in this e-mail:
(1) LA Times - A 670-mile-long shrine to American insecurity
flaws: "error-filled databases might end up
Californian.com - No to sex harassment
Monterey County farm-worker women]
(4) The Seattle Times - An American teen in a foreign land
(5) common dreams - Challenges Arise to Border Fence Project
(6) Panel Grants Rare Review to Immigrants: Complaint Alleges Poor Medical Care For Detaineeshttp://www.bibdaily.com/pdfs/Panel%20Grants%20Rare%20Review%20to%20Immigrants.pdf
(7) THE CBS EVENING NEWS - special series, Immigration Nation, continues Wednesday night...
(8) UN links up with Google Earth to help refugees
(9) movie - The Visitor - http://www.thevisitorfilm.com/
(10) SPLC - HATEWATCH: Nativist News for April 8, 2008(11) Groups challenge illegal immigrant bail law
Groups sue, challenge Prop 100
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 8, 2008 12:00 AM
Two national civil-rights groups brought a class-action lawsuit in
federal court challenging Proposition 100, the state law that denies
bail to illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Education Fund claim that the 2006 citizen's initiative is
unconstitutional, in part because it denies individual hearings to
defendants as to whether they are flight risks or dangers to the
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Andrew Thomas and
Superior Court Presiding Judge Barbara Rodriguez Mundell were named as
defendants in the suit, which was filed by attorneys from the Phoenix
firm of Perkins Coie Brown & Bain on Friday.
"We're not asking that anyone be released from jail," said attorney
Steve Monde. "We're asking that they be permitted like all other
criminal defendants in Arizona to have their day in court to have the
court determine whether they're flight risks."
Mundell could not be reached for comment.
A representative from the Sheriff's Office wondered why the sheriff would even be named.
And Thomas issued a statement saying, "Just as I helped draft and led
the fight for passage of Proposition 100, I will vigorously defend this
law in federal court. The ACLU is wrong to challenge this reform, which
was approved by 78 percent of Arizona voters."
That remark was countered by Kristina Campbell, a Los Angeles-based lawyer for MALDEF.
"Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's lawful," she said.
Proposition 100 was billed as a way to deny bond to illegal immigrants accused of "serious crimes."
But the term "serious crimes" has no legal meaning, so the Legislature
stepped in and defined them as Class 1-4 felonies, encompassing
everything from murder and rape down to shoplifting.
"Serious" now includes burglars, perjurers, forgers, and those who
conspire to commit human smuggling, the charge in place for all people
caught with coyotes.
The suit alleges that the law violates several amendments to the U.S. Constitution:
• The Fifth Amendment, alleging that in revealing immigration information, defendants are incriminating themselves.
• The Sixth Amendment, in that defendants are not represented by defense attorneys when they are denied bond.
• The Eighth Amendment, by setting excessive bail.
• The 14th Amendment, which assures due process of law, because it is
unnecessarily punitive, and because the defendants are not allowed a
hearing to question the judge's decision.
The 14th amendment grants equal protection under the law and is usually
interpreted as meaning that judicial decisions are based on the
individual facts of the case.
That argument was recently used successfully in the Arizona Court of
Appeals by the Sheriff's Office in knocking down a Superior Court
decision on when lawyers could visit clients in jail.
Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre wondered why his office would be named in the current suit.
"The sheriff doesn't enact the law, and the sheriff doesn't decide
whether it's constitutional. He just enforces it," MacIntyre said.
"If there's a constitutional challenge, that's all well and good. But
until that challenge is resolved, you still have to enforce the laws as
they're enacted and as they currently exist. He doesn't set bail and he
doesn't determine probable cause other than at the time of arrest. But
he certainly doesn't set bail and he certainly doesn't establish
But under an agreement with the federal Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agency, certain Sheriff's deputies can determine legal
immigration status of people they arrest.
The suit also claims that Prop. 100 unlawfully usurps federal authority on immigration matters.
MALDEF and the ACLU claim that the Sheriff's Office is using that
agreement to check immigration status for prosecution under state laws.
"The very real problems facing Arizona with illegal immigration can't
override the constitution of the United States and that's what we're
trying to uphold," Monde said.
Cecillia Wang, a San Francisco-based attorney for the ACLU, took the argument a step further.
"This lawsuit is not about who's legal and who's illegal," she said.
"Whether you're going to be locked up in jail or not has to do with the
merits of your individual case. Governments can't go around locking
people up because they're members of an unpopular group.
"What's really going on is that the backers of Prop. 100 were trying to
single out an unpopular minority group for unfair treatment and that
goes against the core principles in the American system of justice."
Copyright © 2008, azcentral.com.
A 670-mile-long shrine to American insecurity
Building a border wall to keep migrants out is an odd act for a nation so proud
of its power.
