Saturday, November 28, 2009

Should We Defend Undocumented Workers?

by David Bacon, truthout
November 23, 2009

One winter morning in 1996, Border Patrol agents charged into a Los Angeles street-corner clinic where 40 day laborers had lined up to be tested for AIDS. One worker, Omar Sierra, had just taken his seat, and a nurse had inserted the needle for drawing the blood. As agents of the migra ran across the street and sidewalk, Sierra jumped up, tore off the tourniquet, pulled the needle out of his vein and ran.

Sierra escaped and made it home. Shaken by his experience and determined never to forget his friends who were deported, he wrote a song.

I'm going to sing you a story, friends
that will make you cry,
how one day in front of K-Mart
the migra came down on us,
sent by the sheriff
of this very same place [...]

Read the full article:

Friday, November 27, 2009

NYC, Dec. 1: Immigration Reform Discussion

Immigration Reform 2010: On the Agenda or Falling Behind?

A discussion featuring:

Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director, America’s Voice
Marc Rosenblum, Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
Theodore Ruthizer, Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia University
David R. Ayón, Senior Research Associate at The Center of the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University

Moderated by:
Julia Preston, National Immigration Correspondent, The New York Times

Sponsored by: LASA & The Migration Working Group

Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: 15th Floor, Room 1501

Columbia University International Affairs Building
420 West 118th Street


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lou Dobbs Comes Out for Legalization

Dobbs Reaches Out to Latinos, With Politics in Mind
by Peter Wallsten, Wall Street Journal
November 25, 2009

Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, pondering a future in politics, is trying to wipe away his image as an enemy of Latino immigrants by positioning himself as a champion of that fast-growing ethnic bloc.

Mr. Dobbs, who left the network last week, has said in recent days that he is considering a third-party run for a New Jersey Senate seat in 2012, or possibly for president. Polls show voters unhappy with both parties, and strategists believe Mr. Dobbs could tap populist anger over economy issues just as Ross Perot did in the 1990s.

First, though, Mr. Dobbs is working to repair what a spokesman conceded is a glaring flaw: His reputation for antipathy toward Latino immigrants. In a little-noticed interview Friday, Mr. Dobbs told Spanish-language network Telemundo he now supports a plan to legalize millions of undocumented workers, a stance he long lambasted as an unfair "amnesty." [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anti-Immigrant 'Tea Party' Confronted in St. Paul

By Staff, Fight Back! News
November 15, 2009

St. Paul, MN - On November 14, immigrant rights activists in the Twin Cities confronted a "tea party" rally of about 40 right wing anti-immigrant extremists at the Minnesota State Capitol. The anti-immigrant "tea party against amnesty" was in opposition to immigration reform legislation that may be introduced soon in the U.S. Congress, which might provide legalization for some undocumented immigrants. The tea party organizers oppose any legalization and instead support repressive mass deportations of the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country. The anti-immigrant extremists gathered to hear speakers and held signs with messages such as "If You Are Illegal Go Home" and "Pack Their Sack and Send Them Back."

However their message did not go unopposed. They were confronted by about 30 immigrant rights activists standing up for legalization and full equality for all regardless of immigration status. [...]

Read the full article:


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mexican Layoffs, U.S. Immigration: The Missing Link

by David L. Wilson, MRZine
November 22, 2009

On the night of October 10, Mexican police and soldiers occupied installations of Luz y Fuerza del Centro (LFC), the publicly owned electric company that provided power to Mexico City and the surrounding states. A few minutes later, center-right Mexican president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa decreed the company's liquidation, merging it with the national power company, the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). The liquidation meant layoffs for most of the LFC's 44,000 active employees and possibly the destruction of their union, the 95-year-old Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME).

President Calderón's move provoked fierce controversies and massive demonstrations in Mexico, but there was little reaction in the U.S. media, except in business publications.

The LFC liquidation will end "[b]loated payrolls, inherited jobs and massive pension benefits," Investor's Business Daily reported. "The union is howling, but the shutdown is one of the best things to happen to Mexico." [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

White House Plan on Immigration Includes Legal Status

by Julia Preston, New York Times
November 13, 2009

The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants as it pushes early next year for legislation to overhaul the immigration system, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.

In her first major speech on the overhaul, Ms. Napolitano dispelled any suggestion that the administration — with health care, energy and other major issues crowding its agenda — would postpone the most contentious piece of immigration legislation until after midterm elections next November.

Laying out the administration’s bottom line, Ms. Napolitano said officials would argue for a “three-legged stool” that includes tougher enforcement laws against illegal immigrants and employers who hire them and a streamlined system for legal immigration, as well as a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status.” [...]

Read the full article:

Napolitano's "three-legged stool" is similar to the "three pillars" Tamar Jacoby outlined in a New York presentation last spring, except that Jacoby made it clear that the "most important" of the three pillars was a guest worker program:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1,200 janitors fired in 'quiet' immigration raid

by Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
November 9, 2009

Minneapolis — One of the largest immigration crackdowns under the Obama administration to date took place in the Twin Cities last month, when 1,200 undocumented janitors were fired from their jobs, according to immigration lawyers.

The janitors worked for ABM, a San Francisco-based contract company that cleans many downtown office towers in the Twin Cities.

The Obama administration has shifted away from the dramatic workplace raids that were a hallmark of the Bush administration's enforcement strategy. Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security says it is putting pressure on employers who break the law. [...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Dallas, Tickets for Not Speaking English

New York Times from Associated Press
October 24, 2009

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police officers have improperly cited drivers for not being able to speak English 38 times in the past three years, Chief David Kunkle said Friday.
The discovery came after a woman was pulled over earlier this month for making an illegal U-turn and was given a ticket for being a “non-English-speaking driver.”

Chief Kunkle said the citations were disappointing for Dallas, a city where Hispanics make up 44 percent of the more than one million residents and where many other residents are Southeast Asian refugees.

“I was, I guess, surprised and stunned,” the chief said of the ticketing. “We are a very diverse community.” [...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama’s Dirty War On Immigrants

by Shamus Cooke, Upside Down World
October 26, 2009

Under Bush, immigrant communities lived in a constant state of fear. “Homeland Security” agents terrorized citizens and workers alike, arresting anyone who appeared Latino or lacked ID. Families were separated, children left parentless, property abandoned, and long-lasting relationships severed.

This scenario has changed only slightly under Obama, and some say for the worst. Obama’s campaign promise of undoing Bush’s immigration strategy was, like nearly every other promise he’s made, a blatant lie. Instead, he’s adopted the “enforcement first” immigration approach: John McCain’s campaign platform which Obama once mocked. [...]

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Young Immigrant Women: Pick Your Poison

by Prerna Lal, Immigrant Rights
October 26, 2009

Immigrant women migrating to the United States now have the option to choose between either Gardasil or Cervarix for their required vaccination against sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV).

The vaccine is mandatory for women 15 to 26 entering the U.S. as part of their immigrant application process. It does little to prevent HPV and uses young immigrant women as guinea pigs for experimenting vaccines without incurring the expense of clinical trials. The burden of cost falls squarely on immigrant women and neither vaccines are covered by most insurance companies. [...]

Read the full article: