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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Jeb Bush on Immigration

From USAToday:

Gov. Jeb Bush urged the federal government to change its visa and immigration policies on Thursday, saying the country needs to avoid stifling international travel and commerce.

The governor said he recognized that the country had to tighten security after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but said a better balance was needed.

Imminent Announcement

Everybody is waiting to see what President Bush decides:

President Bush's next pick for the Supreme Court is likely to be a woman or Hispanic conservative, and two of his Texas pals are thought to be heading the short list: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Appeals Court Judge Priscilla Owen.

"I think the most likely choice for the President is going to be Judge Gonzales, although I'm not overly confident of that because of conservative opposition to him," Bradford Berenson, a former White House lawyer who vetted Supreme Court candidates for several years after Bush took office, said yesterday.

Is There a Latino Identity?

José Enrique Idler:

Hispanic Heritage Month lumps together too many Latin American nationalities, ethnicities and cultures to have any real meaning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Posada to Stay

From CNN.com:

A militant Cuban emigre accused of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people cannot be deported to Venezuela, an immigration judge has ruled.

Luis Posada Carriles, who has denied that he planned the bombing, claims he would be tortured if sent to Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen and once served as a CIA operative.

In a written ruling Monday, Judge William L. Abbott cited conventions against extradition to a country if a person were likely to face torture there.

Immigration Decline

There's a new study by Pew Hispanic:

"Rise, Peak and Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992-2004," an analysis carried out by demographer Jeffrey Passel, shows that the influx of immigrants in 2004 was down 24 percent from the historical peak reached in 2000.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Hispanic Supreme Court Justice?

Maybe:

Ideology aside, the ideal nominee would be young — preferably under 55 — and female or Hispanic. He or she would be affable and unflappable, with the same confident command of case law as Roberts...

"A Hispanic would be very difficult for the bad guys to work over publicly," said GOP pollster Michael McKenna...

But age could nix many Hispanic candidates. Cuba-born Circuit Judge Danny Boggs is 61. Circuit Judge Emilio Garza and District Judge Edward Prado are 58.

District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa is 55, and he's been on the federal bench for 22 years. That means a long record for critics to pick apart.

At the other end of the age spectrum are District Judge Xavier Rodriguez, 44, and Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero, 45. Lack of experience might hurt. Cantero is a grandson of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista, ousted by Fidel Castro in 1959.

Then there's Miguel Estrada, 44. Estrada was twice nominated to the D.C. Circuit Court and twice filibustered by Senate Democrats.

Arnold En Español

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign announced the kick-off of a statewide Latino coalition campaign, designed to take the Governor’s reform message directly to California’s critical Latino voter block.

At the core of this campaign will be a seven-figure Spanish-language media buy. The campaign also recently launched a Spanish-language version of its web page, which can be viewed at http://www.joinarnold.com/espanol.

Hispanic Politics in the Big Apple

To me, this is the best of both worlds, Hispanics actively engaged on both sides of a major campaign:

The 2005 mayoral campaign slid into negative politicking for a second straight day yesterday, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fernando Ferrer both turned to Hispanic allies to trade fire on education issues, and Mr. Ferrer accused the mayor of unleashing "attack dogs" on him.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Three Presidents

A study in contrasts from Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post:

In Peru and Colombia, the number of people living on less than $2 a day under [Peru's President Alejandro] Toledo and [Salvadoran President Alvaro] Uribe stands at 54 and 52 percent, respectively. In [Hugo] Chavez's Venezuela, the rate has risen from 43 percent in 1999, the year he took office, to 53 percent last year, according to government statistics. During this same period Venezuelan oil revenue, which makes up most of the government's income, roughly doubled. Yet Chavez's claim to be the champion of Latin America's dispossessed goes unchallenged by his peers.

A Case for Immigration

Brilliant essay on immigration from Arnold King at TCS:

One way to interpret the immigration laws is that they stay on the books because they make it easy to deport troublemakers. The behavior that is punished is not immigration per se, but causing harm in some other way that gets the attention of the authorities...

