Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Paul Davenport writes for the Associated Press
The requirement to do so is 7,756 voter signatures from Senate President Russell Pearce's legislative district.
Recall proponents say they filed petitions bearing 18,315 signatures. But campaign chairman Chad Snow acknowledged thousands of those might be duplicates or signatures of people who live outside Pearce's district.
"We want those extra petition signatures to send a message," Snow said. "We want to send a message to Sen. Pearce, to every legislator down here at the Arizona Legislature that this kind of extreme, ideologically driven policies will no longer be tolerated in our state."
Officials say it could take until August to determine whether the petitions meet requirements.
Pearce is best known for sponsoring immigration measures including the 2010 enforcement law known as SB1070. A judge has placed key provisions of that measure on hold while they're challenged in court.
Pearce also sponsored Arizona's 2007 employer sanctions law, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
Critics contend Pearce has focused too much on undocumented immigration while giving short shrift to education, health care and other concerns of Arizonans. Read more...
From Centro Presente:
Say NO! to S-Comm in Massachusetts!
Not more criminalization of immigrant families!
Come and educate your elected officials about the positive contributions that new immigrants give to Massachusetts and the negative impact of the implementation of programs such as 'Secure Communities'.
As part of our Just Communities/Comunidades
Centro Presente invites you to a Lobby Day
When: Wednesday June 1st at 11:00 a.m
Where: Massachusetts, State House
What Should I Do to Prepare for Lobby Day?
Please make appointments with your legislators for that day; it can be anytime during the day. You can find out who your Legislators are at the following web site: http://www.malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator
What Will Happen at Lobby Day?
We will gather at the Nurses Hall at 11:00 a.m. for a short program where we will hear from legislative supporters and immigrant families that are going to testify about how they are being affected by the current "Enforcement Only" response to immigration in this country. Throughout the day supporters will meet with their legislators.
Also at this location you will check-in and pick up lobby day packets (and "how to lobby" tips as needed).
We are excited to have you all in the State House talking to your legislators
Supporters: ACLU of Massachusetts, AFSC Project VOICE, Agencia ALPHA, Boston New Sanctuary Movement, Brazilian Immigrant Center, Cambridge United for Justice with Peace, Centro Presente, Chelsea Collaborative, La Comunidad Inc., Dominican Development Center, Immigrant Workers Center Collaborative (IWCC), Jobs With Justice - MA, Justice at Work, The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Matahari - Eye of the Day, Metrowest Worker Center, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE), The Network/La Red and Student Immigrant Movement.
If your organization wants to support this action PLEASE send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say We want to support this ACTION! and please provide the complete name of your organization!
Monday, May 30, 2011
From the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
IL HOUSE PASSES ILLINOIS DREAM ACT ON A BIPARTISAN VOTE
ICIRR applauds both parties for supporting education for children of immigrants brought here without legal status by their parents
Springfield— Today, the Illinois DREAM Act (SB2185), legislation that would offer undocumented youth better access to higher education, passed in the Illinois House of Representatives on a bipartisan 60-54 vote. SB 2185, sponsored in the House by Rep. Edward Acevedo, has the support of Cardinal George, 15 university presidents, and hundreds of other faith leaders, business leaders, and community organizations.
“Today’s bipartisan vote in the Illinois House is truly historic,” said Lawrence Benito, deputy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), who led the effort to win approval of the bill in the General Assembly. “This vote is a victory for our state and an important step forward in recognizing the contributions of immigrants.”
The Illinois DREAM Act will establish a privately-funded Illinois DREAM Fund, administered by a volunteer state commission, to make scholarships available to children of immigrants who graduate from Illinois high schools. It will also enable high school counselors and college admissions officers to be fully informed regarding educational opportunities for immigrant youth. The Illinois DREAM Act will impose no costs on Illinois taxpayers.
After the federal DREAM Act failed in Congress last year, ICIRR, along with the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL), member organizations, and allies, have worked to build broad support from religious and civic leaders, university presidents, and community organizations for the Illinois DREAM Act. Today, those efforts paid off, showing that Illinois is not only an immigrant-friendly state but also a national leader on moving fair, humane, and practical solutions forward.
The passage of this bill also shows the growing political power of immigrant communities. With the new Census numbers showing the increase of Asian and Latinos in the suburbs, the issues affecting these communities are being taken seriously by elected officials. This vote is very important for Latinos, immigrants, and their supporters, who will remember this vote in 2012.
