Friday, February 29, 2008

A Note on the Border Fence

7407fo18border_embedded_prod_affili I have been avoiding posting anything about the raging controversies about the  extension of the border fence.  It seems that Texas landowners, immigrant advocates, environmentalists, and many others have critical comments about the fence.  And, as NPR reports,  even the "virtual" fence is experiencing "technical difficulties" that will take years to resolve.


February 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dems to Get Tough on Immigration? I Sure Hope Not

Sam Stein at the Huffington Post has an interesting post positing that Democrats may soon be taking tougher position on immigration.  A confidential study put together by key think tanks close to the party leadership, urges Democrats to adopt more rigid rhetoric when discussing immigration by encouraging office-holders to emphasize "requiring immigrants to become legal" rather than stressing border enforcement and the opening of a path to legalization for the undocumented already here.

Hope the candidates, at a minimum, stay the(ir) course(s) on immigration. 


February 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

National Citizenship Plan

Congratulations to the staff at Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) for producing "A More Perfect Union - A National Citizenship Plan" - plan to foster citizenship and integration.

It can be downloaded at or click here.


February 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Jacqueline Rebecca Louise de Rothschild (France)

Rothschild_2 Jacqueline Rebecca Louise de Rothschild (born 1911 in Paris, France) is a chess and tennis champion, author, sculptor and a member of the Rothschild banking family of France. According to her memoir Jump in the Waves, her family had to flee France due to in the Nazi occupation during World War II.

Jacqueline de Rothschild and her husband settled in New York i n 1940. They lived in Philadelphia for several years before moving to Los Angeles in 1949.

As an American citizen, Jacqueline Piatigorsky, a name that she took upon marriage, won numerous national tennis championships.  Her passion for the game of chess led to a second career during which she represented the United States in the first woman's Chess Olympiad and won a bronze medal. In the 1960s, she was the highest USCF-rated female chess player in California and ranked No. 2 in the United States.

Piatigorsky is a patron of the arts and in 1985 created an endowment for the New England Conservatory of Music to provide the "New England Conservatory/Piatigorsky Artist Award." In her forties, she developed an interest in sculpting. A Los Angeles area gallery put on the first exhibition of her works in 1976.

Widowed at the age of sixty-five, she has continued working and playing tennis into her nineties.


February 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Refugees in Israel

Refugees from Africa have entered Israel in the past few years, posing questions for Israelis.

Larry Derfner of U.S. News and World Report writes:

For the ragged people streaming out of Egypt—African refugees fleeing genocide, war, and persecution—Israel appears to be the Promised Land indeed. But in the eyes of Israel's government, mindful of the Jewish experience with persecution and genocide, these new arrivals pose a delicate problem and a potentially serious peril.

Refugees crossing the porous border into Israel started their journeys in Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries. Since 2005, when they began trickling into Israel—the Middle East's most liberal and prosperous country—their numbers have grown to about 6,000. Between dozens and hundreds more arrive each week—more than 1,000 so far this year, many from Eritrea. Most have tragic stories like that of a former English teacher who fled Eritrea after his father was killed by government agents. "When I was in Sudan, I heard people were going to Israel," he says. "I didn't have the money to go anywhere else, so I wanted to come, too." Click here for the rest of the story.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Family of U.S. Citizen Illegally Deported to Mexico Says Government Endangered His Life

Attorneys for the ACLU of Southern California and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster on Friday announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Peter Guzman, a U.S. citizen who was illegally deported to Mexico. Guzman, who was born in Los Angeles as Pedro but is called Peter by his family, was deported May 11, 2007 from an L.A. County jail despite clear evidence that he was a U.S. citizen. He spent nearly three months lost in Mexico while family members desperately searched for him. They slept in a banana warehouse and started their days at 6 a.m., visiting hospitals, jails, shelters, and truck stops. His mother scanned online photos of the deceased from a Tijuana morgue.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

We Beat the NY Times! Is John McCain Eligible to Be President?

Mccain_context Today's N.Y. Times raises something this blog raised a while back.  Is John McCain, who born in the Canal Zone, eligible to be President of the United States?  Is he a "natural-born citizen" as the U.S. Constitution requires?  For Jonathan Turley's analysis of the constitutional law issue, click here


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Meryle Secrest (United Kingdom)

Meryle Secrest (born June Meryle Doman) is an award-winning biographer. Secrest was born and Secrest_meryle educated in Bath, England. She began her career as a journalist in Canada. After her family emigrated to Canada, she worked as women's editor for the Hamilton News in Ontario, Canada; shortly thereafter, Secrest was named "Most Promising Young Writer" by the Canadian Women's Press Club. In 1964 she began writing for the Washington Post. In 1975, Secrest left the Post to write full-time.

  • Secrest has written a number of critically-acclaimed biographies; her subjects have included Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Lord Duveen, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Salvador Dali, Kenneth Clark, Bernard Berenson, Romaine Brooks, and Richard Rodgers. She has also published an autobiography entitled Shoot the Widow: Adventurers of a Biographer in Search of Her Subject (2007).Shoot_the_widow

Secrest became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1957 and now lives in Washington, D.C.

Secrest's Being Bernard Berenson was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 and for the American Book Awards in 1981. In 2006, she received the National Humanities Medal.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UT Immigration Clinic's Work Highlighted in New Yorker

Hines_barbara The New Yorker ran a great article about the Hutto immigrant detention facility for families outside of Austin, Texas and the litigation brought by the University of Texas law school clinic, headed by Barbara Hines, and the ACLU. Download new_yorker_lost_children_by_m_talbot.pdf  or click here.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Lou Dobbs Attacks ADL

Dobbs From Immigration Daily (  CNN's Lou Dobbs recently called the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) "a joke" and labeled the Anti- Defamation League (ADL) as "absolute advocate group[] for open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens."  In response, the American Jewish Committee press release denounced media's recent treatment of immigrants, including Dobbs's show.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

More Republicans, More Anti-Immigrant Local Ordinances

For an interesting research paper by a political science Ph.D. student finding that local immigration ordinances are more likely to be passed in areas with high percentages of Republicans (rather than where there has been a large increase in the Latina/o population), click here.  The bottom line is that political, not demographic, factors are more likely to result in the local anti-immigrant measures.


February 28, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Unauthorized Migration Estimates in the UK and US

How are estimates of undocumented migration made? Here's an important lecture on the topic:

'Just the Facts': Official Reports, Mass Media, and the Politics of Unauthorized Migration Estimates in the United Kingdom and the United States
Jennifer Blakeslee
Ph.D. Candidate in Demography, Australian National University; Visiting Fellow, CCIS
Tuesday, March 4, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
Reception to follow

The production and dissemination of statistical and demographic information has increased significantly in the last decade given advancements in information technology. As such, numbers have become more powerful and political than when The Politics of Numbers (1987) was released two decades ago—for few subjects has this been more apparent than unauthorized migration.  Using content analysis of mass media, internet sources, congressional/parliamentary transcripts, and a short survey of demographic professionals working on immigration-related topics, this paper tracks and analyzes estimates of 
unauthorized migrant populations issued in high profile UK (2004/05) and US (2005/06) reports. Rather than assessing the validity of statistical techniques, the paper examines the numbers within the public discourse, focusing on the relationship among quantitative information on unauthorized migration, its production, the mass media, public opinion and political power in the United Kingdom and the United States. More specifically, the paper asks: What do 'the
facts' mean and to whom? How do differing modes of presentation color the debate over immigration?
Jennifer Blakeslee is a doctoral candidate in Demography and Sociology at the Australian National University and a visiting fellow at CCIS. Her doctoral research--Consuming illegality: migration, labor and agriculture into the 21st century—investigates contradictions between economic and immigration policies in Spain and the United States, focusing on labor demand in the fruit, vegetable and horticultural industry and the evolution of the global labor market. She is currently working on a project examining Romanian migration to Spain and Italy with the Center for Demographic and Social Change at Kansas State University. She has a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz in Asian and Economic History (1996) and M.A.s in Demography (2003) and International Law (2004) from the Australian National University. She has also worked on Complex Systems applications with the Santa Fe Institute (2004) and was a visiting researcher at Oxford University (2005).


February 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Food for Thought for Political Junkies: Foreign-Born Voter Data on Texas and Ohio

The Migration Policy Institute today released election profiles for Texas and Ohio that examine voter registration by nativity, providing breakdowns for foreign-born citizens and the size of their vote during the 2004 general election. The election profiles also outline the size and growth of the foreign-born population (citizen and noncitizen) as a share of each state’s total population, and provide voter breakdowns by ethnicity. Election profiles for all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be available on MPI’s website later today. The election profiles are based on data from the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey; the Federal Election Commission; the Migration Policy Institute Data Hub and the Pew Hispanic Center. For more state-by-state information on the foreign born, including income, workforce, education, language, demographic and country of origin data, please visit the MPI Data Hub.

February 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Mona Rico (Mexico)

Mona Rico (1907-1994) was born Enrigueta Di Valenzuela in Mexico City, Mexico. An actress, her films include Eternal Love (1929), Shanghai Lady (1929), A Devil With Women (1930), and Zorro Rides Again (1937). Rico and her mother walked across the Mexican border.  She came to Hollywood at age 19 in 1928.

Rico secured a five-year acting contract. Her first role of significance came opposite John Barrymore as the second lead in Eternal Love. It was reported that Miss Rico was sitting in the casting room of the studio when a girl's hands were needed in a film test. After her hands were recorded, she was given a screen test. The following day she obtained her contract.

Rico's first all-talkie feature was as a Spanish dancing girl in Shanghai Lady.

At the age of 23, Rico became an American citizen. Rico died in Los Angeles, California on July 15, 1994.


