Thursday, July 22, 2010

Job Opening: Border Action Network

Position Opening:  Campaign & Organizing Director

Deadline to Apply: August 15, 2010

Border Action Network (BAN) is looking for an experienced, motivated and fully bilingual (Spanish-English) person to lead a team of talented organizers and leaders in building the capacity and power of immigrant families in Arizona to advance human rights.  A dedicated and passionate person will thrive in this great opportunity amidst an enormously challenging political environment. Border Action is a growing organization with local, statewide and national impact. Its work involves unique and complex community organizing within immigrant and US-Mexico border communities in Arizona.

Who we are: Formed in 1999, Border Action Network is an immigrant and border community-led membership organization that works throughout Arizona, including the Arizona-Sonora border. BAN’s organizing focuses on building a strong base of low-income immigrant and border communities with the tools, knowledge and relationships necessary to insert their voices, dreams, and demands into local, state and national issues. As a human rights community organization, we have prioritized issues that urgently impact immigrant families and border communities. However, our long-term vision for human rights includes not only immigration reform, but also health care, housing, education, workers rights and a clean environment.

Organizing Model: Border Action has a unique organizing model that results in a decentralized organizational structure that ensures that those who are impacted the most by human rights violations in Arizona and along the border are at the forefront of leading the movement for justice and dignity. Individual members are invited to participate in a 40+ hour training that results in the title and responsibilities of a “Human Rights Promoter”. Through leading house meetings, presentations, and a series of discussions, the Promoters form “Human Rights Committees” in their neighborhoods, schools, churches or workplaces comprised of immigrant families. Together, the Promoters and Committees comprise the leadership core of the organization, make the key strategic and political decisions, implement the organization’s campaigns and recruit new members. 

Position Summary:
The Campaign & Organizing Director is responsible for providing overall leadership in campaign and political strategy, alliance building, the development of a vibrant grassroots organizing and leadership development program, and staff development of the organizing team. The Campaign & Organizing Director reports to the Executive Director, and is a member of the Management Team (with the Policy Director, Deputy Director and the Exec. Director). They supervise four regional organizers and their work with a dozen volunteer Human Rights Committees, volunteer Human Rights Promoters, Border Action members, supporters, and ally organizations. 

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in grassroots organizing; campaign and political strategy; staff management; a passion for social justice and human rights; and experience in aligning statewide and local community organizing strategies for local, state and national impact.

Roles and Responsibilities
1. Grassroots Organizing and Leadership Development. Lead in the development of systems, programs and plans to develop and strengthen campaigns and local and statewide community organizing. Provide leadership, coordination and support to the Organizing Team so that they can to help develop further these plans and move them forward through:
○    Leadership development and political education for grassroots leaders and members that helps strengthen and align our organizing campaigns and goals;
○    Clear and strong goals, strategies and implementation plans that integrate our committees, leaders, members and allies, including extensive travel around the state and coordinating with other organizations;
○    Recruitment programs to expand our membership base and strengthen the overall organizing process;
○    Fundraising activities involving grassroots leaders and members;
○    Success indicators and systems to track and document progress.

2. Campaign, political and alliance building strategy development & implementation
○    Lead local and statewide campaign strategy development and alliance building strategies   
○    Maintain a working knowledge of immigration and border issues and the national, state and local political landscape
○    Develop and monitor strategic, big-picture organizing plans that anticipate and respond to challenges and opportunities and propose program and resource shifts to meet those changes
○    Work with Executive Director, Policy Director and Deputy Director to identify and evaluate opportunities and align goals
○    Systematically develop and support organizers and leaders to take increasing responsibilities in all facets of the organization and in the community

3. Organizing staff management and development
○    Create organizing staff development training programs and opportunities for individual staff development plans to improve their strategic, alliance-building and organizing skills
○    Provide staff management, supervision and evaluation for organizers
○    Create success indicators and systems to track and document staff development progress

4. Other Responsibilities
○    Occasional public speaking
○    Promote organizational goals and values in various external activities
○    Participate in membership meetings, staff meetings, and community events
○    Participate in coalitions, networks, and collaborations that forward Border Action’s work as needed
○    Participate in planned individual, staff, and organizational evaluation activities
○    Assist in office management tasks

