Monday, December 23, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Christie signs version of Dream Act into law

330px-Chris_Christie_at_townhall

Last Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that allows undocumented student immigrants who have attended at least three years of high school in the state to qualify for in-state fees at state colleges and universities.  According to news reports, "Key to Christie's decision was a state Senate compromise that dropped a provision allowing undocumented students to also be eligible for state financial aid if they qualified under income guidelines."  California law allows undocumented college students to be eligible for state financial aid programs.

States like New Jersey and California  are increasingly treating the immigrant students -- and immigrants generally -- in a more inclusive fashion, suggesting that times are changing when it comes to efforts by the states to pass legislation on immigration-related issues.

KJ

December 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nearly half immigration judges eligible to retire

Associated Press reports that roughly half of the 220 immigration court judges will be eligible for retirement next year. The Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the nation's 59 immigration courts, says the court already has 32 vacancies, contributing to the current backlog of nearly 350,000 cases.  The workload and backlog may result in increasing numbers of retirements, which in tirn could create the opportunity for a significant change in teh immigration court bench in coming years.

KJ

December 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Reform Must Redress the Current Law’s Gender Biases by Careen ShannonImmigration Reform Must Redress the Current Law’s Gender Biases by Careen Shannon

Careen%20Shannon

Careen Shannon on Nation of Immigrators outlines how immigration reform should address gender biases in the U.S. immigrtaion laws.

KJ

December 23, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

UC Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies Pro Se Manual for Domestic Violence Victimswomen

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings recently published a pro se manual for women who have fled domestic violence in their homes countries and are seeking protection in the United States. The manual responds to a call from advocates after hearing countless stories of women who fled domestic violence but who did not apply for asylum or were denied relief because they were unable to obtain representation while in immigration detention. Although this manual is geared at women in detention who face imminent removal from the United States, the manual also instructs women on how to file for asylum affirmatively. We hope it will increase awareness of the availability of asylum based on domestic violence and provide the tools needed for women who have no choice but to represent themselves.

KJ

 

December 21, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

President Continues to Press Immigration Reform

Friday, December 20, 2013

Essentials of Asylum Law Publication

From the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

Essentials of Asylum Law, 2nd Edition

The second edition of this comprehensive survey of the basic elements of asylum law now includes a thorough overview of asylum procedure, complete with practice tips for preparing and presenting an asylum claim.

This publication is intended for advocates who want to understand the law and are new to representing asylum clients, as well as seasoned practitioners needing a thorough review of current standards.

Essentials of Asylum Law offers an expansive explanation of the legal theories and rules underpinning current asylum claims. This manual explores each of the legal elements of an asylum claim, including:

    Definition of persecution and the requirements to demonstrate a “well-founded fear” of persecution

    An extensive discussion of the five enumerated grounds, including a detailed overview of the nexus requirement and most cutting-edge particular social groups

    Legal bars to asylum, including statutory and procedural bars

    An explanation of the corresponding waivers and exceptions

The second edition of this publication explores both the affirmative application process through a claim filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the defensive application process in immigration court.

Order here.

bh

December 20, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Racial Profiling of Latinos in New Orleans: A Report

A report released today by the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ) revealed an Obama Administration pilot program of race-based community immigration raids that is devastating New Orleans—and warned that it may become the “new normal” for immigrant communities nationwide. The little-known Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, called the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative (CARI), involves indiscriminate community raids by ICE squads at apartment complexes, grocery stores, laundromats, Bible study groups, and other public places frequented by Latinos—based purely on racial profiling.

KJ

December 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Concerns Affecting Hispanic Healthcare Signups

Reuters reports that concerns among Hispanics that signing up for medical insurance under the Affordable Care Act may draw the scrutiny of immigration authorities has hurt enrollment, according to advocates. "Convincing Latinos to enroll could be crucial to the law's success, and supporters of Obama's signature domestic policy are aiming their campaign at the 10.2 million Latinos eligible for the new insurance plans or the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor."

