Not a shocker. Hopefully, they'll be shamed in to backing down.
British-born radial sailor Anna Tunnicliffe will make her Olympic debut at the Qingdao sailing venue. The venue, however, is familiar to her since she recently won the Qingdao Regatta at the same location. Actually, Anna's won quite a few sailing competitions and has risen to the number three ranking in the world in her sport (she's held the number one ranking as recently as 2006). And she's got a good chance of bringing home gold for the US.
Anna is another Olympian with an impressive non-athletic background. She immigrated to the US at the age of 12 and went on to attend Old Dominion University in Virginia where she finished in 2005 with a 3.73 GPA as a double major in accounting and decision sciences and a minor in music performance.
She's also featured in a K-Swiss commercial with other top athletes from various sports. You can see the video here.
Ghana-born Freddy Adu is probably America's most famous green card lottery beneficiary. He immigrated with his family when he was eight. In just six years, he would become an international sensation when at the age of 14 years and seven months he was the youngest person since 1887 to sign a major league professional contract.
Freddy played three seasons for Major League Soccer's DC United and then a season for Real Salt Lake before playing the last two seasons in Europe. In 2003, Freddy became a US citizen, though he makes his Olympic debut this year. He played very well in the US Olympic qualifying games and if America earns a medal this year, Adu will likely play an important role.
Wanna see what Freddy can do? Watch this...
GOOAAALLLL! I wanted to get one more Immigrant of the Day in before the big day tomorrow in Beijing because an immigrant became the first American to score points in the 2008 Olympics. Some of you may not know that the men's and women's soccer matches actually already started and thanks to the fancy footwork of Scottish-born midfielder Stuart Holden, the US defeated Japan 1-0 in its opening match. When he's not scoring goals at the Olympics, Holden plays for Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo.
Incidentally, I squeezed an extra entry in today because of the breaking news on Mr. Holden and also because I'm saving a special honoree for tomorrow. I'm sure some of you can guess who that will be.
According to a report at Bender's Immigration Bulletin, US Federal Judge Lawrence McKenna has refused to certification two classes seeking to sue USCIS and force adjudication of naturalization cases in time for voting in the November election. The judge held that Congress an FBI background check to be completed and it does not require the check be completed in any particular time period.
By now you've probably heard the inspirational and gripping story of Lopez Lomong, the Sudanese-born US mid-distance runner who entered the US as a refugee. Tonight he will receive one of the greatest honors accorded an American athlete when he carries the flag of the United States in front of all of our country's athletes in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Because the ceremonies are not being shown in the US for four hours, many of you may have already seen them. The picture on the left is from the event.
Lomong was one of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" who were separated from their parents in the conflict in Darfur and wandered for months facing hunger, attacks and disease. NBC Television tells his story:
No prayer of survival
When Lomong was 6 years old, the second son in a line of six children born to a farmer in the village of Boya, Sudan was taken from his parents at gunpoint by the Janjaweed government militia while attending Catholic Mass. He was to be trained as a soldier, or starve to death. During three weeks of imprisonment, he ate once a day, a mixture of sorghum and sand.
Run for the border
Three older boys, all around age 14, had discovered a hole in the fence surrounding the prison camp and decided to attempt and escape and to bring Lomong with them. "They told me, 'You're going home', even though they knew we weren't," Lomong said. "They said that so I would join them. They were trying to save my life." For three days Lomong and his friends ran toward safety in Kenya. When they reached the Kenyan border, the three teens were too old to be accepted into a refugee camp, were arrested and returned to Sudanese officials. Only Lomong was granted refuge. "Anything I do in life, I put those guys in front," says Lomong, who cannot recall their names and has no idea if they survived. "They were more than brothers to me."
Schooling sets him free
Lomong spent 10 years living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, where he learned to write by drawing letters in the sand with his finger. But that rudimentary education was enough to help earn him liberation. "They told us that the U.S.A. wants to give 3,500 'Lost Boys' homes," Lomong said. "They said if you want to come to America, write an essay explaining why." For two nights Lomong and many of his friends worked in silence. "I remember it felt like taking a test," he said. "I just sat down, the whole of my mind emptied onto the paper. I wrote some of it in Swahili, I wasn't even aware of it."
One month later, his essay was chosen by the Joint Volunteer Agency, and he was on his way to America.
Lomong is also on Team Darfur, the international group of athletes urging China to pressure Sudan to end the violence in Darfur. Earlier this week, I told how another member of Team Darfur, America's Joey Cheek, had his visa revoked as the Chinese attempted to suppress conversation on the topic. But Lomong's mere presence on billions of television sets will no doubt bring more prominence to the story.
Lopez is a serious contender for a medal in every mid-distance race from the 800 meters up to the 5 kilometer run. His best chances will be in the 1500 meter race.
Lopez, America is proud of you!
The Fragomen firm has filed a suit seeking an injunction barring the Department of Labor from carrying out the audit of all of the firm's clients. According to Thomas Williamson of Covington and Burling, Fragomen's lawyer:
"The Fragomen firm filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Department of
Labor to stop the Department's unlawful and unconstitutional attempts to
prevent employers from getting the legal advice they need to comply with the
law. The Department has denied and continues to deny Fragomen's clients -
and all employers - their constitutionally protected right to counsel and it
is retroactively applying a new interpretation of its own regulations.
