problem that we’ve got of people wanting to come across the border for work, but we’ve got to be very careful of people coming across the border carrying bad things. We have dramatically beefed up the border. In part by, before the passage of the Homeland Security in 2002, we had a customs and a border patrol and they didn’t talk to each other and they duplicated functions and we had roughly the same number of people, slightly fewer in the customs service than we had on the border patrol. They sort of stood right behind each other. Now what we have done is integrated them into one and beefed up their numbers. And we’re going to keep beefing up their numbers and we’re going to keep doing things like internal repatriation. That may seem like a mouthful to you but, for example, when people cross the border from Nuevo Laredo, the old practice was if you caught them, you sent them back to Nuevo Laredo and said, "Hey, don’t come back again." Of course, they came right back. What we’re doing now is we’re finding out where they’re from, if they’re from Oaxaca 400 miles into Mexico, and flying them back to Oaxaca. And if they’re from Nuevo Laredo, we’re flying them over to Nogales, over to Douglas, Arizona and dropping them off in Nogales, and say, "Find your way home." Because we want to raise the risk/reward ratio for people coming across our border.

But let me tell you, the border is long enough, and as a Texan, I can tell you, it is hot and thorny and desert enough that we’re not going to be able to protect our border by that alone. What we’ve got to do is recognize that a significant amount of pressure on our borders is coming from people that are making 50 cents a day in Mexico, Guatemala or Nicaragua and can make five bucks an hour coming to the United States. And until we have a willing worker program that says, hey, if you want to work here in America slinging tar on some roof in August in a job that nobody else wants and picking apples in Washington in a job that most Americans don’t want to have, until we have a program that says we’ll recognize you coming into the country and doing the work, allowing us to protect you, keep you from being exploited, protect your rights, let you put together a little money and then go home, we’re not going to stop the pressure on our borders.

These people, when they come here, they’re coming here to take care of their families but they aren’t coming here necessarily to live in America. It’s just that once they get here, it’s impossible to get home. They can’t go home and visit their families. They can’t go home for mama’s birthday. They can’t say, "I’m going to go get on a Greyhound bus and ride down to the border and then catch the Mexican bus and ride four hundred miles for mama’s birthday." No, they’re stuck. Why should we be surprised after five or ten or fifteen years, they wake up and say, "You know what, I’m no longer a Mexican. I’m a Mexican-American." We have to recognize that it is a powerful impulse to feed your family. And that’s what we’re talking about here.

So we’ve got to match border security with a willing worker program so look I have a hunting lease in Kennedy County, Texas. It’s half the size of Connecticut and 973 people live in the county. My hunting lease is the size of the island of Manhattan and nobody lives there. And I could be out there and it could be cold in the winter or hot as Hades in the summer, and you’re just—either time of the season, you’re likely to find ten or fifteen Mexicans coming across the—I mean it is a 70 mile walk from one end of the county to the other, and these guys are carrying a little water jug, a milk jug, and a plastic bag with twinkies in it. And, I’ll tell you, I found a couple of them where the plastic bag and the water didn’t hold out and what is left there is moldering bones and a carcass. And yet, they keep coming because the impulse is that strong, and we’d better figure out how to deal with it and regularize it to reduce the pressure on the borders so that we don’t have to have a guy twenty-four hours a day standing all along the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California borders standing shoulder-to-shoulder in order to keep these people from coming in because we’ve got to do it on both sides of the border; both the border in the south and the border in the north. In White River Junction, Vermont, we set up a border patrol crossing in Vermont. White River Junction, Vermont. Last six months to the last year, you want to know how many illegal aliens we caught cross the border from Canada to Vermont? At White River Junction? Six hundred. We’ve got big borders with Canada and the United States and in order to be able to plug—we’ve got to work both sides of the equation: security and willing workers.


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2006—Of all the issues that delegates at the National Small-Business Summit plan to address with lawmakers on Capitol Hill today, Karl Rove, deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to the president, urged them to add one more to the list: immigration reform. Millions of legal and illegal immigrants come to the United States each year looking for work, opportunities and a better life—and it affects small businesses in big ways, Rove said, during a breakfast speech at the Summit. rove150.jpg

"We have always been a nation of immigrants and have had success at integrating and assimilating them all," Rove said. "But immigration is turning into a big problem. The more you look at it, the more clear it is that every single part of the system is broken."

