Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NY Times -Immigrant Children in Legal Limbo

Room for Debate in the New York Times examines the situation of young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children with their parents and were raised and educated here. The article on the topic will appear over the weekend.

You will see Nick from the DREAM Act Portal and Prerna from The Sanctuary as two of the contributors.

Click here to read it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


When I was a kid on vacation with my family, people always asked my parents where they were from and my parents had to give two answers 1) what country they came from 2) what state in the US they resided in.

As I've gotten older and started going on trips myself, I noticed no one cares to ask what country. Accents say a lot and I guess mine says I'm an " American", and not one of those foreigners ;). They seem more fascinated by my state of residence. When I tell them what part of the country, they seem a little shocked. "But you don't have an accent?". Duh, I live in a large city. Accents usually occur in the rural areas. I know what Stephen Colbert feels like when he tells people he's from South Carolina.

Anyways, on my trip a woman who has never lived anywhere but her town of 300 people with zero immigrants started to complain about those pesky foreign immigrants to me. My friend and I (both immigrants) looked at each other and thought, who does she think we are?

I've learned that accents are a big deal. Sales people are nicer to me than to my parents even though they can afford things I can't even dream of affording right now. In immigrant neighborhoods you see ads advertising classes on how to speak with an American accent because it means you can make more money. They've learned that many Americans harbor bigotry towards people with accents.

Not all accents are equal either. My boss is British and people love her accent but my co-worker's Chinese accent is something customers find annoying on the phone. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger, I find his accent to be incredibly thick and hard to understand, yet people are fine with an Austrian accent but I doubt they would feel the same way with a Mexican, Chinese, or Nigerian accent.

Point is, English is one of the hardest languages to learn, in an age where most Americans only speak one language (hey, I'm guilty as well), should we really be in a position to criticize or look down on those who speak 2 or more?

Investigation into Sheriff's Joe's Incompetence Wins Pulitzer

The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winner
Local Reporting

Awarded to Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune, Mesa, Ariz., for their adroit use of limited resources to reveal, in print and online, how a popular sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of violent crime and other aspects of public safety.

Congrats to Ryan & Paul.

If you want to read the winning series click here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Benefits of Immigration Reform in a Bear Market Economy

While Obama has made clear that fixing the economy is his number one priority, a summary of recent research released by the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) shows that fixing the broken immigration system could bring us one step closer to economic recovery.

As right-wing pundits falsely claim that immigration reform would cost the American public ““billions,” available research suggests that — had the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed — it would have generated a much needed $66 billion in new revenue during 2007-2016 from income and payroll taxes, as well as various administrative fees. Workers with legal status earn and spend more, as evidenced by the effects of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).

Click here to read more.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Immigration Can Speed Economic Recovery

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

It’s welcome news that President Obama will turn his attention to immigration reform this year, as was announced on Wednesday by Deputy Assistant to the President Cecilia Muñoz. Economic recovery will happen more quickly if both high- and low-skill immigrants are permitted to enter the United States and work legally.

Two years ago, when Congress was considering comprehensive immigration reform, both President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Congressional Budget Office, headed by Peter Orszag, an economist closely identified with the Democratic Party, estimated that the benefits of additional immigrants outweighed the costs. If Congress allowed more immigration, then American taxpayers would come out ahead financially.

Click here for the full article.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Texas Rep Asks Asians To Change Their Names

AUSTIN — A Republican North Texas legislator (Rep. Betty Brown, R-Terrell ) during House testimony on voter identification legislation said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”
“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said

Click here for the article.

um..Betty, you don't need to know how to speak Chinese to say someone's name.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Film - Sin Nombre

This film is by a American filmmaker Cary Fukunaga and it looks amazing. I heard about this film on NPR's Talk of the Nation and it won a couple of awards at Sundace . It's playing in major cities right now. Click here to see if it's playing in your city.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scumbag of the Week - John Derbyshire

John Derbyshire is an immigration hardliner who has regularly vilified undocumented immigrants, particularly those from Mexico and other Hispanic countries in the National Review.

A typical comment consists of:
"hordes of Central Americans pouring into our country."

Derbyshire has also expressed this sentiment:
"Impose draconian penalties on visa overstayers, including lifetime exclusion from the U.S.''

Get this, this piece of work was an undocumented immigrant who overstayed his visa by 5 years. I say if we are going to implement his policies, let's start with this ungrateful asshole. Kick him out and see how he likes it. If he self-deports and doesn't mind being separated from his family and never seeing his home again, then maybe I'll take his proposals more seriously.

Here he is bragging about his years as an undocumented immigrant, he seems rather proud. I guess it's only the brown kind of undocumented immigrants he hates. Just in case you have any lingering notions that this guy is anything but the scum of the earth read this quote:

"The U.S.A. was born with two race problems: the African Americans and the Native Americans. We struggle with those problems still, and must continue to struggle. Would it be wise to import a new one? "

I refuse to link to the National Review for paying this asshole to write this crap. Go to the comments section of this post and copy and paste the urls if you think I'm making this up.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

We're all Human - How Even Nativists Have a Heart

Kirsten Gillibrand, Chris Simcox, Darrell Issa, & Duncan Hunter at the bottom

Too often this blog points out instances where people are at their worst. We're all human so let's show them when they're at their best.

1) NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, we were hard on her when she was first appointed but she's been working to prove us wrong. First, she surprised us by being able to converse in Mandarin, speaking a foreign language is a very un-nativist trait. Now she just signed on as a co-sponsor to the DREAM Act. You're doing alright Kirsten.

2) Chris Simcox the head of the self appointed border patrol agents called the minutemen has recently come out in tepid support of the Dream Act. Awwwwww....he doesn't want to imprison innocent children.

3)Immigrant hater and congressman Duncan Hunter. While Duncan is vilifying immigrants and stroking the flames of hate, his brother John is setting up water stations for desperate migrants trying to cross the desert. John has saved many lives with the water stations and surprisingly Duncan has not tried to stop him. Awwwwww....he didn't try to stop his brother from saving poor and desperate human beings from dying in the desert.

4) Self-described Immigrant hater and congressman Darrell Issa. According to John Duncan (the man who sets up life saving water stations for migrants crossing the desert) Darrell secretly donated $25,000 to his organization. Typically, politicians love to exploit their "good will" for politician gain but Issa might have been afraid what his rapid and hateful anti-immigrant following would have thought about him trying to save immigrant lives. Issa you bastard, grow a pair and do what you know is right. It's too late, we already know you have a heart, it turns out you're just lacking a spine.

Republicans Show Their Hatred of Legal Immigrant Children

The SCHIP battle continues and this time Republicans hate immigration so much they are brazenly going after innocent legal 4 year old immigrants. As outlandish as that sounds, it's the sad truth. Ugh. What happened to that party?

1) Many of these same people love to say they are only opposed to "illegal immigrants" when in reality they are opposed to all immigrants, including the majority of legal immigrants. Former President Bush had this say, "well, Republicans don't like immigrants." Now, that may be fair or unfair, but that's the image that came out". I think it's a pretty fair and accurate image.

2) They're children! What kind of society are we that we turn a sick child away at the emergency room? Keep in mind, immigrants do not qualify for most public services yet pay taxes just like everyone else. They aren't "leaches" as some Republican Law makers might lead you think. They pay their fair share. This isn't a act of charity, rather one of fairness and justice.