Friday, July 31, 2009

Retooling the efforst toward immigration reform (U.S.)

This article posted via AP discusses how immigration reform advocates are regrouping for a renewed push to get immigration reform back as a U.S. priority.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GOP declines to address NCLR (not smart)

It appears that the GOP has declined an invitation of the National Council of La Raza to address its membership. That should score some points with the Latino community.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Immigration and Health Care Reform

This fact sheet from the Immigration Policy Center indicates that immigrants WILL NOT be a drain on our health care system if the Obama plan to overhaul health insurance passes. In fact, the brief points out that U.S. citizen make up the majority (78%) of the uninsured, and as a rule, immigrants incur fewer health care costs than citizens. The reason for this is that they are younger and in better health, but they are also less likely to use emergency room care:

A 2006 study in Health Affairs found that communities with high rates of emergency room usage tend to have relatively small noncitizen populations. Cities with large immigrant populations (such as Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona) have much lower rates of emergency room use than areas with small immigrant populations (such as Cleveland).

Immigration Reform: The Beginning

This post from includes a quote from President Obama, indicating that he's ready to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform.

Let the debate begin.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mexican Immigrants: Coming and Going

The report from the Pew Hispanic Center indicates that although fewer Mexican immigrants are coming to the U.S., the numbers of Mexicans returning home has been stable since 2006.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekly Immigration Update

From NDN: An update on important immigration issues this week.

The Case for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Jorge Castanega and Tamar Jacoby make another strong case for comprehensive immigration reform. It's good to see arguments that stress we need to reform immigration policy so that it fits our reality, not the other way around.

Mexico Builds Border Wall

You have to love the Onion for taking our immigration discourse and turning it on its head.

Mexico Builds Border Wall To Keep Out US Assholes

Monday, July 20, 2009

E-verify? Is it a solution?

This is an interesting discussion on the E-verify system, the electronic system developed to inform employers if their applicants are actually legally authorized to work. The author argues that employer immigration enforcements are really the only way to address the failing immigration problem. He further states that the E-verify system, while imperfect, is a good start along this path.

I have no argument with finding a way to determine that employees are actually authorized to work in the U.S. I also support employer sanctions, because as this author seems to overlook, E-verify will not work if employers have decided they would prefer to hire an undocumented person. At the moment, E-verify is only required under certain circumstances, and as far as I can tell, there is no penalty for not using the system, even in those circumstances where it is required. There will have to come a time, if as a nation we are truly serious out reforming our immigration system, when we will have to come to acknowledge some hard truths. One of these is that we have to have strict penalties for employers and businesses that hire the undocumented.

The article ends with this statement:

The rational solution is a national identity card, which almost all other industrial countries have. The idea raises vehement opposition on the right and left, but we may go there through the back door as we create job cards, move toward universal health care and become ever more a part of massive information systems.

I could not agree more. Unfortunately, we may have a long road ahead of us before we're ready to face this necessity.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Immigraton reform on the horizon?

This article from today's Washington Post outlines the measures the Obama administration has taken of late, presumably as a "warm up" to immigration reform.

What's unfortunate here is the need to prove that this administration is tough on the issue. What I would hope from Obama is the start of a reasoned discussion about the issue, one that gets beyond the beefed-up enforcement vs. amnesty debate, which gets us nowhere.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Latest 9500 Trailer

9500 Liberty, an interactive documentary following the immigration controversies in Manassas and Prince William County, VA, will be distributed later this year. For now, interested parties can follow their progress at the website (linked above).

I will be posting a discussion of the work I've been completing in PWC with my colleague, Carol Cleaveland, later this month.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

California Targets Undocumented Immigrants

This NPR story about California's decision to go after undocumented immigrants suggests that the debate is ready to heat up again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The real deal in Mexico

The article linked above is about a discovery of 12 Mexican federal agents who were tortured and killed in Michoacan, a state the borders Guanajuato. I haven't been in Mexico for nearly 2 years now, but I have heard reports from some of my Mexican friends in smaller villages that the drug cartels are changing the lives of ordinary Mexicans in what were once peaceful rural villages.

For those of you who live in Mexico, what's the story? Do you see a difference in the level of violence and crime where you live?