Monday, January 26, 2009

Uneven Progress: The Employment Pathways of Skilled Immigrants in the United States

Check out this new report that came out on October 22, 2008 by the Migration Policy Institute titled, Uneven Progress: The Employment Pathways of Skilled Immigrants in the United States

Report release with Jeanne Batalova, MPI Policy Analyst and Data Manager; Michael Fix, MPI Senior Vice President and Director of Studies; Jane Leu, Upwardly Global Executive Director and Founder; and Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Maryland.

100 años de turbulencias económicas: Las crisis económicas en México en el siglo XX

Check out this pdf document in Spanish sponsored by Fundación este País titled, 100 años de turbulencias económicas: Las crisis económicas en México en el siglo XX, that translates into "100 Years of Economic Turbulence: Economic Crises in Mexico during the Twentieth Century."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

from the UFW on H2A Farmworker Regulations

Bush's devastating new H2A regs still in effect. Tell Congress to override now.
Change has started. Upon taking office President Obama immediately stayed any pending or new 11th hour regulations that the Bush administration tried to push through.

However, this does not include the devastating new H2A regulations we wrote to you about. These regulations were not included as they already went into effect on Saturday and the only way they can be stopped through a congressional override that President Obama can then sign into law.

We need your help. These Bush administration H2A regulations gut existing protections for both domestic and foreign farm workers. They make it easier for growers to slash the pay of domestic farm workers and hire imported foreign laborers instead of U.S. field workers. They weaken government protections in an industry known for violating the minimum wage, housing requirements and other rules.

The new Obama Administration is facing a mountain of problems left by the outgoing administration. All of them are important. And all require action.

We need your help to ensure that farm workers do not get buried under the pile of crises. With a vote in Congress and a stroke of a pen, the new administration can reverse the terrible changes the Bush Administration wrote into effect. Please act now and e-mail your Congress members today and ask them to take immediate action.

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Consider signing this letter from the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Dear President Barack Obama:

We congratulate you on your election as the 44th President of the United States; we look forward to working with you and your Administration in the coming years to bring about the changes that are needed to improve the lives and safety of immigrant and refugee communities in this country.

We urge you, as our new President, to strengthen this country’s commitment to human rights for all, and to seek justice for the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers and families who have suffered from abuse, discrimination and violence.

We ask for your support and action during the first 100 days of your presidency, to end the immigration enforcement actions -- raids, detentions and deportations -- that are causing immeasurable hardships in immigrant communities. Most urgently, we ask for the immediate cessation of all immigration policing and raids where people live, work, worship, study and play.

We believe this action is a necessary pre-requisite to addressing the larger issues of immigration policy and the passage of significant legislative reforms.

We also call on you to:

· Work with Congress to immediately initiate a series of field hearings on immigration law enforcement and its impacts and effects on our communities in the interior and the border, with special attention to its effects on the economy, workplace and Constitutional rights.

These hearings must include the voices and experiences of those directly affected by immigration policing and raids. During the last eight years, the Bush Administration’s Department of Homeland Security vehemently attacked and undermined the rights of immigrant and refugees. Families, workers and communities experienced intense policing; hundreds of thousands were detained for immigration status alone and their due process rights blatantly violated and ignored, resulting in deportations. Their testimony is vital to the consideration of immigration reforms and to ensure that the DHS is held accountable for its policies, strategies and practices.

· Suspend detentions and deportations while hearings are held and humanitarian policy alternatives are put in place to reinstate due process and the rule of law to immigration services and enforcement.

· Support a legalization program that offers opportunities to regularize the status for all undocumented immigrants, without the onerous hurdles of past proposals that would have drastically limited the number of immigrants who could actually legalize. Those proposals would have subjected hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their children to a precarious existence without guarantee of permanent residency at the end of a lengthy conditional process.

· Uphold family reunification as a core principle of U.S. immigration policy. We need to expand legal immigration opportunities, expedite processing and resolve the backlog of current, eligible visa applications. We should do away with the harsh obstacles to immigrating, including the “3 and 10 year bars,” unfair and burdensome political asylum procedures, and high income requirements for immigrant sponsors.

