Thursday, June 30, 2011
As members of the fastest-growing demographic group in America, Latinos are increasingly represented in the professional class, but they continue to face significant racism. Everyday Injustice introduces readers to the challenges facing Latino professionals today. Examining the experiences of many of the most privileged members of the largest racial and ethnic community in the United States, Maria Chávez provides important insights into the challenges facing racialized groups, particularly Latinos, in the United States. Her study looks at Latino lawyers in depth, weaving powerful personal stories and interview excerpts with a broader analysis of survey research and focus groups. The book examines racial framing in America, the role of language and culture among Latino professionals, the role of Latinos in the workplace, their level of civic participation, and the important role that education plays in improving their experiences. One chapter discusses the unique challenges that Latinas face in the workplace as both women and people of color. The findings outlined in Everyday Injustice suggest that despite considerable success in overcoming educational, economic, and class barriers, Latino professionals still experience marginalization. A powerful illustration of racism and inequality in America.
Here is an essay by the author previewing the book, including three stories. Download Chavez_LatinoLawyersLivinglavidaAmericana
The Global Detention Project begins its "United States Detention Profile" begins as follows:
"The United States maintains the largest immigration detention infrastructure in the world, which by the end of fiscal year 2007 included 961 sites either directly owned by or under contract with the federal government, according to the Freedom of Information Act Office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (Pavlik-Kenan 2007). Data collected by the Global Detention Project show that no less than 363 detention sites were used during the period 2007-2009 (see Map of Detention Sites)."
Click the link above for additional information about immigration detention in the United States. The Global Detention Project includes profiles for many other nations around the world.
Janny Scott's biography of President Obama's mother, A Singular Woman, is an incredibly interesting read. The book traces Stanley Ann Dunham's life -- including her brief marriage to Barack Obama Sr. and longer, but relatively brief, marriage with an Indonesian man -- and the relationship she had with her son, whose political rise came largely after her death in 1995.
A ruggedly independent person and intellectually in many ways ahead of her time, Dunham was an accomplished anthropologist who specialized in the informal markets of Indonesia, where women often are found. She lived in Indonesia with and without her now famous son for many years. Dunham's empathy, toughness, intelligence, and gregariousness comes through in this book based on interviews with the President and his half-Asian sister, as well as many, many professors, friends, colleagues, and others. Through many details and stories, we gain a better understanding of Stanley Ann Dunham and President Obama.
For an NPR story on the book, click here.
As readers know, the ImmigrationProf blog has been critical of President Obama and his administration's positions on immigration, immigration reform, and immigration enforcement. Indeed, at times, we have expressed anger with some of the actions taken by the Obama administration. But, there are limits to our criticism.
CNN reports that "MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin was suspended indefinitely Thursday from the cable network after calling President Obama a `d**k.'" At some point, the incredible animosity directed at the President, from the incendiary reaction in some quarters to what has been called Obamacare to "You Lie" to the birther movement, can only be explained by the fact that the President is African American. Did anyone news commentator ever publicly refer to President Bush as a "d**k"? If so, I missed it.
A Better Way to Reduce Illegal Mexican Immigration: Why the Restrictionists Are Wrong About Birthright Citizenship
Rogers Smith, whose book Citizenship Without Consent often is used by advocates for the restriction of birthright citizenship, argues in this article that the special historical relationship between the United States and Mexico justifies increased avenues for lawful immigration from Mexico to the United States.
Kirk Semple writes for the NY Times:
In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple’s lawyer said Wednesday.
The announcement comes as immigration officials put into effect new, more flexible guidelines governing the deferral and cancellation of deportations, particularly for immigrants with no serious criminal records.
Immigration lawyers and gay rights advocates said the decision represented a significant shift in policy and could open the door to the cancellation of deportations for other immigrants in same-sex marriages. Read more....
I hope this is a signal that the Obama administration will push for the passage of UAFA.
Human Rights Watch has launched an interactive called Why Immigrant Stories Matter: A Human Rights Case for a Path to US Legal Status. The interactive feature is meant to illustrate, through the stories of four immigrants in North Carolina, how international human rights law supports a path to earned legalization for the millions of long-term undocumented immigrants in the United States.
In a 2010 report, Tough, Fair, and Practical, Human Rights Watch proposed a human rights framework for comprehensive immigration reform that would give immigrant crime victims a chance to seek justice, protect workers, respect the private and family life of longtime residents, and provide fair treatment for immigrants who come before the courts. Why Immigrant Stories Matter is a follow-up piece, in which we apply these human rights principles to the stories of real people. As you read each story, you can learn about the human rights at stake and then click on “Highlight all relevant details” to see how human rights are implicated in the details of that particular story.
Yesterday, 34 immigrant soldiers were naturalized and became U.S. citizens at a ceremony at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. These new citizens, who are serving their country, deserve our respect and gratitude. We can all hope that they do not become suspected "illegals" uner South Carolina's new get-tough-on-illegal-immigrants law.
HBO will premiere Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip on July 4. The documentary follows Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as she travels across the United States to attend naturalization ceremonies in all 50 states and meets new citizens to find out why they chose America as their home. Here is a synopsis of the film.
There is a companion book to the documentary.
Pelosi talked about her film on The Colbert Report earlier this week.