So, I am not persuaded by the argument that says, "Clearly, the illegal immigrants are undesirable. By definition, they are breaking the law!" The reality is that all of us are lawbreakers of one sort or another...

One can argue that we do not want poor immigrants coming to this country and competing with established citizens for jobs. However, in our globalized world, our established citizens are going to feel competition from foreigners, whether those foreigners immigrate or not...

One reason that I am pro-immigrant is that I think that many immigrants -- and certainly the immigrants I most want to encourage -- are highly appreciative of the American system. Coming from countries where government controls more of the economy and where public officials are more corrupt, they are often grateful for the opportunities that our economy provides.

In contrast, as the school year begins, my daughter in high school is being inundated with the typical anti-American propaganda of the Left. She is bombarded with lessons claiming that America "controls" too much of the world's wealth, that we are racist and uncaring, that we spoil the environment, etc.

So here is what I propose. Let all of the teachers, professors, journalists, celebrities and others who espouse disgust with America be encouraged to emigrate. And let immigrants take their places.

These are only my favorite excerpts, please go and read the whole thing.

Supreme Court Politics

From the Washington Post:

Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), said the Hispanic vote helped reelect Bush in November and that there could be political consequences for the Republicans if Bush twice passes over Hispanic judges in his first two court nominations.

"If the Republican Party wants to continue attracting voters to them, they're also going to have to deliver on the most crucial and important position in this country, which is the next vacancy," he said.

The Immigration Mess

From a New York Times Editorial:

For anyone really trying to untangle the immigration mess, the most taxing problem is how to draw those illegal workers out of the shadows and into the system. If a new immigration plan gives them work for a few years and then sends them home before they can apply to return, many will opt to stay underground. That is why it makes more sense to give these workers the choice of trying to stay here - even if it means a substantial fine and a longer wait to get a green card. The most workable bill, a bipartisan effort by Senators John McCain and Edward Kennedy, puts the fine at $2,000 and sends these applicants to the end of the line. That is the least America could do for people who do so much of our dirty work.

President Bush needs to sell the idea of a secure, workable and humane immigration policy to his own party, of course. But if he and his fellow Republicans followed those guidelines, comprehensive immigration reform could be among the most important and positive legacies of his presidency.

Meanwhile, the President's plan is getting mixed reviews as people begin to find out the details of the program.

Debt Cancellation

From Yahoo! News:

Some of the planet's most impoverished countries are poised to rid themselves of 40 billion dollars in crippling debt following decisions taken this weekend by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund...

In a first phase the initiative would provide multilateral debt cancellation worth about 40 billion dollars to 18 of the world's most impoverished nations, all but four of them in Africa....

The 18 countries targeted in the initial phase have met specific economic and structural conditions mandated by the bank and the fund in exchange for debt relief.

The 18 are: Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

A further 20 countries could also become eligible, which would take the total value of the debt cancellation to 55 billion dollars.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tom Tancredo for President?

God Forbid!:

Tancredo said he hopes one of the more establishment candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 will adopt his anti-immigration stance.

If none of the candidates make [sic] immigration a prominent part of the presidential debate in 2008, Tancredo said he would enter the race to draw attention to the issue.

Hispanics and Katrina

This is the kind of thing that makes me love Linda Chavez:

What happened to the nearly 200,000 Hispanics living in and around New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit last month? I asked the question of one reporter who had called me to comment on the role race played in the evacuation fiasco, but she didn't know. In fact, at the height of the crisis, few in the media seemed the slightest bit curious about this population, despite hundreds of stories about poverty, race, and the failure of government to rescue the most vulnerable.

