Immigration Blog Roundup
by The Opportunity Agenda, Fri Feb 20, 2009 at 08:09:01 AM EST
In this week's Immigration Blog Roundup, I'll cover the Obama Administration, the economic situation, and a few immigrant profiles.
Standing FIRM looks at President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's position on immigration reform. Although Emanuel has previously stated that immigration reform cannot be addressed immediately, Politico reports that Emanuel was crucial to the inclusion of benefits for immigrant children and pregnant women in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Standing FIRM also notes that immigration has been a contentious issue with both the SCHIP and Stimulus bills, and will remain so until Congress addresses comprehensive immigration reform. In a guest blog on Latina Lista, Christina Jimenez of Drum Major Institute argues that the Administration and Congress missed an opportunity to connect progressive immigration reform to economic stimulus in the stimulus package. Standing FIRM points us to a resource - an immigration symposium on the new Administration held by Penn State. Webcasts of the event are included.
Feet In 2 Worlds reports that 61% of New York City bodegas are at risk of failing, demonstrating how immigrant small business owners are being affected by the economic slowdown. Immigrants are also sending fewer remittances to families in their homeland as they struggle to support their families in the United States. In contrast, Dollars&Sense reports that the Department of Homeland Security's $15 billion immigration affairs budget has supported an "immigrant-crackdown economy" that has helped to boost profits for the prison business.
'Just News' Blog points us to the story of Juan Obed Silva who came to the U.S. as a baby and was convicted for a gang-related offense as a teenager. He consequently reformed his life, earning a master's degree in English, but faces deportation because of the conviction. He and many other immigrants who have reformed their lives now face deportation.
Other profiles this week include: a report by the AP that over 100,000 immigrants who were deported between 1998 and 2007 had children who are U.S. citizens; a review of New Mainers: Portraits of Our Immigrant Neighbors, a new book that profiles 29 immigrants who came to Maine from all over the globe; and a New York Times report on day laborers who are rebuilding New Orleans. They are paid in cash and are regularly robbed, earning the moniker of "walking A.T.M.'s."
Current advocacy around immigration reform include a 100-person march in Prince William County, Virginia and a series of prayer vigils across the country to urge President Obama and Congress to enact humane immigration reform.
Lastly, the U.S. Army is seeking to recruit about 550 immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, not including Spanish. They are offering citizenship after 6 months. Quote the Times:
"Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis."
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.