· Insist that due process rights be restored and preserved, to ensure equality before the law for all persons, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status. We need the protection and expansion of the civil and labor rights of all immigrants, as well as community-based oversight and accountability of the Department of Homeland Security for immigration law enforcement and services.

· Take action to end the criminalization of immigrants, including:

-- the repeal of employer sanctions, which have led to problematic employment verification requirements and the criminalization of immigrant workers; an end to the electronic worker verification program and the sending of SSA no-match letters to employers.
-- an end to criminal prosecutions for immigration-related conduct such as unlawful entry, driving without a license, or so-called “identity theft.”
-- an end to immigration enforcement collaboration with local, county and state police as well as other government agencies.
-- the end and roll back of border militarization policies, practices, measures and laws, including the use of high technological surveillance.
-- the end to indefinite and mandatory detention.
-- an end to the inhumane conditions and treatment of detainees in detention facilities, immigration prisons and DHS-contracted facilities.

· Strengthen and ensure enforcement of labor law protections for all workers, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.

· Oppose guestworker programs in their various forms, whether they are tied to legalization for undocumented immigrants already living and working here, or as a means for “managing future flows” of immigrants into the United States, especially as components of international trade partnership agreements.

· Prioritize funding for immigration services to clear the backlog of pending applications for family reunification visas, green cards, citizenship and services for immigrant integration.

· Ensure access and support for all public services and benefits including education, health care, and drivers’ licenses.

· Support the right of mobility and return for all displaced peoples, refugees, asylum seekers, trafficked persons and migrants. U.S. policies should be in full compliance with the UN Conventions and Protocols related to the status of refugees and the right to asylum, and we should give particular attention to the plight of displaced women and girls, and include gender-based violence as a basis for refugee status.

· Commit to addressing migration in our foreign policy and economic agreements. The U.S. must shift away from the current trend of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements that exacerbate the displacement of communities. It should also abandon its globally discredited foreign policy emphasis on military intervention and its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We urge you to ensure that U.S. trade, economic and other foreign policies are built upon principles of fair and just diplomatic engagement, and support sustainable development programs, job creation, and fair trade that build viable and healthy communities around the world.

· Include consideration of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the international standard of human rights protections for all migrants, as you strengthen U.S. recognition and adherence to human rights agreements.

Thank you for supporting the human rights, safety and well-being of immigrants and refugees.

WICHE Report [pdf] Says American Dream in Jeopardy without Success of Hispanics

WICHE Report Says American Dream in Jeopardy without Success of Hispanics


A report of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) (“Beyond Social Justice: The Threat of Inequality to Workforce Development in the Western United States <http://www.wiche.edu/policy/Ford/beyondSocialJustice.pdf>”) defines the challenges inherent in the unequal levels of educational attainment of the non-majority populations of the U.S. as follows: “The Western states that are experiencing the sharpest declines in educational attainment from generation to generation are those with the fastest-growing minority populations (Arizona, California, New Mexico and Nevada). Their ability to reverse this downward trend depends on their success in closing the gaps between White non-Hispanics and minorities” (p. 11). After acknowledging that the U.S. has excluded its non-majority groups from workforce and economic development, the WICHE report states that “the West contains the majority of states in the U.S. that will face the largest increases in demand for college-educated workers” and that the need for such workers will exist at a time when “many White non-Hispanics approach retirement age, the younger adult population becomes increasingly diverse, and educational participation and completion gaps among White non-Hispanics and minorities persist” (p. 21). The report concludes with the following observations: “Our failure to adequately serve minorities throughout the West is the most distressing story of this report. In the West Hispanics will soon be the majority population. Yet at nearly every stage in the education process, the systems of education in the West serve Hispanics at the lowest rate of any racial/ethnic population. As a result they continue to represent the majority of workers employed in low-skill, low-wage jobs” (p. 31). “Our future will be greatly affected by our ability (or inability) to equalize opportunity at all stages of the education pipeline. At stake is our competitive position in the global economy and the likelihood that our children and grandchildren will experience the U.S.’s prosperity, as we have. If the social justice reasoning for closing racial/ethnic gaps has run its course, then perhaps the public (and policymakers) will pay closer attention to an argument for closing these gaps that addresses something more near and dear: our individual and collective economic well-being” (pp. 31-32).