Though many must scheme to get past border patrols to get here, they come mostly for noble reasons, Rove said.

"They have mouths to feed at home and no way to feed them. They know they can take a job here making $8 an hour instead of 50 cents, so they come for jobs every time they can."  Click here.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Summary of ICE No-Match Regulation

From "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07081366 (posted Aug. 13, 2007)"

On August 10, 2007, DHS released an advance copy of the final ICE "No-Match" regulation, "Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter." Publication of the final rule in the Federal Register is expected the week of August 13, 2007. The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication.

The final rule expands the definition of "constructive knowledge" to include the failure to take reasonable steps to address three situations: (1) an employee's request for the employer's sponsorship of the employee for a labor certification or visa petition; (2) receipt of a no-match letter from the Social Security Administration ("SSA"); and (3) receipt of a notice from DHS (usually after an I-9 audit) that the employee's employment authorization documents presented in connection with completion of the I-9 form do not match DHS records.

The final rule includes slight revisions to the June 2006 proposed "safe harbor" protocol in relation to SSA no-match letters and DHS notices, most notably extending from 63 days to 93 days the period of time an employer has to complete reconciliation of information when there is a discrepancy, and promises immunity from a constructive knowledge charge premised on such notices should the employer follow the procedure exactly as stated. While acknowledging that other actions taken by employers may constitute "reasonable steps" in the context of a "total facts and circumstances test," employers who fail to follow the protocol may not have the "safe harbor" from a finding of constructive knowledge in the event of a civil or criminal investigation.

In final form, the "safe harbor" protocol is as follows:

Within 30 days of Receipt of the Notification From the Government

No-Match Letter from SSA: The employer must check its records to determine whether the discrepancy was caused by a clerical error, correct the error with SSA, and verify that the corrected name and social security number now match SSA's records. The rule advises employers to retain a record of the manner, date, and time of such verification. The employer may update the I-9 form relating to the employee or complete a new I-9 (retaining the original), but should not perform a new I-9 verification.

If the employer determines that the SSA no-match is not a result of an error in the employer's records, the employer must promptly request that the employee confirm that the name and social security account number in the employer's records are correct. If the information is incorrect, the employer must make corrections, inform the SSA of the correction and verify a match on the corrected information, and make a record of its actions.

If the employee confirms that the employer's record information is correct, the employer must promptly advise the employee of the date of receipt of the no-match letter and advise the employee to resolve the discrepancy with the SSA no later than ninety (90) days after the receipt date. The employer is under no legal obligation to advise the employee regarding the means or manner of resolving the discrepancy with the agency.

Notice of discrepancy from DHS: The employer must contact the local DHS office in accordance with the written notice's instructions and attempt to resolve the question raised by DHS about the immigration status document or employment authorization document. Note that the specific instructions in the notice may provide less than 30 days for the employer to respond.

Within 93 days of Receipt of Notification From the Government

If the discrepancy cannot be resolved with either SSA or DHS within 90 days of receipt of the written communication from either agency, the employer must attempt to reverify the worker's employment eligibility by completing a new I-9 employment verification form. Companies should use the same procedures as when completing an I-9 form at the time of hire, with a few exceptions:
The employee must complete section one and the employer must complete section two of the new I-9 form within 93 days of receipt of the notice from either SSA or DHS.
The employer cannot accept any document (or receipt for such a document) referenced in the DHS notification or any document (or receipt) that contains a social security number that is the subject of the SSA no-match letter to establish employment authorization or identity.
The employee must present a document that contains a photograph in order to establish identity or both identity and employment authorization.
The new I-9 form should be retained with the original I-9 form(s).
If the employer cannot verify the employee's work eligibility through completion of a new I-9 form, the employer must decide whether to terminate the employee, or face the risk in any subsequent DHS enforcement action of being determined to have constructive knowledge and being penalized for the continuing employment of an unauthorized alien. The final rule provides that whether an employer would be found to have constructive knowledge in any particular case will depend on the "totality of relevant circumstances." An employer should not terminate an employee until the process is completed, unless the employer obtains actual knowledge (such as through an admission by the employee) that the employee is not eligible for employment in the U.S.

