America's Voice has noted that Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been given a reality television show on Fox television. Paco Fabien, AV's communications director explains why we should care:
“This reality series won’t capture the reality of the Latino population living in Maricopa County. Sheriff Arpaio’s dangerous crusade has left the Latino community scared and his county less safe by prioritizing racial profiling over executing felony warrants. FOX television, famous for its controversial shows, may not realize how controversial a figure Arpaio is to the Latino community in the United States and should expect a backlash. He is a modern day Bull Connor and should not be given a spotlight on national television unless it is to highlight how his approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective.”
A lot of younger people won't know who Bull Connor is, but the comparison is right on target. Television networks pay a lot of attention to complaints and you should make your opinions known if you are outraged by this.
Actually, this is a pretty cool. DOS has created a social networking site for J-1 exchange visitor to share their experiences. I was also impressed by the free speech on the site. Take this post from a frustrated visa applicant:
On the other side... when a Stanford summer student like me apply for the visa at the American embassy in Cairo - I am from Cairo, Egypt, the American embassy employees insult me and force me to take off my belt at the embassy's gate, and insulting my family's name, and treating me like an animal...
The blogs and video posts are also a good idea.
I've made this point before and usually the antis come out screaming that I'm making things up and E-Verify is perfect. But you've been warned.
Incidentally, I am not against continuing E-Verify. But I certainly want a system set up where a worker protesting the findings will have the right to continue working until the matter is resolved once and for all. Same for no match letters under the new rule. And for those who think I'm wrong regarding the protection of workers, the worker is only protected until DHS issues a final non-confirmation. But this is hardly adequate. An American worker should entitled to make his or her case in front of an independent judge. For those who think unlawfully present immigrants will take advantage, common sense says that someone illegally in the US is hardly likely to put themselves in such obvious jeopardy of detection and deportation.
Sudanese-born, British citizen Luol Deng is a forward for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. As a youngster, his father moved the family to Egypt to escape war in his native land. In Egypt, Luol met fellow Sudanese national Manute Bol, who would later become an NBA player and who served as Luol's mentor. The family was granted asylum status in the UK where Luol quickly became a junior basketball star. He moved at the age of 14 to the US to play high school basketball and at the Blair Academy in New Jersey, he became one of the nation's top high school players.
Deng went on to play for Duke where he helped the team get to the Final Four and then went on in 2004 to play for the Chicago Bulls.
He has also earned a stellar reputation on and off the court. His fellow players have voted him the NBA's sportsmanship award for ethical behavior, fair play and integrity on the court. He was just awarded the 2008 UN High Commission on Refugee's Humanitarian of the Year Award because of Deng's work on the ninemillion.org campaign to brign education and sports to millions of refugee children around the world. He is an active participant in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Tour. And he is a spokesperson for the World Food Programme.
Good. One of the unintended side effects of states around the US changing drivers license rules to require people to document their legal status is that many people who are, in fact, legal, are being challenged by motor vehicle department officials. I'm sure that in most cases we're dealing with poor training. But there are also cases where the motives are more suspect. I was really happy to hear that two green card holders here in Tennessee are suing the state's Department of Public Safety after an official seized their green cards on suspicion of fraud and then kept the cards for months. Never mind that the DHS SAVE program allows state and local officials to check the validity of a document in mere minutes. Green card holders, by the way, are required to carry their document at all times and not doing so is a federal misdemeanor.
I love the title of this blog post -57 Awesome Things You Can Find in the (Public) CIA FactBook.
The CIA Factbook has been around for years and I've used it to document country conditions for asylum cases, J-1 hardship briefs and other kinds of petitions. If you have not checked it out, it's worth a look.
Conservative hand wringing over the implications of the dramatic shift of Hispanic votes away from the GOP is becoming more evident. There have been a slew of articles in both general news publications and in the conservative press discussing the point. Aside from the Karl Rove article I wrote about a few days ago, one that is likely to get a lot of attention is a piece by Duncan Currie in the conservative The Weekly Standard.
And The Hill reports that influential conservative Hispanics are not content to let the Democrats gain permanent loyalty with Latinos. But while the group's members state that the GOP has to "atone" for the rhetoric of some in the party like Tom Tancredo, they believe that simply emphasizing the GOP's alignment with Hispanics on social and economic issues will be enough. But these guys are in denial if they think the GOP can be a party that blocks immigration reform and still curry favor with Hispanic Americans. The massive defection to the Democrats was not just because of nasty rhetoric. Hispanic voters saw two major votes on immigration reform in 2006 and 2007 and formed their views based on concrete positions staked out by the GOP. This was not just about hurt feelings.
