Monthly Archives: October 2009

ICE AGENTS BEHAVING BADLY?

According to the Associated Press:  “One immigration agent was accused of running an Internet pornography business and enjoying an improper relationship with an informant. Another let an informant smuggle in a group of illegal immigrants. And in a third case, an agent was investigated for soliciting sex from a witness in a marriage fraud case.”

Those who are responsible for enforcing the laws who act as though they are above the law must be held accountable.  Toward the end of the Bush administration, many in the legal community were left with the impression that ICE agents were empowered to do whatever they wanted without much accountability for their actions.  There was a lack of Due Process, inmates were dying while in custody, even US Citizens were deported to other countries.  This trend seems to be coming to an end with President Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano at the helm. 

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

DID CNN EDIT OUT COMMENTS ABOUT LOU DOBBS FROM ITS BROADCASTS?

According to an article about CNN’s documentary Latino in America on that appeared in nytimes.com:   “One of the activists featured in the documentary said she tried to bring up what she called Mr. Dobbs’ ‘hatred’ on one of the channel’s news programs Wednesday, but that her remarks were cut from the interview.”

Many leaders in immigrant communities believe that Lou Dobbs’ rhetoric hindered immigration reform in the past and has harmed Latinos in America.  However, most disturbing is that this non-news appears on CNN – a network often viewed as credible.  If Dobbs were on Fox News, his impact would be negligible because that networks’ restrictionist stance on immigration is in line with its reporting in general – as members of the Obama administration recently pointed out.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

SENATE VOTES TO END “WIDOW PENALTY”

According to an article on nytimes.com:  “The Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would end what has become known as the “widow penalty” — the government’s practice of annulling foreigners’ applications for permanent residency when their American spouses die before the marriage is two years old.”

While we await Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Congress is moving in the right direction by amending portions of our immigration laws that lack common-sense.  Deporting someone because their US Citizen spouse has died illustrates the lack of logic and compassion that permeates many of our immigration laws.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

DOCUMENTARY: THE OTHER SIDE OF IMMIGRATION

An award-winning documentary by Roy Germano entitled “The Other Side of Immigration” examines the consequences of immigration from a fascinating perspective.  According to theothersideofimmigration.com:  “Based on over 700 interviews in Mexican towns where half the population has left to work in the United States, The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans come to the U.S. illegally and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind.” 

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

US BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM AND THE OLYMPIC GAMES

According to an article on losangeleschronicle.com:  “Newspapers are reporting today that during the official Q&A session following the Chicago bid for the Olympic Games, I.O.C. member, Syed Shahid Ali, from Pakistan, asked President Obama how smooth it would be for foreigners to enter the United States for the Olympic Games because doing so can sometimes be ‘a rather harrowing experience.'”

Entering the United States can be a nightmare for many international travelers.  Recently some international celebrities have been denied visas or subjected to secondary inspection.  The news makes the international press and some people around the world decide not to visit or do business in the US unless they absolutely have to.   

Imagine the mess if olympic athletes were denied entry to the US to compete in the games…an international embarassment to say the least.  Perhaps we should wait until our immigration system is fixed prior to making another attempt at “welcoming” foreign visitors.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

USCIS PREPARING FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM

According to an article on nytimes.com:  “Although President Obama has put off an immigration overhaul until next year, the federal agency in charge of approving visas is planning ahead for the possibility of giving legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, the agency’s director said Thursday.”

Let us hope that the third attempt at CIR will be a charm. 

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

ONE COURT AFTER ANOTHER STRIKING DOWN THE “WIDOW PENALTY”

The “widow penalty” as it has come to be known, renders deportable a foreign-national who marries a US Citizen when the US spouse dies within two years of marriage, during the conditional residency period.

News media have denounced this practice as unfair and several District Courts have struck down the widow penalty.  In June 2009, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security put a two year moratorium on the penalty, suspending for two years any action by the government on these widows.

When the government interpretation of many of this nation’s immigration laws are challenged in court or even by the media, changes are inevitable.  Unfortunately, using the court system and media pressure is a much slower, piece-meal approach to the problem than radically changing the laws and enacting much-needed comprehensive immigration reform.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

TWO MASSACHUSETTS TOWNS DROP OUT OF IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

According to an article on boston.com:  “Two Massachusetts law enforcement agencies – the Framingham police and the Barnstable County sheriff’s department – are no longer enrolled in a controversial program that let them enforce federal immigration laws.”

This is a wise move.  Respect for and cooperation with residents is essential to run an efficient police force.  Unwarranted fear by members of the public prevents the reporting of serious crimes and deters members of a community from acting as witnesses to serious crimes.  The concept is known as community policing and has been extremely effective at allowing forces to accomplish more with less. 

Using “special federal powers” to help deport dish washers and landscapers who may be stopped for having a defective headlight is not impressive and diverts scarce resources from actual crimes.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.