April 7 2008
Last February, I found myself in the difficult position of explaining American
insecurity to a group of Mexican undergraduates at a college in Matamoros,
Mexico, just south of the border at Brownsville, Texas. I was taking questions
after delivering a lecture on the long-term prospects of Mexican immigrants
being accepted into U.S. society. A neatly dressed young man in the back stood
up to ask a pointed question. "How," he said politely in Spanish, "could such a
rich and powerful country be so self-centered as to build a wall on its border
to keep people out?"
The complete article can be viewed at:
Visit latimes.com at http://www.latimes.com
New America Media, News Report, Roberto Lovato, Posted: Apr 08, 2008
Editor’s Note: Electronic programs to verify employment
eligibility are meant to detect those working in the United States
illegally. But an unlikely coalition of unions, business organizations
and conservatives fear that error-filled databases might end up
impacting citizens as well. NAM editor Roberto Lovato is a writer based
in New York.
Two hours after starting his new job at a food processing plant in
2006, Fernando Tinoco got fired. “I went to work, felt really good to
have a new job and started going to it,” says Tinoco, a 53-year-old
naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Chicago. “And then they called me
into the office and told me that my Social Security number was fake,”
he adds, “And then they fired me.” Apparently, Tyson Foods Inc.,
Tinoco’s former employer, was one of the more than 52,000 companies
voluntarily participating in “E-Verify”, a Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) program designed to identify undocumented workers by
electronically verifying their employment eligibility.
After the Kafkaesque experience of being hired, fired and trying to
maneuver through the famously overstretched bureaucracy of the Social
Security Administration to re-confirm status, Citizen Tinoco has become
an outspoken critic of U.S. immigration laws’ impact on citizens. “I
think that citizens need to be as careful of these new immigration
laws,” says Tinoco, who now works at a school, adding, “they can ruin
our lives too.” Tinoco found his concerns echoed by Jim Harper of the
conservative Cato Institute, who recently wrote that “If E-Verify goes
national, get used to hearing that Orwellian term: ‘non-confirmation.’”
That is why E-Verify is opposed by an unlikely alliance that
includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, major unions, Republican
legislators and others. But it is only one of a growing number of
legislative and administrative immigration control initiatives that
Tinoco and many critics believe will negatively impact not just
non-citizens, but citizens as well. This week, for example, Congress is
considering the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement
(SAVE) Act, which includes provisions that mandate a national
verification system like that of the more voluntary state programs like
E-Verify. Also causing intense fear is last week’s announcement by the
Bush administration of revisions to its “No Match letter” plan, which
requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to send out 140,000
letters demanding that employers fire workers whose Social Security
numbers did not match those in their records. Advocates are concerned
that, like the E-Verify program and SAVE Act, the new No Match
regulations will affect other U.S. citizens and authorized workers
thanks to the same kind of faulty record keeping that led to Tinoco’s
“By viewing these initiatives through the narrow lens of
‘immigration policy’ sold to us by politicians many fail to see that
many of these programs will have direct impacts on many citizens,” says
Michele Waslin, senior research analyst with the Immigration Policy
Center. To support their claims, Waslin and other critics point to
several reports like one by the SSA’s Office of Inspector General that
found that there are 17.8 million discrepancies in the SSA’s records
relating to lawful American workers. The report also found that 70
percent or 12.7 million of those inconsistencies belong to native-born
(as opposed to naturalized) U.S. citizens.
Some advocates like Harper of the Cato Institute are fighting the
proposals because they believe that there are no checks against
government error or abuse against citizens in the programs ostensibly
targeting those here illegally. “Once built,” wrote Harper, “this
government monitoring system would soon be extended to housing,
financial services, and other essentials to try to get at illegal
immigrants. It would also be converted to policy goals well beyond
immigration control.” Waslin agrees. “These programs will do nothing to
deal with undocumented immigrants because people will simply go further
underground,” says Waslin. “But they will eventually lead to a
situation that will force every single person to ask the government for
permission to work. We have to ask ourselves, ‘Is it really worth it?’”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business
federation, answers Waslin’s question with a resounding ‘no’, a ‘no’
accompanied by lawsuits, letter-writing and lobbying.
For their part, DHS representatives say that concerns about the
effects on citizens are misplaced. The number of citizens mistakenly
impacted by programs like No Match and E-Verify programs, says DHS
spokesperson Amy Kudwa, “are a small portion of the population.
Ninety-two percent of all E-verify queries are returned without
incident in less than eight seconds and only 1 percent of them are
contested. These are important tools in fighting illegal immigration.”
But advocates point out that, despite being run on trial basis,
E-Verify and other programs have already demonstrated disconcerting
flaws that are rooted in the unreliability of the technology and the
databases like that of SSA.
