Immigration Blog

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Lesson from Garland: Leverage Local Police for Homeland Security

Once again, we have proof in the most tangible and important possible way of the indispensable role that local police, as first responders, play in the safety and well-being of our communities.

When two would-be jihadists, one a native-born convert and the other an immigrant from Pakistan, attacked a group of cartoonists, a la Charlie Hebdo, meeting in the Dallas suburb of Garland — reportedly with assault rifles and wearing body armor — it was a school security officer they first confronted and slightly wounded, and then an outgunned police patrol officer, who nonetheless shot and killed both while they poured weapons fire in his direction.

Ever Wonder about the Slant of NPR's Maria Hinojosa?

Maria Hinojosa is one of the most opinionated journalists on National Public Radio. The NPR biography of the "Latino USA" host reports that she "has helped define the conversation about our times and our society with one of the most authentic voices in broadcast."

An immigrant from Mexico, Hinojosa speaks with compassion for the undocumented and clearly believes they should be fully accepted into American society. That advocacy has been a source of controversy. As Hinojosa herself acknowledged in 2006, many listeners who had tuned in to a discussion of immigration protested that she was too biased to have been the moderator.

Countering Migrant Smuggling in the Med Will Be Measured by Deeds, Not Words

Twice in past weeks I've addressed the migrant smuggling crisis unfolding in Mediterranean waters, with the attendant tragedies that always seem to accompany chaotic and uncontrolled mass illegal migration. (See here and here.)

European Union leaders have been struggling with how to contain the movement of tens of thousands of intended migrants showing up on the northern coast of Africa to attempt their water-borne smuggling passage through the Med. Recently, they've publicized a 10-point plan.

The National Urban League's Immigration Disconnect

Like much of the country, I've been tracking events in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. A few days ago, April 30, prior to the arrest of several officers for that death, Alisyn Camerota, news anchor for CNN's "New Day" interviewed Marc Morial, former mayor New Orleans, son of another former mayor, and presently head of the National Urban League.

Topics: Black Americans

Free Trade, Not Free Admission of Workers

Trade agreements, the trade negotiating process, and trade pact approval measures (i.e. "fast track" authority) all must be carefully monitored to ensure that the trade deals do not cause increases in admissions of foreign workers or erode congressional authority over visa rules. The current fast-track proposal (TPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have Congress surrender its authority over guestworker policies to the executive branch and its trade negotiators and ultimately to international trade tribunals. This means that we would be stuck with the dysfunctional guestworker programs that we now have and kept on a one-way street allowing only more access for foreign workers to U.S. jobs, with no means to reverse direction.

Topics: Guestworkers

The Blind Will Be Leading the Blind at ICE

Twice in recent weeks I've written about Sarah Saldana, the latest in a string of directors at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Obama administration, who took office last December.

Neither piece was particularly flattering, because she has quickly proven herself to be extremely tractable to the political whims of her bosses rather than true to her duties as head of a large enforcement organization with weighty responsibilities, and because even though she is a lawyer and former U.S. attorney, she hasn't taken the time to learn the laws governing immigration law enforcement and deportation.

"On the Media" Goes to Heaven, Slanting the Story of Europe's Immigration Anxiety

Cable television has understandably been fixated on the riots and unrest in Baltimore and much of the commenting has followed sadly predictable ideological lines. On Fox, Bill O'Reilly points to dysfunction in black communities. On MSNBC, Chris Hayes talks with former Maryland Rep. Kweisi Mfume about police brutality, the globalized economy, and social injustice while saying not a word about the tragic reality that 70 percent of black children nationwide are born out of wedlock.

The problem of ideological fixation made a prominent appearance on last week's "On the Media" program, which is carried on many public radio stations. A 10-minute segment on the horrific crisis of migrants being smuggled from Libya to Italy — many of them drowning as their overloaded boats capsize — became a lament about the rising discontent — in the press and the public — over the immigrant influx into Europe.

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