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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ICE turn-around on students designated for deportation

Interesting article in the New York Times -- the student in Connecticut had support from Governor and Senators -- will this lead to more support for the DREAM act?: ARTICLE
        Arizona Governor Brewer asks for an extension of Guard deployment at the border:  ARTICLE

News from Europe and U.S. on Immigration - Schengen, reform, etcc

On reforming Schengen in the BBC:  France and Italy push for reform of Schengen treaty
Gavin Hewitt's commentary:  France and Italy

Last week President Obama held a meeting on immigration reform:  CNN link
The meeting did not include members of congress or border governors, leading to criticism by many outlets:
Washington Examiner Blog
FAIR on Obama immigration meeting

While others criticized the lack of progress:
U.S. Catholic Report
The Democratic Daily

Sunday, April 17, 2011

France Blocks Italian Trains

Authorities in France temporarily blocked trains from Italy in an attempt to stop north African migrants from entering the country...more from the BBC

Georgia governor to sign bill targeting illegal immigration

Georgia passes law similar to Arizona's SB 1070: ARTICLE

Important Article on FAIR from the New York Times

Jason de Parle writes about the man behind the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) John Tanton. This examination of the organizations he has started is a clear example of the role of "professional expertise" (a la Tichenor) in defining discourses and policy around immigration.  It is interesting to note, as was clear in the founding of FAIR, that Tanton initially had learned the lesson from racist groups in the past, and tried to keep FAIR "centrist and liberal" -- but over time Tanton became more racist and anti-Hispanic in tone and in the causes he funded.

ARTICLE

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The European Union awaits "strong and clear" action from Tunisia

The European Union awaits "strong and clear" action from Tunisia to help stem the flow of migrants fleeing the country, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday...more

..and another article from the Economist on this topic:  http://www.economist.com/blogs/charlemagne/2011/04/north_african_migration

More Grad Students Eyeing U.S.

Inside Higher Ed reports that numbers of international student applicants increasing:  Graduate student applications increasing

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Paper from MPI-EUI



The Migration Policy Institute-European University Institute research partnership, which is funded by the European External Action Service, is identifying ways in which European and US immigration systems can be substantially improved to address major challenges policymakers confront on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Obstacles and Opportunities for Regional Cooperation: The US-Mexico Case, MPI Senior Policy Analyst Marc Rosenblum analyzes the history of US-Mexico relations on migration dating from the 1890s to the current day and offers some lessons for the relationship going forward. The history suggests that cooperation, while difficult, is not impossible and can offer benefits for both countries.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

State Legislators for Legal Immigration

Led by members of a group called State Legislators for Legal Immigration, their coordinated strategy called "attrition through enforcement" is designed to impose legislation that makes life so difficult for illegal immigrants that even if they aren't caught and deported, they may just leave on their own. More from The Capital newspaper.

Utah Compact getting the attention of immigration advocates & H1-B applications only hit 5900 after first week

Washington Post on Utah Compact

Times of India on H1-B

Saturday, April 2, 2011

From the latest issue of Migration News

Link to the latest issue of Migraton News:  http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/

Here's a short section from MN on skilled immigration:
H-1B. The H-1B program allows US employers to hire foreigners with at least a university degree via an easy Internet-based certification process.  Employers attest that they are paying the prevailing wage, and DOL is required to approve their applications.  Most employers do not have to try to recruit US workers and most may lay off US workers in order to hire foreign workers with H-1B visas.

The protection for US workers is the fact that the number of H-1B visas is capped at 65,000 a year, plus 20,000 for foreigners with advanced degrees from US universities.  However, there is no cap on the number of H-1B visas for universities and non-profits, so that in all, over 100,000 H-1B visas a year are issued. 

The 65,000 cap for "regular" H-1B visas for private-sector employers was reached on January 26, 2011, four months into FY11.  In FY10, the cap was reached on December 21, 2009, three months into FY10, and in 2008 the cap was reached soon after the April 1 date on which employers can request H-1B visas.  The 20,000 visas for advanced degree holders in FY11 were gone December 22, 2010.

Foreign graduates of US universities can remain in the US for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) with a US employer.  If their degree is in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field, they may stay in the US an additional 18 months, giving their US employers at least two years to obtain H-1B visas for them.

In 2006, foreign students earned 32 percent of doctorates awarded by US universities in sciences and 59 percent of doctorates awarded in engineering.  Most foreign students who earn US doctorates in S&E fields stay in the US; many become immigrants and US citizens.

The GAO released a report on the H-1B program that emphasized that fewer than one percent of employer applicants, many of whom are India-based outsourcing firms, have received over 30 percent of H-1B visas in recent years.  Almost half of H-1B visa holders are from India, many have advanced degrees, and most are employed in mid-level systems analysts or programming positions in the US.

Brookings' Darrell West in January 2010 urged the US to allow foreign graduates of US universities to stay in the US, and to adjust the number of immigrants admitted for economic reasons annually according to economic indicators such as the unemployment rate.  The first idea has been embodied in a bill, the Stopping Trained in America PhDs From Leaving the Economy (STAPLE) Act (HR 399).  STAPLE, re-introduced in January 2011, would grant automatic permanent residence to PhD graduates of science and engineering programs and exempt them from caps placed on recipients of H-1B nonimmigrant visas.  STAPLE would "staple a green card to their diplomas" of STEM doctorates to avoid having "the next Google or Intel created overseas," according to sponsor Representative Jeff Flake (D-AZ).

President Obama appeared to endorse STAPLE in his January 25, 2011 State of the Union speech.  He said: "And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, who could be further enriching this nation.  It doesn't make sense to grant these students graduate degrees and then send them back home to compete with us."

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced a StartUp Visa bill (S565) to give employment-based immigrant visas to foreigners who receive significant investment capital to establish a business in the United States that will create at least three new jobs.  Foreigners outside the US could obtain two-year probationary immigrant visas by finding a qualified US investor who invested at least $100,000 in their new business.  If the new business raises at least $500,000 in additional capital and creates at least five new jobs, the foreigner can receive a regular immigrant visa.

Friday, April 1, 2011

...and another debate about laicite in France

Sarkozy's UMP party to debate secularism and the role of Islam in France
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110330/ap_on_re_eu/eu_france_and_islam

Not an April Fools Joke

At first I thought this blog from Forbes Magazine might be an April Fools joke, but it was actually published on March 31st -- not an idea I agree with, given the complexities of immigration, but an interesting perspective:
http://blogs.forbes.com/artcarden/2011/03/31/tear-down-this-wall/

Here's another perspective on the American Dream from the BBC:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12925299

...and for those of you interested in the legal/regulatory side of immigration, Immigration Daily provides information on what's happening with DHS and other entities and daily legislative updates:  http://www.ilw.com/articles/2011,0331-lee.shtm