ICIRR thanks Rep. Acevedo for his tireless work in getting the votes needed from both sides of the aisle to make the dreams of immigrant youth a reality. We also thank Senate President John Cullerton, the lead sponsor in the Senate, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan for truly supporting and getting the votes needed to pass this bill, and the Republican legislators who moved away from partisanship and towards solutions that will benefit our entire state.
We also thank Cardinal George and the other religious leaders as well as the 15 university presidents who lent their support, which had a powerful impact in winning over additional votes.
ICIRR also thanks Senator Richard Durbin for his leadership on this issue and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for standing with us in support of immigrants and undocumented youth.
The passage of SB 2185 adds to the list of victories that ICIRR has achieved in the past few months, including the termination of the Secure Communities program in Illinois and the creation of redistricting maps that will better reflect the diversity of our state and enable better representation for immigrant communities.
SB 2185 now moves to the desk of Governor Quinn, who will sign the bill as early as next week. ICIRR will celebrate the passage of the Illinois DREAM Act at its 25th anniversary that will take place on June 2nd at Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St., Chicago) at 6pm.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a state wide coalition of 138 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.
A fact sheet of the IL DREAM Act here
10 Immigration Predictions: The Foreseeable Consequences of the Supreme Court's Arizona E-Verify Decision
The big news last week was the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Arizona business licensing law in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting. Angelo Paparelli on Nation of Immigrators offers 10 predictions about the impacts of that decision:
1. Expect that mandatory E-Verify will spread to more states.
2. Expect some states to require E-Verify use as to current workers.
3. Expect higher rates of discrimination claims.
4. Expect more court battles over the extraterritorial reach of state immigration laws.
5. Expect a public backlash over state enforcement of the immigration laws.
6. Expect some states to back away from immigration enforcement and instead seek federal waivers for immigration benefits.
7. Expect that states will seek more snitch visas or favorable discretion for stool pigeons from the federal government.
8. Expect a battle royal in Congress over mandatory federal E-Verify.
9. Expect busier days ahead for immigration lawyers.
10. Expect that Congress or the President will act.
Read Angelo's post for explanations of his glass "half empty, half full" analysis.
Immigration Article of the Day: "The Challenge of Immigration: A Radical Solution" GARY S. BECKER and DIANE COYLE
"The Challenge of Immigration: A Radical Solution" Institute of Economic Affairs Monographs Occasional Paper No. 145 GARY S. BECKER, University of Chicago - Department of Economics, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business. DIANE COYLE, University of Manchester - Institute for Political & Economic Governance (IPEG). ABSTRACT: How can market-based solutions help solve the challenges of immigration? Nobel Prize winner Prof. Gary Becker, in this IEA Occasional Paper, proposes a radical policy which, if implemented by the coalition government, could raise over £600 million a year. Prof. Becker proposes that visas to work in the UK should be sold off. The coalition’s immigration cap scheme could be amended using this proposal to ensure that the most suitable immigrants are allowed in. The people willing to pay the most to live in the UK are likely to be the same people who would contribute most to our economy.
It is Memorial Day, a day that Ameicans are remembering those who gave their lives for the country. Dorian de Wind on the Huffington Post pays tribute to the diverse group of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Among other, the story mentions
"The enemy grenade that killed Mexican-born Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta on November 15, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq, where he heroically smothered a grenade explosion with his body saving the lives of six fellow Marines, was unaware that Peralta had come to the U.S. as a teen without legal documentation. Peralta would be nominated to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor."
Here is just what Sgt. Peralta did:
"Clearing scores of houses in the previous three days, Sergeant Peralta’ asked to join an under strength squad and volunteered to stand post the night of 14 November, allowing fellow Marines more time to rest. The following morning, during search and attack operations, while clearing the seventh house of the day, the point man opened a door to a back room and immediately came under intense, close-range automatic weapons fire from multiple insurgents. The squad returned fire, wounding one insurgent. While attempting to maneuver out of the line of fire, Sergeant Peralta was shot and fell mortally wounded. After the initial exchange of gunfire, the insurgents broke contact, throwing a fragmentation grenade as they fled the building. The grenade came to rest near Sergeant Peralta’s head. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Sergeant Peralta reached out and pulled the grenade to his body, absorbing the brunt of the blast and shielding fellow Marines only feet away. Sergeant Peralta succumbed to his wounds. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Sergeant Peralta reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service."
