“Everybody wants to bring their country here”

by Michelle Chen on February 23 2009, 7:42PM

Adjusting the focus on South Asia through two narratives: one set halfway around the globe, the other just around the corner. Juan Cole and Mitu Sengupta both reflect on the cultural impact of Danny Boyle’s dramatization of slum life…

Topics: Immigration

Haitian deportees: neither here nor there

by Michelle Chen on February 18 2009, 6:35PM

The U.S. government has been deporting immigrants by the thousands, but at least one group of people facing an “order of removal” aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Activists are protesting in the wake of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s announcement…

Topics: Immigration

From outsider to criminal

by Michelle Chen on February 18 2009, 4:27PM

The Pew Hispanic Center has released a report detailing an intense growth in the number of Latinos sentenced in the federal court system. Contrasting sharply with historical trends, the growing Latino presence among sentenced offenders is both predictable and unnerving…

Topics: Immigration

Narrowing the gates to opportunity

by Michelle Chen on February 16 2009, 6:08PM

As some doors open for immigrants and others close, the gateway to citizenship remains mired in politics. The Pentagon is attempting to pull more immigrants into its ranks with a new“fast-track” to full legal status. The aim is to draw…

Topics: Immigration, Schools & Youth

Changing the Immigration System for Immediate Improvement

by Rinku Sen on February 12 2009, 7:27AM

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the Migration Policy Institute’s list of 36 recommendations on immigration policy that the Obama Administration can and should take up. These changes – stopping to reassess the border fence and ending the criminal prosecution…

Topics: Immigration

Internment in America

by Megan Izen on February 11 2009, 12:06PM

I want to thank Joe Arpaio. He puts the proper face on sadistic anti-immigrant groups across the country. The Maricopa County Sheriff has brought the issue of immigration and inhumane detention centers to the forefront. Placing over two-hundred immigrant…

Topics: Immigration

Throwing money over the border

by Michelle Chen on February 11 2009, 9:45AM

Today, the Migration Policy Institute issued an interesting review of Homeland Security immigration policies. The Institute focuses on immigration processing and border policies, with various recommendations for streamlining (and in many cases, strengthening) enforcement programs. The data compiled in the…

Topics: Immigration

When laws break people: Cambodian immigrant voices

by Michelle Chen on February 10 2009, 7:56PM

Tonight on WBAI’s Asia Pacific Forum, two stories of Cambodian-Americans uprooted by deportation reveal the human impact of little-known aspects of immigration policy. A segment on Keo and Borom Chea, sister and brother, reveals how laws that are ostensibly…

Topics: Immigration

Immigration and the meaning of social security

by Michelle Chen on February 10 2009, 3:15PM

Social security, the economy, and immigration have fallen into a very strange orbit in the debate over the stimulus package. Efforts by conservatives to use the economic stimulus bill to expand the controversial e-Verify system seem to be on shaky…

Topics: Immigration

Post Raid

by Jorge Rivas on February 5 2009, 2:34PM

On the morning of May 12, 2008, Postville, Iowa experienced the largest single workplace raid in US history to date. When U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrived and detained 389 workers, the town lost nearly 20 percent of its…

Topics: Immigration

Desperation in detention

by Michelle Chen on February 4 2009, 3:00PM

Violence and unrest are bleeding through the system of immigrant detention centers dotting the country, where the government warehouses the undocumented who have been swept from the shadows of the economy into the shadows of the immigration system. According…

Topics: Immigration

New name, same game for immigration enforcement?

by Michelle Chen on February 2 2009, 8:41PM

Activists looking to the Obama administration to repudiate Bush’s most draconian immigration policies may find little to cheer about so far under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. A new policy directive from her office seems geared toward refining the status…

Topics: Immigration

Immigration Detention Reform Moves to Front Burner

by Megan Izen on February 2 2009, 1:33PM

By Roberto Lovato Originally posted to New America Media Guantanamo Bay isn’t the only prison crisis that President Barack Obama will have to deal with. There’s another crisis growing - in the many immigration detention centers carpeting the interior…

Topics: Immigration

Haiti on the horizon

by Michelle Chen on January 30 2009, 1:42PM

Rocked by disaster and social upheaval, Haiti stands at the center of several political storms. Currently, thousands of Haitian immigrants are hoping the government will grant temporary protection from deportation so they can avoid returning to the ravages of the…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration

Yes We Can! Stop the Raids!

by Megan Izen on January 28 2009, 8:36AM

One week ago, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) organized over a thousand immigrant rights supporters to march and rally in Washington, DC on Obama’s first day in office. Marchers gathered at L’Enfant Plaza and proceeded to ICE headquarters where…

Topics: Immigration

Immigrants and economic recovery

by Michelle Chen on January 26 2009, 1:45PM

While the standard nativist rhetoric denounces illegal immigration as a drain on public resources and the “legal” workforce, in times of economic crisis, the flipside of the debate—immigrants as an economic resource—may gain more traction. The William C. Velásquez Institute…

Topics: Immigration

English-only defeated in Nashville

by Michelle Chen on January 23 2009, 3:57PM

An initiative to establish English as the official language in Nashville was defeated yesterday, bucking a nationwide conservative push for “official English” in response to perceptions about immigrant populations. The city’s “English first” initiative would have basically mandated that all…

Topics: Immigration

Time to Take Action towards Humane and Sane Immigration Policies

by Terry Keleher on January 22 2009, 1:47PM

On January 27, the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights will be releasing an “Open Letter to President Barack Obama” to establish a new framework for addressing immigration policy. You can help by circulating it to your friends and…

Topics: Immigration

Immigrants March for Reform in DC

by Megan Izen on January 21 2009, 11:14AM

Over a thousand people are gathered in DC, a day after inaugurating our new president, to demand A New Day for Immigration. Led by Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), immigrants are marching to demand an end to the raids…

Topics: Immigration

Napolitano: Friend or Foe?

by Megan Izen on January 15 2009, 9:16AM

With the appointment of several key folks to Obama’s inner circle and his meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, immigration is making a comeback. Last week, immigrant rights advocates in both faith and labor communities were hopeful about the…

Topics: Immigration