KJ

December 20, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Senate Confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Immigration Article of the Day: Mandatory Immigration Detention for U.S. Crimes: The Noncitizen Presumption of Dangerousness by Mark L. Noferi

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Mandatory Immigration Detention for U.S. Crimes: The Noncitizen Presumption of Dangerousness  by Mark L. Noferi, Center for Migration Studies December 19, 2013

Abstract: Today in the United States, mandatory immigration detention imposes extraordinary deprivations of liberty following ordinary crimes—if the person convicted is not a U.S. citizen. Here, I explore that disparate treatment, in the first detailed examination of mandatory detention during deportation proceedings for U.S. crimes. I argue that mandatory immigration detention functionally operates on a “noncitizen presumption” of dangerousness. Mandatory detention incarcerates noncitizens despite technological advances that nearly negate the risk of flight, with that risk increasingly seen as little different regarding noncitizens, at least those treated with dignity. Moreover, this “noncitizen presumption” of danger contravenes empirical evidence, and diverges from parallel criminal pretrial detention reforms. Rather, it rests on stereotypes of dangerous, recidivist “criminal aliens”—even more salient to preventive detention determinations, given a noncitizen’s inherently speculative past. I preliminarily offer two theories for the “noncitizen presumption,” both reflecting expressive characteristics of immigration detention—government overcompensation for public “blaming the gatekeeper,” and complementarily, a social construct of noncitizens as invitees, derived from property law.

This is a forthcoming book chapter as part of the book Immigration Detention, Risk, and Human Rights, published by Springer and organized by the CINETS Crimmigration Control international research consortium.

KJ

December 19, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

FY 2013: ICE Announces Year-End Removal Numbers, Close to 70 Percent Are Removed to Mexico

Ice

Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the agency's fiscal year (FY) 2013 year-end removal numbers.

In FY 2013, ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals, compared to 409, 849 in fiscal year 2012; thus, there was a drop of about 40,000 removals from last year. Nearly 60 percent of ICE’s total removals in 2013 had been previously convicted of a criminal offense, and that number rises to 82 percent for individuals removed from the interior of the United States. Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s stated enforcement priorities include: those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives.  For a comprehensive breakdown of ICE’s FY 2013 removal numbers, please visit ICE's immigration enforcement webpage.

Key removal facts for FY 2013 include the following:

•    ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals.

•    ICE conducted 133,551 removals of individuals apprehended in the interior of the United States.

         o    82 percent of all interior removals had been previously convicted of a crime.  This presumably results largely from the operation of the Secure Communities program, the Obama administration's signature immigration enforcement program.

•    ICE conducted 235,093 removals of individuals apprehended along our borders while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

•    59 percent of all ICE removals, a total of 216,810, had been previously convicted of a crime.

        o    ICE apprehended and removed 110,115 criminals removed from the interior of the United States.

        o    ICE removed 106,695 criminals apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

•    98 percent of all ICE FY 2013 removals, a total of 360,313, met one or more of ICE’s stated civil immigration enforcement priorities.

•    Of the 151,834 removals of individuals without a criminal conviction, 84 percent, or 128,398, were apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States and 95 percent fell within one of ICE’s stated immigration enforcement priorities.

•    The leading countries of origin for those removed were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which accounted for about 94.4 percent of the total annual removals.

 

FY 2013 Top 10 Countries of Removal by Citizenship 

MEXICO                                  241,493  (ABOUT 67.6% of total)

GUATEMALA                           47,769

HONDURAS                              37,049

EL SALVADOR                          21,602

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC         2,462

ECUADOR                                   1,616

BRAZIL                                         1,500

COLOMBIA                                   1,429

NICARAGUA                                1,383

JAMAICA                                       1,119

TOP 10 Total                             357,422

KJ

December 19, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Support TPS for Filipinos in the U.S.

From the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

Support TPS for Filipinos in the U.S.
Impact of Typhoon Haiyan Persists

Friends, before you leave for the holidays, please take a moment to add your support for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for undocumented Filipino nationals currently living in the U.S.

Organizations may go here to read the sign-on letter and add your endorsement information.

Individuals, please sign-on here to a MoveOn.org petition. We are looking to collect all signatures here by this Friday, Dec. 20 in advance of a delivery of the letter to the White House and to the Department of Homeland Security on Monday.

As you know, the monster Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines last month wreaked damage over a wide area of the country, leaving more than 6,000 people dead, some 1.9 homeless and more than 600,00 displaced. The infrastructure damage and recovery cost are enormous and longterm. (We previously commented on the role that climate change played in this disaster.)

The Philippine government recently made its request to the U.S. for TPS for Filipino nationals here, and a coalition of community, legal and allied groups has stepped up its support. As you may know, TPS is a temporary form of humanitarian assistance and has been provided for certain populations here when their home countries face a state of emergency (like the massive earthquake in Haiti), which makes it nearly impossible to "re-absorb" those who might be deported back. TPS would ensure that undocumented FIlipino nationals would be protected from deportation and could have work authorization so that they could work and take care of survival needs here.

