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Archive for “Immigration” news
It's no secret that states like Arizona and Alabama have used routine traffic stops as opportunities to identify illegal immigrants for deportation. That it appears to be happening in the Philadelphia region is a bit more surprising. Here's a key finding from a Newsworks investigation into the practice , in which local police are coordinating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), whose basic goal is to deport as many illegal immigrants as possible.According to citation records obtained by a public records request, 60 percent of the nearly 100 drivers ticketed by the Norristown Police Department during two checkpoints conducted jointly
North Philly Rev. Luis Cortes, who is based at 5th Street in Hunting Park, will deliver the invocation at President Obama's inaugural luncheon today. Cortes, who's also rubbed elbows with President George W. Bush and President Clinton, is the founder of Esperanza, the nation's largest Latino faith-based evangelical network. Cortes says he hopes Obama uses the next few months to address comprehensive immigration reform to get illegal immigrants "out from under the shadows," but worries that other issues like gun control will take precedence. He's one of several high-profile Latinos featured prominently in this year's festivities. [Newsworks]
When Congress failed in 2010 to pass The Dream Act—giving children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship—President Obama took action on his own, saying he'd refuse to deport such young folks and instead find ways to help them lawfully obtain work in the United States. Karla Rojas, who attends the Community College of Philadelphia, is the first Philadelphia resident to formally receive Obama's reprieve: The 18-year-old came to the United States when she was 7; now she'll get a Social Security number, work permit, and a driver’s license. Rojas said she still wants to become a citizen. “I was so excited
Picture this: A-list actress Jennifer Lopez and All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez are hanging out at a Phoenix club, dancing and drinking with friends after leaving their courtside seats a few minutes before the end of the Suns’ 116-83 shellacking of the 76ers. They decide to discreetly slip away from their entourages and the paparazzi to get something to eat at a nearby restaurant. While walking the two blocks to get there, they are stopped by the police and asked for ID. But neither has any because J.Lo's pocketbook and A-Rod's wallet are back at the club with their personal assistants. So they are questioned, detained, arrested and then transported to the local INS lock-up where a deportation hearing is scheduled. No way, you say. Way, I say. Although this never really happened, it could if Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 is upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, which began hearing arguments on April 25th and is expected to reach a decision by the end of June.
The recent Ozzie Guillen saga has proven one thing: In Florida, it’s always 1959—and possibly will be forever.Never mind that it’s the 21st century, and what passes for real Communism died more than 20 years ago, buried in the rubble of the Berlin Wall and a million Yakov Smirnoff jokes. Fidel Castro is still alive, still breathing, and even if the Cuban government now run by his brother Raul is now making tentative steps in the direction of a market economy, we must still behave—politically and culturally—as if Ike were still running the country and shouts of “Better dead than red!” hadn’t long since been battered and deep-fried in 43 layers of irony.
Just look to Alabama for proof
The cover story in the latest issue of Bloomberg Business Week is headlined, “Why Americans Won’t Do Dirty Jobs.” It relates what’s happened in Alabama since September 29th, when a law punishing businesses that hire undocumented workers went into effect. Can you guess? The good ol’ boys down there who wanted Amurrrica kept safe for Amurrricans are watching produce rot, unpicked, in their fields. The president of a seafood processing plant has 158 positions he can’t fill since the exodus of his Latino employees. He drove to the city where many of them lived and begged them to come back. No dice. Thousands of field hands, hotel room-cleaners, chicken-plant workers and other low-paid, no-benefits employees have simply fled the state.
What he got all wrong
Quite a few years ago, I went down to Mexico to do some work at a dolphin facility. The vast majority of the employees were Mexican, and it was probably pretty obvious to them that I was getting paid quite a bit more during my few weeks there than they were. I worked hard and I tried to earn their respect, though they had every right to begrudge me.A few nights after arriving, I went out for drinks with a few guys on the staff. We went to a small beer stand that had all of its seats outside. The guys I worked with ordered the first round of beers, and we sat around and chatted. At one point I went up to grab a couple of brews. When I came out, one of the Mexican guys I was working with who spoke fluent English (and didn’t demand that I speak fluent Spanish) asked, “How much did you get charged for those?” I told him $2.50 each. A more than reasonable price, I thought. He was apoplectic. He stormed toward the counter, screaming in Spanish. It turned out that the bartender had charged everyone else $1.50, but had charged me a buck more. He went up one side of the bartender and down the other, then came back to the table and said, “Come on, let’s get out of here. Nobody is going to treat a friend of mine like that.”
The city of brotherly deportation
I was right there in spirit with City Council when it voted in its final pre-summer session to give the finger to the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The department’s “Secure Communities” program—which gets local police departments to hand over arrest records to the feds who use the information to identify deportation targets—might make sense in Texas, Arizona or some other place where illegal immigration has become a major problem. But it’s a bad fit for Philadelphia, a city that sorely needs the growth, vitality and sheer population boost that immigration provides (even, yes, when it’s illegal).
A crazy new bill
"College is becoming a pipe dream for too many children, not because they aren't talented or willing to work hard, but because they can't afford it.”That’s a true statement, as tuition costs have far outpaced inflation. So the elected official who said this must have a clue, right? Not a chance.In an act that simply defies comprehension, State Representative Tony Payton of Philadelphia has just unveiled a bill that “would allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at any Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education school, community college or state-related university.” (This is similar to the proposed federal law known as the DREAM Act).
The Democratic machine's not keeping up
Philadelphia’s Democratic party is, to say the least, not known for being forward thinking. It prefers to cling tenaciously to the old ways, time-honored values like street money, favor-trading and incumbency. Philadelphia may change—look around, it obviously is—but the party tries its damnedest not to.