Qualifications:
○    Bilingual and bi-cultural (Spanish-English)
○    Deep commitment to and passion for Border Action’s mission, immigrant rights, human rights and justice in the borderlands.
○    Successful track record of 4 or more years in community or labor organizing experience, preferably with low-income communities and women, and with a demonstrated capacity to effectively carry out the above responsibilities 

○    At least 3 or more years experience supervising and training community or labor organizers and leading campaigns
○    Ability to identify and set priorities and move teams in line with Border Action’s goals and strategic direction
○    Self-confidence and the capacity to create and independently move forward a complex agenda
○    Able to work frequent weekends and evenings and travel throughout the state
○    Demonstrated experience with political education and organizing skills training curriculum development and excellent workshop facilitation skills based in principles of popular education
○    Excellent communication skills (verbal and written) with the ability to connect to wide-range of audiences and communities
○    Experience with legislative, electoral and/or statewide organizing strongly preferred
○    Excellent computer literacy in either PC or Mac platforms
○    Reliable transportation and a valid drivers license

Salary & Benefits: A competitive, professional salary is dependent on experience. Range: $37,000-$43,000. Benefits package includes health, dental, generous vacations, sick leave and sabbatical policy. Border Action is a family-friendly and an equal opportunity employer.

To Apply by the August 15, 2010 Deadline:
Send to Michael@borderaction.org all of the following: 1) cover letter explaining why you are interested in this specific position; 2) resume; and 3) three professional and one personal references that include phone numbers and emails. Write “Organizing Director” in the subject line.

bh

July 22, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

ACLU Challenges Fremont, Nebraska Ordinance

The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU Nebraska filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of landlords, tenants and employers in Fremont, Nebraska challenging a discriminatory law that seeks to banish persons alleged to be undocumented immigrants from rental homes in the 25,000-person town. The law also mandates that businesses performing work in Fremont enroll in an error-ridden federal program for verifying work status. Like the recently passed law in Arizona, the Fremont law invites racial profiling against Latinos and others who appear "foreign." The group will file a motion shortly requesting that the court block the law from going into effect while the case is litigated.

July 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

NYC BAR ASSOCIATION REPORT ON THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW S.B. 1070

The Arizona Anti-Immigration Act is unconstitutional on a number of grounds and should not be adopted by other states, according to a report released by the New York City Bar Association. The report, prepared by the Association’s Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law, examines the principal provisions of the Act and finds that they are pre- empted by federal law and violate the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Here is the press release.

KJ 

July 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Conservative National Leaders Take Message “On the Road” Urging Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

HOUSTON, TEXAS. On Wednesday, July 21st at 2:00 PM EDT (1:00pm CT, 11:00am PCT), Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR) took its National Press Conference Call “on the road” to Houston, Texas where Rev. David Fleming, Senior Pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church, hosted the call. Rev. Fleming has been leading a Coalition of over 400 Houston-area pastors to call for secure borders, reform of the immigration system and a just process for legal status for specified illegal immigrants. “We are drawn into this conversation personally more than politically as we have a large and growing immigrant congregation. God is for justice, he established the government and we are to be submissive to it. At the same time, we are to be compassionate Christians, not just concerned citizens. We need a balance in our laws between compassion and justice.”

Mary Giovagnoli, Executive Director of the Immigration Policy Center, discussed the need to mesh the values of the rule of law and compassion together with the positive economic value of immigration reform. Ms. Giovagnoli cited a recent study by the Immigration Policy Center which found that $1.5 trillion would be added to the GDP over 10 years if immigration reform were to pass. “When people have a rational and legal way to enter and leave the country, these people invest more in themselves and their communities, they consume more, they give more back. It’s a win-win for us. But if we continue to put most of our resources into enforcement-based strategies and not try to solve the problem in a broader way, we’d find a cut in our gross domestic product of $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years”

As Mayor of Santa Ana, CA, one of the youngest and most conservative cities in the nation, Mayor Mike Pulido spoke about the contributions that immigrants make to the local economy and the vital social fabric of the community he leads. “Part of what we need to do with immigration reform is to try to embed in our policies a concept of spiritual justice. There’s legal and political justice but what is the morally, ethically and spiritually right thing to do, and what we would benefit the whole community? The city of Santa Ana has excellent relationships with our undocumented residents because of our long-term approach to immigration and how we have worked together with them to build stronger communities. We need to bring compassion into this debate, understanding that with a more elevated, enlightened discussion, we will prevail.”