I wondered in part because I saw so few Hispanic faces among those stranded at the Superdome and Convention Center. Yet I knew that many Hispanics lived in New Orleans, occupying the same service jobs they do elsewhere, often on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Most are immigrants -- often illegal -- from Honduras and Mexico. Then, just when I thought they were nowhere to be found, I spotted a few Hispanic men in the television footage this week of crews cleaning up the debris that has overwhelmed so much of the Gulf Coast. Wherever they went to escape the storm, they're back -- because there is work to be done, and they are eager to do dirty jobs that many others shun. I wonder if these images will sink in with the anti-immigrant crowd that imagines that Mexicans come to the United States looking for a handout.

My suspicion is that few of New Orleans' Hispanic immigrants -- especially the illegal ones -- stuck around for the hurricane to hit. Immigrants in general tend to have strong initiative and good coping skills. Someone who can figure out how to get into the U.S. (especially illegally) can certainly figure out how to get out of New Orleans.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Infamous Democratic Memos

Manuel Miranda discusses the "leaked" Democratic memos that showed a campaign by liberal Democrats and sympathetic interest groups to stop the nomination of minority candidates to be federal judges:

These published and many still unpublished documents in the hands of the Senate showed that Democratic senators obstructed Bush judicial confirmations over two years in conjunction with promises of campaign funding and election support, used Senate resources to raise campaign funds, used their rejection of judicial nominees as fund-raising inducements, and coordinated with litigants to guarantee results in pending litigation. Democratic senators and their staff even picked which judicial nominees would be rejected well in advance of any hearing and actually invited liberal special interests to vote on what nominees would get hearings and votes.

The documents also showed that Democratic senators imposed a special standard for a Hispanic judicial nominee, and had an improper design to block appellate court nominee Miguel Estrada in particular, because he was a Latino who could someday be elevated to the Supreme Court.

Immigrants & Katrina

From the Wall Street Journal (subscription):

Among those whose lives were torn apart by Hurricane Katrina are legions of undocumented workers who supported the service economy along the Gulf Coast. No reliable statistics exist on the number of undocumented immigrants, though a total of up to 300,000 Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans were living in the storm-damaged areas, according to estimates by those countries' consulates.

Lacking assured access to government aid and fearful of being deported, many illegal immigrants are drawing on family, friends and the Latino community to help them rebuild their lives... [T]hese migrants are often adept at dealing with adversity. Although some yearn to return to New Orleans, they are motivated to find jobs quickly because they typically provide a financial lifeline for relatives back home.

Immigration from Brazil

From the Miami Herald:

Mexico thought it was promoting tourism and business when it agreed five years ago to admit Brazilians to the country without visas. Instead, the move provoked a wave of illegal immigration into the United States by Brazilians who used Mexico as a springboard.

Now, Brazilians have become one of the largest and fastest-growing categories of illegal U.S. immigrants. They typically cross surreptitiously into the United States after easy, legal entry at Mexican airports.

Shrimp Farming in Honduras

From BBC News:

One of the Millennium Development Goals least likely to be met is number seven, which calls on countries to "ensure environmental sustainability". Many countries have been going backwards rather than forwards as the race for economic growth puts ever greater pressure on natural resources.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Business Support for Roberts and Gonzales

From HispanicBusiness.com:

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) announced its support for the nomination of Judge John Roberts to serve as the 17th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The organization said the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, leave [sic] President Bush positioned to make an historical appointment by nominating Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as the first Hispanic Justice of the Supreme Court.

The USHCC called both men "exceptionally qualified to be nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court."

Latinos Throw a Party

And raise funds for education:

The evening was a mix of glitz and grit, rags-to-riches stories over wine and steak, the fundamentally American fables of a minority group that now has a whole lot to show for generations of effort.

Raising $3 million for youth scholarship programs never looked like so much fun, as when the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute did it last night at its black-tie gala at the Washington Convention Center.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. I'm going to treat myself to a couple of drinks tomorrow night to celebrate.

Pinochet Saga Continues

From Bloomberg.com:

Chile's former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, had his presidential immunity stripped by the country's Supreme Court as part of an investigation into the disappearance of 15 people during his regime.

