Another article hammering home the point that there are national security implications tied to failing to have a workable guest worker system and legalization program.
I heard about this scheme a few days ago. A couple of representatives of an Indian tribe not recognized by the federal government offered to sell memberships to the tribe as an avenue for people to get US citizenship. While this might be a creative idea, it doesn't work since the tribe is not a federally recognized one. And this means the scheme is really a matter of fraud. The Texas Attorney General apparently thinks so and today charged the folks behind the offer. While this is one of the more unusual offers to get people get around the usual rules to qualify for residency, it is just another scam. And it is a reminder that offers that are too good to be true almost always are.
The National Basketball Association is the world's premier basketball league and foreign players have increasingly been scouted to play in the for NBA teams. Turkish nationals have been a favorite and top amongst them is Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur. Okur was also a 2007 NBA all-star team member. He also shows that immigrant work ethic - for two straight seasons he has played all 82 games, the only Jazz player to do so.
Just got this press release over the transom. These are pretty serious allegations. I'm not a believer in trying people via the Internet, but the charges certainly should be investigated to see if there is anything to them. I also know that MIRA and ACLU are groups that are serious and credible and not likely to trump up baseless allegations and I would imagine you'll be hearing more about this story.
MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release Contact: Saket
Soni 504/881-6610 August 21, 2007
CAPTAIN KIDNAPPED GUEST WORKERS
For Immediate Release Contact: Saket Soni 504/881-6610
August 21, 2007
PASCAGOULA POLICE CAPTAIN KIDNAPPED GUEST WORKERS
WHAT: Press conference featuring Mexican guest workers, civil rights advocates on steps of the US attorney’s office.Guess workers and advocates will expose Captain George Tillman of the Pascagoula Police Department.They will demand that US attorney General Alberto Gonzales launch a full investigation into charges of kidnapping with intent to enslave, false imprisonment, and gross civil rights violation. The workers arrived in the United States on H2B visas.
Tillman arrived in uniform and a patrol car at the door steps of the workers in Pascagoula, Mississippi, accompanied by a US recruiter on the night of August 2nd, 2007 Tillman claimed that recruiters owned the workers. He then kidnapped the workers, moved them to another location and threatened them with deportation if they attempted to leave.
WHEN: Wednesday, August 22
WHERE: New Orleans, Louisiana
Steps of the Federal Courthouse
500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA
Steps of the Capitol
400 High Street
WHO: Workers kidnapped by Captain George Tillman, Pascagoula Police Department
Alliance of Guest Workers for Dignity
New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice
Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance
Louisiana Justice Institute
VISUAL: Guest workers and advocates will hold wanted posters prominently featuring Captain George Tillman. At the close of the press conference advocates and workers will leave for Pascagoula, Mississippi in a pickup truck in an effort to negotiate a resolution with Captain Tillman
This is just embarrassing, though far from surprising. A major policy decision in Congress that affects nearly every American was largely dictated by talk radio hosts and their minions of listeners. People have the right to listen to these shows, but have you ever listened to them? This is hardly a forum for enlightened, in depth civil discussions of the issues of the day. Let me be gentle here. These hosts are not exactly scholars and their audiences are not exactly examples of independent thought. In short, they're the 21st answer to the pitchfork wielding mob. Anger = ratings and life's losers want to have someone tell them that someone else is responsible for all of their problems.
And now these folks are calling the shots for the rest of us. The rest of us who have jobs, families and meaningful lives with no time to spend three or four hours each day listening to the svengalis of the airwaves. You know how I know you're not a fight wing talk radio listener? You know what "svengali" means.
Rahm Emmanuel, the Chair of the House's Democratic Caucus, is warning that the Democrats will not have the clout to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill until at least the beginning of the second term of a Democratic presidency. That means no massive reform until the January following the 2012 elections.
Emmanuel's views are bound to disappoint many who were assuming the Democrats could push through comprehensive reform soon. It should also be sobering news to many of the members of the pro-immigration community were unwilling to accept any sort of compromise on legalization or guest worker plans on the assumption that we would have a better shot after the next election.
My sense is that the "comprehensive" in comprehensive immigration reform is dead for now. Smaller measures might have more of a chance. And that goes in both directions. We'll probably see piecemeal enforcement measures that don't try and cover the whole anti-immigration agenda and are possibly paired up with some of the more modest pro-immigration measures.
"I see dead people."
