Monday, August 31, 2009
From Eric Ward of Imagine2050:
On August 28, Cindy Carcamo of the Orange County Register wrote an insightful article called Groups mobilize for the next immigration battle. The article quotes Barbara Coe a member of the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens. Coe has referred to Mexicans as “savages” and immigrants as “barbarians.”
As I sat down to write, I initially thought that I should use this blog to blast Barbara Coe for her relationship to organized racism. However, while I was pondering what to write I received a phone call from an old high school friend, Pam, who had read the same article.
Pam was spitting mad and wanted to know what she could do. She is a mother of two and works sixty hours a week as a florist. “I don’t want these bigots to have the last word,” she said to me as I heard her daughter in the background asking if she could have some juice. “I want to take their lemons and turn them into lemonade . . . so tell me what I can do Eric, but remember I don’t have a lot of time!”
I agree with Pam. Time is of the essence and we should use it wisely. Instead of writing what I think of anti-immigrant bigotry I’ve decided to use this week to take action. Below I’ve outlined an action for each day of the week. You can take a bite out of bigotry in less than five minutes a day! Let’s all join together and redeem the soul of America!
Write me and let me know how it went and what you thought. If you come up with your own list be sure to share it here at the Imagine 2050 blog as well. Print this post and pin it up on your wall, desk, or fridge.
MONDAY: Email this blog to six other people who you think might be interested. Write three short sentences telling all of them why you will be participating. Ask them to participate too, and reply to your email letting you know either way.
TUESDAY: Remember all of those times when Fox News host Glenn Beck made bigoted statements about immigrants? Beck may choose to forget but let’s show him we haven’t. Beck is responsible for much of the anti-immigrant sentiment that has spread around the country. Over thirty companies agree with us and have stopped running their ads on the Glenn Beck show. Let’s help Color of Change get the message out even more. Go to http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/ and add your name!
WEDNESDAY: What can I tell you about Lou Dobbs that doesn’t already disgust you? Dobbs has falsely accused immigrants from Latin America of spreading Leprosy in the United States. When he got caught in his lies he simply lied again. CBS’s 60 Minutes didn’t buy his racist lies and neither do we. Now Media Matters is telling us that Dobbs will be participating in a national event organized by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a known hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s time for CNN to take responsibility. You can read the short media release by clicking here. Now, go leave a comment for CNN President Jonathan Klein at http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form1.html?35. Tell him that you read the letter Media Matters sent to him, and you demand that he respond. Let Klein know that you are disgusted that CNN is willing to use bigotry to generate profits.
THURSDAY: Today we are going to show tangible support for those who have stood up against anti-immigrant bigotry. Twice in its recent history the Sierra Club has had to fight off anti-immigrant attempts to take over its well-respected environmental organization and corrupt its mission. In 1998 and in 2004 the Sierra Club drew a strong moral barrier against anti-immigrant racism. In recent days the Sierra Club has been targeted by anti-immigrant leaders still upset by the trouncing they took. One leader, Brenda Walker, went so far as to write an article on the white nationalist website VDARE attacking the Sierra Club for its commitment to diversity. Let’s give a little love to the Sierra Club by taking five minutes to join the organization. Click here to join and let them know why! If you are already a member like me, give a gift membership to a family member or friend.
FRIDAY: Anti-immigrant Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been terrorizing members of the Latino community and their allies in Arizona under an agreement with Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano. America’s Voice points out the Napolitano, appointed by President Obama, could stop the insanity at any time with a single stroke of her pen. People have died under his custody, he has raided the offices of a newspaper that exposed his brutality, and he marched Latinos down the middle of the street in chains. Click here at the website of America’s Voice and send a message to Napolitano that “enough is enough!”
SATURDAY: Take five minutes to call a friend or family member. While catching up on the latest, be sure to spend five minutes telling them what you did this week to take a stand against anti-immigrant bigotry.
SUNDAY: Send me an email at [email protected]. Let me know what happened and how it went!