A panel of judges voted 10 to six to uphold a July ruling by an appeals court as part of a case known as ``Operation Colombo,'' according to a copy of the decision distributed today by e-mail in Santiago. The earlier ruling said there were grounds to suspect Pinochet had a role in a plot by the nation's secret police to cover up killings of opponents.

Unfortunately, the bum is too sick to stand trial.

Ferrer v. Bloomberg in NYC

From NY Newsday:

Fernando Ferrer caught a break yesterday, and so did all Democrats who hope to take back the New York mayoralty.

The former Bronx borough president chalked up 39.949 percent of Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary vote - a far better showing than any of his rivals managed to muster. There's just one problem: A 40-percent majority is required to win the nomination without a runoff.

But yesterday afternoon, Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner, who finished the primary with 29 percent, gave Ferrer a big boost when he suddenly decided to concede. He thus lets the party side-step a possibly ruinous runoff campaign.

Now Ferrer will face Mayor Michael Bloomberg in November. If he wins, he'll become the first Hispanic mayor of New York.

Las Chepas

Interesting story from a crossing spot on the Mexico side of the U.S. southern border:

Most of the people on the north side of the border view the widening flow of immigrants with disdain, saying the border-crossers trample and litter the alfalfa and vegetable fields. In response to their pleas for help, [New Mexico] Governor [Bill] Richardson declared a state of emergency and asked Mexican authorities to knock Las Chepas down.

Almost no one is... living on the south side of the border to object. Most of the people of Las Chepas moved north in the mid-1980's when the United States offered an amnesty for Mexicans who had been working on the American side of the border. The houses here have been empty so long they have begun falling down anyway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ilamatepec

From the Washington Post:

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Officials said Tuesday they are stepping up emergency preparations after a study by experts indicated that the rumbling Ilamatepec volcano is likely to erupt soon.

Interior Minister Rene Figueroa said officials are starting to practice evacuations and are preparing shelters for the estimated 10,000 people living near the volcano, some 30 miles west of the capital.

Minorities Pay More for Loans

From USAToday:

Minorities are far more likely than whites to take out higher-priced loans to buy or refinance a home and are denied loans more often.

The differences can be explained largely — but not fully — by such factors as income, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Castro's Offer of Help

From a Miami Herald opinion piece titled "Slaves in White Coats":

Fidel Castro offered the United States a small army of 1,586 doctors to help relieve the catastrophe created by Hurricane Katrina. The State Department courteously declined the aid and explained the reason: The United States does not need medical help; it has all the doctors and hospitals it requires.

Castro, however, did not offer his medical contingent so that the United States might accept it. It was a gesture. He is a man of gestures. For almost half a century, he has been playing with appearances. He appears to be a statesman who is loved by a prosperous and happy people whose principal necessities have been met.

That's false, and he knows it, but he doesn't care. He devotes all his effort to spread that image and to conceal the truth of a miserable and desperate country. Within his topsy-turvy psychology, his offer is a way to humiliate the United States and inflict upon it a political defeat.

Guatemala

From the New York Times:

In mid-July, workers from the office of Guatemala's human rights ombudsman discovered, in a police base, stacks and stacks of files - apparently, the complete files of the National Police. The files date back to 1902 - but significantly, they cover the 36-year period of Guatemala's civil war, which ended in 1996. During the war, 200,000 people were killed and 50,000 forced to disappear. Guatemala's truth commission called the government's actions during the war genocide.

This is probably the biggest trove of files found in the history of Latin America, which is both good and bad. It will be of immense use to historians, and will likely provide information on what happened to hundreds of disappeared people.

Racial Rivalry in San Antonio

From the Houston Chronicle:

SAN ANTONIO - Demographers say this predominantly Hispanic city already reflects the population mix that the rest of Texas is destined to show by 2030.

A U.S. Census Bureau estimate released last month said Hispanics, blacks and others now make up the majority of Texans. San Antonio, with a 56 percent Hispanic population, is only 34 percent Anglo, the data said.