Despite his heroics, Sgt. Peralta failed to be given the Medal of Honor but was given the Navy Cross. Military politics may have come into play, with Peralta's one-time status as an undocumented immigrant cutting against his receipt of the nation's highest military honor.
Here is a nice story about how Napa County, home of some of the best wine in the world, takes care of its migrant workers with houising and support. The bottom line: "The effort was born of compassion and practicality. Without migrant labor, most of it from Mexico, the wine producers in Napa would be hard pressed to fill a carafe, much less the valley’s 9 million annual cases."
Knowing how its bread is buttered, Napa County is taking a very different path in responding to newcomers than other state and local governments.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
From the Bookshelves: Immigration Law and the U.S./Mexico Border ¿Sí se puede? by Kevin R. Johnson and Bernard Trujillo
Immigration Law and the U.S./Mexico Border ¿Sí se puede? by Kevin R. Johnson and Bernard Trujillo (University of Arizona Press). Not Yet Published - Coming Soon!
Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to "fix" the "broken" US immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In Immigration Law and the US/Mexico Border, Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what for many is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico. In clear, reasonable prose, Johnson and Trujillo explore the long history of discrimination against US citizens of Mexican ancestry in the United States and the current movement against "illegal aliens" as persons depicted as not deserving fair treatment by US law. The authors argue that the United States has a special relationship with Mexico by virtue of sharing a 2,000-mile border and a "land-grab of epic proportions" when the United States "acquired" nearly two-thirds of Mexican territory between 1836 and 1853. The authors explain US immigration law and policy in its many aspects including the migration of labor, the place of state and local regulation over immigration, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US economy. Their objective is to help thinking citizens on both sides of the border to sort through an issue with a long, emotional history that will undoubtedly continue to inflame politics until cooler, and better-informed, heads can prevail. The authors conclude by outlining possibilities for the future, sketching a possible movement to promote social justice. Great for use by students of immigration law, border studies, and Latino studies, this book will also be of interest to anyone wondering about the general state of immigration law as it pertains to our most troublesome border.
Here is a nice story about an immigration victory in the Ninth Crcuit in an immigrtaion case, Dent v. Holder, handled by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas law school's Appellate Clinic. In that case, the Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. government must provide a noncitizen in removal proceedings his or her "A-file." An A-file includes all of the immigration documents kept on a noncitizen.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Editorial from the LA Times:
Immigration: Lock 'em up
The latest issue to go before the House Immigration subcommittee involves the prolonged detention of immigrants, including asylum-seekers and legal permanent residents who commit crimes and are eligible to be deported.
At Tuesday's hearing, the debate focused on HR 1932, a measure that seeks to strip away key parts of a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision. In Zadvydas vs Davis, the court ruled that an immigrant awaiting deportation could not be held in detention longer than six months if "there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future." Countries that have poor diplomatic relations with the United States, such as Cuba, generally will not take back deported immigrants.
The sponsor of the proposal is Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. A strong proponent of stricter immigration enforcement, he said the Supreme Court's ruling "required dangerous criminal immigrants to be released into our communities. All too often these criminal immigrants have gone on to commit more crimes."
Smith pointed to cases like that of a Cuban man who was released from immigration detention because he could not be returned to his homeland. The man later shot and killed a Florida police officer.
But the bill doesn't seem to acknowledge that current law provides limits on those who are considered a serious danger or a risk to national security.
The Patriot Act authorizes the Justice Department to detain those immigrants it believes to be a national security risk. And state and federal laws already provide for the detention of those who are especially dangerous or mentally ill under civil commitment statutes.
Moreover, Smith's proposal would go well beyond allowing the indefinite detention of immigrants convicted of violent crimes. It would extend to those with convictions such as writing a bad check or minor drug offenses. Under immigration law, aggravated felonies are broadly defined to include nonviolent crimes that carry a sentence of more than one year or if the monetary loss exceeds more than $10,000. read more...
Stories of upward and inter-generational mobility have long animated the popular narrative describing how immigrants and their children integrate into US society, with poverty and access to gainful employment being powerful forces shaping how immigrants fare once they arrive in the United States. From national and state data we find some interesting facts: Nationally, immigrant men earn more than immigrant women, immigrant workers in West Virginia are more likely to earn $50,000 or more per year than the native born residing in the state, and California has the largest number of immigrants in poverty in the nation.
