Sunday, November 26, 2017

10 ways Hispanics are redefining American Catholicism in the 21st century

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Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

This article ("10 ways Hispanics are redefining American Catholicism in the 21st century") by Hosffman Ospino in America:  The Jesuit Review offers some interesting thoughts about the transformation of the Catholic Church in the United States due to the growth in the Latina/o population (in no small part due to immigration). 

"The Immigrant City. This is how many know Lawrence, Mass., a town in New England with a population of about 80,000. Perhaps the most appropriate name for Lawrence is The Catholic Immigrant City. Not long ago it had 15 Catholic churches, none of which was established to serve Hispanics. Today, the three Catholic parishes left celebrate several Masses in Spanish every week. The transformation took place in about 50 years." 

Ospino lists the ten ways that Latina/os are changing the American Catholic Church:

  1. Hispanics are forming a new geographic center for U.S. Catholicism.
  2. Hispanics are at the heart of the church’s growth.
  3. Hispanics are transforming how we communicate with each other.
  4. Two-thirds of Hispanic Catholics in the United States were born here.
  5. A majority of U.S. Catholics under 18 are Hispanic.
  6. About one in four Hispanics is a former Catholic.
  7. Hispanics are underrepresented in Catholic education.
  8. There is room for growth in the number of Hispanic ministers in the church.
  9. Hispanic Catholics draw from deep U.S. Latino and Latin American foundations.
  10. Hispanic Catholics offer innovative approaches to evangelization.


Hosffman Ospino, Boston College


November 26, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fear of Trump crackdown haunts undocumented immigrants


Matt Vizer of the Boston Globe vividly describes the fear instilled in immigrant commuunities by President Trump's immigration enforcement policies.  The beginning paragraphs of the article:

"The crying starts when Anayeli Cruz talks about the new troubles in her life, the impact on her US-born children, about the changes in the country she has called home for 12 years.

When the sobs come, as they often do, her 2-year-old daughter climbs into her lap and tries to wipe away the tears.

Cruz attempts a smile, but her round, bubbly face crumples again as she describes details of her daily struggles: Fearful of who might call authorities and report her as an undocumented immigrant, she forbade her kids from trick-or-treating for Halloween. She tells the children they must play on the backyard swing set instead of at the public playground. She denied her son a birthday party because, as she put it, “You never know what can happen.”

It appears almost irrational from the outside, but the 28-year-old Mexican immigrant’s fear is undeniable. She is afraid of certain neighbors. She is afraid to leave her home. She is afraid, above all, of President Trump and his immigration crackdown."

News stories like these have become all-too-common (here, here, here).




November 26, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigrant of the Day: Actress Eiza Gonzalez (Mexico)


Born in Mexico, Eiza González Reyna is an actress and singer. In 2007, she gained popularity for her debut role as "Lola" in the Mexican teen-oriented musical telenovela Lola...Érase una vez. She currently plays Santanico Pandemonium on the television show From Dusk till Dawn: The Series

Gonzalez appeared as "Darling" in the action film Baby Driver, released in 2017.


González moved to Los Angeles, California in 2013 to further pursue her acting career.


November 26, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 25, 2017


From Alex Mensing of the University of San Francisco Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic:

Hello friends and fellow social justice warriors! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving with your families.
#GiveMateoBack TWITTERSTORM SATURDAY 11/25!! Simple instructions below.
As many of you have heard, one of the members of the most recent Refugee Caravan was separated from his one-year-old son by ICE & CBP after crossing the border to request asylum. José, the dad, is now in Otay Mesa alongside three other fathers who were separated from their kids. Carlos' 12-year-old son, Eric's 3-year-old son, and Walter's 5-year-old daughter were taken from them and sent to ORR.

We CANNOT stand for this. Our message to Central Americans fleeing violence cannot be "if you come here we will destroy your families." It must be "we will stand with you as you pursue your dream of safety, dignity, and life."

Help us spread the word and keep the pressure up, demanding that they reunite all the families NOW and liberate them immediately! As José told us yesterday: 
“on this Thanksgiving Day, I can only say: Equality, Reunification, and Freedom!”

#GiveMateoBack TWITTERSTORM!!!

Saturday, 11/25, 1pm-2pm PST / 4pm - 5pm EST

Use hashtag: #GiveMateoBack

Use link to petition:

Use link to video:

Tweet at: @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov & whoever else you want!

