Monthly Archives: February 2009

LINK BETWEEN HATE GROUPS AND ANTI-IMMIGRANTS

According to an article on cnn.com:  “Immigrants are another target of hate groups, according to the report. In a deteriorating economy, illegal immigrants have been blamed by hate groups for allegedly taking subprime loans, according to the report.”

This is no great surprise.  According to a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, for the past decade, Hate Groups have been fueled by the issue of illegal immigration.  Their anger has now shifted towards the fact that there is a Black President in office and lost jobs due to the weak economy.

A great deal of the debate over illegal immigration in the past few years has given hate groups an opportunity to thinly disguise their hatred of certain minorities with the “socially acceptable” issue of being against “illegal immigration” as undocumented aliens could, at least in theory, be blamed for their own actions, such as entering the country unlawfully, overstaying or working without authorization – even if, according to anti-immigrationists, the “offenders” were brought to the US by their parents when they were as young as two years old.  Some “journalists” have gone to great lengths to use isolated examples of crimes committed by a few undocumented aliens and extrapolate these incidents to refer to these people as “criminal illegal aliens”.  Moreover, well-known, organized groups that oppose illegal immigration frequently favor limiting or ideally eliminating immigration altogether.  “Illegal” is again just an easy target and the term “illegal alien” has gained so much traction over the years that the mainstream media now use it regularly.

There are valid arguments worth considering on both sides of the immigration debate.  Unfortunately, when hateful, emotional rhetoric replaces thoughtful, rational dialogue – we end up with a chaotic, malfunctioning immigration system that politicians are either afraid to touch or that they and certain cable and radio broadcasts use to “rev up” the far-right base of what is becoming the “no we can’t” party.

NAPOLITANO ORDERS REVIEW OF RAID AT WASHINGTON PLANT

According to the Associated Press:  “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered a review of a raid at a Washington manufacturing plant that ended with the arrests of 28 illegal immigrants.”

This seems to signal a change in direction the new administration is taking when it comes to immigration.  What is particularly interesting is that Napolitano “wants to know why Tuesday’s raid occurred and what led up to it.”  This is a drastic shift from the anything goes, Due Process out the window approach that has come to charaterize the last few years of the Bush administration.  Setting a policy that examines why and how raids are conducted will lead to a more just and humane immigration policy for the nation.

USCIS TO ADJUDICATE PETITIONS FILED WITHIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION TO CLASSIFY ORPHANS AS IMMEDIATE RELATIVES

According to a USCIS Press Release:  “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that beginning March 30, 2009, it will assume responsibility from the Department of State for adjudicating any Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, filed within the

Russian Federation.” 

The USCIS has released a related FAQ.

PREMIUM PROCESSING SERVICE FOR CERTAIN I-140 PETITIONS BEGINS MARCH 2, 2009

According to a USCIS Press Release:  “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will expand Premium Processing Service for designated Forms I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker to include alien beneficiaries who have reached or are reaching their limitation of stay in H-1B nonimmigrant status.  Currently, only certain alien beneficiaries who are in H-1B nonimmigrant status at the time of filing may request Form I-140 Premium Processing Service. “

WILL STIMULUS H-1B PROVISION HURT THE ECONOMY?

According to an Opinion Piece on nydailynews.com:  “An immigration crackdown written into the new stimulus law will damage New York’s financial sector – and must be repealed immediately.”

The logic is simple, do not limit the banks’ ability to hire the best people for these jobs to help get us out of the economic mess we are in.  If you or a loved one needed a cardiac surgeon and the best doctor to perform the procedure happened to be from India on a visa – would you insist on having an American doctor?  Do we not want the best-qualified people doing the most important work regardless of their immigration status?

DEPORTATION CASE DISMISSED FOR ILLEGALLY HELD ALIEN

According to an AP article on sfgate.com:  “Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor ruled last week that federal agents illegally detained Gregorio Perez in last year’s raid on Micro Solutions Enterprises because they did not have a warrant for his arrest or ‘reasonable suspicion’ he was in the country illegally.”

Agents who arrest undocumented aliens should be held to a standard of either “reasonable suspicion” or a warrant.  Such a standard would help prevent racial profiling and add some respect and humanity to the removal process.  Hopefully, the era of unlawful arrests and the Sheriff Arpaio-style of embarassing and dehumanizing individuals for personal gain will come to an end in the near future.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER TO HEAD IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE

Senator Schumer (D-NY) will be replacing the ailing Edward Kennedy (D-MA) as chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.  Schumer is a proponent of fair, logical immigration reform which is a good sign for those who are pro-immigration. 

In fact, NumbersUSA, an organization that favors decreased immigration to the United States (including legal immigration) gives Senator Schumer a grade of D- for his career votes on immigration and a grade of F for his recent votes.  This tranlates into grades of A- and A for career and recent votes respectively for those who favor changes to our nation’s immigration system that would more warmly welcome individuals from abroad to contribute to the U.S.    

NAPOLITANO SAYS NOTHING NEW IN NPR INTERVIEW

In an interview of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano that appears on npr.org, she does not offer too much insight on anticipated changes to this nation’s immigration policies.  However, from an enforcement point of view, she intends to make it a priority to pursue employers of the undocumented and human trafickers. 

What about CIR, the “border fence” and increased legal immigration?  These are issues for Congress and the President to decide, according to Napolitano.