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Showing posts from December, 2009

Entering America Legally–Not As Easy As You Think!

In aninterview on David Letterman, actor Robert Downey, Jr., talked about a problem he had last year in Japan, when upon entering Japan he was detained and questioned about his past criminal record. Downey said:I probably should have seen there was a sign that said ‘No Felons Allowed’ in English and Japanese and I haven’t had that expunged yet,” he said. “You can actually get things expunged but I’ve been pretty busy. So I was detained, I was interrogated. It was a blast.
Haven’t you settled up? Haven’t you paid your debts? Letterman asked.Clearly I haven’t paid my debts to Japan, said Downey.
While I certainly feel somewhat bad for Mr. Downey, this short exchange gave the impression that nothing similar would ever happen in America! Hah! U.S. Immigration Law contains restrictions that bar entry to people forever, for virtually any youthful indiscretion they have ever had, e.g. simple possession of a marijuana 20 years ago, without regard to whether or not you were actually convicted of …

The New Immigration Reform Bill–And an American Hero

It cannot be said about many congressman or senators, but Congressman Luis Gutierrez is a courageous hero. I say this not because the legislation he proposed today in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 is perfect. It is not. there are issues that I have with the bill. Rather, he is a hero because he is willing to stand up for what is right. And, it is right to try to fix our broken immigration system now.That’s right. Now. Not next year. Not in a “second term.” But now. The tatters and ruins of our immigration system cannot be allowed to remain. Everyday we encounter the human toll of what our legal immigration system has wrought, and we see the effects of years of a lack of enforcement of this broken system, AND the effects of years of over-enforcement of that same system. The results are tragically similar, children separated from their parents, husbands separated from their wives, businesses unable to secure their future because o…

Fake IDs are a Booming Business in a Struggling NC Economy

Wachovia might have packed its bags and Bank of America may be on its way out, too, but, never fear; a new industry seems to be cropping up in the Carolinas in the wake of economic disparity. It is the fake ID business, and it’s not just for under-age kids who want to buy beer anymore.Consider some of these statistics: In recent years, North Carolina was deemed to be one of the top five states with the fastest growing Hispanic population. A study completed in 2006 commissioned by the Mayor’s Office of Charlotte estimated the number of undocumented immigrants in North Carolina to be over 50,000. North Carolina also became one of the first states to have a handful of counties sign up to be involved with ICE’s 287g program. Put it all together and what do you have? A rapidly increasing population of undocumented immigrants who are being increasingly targeted by local police, even for minor infractions, such as speeding, no operator’s license, or failing to signal, and who have no means o…

Lock Your Doors! Someone Let Pat Buchanan Out!!

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside in the immigration field, someone decided to release Pat Buchanan from the custody of the anti-immigration movement, and actually published one of his anti-immigration screeds in what many consider a legitimate newspaper.
In the San Jose Mercury News, Buchanan’s editorial, “Patrick J. Buchanan: Halting immigration would be an instant stimulus package,” makes the Grand Canyonesque leap from people losing jobs to somehow stopping ALL legal immigration to the United States, and thus actually creating jobs “for Americans.” His only claim for support of this bizarre theory is an analysis by “Middle American News,” whatever that is, of census data, no citation. I can hear John Belushi coughing in the background. Perhaps Pat Buchanan is so blinded by the anti-immigration crowd he has surrounded himself with for the last 20 years, that he failed to see evidence like this, cited by Vivek Wadhwa in his most recent article in YaleGlobal: In 2006, immi…

The Best (and Worst) of 2009

Let’s face it – 2009 has not been a big year for immigration…but that may not be such a bad thing. Immigration advocates have bemoaned the Obama Administration’s lack of action on the issue, but, in the spirit of the holidays, I believe we have a lot to be thankful for as we look back on this past year…
Obama’s Inauguration – THE GOOD: Obama has succeeded in driving record numbers of naturalized citizens to the polls with his calls for change and a renewed belief in the American Dream. That’s a positive start. THE BAD: He has not delivered on his promise to address immigration reform just yet.Committee Formation – THE GOOD: A committee has been formed to begin discussing a reform package. THE BAD: It has been pushed to the back burner for the moment, given the state of the economy and healthcare in the U.S.Janet Napolitano – THE GOOD: Janet was an exceptional choice who has more or less met the high expectations the Administration, and the general public, set for her. THE BAD: Pretty m…

All I Want For Christmas Is a Point-System

I think I changed my mind about a point-system for immigration purposes. There, I said it. In my defense, though, I did not come to this decision lightly. No, this comes as a result of years of watching hard-working people from all over the world get the short end of the stick based on some technicality in our immigration laws.In immigration and in life, it’s often the people in the middle, the ones who go about their work, who mind their own business, who take care of themselves and their families, who go ignored, because immigration, like life, is not fair. As a society, we tend to cater to the “least of these” and to the “most of these,” leaving everyone in the middle to fend for themselves. Unless you’re a superstar or a billionaire with boatloads to invest, or you’re miserably poor and sick without a prayer in the world, this country’s immigration system turns its back on you, and as a result: WE’RE DEPORTING THE WRONG PEOPLE!Don’t get me wrong – we’re not deporting ALL the wrong…