White House Posts Immigration Agenda

IMMIGRATION
"The time to fix our broken immigration system is now… We need stronger enforcement on the border and at the workplace… But for reform to work, we also must respond to what pulls people to America… Where we can reunite families, we should. Where we can bring in more foreign-born workers with the skills our economy needs, we should."

-- Barack Obama, Statement on U.S. Senate Floor
May 23, 2007


For too long, politicians in Washington have exploited the immigration issue to divide the nation rather than find real solutions. Our broken immigration system can only be fixed by putting politics aside and offering a complete solution that secures our border, enforces our laws, and reaffirms our heritage as a nation of immigrants.

Create Secure Borders: Protect the integrity of our borders. Support additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

Improve Our Immigration System: Fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill.

Remove Incentives to Enter Illegally: Remove incentives to enter the country illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

Bring People Out of the Shadows: Support a system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

Work with Mexico: Promote economic development in Mexico to decrease illegal immigration.

http://www.whitehou se.gov/agenda/ immigration/

Immigration still a minefield

Immigration still a minefield
By Phil Kent

 Phil Kent of Atlanta is national spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.

For the Journal-Constitution

Friday, January 23, 2009

Illegal immigration again emerges as a major issue now that Barack Obama is president. The new administration is veering toward a more-open borders policy as underscored by Obama’s choices of Janet Napolitano as Department of Homeland Security chief and Hilda Solis as U.S. Labor secretary.

Napolitano seeks amnesty for the 15 million illegal aliens here, and opposes the almost-completed 650-mile U.S.-Mexico border fence. As Arizona governor, she slashed funding to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s task force fighting drug, weapons and human smuggling from Mexico. Her positions did little to make the homeland more secure —- especially since Mexico is engulfed in a civil war where well-organized gangs are killing police, judges and soldiers. This growing Mexican warfare is spilling over into the U.S. Southwest —- and poses a mounting problem for Obama.

As a California congresswoman, Solis opposed workplace raids to deport illegal workers and prosecute greedy employers. She also sought to force all federally funded entities to provide “meaningful access” to their services for non-English-speaking immigrants. The huge cost of providing such translation services for the 320-plus languages spoken in the United States would have been paid by the taxpayers as well as by health care consumers in the form of bigger bills.

A major battle will emerge in March over the E-verify homeland security program, which comes up for re-authorization in Congress. It is an effective system that helps demagnetize the magnet that draws illegal aliens. An employer can log on to the Homeland Security Web site and enter an applicant’s Social Security number into its database to ascertain if a worker is legal. A new E-verify feature is a photo of the job applicant that pops up on the employer’s computer screen. (Many illegal immigrants, of course, steal the Social Security numbers and identities of real citizens.)

Voluntary use of E-verify by employers has risen dramatically in all 50 states, and the Bush administration issued an executive order requiring that federal contractors and subcontractors use the system. Yet the multicultural left and, incredibly, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce want Obama to reverse the order. Of course, as former Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura Keehner emphasized, there is very little reason to avoid using the system “unless you are for some reason in favor of hiring illegal immigrants.”

There are more than 10 million unemployed Americans. They will have little chance of finding a job if U.S.-Mexico border control is undermined, a million more illegal aliens sneak in again this year to take now-precious jobs, and the E-verify system (which Obama once claimed he supported) is gutted. Such actions could trigger a noisy public reaction similar to one that derailed the 2007 U.S. Senate amnesty proposal for illegal immigrants.

In a broader context, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a Jan. 4 interview that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told him “he’s going to work real, real hard on immigration reform. And I’ll work with him.” Reid said this includes “a pathway to legalization” for illegal immigrants already here, as well as the addition of untold numbers of cheap-wage foreign job competitors under a “guest worker program.”

But whether Obama wants to risk a huge public backlash over such a comprehensive effort early in his first term —- knowing that polls indicate Middle America strongly opposes illegal immigration —- is a big question mark.

Phil Kent of Atlanta is national spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.

