Monday, March 16, 2009

Last Week: In Our Community (Mar. 9-16)

Immigration news and updates from Monday March 9 through Monday March 16.

I try and keep the number of annotated articles that I highlight down, but there is too much good stuff out there.

VIDEO: Clips from the CHC Family Unity Tour in Los Angeles

This clip documents one of many stops the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has made over the last month to listen to stories about family separation and to campaign for comprehensive immigration reform.

Deportation Fears in Morris County Hamper Efforts to Probe Domestic Abuse

The local police department in Morris County is currently trying to reach out to members of the Latino community who are victims of domestic violence. Morris County, however, has a 287(g) agreement which allows local police to act as federal immigration agents. Because of this agreement, victims of domestic violence fear coming forward about domestic abuse for fear of deportation.

Immigrants Face Long Detention, Few Rights: Many detainees spend months or years in U.S. detention centers
A computer analysis conducted by the Associated Press shows that most people being held in immigrant detention centers have no criminal record. And while ICE says that the average stay in detention is about 31 days, AP's analysis shows that most are held much longer than that, and with few rights.

Where Education and Assimilation Collide

This NY Times article explores how even schools which have overcome great divisions caused by histories of segregation and oppression are facing a new challenge--how to properly integrate non-native English speakers into the education system. Taking a close look at the educational, social, and political climate of Prince William County, this article uncovers the struggles many communities face in trying to carry out a just education system in a climate where schools lack funding and are forced to "teach to the test."

As Clocks Wind Down, Liberians Wait and Pray

Annie Yonly has lived in the United States since 1985. She's a registered nurse, owner of two houses, and mother of U.S. citizen children. According to census data, she's even lived in MN longer than 25% of Minnesota's population. But each year she wonders whether she'll have to return to a country which she fled nearly 25 years ago during the outbreak of civil war. This year, she's worrying more than ever. Two weeks before Liberian Temporary Protected Status is set to expire, there is still no word from the Obama administration as to whether it will be extended.

Many Congresspersons are also working to stay deportation for Liberians in coodination with the Liberian government. To read the press release, click here.

Priest's Video Contradicts Police Report
A local priest who became concerned about increased reports of systemic racial profiling, intimidation, and discrimination in his small town East Haven was arrested after videotaping the actions of police in a local convenient store. The police report states that the officer arrested the priest because he saw a "unknown shiny, silver object" in the priest's hand and felt threatened. However, the video that was recovered from policy custody by the priest's lawyers shows that the police knew the priest only had a camera and was documenting their actions.

Immigrants Didn't Cause Your Problems
This opinion piece offers what the author calls a "tough love" message to people who blame undocumented immigrants for the current economic crisis.

In a City Filled With Lawyers, Many Immigrants Fighting Deportation Go It Alone

Manhanttan has one of the highest concentrations of lawyers in the world. Yet hundreds of New York's immigrant residents are currently in detention without legal representation. Robert Katzmann, a federal judge on the Second Court Circuit, is organizing and educating lawyers to work on immigrant cases.

Widows Face Deportation Under Immigration Law
Current U.S. immigration law requires that widows be deported if their citizen spouse dies before their immigration application is approved. As this article states, "Immigration officials maintain they are simply enforcing the law, but some advocates say it's a cruel injustice to spouses who were following U.S. immigration law and suffered the loss of a husband or wife."

Interactive Map: Immigration Explorer
This interactive map put together by the NY Times allows you to see how each county in the United States has been affected by immigration over the last century.

Room for Debate Blog: A new series on immigration
The NY Times Room for Debate Blog has started a new series on immigration. Each Sunday readers and specialists will discuss various immigration topics. This week, it focused teaching English to speakers of other languages in the public school system.

Workers Without Borders
This NY Times opinion piece explores a different way to address immigration--a transnational labor union. By focusing on labor enforcement rather than immigration enforcement, this author argues that we could have a system which would meet the need for migrants in our economy and also ensure that employer exploitation of immigrants does not undercut wages for other workers.

Family's Tragedy Shows Why Immigration Reform Is Needed

This article tells the story of Sandra Zabaleta, an undocumented worker from Guatamala, who currently faces the trauma of burying her husband, being deported, and having to choose between leaving her son in foster care or taking him with her back to Guatamala where she doesn't know if she'll be able to make enough money to support them both.

Operation Panty: Donate Women's Underwear for Women in ICE Detention
As I've blogged about before, immigrants held in detention are given uniforms, but not underwear. It is not seen as a necessity. So many women wear the same underwear for days or even weeks while they wait for family to send them extra pairs. This blog has started a campaign to get underwear for female detainees.

More immigration articles:
The National Imperative to Imprison Immigrants for Profit

Congresswoman Calls for Humane Treatment of Immigration Detainees

Why Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio Must Go--And Soon

Hard Return: Rise in Fast-Track Deportations Raises Concerns

Failing Families: Immigration Enforcement Policies Unfairly Hurt Many Children Who Are Citizens

U.S. Urged to Bar Local Police on Immigration


  1. The politicians ,the governors, judges, police chiefs and lowly representatives, who ignored the illegal immigration occupation in a impoverished foreign country, would have been assassinated by now. That is not condoned in a civilized nation like ours, but we do have a remedy of throwing the rogues out of office in 2009. That's when majority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) , his accomplice House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 48 democratic indentured servants, who have sold their soul to the wealthy business fraternity---and outlawed E-VERIFY--- start looking for our votes. The Stimulus/ Omnibus we thought was to return US workers/legal residents back to work? The President of the Heritage Foundation Robert Rector stated in an earlier interview that the E-Verify loophole, would give access to 300.000 construction illegal alien laborers. Rector has suggested that visa over-stays and border jumpers have infiltrated the job market---not just low paid, but high paying, blue collar--white collar and even professional positions.

    E-Verify would have started to remove the stigma of illegal aliens from the workplace, opening hundreds of thousands more jobs for the legal population in this economic subsidence. For more understanding how the American people have been brain washed by the leftist press. Go to NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIALWATCH, CAPSWEB, FAIR AND AMERICANPATROL. Call your representative in the Senate or House: 202-224-3121

    Incidentally don't trust the cloaked Council of Foreign Relations, as they are involved in this portentous NORTH AMERICAN UNION arrangement. They see our nation as a merger of Canada, Mexico and this sovereign land, with open borders and the free movement of foreign nationals. Read about Europe where the different European country have been saturated with labor from foreign lands, where even in Britain the indigenous people are in direct competition--- with civil unrest brewing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I suggest you go to ( to learn more information about the statements that Robert Rector has made.

    The math used to calculate the 300,000 number is fundamentally flawed and created by using numbers from different data sets which should not be compared without significant adjustments for the different years that they were gathered, what they were gathered for, etc.

    There is no way to know how many undocumented immigrants might receive funds through the stimulus package.

    But E-Verify would not have helped this.

    The E-Verify program is deeply flawed due to 17.8 million errors and discrepancies in the Social Security Administration's database. The majority of these discrepancies are also in the records of US citizens.

    This means that US citizens could be negatively affected--or even lose their jobs--because of a mandatory implementation of the E-Verify system.

    Moreover, E-Verify has no capacity to recognize identity fraud. As long as the social security number and other data entered exist in the database, the person using that data will be cleared for work.

    An expansion of the E-Verify program would likely lead to a growth in identity fraud around the US.

    It would also likely create a larger underground economy that would hurt US workers. Right now, an estimated 80% of undocumented workers are in the formal labor force. While in the formal economy, we can use strict enforcement of wage and labor law to ensure that wages are not cut by exploited labor. If an underground economy is created, we do not have that control.