Explore the Migration Policy Institute's "Income and Poverty" fact sheets to learn more about the earnings of immigrant workers, variation in earnings by gender and region of birth, and the share of immigrant families living in poverty. Here is a peek at some of the updated national and state-level income and poverty stats for immigrants (and native born) in the United States:
* Nationwide, foreign-born workers earned less than native-born workers Among full-time, year-round workers, 35 percent of immigrants make less than $25,000 a year compared to 21 percent of native-born workers. On the opposite end of the earnings spectrum, 30 percent of immigrants earned $50,000 or more compared to 39 percent among the native born.
So where do immigrants fare best in relation to earnings in the United States? The states with the largest share of immigrants earning $50,000 or more per year are West Virginia (49 percent, compared to 28 percent of the native born), the District of Columbia (47 percent, compared to 59 percent of the native born), and Michigan (42 percent, compared to 38 percent of the native born).
* Immigrant men have higher median earnings than immigrant women Median earnings for immigrant men ($35,000) surpass those of immigrant women ($30,000) for those workers employed full-time, year-round. Among immigrants of both genders, naturalized citizens make more than noncitizens.
* Native born are less likely than foreign born to live in poverty Eighteen percent of immigrants live in poverty compared to 14 percent of the native born. Immigrants who are not US citizens are more than twice as likely to live in poverty (23 percent) than immigrants who have naturalized as US citizens (10 percent).
* Traditional immigrant-receiving states have the highest numbers of immigrants living in poverty: California (1.64 million), Texas (934,000), and New York (654,000). The top three states with the highest proportions of immigrants living in poverty are North Dakota (27 percent), Arkansas (27 percent), and New Mexico (26 percent).
* Sixteen percent of immigrant-headed families live in poverty The share of families living below the poverty threshold is even higher among immigrant-headed households with children under age 18 (22 percent).
The data are based on the US Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2000 Decennial Census. To get started, go to the 2009 ACS/Census tool and select the state of your choosing (or click on the small map of the United States if you want national data).
From the Bookshelves: Immigration and Women Understanding the American Experience by Susan C. Pearce, Elizabeth J. Clifford and Reena Tandon
ABSTRACT: Through an examination of U.S. Census data and interviews with women across nationalities, we hear the poignant, humorous, hopeful, and defiant words of these women as they describe the often confusing terrain where they are starting new lives, creating architecture firms, building urban high-rises, caring for children, cleaning offices, producing creative works, and organizing for social change. Highlighting the gendered quality of the immigration process, Immigration and Women interrogates how human agency and societal structures interact within the intersecting social locations of gender and migration. The authors recommend changes for public policy to address the constraints these women face, insisting that new policy must be attentive to the diverse profile of today’s immigrating woman: she is both potentially vulnerable to exploitative conditions and forging new avenues of societal leadership.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Leslie Rojas reports for KPCC public radio:
The California Assembly passed a bill 43-22 yesterday that challenges the embattled federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities. If the bill becomes law, it would allow the state to renegotiate its contract with the Homeland Security department, allowing local jurisdictions to opt out of what is now a mandatory fingerprint-sharing program. The state could choose to opt out altogether as well.
The bill, which now goes on to the senate, has been dubbed the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act, or “TRUST Act.”
The text of the California bill was posted on Multi-American late last month. Shortly afterward, the governor of Illinois announced plans to withdraw the state from the program. His decision was challenged by Department of Homeland Security officials, who said the department would not allow Illinois law enforcement to opt out of sharing information with immigration authorities.
If the California bill passes and the state moves to opt out of or modify its participation in Secure Communities, can it?
The program’s implementation in California was guided by a “memorandum of understanding,” or MOA, between Homeland Security and the California Department of Justice dated January 23, 2009. In the section titled “Modifications and Termination,” the document reads:
"This MOA may be modified at any time by mutual written consent of both parties.
"This MOA may remain in effect from the date of signing until it is terminated by either party. Either party, upon written or oral notice to the other party, may terminate the MOA at any time. A termination notice shall be delivered personally or by certified or registered mail and termination shall take effect 30 days after receipt of such notice."
The same section of the Homeland Security MOA with Illinois State Police, available online along with other Secure Communities documents, has the same wording.
Secure Communities allows for the fingerprints of people booked into local jails to be checked against the Homeland Security department’s immigration records. If there is a match, immigration authorities are notified. Some jurisdictions, including San Francisco, have tried to opt out without success. Critics say the program alienates immigrant communities and potentially impedes policing; immigrant advocates have pointed out that while the program is intended to find deportable criminals, it nets many people without criminal records, who are deported.