Luawanna Hallstrom, Western Vice President of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, is an appointee through Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Board of Food and Agriculture. “Farmers today are committing to crops they don’t know whether they’ll be able to harvest. If the labor isn’t there, there won’t be a crop. It’s basically a matter of economic life or death for these farmers,” stated Ms. Hallstrom. “Laborers are the most important resource that we have after land and water—they are the machine that drives the industry. It’s obvious that the chaos of not having access to an assured legal labor force has created a national disaster in the economy and socially. It could threaten our food supply, which is national security at the most fundamental level.”

“Small-business owners are among the most trusted and reliable messengers to their communities and to Members of Congress. Business owners are working to educate the public that immigration reform is not only compassionate, but in their own self-interest,” said Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a leading organization of employers advocating for improved immigration policies, talked about how small business owners support reform. “A lot of the 60% of the people who see something to support in the Arizona law aren’t racist—they just want someone to solve the problem, for goodness’ sake! We need not to inflame the debate but to reach out to those people and say ‘We share your frustration, join our army in the fight for reform.’”

Max Finberg, Director, USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, discussed immigration from the perspective of what would impact all Americans- food. “An estimated half of the food that we eat is touched by immigrant hands--from the fields to processing to slaughtering and poultry, to the hands that serve it to us. If we don’t pass comprehensive immigration reform, we could eat half as much, or we could pay another 5-10% of our disposable income for food costs. Here in the United States, we enjoy the safest, most abundant food source in the world and we pay 10-15% less than the rest of the developed world. If we take immigrants out of the equation, we will no longer be able to spend on other things the money we save now on food. So as a nation of eaters, we need immigration reform.”

Robert Gittelson, co-founder of Conservatives for CIR, concluded by saying that comprehensive immigration reform is a “federal stimulus which does not require deficit spending, and does not cost the American tax-payer anything. It actually will reduce the federal deficit through increased tax revenue, as well as reducing our trade deficit by increasing exports. It promotes job creation, and since CIR is financed by the private sector, it should be passed as soon as possible.”

CfCIR is a coalition of pastors and conservative leaders representing millions of conservatives across the country, highlighting the need for a just assimilation policy that respects Biblical mandates and protects the rule of law and family values.

KJ

July 22, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Should Carachuri-Rosendo Help Those Already Deported?

Nina Bernstein writes for the NY Times:

Vincenzo Donnoli was 9 when his family immigrated legally to Brooklyn. He attended Erasmus Hall High School, married and divorced in Flatbush, ran a landscaping business and had five children. But at 51 he is back — alone and jobless — in Pomarico, the hill town in southern Italy where his father was a shepherd, as a deportee banned for life from returning to the United States.
His offense: two misdemeanor convictions for possessing small amounts of cocaine, in 1988 and 2006, both guilty pleas resolved without jail time. Retroactively, immigration authorities added them up to equal an “aggravated felony” that required Mr. Donnoli’s automatic deportation last year.

That kind of arithmetic, an aggressive government interpretation of 1996 immigration laws that has been increasingly invoked in recent years, was rejected by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision in June. [Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder] But the ruling came too late for Mr. Donnoli and thousands of deportees like him, all former lawful residents who have no way to turn that legal vindication into a chance to come home.

“The Supreme Court has said in a series of cases that the government’s theories of deportation have been wrong for years,” said Daniel Kanstroom, a professor at Boston College Law School, citing earlier decisions that rejected the government’s classification of other minor crimes as deportable offenses. “And yet the legal system has not developed a mechanism to right that wrong for the thousands of people who have been wrongly deported.”

Under the ruling last month, which echoed decisions by four federal circuit courts, including the one covering New York, legal residents with minor drug convictions are eligible to have an immigration judge weigh their offenses against other factors in their lives and decide whether to let them stay.