Follow #GiveMateoBack and RT everyone else!

Have fun!

Tip: Go to and search for #GiveMateoBack and set the view to “Latest” instead of “Top” and you will see all the tweets by everyone else on our team, so you can retweet them. It helps to Quote the tweet and start conversations, tweeting back and forth at each other

Sample Tweets:

Learn about Jose, the refugee whose 1-y/o son was taken away from him by @ICE_gov. Video: NOW sign the petition to make them #GiveMateoBack @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov

Help free Salvadoran refugee Jose and get his 1-year-old son Mateo back! Sign petition: & watch amazing video by @netargv: #GiveMateoBack @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov

ICE took this man’s 1-y/o infant and put his dad in immigration prison! #GiveMateoBack! VIDEO: PETITION: @KamalaHarris @DemocracyNow @amnestyusa @ICE_gov


November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Agreement to Return Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar is Questioned

Two days ago, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding for the return home of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled to the neighboring country to escape an army crackdown. Read here. 

However, Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law, Conflict and Global Development, University of Reading, is critical of this agreement:

"Many Rohingya people who have fled the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are now living as refugees in Bangladesh. And now, the two countries have reportedly struck a deal to return them home. Returning Rohingya people to the hands of their persecutors not only violates international law, but raises fundamental questions about how the world protects those fleeing the most heinous crimes and abuses.

"This deal comes just days after Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the Srebrenica massacre, which took place in Bosnia even as news cameras broadcast footage around the world – in much the same way as they have documented this latest crisis of ethnic cleansing.

"As far as Myanmar is concerned, the deal will ease the increasing pressure it faces from both the United Nations and its Asian neighbours. The Myanmar government has no interest in welcoming Rohingya refugees home with open arms; those Rohingya who remain in Myanmar are treated as an alien people, denied citizenship and basic rights, and systematically persecuted. The Myanmar government maintains that the recent spike in violence did not amount to ethnic cleansing, that it was not state-sponsored, sanctioned or condoned, and that the Rohingya are safe to return. But those words are empty.

"Abundant first-hand reports and documentary footage all point to the same thing: ethnic cleansing conducted by state actors. Top UN officials have been using the term “ethnic cleansing” for some time, and the US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is now using it too.

"Given that Myanmar is refusing to take responsibility for the atrocities, let alone to provide guarantees of protection and justice for the Rohingya, it beggars belief not just that the country is asking those refugees to return, but that Bangladesh would provide its support.

"Under international law, refugees who flee atrocities are afforded fundamental protections. Above all, they are protected by the principles of offering asylum and of non-refoulement – protection against return to a country where a person has reason to fear persecution.

"Bangladesh will of course insist that Myanmar wants these people to return, and that only those choosing to do so voluntarily will be returned. But that ignores the facts on the ground. Rohingya refugees’ options are bleak: remain in the squalid camps, somehow escape into Bangladeshi society with no formal documentation or status, or return home and face persecution.

"Bleak future

"Bangladesh has not acceded to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol. The country has no law to regulate the administration of refugee affairs or guarantee refugees’ rights. And despite many decades of persecution and abuses in Myanmar, Bangladesh has never allowed the Rohingya to claim asylum. Those who make it to Bangladesh are placed in overcrowded camps without basic provisions, and there they remain unless they choose to return to Myanmar.

"The idea of voluntary return stems from a 1993 agreement between Bangladesh and Myanmar, under which those Rohingya who can prove their identity must fill in forms with the names of family members, their previous address in Myanmar, their date of birth, and a disclaimer that they are returning voluntarily. But those who do choose to return will face extortion, arbitrary taxation, and restrictions on freedom of movement. Many will be required to undertake forced labour, and some will face state-sponsored violence and extrajudicial killings.

"Those who remain in Bangladesh, on the other hand, face a lifetime in camps where human rights abuses are rife, with insufficient and inadequate food, water, housing or healthcare. Fleeing these camps leaves them undocumented and vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

"Whatever individual Rohingya people in Bangladesh might decide to do, their future is bleak. And that’s not good enough. The international community has long known about the systematic persecution of this people. The international community has long ignored the atrocities perpetrated against them. And the international community has long tolerated the cover-ups and excuses from the government of Myanmar. This time it needs to be different.

