All Articles Tagged "immigrants"
(California Watch) – Of all the demographic pairings in California, the sharp increase of immigrants in African American neighborhoods tends to generate negative headlines, whether it’s about jockeying for jobs or political power or Latino gangs terrorizing African American residents in cities like Azusa, outside Los Angeles.
But in a recently released study titled, “All Together Now? African Americans, Immigrants and the Future of California,” experts from the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California take a detailed and nuanced look at the evolving relationship between the two communities. The report’s focus is not just on the much-publicized challenges, but also on the under-reported alliances and daily accommodations made throughout the state, a phenomenon the authors call “everyday social justice.”
By Charlotte Young
A new Alabama immigration law has some parents afraid to send their children to school. According to the Christian Science Monitor, a judge upheld several parts of Alabama’s strict new immigration law, which includes a section on public school enrollment.
Starting on Thursday, schools must check the birth certificates of students who enroll in Alabama schools for the first time. If no birth certificate is presented or if officials decide that the child is not in the US legally, then the parent or guardian must produce other documentation or sign an affidavit which deals with the citizenship status of the student. If no document is produced, school records will then mark a student as “enrolled without birth certificate.”
“This will have an incredibly chilling effect on children and on parents,” Mary Bauer, a key opponent and the legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the CS Monitor.
As the law will require government officials to report illegal immigrants, Bauer believes that it will also force school and government officials to play the role of immigration agents as well.
While Alabama’s interim superintendent of Education Larry Craven assures that “no student should be denied enrollment for not providing a birth certificate,” illegal-immigrant parents have already declared they plan to leave.
Dawn DuPress Kelley, the principal of Greenwood Elementary Schools told the CS Monitor that the new regulations make her uncomfortable, as they put pressure on her to report student immigration status and destroy the trust she’s established with parents.
“We’ve been having to troubleshoot today to offer encouragement…and let them know that the best place is to have their child in school,” she said to the CS Monitor.
Opponents have tried to use the 1982 Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe to challenge the constitutional merit of the Alabama law. In the case, the Supreme Court ruled that all children in the US have the right to a free public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their citizenship status. However the judge ruled Wednesday that the plaintiff’s stance did not show that Alabama’s new immigration law “posed a concrete threat of injury to them.”
“If the federal government had done its job by enforcing its own immigration laws, there would be no need for Alabama – or other states – to pass a law such as this,” Robert Brentle, the governer of Alabama said in a statement. “I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges.”
(Washington Examiner) — When Korean-American Elizabeth S. Chong moved to Fairfax County in 1993, it was hard to find a taste of home. ”There were one or two Korean grocery stores, but they were small,” she said. “Now there are lots — and they’re Walmart-sized.” That’s a result of the growing concentration of Koreans in Fairfax County, especially in Annandale and Centreville. But the community can have its drawbacks — some say the growing services for Koreans are keeping new immigrants isolated.
(AJC) — Fearful she will be deported and separated from her two young sons, Vilma Baltazar steeled her family for a long journey from her small apartment in Chamblee back to her native country, Guatemala. The single mother is one of many illegal immigrants in metro Atlanta who say they are fleeing Georgia before the state’s tough new immigration enforcement law takes effect on July 1. Others say they are making similar plans in case opponents of the new law are unable to block it in the courts. These developments show Georgia’s new law is having its desired impact, even weeks before it is scheduled to become law. But the law also is starting to produce a ripple effect. Businesses that cater to the region’s Hispanic residents say the new law has sown fear among immigrants, scaring away their customers and employees. A grocery store chain that serves Hispanic immigrants says the new law has led to sharp cuts in sales at some of its locations, forcing it to consider closing one of its spots. And the pastors of local Hispanic churches say some of their parishioners are leaving Georgia and taking the donations that support charitable causes with them.