Immigration Reformers Must Take the Moral High Ground

Immigration Reformers Must Take the Moral High Ground
By Roberto Lovato, New America Media
Posted on January 22, 2009, Printed on January 24, 2009

The buzz filling Blackberrys, busy halls and spacious deal-making rooms in Washington appears to signal that spring arrived early this year for immigrants. In the last week alone, several prominent figures-outgoing President Bush <http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/01/12/1741352.aspx> , incoming President Obama, Mexican President Calderón, Los Angeles Cardinal Mahoney, to name a few-have discussed the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. And, as in the previous failed attempts at reform in 2006 and 2007, legalization for the more than 12 million undocumented among us occupies the center of forums, speeches and other public statements of Democratic and civic leaders in the beltway. <http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jcLcJJzI6zs98kKCLJWxs7kXkyIw>
"Immigrants must be brought out of the shadows so they can fully contribute to our nation's future economic and social well-being," declared Cardinal Mahoney during a recent teleconference.
While laudable in its intent, the legalization-centered approach of Mahoney and others may not be the best way to deal with the tragic legacy of failed immigration reform: spikes in anti-immigrant, anti-Latino hate crimes, deaths in decrepit immigrant prisons, thousands of families separated, children and families terrorized by heavily armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raiding their homes.

These efforts are inadequate because, contrary to the new Washington consensus on immigration, the greatest single need in immigration reform is not legalization. Rather, what is most needed is moral imagination.

The predominance of the "practical" considerations - "immigrants are good for the economy," "we need tough and smart enforcement," etc.- framing the arguments in favor of comprehensive reform should be balanced by a simple, but now elusive fact that smashes any of the discursive frames prevailing on either side of the immigration debate: undocumented immigrants are first and foremost human beings whose lives are as sacred as that of any other being.

Although all advocates surely believe this, not all voice it as much as they used to.
Thankfully, the possibilities of the political moment reflected in the election of Barack Obama and a new, more Democratic Congress offer us the best opportunity to return morality to the center of an immigration debate that has reached dangerous levels of absurdity, if the spate of murders of immigrants here in "liberal" New York and other cities are any indicator. <http://www.nydailynews.com/latino/2009/01/12/2009-01-12_justice_department_probes_long_island_ha.html>

Although Mahoney, Bush and other backers of immigration reform have included some moral arguments as part of their case, the Washington, D.C., realpolitik of the past decade has pushed moral considerations into the shadow of the legalization-centered approach. Consider, for example, how Mahoney, Bush and other backers of the failed McCain-Kennedy immigration reform package of 2006 to 2007, were willing to "trade off" the more than 700 pages of punitive immigration policy-increased incarceration, deportation, militarization of the border-for less than 100 pages of punitive approaches to legalization contained in the bill.

While morality cannot be legislated, moral considerations can and must be part of immigration legislation. This is the way it was before the mid-1990s, the period when Washington decided to de-emphasize moral arguments in favor of the realpolitikal legalization approach provided by high-powered pollsters and public relations consultants. This was when the now familiar immigration reform jargon-"smart and tough," "practical" and "comprehensive"-entered our national discourse on immigration reform. I still remember how uncomfortable I felt during teleconferences organized by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the National Immigration Forum (NIF) and other Washington groups at the time. Hearing pollsters and advocates tell us, "Moral arguments don't work with the voters," made me nervous. Hearing them then call for "necessary tradeoffs" (code for accepting even more punitive immigration policies in exchange for legalization) as part of "comprehensive immigration reform" scared me.

Then-after the failure of immigration reform in 2006 and 2007-NCLR, NIF and other members of the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform produced a confidential report, "Winning The Immigration Debate," in January 2008 advising Democratic candidates to adopt a "get tough" immigration message. This message made me wonder if some were blind to the anti-immigrant violence infecting the cultural climate like a virus. The report calls for a message that "places the focus where voters want it, on what's best for the United States, not what we can/should do for illegal immigrants." <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/29/confidential-study-sugges_n_89077.html>

It made me realize how far we had strayed from the halcyon days when moral frames of the immigration debate prevailed among most advocates.