February 27, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Villanova University School of Law's Second Annual Ryan Forum on Law and Public Policy: The Iraqi Refugee Crisis: Law, Policy and Practice

The Villanova University School of Law's Second Annual Ryan Forum on Law and Public Policy is on The Iraqi Refugee Crisis: Law, Policy and Practice. The event is scheduled for Friday, April 4th from 8am - 5pm at the National Press Club in Washington DC and is cosponsored by Catholic Relief Services, Holland + Knight, Migration Policy Institute and Proskauer Rose. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

More than two million people have fled Iraq and hundreds of thousands more are internally displaced within Iraq. The Forum will bring together leading legal scholars, legislators, government officials and other public figures in a bipartisan atmosphere of frank discussion and analysis to address such questions as: Who are the refugees? Why are they fleeing? What is their status under the law? What conditions and obstacles are the refugees facing in host countries? What ethical and moral considerations are posed by the refugee flow? What are the ramifications of the flow? What challenges does the refugee flow present to neighboring countries and to relations in the Middle East? What has the United States government done to offer refugees protection? What role should the United States and other countries play in the refugee crisis? Some of our confirmed speakers include: Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Ambassador of Jordan to the United States; Ambassador Imad Moustapha, Ambassador of Syria to the United States; Ambassador James Foley, Department of State; Michel Gabaudan, Regional Representative, Washington DC Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Deborah Amos, NPR; Professor David Martin, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law, University of Virginia School of Law; Kathleen Newland, Migration Policy Institute; Chris Nugent, Esq. Holland + Knight; Bill Frelick, Human Rights Watch; Kirk Johnson, The List Project; and Eric Blinderman, Esq., Proskauer Rose; Trudy Rubin, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Kristele Youness, Refugee International.  there also will be three Middle East experts participating -- Chawla Elia, General-Secretary of Caritas Iraq, Najla Chadha, Caritas Lebanon Migrant Centre and Mark Schnellbaecher, Regional Director for the Middle East, Catholic Relief Services. This will be the first time that a representative from Caritas Iraq has left Iraqi to talk about the refugee crisis since the war began. Pre-registration is required, visit


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Long-Term Immigration Trends

The American Immigration Law Foundation's  Immigration Policy Center posted an important publication today, titled Immigration: Long Term Trends and America's Future.  This Immigration Fact Check discusses long-term immigration trends in the U.S.  Immigration critics claim that immigration is out of control, and that today's immigrants aren't assimilating.  This fact check, and the longer report it is based on, rebuts these claims, showing that the annual flow of immigrants appears to have peaked in 2000 and that projections show continued decline through 2015.  Furthermore, if you look at meaningful indices of assimilation, you find clear indicators of integration and upward mobility among today's immigrants.  Equally important, the immigrant population will be a key component in supporting the U.S. workforce as Baby Boomers retire. Thanks to Tim Vettel of AILF for this information.


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Kansas and Immigration

Now Kansas is getting into the act on local legislation. Carl Manning of the Associated Press reports:

Legislators agree that Kansas employers shouldn't hire illegal immigrants, but they disagree over how the state should punish violators, a House committee chairman said Monday.

The Federal and State Affairs Committee considered four bills dealing with illegal immigration. They dealt with hiring requirements, denying most public benefits to illegal immigrants, allowing local governments to ban them from renting houses and requiring local and state law enforcement officers to review the citizenship of people they stop for any violation. Click here for the rest of the story.


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Interview of Peter Loewy of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy

Ed Poll interviews Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP's name partner. Peter Loewy talks about the challenges he faced in building the West Coast Fragomen practice from one lawyer (himself) to a staff of over 70 lawyers and 400 staff in just 20 years. To listen to the audio file, see here.  The Fragomen firm is a peeminent immigration law firm representing businesses around the world.

Thanks to Immigration Daily ( for posting a link to the interview.


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AILA Guide for State & Local Policymakers and Advocates

Stateguide Even casual readers of this blog are aware of the many state and local interventions in the realm of immigration over the last year.  In response, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has developed a state and local resource guide to provide policymakers and advocates a roadmap to use as they steer through the policy minefields created by this trend. The guide is designed to provide a basic orientation to the issues and an introduction to critical resources on the following:

Restricting immigrants' access to public benefits and services

Mandating verification of employment eligibility

Restricting congregations of day laborers

Establishing "English-only" policies

Imposing restrictive housing policies

Requiring state and local police to serve as immigration agents

Restricting immigrants' access to driver's licenses

Each section contains: (1) a background summary that distills the central arguments, problems, and state of play; (2) a factual rebuttal of the most commonly propounded myths; (3) a synthesis of current legislative activity around the country; (4) a description of relevant litigation; and (5) a broad compilation of additional resources from individuals and organizations with issue expertise.

Click here to see a brief discription of the resource guide and to downlaod a copy.


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cracking Down on the "Criminal Alien"?

It may be hard to believe but, in Tyler, Texas, two sisters, both immigrants from El Salvador, were deported for truancy.  For the story, click here.  I am feeling safer already!


February 26, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)