Welcome news for a country that needs as many tourist dollars as we can get right now. Effective today, the new countries on the list are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Republic of Korea and the Slovak Republic.
The Chicago Reporter has a great article reviewing many of the issues confronting our nation's soldiers.
The New York Times had a story on the front page of the Sunday Sports section this morning profiling Cuban-born Alberto Riveron, one of the first Hispanic officials in the National Football League. It takes years to work up to ranks before one of the coveted NFL jobs opens and Riveron spent 15 seasons officiating college games before getting his NFL break.
I graduated college in December 1986 and I had nine months before I was to start law school. I was lucky enough to land a job in between as an architectural surveyor for the Metropolitan Historical Commission in my college town of Nashville, Tennessee. I had no background in the subject, but the great folks at the MHC trained me quickly. I combed neighborhoods in the city with a clipboard and a camera interviewing homeowners and photographing homes as part of an effort to secure protective zoning for some of the city's historic areas. I learned a lot about architecture in the job and have had an appreciation for the subject ever since.
One of my favorite modern architects is the great Frank Gehry, a Canadian-born immigrant based in Los Angeles. Chances are you've seen some of Gehry's masterpieces. Click here to see some gorgeous photos of Gehry projects. The Disney Concert Hall in LA (see below) is one of my favorites.
Mel Martinez is one of the most visible members of a club with an increasingly smaller membership - pro-immigration Republicans. The Florida Senator is joined by John McCain, Sam Brownback, Arlen Specter and a few others in the Senate, but those ranks could grown even smaller. McCain is expected to have a challenge from popular Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano when he runs for re-election in 2010. Brownback may be retiring as well in 2010. And Arlen Specter could face a tough race in 2010 from MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Even Martinez is expected to face a tough race in 2010.
The Orlando Sentinel reports on his efforts to try and bring his party back to life by making it attractive again to Hispanic voters. But there's no reason to believe Hispanic voters will ever return as long as the Republican Party is viewed as nativist by most Hispanic voters. And that view will only change when the GOP transforms in to a pro-immigration party. There's no indication yet that the GOP's leadership has any intention of changing.
[Update: I forgot to mention Lindsay Graham of South Carolina as another Republican in the sane wing of the party]. There are others I'm probably leaving out and it will be interesting to see if any that were hostile or quiet in previous go arounds - Lamar Alexander, for example - view things differently this time.
California Republican Dan Lungren has announced he will challenge House Minority Leader John Boehner next week for leadership of the Republican Caucus in the US House of Representatives. Lungren scores an "A" on anti-immigrant NumbersUSA's scorecard for immigration voting records. Boehner scores a modestly better "B".
Here's the big rule that could cause millions of employers to look seriously at signing up for E-Verify. In short, if you want to do business with the federal government, you're likely going to need to use the electronic verification system. I'm working through this 275 page document and hope to have a summary available soon.
Israeli-born Oded "Max" Brenner is bringing a "chocolate culture" to the United States and if the rave reviews of his two US restaurants in NY are an indicator, he's succeeding wildly. Brenner has opened 18 other Max Brenner chocolate shops and restaurants outside the US, but the American market is now his main priority. His company has plans to open 300 branches in the US over the next decade.
The company now has 20 stores worldwide, including 12 in Australia, five in Israel, two in Asia and one in New York. But Brenner's expansion plans are getting more aggressive. The company, now owned by Israeli food conglomerate Strauss-Elite, plans to open 300 branches in the U.S. in the next ten years, starting with a second New York store slated to open later this month.
In 19 or 21 House races where immigration was a major issue, the more pro-immigration candidate won.In the Senate, 5 pros beat 5 antis in races where immigration was an issue. America's voice has produced a great overview.
The US Department of Education has launched a free web-based service to help immigrants improve their English language skills. Some may remember that his was one of the initiatives Secretary Chertoff announced in his big speech last summer in the list of 26 major immigration reforms.
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