Thursday, August 27, 2009

Novel Use of Border Fence: Is this What Congress Had in Mind -- A Stimulus to the Mexican Economy?

The Associated Press reports what I believe is the best, most non-lethal use of the U.S./Mexico border fence that I have heard:  "Police in the Mexican border city of Tijuana say they have arrested six men for stealing pieces of the U.S. border fence to sell as scrap metal."  The brilliance of Congress always amazes me -- reduce migration by providing economic assistance to the Mexican economy through the border fence!

Hat tip to Cappy White!


August 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Kondracke: Congress Should Reform Immigration to Honor Kennedy

The nation continues mourning the passing of the "liberal lion" Senator Edward Kennedy.  Morton M. Kondracke on Roll Call writes that "it would be a fitting tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) if Congress could act on his other great unfinished cause: immigration reform."


August 27, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

David Bacon Exclusive: Photos from Hayward, California

HAYWARD, CA - 15AUGUST09 - Familes receive food at a food distribution organized every month by Hope for the Heart in Hayward. Many people begin lining up for food the day before, and sleep overnight on the sidewalk in order to make sure they get their food before it runs out. Many families are immigrants from Mexico, and don't have enough money to buy food or pay rent. Food for the program comes from the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and the people distributing the food are all volunteers, organized by local churches. During the food distribution, children of food recipients listen to music, and watch a religious service while their families are waiting.








For more articles and images, see

August 27, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy, Champion of Immigrants: RIP

225px-Ted_Kennedy,_official_photo_portrait_crop Raquel Aldana reported on the sad news of the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy. The Senator was a long-time champion of immigration and immigrants and played a critical role in Congressional passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, which abolished the discriminatory national origins quotas system. He also helped shape the Refugee Act of 1980 and immigration reform legislation in 1986 and 1990.  Until his health failed him, Senator Kennedy pressed for comprehensive immigration reform.  For more from Robert Gittelson on Senator Kennedy's immigration legacy, click here.

Many will never forget that Senators Kennedy and Obama were the only U.S. Senators who marched in the immigrant rights marches of spring 2006.

Senator Kennedy, rest in peace.


August 26, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Policy Study on the Economics of Immigration in South Carolina

"The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of South Carolina's economy and tax base and are a growing share of voters in the state. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As voters, they are a growing political force. As South Carolina works towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping and growing the economic and political landscape of the Palmetto State."


August 26, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

9th Circuit allows FGM Case to go Forward

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a Northern California family whose daughter underwent forced circumcision in Indonesia to seek political asylum in the United States.  The court criticized immigration officials who decided that the girl had suffered no serious harm when her genitals were mutilated as a newborn and ordered the family's deportation.  For the full story, click here.


August 26, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Senator Kennedy Dies at Age 77

Kenney The  New York Times tributes the Senator as one of the most effective senators of all time and unexpectedly the most poignant Kennedy legacy. Senator Kennedy died of brain cancer Tuesday night. A proponent of health care and immigration reform, the Senator's memory shall remain in the nation's psychic as it takes up these pressing issues. It is a sad day today in the Hill.


August 26, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (1)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New DHS Blog: Our Border -- A Southwest Border Civil Network

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has unveiled its own blog, Our Border -- A Southwest Border Civic Network.  Expect a lot of enforcement-oriented news, 24/7.


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NEW AMERICANS IN THE PALMETTO STATE: Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an Economic Powerhouse in South Carolina

The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of South Carolina's economy and tax base and are a growing share of voters in the state. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As voters, they are a growing political force. As South Carolina works towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping and growing the economic and political landscape of the Palmetto State. Highlights of the research include:

• Immigrants make up about 4.3% of South Carolina's total population, and more than a third of them are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote.

• The purchasing power of South Carolina's Latinos and Asians totaled $5.2 billion in 2008.

 • Businesses owned by Asians and Latinos had sales and receipts of $2.8 billion and employed more than 20,000 people in 2002 (the last year for which data is available).