While the responsibility for the surge in anti-immigrant hatred, violence and even murder goes to the GOP, right-leaning Democrats, right-wing media personalities and well-funded hate groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA, many of us in the advocate community must come to grips with a disconcerting fact: We allowed the humanizing and protective shield of morality to be eviscerated from the discussion about human beings who happen to be immigrants.

There's no malicious intent behind the political strategy of the "get tough and smart" approach to immigration reform. But it is problematic that, with few exceptions, none of the high-profile advocates of immigration reform has publicly admitted any errors of judgment with regard to either accepting punitive policies or enabling the evisceration of the moral frame from the immigration debate.

Rather than point fingers after the fact, it is best to put political energy and resources into doing for detention, raids and other immigration policies what many advocates are already doing around detention and torture in Guantanamo: reigniting the moral imagination that must inform the debate. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shayana-kadidal/closing-guantnamo-is-easi_b_157735.html>

Such an approach to immigration reform will do much to address what is now a deep cultural problem in a country that has come dangerously close to normalizing hatred of immigrants in its media, in its legislatures and in its streets. If we have learned anything from the civil rights struggle we are about to commemorate on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, it is that sometimes we have to go against what pundits and pollsters say and simply do what is right.
Roberto Lovato, a frequent Nation contributor, is a New York-based writer with New America Media


From Wall Street to Main Street and everywhere in between, stay up-to-date with the latest news.

Fighting for Migrant Justice in the Desert

n Arizona, Mexicanos Cannot Get Fair Trials

Fighting for Migrant Justice in the Desert

By ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ

"Arizona resembles the Deep South of the pre-civil rights era," attorney Isabel Garcia asserts. "Here, Mexicanos cannot get fair trials."

"I'm not just talking about immigrants," she adds. "I'm talking about Mexicanos, regardless of their legal status." The climate, she notes, which fosters vigilantism, is continually stoked by politicians and media types that seek to blame all of society's ills upon hard-working migrants.

Garcia, Pima County's Legal Defender, speaks with a passion that conjures up a bygone era, yet she insists that in Arizona, there is no bygone era. It is not uncommon for Mexicans to be shot and killed here by U.S. agents and not be held accountable. She brings up the case of Border Patrol agent, Nicholas Corbett who shot Francisco Ramirez at close range on Jan. 12, 2007 – purportedly for threatening the agent with a rock. Today Corbett walks free. Two juries could not agree to convict. And there are countless more cases, she notes, though truthfully, this form of "frontier justice" has always been true for the entire U.S./Mexico border region.

Garcia recently invited me to witness firsthand "Operation Streamline." What I witnessed bore no similarity to anything that can be remotely called a judicial proceeding. It was more "show trials" in which 70 migrants were paraded before a judge and in less than one hour, virtually all were found guilty (3 cases were dismissed) of illegally entering the country. They were actually also charged with felonies, but were dismissed to ensure conviction of the lesser charge. In years past, taxpayer money was not wasted in such proceedings – proceedings that resemble a 21st century version of "Indian Removal."

Every day, out of 1,000 migrants apprehended by immigration agents – 70 are randomly selected and processed like cattle through the federal court system. The objective is to criminalize these migrants and to have them spend time in the private Correction Corporation of America (CCA), thereby serving as a disincentive for other would-be migrants. The eventual goal is to eliminate the policy of "voluntary departure."

It's a sweet deal for the CCA, which receives $11 million per month. It's actually a for-profit scam because it is a process that does nothing to address the actual problems associated with Mexico/U.S. migration.

The sham trials are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In the past few years, Arizona voters have passed several draconian propositions that primarily restrict the human and due process rights of migrants, particularly students. It's a dehumanizing climate. But even these efforts pale in comparison with the human toll.

Since the mid-1990s, Derechos Humanos – a human rights organization (co-founded by Garcia) that monitors human rights abuses – has tallied more than 5,000 deaths along the U.S./Mexico border attributable to death from exhaustion, dehydration or drowning. The deaths were preventable as the various militarized border operations and walls have been designed by immigration authorities with the intent of funneling migrants into the inhospitable Arizona desert.

Some are hoping that with Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano heading the Department of Homeland Security, things should be better along the border. Nationally, Napolitano has cultivated an image of moderation, yet, Garcia notes that such image is pure public relations. During her tenure, Napolitano did not veto the 2006 draconian "employers sanctions law" and was quick to call the National Guard to the border.