In the face of so many legislative proposals and administrative
initiatives, Tinoco says his obligation to speak only grows because of
his concern for his fellow immigrants - and fellow citizens. “I still
don’t understand: how can this happen here? It’s like a movie, a very
bad movie.” Asked what message he has for his fellow citizens, Tinoco
answers, “This can happen to you too.”http://ofamerica.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/electronic-dragnet-for-illegal-immigrants-nets-citizens/
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as a service of The Seattle Times (http://www.seattletimes.com).
An American teen in a foreign land
Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2004330695_mexicojulie06m.html
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter; Seattle Times staff reporter
MEXICO CITY -- The morning immigration officers came for Ana Reyes, her
12-year-old daughter pleaded with them not to take her mother away.
Julie Quiroz was to graduate from grade school in Burien that day last June.
It was her mother's 41st birthday.
"It was a pretty bad day," recalls Julie, now 13. "I think I was the only kid
without my mom at graduation."
More than a week later, Reyes was deported, returning to this city she'd left 17
years earlier. She had not wanted her two daughters, Julie and 6-year-old
Sharise, to join her on the government flight to Mexico: "I didn't want them to
see me cuffed and shackled."
So the girls came later after Reyes led them to believe it would be only a short
Neither girl is in school.
"I hate it here," said Julie, shifting easily between Spanish and English.
"We can't go out anywhere; it's so dangerous. I was walking down the street the
other day, and these men started whistling at me."
Estimates show 3 million American children have at least one parent living in
the U.S. illegally. And while little is known about what happens to these
parents after they are deported, even less is known about what becomes of their
"You have to think the number has got to be pretty big, considering that the
number of families with kids who have been deported in recent years is several
hundred thousand," said Randy Capps, of the nonpartisan Urban Institute, who
co-authored a report last year about the impact of work-site raids on children.
Critics of U.S. immigration policies call them "anchor babies," saying they tie
their parents to a host of government benefits and, once they turn 21, can
sponsor their parents for legal status.
And it's the parents of these children, they say, who should be held responsible
for what happens to them.
"Obviously everybody empathizes with these kids ... but no legitimate U.S.
policy can take the place of parental responsibility," said Ira Mehlman,
spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
"It's unreasonable to ask the United States to assume all these burdens that
result from parents' decision to break the law."
But others believe the U.S. has a duty to these children.
"We are better people than that to hold the sins of the parents against these
kids," said Seattle immigration attorney Steve Miller.
When facing deportation, most parents leave their children in the U.S. with a
spouse or extended family. A few, once deported, move to border communities such
as Juárez, so their kids can attend school on the U.S. side.
An unknown number, like Reyes, take their children with them.
While these kids derive Mexican citizenship from their parents, it gets them
precious little in the impoverished towns and cities their parents had fled.
Advocates worry that if the children remain for long in places such as Mexico,
they will lose their English skills, fall behind at school and be unable to get
a good job later in the U.S.
"As adults, they will be traveling with passports that say they were born in
Washington, but will speak no English or English with an accent, raising a red
flag with immigration authorities," said Brent Renison, an Oregon immigration
"They are going to get hassled -- even put into custody. ... Those are the
difficulties that lie ahead for these kids. We already see it happening."
"Nobody to call"
In the U.S., Julie was the typical American kid, hanging out with friends at the
mall or at the library when her mother would let her.
She had lived in the same Burien apartment complex since her family moved to
Western Washington in 2001 and had many friends there.
"I was always on the phone, burning up the minutes," she said. "Here I have
nobody to call."
She's made no friends in this city where her family lives in neighborhoods so
unsafe she never leaves the house without an adult. Her mother worries she and
her sister might be kidnapped -- or worse.
When a friend from the U.S. sends money, they sometimes go to Pizza Hut or
McDonald's, Julie said. "We don't get to go on those trips often because there's
"There's no going to the movies. I'm inside all the time. It's not the same as
A few weeks after she arrived in Mexico, Julie enrolled in the seventh grade.
But she dropped out after two weeks because, she said, she's unable to read or
write Spanish well and couldn't keep up. "The teacher said, 'I will help you;
you've got to try.' But I would just get mad. ... "
She said the only class she enjoyed was English and she enjoyed talking to the
teacher. "Actually, I knew more than her," she said, laughing. "They were doing
things that kindergarten kids do in the states: 'Color a tree and write tree at
"I kept asking, why am I here?"
Her mother, equally frustrated, said, "I'd see her come home crying every day"
after school. "She was not happy there."
The Mexican government operates a joint program, supported by the U.S., that
seeks to provide basic education to students who migrate between the two
countries. While it offers Spanish-as-a-second-language instruction for children
who speak an indigenous language, it has no such program for those such as Julie
who primarily speak English.
Yolo Brito, a coordinator with the Binational Migrant Education Program, said
there are many children like Julie enrolled in Mexican schools who speak and
understand Spanish but can't read or write it.