Bill Hing previously reported on the issues surrounding the cooperation of undocumented immigrants with Census-takers. Teresa Watanabe of the L.A. Times reports on an extremely important practical problem for Census 2010, the full and fair counting of immigrants in the greater Los Angeles area. "Officials fear funding shortages and mistrust toward the government among many immigrants could result in an undercount with enormous consequences for California: the possible loss of a U.S. congressional seat for the first time in state history and the loss of billions of dollars of federal funding for schools and other services. Congressional seats and more than $300 billion in federal funding for more than 170 programs are apportioned by population, as determined by the census. By some estimates, each person counted results in $12,000 in federal funds over a decade."
Patrcia Leigh Brown has an interesting story in the N.Y. Times about "the elderly, who now make up America’s fastest-growing immigrant group. Since 1990, the number of foreign-born people over 65 has grown from 2.7 million to 4.3 million — or about 11 percent of the country’s recently arrived immigrants. Their ranks are expected to swell to 16 million by 2050. In California, one in nearly three seniors is now foreign born . . . . Many are aging parents of naturalized American citizens, reuniting with their families. Yet experts say that America’s ethnic elderly are among the most isolated people in America. Seventy percent of recent older immigrants speak little or no English. Most do not drive. Some studies suggest depression and psychological problems are widespread, the result of language barriers, a lack of social connections and values that sometimes conflict with the dominant American culture, including those of their assimilated children."
Sunday, August 30, 2009
New Article: An Accidental Violation: How Required Gardasil Vaccinations for Female Immigrants to the United States Contravene International Law
Latino USA reports that New Haven, Connecticut's Latino immigrants long have claimed harassment by local police. "And recently, a catholic priest was arrested and charged with interfering with an officer in the performance of his duties. And what was the priest doing? He was videotaping police officers as they hassled a Latino small business owner."
As we previously reported, the HIV exclusion looks like it is on its way out. Adding to the chorus of support for removal of the exclusion, the venerable American Bar Association has offered its support to the proposed revision of the regulations to remove HIV infection’ from the definition of ‘‘communicable disease of public health significance,’’ and to remove references to HIV from the scope of examinations.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thousands of refugees from Myanmar have poured across the border into China in recent weeks amid troubling signs that a 20-year cease-fire between ethnic minorities and Myanmar's military rulers might be unraveling.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said as many as 30,000 people had fled fighting in Myanmar; sources on the Chinese side of the border put the figure at 5,000 to 10,000.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu in a statement Friday urged the Myanmar government to "safeguard the regional stability of its bordering area with China."
A Chinese intelligence officer in Nansan, a border town, said the Chinese government was arranging emergency housing for refugees in an attempt to restore stability. Click here for the rest of the story.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jorge Bustamante, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Migrants
Co-sponsors – UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, United Nations Association of the East Bay, Bay Area Friends of UNIFEM, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, Amnesty International and the Center for Justice and Accountability.
Questions? Please call Cecilia Lipp, Senior Advocacy and Communications Officer, Survivors International (415) 546-2080 x107
Thank you for the ongoing support of the Zellerbach Family Foundation.
Cecilia Naomi Lipp
Senior Advocacy and Communications Officer
Friday, August 28, 2009
U.S. District Judge Robert M. Takasugi, a survivor of a World War II relocation camp for Japanese Americans who was known for his compassion for victims of injustice and his calm demeanor in the face of sometimes outrageous courtroom antics, has died. He was 78.
Takasugi died August 4 at a Los Angeles nursing home after battling numerous ailments over the last year, said his son, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jon Takasugi.
The veteran jurist, who spent most of his 36-year judicial career on the federal bench, handled a number of high-profile cases, including a 1980 case that led to a Los Angeles Police Department ban on chokeholds and the 1984 cocaine-trafficking trial of automaker John Z. DeLorean.
In the latter trial, Takasugi was seen as the epitome of judicial restraint when a peripheral but colorful figure in the case, sex-magazine publisher Larry Flynt, disrupted the proceedings with profane outbursts and provocative attire, including a diaper fashioned from an American flag. Takasugi didn't bat an eye at the outfit, but he fined the publisher $250,000 for refusing to reveal the source of a mysterious audiotape that threatened to derail the case.
He also had a reputation for being pro-defense but earned the respect of lawyers on both sides of the courtroom.
