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Bloggings: March 13, 2008

by Greg Siskind

Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Greg Siskind's blog.

March 11, 2008

NFAP REPORT SHOWS HIRING H-1BS ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASES IN EMPLOYMENT OF AMERICANS

The protectionistas will no doubt come up with a million arguments why this is not true, but facts are facts. For every H-1B position requested, US companies hire five US workers. Protectionistas argue with anecdotes because they don't have the facts.

NFAP also released a second study showing that major US tech companies average 470 job openings each and defense employers average 1200 per employee openings.

AP: HATE CRIMES LINKED TO IMMIGRATION DEBATE

The Souther Poverty Law Center released a report entitled "The Year in Hate" in which it has added 44 new hate groups to the 844 it has been monitoring around the country. The Federation for American Immigration Reform has been included on the list and the AP reports FAIR is none too happy. They claim the SPLC's motivations are motivated by a desire to raise money.

The report documents, however, that the number of hate crimes against Latinos has increased 25% in just two years. The FBI reports that 819 hate crimes were targeted against Hispanics. FAIR criticized the report for exaggerating the threat against Latinos.

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: HIROSHI MOTOMURA - IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR

Motomura Most immigration lawyers in the US never took an immigration law class in law school. It's not that we avoided the class. It's that the class was never offered. Most law schools don't offer the course or only offer it every once in a while and as a two credit class that seems like it's more of an afterthought.

So I was pleased to hear that UCLA has appointed Japanese-born Professor Hiroshi Motomura as a full-time tenured law professor who will teach immigration law at the school. Professor Motomura is well-known nationally both for his teaching and for his writing on immigration law and history. Good luck Professor Motomura!

Hat tip to Dan Kowalski at Bender's Immigration Bulletin for this.

DISCHARGE PETITION ON SHULER BILL FILED

Republicans and conservative Democrats have submitted a discharge petition to bypass the committee process and consider the SAVE Act at the House floor level.

March 10, 2008
CONGRESS SET TO REPEAL BAN ON IMMIGRATION OF HIV+ APPLICANTS

Congress is set to include the HIV Non-Discrimination in Travel and Immigration Act in the President's PEPFAR emergency plan for AIDS relief. The measure, sponsored by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) in the Senate and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) would repeal the ban on immigration for HIV+ individuals.

The measure has drawn the praise of many groups:

Physicians for Human Rights and the Human Rights Campaign both hailed the attachment of the Kerry-Smith bill to PEPFAR.

""We welcome language in the PEPFAR Reauthorization bill that would lift the ban on travel to the US for people with HIV," said John Bradshaw of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Physicians for Human Rights.

"More than 700 doctors, nurses, and public health experts recently wrote the government asking them to overturn this ban.  It clearly violates the human rights of people with HIV and has stigmatized them for 15 years. It's time for the U.S. to treat visitors living with HIV with dignity, as other countries do. There have never been public health grounds for denying people living with AIDS admission to the United States, and there are none now," said Bradshaw, from Washington.

"The time is long overdue to repeal this unjust and sweeping policy that deems HIV positive individuals inadmissible to the United States, said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  "This law emerged out of fear and stigma, and there remains no public health rationale for treating HIV more harshly than other communicable diseases.  We salute the leadership of Senators Kerry and Smith and urge Congress to end this draconian policy."

Only 13 countries are left that have such a ban.

Hat tip to reader F. for sending this link.


 

IMMIGRATION LEGISLATION MOVING IN HOUSE?

The Associated Press reports that efforts to force the Shuler SAVE enforcement bill may have enough support to force its hearing on the House floor without going through the committee voting process. The highly unusual move is part of an effort by House Republicans to force the anti-immigration measure to be debated before the the November election.

Democrats are considering pushing an alternative package that would contain enforcement measures along with provisions to increase H-2B visa numbers and expedite family immigrant visa processing.

In the mean time, the House Immigration Subcommittee is expected to take up several small immigration bills on Wednesday including bills to extend the EB-5, religious worker and Conrad 30 physician programs.

ICE HARRASSES IMMIGRATION LAWYER AT HIS HOME

ICE officers executing warrantless searches and using intimidation tactics to unlawful entry to places of residence and work sites is something I've been reporting on in recent months. But this one is really interesting. And worrisome. Kevin Crabtree knows the law and can assert his rights. But what is the average person to do?

March 09, 2008
STUDENT PROTESTORS DECRY TREATMENT OF ECUADORAN FAMILY

Student protesters in South Florida have taken up the case of another young person who immigrated to the US as a child accompanying her parents. The students believe Gaby Pacheco, who is now in deportation proceedings, was targeted by ICE officials because she was an activist promoting passage of the DREAM Act. And ICE officials are not denying this is the case. I'm not really surprised by this and, really, ICE officials are doing the job they are paid to do.

Ms. Pacheco presumably knew this and is making a major sacrifice in the name of bringing attention to the plight of young people raised in this country who lack legal status because of the actions of their parents.
ICE is not the problem here. Congress is. The failure to pass the DREAM Act showed cowardice, in my opinion, and those who voted against it should be ashamed of their actions. It is one thing to punish people who made the conscious decision to illegally enter and stay in the US. But DREAM covers people who came as children who cannot be held responsible for the actions of their parents. This is simply a matter of using the children as pawns to either punish the parents or make the parents' staying illegally in the US less palatable. Or  its simply about wanting to kick immigrants out regardless of their culpability.

WILL H-2A CHANGES MAKE AGRIGULTURAL WORKER PROGRAM FUNCTION BETTER?

The Bush Administration recently announced changes to the H-2A program that are designed to make the program easier for employers to use. The program has been so complicated that even most immigration lawyers don't understand how it works. There is no cap on the H-2A program. Yet only 50,000 visas are issued each year, a tiny fraction of the foreign, mostly illegally present, agricultural workforce.

IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: HELEN WANDERER - TEACHER/SURVIVOR

The excellent New York Times reporter Nina Bernstein writes this morning on the archiving of a massive number of documents chronicling the resettling of Holocaust refugees in the United States in the 1950s. The stories told in the files tell of a group that had a number of difficulties in settling in this country but who ultimately succeeded despite the obstacles.

One of the things I like about the NY Times online site is their inclusion of video stories that go along with the written story. And in this story is a video interview with an elderly woman by the name of Helen Wanderer who tells Bernstein her story of coming to America in the 50s and trying to rebuild her life. I recommend watching it.

I've had the privilege of meeting many Holocaust survivors over the years. I've not only learned a lot from them from their experiences with the Nazis but also from their ability to start over in this country. They were the first folks admitted under our refugee law which was enacted in 1950 and their success paved the way for millions of others over the next few generations. Ms Wanderer's story represents many in her generation and reminds us that the challenges refugees face today are not so different than in yesterday.