Your support is urgently needed! We all hope for TPS to be granted before the end of the year.

Organizational endorsers click here.
Individuals, please add your name here.

Thank you for your support!

bh

December 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE Deportation Totals: 60% With Pevious Conviction

From ICE (editor: we need to take time to look behind these actual claims by ICE):

FY 2013: ICE announces year-end removal numbers
 
98 percent of the agency’s total removals were convicted criminals, recent border crossers, illegal re-entrants or those previously removed by ICE, in line with agency’s enforcement priorities

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the agency's fiscal year (FY) 2013 year-end removal numbers showing that 98 percent of removals met one or more of the agency’s civil immigration enforcement priorities. These figures highlight ICE’s ongoing commitment to primary immigration enforcement missions: the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.
 
This year, as part of an effort to enhance the manner in which it collects and reports enforcement statistics, ICE is also reporting where the individual was apprehended – an important indicator that helps ICE ensure it is operating in line with its identified priorities. This format builds on the refinements of prior years and provides enhanced detail and clarity regarding ICE’s immigration enforcement operations.
 
“The FY2013 numbers make clear that we are enforcing our nation’s laws in a smart and effective way, meeting our enforcement priorities by focusing on convicted criminals while also continuing to secure our nation’s borders in partnership with CBP,” said Acting Director Sandweg. “Ninety eight percent of those removed in the last year met one of our key priorities – a record high and a testament to the men and women of ICE who are helping to implement a strong and focused immigration enforcement strategy.”
 
In FY2013, ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals, 235,093 of whom were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States, and 133,551 of whom were apprehended in the interior of the United States. Nearly 60 percent of ICE’s total removals had been previously convicted of a criminal offense, and that number rises to 82 percent for individuals removed from the interior of the U.S. Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include: those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives.
 
For a comprehensive breakdown of ICE’s FY 2013 removal numbers, please visit our immigration enforcement webpage.

bh

December 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alarming Rise in ICE Raids In New Orleans Communities

From: NEW ORLEANS WORKERS’ CENTER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
 
New Report Documents Alarming Rise of Community Immigration Raids in New Orleans
Immigrants, Community Leaders Demand End to Race-Based Deportation Program
 
NEW ORLEANS, December 19, 2013—A report released today by the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ) revealed an Obama Administration pilot program of race-based community immigration raids that is devastating New Orleans—and warned that it may become the “new normal” for immigrant communities nationwide.
 
The little-known Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, called the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative (CARI), involves indiscriminate community raids by ICE squads at apartment complexes, grocery stores, laundromats, Bible study groups, and other public places frequented by Latinos—based purely on racial profiling.
 
Download the full report: “The Criminal Alien Removal Initiative in New Orleans: The Obama Administration’s Brutal New Frontier in Immigration Enforcement.”
 
“As 2013 comes to a close without the passage of immigration reform, New Orleans is experiencing the new frontier in immigration enforcement: a stop and ‘stop and frisk’ program for the immigrant community,” said Saket Soni, NOWCRJ Executive Director and report co-author. “Without immediate action, the race-based raids being piloted in New Orleans will become the new normal across the country.”
 
“President Obama has the legal authority and moral responsibility to stop the deportations, and we’re calling on him to use it,” Soni said.
 
The report details how CARI dragnets have caught up workers like Juan Ramon Pena-Mendoza, a father ICE arrested while he was dropping off his 5-year-old U.S. citizen daughter at the school bus stop; Jimmy Barraza, who watched ICE agents handcuff his 16-year-old U.S. citizen stepson and throw him against a wall when the boy asked questions about his father’s arrest; and Karen Elizabeth Sandoval, a mother left to raise two children alone after ICE arrested her partner in a “driving while Latino” stop while the family was on their way to buy school supplies.
 
Jacinta Gonzalez, NOWCRJ Lead Immigration Organizer and report co-author, said: “Every day, ICE is terrorizing, arresting, and deporting the workers and families who helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. All these people have done is struggle to be reunited with their families and loved ones—or refuse to ‘self-deport’ from the communities they helped rebuild.”
 
Jennifer J. Rosenbaum, NOWCRJ Legal Director and report co-author, said: “ICE needs to end race-based community raids, quota-driven immigration enforcement that focuses on prior immigration history, and collaboration with local law enforcement, beginning in New Orleans.”
 
