After suspending all asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the Australian Government has made a series of confronting youtube videos showing the dangers of the sea, and the arrest and detention of asylum seekers. [more inside]
The newly-formed American Third Position aspires to be the United States' premier white nationalist party. [more inside]
Cul-de-sac is a new independent film (trailer, briefly NSFW) by London-based directors Ramin Goudarzi Nejad & Mahshad Torkan. It tells the story of Kiana Firouz, a filmmaker, actress, and lesbian activist who fled Iran after authorities learned of her attempt to make an underground documentary about the lives of Iranian gays and lesbians. According to this interview, Firouz didn't write the film, but plays herself. Earlier this month, her asylum petition was allegedly denied. The denial shouldn't have been surprising according to statistics in a report (pdf) by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, which states that the refusal rate for lesbians and gay men is as high as 98-99%. Although the Home Office claims it takes the sexual orientation of asylum seekers into consideration, laws which permit deportation of gay and lesbian asylum seekers have recently been challenged in the supreme court.
Five Californian high school students were sent home on cinco de Mayo for the clothes they were wearing. A vice-principal demanded they turn their shirts inside out so as to not offend other students, calling their clothing incendiary. They refused and, threatened with suspension, left campus. Their offense? Wearing American flag designs on American soil. At least one student believes the five owe everyone an apology for their disrespect.
If you hire illegal aliens at your business, the federal government can seize your property. In a rare move, the U.S. government is seeking to confiscate the property of an iconic San Diego restaurant that allegedly had a practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
Pentecostal minister Clovis Salmon, known in Brixton as "Sam The Wheels" due to his wheel-making skills, came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s he used his Super-8 camera to film Brixton daily life and church scenes, including the aftermath of the 1981 riots.
Yesterday, Arizona Governor (R)Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that effectively transforms police into immigration agents, giving them the power to stop people on suspicion of being in the country illegally, and making failure to carry immigration documents an arrestable offense. The bill, supported by the usual suspects, but condemned by many including the President and the Mexican government, will undoubtedly face significant legal challenges.
"The laws are intended to make people fearful," Pearce said. The Arizona Senate passed SB 1097 (PDF) on Monday which, if signed by the governor, will require school districts to collect information on how many of its students are in the country illegally and report this information to the governor. This bill is seen by some as a first step in challenging Plyer v. Doe.
"We are two reporters living with a family from Mexico, now in MacArthur Park, to learn a foreign language so that we may better report on our own city and country. We are living in their America."
Recent troubles with Muslim women's clothes have lead to the Quebec Government to begin proposing legislation on the issue of face covering and access to public services. The niqab has become a central symbol in the anti-muslim rhetoric of nationalist parties in Europe (political poster examples: France, Switzerland, and Britain) about the threat Islam poses to tolerant secular societies. [more inside]
The Patriot Act was originally signed into law by Bush in 2001, following 9/11. This bill gives law enforcement agencies the power to search your email, telephone records, medical records, record your telephone conversations, without your consent. It's allowance of indefinite detention of immigrants has been a major point of criticism from opponents. Today, President Obama, who previously promised to protect our civil liberties, has quietly extended the bill for another year.
In the US, for the past thirty years, new laws have been stripping judges of any discretion whatsoever in ensuring sentencing and other consequences of criminal activity are fair. Enter Qing Wong Hu, a Chinese immigrant who arrived in the US when he was 5, and now faces deportation for a string of muggings he committed in New York City in 1996, when he was still a juvenile. This, despite his successfully turning his life around and becoming a hard working, productive member of society.
This is a tale of a place you know from your time in America, but have never heard of. Until the 1960s, two-thirds of Chinese immigrants came from a single mid-size city in Guangdong Province in southern China. Its language is a dialect incomprehensible to anyone in the rest of China. The city tells its own stories: There is the story of China's collectivist past and relentlessly capitalist present, and there is the story of the people who left, and those who returned: its arcade market buildings, now in various states of disrepair, show the Western architectural heritage that many of the immigrants brought back with them when they returned to a place called Toishan. Photographer Alan Chin shows and tells in a New York Times essay about his ancestral home. [more inside]
Due to the threat of legal action the British National Party has amended its membership policy to be open to all races. It's first non-white member, a Sikh, will soon be handed his membership card personally by BNP leader Nick Griffin. Explains Griffin:
Anyone can be a member of this party. We are happy to accept anyone as a member providing they agree with us that this country should remain fundamentally British
After a fruitless hunt for Pancho Villa, General Pershing and his forces withdrew from northern Mexico in early 1917. But, "[w]hat to do with 300 Chinese who have associated themselves with the punitive expedition?" [more inside]
LGBT Immigration Some countries such as Australia and Canada already allow same sex couples to immigrate. In the United States Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said he will introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill early this year. A window is opening to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)....