Yet, Napolitano's departure may indeed see things turn for the worse because the state will now be firmly in control of the Republican party – a party that in Arizona is synonymous with anti-immigration – a party that also completely embraces the media antics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff – who has resorted to high-profile, racial profiling (anti-immigrant measures aimed at the Mexican-Latino community) recently tried to get Garcia fired for an incident involving a piñata resembling the sheriff. Rather than getting fired, Garcia recently received the Cultural Freedom Award, along with $150,000 – given to her by the Lannan Foundation.

For those who understand immigration to be an economic and human rights issue, a humane solution may be forthcoming from Obama's Labor Department, slated to be headed by California Congresswoman Hilda Solis. It is not a guarantee, but it should be a radical departure from the current administration's sham policies.

Perhaps justice may indeed be coming to the desert.

Epilogue: Several days after President Barack Obama was inaugurated, I returned to the courtroom… and expectedly, nothing has changed. The sham or show trials continue.

Roberto Rodriguez can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com

PROTEST THE POTENTIAL APPT. OF AN ANTI-LEGALIZATION SENATOR FROM NY

January 22, 2009
LIKELY SENATOR FROM NEW YORK SCORES
HIGH WITH ANTI-IMMIGRATION GROUPS
<http://blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind/2009/01/likely-senator-from-new-york-scores-high-with-antiimmigration-groups.html>

Now that Caroline Kennedy has dropped out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, speculation has now turned to
Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand from the upstate New York area. Andrea Mitchell of NBC is reporting that she's going to be announced tomorrow as the new Senator.

Gillibrand has a poor record on immigration and her appointment will be extremely disappointing to the pro-immigration community. All the more surprising is that it comes from a Governor who presumably wants to appoint someone who is going to appeal to one of the most pro-immigration constituencies of any state in the country. Unless Gillibrand dramatically changes her views on immigration, she will very likely face a primary opponent when her seat is up and Republicans could have a much better chance to take this seat.

Here is how Gillibrand describes her immigration views: <http://www.gillibrand.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=226&Itemid=1>
Our immigration system is broken and hard-working Americans often bear the brunt of the federal government's failure to secure our borders and provide adequate protections for the American=2 0worker and the shrinking American Middle Class. I believe the first step to fixing our immigration system is to stop the flow of illegal immigration. This can be accomplished by securing the Southern border, enforcing the0Aemployment laws on the books and ensuring that our farmers and businesses have the adequate number of legal workers after they have exhausted their search for American workers. I am firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. In my first year in Congress, I passed legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives that would bar employers, who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, from receiving federal contracts.

In addition, I am a sponsor of the SAVE Act, which will hire 8,000 new Customs and Border Patrol agents, while utilizing new technology and fencing along the border. I hav e also sponsored the Legal Employee Verification Act, which would require all employers to verify, through the Social Security Administration, that their employees are legal. In addition, I support reforming and streamlining the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so that the extraordinary casework backlog will be addressed within two years. This is especially important for the thousands of farmers in our district who need legal workers. I am confident that Congress can enact reform without providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. This is a national and economic security issue for our country and I am committed to fighting for the American worker.

NumbersUSA, the anti-immigration group, gives her ahigh grade for her voting

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ <http://grades.betterimmigration.com/testgrades.php3?District=NY20&VIPID=1250>

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED NOW

--Call the Media
--Call Gov. Patterson

...when Brown can stick around...

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA

THE TIME TO FIGHT BACK IS NOW: GIVING VOICE AND POWER TO OUR COMMUNITY

From ebustill@aol.com

The mainstream capitalist media has declared an all out war against our
communities. The anti-Mexican propaganda spewed by the media is at an
all-time high. Every minute of day, the media bombards us with the most
slanderous statements and claims.

From “Gangland” TV documentaries, nightly news programs focusing on
crimes allegedly committed by Mexicans, and “Radio Hate” shows, –to
newspapers editorializing against the existence of Raza within the
borders of the United States– the media works nonstop to instill hatred
against anything having to do with Mexicans.