(Chicago Sun Times) — The Illinois House passed a state version of the DREAM Act Thursday in a vote hailed by immigration-rights advocates as historic. By a 61-53 vote, the House approved and sent to Gov. Pat Quinn legislation that would set up a state fund that would route privately funded college scholarships to as many as 95,000 children of undocumented immigrants. Quinn has expressed support for the legislation, whose chief House sponsor was Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago). The measure, also pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cardinal Francis George, would allow undocumented immigrants ages 18 to 29 with taxpayer-identification cards to invest in the state’s Bright Start and College Illinois programs.
(The Grio) — It’s like karmic cash. You get as good as you give. And Marie Lumen Clersaint is Brooklyn’s reigning queen of sou-sous — an informal savings club popular among Caribbean and African immigrants. When anyone in her tight knit circle of savers needs a large sum of money, they come to her. At any given time, Clersaint runs two sou-sous where people come together and make regular contributions to a common fund, which is then disbursed as a lump sum to one member of the group every cycle. The payouts for her current sou-sous are $20,000 and $10,000. They have 40 and 20 members, respectively. Each member puts in $500 bi-weekly. Every two weeks one member of each sou-sou will receive their group’s entire payout, until each person gets a turn. The $20,000 sou-sou runs or 18 months, the $10,000 saving club lasts 10 months. For the person who gets the first disbursement, it’s an interest-free cash advance and for the last payee it’s a no-interest savings plan. And for those in the middle, it’s a combination of both. There are no checks or money orders involved. It’s all cash all the time.
(New York Times) – Three months after the defeat of the Dream Act, a Congressional bill that would have provided a path to legal residency for young illegal immigrants, a state senator from New York City has introduced his own version of the legislation in Albany. Unlike its federal counterpart, the bill would not offer those immigrants a path to legal residency. But it would give some of them certain rights now granted only to legal residents and citizens, including the ability to hold some state jobs — a provision that appears to challenge federal laws that prohibit the hiring of undocumented workers. The bill would allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, a proposal that will undoubtedly reprise the fiery debates that compelled Gov. Eliot Spitzer to drop a similar plan in 2007. State Senator Bill Perkins, a Manhattan Democrat who introduced the bill this week, acknowledged the challenges confronting it. “There’s politics and other types of obstacles that must be overcome,” Mr. Perkins said in an interview on Wednesday.
(AP) — State Sen. Robert Ford made his remarks during a Senate committee debate over an Arizona-style immigration law, eliciting a smattering of nervous laughter in the chamber after he said “brothers” don’t work as hard as Mexicans. He continued that his “blue-eyed brothers” don’t either. Once his ancestors were freed from slavery, he said, they didn’t want to do any more hard work, so they were replaced by Chinese and Japanese. ”We need these workers here. A lot of people aren’t going to do certain type of work in this country,” said Ford, D-Charleston. “The brothers are going to find ways to take a break. Ever since this country was built, we’ve had somebody do the work for us.” He recalled to senators that four workers in the country illegally showed up on his lawn and finished mowing, edging and other work in 30 minutes that would take others much longer, and only wanted $10 for the job. He went on to say he recommended the workers to his neighbors, and one local lawn care businessman lost work – a story one senator remarked was hurting, not helping, his case. The executive director of the state GOP called on Ford to apologize.
(New York Times) — Of the 50 or so women bused to this border town on a recent morning to be deported back to Mexico, Inez Vasquez stood out. Eight months pregnant, she had tried to trudge north in her fragile state, even carrying scissors with her in case she gave birth in the desert and had to cut the umbilical cord. “All I want is a better life,” she said after the Border Patrol found her hiding in bushes on the Arizona side of the border with her husband, her young son and her very pronounced abdomen.
(AJC) — Metro Atlanta continues to draw new foreign born residents despite the economic downturn, which sets it apart from many other regions around the country. Atlanta’s immigrant population grew by 42,000 people, or 6 percent, from 2007 to 2009. That steady increase was felt in many ways, both good and bad: providing low-cost labor while also burdening some public services, adding new flair and texture to the culture while deeply unsettling some longtime residents.