"He was completely devoted to assuring that the proceedings in his court would be fair and seen to be fair," said Andrea Ordin, who appeared before Takasugi when she was a U.S. attorney in the late 1970s. "He also had a very high bar for the prosecutors. He was vigilant that the power of prosecutors not be abused. The prosecutors during the years I was there became better advocates because of it."
Among his other noteworthy cases was a 25-year legal battle between a University of California historian and the federal government, which was withholding the FBI files of former Beatle John Lennon on national security grounds. At one point in the case, he directed the FBI to disclose whether it had "used unlawful activities" in connection with its investigation of Lennon's political activities. The unusual order led to negotiations that eventually resulted in the release of the final 10 documents in 2006.
"When the government came in and claimed national security, he didn't take that lightly, but he wasn't prepared to suspend the law just based on the representation that national security might be implicated," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, who appeared in Takasugi's courtroom numerous times. "He said, 'Prove it up to me.' If the government couldn't prove it up, he didn't think twice about saying these documents belong in the public domain."
One of Takasugi's more recent cases involved an ACLU challenge in 2002 of a post-9/11 federal law requiring airport screeners to be U.S. citizens. Takasugi ruled that the hiring restriction amounted to a "constitutional deprivation" that cost thousands of noncitizen screeners their jobs. The law was later amended to allow permanent residents to serve as screeners.
In 2002 he also threw out an indictment against seven Los Angeles residents who had been accused of fundraising for an Iranian opposition group listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department. Takasugi said the law classifying terrorist groups deprived the defendants of due-process rights because they were not given a chance to rebut the terrorist allegations before their group was placed on the list. Click here for the rest of the story.
Among the groups that have helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, one that is rarely mentioned is day laborers.
After the storm, tens of thousands of prospective workers came to the city in search of jobs. Casual laborers — hired by the day by homeowners or small contractors — are now an important work force in a city that still has years of rebuilding ahead. The trouble is, many say they don't get paid.
At the parking lot of the Lowe's home improvement store on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans, between 20 and 30 men gather at sunrise. Trucks and vans pull in and stop just long enough to pick up willing hands and strong backs.
John Pace stands with a group of friends. They're all hoping for the same thing: a day's work that will pay about $100. Competition for the jobs is intense, and when you do get one, Pace's friend Sammy Davis says, there is no guarantee that you'll be paid. That has happened to him — and to just about every day laborer he knows.
"So, you just lost out on a whole eight hours or two days or whole week worth of work, where you ain't got no money to show for it," Davis says. "Then your kid's looking at you, your wife looking at you, and then you ain't got nothing to show for it. 'Oh, baby, I'm going to come back, get my money later on,' you say, 'this evening, about 3 or 4 o'clock, to pick up my money.' But then he don't show up at all." Click here for the rest of the story.
Time magazine reports on an interesting case from Mississippi. "Can the U.S. government take a woman's baby from her because she doesn't speak English? That's the latest question to arise in the hothouse debate over illegal immigration, as an undocumented woman from impoverished rural Mexico — who speaks only an obscure indigenous language — fights in a Mississippi court to regain custody of her infant daughter."
WASHINGTON - 521 local and national organizations signed a letter delivered to President Obama on Aug. 25 demanding the administration terminate the 287(g) program, which grants state and local law enforcement agencies federal immigration enforcement authority. The program, a legacy of the Bush administration, has caused serious civil and human rights abuses, including racial profiling, and endangers public safety.
"The Obama administration has responded to documented violations within the 287(g) program by expanding it and creating an illusory complaint process," said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. "Ostracizing potential victims of and witnesses to crime and providing them with a disincentive to trust the authorities will make all our communities less safe."
Local organizations that signed the letter will host vigils, marches, and other activities across the country to voice their discontent with the administration's decision to expand the 287(g) program despite evidence that it makes immigrant communities and the general public more vulnerable and less safe. Since its inception, the 287(g) program has drawn sharp criticism from federal officials, law enforcement, community groups, and press reports. They say that the program has caused Latinos and other minority groups to be stopped or arrested because of their appearance or accent, which has resulted in the wrongful detention of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The program has failed to meet the federal government's own objectives or priorities in immigration enforcement, and has interfered with local law enforcement's ability to implement sound community policing practices designed to ensure public safety.