But deportees who were denied such a hearing have no means to get one now. The Board of Immigration Appeals says it has no jurisdiction over any case after deportation. Government regulations prohibit any motion to reopen the case of someone who has left the country; judicial circuits are divided over that interpretation of immigration law, and a request that the Supreme Court consider the matter is pending.  Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

July 21, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Schwarzennegger Nominates Filipina to State Supreme Court

Filipino Americans and Chinese Americans are the two largest Asian American communities in California and in the United States in large part due to immigration policies.

David Siders writes for The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will nominate Tani Cantil-Sakauye, a Republican appellate court justice with a reputation as a moderate, to be chief justice of the California Supreme Court, The Bee learned Tuesday.

Cantil-Sakauye
Cantil-Sakauye, 50, of Sacramento is a former prosecutor and Sacramento Superior Court judge. She would replace Chief Justice Ronald George, who has announced he will retire Jan. 2.

Cantil-Sakauye has been on the 3rd District Court of Appeal since 2005. If approved by a three-member commission and by voters in November, she would start a 12-year term in January.

She would be the state's first Filipina American chief justice.

"Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has a distinguished history of public service and understands that the role of a justice is not to create law, but to independently and fairly interpret and administer the law," Schwarzenegger said in a statement contained in a draft news release obtained by The Bee.

Cantil-Sakauye was quoted in that release as saying, "Being nominated to serve on the highest court in California is a dream come true."

While on the 3rd District Court of Appeal, Cantil-Sakauye wrote the court's opinion this year striking down a California regulation that allowed trained school staffers to give insulin shots to students. Nurses had challenged the regulation, adopted in 2007.

Cantil-Sakauye dissented last year when the court majority ruled that the city of Sacramento was not liable in a case in which a woman claimed two firefighters sexually assaulted her. The majority opinion said the alleged assault was not among the firefighters' official duties.

She is a graduate of U.C. Davis School of Law.

bh

July 21, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program

Harvest of Loneliness:   The Bracero Program is a documentary by UC Irvine Chicano/Latino Studies professor Gilbert Gonzalez that explores the history of the Bracero Program, the long-running guest worker program that was in place from WWII to the 1960s.  Arizona's controversial new immigration law has reignited heated debates on how best to address the country's undocumented immigrant population. In looking to future policies and programs, including proposed "guest worker" programs," it is important to reexamine the past.

In a new documentary, The Harvest of Loneliness: The Bracero Program, Gonzalez and Vivian Price explore the historical accounts of migrant Mexican farm workers brought into the U.S. from 1942-1964 under the temporary worker program known as the Bracero Program. Check out here for more detrails.

KJ

July 21, 2010 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Obama Administration Gets It Right in Bringing United States v. Arizona

In United States v. Arizona, the Obama administration claims that Arizona’s new immigration law, SB 1070, is an unconstitutional intrusion on the federal power to regulate immigration and thus violates the U.S Constitution, which makes federal law the supreme law of the land. The complaint avoids the fears of racial profiling that have outraged opponents of the law. Nonetheless, the U.S. Department of Justice has been harshly criticized by, among others, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer who has alleged that “As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels. Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice.” Despite the warlike hyperbole, the Obama administration was unquestionably correct to seek in its attempt to ensure adherence to the rule of law.

A bit of legal history is in order. In the nation’s first century, the states in fact attempted to regulate migration. New York and Massachusetts, for example, charged a tax on each passenger brought by a ship into its jurisdiction, which the Supreme Court invalidated as infringing on Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. States also restricted the migration of the poor, criminals, and other undesirables into their jurisdictions. In the late 1800s, Congress decided to exercise the power to regulate immigration. Although the series of comprehensive immigration laws included provisions that have not withstood the test of time – such as those limiting Chinese immigration, the Supreme Court rejected challenges to them, declaring that Congress possessed “plenary power” over immigration.

The Court has offered several constitutional justifications for national regulation of immigration, including Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce and to establish a “uniform rule of naturalization,” as well as the President’s power over foreign relations. The Court has consistently ruled that the U.S. government possesses the exclusive power to regulate immigration. This makes perfect sense. The nation needs a uniform national system for admission and removal of immigrants from the United States. States in certain areas have greatly limited powers. States cannot regulate interstate commerce; states cannot have their own foreign policy; states cannot have their own naturalization rules. Consequently, in the 1976 case of DeCanas v. Bica, the Supreme Court held that “Power to regulate immigration is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.”