If you are a fan of the American cinema, you'll recognize this phrase from The Sixth Sense, one of the best movies of the last decade (and one whose surprise ending was nothing short of brilliant, in my opinion). It was written and directed by Manoj Nelliattu Shyamalan, an Indian immigrant known professionally as M. Night Shyamalan. Shyamalan is widely recognized as one of the leading directors in Hollywood and, aside from The Sixth Sense, he is responsible for films like Signs, Unbreakable and The Village. He also wrote the popular children's film Stuart Little.
The Sixth Sense earned Shyamalan the Academy Award nomination for best Director and best screenplay at the young age of 29. The American Film Institute named the film one of the 100 greatest motion pictures of all time, one of the most important honors a film can receive. Shyamalan is also one of the most widely recognized Indians in America not just from his movies, but from his classic American Express commercial that ran a few years back.
I like to feature immigrants who have achieved in all areas of American life. And what American past time seems to constantly fascinate the American public? Well, competitive eating, of course. Who doesn't love a good hot dog or pie eating contest?
105 pound Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas is a Korean immigrant who came to America ten years ago with her family. And now she's taken the competitive eating world by storm breaking record after record. Watch out for Sonya!
I've told the story before of the fellow who was in my office for a consultation a couple of years ago after he just completed dental school near the top of his class. He was in the process of filing for his license to practice dentistry when he learned for the first time that his parents entered the country on tourist visas when he was three years old and never went home. The Tennessee Dentistry board needed proof of US citizenship. He grew up his entire life being told he was a US citizen even though he was completely out of status for more than two decades. You can imagine his shock and fear.
A lot of teens across the country get the same shock when they start the college application process. Many are high achieving model students who have important contributions to make the country. But they are forced to pay for the sins of their parents and in many states, they are unable to attend college because they are ineligible for in-state tuition at public universities. Most are from working class families where they might as well be told tuition is a million dollars a year.
Seven states in the US allow in-state tuition to anyone who has lived in their state for enough time. But many states are moving in the opposite direction. One is Connecticut where the governor of the state recently vetoed a bill that would have added her state to the list. This morning, the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, one of the state's largest cities, writes an impassioned plea in the pages of the NY Times urging his state to reconsider.
Aside from the simple humanity of giving these kids the benefits of an education, a raw analysis of the costs and benefits of educating these kids supports giving them in-state tuition. As I noted in a post earlier today, we have an aging population and a projected long term decline in the number of high school graduates. The number of college graduates will also not keep up with the number of people retiring.
One day, these kids WILL be legalized. Let's be realistic. It's going to happen sooner or later. The question is whether we end up cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Will we have wasted this talent in the name of making a political point?
Of course, the solution is to pass the DREAM Act and be done with the debate on what to do with the kids. While we can agree to disagree on legalizing their parents now, until after enforcement gets to a sufficient level, or ever, we don't need to wait on dealing with the young people.
Ireland was never known for its diversity, yet it seems to have a better handle on absorbing an immigrant population that is proportionately more than the US in a land area that is smaller than the typical small US state. I particularly like the idea of a Minister for Integration.
The Irish seem to understand that the greying of the population in Europe could be a disaster for many countries as the younger population reaches a point where it can no longer sustain retirees at a standard of living that is acceptable. The US has the same problem and experts like former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan are sounding alarm bells that we're in for the same fate if we don't bring in immigrant workers at a large enough clip to retiring workers.
Scams are seemingly as old as email and the green card lottery scam is nothing new. But it never hurts to remind people that the only notification of winning the lottery will be one that is mailed, not emailed, by the US Department of State. I don't need to get in to all of the things wrong with the attached document because it is enough to know that since it was emailed, its fraudulent.
Even if you are for tougher restrictions on immigration, is this how you want that policy carried out?
Here's a typical example of what happens when you rely on USCIS. The folks there are often poorly trained and don't have a complete handle on the facts. Yet they offer legal advice nonetheless and often with terrible consequences.
In this case, Brian Whittaker followed the advice of a USCIS officer who told him that because he was out of status, he needed to leave the US and apply for his green card to be with his US citizen wife from outside the country. He followed the advice and then triggered a ten year reentry bar, something that was not necessary since he was eligible to adjust status in the US. My friend Chris Nugent, an excellent DC-based lawyer, took the case on for free and saved the day. Well done Chris!