"The 287(g) program encourages civil rights abuses and makes it more difficult for police to do their primary job of fighting crime, endangering public safety for everyone," said Carlos Garcia, a Phoenix community organizer with the Macehualli day labor center. "I hope President Obama, as a former community organizer, will recognize that, in defense of their civil rights, immigrant communities have organized around the country in opposition to this failed experiment of the Bush administration."
For more information about local activities to protest the 287(g) program, please contact
Sarahi Uribe at 202-285-9673.
Letter to White House
Family-Based Immigration Seminars from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Thursday, September 24, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (7.0 MCLE)
Golden Gate University School of Law
536 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Deadline to register: 9/17/09
Click here to register now
Friday, September 25, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (7.0 MCLE)
Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
2845 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Deadline to register: 9/18/09
Click here to register now
This full-day training will focus on processing family visa petitions. It is designed for attorneys, paralegals, and accredited representatives, who are relatively new to the field, as well as for experienced service providers who want a review and comprehensive overview of recent developments.
This program will cover the process of family immigration, including visa categories, definition of qualified relatives, use of priority dates, filing procedures, adjustment of status eligibility (including recent developments in 245(i) adjustment), consular processing, and the grounds of inadmissibility, with special emphasis on the three- and ten-year bars.
San Francisco Seminar Presenters: Mark Silverman, ILRC; Laura W. Brown and Paula Solorio, Fellom & Solorio; and Erica Tomlinson, Mahoney & Tomlinson
Los Angeles Seminar Presenters: Dan Torres, ILRC; Genevieve Kramer, Attorney and Immigration Implementation Coordinator, UFW Foundation, Los Angeles; and Bernie Wolfsdorf, Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group
The Washington Post reports that the "Obama administration will largely preserve Bush-era procedures allowing the government to search -- without suspicion of wrongdoing -- the contents of a traveler's laptop computer, cellphone or other electronic device, although officials said new policies would expand oversight of such inspections." The news is no real surprise for when it comes to the border this administration has to this point has come to stand for "enforcement now, enforcement forever."
The ACLU is critical and state that the new DHS "privacy standards for border searches of electronic devices today which, while a welcome first step, do not go far enough. The new standards fail to address the fundamental constitutional problems of suspicionless searches that have been occurring at the border."
For analysis of the legal issues surrounding border searches of electronic data, click here.
The Congressional Research Services issued a report on immigrants and the health care refrom bill and concluded that Immigrants living illegally in the United States could be mandated to have health insurance under the proposed health care reform bill but would be ineligible to receive subsidies to afford such coverage. For the full report, click here.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Obama Administration is busily negotiating bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with China, India, Russia, and Vietnam. BITs aim to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the United States and protect American investors’ rights abroad. It’s disappointing, then, that the Administration seems to omit from the BITs a provision for investor visas, despite the fact that previous administrations have entered into 70 treaties—40 of them BITs entered into since the 1980s—with investor visa provisions. If foreign investors can’t get investor (E-2) visas to come to the U.S., how will they invest here? If American investors are denied visas by foreign countries, how will they manage their investments overseas? Click here for more.
Tuesdays, September 8, 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13, 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm (19.5 MCLE)
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
50 Fremont Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Presenter: Don Ungar, Simmons & Ungar and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Deadline to register: 9/2/09
Click here to register now
Designed for a lawyer who wants to boost his or her knowledge and confidence, this course covers the fundamental concepts and elements of immigration law and procedures. The program will cover all major themes of immigration law, including constitutional issues, grounds of inadmissibility and deportability and related procedures, waivers and relief from removal, the various immigration preference categories, nonimmigrant classes, refugees and asylum, adjustment of status, administrative appeals and judicial review, and the acquisition of American citizenship.
NOTE: This seminar is limited to attorneys and BIA Level 2 Accredited Representatives. Limited to 20 registrants—Few spaces left.
Please contact Sai Suzuki, Marketing Coordinator, at 415-255-9499 Ext 789 or [email protected].