Today, the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1952 is a thoroughly intricate, detailed, and comprehensive law dealing with the admission and removal of noncitizens from the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been entrusted with the administration of the immigration laws, with Immigration & Customs Enforcement the primary agency entrusted with their enforcement.

With the failure of Congress to enact reform an immigration system that is characterized by people across the political spectrum as “broken,” a growing number of state and local governments have understandably become frustrated and attempted to take immigration law into their own hands. Cities as different as rural Hazleton, Pennsylvania and suburban Farmer’s Branch, Texas, have passed through ill-advised ordinances that seek to regulate immigration in ways that federal law does not, such as by prohibiting landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants. Some states, including Arizona, have entered the immigration thicket as well.

Supporters of the Arizona law claim that it simply mirrors federal immigration law. But the Arizona legislature in enacting SB 1070 “declare[d] that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.” (emphasis added). Immigration enforcement undisputedly is the one and only immigration priority in SB 1070. In contrast, federal immigration law, as it must, balances many competing goals – admissions of family members, workers, and refugees, removals (and relief from removals), public safety and national security, foreign relations, and human rights, to name a few.

Even if justified, the frustration at the state and local levels cannot justify passing laws in conflict with U.S. immigration law. SB 1070 creates several new immigration crimes that are found nowhere in federal law for, among other things, noncitizens failing to carry proper documents, as well as for the employment of undocumented immigrants. By deputizing state and local law enforcement to enforce the immigration laws, SB 1070 seeks to increase enforcement of the immigration laws that the federal government does not want. The Arizona law has greatly increased tensions between the United States and Mexico and dominated the discussions between President Obama and Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon during his recent visit. And, as the call for economic boycotts make clear -- with next year’s Major League Baseball’s All Star game in Phoenix in jeopardy of a boycott, the negative interstate commerce impacts of Arizona’s foray into immigration are clear.

Perhaps the Arizona Legislature wanted to send a message to the U.S. government. California has some experience with that goal as it once sought to “send a message” to the U.S. government about immigration. In 1994, the voters by a 2-1 margin passed Proposition 187, which would have, among other things, denied a K-12 public education to undocumented students (contrary to a Supreme Court ruling) and required public officials to report suspected undocumented person to federal authorities. The Clinton administration received the message and increased enforcement efforts. Still, a federal court stuck down the initiative on the grounds that it was intruded on the power of Congress to regulate immigration. In the end, the U.S. government was right to attempt to halt Arizona’s effort to pass its own enforcement-only immigration law. The Department of Justice is doing precisely what the proponents of SB 1070 say should be the priority with respect to immigration law – enforcing the letter of the law.

In the end, the answer to those who support the Arizona immigration law is not to pass state laws that conflict with federal immigration law and its enforcement but, as the Constitution requires, to lobby Congress and to push for comprehensive immigration reform. By bringing United States v. Arizona, the Obama administration thus seeks to redirect the immigration debate to federal law-makers, which is exactly where the issue of immigration should be addressed.

Stay tuned!  The district court in Phoenix will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 22.

KJ

July 20, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

AILA Sues DHS and USCIS over H-1B Transparency Issues

Lawsuit Filed Against Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Seeks Transparency Promised by Obama Administration
American Immigration Lawyers Association Seeks Disclosure of Records under FOIA
 
Washington D.C. - Today the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures for the "H-1B" visa program - a program which allows U.S. businesses to temporarily employ highly-skilled foreign workers.
 
AILA had pursued disclosure of the documents through two separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, both of which were denied in full by the government.  In its complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, AILA seeks the court's intervention to compel the government to release the requested records.
 
The FOIA litigation centers on the government's H-1B visa review and processing procedures. The H-1B program, administered by USCIS, allows U.S. businesses to temporarily employ foreign workers - such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers - in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields.  Since 2008, USCIS has implemented new, more stringent procedures for review and processing and has dramatically increased the frequency of unannounced worksite inspections - expected to reach 25,000 visits in 2010 alone - in connection with H-1B cases.  Yet USCIS has kept secret the rules and guidelines related to the review process.  The dearth of publicly available information on the government's heightened scrutiny of H-1B applications makes it particularly difficult for businesses to anticipate and meet agency expectations during the application process.
 