Chicago Welcomes You "How to redesign a resettlement process for immigrants who may never have seen a streetlight, cooked on a stove, used a toilet that isn’t a hole in the ground or handled any type of currency." More about the project.
Cheng Chui Ping came to the US like many others from the Fujian province in China. Through hard work and determination, she rose in the ranks of New York City's Chinatown business community. But, "Sister Ping" was not one to follow laws if it didn't suit her. Among the snakeheads who engaged in human trafficking, none were better than her. [more inside]
“We send something whenever we have a little extra, at least enough so he can eat." Remittances, the small money transfers a previous FPP called "the most important antipoverty program in the world", are now flowing the opposite direction. Yes, poor families in southern Mexico are having scramble to find money to send north to their out of work relatives in the US.
It sounds like a George Lopez joke. “Times are so bad that I saw an Anglo day laborer standing outside Home Depot the other day.” Except it’s true.
Samoan government Minister Hans Joachim "Joe" Keil is suing US immigration agents and the State Department. [more inside]
"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
"America's Toughest Sheriff", Joe Arpaio, has been stripped of his federal authority to make immigration arrests. (Previously)
José Hernández was a migrant worker when he first started to dream about becoming an astronaut. He is the first astronaut to Twitter in Spanish from space on shuttle mission STS-128. NASA wasn't happy about the controversy he caused when he advocated for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He is not the first Hispanic-American to fly on the space shuttle. Hernández is a national hero in Mexico and has been invited to dine with President Calderon.
Japan is facing a demographic crisis that will shrink the population dramatically. The Japanese aren't having babies, and the country won't accept immigrants to help bolster the population. Japan: Robot Nation looks at a uniquely Japanese solution. [more inside]
The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children, life in a refugee camp and mixed migration. There are also news sets, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste, Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama, Hungary and France.
The lives of transplanted elders are largely untracked, unknown outside their ethnic or religious communities. “They never win spelling bees,” said Judith Treas, a sociology professor and demographer at the University of California, Irvine. “They do not join criminal gangs. And nobody worries about Americans losing jobs to Korean grandmothers.”Older Immigrants, Invisible and With ‘Nobody to Talk To’ in the New York Times. Elderly immigrants, the US's fastest growing immigrant population [pdf], have been hit hard by the rough economic climate. Changes in welfare law in the mid-90s made it harder for immigrants to receive benefits. Long resisting the trend towards nursing homes, elderly immigrants have enrolled in greater numbers in recent years.
Marwa el-Sherbini testified in court against a neighbor who had called her a "terrorist" because she wore the hijab. As she spoke, the man she had accused walked across the courtroom and stabbed her 18 times. In the Muslim world, she is now being referred to as "the headscarf martyr." [more inside]
"Growing up, I never told anyone about not having my papers, but one day, just when I finished high school, I just had to tell people." The bi-partisan DREAM Act creates a path to citizenship for the estimated 65,000 undocumented youth who graduate high school each year. "Papers is the story of undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status" (trailer). Alienated: Undocumented Immigrant Youth (video, 8 minutes). [more inside]
Border Stories is a series of short documentaries about life on the US-Mexican border, none longer than 6 minutes. The subjects are: drug addicts on the border (warning: graphic images), electronic music group Nortec Collective, hospital costs of fence jumpers, lonesome Minuteman, Mexican emigrant safety patrolman, ranchowners whose land is an immigration throughway, US-raised 18 year-old sent back to Mexico, virtual vigilantes, two old men provide water in the desert, dangers of journalism in Ciudad Juarez, graveyard of US tires in Mexico, drug ballads, hardened border policy hurts cross-border community, another cross-border community fears closing of footbridge, working illegally in Laredo, mayors of the two Laredos, migrants' safe house, hand-pulled ferry, dentistry in Nuevo Progreso, Brownsville high school teacher protests border fence, golf course with the border on three sides & fishermen on the mouth of the Rio Bravo. Border Stories also has a blog about immigration issues.