After Homeland Security’s reaction to the Illinois decision, The San Francisco Bay Guardian published a series of opinions on Secure Communities from legal scholars, among them Bill Ong Hing, a law professor at the University of San Francisco who is critical of the program. Hing noted the MOA language: “The implication of this provision is clear: the terms of the MOA are negotiable,” he said. Read more...
From the Bookshelves: Italian Immigrant Radical Culture The Idealism of the Sovversivi in the United States, 1890-1940 by Marcella Bencivenni
Maligned by modern media and often stereotyped, Italian Americans possess a vibrant, if largely forgotten, radical past. In Italian Immigrant Radical Culture, Marcella Bencivenni delves into the history of the sovversivi, a transnational generation of social rebels, and offers a fascinating portrait of their political struggle as well as their milieu, beliefs, and artistic creativity in the United States. As early as 1882, the sovversivi founded a socialist club in Brooklyn. Radical organizations then multiplied and spread across the country, from large urban cities to smaller industrial mining areas. By 1900, thirty official Italian sections of the Socialist Party along the East Coast and countless independent anarchist and revolutionary circles sprang up throughout the nation. Forming their own alternative press, institutions, and working class organizations, these groups created a vigorous movement and counterculture that constituted a significant part of the American Left until World War II. Italian Immigrant Radical Culture compellingly documents the wide spectrum of this oppositional culture and examines the many cultural and artistic forms it took, from newspapers to literature and poetry to theater and visual art. As the first cultural history of Italian American activism, it provides a richer understanding of the Italian immigrant experience while also deepening historical perceptions of radical politics and culture.
Immigration Article of the Day: Discovering “Immployment” Law: The Constitutionality of Subfederal Immigration Regulation at Work
Discovering “Immployment” Law: The Constitutionality of Subfederal Immigration Regulation at Work by Kate L. Griffith Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations 29 Yale Law & Policy Review 389 (2011). Abstract: Recently, there has been a federal-subfederal tug of war about whether subfederal governments can enact laws prohibiting the employment of undocumented immigrants and requiring employers to use an electronic employee-verification system without running afoul of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. This article reframes and sheds new light on this pressing constitutional question. To date, court battles and scholarship on this issue have exclusively focused on whether federal immigration law preempts these subfederal laws. In contrast, this article alters the analytical lens and exposes the preemptive effects of two federal employment statutes—Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. It draws from legislative history, Supreme Court jurisprudence and scholarship to both demonstrate the need to consider federal employment law’s preemptive effects and to develop a new implied preemption framework. The analysis reveals that subfederal employer sanctions laws are unconstitutional because they conflict with fundamental federal employment policy goals to protect employees from employment discrimination and to encourage valid employee-initiated complaints for the benefit of employees more broadly. The article also elaborates why we should consider the joint preemptive effect of the two federal statutory regimes that subfederal employer sanctions laws implicate: federal immigration law and federal employment law. This hybrid "immployment-law" preemption framework shows that subfederal employer-sanctions laws may also conflict with Congress’s intent to promote federal employment policy as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act.
This article is especially topical in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision yesterday in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting.
Cecilia Muñoz in the White House Press office, following the President's speech on immigration reform in El Paso, asked for feedback on this issue, specifically the following questions:
• Immigration and American Competitiveness: How can immigration reform support America’s competitiveness in a 21st century economy?
• Biggest Challenges to Reform: What do you think are the biggest challenges to reforming America's immigration system?
• Encouraging Bipartisan Debate: What are some ways you can get a discussion going in your communities to encourage a bipartisan debate and move this issue forward?
A team at the White House reviewed all of the comments and ideas and summarized and responded. Click the link above to see the responses.
With the President's recent speech in El Paso, Texas, the Administration kicked off the Blueprint for Building a 21st Century Immigration System and Immigration Action Roundtables across the country. President Obama is calling for a national conversation on immigration reform that builds a bipartisan consensus to fix our broken immigration system so it works for America's 21st century economy and security needs, but he can't do it alone. That is why he is asking you and other Americans, including business leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement leaders and all Americans that understand that we cannot continue to live with the broken system the way it is - to continue the conversation in your community by hosting a roundtable.
The BLT Blog: The Blog of Legal Times reports that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, now at Texas Tech, has said that "I am disappointed that I didn't do things differently" to stop the politicization of the system of hiring career Justice Department attorneys through its honors program during his time in office.
As ImmigrationProf reported at the time, the Justice Department during Gonzales's tenure allegedly engaged in politically-based hiring for, among other positions, immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals members.