Courtney Martin in the Nation has an article about how undocumented immigrant political activists, as well as those who do not try to "hide" their status, can risk deportation. One example given was Mandeep Chantal, a UC Davis honors student who recently was given a stay of deportation just hours before she was to board a return flight to India. The recent "coming out of the closet" of Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas as an undocumented immigrant should have us all thinking about who "we" are as a community, society, and as a nation.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A Costly Move – Far and Frequent Transfers Impede Hearings of Immigrant Detainees in the United States (Human Rights Watch, June 14, 2011) This 35-page report states that transfers separate detained immigrants, including legal permanent residents, refugees, and undocumented people, from the attorneys, witnesses, and evidence they need to defend against deportation. That can violate their right to fair treatment in court, slow down asylum or deportation proceedings, and extend their time in detention.
First Focus Press Release – Introduction of Roybal-Allard Legislation Protecting Farmworker Children (Introduced June 16, 2011).
Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of children employed in agriculture work from working longer hours, at younger ages, in more hazardous conditions than children in other working sectors. The legislation amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) by correcting inequities in current labor law. Entitled the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), the legislation was introduced at a press conference June 16 where Representative Roybal-Allard was joined by actress and activist Eva Longoria, who is also the executive producer of a new documentary The Harvest/La Cosecha.
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Detention in America: A History of Its Expansion and a Study of Its Significance by STEPHANIE J. SILVERMAN
"Immigration Detention in America: A History of Its Expansion and a Study of Its Significance" COMPAS Working Paper No. 80 STEPHANIE J. SILVERMAN, University of Oxford - COMPAS/Department of Politics and International Relations. ABSTRACT: This working paper investigates the legislative origins of the US immigration detention system. This critical history is an attempt to broaden the discussion of the place and propriety of immigration detention in the American political landscape. The paper explains who has historically been subject to immigration detention, where and for how long the practice takes place, and what has lead to its rapid enlargement in recent decades. Using historical frames, this paper identifies and traces three key characteristics in the legislative development of the US immigration detention system: firstly, the increasingly restrictive nature of the system; secondly, the fact that the system it is more similar to an ad hoc bricolage of policies and contradictory justifications than a coherent assemblage of policies; and, finally, the criminalization of immigrants and resident non-citizens. What emerges from this narrative is a history of the expansion of the immigration detention system by the executive branch in response to periods of increasing politicization of immigration, particularly concerning the category of resident non-citizens. The paper argues that, in the absence of clear policy objectives, public oversight, and public accountability, government has developed the US immigration detention system without coherence and often hastily in reaction to events in the political sphere.
From the Bookshelves: Trust in the Land New Directions in Tribal Conservation by Beth Rose Middleton
ABSTRACT: America has always been Indian land. Historically and culturally, Native Americans have had a strong appreciation for the land and what it offers. After continually struggling to hold on to their land and losing millions of acres, Native Americans still have a strong and ongoing relationship to their homelands. The land holds spiritual value and offers a way of life through fishing, farming, and hunting. It remains essential not only for subsistence but also for cultural continuity that Native Americans regain rights to land they were promised.
Beth Rose Middleton examines new and innovative ideas concerning Native land conservancies, providing advice on land trusts, collaborations, and conservation groups. Increasingly, tribes are working to protect their access to culturally important lands by collaborating with Native and non- Native conservation movements. By using private conservation partnerships to reacquire lost land, tribes can ensure the health and sustainability of vital natural resources. In particular, tribal governments are using conservation easements and land trusts to reclaim rights to lost acreage. Through the use of these and other private conservation tools, tribes are able to protect or in some cases buy back the land that was never sold but rather was taken from them. Trust in the Land sets into motion a new wave of ideas concerning land conservation. This informative book will appeal to Native and non-Native individuals and organizations interested in protecting the land as well as environmentalists and government agencies.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
6 Undocumented Youth Arrested at Capitol Demanding Change in Immigration Policies
Local high school students arrested while protesting near the State Capitol
(Atlanta, GA) - Six undocumented students have been arrested in after an act of civil disobedience near the state capitol building. The youth aimed to take a stand against HB 87, a recently passed law modeled after Arizona’s SB1070 that would severely restrict and isolate the immigrant community within the state.
“It is time for undocumented youth across the South to come out and fight against injustice,” said Dulce Guerrero, one of the students participating in the action. “My dreams and my family are under attack.”
Dulce Guerrero, 18; Jessica Vasquez, 18; Rolando Zenteno, 16; Nataly Ibarra, 16; Felipe Baeza, 24; and Leeidy Solis, 16; have all been arrested by capitol police. All are current high school students except for Guerrero, who graduated earlier this month, and Baeza, who received his Bachelor’s degree from The Cooper Union in New York in 2009. All are Georgia residents except for Baeza, who lives in New York.
The protest is the second of its kind this year in Atlanta, following a similar action which took place on the campus of Georgia State University in April. The arrests took place after the students attempted to block an intersection nearby the State Capitol. Protest organizers vow to continue taking action until states stop attempting to persecute undocumented immigrants and the federal government lays out a pathway to legal status.
Acts of resistance like the one today are part of a rising trend in undocumented youth using direct action to advocate for themselves and their families. As undocumented youth grow impatient with Washington games and increased criminalization, we will continue to step out of the shadows and into the streets.