Congrats to Immigrant of the Day Phil Dalhausser who dominated in the third set in tonight's gold medal match against the Brazilian team of Fabio and Marcio (I love the spunk of the Brazilian Olympic team athletes who play under just their first names).
The Democratic and GOP national conventions will likely treat immigration in very different ways. The Democrats will seek to convince Hispanic voters that they are the party that will be able to deliver immigration reform. The Republicans - well, not so much. Expect the subject to be stripped from discussion lest the party nominee be embarrassed.
New polls showing that Hispanic voters have been abandoning the GOP and withholding their support for John McCain, despite his past support for comprehensive immigration reform.
In July I reported on 37 judges that are the center of the Justice Department scandal involving immigration judges being appointed based on political loyalty rather than competency. This morning the NY Times reports on an analysis of denial rates in asylum cases for these same judges. And, surprise surprise, the denial rates are much higher than for the untainted judges. I'm not an expert on what is legally possible as far as addressing this ridiculous situation, but I hope that the Justice Department will take the lead soon and show what steps it is taking to restore confidence in the integrity of the Immigration Bench.
Incidentally, you can view for yourself the data used in the analysis by going here.
That's how many people were arrested in Laurel, Mississippi at one of the largest worksite raids in American history today. The question now is whether ICE and the Justice Department will blow it and do a re-run of Postville, Iowa or they will provide due process, humane treatment, and, most importantly since the workers are likely to be charged criminally, adequate access to attorneys.
I have been getting reports throughout the morning from immigration advocates in Mississippi that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been staging a massive series of raids on employers and in apartment complexes in the southern part of the state with a large number of arrests. I'll have more to report as news develops.
Holy smokes! The ICE raid in Mississippi yesterday now counts as the largest work site raid in American history. Unlike Postville, the previous record holder, so far only eight criminal cases are being tracked for criminal prosecution. According to ICE, Howard Industries was searched yesterday for evidence of aggravated identity theft, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and other crimes. The charges against the eight individuals being prosecuted related to identity theft.
ICE has put the total number of arrested at 595 with 106 released based on humanitarian reasons (though they are still being placed in deportation proceedings). Most of the rest have been transported to Jena, Louisiana.
Here is the press release.
Following Europe's lead, Canada is instituting a fast track policy to make it easier and faster for foreign students to get permanent status. Congress, are you awake?
Indonesian-born Maya Soetoro-Ng may not have a familiar name. But you may have heard of her half-brother Barack Obama. Last night Ms. Soetoro-Ng introduced herself to a national television audience at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and talked about growing up with her older brother. Maya and Barack have the same mother. She was born in Indonesia, but at age two, her mother left her father and moved Barack and Maya back to Hawaii.
Maya went on to graduate from the University of Hawaii and is now a high school teacher in Honolulu as well as an instructor at the University of Hawaii. She took the summer off to campaign for her older brother, the culmination of which was her address to the DNC last night.
By the way, before I get a barrage of emails from people saying that Ms. Soetoro-Ng is not technically an immigrant, I understand that she is presumably a citizen at birth (just like Panama Canal Zone-born John McCain). because of her mother's citizenship status. Nevertheless, Ms. Soetora-Ng went through a migration experience that is worth noting. And she is married to Konrad Ng, a Chinese Canadian who also teaches at the University of Hawaii so she is part of an immigrant family. Here's Ms. Soetoro-Ng describing her famous brother.
Congrats to the many athletes and their coaches for a sensational Olympics. In particular, I wanted to note the following previously named Immigrants of the Day:
Hugh McCutcheon - Coach of gold medal US men's volleyball team
Nastia Liukin - Winner of all around gold medal in women's gymnastics
Kirsty Coventry - Gold medal winner and new world record holder in 100m backstroke
Alexander Artemev - Bronze medal in men's gymnastics
Tony Azevedo - Member of silver medal winning men's water polo team
Anna Tunnicliffe - Gold medal in sailing
Susan Francia - Gold medal in rowing
Phil Dalhausser - Winner of gold in beach volleyball
Liang Chow - Coach of gold medalist Shawn Johnson
Martha Karolyi - Coach of silver medalist US women's gymnastics team
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