Programs must be created, she said, for students who must "learn Spanish as a
second language in order to succeed."
It bothers Julie that her little sister, who'd just finished kindergarten in the
U.S., is already losing her English skills. "I talk to her in English and she
responds back to me in Spanish," Julie said.
With no school, Julie begins her days around 11 a.m., when she has breakfast and
flips on a small television.
Sometimes, she'll go online, if there's enough time left on the Internet-access
card the family sometimes buys -- their one connection to an old life.
But increasingly, she's found her old friends aren't returning her e-mails. Now
that they are in middle school, she says, they've made other friends, and "I
think many of them have forgotten about me."
Lornet Turnbull: 206-464-2420 or lturnbull@...
Copyright (c) 2007 The Seattle Times Company
April 8, 2008
No to sex harassment
By SUNITA VIJAYAN
The Salinas Californian
Their voices are not often heard.
But for some Monterey County farm-worker women, the silence about ongoing sexual assaults in their workplace stops now.
Monday afternoon, two farm-worker advocacy groups - California Rural
Legal Assistance and Lideres Campesinas - kicked off "The Bandana
Project: 'No' to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Fields"
with a display of decorated bandanas at La Plaza Bakery, 20 N. Sanborn
Road, Salinas. The project is being coordinated by The Southern Poverty
Law Center, an Alabama-based nonprofit legal organization that promotes
display of bandanas decorated by women who say they've experience
sexual assault will rotate through four other locations, including
Soledad and Greenfield, through May 7.
month-long project is focused on raising awareness of sexual violence
and harassment against women farm workers and bringing it to an end.
Many of the women use clothing, including
to hide their faces and bodies at the fields in hopes of staving off
sexual harassment. In tribute, about 30 women in the project have
decorated white bandanas with messages signifying their opposition.
bandanas, with simple, empowering messages and images standing starkly
against the white-colored cloth, covered one wall inside the bakery.
one of the displays, green-colored eyes were drawn peeking out from a
blue bandana. Underneath the drawing were words in Spanish that read:
"I don't need to hide my face to get respect."
harassment and assault) happens a lot," said Marcela Zamora, an
administrative and legal assistant with CRLA, "but unfortunately for
the women, it takes a lot for them to come out."
According to CRLA, 90 percent of farm-worker women surveyed throughout the state noted sexual harassment as a significant issue.
Marsh, a Salinas-based attorney with CRLA and director of the
Agriculture Workers Health Program, said a third of the cases he
handles involve sexual harassment of farm-worker women. Assaults
usually occur in the fields, Marsh said, and can come from coworkers,
supervisors and even company owners.
lot of the women don't know their rights, or are afraid to come forward
and lose their jobs," he said. "I think in some ways, the feminist
movement occurred in the cities, but passed the fields."
Copyright ©2008 Salinas Californianhttp://www.thecalifornian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080408/NEWS01/804080314
UN links up with Google Earth to help refugees
GENEVA (AFP) — The United Nations refugee agency on Tuesday unveiled
a new partnership with Internet giant Google to help track refugees
from Iraq to Darfur and raise public awareness of its work.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched its new service
using the "Google Earth Outreach" programme, which allows organisations
to add their own data and information as a "layer" on top of the
existing Google Earth service.
The UNHCR layer shows three of the
agency's main refugee operations -- Iraq, Darfur and Colombia -- as
well as providing an overview of its structure, mandate and wider
Users can click on an icon of a camp for Darfur
refugees in Chad, for example, and read pop-up windows detailing
everyday life for the refugees, their histories and the challenges aid
agencies face in ensuring their health and livelihoods.
Earth is a very powerful way for UNHCR to show the vital work that it
is doing in some of the world's most remote and difficult displacement
situations," said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Craig Johnstone.
"By showing our work in its geographical context, we can really highlight the issues we face and how we tackle them," he added.
stressed that the agency had to change how it works to keep pace with
technological developments as well as the increasing complexity of
refugee issues, with economic migration and displacement due to climate
change adding to traditional patterns of refugees forced from their
homes by conflict.
"We're putting more people out in the field,
trying to be as slim as we possibly can at the headquarters level,
really working extremely hard to stay abreast of change," he told a
presentation of the new Google service at the agency's base here.
opportunity to work with Google to sort of help us in that process I
think is a fantastic opportunity for the UNHCR," he added.
Moore, head of the Google Earth Outreach programme, said the aim was to
addresss what to many people is an abstract construct, and "take" them
there on a virtual trip, so they can gain an intuitive understanding of
what is at stake.
Copyright © 2008 AFP. All rights reserved.
special series, Immigration Nation, continues Wednesday night only onTHE CBS EVENING NEWS.
© MMVIII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.