The Immigration Policy Center has an interesting post discussing how skinheads, militias, the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups are becoming involved in the country's anti-immigration movement. Given that FAIR, the country's leading anti-immigrant group, has already been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the country's main extremist group watchdog organizations, this is not exactly a surprise.
Taiwanese-born Charles Liang is the co-founder and CEO of Super Micro Computer, a company that received very favorable coverage in this morning's New York Times. Super Micro Computer is now 15 years old and has 850 employees. The company sells $600 million a year of servers to major companies like Yahoo! and eBay. The Times describes Liang as being so critical to the operations of the company that the company warns investors in regulatory filings that "his loss could dreail the company's business, culture and strategic direction.
to the public's attention.
Wow. So much for everyone saying immigration needs to be put off because the Democrats don't want to get in to a bruising fight or because the issues are too complicated. Here's what Reid said about immigration reform to the Detroit Free Press:
Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?
A: On immigration, there's been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. ... We'll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we'll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.
Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?
A: We've got McCain and we've got a few others. I don't expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That's a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that's going to take a lot more time to do.
Frankly, I doubt Reid would speak so confidently if he was expecting a major fight from Republicans. And maybe that's because the GOP is starting to acknowledge that they're going to be a permanent opposition party if they remain the anti-immigration party. In an article in today's Politico, urban affairs professor Robert Lang has written an article entitled "Demographics shifting, but GOP isn't" where he discusses the GOP's conundrum:
But the larger issue is whether 2008 was a “realigning election” that
went deeper than the candidates or the current issues. The jury is
still out as to whether Democrats can turn one sweeping victory into a
generation-long dominance of the White House. A key element in a
possible structural shift favoring Democrats is the changing
demographics of the electorate. The U.S. is growing bigger,
increasingly diverse and more cosmopolitan — and the GOP seems on the
wrong side of all these trends.
The United States is the only developed country that is projected to add lots of new residents by mid-century. In 2006, the nation’s population reached 300 million. The Census Bureau estimates that the U.S. will get to 400 million by 2039. To put this growth in perspective, consider that even China (yes, China) will not add 100 million people by that date. The U.S. will gain more new residents in the next three decades than the current population of Germany — the largest European Union nation.
So who are most of these new people? The quick answer is both recent
immigrants and their American-born offspring. By 2043, the U.S. may be
a majority minority nation. Another scenario is that a high rate of
intermarriage among whites and minorities may open to question the
whole notion of who is “majority.” The bottom line for Republicans is
that no matter how this population is defined, an increasing number of
current minorities are voting for Democrats. Republicans can, of course, switch their strategy and make more direct
appeals to minority voters. As recently as 2004, President George W.
Bush almost won the Latino vote. But at the moment, the Republicans
seem branded as the party of white people. Furthermore, much of the
Republican base — especially those listening to talk radio — believe
the U.S. is being flooded with immigrants (legal and illegal). It may
be hard to pivot and embrace diversity without alienating the GOP base.
By contrast, many whites in the Democratic Party are comfortable with
diversity and now form a transracial coalition with minority voters.
This one's a biggie. The regulation was in the works for years, but Congress gave the final push by making releasing the reg a condition to extending the special immigrant immigrant category for religious workers.
I worked through the 88 page advance copy of the regulation over the weekend and here' my question and answer document on the new R-1 religious worker program.
The ABC’S Of Immigration: R-1 Religious Worker Visas
Religious workers seeking to temporarily enter the US to pursue work in their field are likely to enter using the R nonimmigrant visa.On November 21, 2008, USCIS released a final rule that made substantial changes to the R-1 religious worker program. The rule was mandated by Congress when it extended the special immigrant religious worker categories for non-ministers that expired on October 1, 2008. The new rule is designed to address various concerns regarding fraud and also to clarify various issues that have arisen over the years with the R-1 program. Who qualifies for an R visa? To qualify for an R visa, the applicant must be:
- A minister,
- A person working in a professional capacity in a religious occupation or vocation, or
- A person who works for a religious organization or an affiliate in a religious occupation who has been a member of the religious group for at least the two years immediately preceding the application.
- The denomination’s ordination requirements;
- The duties allowed to be performed by virtue of ordination;
- The denomination’s level of ordination, if any; and
- The alien’s completion of the denomination’s requirements for ordination
NY Democratic Congresswoman Nydia
Velázquez will take over leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the next Congress. Congresswoman
Velázquez is a strong advocate for immigration reform and will no doubt play a leading role on the issue in the next Congress. The Congresswoman is also one of those frequently mentioned as a replacement for Hillary Clinton should the Senator take the job of Secretary of State.