"ICE does not keep records on cases in which detainees claim to be US citizens. If larger trends are consistent with the pattern in Hartzler's caseload, since 2004 ICE has held between 3,500 and 10,000 US citizens in detention facilities and deported about half. US citizens are a small percentage of ICE detentions for this period, which totaled around 1 million, but in absolute terms the figure is staggering. "
In a landmark defeat for the UK Government, the House of Commons has voted to allow all former and existing Ghurkas the right to live in the UK. [more inside]
Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre has seen hunger strikes and rioting. Now the British government has issued a report finding that its children "are being denied urgent medical treatment, handled violently and left at risk of serious harm". The Border and Immigration Minister replies, "If people refuse to go home then detention becomes a necessity." [more inside]
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a directory of historic sites that interpret themes related to ethical, political, and social issues worldwide.
Harvard Sociologist Robert Samson, known for his work challenging the Broken Window hypothesis (previously on Metafilter), has a number of publications on neighborhoods, race and immigration, crime, and spatial dynamics posted publicly online. Here are just a few recent publications (all pdfs):
*Moving to Inequality: Neighborhood Effects and Experiences Meet Social Structure
*Durable effects of concentrated disadvantage on verbal ability of African American children
*Rethinking crime and immigration
*Neighborhood Selection and the Social Reproduction of Concentrated Racial Inequality
*"After School" Chicago: Space and the City
Rosa is a bailarina. For a couple of dollars per song, she dances with strangers in a bailarina bar. It’s a job held by many immigrant women in Spanish-speaking New York, filling a need created by many immigrant men. The man on the phone is typical of her clients. He’s in his twenties, doesn’t speak English, and immigrated to the United States by himself—no mother, no girlfriend, no wife. He works six days a week at a restaurant and sends his money back home to Ecuador. Most of all, he’s lonely.
Remember Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers , the immigration chief who had some controversy during her tenure and introduced “operation scheduled departure” where illegal immigrants would turn themselves in and who’s organization was refered to (in so many words) as the gestapo by (Dem) Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez? Yeah, she resigned. [more inside]
Are you a Democrat who drinks lattes? eats arugula? Does the thought of another Republican president fill you with dread? Canada's E.L.I.T.E. immigration plan is right for you! [more inside]
As of October 1, 2008, the state of Texas now requires that driver's license applicants show proof of legal immigration status when getting an original, renewal, or duplicate license. For those who are not citizens or permanent residents, the license will have on its face an indication of the expiration date of legal status. [more inside]
Both Barack Obama and John McCain have made public their views on immigration, but it's helpful to understand how the system actually works. To that end, Reason presents this flowchart which illustrates exactly how rough it is to immigrate to America.
For nearly 20 years, Hessamddin Norani and wife Sedige Khazravi have run a small convenience store in North Buffalo, working 15 1/2-hour days, seven days a week. The couple face deportation if their request for asylum is rejected by an Immigration Court judge. [more inside]
An Interpreter Speaking Up for Migrants: Erik Camayd-Freixas is a professor and a legal translator who assisted in the fast-track trial and sentencing of the over 400 illegal immigrant workers in Postville, Iowa, who were arrested on criminal charges involving identity theft rather than the usual deportation proceedings. Unusually for a court interpreter, who maintain a strict code of impartiality and neutrality, Camayd-Freixas spoke out, writing "that the immigrant defendants whose words he translated, most of them villagers from Guatemala, did not fully understand the criminal charges they were facing or the rights most of them had waived." [more inside]
Federal and state government officials and border activists say the garbage dumped in the Sonoran Desert by illegal immigrants and their smugglers is staggering. The cleanup is costing taxpayers millions. The Southern Arizona Project(pdf) is a multi-year program setup by the Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the impacts to the ecology by illegal immigration and smuggling. In 2006 alone, more than 1.18 million pounds of trash was collected along the southern Arizona border.
Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican? is a documentary produced by Claire Andrade-Watkins about the gentrification of Providence's once-thriving Cape Verdean community of Fox Point.
Prior to 1990, over a hundred illegal immigrants died attempting to cross the I-5 in Southern California. The answer? Put up a sign, of course. The sign has been seen as racist, and sometimes as a joke. The L.A. Times profiles the man who designed the sign, a Vietnam veteran who grew up on a Navajo reservation. The sign in question has become iconic in the debate on immigration policies, and a copy of it now sits in the Smithsonian. Via Strongly Worded Letter.
Record levels of immigration have had "little or no impact" on the economic well-being of Britons says a report (pdf) from an influential House of Lords committee. Initial reactions from the various parties, institutes and publications have been largely predictable. Coming so closely on the back of the BBC's recent "White" series on white working-class Britain, it looks likely to provoke some debate on British attitudes to immigration (pdf). [more inside]