Media Matters has issued a comprehensive report outlining some of the outlandish theories that hosts of various cable "news" shows are promoting. The shows are also criticized for promoting extremists groups by inviting their representatives on their shows.
When I was 17 years old, I volunteered for an election campaign and the theme song was one that I find really inspiring - Crosby Stills Nash and Young's Teach Your Children Well. My friends and I who volunteered really thought we could change the world. Alas, our candidate got trounced. But what a great time we had.
So I got a little nostalgic tonight when I was watching the American Idol finale with my kids. British-born Graham Nash of Crosby Stills Nash and Young appeared on the show singing Teach Your Children Well with American Idol finalist Brooke White.
And, of course, it's only appropriate to link to Nash's great duet with David Crosby entitled Immigration Man. Enjoy.
This is a video made by a fellow upset about checkpoints being set up by the Border Patrol (which are popping up in lots of places). I have to admit that I felt conflicted while watching this. The lady was just doing her job and was not being rude or out of line. On the other hand, these checkpoints are one more reminder that Congress has failed to do its job and reform our immigration system so that employers can legally bring in needed workers. I'm sure folks will have a lot to say in the comments:
Employers in Missouri will now be subject to losing business licenses for hiring unauthorized aliens and many employers in the state will have to begin using E-Verify.The law takes effect January 1, 2009. I've read through the bill and have prepared a summary. Note that the governor still needs to sign it before it goes final, but this is expected to happen shortly. Download missouri_client_memo.pdf
You can also download the full text of the law. Download missouri_hb_1549.pdf
One question that was not answered last month when USCIS released a rule allowing for 17 month work authorization extensions for certain STEM professionals was whether E-Verify must be deployed system-wide by a company or not in order to qualify for the extension. USCIS' Katherine Lotspeich, Acting Chief of USCIS' Verification Division, has told folks at the American Immigration Lawyers Association that the employer must register E-Verify for at least the worksite location where the immigrant will be working.
If there wasn't enough bad news lately, we're now hearing that there's a link between cell phones used by pregnant women and behavioral problem in children. Even the researcher who found the link - Danish-born Jorn Olsen - is not sure if there is any causal link. But the research is interesting and could be important as we try and understand the long term health implications of this relatively new technology. is chair of epidemiology at the University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health.
The folks at the Cato Institute take DHS to task for misleading people about E-Verify error rates.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill by voice vote authorizing a five year extension of the Conrad 30 J-1 physician waiver program as well as a doubling of FLEX slots to 10 per state from the current five. The Senate then needs to pass a bill and to the extent there are differences, the two must agree and then re-vote on the compromise language.
This is good news for doctors and the communities they serve, but it's also a hopeful sign that immigration legislation can, in fact, move in Congress.
This is getting good. The Department of Homeland Security issued another defense of E-Verify saying that the system has the capacity to handle a massive increase in the number of employers. The Cato Institute's Jim Harper pokes holes in the argument noting that it's not the technical capacity to handle the data that's the problem, but the massive manpower and money that will be required to resolve errors. That should be the really scary part of E-Verify for most Americans. If you're unfortunate enough to be incorrectly identified as not legally present in the US, are you really confident that you won't be rendered unemployable for an extended period of time while the folks at DHS and the Social Security Administration solve the problem. I just have one thing to say - "We're from the goverment and we're here to help."
The Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial today on E-Verify (thanks USC for the link). Last week DHS defended E-Verify claiming that getting problems resolved was no big deal. Keep in mind that most of the data problems are with the Social Security Administration. The WSJ piece should give you pause if you're an American worker:
Keep in mind that the SSA isn't exactly a model of speed and efficiency. By its own admission 50% of calls to branch offices and 25% to the 1-800 number aren't even answered. And what of calls that do get through? It currently takes, on average, more than 500 days to get a decision on a disability appeal.
I have a simple solution to protect American workers - allow workers to continue working until SSA and DHS reach a determination. Right now, employers are required to terminate workers if a problem is not resolved within 8 days. The no-match rule that has been held up in the courts, gives just 90 days to resolve a problem. Why should American workers and employers pay such an extreme price when US agencies can't do their job in a timely manner. And why should we believe the government can handle a massive increase in its workload when it can't handle the load it has now?