The announcement came as no surprise to demographers, but some Anglos seemed shocked. As one blogger lamented: "What was the point of fighting at the Alamo?"

But even though the Alamo City is steeped in centuries of Spanish and Mexican history and culture, its power structure remains heavily influenced — if not dominated — by the city's Anglo minority.

That incongruity causes some Hispanics to wonder whether their swelling numbers really bring long-awaited political, social and economic power.

The Coming White Minority

This may be the beginning of a trend:

Today's Democratic primary is the prelude to a potentially revolutionary turning point in New York City's traditional tribal politics: In November, for the first time, non-Hispanic whites are projected to constitute a minority of the voters in a mayoral general election.

The impact of the shift, coupled with changes wrought by term limits and public campaign financing, is already apparent in the choices voters face today. Polls say the front-runner for the Democratic nomination is Fernando Ferrer, a Puerto Rican raised in the South Bronx. Among his three challengers is C. Virginia Fields, a black woman who grew up in the South. William C. Thompson Jr., who is seeking a second term as comptroller, is black. And dozens of black, Hispanic and Asian candidates are competing for borough presidencies and City Council seats.

But rather than guaranteeing minority domination of New York government, the demographic changes have just made the city's politics more complex. A surge of new immigrants - many of them not bound, like their predecessors, to the Democratic Party - has so diversified black, Hispanic and Asian voters that some of the monolithic blocs and natural coalitions once taken for granted among those minority groups no longer apply.

Monday, September 12, 2005

HNBA: We've Earned It!

From a Hispanic National Bar Association press release:

On Thursday, September 8, 2005, the HNBA, along with representatives from MALDEF, NCLR and Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary joined together at noon on the steps of the United States Supreme Court in a joint press conference calling for the naming of a Hispanic to fill the most recent vacancy on the Supreme Court.

On behalf of the HNBA, President Alan Varela stated that the legitimacy of the justice system depends not only on judicial temperament, experience, scholastic aptitude, and educational credentials of judges, but also on the fundamental fairness, understanding, and wisdom that can come only from a bench that evolves to reflect the fabric of the society over which it presides.

Hispanics, as both the largest minority and the fastest growing sector of the U.S. population are integral to the well being of the nation, and having fought valiantly for the nation in every war from the War of Independence to the war on terrorism, have earned a seat on the Supreme Court.

What Next?

From the Houston Chronicle:

At the Iglesia Lugar de Sanidad, Hispanic immigrants uprooted by Hurricane Katrina are asking themselves if the American dream is worth one more shot...

"They're terrified," said the Rev. Fernando Gutierrez, who opened the doors of the church after refugees arrived hungry and needing a bed. "They don't know where they're going."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Open Letter to Jesse Jackson

From Alexandra Beech:

Clearly, Chavez cares very little about America’s poor or Katrina’s victims, because he cares very little about Venezuela’s poor and Venezuela’s violence victims. How else to explain that during the seven years of his presidency, despite astronomical oil revenues, poverty in Venezuela has increased? Katrina’s victims may have lacked food, water and medical resources this week, but most Venezuelans lack food, water, and medical resources every day. New Orleans may have been ravaged by unexplainable violence this week, but Venezuelans face unexplainable violence and death every single day. Chavez’s friend and mentor, Fidel Castro, may have offered doctors this week, but poor Cuban neighborhoods face empty clinics every day, as badly needed doctors have been sent to Venezuela.

Reparations for Latinos in California

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Responding to a dark, little-known chapter in American history, the Assembly voted Tuesday to establish a state fund that could be used to pay reparations to survivors of a massive deportation of Latinos in the 1930s....

The bill is a response to a policy that was started by the Hoover administration, supposedly in an attempt to remove illegal immigrants to open up jobs during the Depression.

But most of the 2 million people who were deported to Mexico were American citizens or legal immigrants, bill supporters say. They included about 400,000 Californians.