New Orleans’ immigrant community has already shown extraordinary bravery in coming forward to expose CARI. On November 14, 2013, more than two hundred immigrant workers and community leaders occupied the intersection of Poydras Street and Loyola Avenue in downtown New Orleans for nearly two hours, bringing traffic to a halt in front of the regional ICE office. Eighteen immigrant workers and four community leaders were arrested in an act of civil disobedience.
 
On December 12, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond wrote to ICE Director John Sandweg expressing grave concerns about the recent ICE raids. Rep. Richmond's letter stated: “Profiling any race is not the American way and no one should be subject to unethical pursuit; especially not while accompanying your son at his school bus stop, while attending weekly Bible study meetings, or while purchasing food for your family at the local supermarket.”
 
With the Obama Administration continuing to deport immigrants at the blistering rate of 1,100 a day, the report calls on President Obama to use his executive authority to put an immediate halt to deportations.

CONTACTS: Stephen Boykewich, spboykewich@gmail.com, 323-594-2347; Katy Green, katy@newpartners.com, 650-464-1545

bh

December 19, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Biggest Immigration Disappointment of 2013: Congress (Again) Fails to Pass Immigration Reform in 2013

Boehner

Speaker of the House John Boehner

As previously noted on the ImmigrationProf blog, the biggest American immigration news in 2013 by far was Congress’s failure -- once again -- to enact comprehensive immigration reform. This congressional failure is also the biggest immigration disappointment of 2013.  It no doubt is especially disappointing to the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants who will continue to live in a shadowy limbo in the recesses of American social life, and the many DREAMers who are part of the nation's future but are told time and once again that they must wait for their time to come.

Early in the year, prospects for successful passage of immigration reform initially were promising. In June, the U.S. Senate by a 2-1 margin passed an immigration reform bill.   High hopes were dashed when the House under the "leadership" of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who is open to being contacted on his website, never took up the bill. This failure came after months of political agitation for Congress to act on a reform proposal and led to a number of protests, including a fast by immigration leaders on the National Mall. Moreover, an undocumented “heckler” grabbed national attention by asking President Obama at a press conference if he would place a moratorium on deportations.

Happy New Year.

KJ

December 19, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Migration Information Source's Top 10 Migration Issues of 2013

Each year, the Migration Information Source examines some of the world's top migration developments and trends. The 2013 articles chronicle some of the year's most interesting and consequential developments—from Europe wrestling with migration management challenges thrown into relief after a deadly shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa to the ever-widening Syrian humanitarian crisis and the United States seemingly on the cusp of enacting landmark reform only for the legislative year to end without action.

So without further ado, here is the Top 10 of 2013:

• No. 1: The Changing Face of International Migration: Flows Are Increasingly Fluid, Diverse, and Unconventional

• No. 2: Recognizing Their Evolving Migration Roles, Emerging Economies Overhaul Their Immigration Systems

• No. 3: The Golden Visa: "Selling Citizenship" to Investors

• No. 4: The Escalating Syrian Refugee Crisis Challenges the International Community's Ability to Respond

• No. 5: Is Europe Faltering in Addressing its Multiple Migration Challenges?

• No. 6: Faced with a Growing Global Talent Pool, Governments Review their Strategies

• No. 7: As Bill to Overhaul US Immigration System Stalls in Congress, Immigration Reform Movement Broadens, Ups the Ante

• No. 8: Questions of Immigration Control Preoccupy Policymakers Worldwide as Mixed Flows of Arrivals Continue, and in Some Cases, Surge

• No. 9: Greece Confronts Golden Dawn As the Far Right Takes Aim at the European Union

• No. 10: Qatar's Treatment of Migrant Workers Is under the Spotlight ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup

KJ

December 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Faulty Legal Arguments Behind Immigration Detainers

Chris-lasch-fullbody

 

Today, the Immigration Policy Center released The Faulty Legal Arguments Behind Immigration Detainers by Christopher Lasch, Esq. In late June 2012, the Supreme Court struck down three provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 and left a fourth vulnerable to future legal challenge. As has been well-documented, the Court’s rejection of SB 1070 tipped the balance in favor of federal enforcement and away from state and local enforcement of the immigration laws. But this essay explores a less obvious consequence of the Court’s decision: its implications for the viability of a critical federal enforcement mechanism, the immigration “detainer.”