"The requested documents are the kind that a government agency should release as a matter of course," said Crystal Williams, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  "That we had to file a FOIA request, and that the request was denied, is counter to the President's directives for a more open and transparent government.  This lawsuit seeks to require the agency to be true to the open government directives of the Obama administration."
 
"It is in the public and the agency's interest to release the documents sought by AILA," said Mary Kenney, attorney at the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center.  "The documents will help employers and foreign workers who seek immigration benefits comply with the law.  Further, the agency violated FOIA when it issued wholesale denials of AILA's FOIA requests."

bh

July 20, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Arizona High Schools Will Teach Spanish Entirely in English

A photo from the Onion:

Sombrero

bh

July 20, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Ingacia Moya (Mexico) -- A Naturalized U.S. Citizen at 106!

140px-Nancy_Reagan_reopens_Statue_of_Liberty_1986 Elderly-woman-250x250 Courtesy Change.org

Here is a real immigrant success storyIngacia Moya, frail, blind and with bad hearing at 106 years old, went through naturalization ceremonies in Chicago on Monday and became a U.S. citizen.  Moya had been a legal resident of the United States since moving here almost 40 years ago from Mexico.  In 1986, she studied for the citizenship exam but failed as she lost her sight and hearing.  Rep. Luis Gutiérrez assisted her with obtaining a medical waiver.  Moya's wants the opportunity to vote in November.  "When asked how she felt, Moya said `muy bien!'"

There appear to be only two or three other people who were older than Moya when they became U.S. citizens. The oldest was a 117-year-old woman from Turkey.

KJ

July 20, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 29 National Day of Action Against SB1070

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

Organize for the July 29 National Day of Action Against SB1070, for Justice & Human Rights!
Support community resistance to Arizona's anti-immigrant racial profiling law

NNIRR calls on members, friends and allies to join in a national day of actions against SB1070, the Arizona anti-immigrant racial profiling law this July 29. SB1070 can be stopped by demanding and organizing for justice and human rights for all!

NNIRR is urging the Obama Administration to use all resources at its disposal to stop SB1070 -- and to end ALL immigration-police collaboration.

SB1070 is set to go into effect on July 29, giving Arizona police the power to stop and arrest anyone they suspect of being undocumented. The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against SB1070 to declare it unconstitutional; the DOJ is arguing that the state law usurps federal powers to regulate immigration.

Arizona community groups and their partners are leading dynamic efforts to oppose SB1070 and are organizing diverse actions and campaigns like "Move the Game" to expose and build pressure to stop the hateful law.

Take Action to Stop SB1070
· Express solidarity with immigrant and border communities: Organize vigils, protests and other activities to demand an end to SB1070 in Arizona and to raise awareness of the local impacts of immigration-police collaboration in your community.

· Tell Obama and Congress to roll-back all immigration-police collaboration programs: Hold community meetings and other actions to learn about and organize against the 287(g) and "Secure Communities" programs and their connection to Arizona's hate law SB1070.

· Make calls or send faxes to President Obama (202) 456-1414 and your Congressional delegation at (202) 224-3121: ask them to suspend all immigration-police collaboration and investigate the immigration law enforcement abuses being committed against people of color, immigrants and working people at the border and interior.

· Raise your voices for justice & human rights: Report abuses to NNIRR's human rights documentation initiative, HURRICANE: the Human Rights Immigrant Community Action Network. Click here to report an abuse and share your story of organizing for justice and human rights.

President Obama:
Suspend immigration-police collaboration & enforcement operations
The crisis in Arizona is the result of federal immigration control and border security policies that deliberately funnel migrants through Arizona. Thousands of migrants have died and disappeared and countless more have suffered at the U.S.-Mexico border since the U.S. implemented this border security strategy in 1994.