Chile is Most Ethical

From PR Newswire:

Chile is Latin America's most ethical and sustainable country for business according to a new study by ethics rating firm Management & Excellence (M&E), Madrid. Latam's largest country Brazil comes in a weak 5th while Mexico makes 2nd and Argentina comes in 3rd.

Hispanic Judicial Candidates

Manuel Miranda gives us the rundown on potential Hispanic candidates to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court:

• Emilio Garza. A Texan of Mexican descent who has served since 1991 on the Fifth Circuit, Judge Garza has all the attributes and clear judicial record for which conservatives are looking. Judge Garza has the additional gift of being friendly, affable and gracious.

• Danny Boggs. A 19-year veteran of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and currently its chief judge, the Cuban-born Judge Boggs has a deep judicial record and an overwhelming intellect.

• Raoul Cantero. The first Hispanic on the Florida Supreme Court was vetted for that post by the president's brother, Gov. Jeb Bush. Justice Cantero's record is not deep, but it is principled and he would meet another conservative goal of seating the court with young jurists. Justice Cantero is 45...

• Mel Martinez. Florida's recently elected senator has no judicial record but wide experience as the secretary of housing and urban development and mayor of Orlando. He is a devout Catholic with a remarkable personal story and is Hispanic.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Anti-Immigration Activists Seek Out Black Support

From NPR:

In southern California, some African Americans say illegal immigrants burden schools and hospitals, and they take away jobs. Now, groups that want to stop illegal immigration are reaching out to the black community for new support.

A Friendly Face on a Tight Border

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Tighter border security is part of President Bush's plan to overhaul immigration laws this fall. Primarily intended to address the problem of itinerant undocumented workers, border security also has great significance in the war on terror. In this war, welcoming open-minded visitors to experience US society, culture, and hospitality plays an important role - and particularly so for impressionistic students who generally return to their homelands with enthusiasm for the US. Programs that also bring politicians, journalists, artists, and other opinion-makers from abroad are of immense value. Such visits do much to soften negative views of America that abound elsewhere.

The challenge is preventing entry of those who'd do America harm, while not alienating, or barring, the many the US wants to welcome.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Hispanic for the Supreme Court

From the International Herald Tribune:

The likelihood that President George W. Bush will turn to a Hispanic candidate like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, or another minority lawyer or woman to fill the newest vacancy on the Supreme Court has increased greatly, Republicans and former White House officials said Sunday.

When Bush was preparing for a possible vacancy last spring, White House officials put together a list of nearly a dozen potential candidates. The list included several sitting federal appeals court judges, all of whom could be described as conservative, although each would have brought a different political and philosophical profile to the confirmation process. The list also included Gonzales, Bush's longtime confidant from his days as governor of Texas and White House counsel during his first term as president.

The Hispanic National Bar Association already sent a list of potential Hispanic nominees to the President.

The Supreme Court

Everybody is putting his two cents in as the death of Chief Justice Renquist has created two vacancies on the Supreme Court. This came from James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal before the President decided to nominate Judge Roberts to the Chief Justice post:

Since it looks as though President Bush is going to get a free pass on his first Supreme Court pick, how can he make the most of the political opportunity? By elevating Clarence Thomas to chief justice. Justice Thomas is the youngest member of the court, and his appointment might provoke Democrats into a futile fight. As a black conservative, he drives liberals and Democrats to irrational extremes. They depict him as an "Uncle Tom" and an intellectually inferior beneficiary of affirmative action. If Democrats cannot resist expressing such prejudices, they will damage their reputation as the party of racial equality, which can only help the GOP.

As for Justice Thomas's replacement, Mr. Bush would doubtless like to appoint the first Hispanic justice. But it would make political sense to wait until one of the pro-Roe justices leaves the court. In that case, the Democratic base will demand a fight--and the president might as well make senators choose between Latinos and abortion advocates.

That would have made for interesting confirmation hearings. I'm still hopeful that Bush will nominate Miguel Estrada to fill the O'Connor vacancy.