"Bangladesh should step up and provide refuge to those who have been seeking it for 25 years. Myanmar’s neighbouring states and allies should help properly resettle the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and Myanmar itself should be held to account for the atrocities it commits. There’s no point saying “never again” unless action is taken."


November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Victor Moses: From Asylum-Seeking Orphan to Soccer Star

From BBC Sport: 

Moses was just 11 when he arrived in England as an asylum seeker after both his mother and father were killed during religious clashes in Nigeria in 2002.

The 26-year-old was playing football in the streets when his parents lost their lives. Just a week later, his remaining family had cobbled together enough money to send him away from his homeland.
. . .
"As a young boy in a new country, you had to make new friends and that was really difficult. When I first came, I couldn't even speak the language."

Having been placed with foster parents, Moses was sent to school in South Norwood, which was close to an asylum support and immigration centre in Croydon.
. . .
"At 13 it was my first contact with organised football and when they saw the way I was playing with the other kids and around the park, they knew I had talent," said Moses.
. . .
Moses was thrust into Chelsea's starting line-up for the first time in three years, at Hull in the league in October 2016. He adapted to the unfamiliar role so well that not only was he named man-of-the-match, but his performance kick-started a run of 22 Premier League appearances in a row (halted only briefly when injury struck in April).

Rory Jennings, of CFC Fan TV, is under no illusions about the significance of Moses' development at wing-back.

"Moses played a huge role in Chelsea's success last season," he told BBC Sport. "His brilliance allowed us to amend our formation and play a system that nobody else in the Premier League could cope with."

Moses calls winning the title one of the happiest days in his life. He has also celebrated World Cup qualification this year with Nigeria, the country he opted to represent despite having played extensively for England at youth level. Read more....



November 25, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

President Trump Offered Time's Man of the Year Honors?



Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!


Time denies the President's claim.


November 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Is Sending America's Immigration Problem to Canada? Officials Brace for an Influx of Haitians


Photo courtesy of  The Intercept

Newsweek reports on the fallout of President Trump's decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Haitians.  

Canada is bracing for an influx of Haitian refugees rejected by the U.S. Canadian officials in Lacolle, Quebec, just across the border near upstate New York, have dispatched a fleet of heated trailers with beds and showers to assist primarily Haitian border crossers from the U.S., according to The Intercept.

Canadian immigration officials anticipate a spike in Haitian border crossers following the Trump administration’s decision this week to end deportation protection to nearly 60,000 Haitian refugees in the U.S. The administration will no longer offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to 59,000 Haitians, whose protections are set to expire January 22. They have 18 months to leave the United States.



November 25, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Immigrant of the Day: Denis Estimon (Haiti)

Denis Estimon came to the U.S. from Haiti as a first-grader. Between the language barrier and being the new kid, Denis felt "isolated" and "lonely." Denis eventually found his way, and even became popular. But he didn't forget that feeling.

As a senior at Boca Raton Community High School, Denis created a student group called We Dine Together. The group's goal? No student should eat lunch alone.

Steve Hartman over at CBS has the story:

The one student group has now become a movement. Check out the We Dine Together  Facebook page or @wedinetogether on Twitter.


November 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

DACA recipients saw their mental health improve. Now, advocates fear its end will have the opposite effect.

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Caitlin Patler                                    Whitney Pirtle

This PRI report considers the mental health impacts on the Trump administration's dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  

Last March, researchers at the University of California published a pioneering study that links the “legitimizing effect” of the program with participants’ improved psychological well-being in California. The state has, by far, the largest population of beneficiaries, 223,000 people out of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients nationwide.

“Now that these people have experienced life with DACA, they have a new baseline to compare things to,” says Caitlin Patler, assistant professor of sociology at UC Davis.

Relief from deportation and authorization to work have “opened the door to so many opportunities and possibilities. They know how life can be.”

Patler and UC Merced sociologist Whitney Pirtle co-authored the study, focusing on young Latinos and immigration status, which was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

While they won’t have data on the emotional impact of the end of the program until they conduct more fieldwork in the coming years, Patler theorizes that it could potentially diminish mental well-being to conditions worse than before the program began. And the effects, the researchers say, are likely to not only be seen among DACA recipients themselves.

Patler says that DACA recipients have lost “ontological security.” They think about the personal information they have given the government and worry that they will be deported or unable to work or study, she says. “These young people cannot count on the promise of the future.”