Fragomen is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the Department from
enforcing its new and unlawful interpretation of the law. We are asking the
federal court in Washington to order the Department to abide by its own
regulations and the Constitution and to cancel the special audit."
Williams is not just any lawyer. He is a former chief lawyer for the Department of Labor.
That's really the name of a position on a water polo team. I've actually been a fan of this sport since my days growing up in Miami attending a school that had one of the better high school teams in a town where the sport was popular.
And the US men's team sure look good today when it beat China 8 to 4. 5 of our goals were scored by Brazilian-born Tony Azevedo, one of the better players in the world. The US still has a long way to go before winning a medal here, but if we keep playing like this, who knows? The veteran is competing in his third Olympics.
But somehow the US team turned in one great performance after another to remain in the medal hunt. The team actually led the heavily favored Chinese and Japanese teams at the midway point of the competition.
In the final event, the pommel horse, the US turned in two disastrous routines and it looked like they would be out of the medals. It would all come down to Soviet Union native Alexander "Sasha" Artemev, a young alternate on the team who was tapped to compete in Beijing after the injuries of his team members.
And then as Americans held their breath, Artemev delivers the routine of his life and scored high enough to beat the Germans and secure a bronze medal for the underdog Americans.
Congrats to the American gymnasts!
DHS has posted the following statement on its website:
E-Verify is a voluntary program for all employers, with the exception of federal contractors.
The presidential executive order calling for all federal contractors to use E-Verify requires DHS to issue regulations first. And DHS has only issued a proposed regulation. Congress passed the Administrative Procedures Act to require government agencies to go through a strict process of gaining feedback from the public before a rule becomes final. The inclusion of this language on the site sends the message loud and clear that DHS has little interest in waiting for the input of the public before ramming this rule through.
The US Chamber of Commerce has taken note and sent the following letter:
US Chamber of Commerce chides DHS for stating E-Verify rule is final - Get more Legal Forms
The Democratic National Committee has released a draft of its 2008 platform in anticipation of the presidential nominating convention coming up in Denver. The statement indicates support for a broad immigration reform proposal and passage of the plan in the first year of an Obama Administration.
Democratic Party Immigration Platform Section - Get more Legal Forms
Two of my immigrants of the day - Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong - have advanced in the badminton tournament at the Olympics. They are the first US pair to ever make it to a badminton quarterfinals at The next match against the Olympics. The next match against the Chinese will likely be their toughest.
The New York Times reports this morning on the death of a Hong Kong-born detainee who came to the US as a teenager in 1992 and who was married to a US citizen and the father of two American citizen children. Hiu Liu Ng was not a criminal. He had overstayed a visa and was put in detention, according to the story, when he was in the middle of green card processing. Here are some of the important details reported in the story:
In April, Mr. Ng began complaining of excruciating back pain. By mid-July, he could no longer walk or stand. And last Wednesday, two days after his 34th birthday, he died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a Rhode Island hospital, his spine fractured and his body riddled with cancer that had gone undiagnosed and untreated for months.
In federal court affidavits, Mr. Ng’s lawyers contend that when he complained of severe pain that did not respond to analgesics, and grew too weak to walk or even stand to call his family from a detention pay phone, officials accused him of faking his condition. They denied him a wheelchair and refused pleas for an independent medical evaluation.
Instead, the affidavits say, guards at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I., dragged him from his bed on July 30, carried him in shackles to a car, bruising his arms and legs, and drove him two hours to a federal lockup in Hartford, where an immigration officer pressured him to withdraw all pending appeals of his case and accept deportation.
“For this desperately sick, vulnerable person, this was torture,” said Theodore N. Cox, one of Mr. Ng’s lawyers, adding that they want to see a videotape of the transport made by guards.
Immigration and detention officials would not discuss the case, saying the matter was under internal investigation. But in response to a relative of Mr. Ng’s who had begged that he be checked for a spinal injury or fractures, the Wyatt detention center’s director of nursing, Ben Candelaria, replied in a July 16 e-mail message that Mr. Ng was receiving appropriate care for “chronic back pain.” He added, “We treat each and every detainee in our custody with the same high level of quality, professional care possible.”
It is hard enough to read this story. It would be easier to absorb the news if we could dismiss what happened as an isolated incident. But those of you who read this blog know that there have been numerous other examples and that the problem of detainee health care is so great that there have been congressional hearings. Obviously, ICE still has not adequately addressed the issue.
Incidentally, some may be wondering how Mr. Ng ended up in deportation proceedings since he was married to a US citizen. The Times reports that he entered on a tourist visa, then later applied for political asylum. The asylum application was denied and Mr. Ng was placed in deportation proceedings several years later. Unfortunately, his notice of his deportation hearing was sent to an incorrect address and he was ordered deported without ever getting the opportunity to defend his case. Sadly, he would have probably had a very good claim to stay in the US due to his being married and having children and having been in the US for more than ten years.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org