Immigrants and Katrina

From the New York Times:

Hurricane Katrina has left its victims feeling vulnerable and uncertain, but for many noncitizens trapped here, the anxiety is especially acute because they worry that they will jeopardize their legal status if they try to leave.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Searching for Victims

From the Guardian UK:

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Latin American nations are trying to locate citizens affected by Katrina, worried illegal immigrants may not seek help for fear of being deported.

Tens of thousands of Latin Americans, most from Mexico and Honduras, were living in the New Orleans area prior to the hurricane.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Root of the Immigration Problem

Marcela Sanchez:

Whether you believe Mexican immigrants help or hurt the United States, there is one incontrovertible truth: work here pays much, much better. A low-skilled Mexican worker in this country earns five to six times as much as he would back home, assuming he or she could find a comparable job.

This truth is so obvious it seems a cliche and yet it remains mostly absent from the current debate on how to reform U.S. immigration. For all the talk around the country of border enforcement, guest worker programs, employer sanctions and driver's licensing restrictions, the sad fact is that none of these "solutions'' addresses the root of the problem -- a persistent and large U.S.-Mexican income disparity.

Record Deaths at the Border

From the L.A. Times:

A record 415 people have died trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico in the last 11 months, surpassing the previous high of 383 recorded in fiscal year 2000, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Latin America Offers Help

This is very meaningful considering that Latin America is usually looking for help from the U.S.:

MEXICO CITY Some Latin American nations today offered to help the U-S deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Those countries also are reaching out to thousands of migrants and expatriates affected by this week's storm that ravaged parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Nicaragua and Honduras were both devastated by flooding from Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Those countries have offered to send flooding and sanitation experts.

Cuba and Venezuela have offered to help too, despite political differences with Washington.

Mexican President Vicente Fox offered a T-V address in Spanish and English urging migrants to seek the help of emergency officials -- and not worry about being deported.

U-S Ambassador Tony Garza today thanked Mexico for its expressions of sympathy and support and said America welcomed any assistance.

Katrina

I've been left speechless by the Katrina tragedy affecting the Gulf Coast states:

Among the many entities mobilizing Wednesday to help victims of Hurricane Katrina was the National Council of La Raza, with the largest Hispanic organization in the United States especially concerned about those whose lack of fluency in English might leave them less able to understand instructions from authorities and avail themselves of aid.

Tom Galvin has excellent coverage of the disaster.

U.S. v. Mexico Soccer Match

Be there or be square:

The U.S. Men’s National Team continues to close in on their titanic clash with Mexico this Saturday, Sept. 3 on MatchDay 7 of final round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Kickoff at sold-out Columbus Crew Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic (7:25 p.m. ET) and Telemundo. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Posada Gives Up Asylum Claim

From the Washington Post:

An anti-Castro militant accused of illegally entering the country withdrew his request for U.S. asylum Wednesday, and his attorneys said they will focus instead on trying to prevent his deportation to Venezuela.

Luis Posada Carriles says he will be mistreated if he is returned to Venezuela to face charges that he plotted the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner while he was in Caracas.

Maria Angela Contreras

The story of Maria Angela Contreras is an immigrant's inspiring tale of hard work, faith and family. You wouldn't know it from reading and watching the news, but this is what I think is the typical immigrant story. Enjoy.

Subcommander Marcos

From the International Herald Tribune:

After four years of hiding, the charismatic leader of the Zapatista rebel movement in southern Mexico has been holding "town hall" meetings with leftists, labor leaders, students, Indian-rights advocates and other supporters in an effort to forge a national campaign to rewrite Mexico's Constitution along socialist lines.

Why is it that Socialism has failed everywhere it's been tried, and people still think it's the solution to what ails them? I will never understand this.

Blogger Code of Conduct

It's an interesting debate, whether there should be a code of conduct for bloggers in order to avoid government regulation of blog content. If it's voluntary, I'm fine with it, if it's imposed by government, I have big problems with it.