Lenin Freud Perez-Torres, a 35 year old green card holder from Guatemala and a legal resident since 1988, will be permitted to sue Immigration and Customs Enforcement for jailing him for 25 days after mistaking him for a deported Mexican by the name of Lenin Salgado Torres.
ICE agents burst into Perez-Torres' home at 7 am in the morning and threw him in jail because of the mistake in identification. This despite the fact that he is four inches shorter and forty pounds lighter than the person in the database. ICE ignored the warning of a state parole agent that they may have the wrong man, according to the LA Times story.
Perez-Torres' wife retained a lawyer and forced ICE to do a fingerprint comparison. The error was discovered and yet ICE STILL - STILL! - kept him five more days.
Why were the fingerprints not checked at the time of the arrest? Why was the warning from the state parole agent ignored? Why was Perez-Torres held for nearly a week even after the error was discovered?
Sergio Mendes, the famed Brazilian-born musician, may not be the newest kid on the block (he's 66), but he's certainly hot right now. His latest CD Timeless has guest artists like Justin Timberlake and the Black-eyed Peas. You may have seen the CD if you've been to Starbucks lately.
The NY Times is reporting that USCIS received 300,000 adjustment applications under the July Visa Bulletin (the closing date was yesterday if you've been living in a cave for the last few months). Given the way the quota system works, expect this surge to add several years to the green card waits for most, particularly if you're from India, China or the Philippines. We'll know more when the Visa Bulletin for October is released in about a month.
What does the man on the street think of the story that fewer unlawfully present immigrants are sending money home?
The Wall Street Journal reports on how the Obama camp is courting Latino voters as well.
Looks like Hilary gets it.
It's really hard to figure out if the White House was just trying to scare people last week or genuinely missed this key part of the equation. If the Social Security Administration doesn't share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that's certainly going to make enforcement of the new "no match" rule tougher.
Nevertheless, employers would be foolhardy, in my opinion, to assume they're off the hook. ICE can find out about no match letters as part of a random audit or when investigating a complaint against a company. And any disgruntled employee can put that process in to motion. Furthermore, it seems to me that at some point the SSA could be required to share information with DHS.
If you're the parent of elementary school age girls (I've got several), then you know about Bratz. The Barbie rivals take up an entire aisle at most toy stores and have got their own movie (thankfully, my wife took the girls to see it).
Believe it or not, the Bratz are brought to you courtesy of an Iranian Jewish refugee by the name of Isaac Larian. With Mattel (maker of Barbie) reeling from the massive recalling of its Chinese-made toys, I thought it was apropos to congratulate Larian.
You can't mess around when you are processing 10s of thousands of international passengers each day. When CBP's computers went down in Los Angeles a few days back, it took FOUR HOURS for a service professional to come out and check out the problem. And then it took three more hours to fix it. In the mean time, passengers had to be diverted to other cities or sit for hours in their planes on the tarmac waiting on the problem to be resolved. Read on to see just how poor the planning was for this disaster.
Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney are duking it out to see who can be more anti-immigrant in their appeal to the right wing base of the Republican Party. While that may get them closer to the nomination, the GOP's party chief is worried that this will cost the Party the general election as Hispanic voters and moderate voters who find the rhetoric distasteful and disturbing turn to the Democrats. Keep in mind that the newspaper carrying this report has the reputation of being the Lou Dobbs of the print media.
We're getting to the end of the line in bringing these monsters to justice.
Most Americans will not know who Philippe Kahn is, but the odds are pretty good that they've got a piece of technology he is credited with inventing - the camera phone. Kahn, a French immigrant, got the idea in 1997 when he linked up a digital camera to a cell phone in order to send pictures of his new borne baby to friends and family. Unlike many inventions, the camera phone will be looked at in the future as not just an advance in technology, but one that changed social history.
Kahn is also the founder of two well-known companies in the tech world. He and his wife Sonia Lee founded Starfish Software, the company that created TrueSync. That company is now part of Nokia. He also co-founded Borland, a company well-known for its line of software development tools.
Kahn is a naturalized US citizen. According to Wikipedia, he entered the US in 1982 and spent four years on a tourist visa (an impressive feat in and of itself since getting a visitor status renewed for that length of time is very tough) before getting a green card in 1986.
By the way, Kahn is a classically trained musician who studied flute at the Zurich conservatory. He has recorded albums with a number of leading musicians. He also has a yacht racing team that competes in many international competitions.
Greg Siskind, Esq. is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.