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Immigrant's Weekly December 26, 2000
Arthur L. Zabenko, Editor
Nina Manchanda, Assistant Editor
Marc Ellis, Chat Transcripts Editor
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• Immigration Information    • Immigrant Life

A Note from the Editors:

The Legend of Santa Claus

According to legend, Santa Clause was actually a bishop named Saint Nicolas in what is now Turkey. He was reputed to be a kind and generous man who performed miracles for young children, the poor and sailors. One story holds that on two occasions he threw bags of gold through a window for three poor girls who would otherwise have been unable to marry becuase their family had no dowry to offer. On the third night, when St. Nicolas went to deliver a bag of gold, the window was closed so he threw the gold down the chimney and it landed in the girls' stockings which were hung on the fireplace to dry. This story made St. Nicolas famous for being a gift-bringer and began the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings by the fireplace.

Throughout the Middle Ages the popularity of Saint Nicolas spread throughout Europe and he became the patron Saint of Russia and Greece as well as for sailors, charitable organizations, children and unmarried girls. After the Reformation, devotion to St. Nicolas’ disappeared in all of Europe except in Holland where he was known as "Sinterklaas." When Dutch colonists immigrated to New York in the 17th Century they brought with them the legends of Sinterklaas, which were adopted by English speakers and became "Santa Claus."

The popular view of Santa in America today is of an image that began to evolve in 1822 with the poem "Night Before Christmas." The concepts of Santa reading letters, checking his list, having his workshop, etc. came about through the pictures of cartoonist Thomas Nast which where published from 1863 to 1886 in the popular Harper’s Weekly Magazine. Coca-Cola perpetuated the image of the rotund, white-bearded, jolly, old man in a red and white suit through their ads in the mid-1900s. And finally, in 1939, the department store of Montgomery Ward added the story of Rudolf to Christmas by giving away copies of their book "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer," which was written by their advertising department.

Today, through commercialization, most children around the world know of Santa Claus and in many countries a variation of the Santa Claus figure and the holiday season represent a time of gift giving. For example, in Germany, children get gifts on Christmas from "Christindl," the Christ Child. In Holland, Sinterklaas rides a white horse and leaves gifts in wooden shoes; in Sweden, "Jultomen" arrives Christmas Eve with a bag of presents. Some children in Spain, in addition to gifts from the Three Kings in January, also receive gifts on December 24th from "Papa Noel."

We would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Post-Conviction Relief in the Defense of Immigrants
Oregon-based attorney Brian Patrick Conry writes immigration law from a criminal defense lawyer's perspective and offers of options for post-conviction relief in the defense of immigrants.

The Case Against Race Profiling in Immigration Enforcement
An abstract of an article by Kevin R. Johnson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California at Davis School of Law, forthcoming in Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 78, January 2001.

ABCs of Immigration - Private Bills
Greg Siskind writes about private bills in Congress to obtain immigration benefits including some recent cases handled by the firm of Siskind, Susser, Haas & Devine.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act
Carl P. Baldwin explains the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, signed into law by the President last October, and the new "T" visa.


Beef Tenderloin

Roast beef tenderloin with mustard and peppercorns, and filet mignon with port wine, cream and mushroom sauce.

Immigrant's Weekly "Recipe of the Week" is an opportunity for you to share your favorite recipes with other visitors to the site. Do you have a favorite dish you prepare to remind you of your home country when you are feeling particularly stressed or homesick? Have you found a new favorite dish in your new land? What substitutes have you used for ingredients you could not find? Submit your recipes to Each week we'll bring you the most taste-tempting, mouth-watering recipes we receive.

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This Week's Chat Schedule:
When Attorney
Tues., December 26
9:00 pm Eastern Time
Robert H. Beer
Thurs., December 28
9:00 pm Eastern Time
Glenn Martin Miller

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An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. © Copyright 2000 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM. Correspondence to Letters may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium.

• Immigration Information    • Immigrant Life