Congratulations go to Scott Dixon of New Zealand who now sits at the top of the American race car world with his first time win today in the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500. Dixon has been in an elite group of race car drivers for the last few years, but today's win is a major breakthrough for the Kiwi.
And this is from the star columnist at the news magazine owned by CNN's parent company, Time Warner. Here's the post:
Given the amount of serious journalism going on at CNN--the reporters risking their lives on battlefields all over the world, fine journalists like John King and Candy Crowley working to report the presidential campaign accurately, the excellent fact-checking that Wolf Blitzer did earlier this year on the Obama Madrasa smear--given all that and a nearly thirty year history of really trying to present the facts straight...I've got to wonder why the network allows Lou Dobbs to continue spewing false, inflammatory nonsense under the guise of objective journalism.
Here is his latest confrontation with Paul Waldman of Media Matters about the fictional NAFTA superhighway. Indeed, the Washington Post's Fact Checker gave the NAFTA Superhighway myth four Pinocchios.
Now, I know that Dobbs brings in some serious ratings. And he is certainly entitled to his own opinion. But he is not entitled to his own facts--especially not on a network that makes a real effort to separate truth from falsehood and represent all sides of the political debate. Shouldn't someone be editing this swill? Doesn't CNN have a responsibility to tell its viewers that, in this case, one of their presenters is engaged in flat-out anti-immigrant fearmongering? Perhaps the network could employ a simple superimposed title--THIS IS NOT TRUE...or LOU HAS JUMPED THE SHARK ON THIS ONE--whenever Dobbs pretends that there is such a thing as the NAFTA Superhighway. This sort of thing diminishes the credibility and hard work of the other journalists on the network. (And no, I do not count the execrable Glenn Beck as a journalist.)
Apparently (not sure how reliable this source is), members of the European legislature do not like the fact that the US grants visa waiver status to fewer than half of the EU's 27 members.
The Postville, Iowa raid of a Kosher meatpacking plant earlier this month not only was unprecedented in terms of the number of workers detained - nearly 400 with warrants ready for up to 300 more. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did something it has rarely done before, and certainly not on this scale. It prosecuted 297 individuals for presenting false documents to procure their employment. 270 workers will spend five months in prison and another 27 received probation.
Whether you agree with this tactic or not, when DHS switches from administrative to criminal enforcement measures, various constitutional protections are triggered. Chief among them are the right to due process and the right to counsel.
The attached letter from the American Immigration Lawyers Association lays out the concerns.
Canadian-born Leonard Cohen should be better known by Americans given his amazing 40+ year career. That may be because others have often gained more fame singing Cohen songs than Cohen himself. Judy Collins was one of the first when she had a hit in 1967 with Cohen's Suzanne. Joe Cocker had a hit in the 80s with First We Take Manhattan. More recently, young people around the world have been treated to new version's of Cohen's 1984 song Hallelujah. The song was sung by Rufus Wainwright on the soundtrack of the hit film Shrek and recently in the American Idol finals by Jason Castro.
Here's Jeff Buckley's well known version of Hallelujah:
Cesar Alvarez is one of the generation of young Cubans who came to the US as refugees in the early 1960s after the revolution in his home country. I grew up in Miami during a time when many of these new arrivals were planting new roots and starting to make their mark on the country. There are so many success stories in this generation including today's Immigrant of the Day. Cesar Alvarez was named in today's National Law Journal as one of the 50 most powerful minority lawyers in the country. I'll be writing about others in the coming days.
Alvarez is the CEO at Greenberg Traurig, one of the largest law firms in the world with offices on multiple continents. Alvarez practiced corporate and securities law as well as international law before being elevated to heading the Florida-based firm.
The New York Times reports on this phenomenon. Unfortunately, the rush to rapidly expand the ranks in the Border Patrol will bring these kinds of problems.
Greg Siskind 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 email@example.com