Post-Katrina rebuilding efforts have created a breeding ground for the exploitation of undocumented workers. Halliburton/KBR is the general contractor with overarching responsibility for the federal cleanup contracts covering Katrina-damaged naval bases. According to a Salon.com article, Halliburton and its subcontractors hired hundreds of undocumented Latino workers to clean up after Hurricane Katrina, only to mistreat them and throw them out without pay. For the full story, see here.
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ILW.COM is pleased to feature the following distinguished works of scholarship:
A Question Of Integration
George Friedman writes "The US, and a few other nations, are configured to
manage and profit from immigration. Their definition of nationhood not only is compatible with immigration, but depends on it."
USCIS Memo On Self-Petitioning Battered Spouses
Michael Aytes, Acting Associate Director, Domestic Operations, USCIS issued a memorandum providing guidance to USCIS officers in the field regarding amendments made to the self-petitioning provisions of the Act by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.
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In response to Immigration Daily's comment (11/17/05 ID comment), I spent three years in Colombia, South America, from 1994 to 1997. In that country there is a group of rightist civilian armed men, who at times receive the salute of uniformed soldiers and the quiescent complicity of the government. The guerrilla or paramilitary units. Those who sacrilegiously call themselves "minutemen" should know they are selling out the very democracy they arrogantly pretend to defend.
Once again, Immigration Daily didn't take a cool-off period before submitting the daily comment (see 11/17/05). The minutemen are not vigilantes, and there have been no verified accounts of these groups acting in an unlawful manner. These are U.S. citizens and LPR's, of all races, religions, and sexes, who are concerned about the absolute lax enforcement at both our southern and northern border. Are you really going to suggest that this is an entirely racist operation, that the minutemen (and women) are just bigots opposed to "brown folks" coming over the border? Give us a break. We see through this charade. For a a newsletter that is supposed to inform the public about immigration matters, I hope you are not so irresponsible as to not point out clearly the difference between immigrants (i.e. legal permanent residents) and illegal aliens (i.e. those who cross our border illegally or illegally overstay). Immigration has always been an important part of American life - that is true. It is also true that immigrants of the past, be they Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian or any other nationality, were so proud to become Americans that they eagerly adopted the language and customs of their new country and worked hard, not depending on welfare and not whining about lack of benefits. It is illegal aliens today that do dishonor to the American tradition of immigrants coming to America to become Americans through and through. Shame on Immigration Daily. I think Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere and other great Americans from our past would be disgusted by your rhetoric. I do not want to cancel my subscription, but it may come to that if the Editors do not start taking a more thoughtful view.
Katelyn Giovino, Paralegal
Your 11/17/05 ID comment on The Real Minutemen joins NBC's Law and Order
episode Wednesday night as failed attempts to smear and demonize this
fine group. The reality is that because of their efforts and
popularity, along with Arizona's Prop 200, even open border politicians
can no longer ignore the demand for limited entry and no illegal entry
which they did for so long. The salute by the military unit was no
doubt a spontaneous gesture of respect and encouragement, nothing more.
Minutemen of the Revolutionary War were citizens who pledged to defend
their country on short notice. The term is entirely appropriate to
these modern volunteer heroes and not the "insult" that you state, nor
are they "miscreants". Your label of "vigilantes" is similar to the
frequently heard term, "racist", all of which seem to be used when
rational thought fails. Minutemen can't be vigilantes from the
historical American perspective, as they do not take the law into their
own hands but only operate in a lawful manner as a neighborhood watch
group cooperating with the BP. Even the ever present ACLU could find
little fault. But the Spanish version of the word, to be a watchman and
the Latin version, to be watchful or vigilant, are both applicable. Any
immigration reform has to focus on enforcement as the article by Janice
L. Kephart (11/16/05 ID) set forth and has to reduce entry
substantially, not increase it and to merely legalize that which is
illegal by some form of amnesty. The true Enforcement and Border
Security Act of 2005 that was announced on Nov. 3rd by Congressmen
Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Virgil Goode (R-VA) looks very promising.
R. L. Ranger
Is the self-styled minutemen' part of the established Federally Funded and Instituted Institutions Of The US Military? And since when does a soldier salute a civilian, who is not credited with that regard or recognition officially? The only civilians that warrants such recognition for salutation are, The President Of The United States, as (Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces), & The Defense Secretary. Are we getting ahead of ourselves with this so-called civilian/people's militia?
If what was reported here is true, I dread future arbitrary actions that may result from this recognition!
Derryck S. Griffith
New York City
Despite Immigration Daily's objections (see 11/17/05 ID comment), I will salute the brave Minutemen every chance I get for protecting our borders.
In response to Sebastion's letter (11/17/05 ID), my letter to the Editor (11/16/05 ID) was not based on "anecdotes, prejudice and popular wisdom." The computer professional, mentioned in my letter, did not have "flawed wisdom," or "fail to articulate a rational argument." His lawyer, who handled his (AOS) adjustment of status pursuant to a family petition, watched this personable, conscientious, slender, handsome, well-dressed, articulate, highly valued IT employee, who was always employed in Europe (and worked in the U.S. on international projects for U.S. and European companies), move to the U.S., which he didn't want to do, because his fiancee' was unable to move to Europe. He did not even obtain that face-to-face interview you refer to as potential "face time" failures. A year later, he decided to abandon IT, and he found employment in a completely different field. He's been promoted several times and is a highly valued employee. The point is: let us move from anecdotes, assumptions, and worse, personal or assumptions and attacks... and together develop or encourage: fact-gathering, demographics,
and public policy: Solve unemployment, create and grow businesses, increase exports and international commerce, and yes, immigration. Our collective intelligence should be able to
roll up our sleeves and begin to work on data, and real solutions, for example: (1) Take a "census" of the number of unemployed LPR & USC IT workers (2) Take a "census" of the number of employed H1B & L1 workers (3) Gather a statistical estimate of jobs open in the field compared to # of workers (4) Make a database of resumes and references of available workers USC, LPR workers (5) Give a tax incentive for hiring and retention of newly employed or rehired or previously unemployed USC or LPR workers.
It is known to all that laws should be equal to all the persons. But,
this did not apply to a case about issuing green card. Recently, the
USCIS refused to issue a green card to a person on the grounds that he
had overstayed his tourist visa, whereas the other person who had also
overstayed his toursit visa was issued green card. Both from a South
Asia country entered the US in 1997 on tourist visa and applied for
green card having won DV lottery. Both were working in a restaurant by
overstaying their visa. It shows that the USCIS does not seem to have uniformity while deciding immigration cases. Once they overstayed their
visa, they became already illegals, and illegals should not issued green card. Therefore, it is earnestly requested that the USCIS look into
deeply all the papers that the applicants submit to be issued green card and also should have uniformity on their decisions.
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