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26 Jan 2012 10:13


Politics: Jan Brewer vs. Obama: An airport meeting turns into an epic battle

  • She wrote some things in her book he didn’t like: The tough-on-immigration Arizona governor, who was not particularly happy with the way the president treated her in a much-talked-about-at-the-time 2010 meeting, wrote about it in her new book “Scorpions for Breakfast,” and Obama didn’t like what she said. So, last night, when Obama got into Phoenix, this happened. “I will say that a picture is what it is,” she said. “I must say, I was not hostile. I was trying to be very, very gracious. I respect the office of the president, and I would never be disrespectful in that manner.” What we would give to hear that conversation up close. (AP Photo) source

25 Jan 2012 20:49


Politics: Jeb Bush offers advice to the GOP on Hispanic voters

  • Hispanics understand, either personally or through close family members, what it means to come here as an immigrant. They know how hard it is to function without a full working knowledge of English. They have often felt the sting of prejudice and the threats of gang violence. They tire of the stereotypes built by the media and some politicians. Like all voters, Hispanics respond to candidates who show respect and understanding for their experiences.
  • Jeb Bush • In an Op-Ed for the Washington Post today. The full piece is well worth reading, as it recognizes a fact which has been blindingly obvious to political science types — changing demographics in the American electorate have given Hispanics a much greater influence than ever before, and that trend will almost assuredly continue. This is obviously a big issue for the Republican Party at present — the recent defense of Mitt Romney’s immigration platform by Marco Rubio aside, people generally don’t like being made to feel like their friends, family or possibly themselves are being made targets by political power-players. One way to mend these fences is to speak and listen with earnestly, and build coalitions based on shared ideology. Bush seems to get this. source

06 Jan 2012 19:35


U.S.: Mistakenly-deported teenage girl returned to U.S. after outcry

  • Our day has been hectic, hers is too, just as long as she makes it home, just as long as she gets here.
  • Johnisa Turner • Discussing the fate of her 15-year-old daughter, Jakadrien Lorece Turner, who returned to the U.S. on Friday after mistakenly getting deported from the country in May. Jakadrien, a runaway, apparently used a fake name that just happened to be that of an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, leading to the deportation. The U.S. government and Colombian government have gone back and forth over who was at fault for the deportation — with many concerned the U.S. didn’t do due diligence when deporting the girl. source

23 Nov 2011 12:04


Politics: Newt Gingrich’s immigration stance: Possibly a major stumbling block?

Newt’s stance in favor of a guest program for immigrants, is one that’s very dangerous to take in a Republican primary, and it could hurt his surging poll numbers. source

19 Aug 2011 14:17


U.S.: Obama administration eases up on deportation case prosecution

  • what The Obama administration has chosen to prioritize its deportation cases — focusing mostly on those accused or convicted of criminal activity rather than immigrants who may not have come to the country on their own accord as children.
  • why Obama faced criticism, particularly from Hispanics, that the administration was being too tough on immigration issues by focusing on deportation cases of those that been productive members of society. source

26 Jul 2011 11:01


U.S.: Smart move: California allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition

  • While many states have chosen to legislate hate and division by approving anti-immigrant laws, California’s governor sends a strong message that investing in today’s student population, regardless of their immigration status, is smart, practical and the right thing to do.
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles leader Angelica Salas • Speaking favorably of Gov. Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature’s actions in passing a bill that allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition for their schooling. Eleven other states have laws comparable to California’s, while a dozen others block the practice outright. But considering California is on the literal front lines of the immigration debate, it’s of note. Two other border states — Texas and New Mexico — have similar laws. source

22 Jun 2011 15:36


Culture: Jose Antonio Vargas’ enthralling account of an undocumented life

  • An undocumented immigrant’s story: The New York Times Magazine has run a lengthy, engrossing piece authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, a Filipino man who’s been living undocumented in America since being sent by his mother at age 12. Vargas’ story is both emotional and instructional, and hammers home the necessity for citizenship options like (at barest minimum) those proposed in the Dream Act. The idea of a child being whisked into America and thus living in fear and hiding is one that evokes sympathetic feelings for a good reason — our society generally tries to protect children from harsh politics and major strife. source
  • The fear of fakery Vargas describes going to the DMV at 16, and presenting the clerk with the green card given to him by his grandfather. The woman whispered to him that the card was fake, and told him not to come back. When his grandfather painfully confessed he’d bought a fake green card for him, Vargas decided he couldn’t let anyone doubt he was American.
  • Career out of reach With the help of his high school principal and superintendent, Vargas began attending San Francisco State, with an eye on journalism. When he was unable to work an internship due to his immigration status, he decided “if I was to succeed in a profession that is all about truth-telling, I couldn’t tell the truth about myself.”
  • Inspiration for action Vargas says he was moved to write this (we must emphasize, our few points here don’t do this justice, you should really read the whole article) when he learned of four undocumented students who walked from Miami to D.C. to lobby for the Dream Act, at risk of deportation. Many thanks to Vargas for this honest, important story.

21 Jun 2011 13:46


U.S.: Weeklong immigration crackdown yields significant results

  • 2,400+ number of convicted foreign nationals deported in a seven-day period during the “Cross Check” enforcement operation
  • 109,700 number of convicted foreign nationals deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the 2011 fiscal year source
  • » How authorities pulled it off: The “Cross Check” mission checked the records of people convicted of crimes like robbery, drug trafficking and aggravated assault to see if they were here illegally. If they were, officials deported the convicts. This does raise a few questions — such as how much authorities used racial profiling in this operation — but the silver lining is that the crackdown was at least targeted on a group. About 22 percent of those deported already had outstanding orders of deportation, by the way.

19 Jun 2011 23:20


Politics: John McCain blames Arizona wildfires on unsecured borders

  • There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who have crossed our border illegally. The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.
  • Arizona Sen. John McCain • Pointing the finger at an unlikely target for the wildfires currently causing significant problems in the state. Now, we’re not experts here, but this seems like a fairly questionable leap of judgment — and the claim met significant criticism from Latino groups — especially since the “substantial evidence” McCain claims hasn’t actually been substantiated. Whether or not the border needs securing, bringing xenophobia into the mix of an unrelated disaster seems like a terrible idea.  source

10 Jun 2011 15:31


U.S.: Worse than Arizona? Alabama’s new anti-immigration law

  • Alabama is going to start checking students to see if they’re legal immigrants. It’s sort of reminiscent of that law in Arizona that’s being challenged in court, only this one is a little more invasive. Alabama’s law would require all businesses to check the status of their workers and register them in an online database, as well as checking all students to make sure they’re legal. Scott Beason, the GOP state senator who sponsored the law, says that it will help give jobs back to people in Alabama. But that leads us to the question, “are they jobs people would want in the first place?” This bill is definitely invasive, possibly racist and certainly unfair. It’d make life harder for a lot of people. source