The disruption, along with experiences of anti-immigrant sentiment, could lead to distress, negative emotions, depression and anxiety. At a behavioral level, they could also cause problems like diminished mental focus and concentration, says Patler.


November 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europe


The “boat cemetery” in Lampedusa where the boats used by the migrants are stored to be destroyed later. File photo: Peter Schatzer / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2006

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Migration Agency’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), today released a new report reviewing the evidence of  Four Decades of Cross-Mediterranean Undocumented Migration to Europe and concludes that Europe’s Mediterranean border is “by far the world’s deadliest.”

Relying on analysis of IOM estimates from the Missing Migrants Project, the report states that at least 33,761 migrants were reported to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean between 2000 and 2017 (as of 30 June). Professor Philippe Fargues of the European University Institute, the report's author, notes that this number likely under-reports the actual scale of the human tragedy, even as the record number of migrant deaths may have begun to subside in 2017 due in part to cooperation between the EU and Turkey, and now Libya, to stem migrant flows. 

The report reviews available evidence on trans-Mediterranean irregular migration to Europe along various routes going back to the 1970s, particularly on the magnitude of the flows, the evolution of sea routes to Southern Europe, the characteristics of migrants, the extent to which one can separate between economic and forced movements, and mortality during the sea journey. The report also reflects on the causes of the so-called migration crisis – a record-high number of undocumented arrivals by sea between 2014 and 2016 – and the reasons for the substantial decrease in numbers in 2017. It concludes by identifying future data and research needs.


November 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: State Level Dream Acts and Latino Responsiveness by Mikaila Leyva


Mikaila Leyva

State Level Dream Acts and Latino Responsiveness by Mikaila Leyva


The rapid growth of the Latino population coupled with increasing tension between state and federal legislation leads to questions of group responsiveness and political efficacy under uncertain circumstances. In recent decades, the federal government has failed to pass an encompassing version of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) which seeks to offer a pathway to higher education and a future out of the shadows for many undocumented youth, a significant portion of them being Latino. Though the DREAM Act did not pass at the federal level, many states have proposed and passed similar legislation, this study focuses on the relationship between state passed DREAM Act legislation and its effects on the Latino youth residing in those states. We propose that those states with pseudo-DREAM Acts create a unique environment that fosters participation among the Latino youth residing within the states in question. Though much work has focused on Latino responsiveness of anti-immigrant legislation, very little has been done looking at responsiveness of positive immigrant legislation. We hope to fill this gap by examining the effect that state-level DREAM Acts can have on Latino populations regarding political efficacy and participation, both formal and informal.


November 24, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving.



November 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Casablanca on its 75th Anniversary


The 1942 film classic "Casablanca” — set in WWII and filled with immigration and refugee themes -- is celebrating its 75th anniversary.  It ends as Rick (Humphrey Bogart) and Capt. Renault (Claude Rains) walked into the misty night on their way to a Free French garrison and “a beautiful friendship.”

Charles Wolfe, a UC Santa Barbara professor of film and media studies, opines on the film, its meaning, and modern relevance in this article.  For an NPR story on the film's anniversary, click here.




November 23, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Taking Care of the Rule of Law by David S. Rubenstein


David S. Rubenstein

Taking Care of the Rule of Law by David S. Rubenstein


The multi-generational project of squaring executive governance with the rule of law is coming to a head. Hardly a week passes without commentators summonsing the rule of law ideal to pass judgment on the legitimacy or desirability of some executive action. But the more we talk about the rule of law, the further it seems to slip away. Rather than look to the rule of law for guidance, this Article shines critical light on what the rule of law ideal cannot tell us. Moreover, this Article explains why even well-intended efforts to square the rule of law with trends in governance can be counterproductive. To anchor these points, the Article presents comparative case studies of President Obama’s and President Trump’s signature immigration policies and the rule of law debates surrounding them. The Obama-Trump juxtaposition offers a portrait of some disquieting trends, not only for presidential administration, but also in how commentators think and talk about the rule of law. This Article intervenes with some prescriptions moving forward—including away from rule of law talk, and towards doctrines and institutional arrangements that could more effectively check presidential power.


November 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving! The First Immigrant Thanksgiving


Image courtesy of Morrell Consolidated School

Happy Thanksgiving!  It is a time for family, friends, and community.  We at the ImmigrationProf blog wish you and yours the very best. 

This piece. first published in Bloomberg View oin November 2013, offers much food for thought as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2017.  It begins:

"There were no Americans at the first Thanksgiving. The newer set of immigrants, recently arrived from England, considered themselves thoroughly English. And so they remained: Almost two decades after the feast, in describing the Pequot War, William Bradford lamented an Indian attack `upon the English at Connecticut.'”

It ends:

"The Pilgrims no doubt would’ve been shocked to find that their cultural potluck at the first Thanksgiving was also a family reunion with a long-lost, if rather diluted, European clan. But peoples, like lands, change over time. In 1621, the English, Dutch, French and Spanish were the strangers at the American feast. They conquered and stayed. But the breadth of human history, and the expanse of human migration, tells us finders are not forever keepers. And the strange is often more familiar than we know."


November 23, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Minnesotans Divided on Immigration

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Minnesota is an interesting state for politics. Both of its senators are Democrats (for now, sheesh), as are five of its eight representatives. The state's electoral votes went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and while she carried the state with 46.4% of the vote, Donald Trump was close on her heels at 44.9%.

Clinton carried Minnesota by capturing votes in the urban centers of the state. Trump captured votes throughout the rest of the state where his immigration talking points were well received.

Today, Minnesota, like much of the country, continues to be divided politically and on the particular issue of immigration. As MPR recently reported, that divide is stark when rural and urban areas of the state are compared.


In St. Cloud, part of rural Minnesota, one City Council member recently called for a moratorium on refugee resettlement. That effort failed, and the City Council instead passed a resolution "in support of a just and welcoming community." 

But the tensions surrounding immigration linger. As one individual in St. Cloud put it: "We're full. The inn is full, OK?" Another individual interviewed expressed concerns that "they don't assimilate into our society."

Activists and politicians are trying to close the gap. As the Star Tribune reports, the mayor of St. Cloud "holds chili feeds at his house to bridge the cultural gaps among different races and religions" while a community group, #UniteCloud, held a "panel discussion called “I Don’t Mean to Offend You, But …” to allow people born in or around St. Cloud to ask lingering or nagging questions of Muslims from several different countries."


November 22, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Policy Under President Trump: Reducing the Number of Noncitizens -- Legal and Undocumented -- in the US


It has been almost 10 months since President Donald Trump was inaugurated.  Not surprising given his campaign's focus on immigration, President Trump has taken a number of major initiatives on immigration enforcement.  In my estimation, a central organizing principle of his administration immigration measures has been to reduce the number of noncitizens, legal immigrants as well as undocumented ones, in the United States.  Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff for the Washington Post refer to the measures as "the wall that no one can see."


The now iconic wall along the U.S./Mexico border wall was a staple of the Trump campaign events and has been one of his high profile policy initiatives.  We will see whether a wall will in fact be built.  Trump's endorsement of building a wall has been met with cheers in some circles.  The stated goal of the wall is to decrease undocumented immigration from Mexico.

The various iterations of the "travel ban" or "Muslim ban" made travel from a number of predominantly Muslim nations difficult and uncertain for a time.  The ban, combined with "extreme vetting" of Muslim noncitizens seeking to enter the United States, is designed to reduce migration.

The interior and border security immigration enforcement orders issued shortly after the inauguration, included calls for more enforcement officers, punishment of "sanctuary cities," expanded detention through the end of "catch and release," greatly expanded expedited removal (that some might characterize as summary removals), and much more.  

In recent weeks, President Trump has ended the Temporary Protected Status of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans and Haitians who fled their countries after natural disasters.

President Trump reduced the numbers of refugees to be annually admitted to the United States to 45,000, a historic low.

In September, the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provided relief to nearly 800,000 undocumented youth.

President Trump also endorsed the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which is expressly aimed at reducing legal immigration by one-half and from one million immigrants a year to 500,000.  The Act would not solve the current problems with the current American immigration system, but in fact would in all likelihood exacerbate them.

David_Perdue _Official_Portrait _114th_Congress

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga)

Co-sponsored by Republican Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Purdue (R-Ga), the RAISE Act would drastically reshape American immigration by reducing family-based legal immigration. 