As a result, most Raze are scared to speak out and walk in fear. We are
cowed, degraded, and insulted on a daily basis. There is no space for
Mexicans in the “American Dream”, not even with Obama in the
presidency. No matter how painful this description might be to some,
this is the reality for most Mexicans.

Yet, even worst than the hatred whipped up against us by the
racist-capitalist propaganda machines, is that fact that it also leads
to many Mexicans hating each other. It is this horrific social
existence created by the media, which creates self-hatred among our
children. It produces a psychology the torments our youth –leading to
violence, dropping out of sc
hool, disrespecting their parents, and a
life of petty crime.

How, we ask, can we complain about all the problems facing our
communities, without exposing and taking a militant stand against
media stereotyping and the defaming of the Mexican community?

The Raza Press and Media Association (RPMA) says that the time to fight
back is now. And, as Malcolm X once said, the struggle has to be waged
by any means necessary. In the particular case of RPMA, the means of
struggle is to build and use a people’s media as a weapon of liberation.

Founded in 1990, the RPMA upholds the necessity for collective action.
We oppose an individualist approach to struggle. The enemy press is
too powerful. Therefore, we call on all Raza who posses media skills
or are interested in media work, to join the RPMA. Join us in
informing, giving voice, and power, to our communities. ATTEND THE
RAZA PRESS ASSOCIATION SUMMIT on Sat. Jan. 24, 2009.

For more
information see: razapressassociation.org.

Venceremos!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

hTexas Latino Population Growth = Increase Political Growth

Texas Latino Population Growth = Increase Political Growth
Posted by: "Jodi Perry" jodiperry_fwtx@yahoo.com jodiperry_fwtx
Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:47 am (PST)


Greetings fellow members! Please consider this article an affirmation that we need to continue voter register drives all year. We now need to push the importance of being counted for the 2010 Census. In order to influence the balance of power for future generations, we must be counted, we must register new voters and in ALL elections, we must VOTE! Juntos Podemos!

Jodi Perry, PHRW
Texas LULAC Deputy State Director for Women
The LEAGUE! The FUTURE!

04:47 PM CST on Monday, January 12, 2009

The U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates last month, confirming that Texas continues to grow at a fast rate. In fact, Texas gained more residents – 483,542 – than any other state from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008. This growth allowed Texas to claim title to the third-fastest growth percentage, behind only Utah and Arizona. Equally important is the demographic makeup of that growth. Nationwide, the number of Hispanics rose by 1.4 million over the period to be the fastest-growing minority group. Texas accounted for the largest numerical increase in the total number of Hispanics, ahead of both California and Florida. So what does this mean to the Lone Star State and North Texas? Simple: More congressional seats.

According to a report by the political consulting firm Election Data Services Inc., the increasing number of Texans will give our state the fastest-growing delegation in Congress. If congressional seats were awarded based on the 2008 census estimates, Texas would gain three U.S. House seats. If you consider the population projections through 2010, Texas would gain four. Two of the state's fastest-growing areas, in general and with respect to Hispanics, are Dallas and Houston. In all likelihood, each of those areas will pick up a new congressional seat after the 2010 census. And the responsibility to draw the new boundaries again will fall to the Texas Legislature.

One political scientist has already said that if Republicans maintain control of both houses in Austin after the 2010 elections, their smartest move would be to maintain Republican incumbent districts while creating new seats in growing Hispanic areas, including the Houston and Dallas areas. As a result of this explosive growth, the population in Texas congressional districts will increase from about 650,000 to 700,000. The Texas State Data Center and Office of the State Demographer estimate that as of July 2007, there were more than 919,000 Hispanics in Dallas County and more than 450,000 Hispanics in Tarrant County.

Based on these figures, it should be relatively easy to create a compact congressional district in North Texas with a majority-Hispanic-citizen voting-age population.
And we should learn from the past. In 2006, it was the redistricting of a Hispanic congressional district that resulted in the Supreme Court concluding that the redrawn district weakened the voting strength of Hispanics. In that case, the Texas Legislature had approved a redistricting plan that diluted Hispanic voti ng strength in the 23rd Congressional District from more than 57 percent of the voting age population to just 46 percent.

