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Friday, March 23, 2012

Brussels Forum 2012

I will be blogging from the Brussels Forum on my Europe blog this weekend:  http://givenseurope.blogspot.com

You can follow events at the Brussels Forum at their livestream which is available on their website: http://brussels.gmfus.org/

Sunday, March 18, 2012

US Immigration Updates

The Austin American Statesman is running a series on an in-depth analysis of deportations from local jails.  http://www.statesman.com/news/statesman-investigates/undocumented-immigrants-in-jail-who-gets-deported-2244677.html UT Immigration law specialist Denise Gilman is also mentioned in the story (she will be speaking to my comparative immigration politics course on Friday, March 23).

ICE has opened a new "kindler, gentler" detention center in Texas for men awaiting deportation proceedings:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/la-na-detention-salad-bar-20120318,0,7461999.story "It is part of an effort by the Obama administration to improve conditions for some of the 33,000 people now in detention as their immigration cases are reviewed." The New York Times also wrote an editorial about the new detention center: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/opinion/immigration-detainees-get-a-better-prison.html

Mississippi is the latest state to pass an "Arizona-style" immigration law:  http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/16/us/mississippi-immigration-law/index.html "The Mississippi bill includes measures like requiring police to check the immigration status of people who are arrested. It would also prohibit any "business transactions," including renewing a driver's license and getting a business license."

Monday, March 12, 2012

The human impacts of immigration policy

Recent stories related to immigration policy have focused on individual stories in places like California, Texas and Alabama, where approaches have varied.  This editorial from the New York Times indicates that there is a disconnect between what voters want and their legislators are offering -- will these issue come up in this year's elections, or serve to motivate those who support the state-level crackdowns? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/opinion/sunday/when-states-put-out-the-unwelcome-mat.html

Alabama's immigration law is creating a lot of red-tape and in one case put a school play on hold: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/03/10/alabama-immigration-law-may-keep-charlie-brown-and-snoopy-off-stage/
Civil rights leaders also participated in a Selma to Montgomery to protest Alabama's immigration law: http://www.waka.com/news/montgomery-news/Selma-to-Montgomery-March-Ends-With-Immigration-Rally-at-State-Capitol-142149963.html

In Houston, an immigration judge allowed an immigrant to stay in the U.S. because of his same-sex marriage: http://www.dallasvoice.com/1st-time-ever-gay-immigrant-allowed-stay-texas-based-same-sex-marriage-10103879.html

In California, undocumented students started a 3000 mile march to DC in support of the DREAM Act: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_20142017/starting-from-golden-gate-dream-act-students-make

An interesting story from USA Today on using personalization and social media to avoid deportation: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-12/dream-act-illegal-immigration/53502528/1

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Update on challenges to Alabama and Georgia immigration laws

As reported on NPR today, the Atlanta federal appeals court put off action on lawsuits challenging the Alabama and Georgia immigration laws.  The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Arizona's similar law in April and a ruling is expected by the end of the summer. http://www.npr.org/2012/03/01/147752368/nations-toughest-immigration-law-stays-put-for-now

As noted in today's earlier post, many states have considered or are in the process of considering laws similar to those passed in Arizona, Alabama and Georgia.  However, it is not only laws targeting undocumented immigrants for status checks that are challenging federal power in this area -- Utah also is in the process of implementing a guest worker law, and Kansas is considering doing something similar. http://azstarnet.com/news/local/border/article_b4597292-e7f7-57f4-87c1-63e4daaa1da4.html

These state measures are an indication of the level of frustration in the country regarding the lack of action by Congress.  Not only the general public, but many organizations, businesses and unions want to see legislation, and are supporting, or in some cases actively opposing action at the state level, hoping to spur action at the federal level.

New resources on state level immigration bills

Mother Jones website has a new article on state level immigration laws: http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/anti-immigration-law-database

With a link to a spreadsheet listing every state and laws that have been introduced: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah4RHiHSiTN_dFFNQlF1eXJ4OEJCRVhNWGFVWEp0MkE#gid=2

The data is drawn from a project by the National Conference of State Legislatures:
http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/immig/state-laws-related-to-immigration-and-immigrants.aspx