CBS' 60 Minutes is running a story on a little known, but very serious problem in US immigration law:FOR BETTER OR WORSE - Foreigners who marry Americans are entitled to become permanent residents of the U.S., but in a stricter post-9/11 world, hundreds of widows are being asked to leave the country because their husbands died - even some whose children were born in the U.S. Bob Simon reports. Robert Anderson is the producer.
Some good news after years of bad. F, J and M visa issuance was up to a record high 710,631 in fiscal year 2008 which ended September 30th. That's extraordinarily good news for the US. Those that stay will help to rebuild out economy and bring vital skills needed for us to compete globally. And those that go home - most of the visa holders - bring back good memories of the US and help improve our image around the world. Plus, American universities benefit from having foreign students who pay full out of state tuition rates and help subsidize student aid for American students.
The writer/director of Crossing Over, the film whose clip I posted just now, is South African immigrant Wayne Kramer. Kramer has directed major films like The Cooler and Running Scared. He's a really versatile filmmaker with credits for writing, directing, producing, editing and storyboard artist. His new immigration-themed film looks great and I'm definitely going to catch it.
The trailer looks really good.
Zogby International used to be considered one of the more reliable polling organizations in the US. But the firm has come under considerable fire of late for who it accepts money from and the nature of the polling work it is doing for these groups. Earlier this week, the firm drew fire for what appears to be "push polling" conducted for an extreme right wing web site.
Today we learn that FAIR - the anti-immigrant group that has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center - has commissioned its own poll from Zogby which - shocking - purports to show that the American public agrees with FAIR's extreme views. The SPL, incidentally, is one of the nation's most respected organizations that monitors the activities of hate groups.
Zogby owes the public an explanation.
They're going to be Alex Aleinikoff and Tino
Cuéllar. To the extent immigration reform is an important part of the new President's early agenda, these two folks will play a key role. Here's the Obama team's bios on the two:
T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University since July 2004. He has been a member of the Georgetown faculty since 1997. Dean Aleinikoff served as General Counsel and Executive Associate Commissioner for Programs at the Immigration and Naturalization Service for several years during the Clinton Administration. From 1997 to 2004 he was a Senior Associate at the Migration Policy Institute, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. He has written widely on immigration, refugee and citizenship law and constitutional law. Dean Aleinikoff is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Yale Law School.
Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar is Professor and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School. His work focuses on how organizations manage complex regulatory, migration, international security, and criminal justice problems. During the Clinton Administration he served at Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he worked on countering domestic and international financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures. He has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Asylum Access and the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. He has testified before Congress on immigration policy and separation of powers, and was appointed to the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.
Arizona's Governor Janet Napolitano will be the next Secretary of Homeland Security. Governor Napolitano has signed some of the nation's toughest immigration laws, but she has also spoken out on the need to for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Side note - In 1988, when I was 20 years old and a law clerk at Lewis and Roca in Phoenix, Arizona, I had the honor of working for Governor Napolitano and her mentor, John Frank, on a big election law research project. Governor Napolitano later wrote a nice recommendation letter for my Rhode Scholarship application. I was planning on getting a masters in law in the UK, but then decided I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore and abandoned the application (my how things changed). Still have the letter, however.
Governor Napolitano struck me as a brilliant lawyer when I met her all those years ago. That she's gone on to such great things is really no surprise and she'll know doubt be a superb Secretary of DHS. Good luck, Janet!
Another prominent figure in the Republican Party urges her party to change its ways on immigration. Rice tells the New York Times:
IMMIGRATION POLICY IS FOREIGN POLICY.
We didn’t get comprehensive immigration reform. . . . I think everybody knows that this president tried. I remember the first foreign-policy meeting that I went to with the then-governor, before he was inaugurated, was with the then-governor, soon to be president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and they talked about the need to fix this problem. I am a firm believer in defending our laws and defending our borders. . . . But it’s also true that there are a lot of hardworking people in this country who live in the shadows.
IMMIGRANTS ARE CENTRAL TO AMERICAN IDENTITY.
I was a major proponent of the temporary-worker program and finding some way to normalize the status for these people. I think that it goes to the core of who we are. I hear some people talking about, well, maybe there should be a timeout on legal immigration, check your last name and see whether or not it came over on the Mayflower.
Improving the economic conditions that would allow people who are clearly ambitious — if they’re going to walk across the desert to get here, they’re ambitious people — improving the capability of those people to stay home and contribute is the last piece of that puzzle. Comprehensive immigration reform is the one thing I wish we’d been able to do, and it’s going to have to be done, and I hope it’s done soon.
Karl Rove warned the GOP about this years ago and it is why he banned Tom Tancredo from the White House. Here's what he writes this week in Newsweek:
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