The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Is there a generational bias on the federal courts regarding marriage equality? It’s a fair question following the recent dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a married binational couple who were denied a marriage-based green card by immigration officials. In the decision, U.S. district judge Stephen Wilson, a 1985 Reagan appointee, said that the court was bound by a 1982 case—a case in which officials at the time wrote that the gay couple’s attorney “had failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.” Should decisions involving civil rights issues be based on precedents set thirty years ago? The Advocate

The current recession touches many lives, but, as is so often the case, it is innocent children that feel the pain of poverty without any understanding of the forces affecting their lives. Right now, it is Latino children that are statistically the poorest group in the United States. Learn more from the Pew Research Center.

Artur Davis: Alabama’s Ugly New Immigration Law

Alabama’s new immigration law is about to become a flashpoint in the culture wars.

It is the first hard push to the right by a moderate Republican Governor who is an ally of the state’s powerful, and liberal, teachers’ union and who has soft-pedaled his opposition to what his party calls “Obamacare.” I think, taken in its totality, it is a push too far, and the Obama Justice Department should challenge its worst features as fiercely as it has attacked Arizona’s controversial 2010 restrictions.

I don’t criticize the provisions that make businesses confirm the legal status of their employees through E-Verify, or the stiff sanctions the law imposes on companies who knowingly hire illegal immigrants: those policies add teeth to current laws that are reasonable but often under-enforced.

There is also a sound underlying rationale: employers who hire undocumented workers are not motivated by a rush of generosity, but usually by a desire to undercut wages and to pad their payrolls with vulnerable, cheap laborers who can’t sue and who fear deportation too much to complain about lax safety standards.

Read the rest of…
Artur Davis: Alabama’s Ugly New Immigration Law

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

“The fight isn’t over . . .” Several weeks ago in the RP, we pointed out the difficulties of being gay, an immigrant and in love and wanting to stay with one’s partner through marriage. Hey, straight people do it all the time. The landmark New York same-sex marriage bill passed this week changes the game on many levels. No Deportation for Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage.

Last week, the RP highlighted Pulitzer Prize winning and, as it turns out, undocumented immigrant journalist Jose Antonio Vargas’s “coming out” piece in the New York Times. The strongest backlash this week has come primarily from an unlikely source: his fellow journalists. The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas

But, lest we forget, Vargas is still at risk for deportation after telling his story and giving a “face” to undocumented immigrants. NPR, in partnership with the Nation, published an excellent piece yesterday on where things stand for Vargas and the impact his story has had on the public. The Other Face Of Illegal Immigration

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a documentary filmmaker and former Washington Post reporter that just “outed” himself as an undocumented immigrant. Read his remarkable story, My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant, and check out Define American, a website he founded to attempt to change the conversation on immigration reform.

Did you hear last week that immigrants were to blame for the forest fires in Arizona? Remember the dozens and dozens of Arizonans murdered and decapitated in the desert by immigrants? We’ve all heard (and far too many have bought into) urban myths related to immigrants, so, what the hell, Got A Problem? Blame It On Illegal Immigrants!

And yet even with all of the anti-immigration rhetoric, hysteria and demagoguery, Americans’ views on immigration have stayed relatively steady and relatively positive over the last two decades. Check out the latest Gallup Poll that shows that Americans for the most part manifest a slight preference for lower immigration levels, yet continue to believe that immigration is good for America. Oh, those crazy Americans!

And, finally, demographics often trump negative views of immigration and immigrants in many European countries, where aging populations and low birth rates have created a dearth of workers (i.e., a tax base). With American baby boomers beginning to retire this year, will the United States face a similar situation over the next twenty to thirty years? Wall Street Journal

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Throughout modern history, people have emigrated from their countries of origin (émigrés) and people have immigrated to a second or even third country (immigrants). And then there have been those who have been banished from a country. Your correspondent has always been fascinated by how Great Britain’s penal system, between the years 1788 and 1868, was so severe and draconian that their own citizens were routinely and literally sent half way around the world to the continent of Australia for their crimes. Here’s a fascinating article (including a rare Rogues’ Gallery) about the first “citizens” of Australia from Archaeology Magazine. To learn even more, check out Robert Hughes’s exceptional The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding.

