Weekly Immigration Roundup
by The Opportunity Agenda, Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 10:47:38 AM EDT
This week's updates include the economic crisis and immigrants, more on the Family Unity tour, and local immigration news from New Jersey, California, and Alabama.
Amnesty International (AI) released its report on immigrant detention in the United States. AI's recommendations include:
1. The US Congress should pass legislation ensuring detention of immigrants and asylum seekers is a measure of last resort;
2. The US government should ensure that alternative non-custodial measures are considered before resorting to detention;
3. The US Congress should ensure that all immigrants and asylum seekers have access to individualized hearings on detention; and
4. The US government should ensure the adoption of enforceable human rights detention standards in all detention facilities that house immigration detainees.
An article by the Washington Independent on the report can be found here.
In economic news, the New York Times reported yesterday that Latinos have suffered more job losses than any other group (although African Americans have the highest unemployment rate). As a result, most Latinos are reluctant to leave the United States, taking whatever work they can find. Latinos earn at least $100 less per week than other workers. A Boston Globe article on the impact of the economic crisis and high and low-skilled immigrants is here.
The Census Bureau will launch an ad campaign to encourage Latinos and other ethnic groups to participate in the 2010 Census. Past challenges to getting an accurate Census have included: missing about 8 million immigrants and urban minorities in 1990, and counting 4 million whites twice, mostly college students and others with two residences, in 2000.
The Family Unity tour by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus continues. In Milwaukee, Representative Gutierrez heard from Nigerian and other immigrants at a forum that included Jewish and Muslim leaders. A recap of the El Paso forum can be found here. And at the Chicago forum, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George, announced that he stands "with every immigrant family in this nation to call on our government to end immigration raids and the separation of families.”
On a more positive note, the Los Angeles Conservancy have started a new walking tour of the neighborhood of Pico-Union that highlights its rich history of European and Central American immigration, reflected in its architecture and community. More information can be found here.
And in Albertville, Alabama, councilmen, clergy, business leaders, and residents from different nationalities and ages are coming together to steer the city towards unification. In response to City Councilman Randy Amos' challenge, the attendees have developed several ways for their communities to work together on issues such as education, communication, and crime.
You can join Standing FIRM's Mobile Action Network to receive immigration-related updates and action alerts in your area by texting "justice" to 69866.
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.