• If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from South Carolina, the state would lose $1.8 billion in expenditures, $782 million in economic output, and about 12,000 jobs.

There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they play in South Carolina's political and economic future. For more data on the contributions of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians to the Palmetto State's economy, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety. Download Sc


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Job Announcement: University of Baltimore Immigrant Rights Clinic

THE UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE SCHOOL OF LAW seeks candidates with an interest in directing UB’s Immigrant Rights Clinic.  The position is tenured or tenure-track and would begin in the 2010-2011 academic year.   We invite applications from candidates who have a distinguished academic background, a record of or the promise of both teaching excellence and scholarly distinction, and a commitment to service in the law school and the community. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to receive full consideration.  In keeping with its commitment to a diverse faculty, the law school welcomes applications from all qualified candidates and encourages women and minorities to apply.   Contact Elizabeth J. Samuels, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, The University of Baltimore School of Law, 1420 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-5779, [email protected].


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Revised 287(g) Agreements Must be Signed by October

The Department of Homeland Security is requiring counties  to sign a new memorandum of agreement, narrowing the focus to violent or serious crimes, for its 287(g) program or end their agreements. The program allows state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce some federal immigration laws. Participating law enforcement agencies have until early October to sign the revised agreement or stop participating in the program. For the full story, click here.


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Post reports on Grueling Story of Kidnap and Ransom for Undocumented Family

"Ulises Martinez received the first call on a cold January morning, a stern voice shocking him through his cellphone. His in-laws had been taken hostage after a grueling border crossing from the Mexican desert into Arizona. Martinez would have to pay $3,000 to secure their release. I am not responsible for what will happen to them if you do not pay the money,' the voice said. He would dismember the in-laws and dump them in the desert if Martinez didn't pay up. It was $3,000 Martinez, a 40-year-old Alexandria mechanic with a wife and toddler, didn't have and couldn't get. As demands quickly increased to $5,400, Martinez's in-laws cowered in their underwear in a dark, squalid room in Phoenix and were told that their fingers would be cut off and their organs harvested if the cartel's demands weren't met. Desperate and confused, Martinez, himself an undocumented immigrant, called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Washington area, touching off an intense federal investigation. It was one of dozens of such search-and-rescue missions spurred by similar menacing calls over the past year, and one of two cases in Northern Virginia in recent months."   For the full story, click here.


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

New Immigration Articles From SSRN

Here are some new immigration articles from the Social Science Research Network (

"Language Access and Initiative Outcomes: Did the Voting Rights Act Reduce Support for Bilingual Education?" DANIEL HOPKINS, Georgetown.  ABSTRACT:  When trying to incorporate immigrants, policymakers risk provoking a backlash if they use the immigrants' native language. We investigate this tradeoff by studying Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, which ensures that many non-English speakers have access to election materials in their native language. Focusing on California's Proposition 227 on bilingual education, this paper tests how Spanish-language materials influenced election outcomes in both predominantly Latino precincts and predominantly non-Hispanic white precincts. Empirically, it exploits the legal thresholds for language assistance as well as propensity score matching to identify highly similar precincts that did or did not provide materials in Spanish. The analysis finds convincing evidence that Section 203 raised turnout and reduced support for ending bilingual education in heavily Latino precincts. Yet it finds no backlash: the sight of Spanish did not bolster support for the initiative in precincts with many non-Hispanic whites.

"Case Study: Aguilar v. Ice; Litigating Workplace Immigration Raids in the Twenty-First Century" Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 14, p. 389, April 1, 2009 GREGOIRE F. SAUTER  ABSTRACT:  On March 6, 2007, agents for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of USCIS arrested 361 immigrants working illegally in a factory in downtown New Bedford, Mass. The immigrants, many of whom could have applied for asylum in the United States, were swiftly detained; within two days, most were flown to detention centers on the Texas-Mexico border. A coalition of civil rights groups, immigrant rights organizations and lawyers sued to prevent the immigrants’ deportation and obtain their return to Massachusetts. This paper describes their efforts and the challenges these advocates encountered in litigating Aguilar v. ICE.