In LULAC vs. Perry, the Supreme Court determined that such action in creating the "new" 23rd District violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Additionally, any redistricting plan adopted by a Republican-controlled Texas Legislature that attempts to dilute Hispanic voting would likely not receive pre-clearance approval by a re-invigorated civil rights division in an Obama Justice Department. Texas is poised to be the biggest winner after the 2010 census and the ensuing congressional reapportionment. As the Texas Legislature prepares to meet in Austin tomorrow, lawmakers need to begin planning for the best way to create a congressional district with Hispanic opportunities in North Texas.

Chris Luna served on the Dallas City Council from 1991 to 1997. His e-mail address is LunaLawOffice@aol.com.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Immigrants feeling economic pain

Immigrants feeling economic pain
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Press Enterprise
Article Launched: 12/21/2008 07:07:55 AM PST

In a year when jobs have become scarce for everyone, the proportion of working-age Latino immigrants participating in the labor force has fallen, according to a new report.

The slowdown in the growth in the number of Latino immigrants who are employed or actively looking for work is a testament to the depth of the recession, according to the report issued last week by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center.

"Latinos are still an important source of workers to the U.S. economy," wrote Rakesh Kochhar, Pew's associate director for research. "However, this growth is now led more by native-born Hispanics and less by immigrant workers."
Latino immigrants, including many undocumented workers, had found plentiful job opportunities in the construction boom earlier this decade. It was a sector in the economy that grew even during the 2001 recession.

But Latino immigrants aren't immune from the current economic disaster spell, which was triggered by the slump in housing markets.

"You've had hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the construction industry. Immigrants are particularly hard hit because you have so many immigrants working in that industry," said Jose Calderon, a professor of sociology and Chicano Studies at Pitzer College in Claremont.
According to the Pew analysis, the decrease in the percentage of Latino immigrants in the labor force was 1.1 percent, from 72.4 percent in the third quarter of 2007 to 71.3 percent in the third quarter of this year. The drop was about twice as high among Mexican immigrants and among immigrants who arrived in the country since 2000.
While slight, the decline is significant because there had been steady annual growth in the Latino immigrant workforce over the past decade, the report states.
Overall, the unemployment rate for Latino immigrants in the third quarter of 2008 was 6.4 percent, compared to 6.1 percent for the total workforce and 9.6 percent for Latinos born in the United States.
But workers who drop out of the labor force are not counted among the unemployed. If Latino immigrants had remained as active in the labor market in 2008 as they were in 2007, their unemployment rate would be much higher today, the report says.
"I think the numbers are much larger than the statistics," Calderon said. "That's how deep this recession is."
The Pew report, based on the latest Census Bureau data, says it is not possible to conclude whether Latino immigrants who left the labor force have returned to their home countries.
But it is clear, according to another recent Pew report, that the number of illegal immigrants entering the country has decreased since 2005.
Calderon, who is on the board of directors of the Pomona Day Labor Center, said that many Mexican immigrants are realizing that economic conditions here "are as bad or maybe worse" than back home.
"Either they have given up looking for jobs or they are returning back," he said. "At least back home they have a family and a place to stay and a community to support them."
Going back to Mexico has crossed the mind of Federico Galicia, a 56-year-old Colton resident who came to this country in 2002.
When he arrived in the United States, Galicia said he quickly found a $9.50 per hour soldering job at a San Bernardino company that manufactured safe deposit boxes.
Nine months ago, he was laid off when the company moved its operations to Tijuana.
He now provides for his wife and three children by trimming trees, doing yard work, cleaning garages and performing assorted odd jobs for friends and neighbors. His wife also earns $100 every weekend making tortillas at a Mexican restaurant.
But the couple is having a hard time paying the $650 monthly rent on its 1 1/2 bedroom home.

Galicia said his children are divided about whether the family should return to Mexico. His 20-year-old daughter wants to leave, while his two younger kids, ages 18 and 15, want to stay.
Galicia said he has looked for jobs at several factories and construction companies, but to no avail. If he doesn't find work by March, he said he will have to decide whether to move.
"I didn't think this was going to happen," Galicia said in Spanish. "I thought it was going to be easier to get my children ahead in this country."