NNIRR is joining with diverse local and national groups to organize resistance against all forms of immigration policing and racist laws, including SB1070 and its federal counterparts, the 287(g) and "Secure Communities" initiatives that allow local police to act as immigration enforcers and detectors of status. SB 1070 is based on these programs.

SB1070 and federal programs of immigration-police collaboration violate our basic rights to freedom of movement, freedom of association, protection from all forms of discrimination and the right to healthy community and public safety. With collaboration, the police and others use a person's perceived or actual immigration status to trump our constitutional rights. Now the U.S. is deporting record numbers of people with total disregard for their due process rights.

As copy cat laws emerge in other states, the Obama Administration must act swiftly to investigate immigration abuses, including hearings with our communities to directly learn of the impacts. We need government accountability for the human rights crisis resulting from a flawed and abusive immigration enforcement policy.

Dream, rise, organize -- for justice and human rights!

bh

July 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

From the Bookshelves: Faces of America by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Gates_Front
Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered their Pasts by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

As a nation of immigrants, the American experience is vibrantly defined by the diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious heritage of its people. Perhaps because so many of their ancestors migrated to this country relatively recently, Americans are especially concerned with their family trees, carving out personal histories by combing through documents such as wills and estate records, federal and state censuses, and private family papers, and mining the stories and tales handed down to them by their forebears. Since 2007, the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has been helping African Americans find long-buried details about their ancestors by researching their family trees and then, when the paper trail ends, by analyzing their DNA and marrying that information to a wealth of historical data. Now, in Faces of America Gates explores the family trees of twelve of America’s most recognizable and extraordinary citizens, individuals who learn that they are of Asian, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Jamaican, Jewish, Latino, Native American, Swiss, and Syrian ancestry: Inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, chef Mario Batali, comedian and television personality Stephen Colbert, writer Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, actress Eva Longoria, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, writer and director Mike Nichols, former monarch of Jordan Queen Noor, surgeon and author Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep, and Olympic gold medalist and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. In addition, each of the subjects in Faces of America underwent dense genotyping to trace their genetic ancestry on their father’s line, their mother’s line, and their percentages of European, Asian, Native American, and African ancestry. Faces of America unfolds as a riveting journey into our country’s complex ancestral past. Readers will share in the surprise and delight, the shock and sadness of these twelve individuals themselves as Gates unveils their rich family stories, traced back to their arrival on America’s shores, and beyond, deep into the history of their ancestors’ countries of origin. America, as Gates shows us, is a nation of many historical threads, interwoven and united in the present moment. In this compelling book, Gates demonstrates that where we come from profoundly and fundamentally informs who we are today.

KJ

July 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

California Sends More National Guard Troops to the Border

Gov. Schwarzenegger has signed an order that will send the California National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help stem illegal immigration.

Schwarzenegger indicated his support in June when President Obama announced the deployment of 1,200 National Guard members to secure the nation's southwestern border.

As part of that support. the governor's office announced Friday the temporary deployment of 224 California National Guard troops to the California-Mexico border." Click here for further information.

bh

July 19, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Conservatives for Immigration Reform

Conservative National Leaders Take Message “On the Road” Urging Action on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

HOUSTON, TEXAS/SANTA ANA, CA.  Wednesday, July 21st at 2:00 PM EDT (1:00pm CT, 11:00am PCT), Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR) will take its National Press Conference Call “on the road” to two locations: Santa Ana, CA where Mayor Mike Pulido will host, and Houston, Texas where Rev. David Fleming will host. This will be CFCIR’s 7th call with some of the country’s most influential Conservative leaders, and updating the broader Coalition on the on-going efforts to pass immigration reform. 
On this call, CfCIR will bring together a powerful group of business, political and faith leaders to discuss the positive moral and economic effects comprehensive immigration reform would have on our nation. Studies show that, if done right, comprehensive immigration could add $1.5 trillion to the United States’ GDP over 10 years. With a better economy, more Americans will be able to lead provide for their families and protect the dignity the Bible tells us all humans deserve.

This press conference call will feature prominent business leaders and Conservative community leaders including:

Mayor Mike Pulido, Mayor of Santa Ana, CA
Rev. David Fleming, Senior Pastor of Champion Forest Baptist Church
Jeff Moseley, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership
Luawanna Hallstrom, Western Vice President of the National Council of Agricultural Employers
Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA

This event will be open to public and press with a question and answer session at the end. 