Many Americans only think of “immigration” in narrow and often stereotypical terms. Immigrants, refugees, displaced people—over 200 million human beings on the move annually—exist everywhere. The Boston Globe this week published some extraordinary images of immigrants throughout the world from over the last fortnight or so. The Big Picture

Last week, the RP pointed out the difficulties of being raised and educated as the child of an undocumented immigrant in the United States–perhaps graduating first in your Senior class only to be told that you are not eligible to participate in higher education because of the status of your parent (see last week’s piece on the DREAM Act). Now, Alabama’s new, far-reaching and extraordinary immigration bill (which makes it a crime to simply give an undocumented person a ride in your car) would not only punish the children of immigrants by demanding “to see their papers” as it were, but would make teachers effectively immigration agents. Alabama’s Immigration Law: The New Jim Crow

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

Agree with its premise or not, this Bloomberg editorial concisely sums up the upheaval currently going on in immigration policy. The RP predicts that immigration will, yet again, be a huge issue in the 2012 presidential election. Bloomberg

The RP heard this story this week on NPR. A very interesting piece on a young Yemeni woman that spent a year in the United States and turned her lens on us to document “the lives of American women [her] age and to compare and contrast (them) with the lives of Yemeni
young women.” Read, listen, learn. Yemeni Photographer Turns Her Lens On The West

The RP has referenced the DREAM Act a number of times in The Politics of Immigration. Here’s a video project in search of funding that puts faces and stories to the tragedy of young men and women brought to this country by their families,
educated and socialized as Americans, then unable as young adults to attend college or find gainful employment because of their immigration status. Kickstarter

Check out one more video from Kickstarter and learn more about their work and how you can support it. Arizona and the End of FiveCenturies of Immigration

 

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

In the Bush (W)-era of the 21st Century, undocumented aliens in the United States were often rounded up at work sites, breaking up families and communities and scaring the cajones off individual workers—not employers. Breaking with that tradition, the Obama administration is quietly going after employers that knowingly hire people who clearly cannot satisfy their I-9 requirements. Will this approach finally get employers to push for immigration reform? New York Times

What do you call someone that speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone that speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone that speaks one language? American. Here’s just one more among thousands of reasons to learn at least one other language. Allez-y!! The Bilingual Advantage

Many North Americans tend to lump all Latinos into one group: Mexican. But, of course, the Latino community is much more diverse than that. So please don’t ask your Hispanic neighbor if he “speaks Mexican.” Pew Research Center

And speaking of diversity, check out the latest installment of the always interesting, funky and fun Alt.Latino: The Show. ¡Es fantastico!

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

The 2010 mid-term elections brought out record numbers of Latinos in the United States to practice their rights as citizens to vote. But while the number that voted was high, the number of non-voting eligible Latino voters was also high. This is a voting group that is still, in the RP’s opinion, up for grabs. And if either party begins to consistently win the votes of Latinos, will the number of non-voting Latinos continue to rise? Pew Hispanic Center

Copy cat versions of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration (or anti-immigrant, depending on your POV) laws continue to pop up around the country. These laws are keeping the ACLU (and those that oppose them) busy in federal court. The Indianapolis Star

And in Louisiana, another controversial immigration bill was withdrawn after opposition from the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops and law enforcement officials. This was the fourth year in a row that the same lawmaker has failed to pass a similar bill. Repeating the same thing over and over expecting different
results? NOLA

And finally, your correspondent, having visited Ireland on numerous occasions and thoroughly enjoying the warmth and hospitality of the Irish, simply loves this photo of the President and the First Lady quaffing a Guinness in Moneygall. New York Times

 

 

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

This is an amazing story of courage and persistence in the face of adversity. Isabel Castillo, an undocumented immigrant who came to the United States with her family when she was six years old and has been a vocal and visible proponent of the DREAM Act, will be presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of San Francisco tomorrow, the 20th of May. There’s only one catch: this Magna Cum Laude graduate of Eastern Mennonite University without a Social Security card could be deported at any moment. [Catholic San Francisco]

The United States is not the only country that deports undocumented immigrants. Mexico commonly deports its fair share of people from Central and South America simply trying to get through the country safely and into the U.S. Yesterday, Mexico detained nearly 500 immigrants in two semi-trucks trying to reach the United States. [CNN]

Check out some incredible musica nueva this week from Brasil, Colombia, México and more on [Alt.Latino]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

The Politics of Immigration

How does an American president, fully aware of the need for immigration policy reform and the ROI that progressive immigration reform could bring to the economy, convince a jittery public that it’s in the American interest to provide people with a path to citizenship? Read more here from NPR.

In the same speech on the U.S.-Mexican border, President Obama also mocked Republican lawmakers for “never be[ing] satisfied” with border security. “Maybe they’ll need a moat,” he said. “Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat.” Ah, presidential humor. The AP from NPR

This is a fascinating new book on the history of immigration in the United States, from colonial times through today. Dr. Susan F. Martin of Georgetown University explores three models of historical immigration in the United States that, she claims, have all favored immigration more consistently than immigrants. A Nation of Immigrants

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