DHS takes the position that applying the safe harbor rule in a uniform manner for all employees whose account numbers or work authorization documents are challenged by the SSA or DHS should not subject an employer to liability for document abuse and/or unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin and citizenship status.

No "safe harbor" protocol is available where an employee requests employer sponsorship for a labor certification or visa petition and the employee turns out to be unauthorized. Where the request is made by an employee who admits to the employer that he/she is currently unauthorized, or where the request is inconsistent with information provided by the employee in connection with the employment verification process (i.e., a claim of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status in Part I of the form), the employer may be charged with actual or constructive knowledge of unauthorized status if the employer permits the employee to continue working for the employer.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Columba Bush (Mexico)

Columbabushsized Columba Bush (born August 17, 1953) is the wife of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the sister-in-law of President George W. Bush. Bush was born as Columba Garnica Gallo in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, where she grew up and attended high school. Her parents were Jose Maria Garnica, a migrant worker, and Josefina Gallo.  Columba is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Columba met Jeb Bush in 1971 in León, where he was teaching English as part of a foreign exchange program. They were married on February 23, 1974, in Austin, Texas. The couple have three children: George P. Bush, Noelle Bush, and Jeb Bush, Jr.

Bush's relationship with her mother was the subject of a profile in the book Mamá: Maria Perez-Brown, Latina Daughters Celebrate Their Mothers (2004).

Bush has been active in promoting the arts. In 1999 she worked with Arts for a Complete Education/Florida Alliance for Arts Education (ACE/FAAE) to develop Arts for Life!, a program devoted to increasing the importance of art in the education system. She has also used her experience with her family's substance abuse issues to aid treatment and prevention programs such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She has served as co-chair of the NIAAA initiative, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free, and has served on the board of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.


August 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Savage to be Savaged? San Francisco to vote on a resolution condemning radio jock Michael Savage

The City and County of San Francisco will be voting on a resolution condemning Michael Savage for his radio attacks on the immigrant community. The resolution is scheduled for a vote tomorrow Tuesday August 14th. The proposed resolution is on the official San Francisco City & County web site.

UPDATE  The resolution failed to pass unanimously (there was a single dissent) and has been referred to committee.


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Immigration Tunes

Immigration Daily presents music videos of Neil Diamond's "America" and Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Immigration Man",, two of the most recognized American songs on immigration.


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Death on the Border: An Eyewitness Account

First_img For a Reuter reporter's account of the walking journey of migrants across the U.S./Mexico border, click here.  Here is the punch line:

"Driving back toward Tucson, I thought of the dead. The men, women and children plucked out of the desert month after month, some little more than skeletal remains.

It may have been the heat, the cold or the bandits that took their lives, but it was a wrong turn in the dark, a twisted ankle, or even some new shoes bought for the journey that just as surely killed them."


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Ciro Davis Rodriguez (Mexico)

481pxciro_rodriguez Ciro Davis Rodriguez (born December 9, 1946) is a Democratic Congressman who represents Texas's 23rd congressional district. Rodriguez has served in public office for over 30 years, first on a school board, then as a member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Rodriguez was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, but was raised and received his education in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from St. Mary’s University with a B.A. in Political Science and earned his Master of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University.

From 1975 to 1987, Rodriguez served as a board member of the Harlandale Independent School District, working as an educational consultant for the Intercultural Development Research Association, and served as a caseworker with the Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation. From 1987 to 1996, he taught at Our Lady of the Lake University's Worden School of Social Work.

Rodriguez served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1997.  In 1997, Congressman Frank Tejeda died. A special election to fill the remainder of his service was held, resulting in Rodriguez being elected to Congress.   He chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus from 2003-04.

After redistricting in 2003, Rodriguez lost the primary—the real contest in this district—by 58 votes. Rodriguez tried to regain his old House seat in 2006.   Rodriguez lost the Democratic primary.

in 2006 in LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS v. PERRY, 126 S. Ct. 2594 (2006), the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that the Texas Legislature had violated the Voting Rights Act. A three-judge panel drew new district lines. The new 23rd districy includes Rodriguez's home, along with much of his old south San Antonio base. Rodriguez announced that he would run for Congress in the district.  In the primary, incumbent Henry Bonilla emerged with 48.1% and Ciro Rodriguez with 20.3%. In the runoff election, Rodriguez, in an upset victory, defeated Bonilla 54% to 46%.

Rodriguez is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

For U.S. Congressman Ciro Rodriguez's bio in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, click here.


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Education Gaps Among Asian Americans

Reported by Scott Jaschik (Inside Higher Ed):

Understanding Gaps Among Asian Groups

Many discussions about affirmative action or demographics in higher education start with the assumption that Asian American students are outperforming everyone else and don’t need any help. That view is frustrating to many Asian Americans and some educators who say that — even if true on average — it results in too little attention being paid to members of some groups that are not doing well at all educationally.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report that backs up those concerns. The report notes that by most measures Asian Americans have a higher educational attainment than other groups, with almost half of Asian Americans aged 25 or older having a four-year college degree, a percentage far greater than those for white adults (almost one third) or black or Latino adults (less than one fifth). But this overall success, the GAO found, “masks” the realities of many Asian subgroups in educational preparation and attainment.

For example, the report found that half of Southeast Asian high school students are not enrolled in college preparatory programs, more than half of Southeast Asian and Native American and Pacific Islander students are in the lower socioeconomic quartiles, and many Asian groups set aside less money for their children’s college education than do members of other racial and ethnic groups.

Educational Attainment and Average Income of Asian-American Groups, 2005
Group      % of Adults With at Least 4-Year Degree          Average Income

Asian Indian     68%                                   $66,000

Korean          54%                                   $52,000

Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan     54%                    $48,000

Chinese     53%                                   $56,000

Filipino     48%                                   $46,000

Japanese     44%                                   $59,000

Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai     44%                         $40,000

Vietnamese     25%                                   $41,000

Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander     17%                    $38,000

Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong          13%                    $32,000

The GAO also found significant differences in terms of how much money families from different Asian groups were saving for a child’s future college education.

Amount Set Aside for Higher Education by Asian-American Families, by Group

Group               None     Up to $10,000          $10,001-$20,000     >$20,000

Southeast Asian     12%     73%               4%               8%

Filipino          3%     51%               10%               32%

South Asian          6%     34%               17%               22%

Korean               3%     40%               17%               42%

Chinese          9%     31%               22%               37%

Japanese          6%     41%               23%               27%

[An earlier look at these issues can be found in chapter 5 of Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy (1993)]

August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Report from the National Conference of State Legislatures

The Law Librarian Blog has a post on (and a link to) a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures on immigration legislation.  As the prospects for federal immigration reform dwindled, state legislators took matters into their own hands and enacted 170 immigration-related bills in 41 states, more than double the number of enacted legislation in 2006 according to the new report.


August 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

McCain Challenged on Immigration in New Hampshire

The Associated Press and Fox News reports:

Frustration over illegal immigration followed Sen. John McCain on Sunday as he finished up a three-day campaign trip to eastern New Hampshire.

At a VFW hall in Conway, a woman who had questioned McCain the night before in Wolfeboro confronted him again, pushing him to support making English the nation's official language.

"I'm terribly concerned there's real danger we're going to lose our country from within," said the woman, who refused to give her name. "Even if we make English the national language, what difference does it make if you can vote (in Spanish), if where everywhere you go, the hospitals are obliged to provide interpreters? We need one language."

McCain said he believes more must be done to require immigrants to learn English, but matched her suspicions with some of his trademark straight talk.

"I'd also like to tell you that in my state of Arizona, we like the Hispanic heritage. We like the food. We like the music. We like to have Hispanic influence on our state and we are enriched by it," he said, reminding her that similar fears greeted waves of Irish, Polish and other immigrants in generations past. "I understand your concern that our traditions and our culture and background are being overwhelmed by another culture, but I believe we're stronger than that." Click here for the rest of the story.


August 12, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)