Today, the U.S. government annually grants lawful permanent residence to approximately one million immigrants, with Mexico, China, and India sending the most immigrants to the United States.  A majority of visas under the U.S. immigration laws, which are designed to promote family reunification, currently are allocated to visa applicants who have U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident family members currently living in the United States. The RAISE Act would eliminate family immigrant visas beyond spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents; parents and adult children would no longer be eligible for family visas. The Act does so to achieve its ultimate aim of reducing legal immigration by one-half over the next decade, from roughly one million to 500,000 a year.

Besides dramatically cutting family-based immigration, the RAISE Act would modify the current immigrant visa scheme with a points system based on “merit.” Under the proposed merit-based system, visa applicants would earn points for high-paying job offers, advanced degrees, and the ability to make financial investments of more than one million dollars in the United States. Persons in their twenties with high English language proficiency scores, would also receive more points than other visa applicants. An applicant with sufficient points would be eligible for a merit-based immigrant visa.

Although substantially changing the rules for lawful immigration, the RAISE Act would not make changes in the immigration laws in response to the persistent demand by employers in the United States for low- and medium-skilled workers. The Act would do nothing to help ensure the lawful admission of adequate numbers of workers for the agriculture, construction, and service industries. It thus fails to provide for the availability of workers to fill the jobs in those industries, which undocumented immigrants perform in large numbers today.

In no small part because of unrealistic restrictions on legal immigration under current law, roughly eleven million undocumented immigrants currently live in the United States. Besides not providing a path to legalization for that population, the RAISE Act by reducing family immigrant visas would increase pressures for undocumented immigration, as noncitizens would seek to reunite with family members outside legally-authorized avenues. If Congress passed the Act, changes in the law would likely result in increased pressures for undocumented immigration than exist currently and an increase in the overall population of undocumented immigrants.

Ultimately, the Trump administration seeks to reduce all immigration to the United States.  We are likely to see continuation of policies that seek to reduce the numbers of noncitizens living in the United States.  And make no mistake about it -- the efforts to reduce the immigrant population is not limited to removal of undocumented immigrants from the country.  President Trump seeks to reshape legal as well as undocumented immigration.



November 22, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

How L.A. Mariachi Helped Make One of Blondie’s Biggest Hits


Josh Kun for LA Weekley explains "How L.A. Mariachi Helped Make One of Blondie’s Biggest Hits." He explains how the band rin ecorded their fifth alum AutoAmerican in Los Angeles:

"Among the songs produced during those early September sessions was "The Tide Is High," originally written by Jamaican legend John Holt and recorded by his rock-steady trio The Paragons in 1966. Blondie's version replicates the original's classic Caribbean reggae strut — a sound that had vibrantly left its mark on the sound of new wave and punk scenes in New York and London — but then throws in a Latin American curve ball. They nudge it closer to nearby Mexico and Cuba: The melody is played by trumpets and violins in the style of modern Mexican mariachi and the percussion section surrounds a steel drum with congas and timbales typically found on rumbas and mambos. It wasn't just the city's sunshine mythology and seismic doom that had made their way into the new album. It was the city's position as a key geographic and cultural hub within greater Latin America, the city's history as a mecca of Mexican music and as a laboratory for experiments in Afro-Cuban dance music in East Los Angeles pasta restaurants, downtown ballrooms, Sunset Strip supper clubs and Hollywood soundstages. The city had indeed rubbed off."




November 22, 2017 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Kate Steinle case goes to the jury


Photo courtesy of KTLA 

It may well be a momentous Thanksgiving in San Francisco, where a case that grabbed the nation's attention -- and President Trump relied upon in arguing for his immigration enforcement agenda -- is in the hands of a jury. 

Vivian Ho for the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the jury began deliberating yesterday in the trial of the man accused of killing Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier, a case that thrust the city into a political firestorm over immigration enforcement.

The jurors must decide whether 45-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate intentionally and willfully fired a gun on Pier 14, as prosecutors allege, or whether Steinle’s death on July 1, 2015, was simply a tragic accident, as Garcia Zarate’s attorneys contend. The jurors went home yesterday evening without reaching a verdict.

Steinle was killed as she walked with her father toward the end of the pier by a bullet that ricocheted off the concrete ground and flew 78 feet into her back.

Garcia Zarate, a homeless Mexican citizen with a history of nonviolent drug crimes and deportations, has admitted handling the weapon — a .40-caliber Sig Sauer handgun that had been stolen four days earlier from the parked car of an off-duty federal ranger. He is facing charges of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and assault with a semiautomatic weapon in connection to the shooting.


November 22, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)