***Press and Public Conference Call: Wednesday, July 21st at 2:00 PM EDT***
**Call-in number: 800-289-0493 Conference Code:  1576854 **

bh

July 18, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

More on the Dangers Facing Border Crossers

It truly is scary times along the U.S./Mexico border for undocumented migrants.  Besides the risk of dying from the elements that I wrote about yesterday, there are many other dangers as well.  AP reports about a Nazi-sympathizer leading armed patrols along the border and gangs reportedly are targeting migrants for kidnapping and ransom demands from their families in the U.S..

KJ

July 18, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Anomaly of Consular Nonreviewability

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Here is an article on consular nonreviewability by Donald Dobkin in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.  Download ArticleDobkin[1]
  The doctrine that consular visa decisions are not reviewable by a court oif law is a conspicuous exception to the general rule of judicial review of agency decisions.

KJ

July 18, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Death on the Border Continues: The Result of Increased Border Enforcement

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Many newspapers -- the L.A. Times, for example -- have been highlighting the fact that a growing number of state and local governments have been passing immigration-related legislation, which is an important phenomenon that has been going on for the last several years.  In some ways, Arizona's SB 1070 is simply the latest and most extreme example.  However, a story that was buried in my local newspaper really deserves greater attention.

The headline of the AP story is "Immigrant deaths in Arizona desert soaring in July" and the first line reveals much about the direct impacts of U.S. border enforcemment policies:

"The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico is soaring so high this month that the medical examiner's office that handles the bodies is using a refrigerated truck to store some of them, the chief examiner said Friday."

This human tragedy -- migrants dying horrible deaths in the deserts and mountains along the U.S./Mexico border -- has become an every-day occurrence along the U./S./Mexico border.  The implementation of Operation Gatekeeper near San Diego and Operation Hold the Line in El Paso in the 1990s, signalled a move by the United States toward greatly increased border enforcement along our southern border.  Since then, the undocumented population has increased from 5.5-6 million in the mid-1990s to 11-12 million today.  Increased border enforcement, which besides these operations includes increased technology, extension of the border fence, mass detention of migrants, and record levels of deportations, thus certainly has not reduced the size of the undocumented population in the United States.

However, by redirecting the flow of migrants from urban areas to more desolate and dangerous locations, thousands of migrants -- most of them from Mexico -- have died.  This is one of the oft-forgotten costs of our current immigration enforcement policies.  It is a cost that is likely to continue until we revisit and reform the U.S. immigration laws in a thoughtful and comprehensive way.

The bottom line:  As the mounting deaths on the border demonstrate, the "enforcement now, enforcement forever" policy of the current administration will not address all of the immigration issues facing the nation -- including undocumented immigration.

KJ

July 17, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Solis and Trumpka to Discuss Immigration Reform Needs

From the AFL-CIO:

Solis, Trumka Talk Immigration Reform, Worker Rights on Live Webcast http://bit.ly/cGFZGq

Join Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for a live video webcast Monday to address the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform from a worker rights perspective. The webcast will air at 1 p.m. EDT.

Solis will explore the corporate exploitation of undocumented immigrant workers and the depressing effect it has on labor standards nationally. She also will outline how fixing our nation’s broken immigration system is essential to advancing the rights of all workers.

Trumka will review the union movement’s immigration policy and discuss the AFL-CIO’s plans to advance this important piece of our program to create an economy that works for everyone.

bh

July 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Illinois Satisfies Feds on English-Language learners

Mary Ann Zehr writes for Education Week:

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice has announced that with the adoption of new administrative rules, the Illinois State Board of Education has satisfied a concern federal officials had that Illinois school districts weren't providing adequate services to English-language learners.

And in the July 13 press release making that announcement, Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, states that an English-language learner in this country has the right to receive special help to learn English as long as he or she has that label.

"All English-language learner students have the right to appropriate language support services until they achieve English proficiency, and when educational agencies terminate such services prematurely, they deny these students the equal educational opportunity that federal law guarantees them," Mr. Perez said in the press release. Click here for the rest of the column.

bh

July 17, 2010 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)