Due to underlying legal problems, many of the “anti-detainer” measures enacted around the country are well-founded. For example, numerous municipalities—including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco—now prevent local jails from honoring immigration detainers unless an arrestee has been charged with or convicted of certain criminal offenses. However, to the extent jurisdictions believe they can selectively honor immigration detainers, they may yet be exposed to civil liability. While legally sound in resisting the notion that the federal government can impose any binding obligation on state and local officials, even selective enforcement of detainers may violate the Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

KJ

December 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

NAFTA at 20: Free Trade and Closed Borders

The January/February 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs has a feature on "NAFTA at Twenty: Three Takes on the Historic Free-Trade Agreement."  It includes 

NAFTA’s Economic Upsides by Carla A. Hills

“NAFTA was the first comprehensive free-trade agreement to join developed and developing nations, and it achieved broader and deeper market openings than any trade agreement had before,” writes Hills, a former U.S. trade representative who negotiated that historic treaty.

NAFTA’s Unfinished Business by Michael Wilson

Wilson, chair of Barclays Capital Canada and former Canadian minister of international trade during the NAFTA negotiations, laments that although the treaty succeeded in liberalizing trade among Canada, Mexico, and the United States, “those of us who championed NAFTA hoped the agreement would be something more: a means to deepen integration among the three economies.” Wilson’s vision for greater integration in the future includes improved collaboration on border security, reducing regulatory differences to spur freer trade, and greater cooperation on energy security.

NAFTA’s Mixed Record by Jorge G. Castañeda 

“It would be overly simplistic to credit NAFTA for Mexico’s many transformations, just as it would be to blame NAFTA for Mexico’s many failings. The truth lies somewhere in between,” offers Castañeda, former foreign minister of Mexico.

Not long after the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994, I published an article looking at the trade accord from an immigration prospective.  See Free Trade and Closed Borders: NAFTA and Mexican Immigration to the United States.  I  lamented that labor migration had been off the table in the negotiations and that the final agreement did not in any meaningful way address labor migration.  

There was hope that NAFTA might, as Michael Wilson writes, lead to greater integration between the North American economies and possibly even freer labor migration as developed in the European Union.  As discussed here, that integration for a variety of reasons has not come to fruition.  We can only hope that the future will see the nations of North American seek to regularize labor migration among the three neighbors for the benefit of all.

KJ

December 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

How will Chile's President-elect Bachelet tackle immigration reform?

 

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188px-Flag_of_Chile_svg

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the new President-Elect of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, will  soon be addressing immigration reform, currently a hot topic in this South American country.

Chile's flexible immigration rules have attracted migrants from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina sho seek higher salaries, lower crime, and greater economic stability. "But, echoing age-old anti-immigration rhetoric from around the globe, opponents say the new arrivals are taking away key jobs, putting downward pressure on wages, and causing increased crime."

President-elect Bachelet has said she plans legislation that shifts the focus from “security and controlling immigrant labor” to “inclusion, regional integration, and rights.”  Her opponent, Eelyn Matthei, who garnered 38 percent of the vote, took a harder line. She said immigrants should be required to have work visas before they enter the country in order to “see what their criminal histories are.” Immigrants who commit crimes in Chile “should be left on the border and never allowed to return," she said.

KJ

December 18, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Arrest, detention of Indian diplomat in New York triggers uproar, Charges Involve Exploitation of Domestic Service Worker

Devyani-khobragade

CNN reports on the arrest and detention of an Indian consular official in New York on visa fraud charges that has created a diplomatic uproar. Devyani Khobragade, India's deputy consul general, was arrested last week. Court papers allege she submitted false documents to obtain a work visa for her female housekeeper, paying her less than the amount stated.

The diplomatic controversy focuses on the fact that Khobragade was held in a cell with other females and strip-searched following her arrest.  The U.S. Marshals Service sstate that such treatment was standard procedure. She eventually posted bond and was released.

The case has set off outrage in India about Khobragade's treatment by U.S. law enforcement officials, but it has also drawn concern from human rights advocates about her alleged underpaying of her housekeeper..  Prosecutors allege that Khobragade stated in the visa application for her housekeeper that she would pay her at least $9.75 per hour, the New York minimum wage. But in reality, the prosecutors say, the housekeeper ended up being paid the equivalent of less than $3.31 per hour.

"Foreign nationals brought to the United States to serve as domestic workers are entitled to the same protections against exploitation as those afforded to United States citizens," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement last week announcing Khobragade's arrest.

KJ

December 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)