Lou Dobbs, a man who regularly peddled xenophobic anti-immigrant smears based on lies and fictions and treated hate groups as legitimate sources is leaving CNN. Rumor is he’s heading to Fox. Or running for President. Who knows. However, what is clear is that CNN and immigrants will be better off now that he departed. His presence legitimized hate on a trusted news network.
In an article titled “Marathon’s Headline Win Is Empty” CNBC business writer, Darren Rovell, claims that the winner, Meb Keflezighi, a naturalized citizen who was born in Eritrea but has been in the US since he was 12 is a “ringer” so running fans shouldn’t be all that excited that an American won the NY Marathon – since he isn’t really an American.
It’s odd that he considers someone who has lived in the US for 22 years a ringer. Mr. Keflzighi has spent his formative years in the US. Has presumably trained and eaten like an American (not a Kenyan which Mr. Rovell brings up for some reason despite Meb not being Kenyan – guess they’re all the same). So what advantage did Meb have?
Perhaps Mr. Rovell thinks Eritreans are genetically superior runners to Americans.
Though I’d like Mr. Rovell to define “American” if he can.
Furthermore, my guess is that Mr. Rovell is not a Native American. My guess is that his ancestors – perhaps recent ancestors – immigrated to the United States.
One would assume he would not consider them Americans either.
Someone should ask him that too.
Contact your local representative to show your support for the Dream Act so we can get it passed this year!
Sheriff Arpaio being investigated for civil rights violations stemming from allegations of racial profiling
The Department of Justice is investigating Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for parading immigrants in chains to his “tent city”, for racial profiling.
The DOJ is investigating whether or not deputies are engaged in “patterns or practices of discriminatory police practices and unconstitutional searches and seizures.”
(how could they not be if pretty much the only people they stop are folks who look “Hispanic” and they do their “sweeps” in Hispanic neighborhoods?)
Calls for an investigation from officials such as Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and some Democratic lawmakers, as well as justifiable outrage by immigrant rights groups, likely led to the investigation – described as the first of its kind related directly to immigration.
The sheriff vows to fight the federal government – of course.
Good luck with that Joe!
A story in the Washington Post exposes the Immigration and Customs Enforcement National Fugitive Operations Program – a program that received over $600 million from congress – as a federally funded racial profiling operation.
The program which, as it is named, is intended to be used to round up fugitives, is an abject failure by that measure. In 2007 nearly 1/2 of the people arrested were not fugitives from the law. The USICE says that number is going down but since they specifically allow non-fugitive arrests to be counted towards the quota that’s nonsense. In fact, it should be zero if they are only going after specific fugitives not stopping minorities at random. Clearly the USICE is simply going up to brown people and asking for their papers – and the video footage in the story supports exactly that conclusion.
In fact, according to the Post, some employees say that they were specifically directed to arrest non-fugitives to boost their arrest numbers. The USCIS and USDHS have declined to actually investigate the claims. That makes sense since it’s official policy.
The video evidence makes it clear the USICE officers were simply stopping men of Hispanic descent without reasonable cause or suspicion. The men detained included, Ernest Guillen, who was merely stopping for a cup of coffee on his way to be with his US citizen son who was receiving chemotherapy at John’s Hopkins and another man who was detained for 18 days even though he was in the United States legally.
The questions for the Obama administration are: 1) are you going to maintain a policy of racial profiling? 2) If you do believe racial profiling to be effective and are going to continue it will you expand it to include other agencies not related to immigration?
Or perhaps it’d be a better idea to use that muscle of yours to get comprehensive immigration reform passed.
Newly appointed Secretary of the DHS, Janet Napolitano (on NPR), shows that there will be little change between the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration with regards to immigration policy.
She’s for a border fence – in places where physically appropriate – but thinks the border needs to be more militarized (more boots on the ground) and also more technologically advanced (more expensive web cams).
She has no view (and probably little understanding of) the push factors that cause people to risk death to come to the US for work and only addresses the pull by saying that she’ll deport more people more quickly and punish employers more harshly.
As far as immigration procedures and policies, she will leave that up to Congress and offers no opinion at all.
Looks like more of the same unless Congress implements comprehensive immigration reform some time soon.
As an aside, someone might want to point out to Secretary Napolitano that the path isn’t from undocumented immigrant to citizen but from undocumented immigrant to permanent resident. It really sounds like she doesn’t know that.
Tom Friedman has an op-ed that may seem counterintuitive to some.
Referencing a statement by Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express..