"Flatlining: How the Reluctance to Embrace Immigrant Nurses is Mortally Wounding the U.S. Healthcare System" MARIA PABON LOPEZ, Indiana University Indianapolis DIOMEDES J. SITOURAS.  ABSTRACT:  Understaffing of nurses in U.S. hospitals is severely impacting the quality of healthcare and is predicted to worsen in future years. By the year 2020, the nursing workforce is projected to be nearly a million nurses short. The current nurse pool is retiring, and the number of new nurses entering the profession is inadequate. At the same time, an aging baby boomer population will need to be cared for as they reach old age. The nationwide shortage is related to another issue, inadequate staffing. There is a strong relationship between inadequate staffing and adverse patient outcomes, including mortality. Proposed domestic solutions to this problem include mandating the minimum number of nurses per patient, increasing nurse education investment, augmenting existing outreach programs that target young people, and increasing nurse wages. One possible solution is the use of foreign nurses to alleviate the burgeoning shortage. This solution is circumscribed by immigration law, which still remains far behind in terms of meeting the need. Immigration law only authorizes 500 H-1C visas per year. Attempts to expand immigration have been met with a cold response from nurse unions and trade associations. This Article argues for the increased use of foreign nurses in U.S. hospitals as a complement to proposed domestic policy solutions, in order to fully alleviate the shortage and to adequately ensure patient safety. This Article analyzes past and current efforts in the U.S. to use immigrant nurses in times of nurse shortage. The Article concludes by analyzing the challenges associated with the continued nurse migration and also calls for an expansion of the H-1C program, as well as further global investment in nursing care.


August 25, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Some anti-immigrant enthuisiasts, such as Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan, often try to stir up animosity between African Americans and Latina/os by blaming the economic difficulties faced by many Blacks on immigrants.  The Black Alliance for Just Immigration is trying to challenge this propoganda and to make people aware of its programs and initiatives. BAJI recently launched a new MySpace page to keep in touch with you. You can click on the link and (1) Sign up as a "Friend of BAJI" by clicking on the "ADD" button to receive regular notices of events, action alerts and updates; and (2) Click on the BAJI Reader link and order a copy of our new publication. This premier issue, "Black Perspectives on Race, Globalization and Immigration", contains articles that expose the powerful forces that are forcing migrants across borders to find work and make a convincing case that African Americans and immigrants must come together to fight for social and economic justice for all.

Founded in 2006, BAJI is an education and advocacy group comprised of African Americans and black immigrants from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The BAJI Reader helps to take the issue of immigration out of the day-to-day propaganda war being waged by the media and the anti-immigrant groups. It presents facts and analysis that point to racism and economic exploitation on a global scale as the root causes of immigration to the U.S. 



August 24, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Ninth Circuit's Latest on FGM

The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge McKeown (joined by Judges Fletcher and Smith), ruled today that "[t]he BIA’s determination concerning the persecution Annisa suffered when she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation and the dismissal of that procedure as a lesser form of circumcision was erroneous. Female genital mutilation `constitutes persecution sufficient to support an asylum claim.' Abebe v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 2005) (en banc). The BIA’s conclusion to the contrary is at odds with Ninth Circuit law and represents a misunderstanding of the BIA’s own precedent. The BIA also erred in failing to consider whether the threat that Anakarina would be forced to undergo female genital mutilation in the future could be a ground for relief in this matter. Substantial evidence supports the rejection of Benyamin’s other proffered basis for relief. We grant the petition for review and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

Benyamin v. Holder, Aug. 24, 2009. Download 05-71488[1]


August 24, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

25th Anniversary for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Congratulations to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project!

Greetings!  NWIRP is proud to celebrate 25 years of immigrant rights work, reuniting families and creating critical change on large and small scales in our community. Please join us on Saturday, October 10 from 5:30-8:00p at the Seattle Hilton for heavy hors d'oeuvres and a reception that will be sure to to inspire you.  We look forward to seeing you then! Click here for more information.

Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project


August 24, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Census Outreach to Undocumented Immigrants

Oscar Avila writes for the Chicago Tribune:

The Spanish-language soap "Mas Sabe El Diablo" ("The Devil Knows Best") soon will treat viewers to more than the typical vixens and hunks.

A main character is set to become a census worker, a lackluster job more associated with tallying neighbors on the block than notches on the bedpost.

The Telemundo network sees the unusual casting not as a ratings grabber but as an awareness campaign underscoring concerns that the once-a-decade tabulation of the nation's population faces especially severe challenges in counting minorities and hard-to-reach communities in Chicago and elsewhere.

Since the 2000 census, the dismantling of Chicago Housing Authority developments and a wave of home foreclosures have scattered residents, including many African-Americans, throughout the six-county area.

Meanwhile, federal authorities have stepped up arrests of undocumented immigrants, leading to worries that those residents will remain underground rather than report their presence to a federal census worker. Hence, the soap plot line, in which an unwed mother takes a census job and in the process educates her family -- and immigrant viewers -- about the government count.

"We're going wherever the viewers are, even though you're combining something that's a little different with the steamy telenovela," network spokeswoman Michelle Alban said.

In the midst of the challenges, the government agencies and non-profit groups that typically organize outreach are facing decimated budgets just months before the census takes place in the spring.

That means areas without money to undertake extensive outreach efforts might miss out on a helping hand to climb out of the recession because they will not get their share of about $400 billion in federal aid allocated each year strictly on population, such as unemployment benefits. Click here for the rest of the story. Click here for the rest of the story.


August 24, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

We Need the DREAM Act

The story of one DREAM Act student from Newsweek:

. . . I eventually came up with a small list of possible colleges—state schools that I might be able to afford or schools that offered scholarships for undocumented students. That April, I received my acceptance to UC Berkeley, and soon after, a few small scholarships. It was a bittersweet triumph. Though I was qualified to attend the best public university in the nation, I couldn't afford it. My funds barely totaled $5,000, only about one semester's tuition. Still, I wanted to attend my dream school for at least that first semester. So after graduation I hopped on a Greyhound bus with two suitcases and headed to Berkeley.
. . . As expected, my funds ran out right after that first semester, forcing me to leave that very special school. I am back home now and attending community college. And I am back on the same taxing schedule—two days of classes and four days of work. My goal is to save some money while finishing up my associate's degree. I still enjoy school, but dream about someday attending Berkeley again. Click here for the entire piece.

We need the DREAM Act.


August 24, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Liliana Sanctuario facing deportation remains in Simi church: Two Years and Counting

In September 2007, ImmigrationProf reported on the conflict in Simi Valley over a church's sheltering of an undocumented mother facing deportation.  I am shocked to report that, according to a news story by  Jacky Guerrero of the Ventura County Star, the 31-year-old mother from Oxnard named Liliana, accused of falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen during a failed attempt to enter the country a decade ago, remains on church property 730 days after she arrived. "She calls herself Liliana Santuario, using the Spanish word for sanctuary and refusing to use her real name. She lives behind United Church of Christ in a parsonage decorated with her wedding photo, a flag that displays Our Lady of Guadalupe amid Mexico’s colors and knickknacks featuring Hannah Montana." Liliana's children are 2, 6, and 9 years old live with her and leave the church to attend school and soccer games; her husband is a naturalized U.S. citizen and lives in town, although he visits the parsonage often.


August 24, 2009 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

From the Bookshelves: We ARE Americans

41PDrouK2mL__SL500_AA240_ The millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. include young people who are studying hard and achieving academic success — only to find the doors of opportunity closed to them when they reach college. Education professor William Perez records their plight in a series of portraits in his new book, We ARE Americans: Untold stories of undocumented students in pursuit of the American Dream.

For a NPR interview of the author, click here.  William Perez, a professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University, will donate a percentage of the proceeds of book sales to scholarships for undocumented students in higher education.  We Are Americans is the web pick of the week on Publishers Weekly.WPerez3


August 23, 2009 in Books | Permalink | TrackBack (0)