“All you need to do is grant visas to two million Indians, Chinese and Koreans. We will buy up all the subprime homes. We will work 18 hours a day to pay for them. We will immediately improve your savings rate — no Indian bank today has more than 2 percent nonperforming loans because not paying your mortgage is considered shameful here. And we will start new companies to create our own jobs and jobs for more Americans.”
Mr. Friedman points out that our economy was built through the power of migrant labor and that our status as technology leader is directly tied to our recent immigration patterns so more, not less, immigration is a good idea. In other words, protectionism, at least in some forms, will harm not help us.
The workers are going to ply their trade somewhere and if not in the US it will be in their home countries meaning that those countries will reap the benefits of workers trained in our excellent educational system.
This is not a path that allows America to remain competitive in the future.
Some state & local governments are having second thoughts about trying to control immigration through the use of local laws as the cost has proven to be prohibitive and the measures a PR nightmare.
An example of some of the thinking that should have been done beforehand:
“Republican state Rep. Stephen Clark, author of one proposal, wants to delay the bill for a year to study the economic impact of illegal immigrants on the state.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., a Republican, supports a delay, says spokeswoman Lisa Roskelley.
“We are in the process of making major cuts all across the board in government, including public education,” says Clark, who puts the cost of implementing the immigration law at $1.7 million. “We believe now is not the time to invest that money into this issue, especially when we don’t know whether illegal immigration is a financial plus or minus to the state.”
This isn’t surprising as these are merely red-meat election issues not measures that can actually affect migration patterns in any significant measure and it’s not unreasonable to believe that pushing undocumented workers out of your area can have an adverse impact on the local economy either through loss of labor or because the locality is shunned or even sued for discrimination.
A smart comprehensive plan or even something simple like raising visa caps and eliminating the 2A visa category would do a lot to reduce “illegal” immigration if that’s your goal. If your goal is simply to keep the brown people out (as the Americans in the past wanted to keep out the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, etc..) then that boat has sailed.
It probably comes as little shock to anyone paying attention that the prison system in the US is big business.
It’s not just US citizens who are being used as cash cows, immigrants are being sucked into this business as well.
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, jails all over the nation -including smaller facilities – are taking advantage of the shortage of space and the federal government’s willingness to pay by the body and are raking in millions in profits.
There are many ways that an immigrant can find their way into a detention facility. One common way it works is that when an immigrant fighting his case is either unable to pay bond is subject to mandatory detention (or who the DHS claims is subject to mandatory detention) he may sit in jail for months or even years while pursuing a remedy with the assistance of their immigration attorney, perhaps all the way through the appellate stages.
Many times these immigrants are being removed for non-violent offenses such as minor, personal, drug possession and have no other record. However, Congress has mandated that they be detained for the duration of their proceedings – even if they aren’t dangerous. This needlessly leads to job loss and family disruption as many of these immigrants have been here for decades, have relief available, and will ultimately not be deported.
For example, an immigrant who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance other than a small amount of marijuana may be eligible for relief known as “cancellation of removal” but is also subject to mandatory detention.
This means the have to stay in jail the entire time they’re fighting their case. A case that takes 6 months earns the jail on average $16,000.00 dollars. If the immigrant is denied at the immigration court level and chooses to appeal the profit for the jail increases greatly. Oddly many cases which should be approved are denied at the immigration court level and the Board of Immigration Appeals – both administrative agencies of the executive branch rather than independent tribunals.
There appears to be little incentive to let these folks go even if they’re not dangerous.
In this business model everyone wins – except the families of course.
If the Democrats take back the House expect immigration relief. In fact, start preparing for it now.
The midterm elections are extraordinarily important this time around. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which being immigration reform, it is very important that the Democrats win the House this year. The Republican controlled House of Representatives has approached immigration with an eye on enforcement only. The more balanced and thoughtful Senate has proposed a more comprehensive immigration initiative. Should the Democrats end up with a majority of seats in the House it is very likely that they will agree with their colleagues in the Senate that a more comprehensive immigration plan is better for the country. This would probably mean that many undocumented individuals and families would be able to start on the path to permanent residency and then citizenship. The basic hurdles are likely to be time spent in the US, good moral character issues, and security issues. Itâ€™s important that undocumented individuals be prepared to show how long they have been in the United States using whatever means they have necessary. It would be smart to start the process of collecting documentation showing residence and family ties now in anticipation of the Democrats taking the House this fall as there is no telling what sort of application deadlines the Congress will set to take advantage of whatever relief they offer.