Peter Schrag, for many years the editorial page editor and later a weekly columnist for the Sacramento Bee, currently contributes to The Nation, Harper's, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of several books, including Paradise Lost and California: America's High‐Stakes Experiment and Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America's Schools. This article is drawn from Peter Schrag’s Not Fit for Our Society: Immigration and Nativism in America, University of California Press, 2010.
Tomorrow, President Obama and Congressional leaders will meet to chart a roadmap designed to move comprehensive immigration reform forward in 2009. The President has already begun solving our nation's toughest problems and has promised to tackle our broken immigration system in his first year in office. Leaders in Congress are also committed to moving immigration reform this year and their efforts are buoyed by a groundswell of support from the majority of Americans who want immigration reform.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents across the country routinely disregard basic constitutional protections and the human rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens. Along both the northern and southern borders, CBP agents routinely overstep the boundaries of their authority by conducting enforcement activities outside border regions, making racially motivated arrests, employing derogatory and coercive interrogation tactics, and imprisoning arrestees under inhumane conditions.
In an effort to promote greater accountability by CBP on this issue, the Legal Action Center of the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties are coordinating a national litigation effort. Through this effort, during the week prior to March 12, 2012, attorneys in states along both the northern and southern borders filed individual complaints for damages on behalf of ten individuals who had suffered abuse at the hands of CBP agents. These complaints highlight the breadth of the problem and the culture of impunity that has taken hold within the agency.Read more...
The contest kicks off on October 16, 2009 under the yearly theme, "Why I am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants." Through this contest, fifth graders around the country are given the opportunity to embrace the United States' immigrant history through their poetry, essays, or other creative works.
Focus Must Now Return to Comprehensive Federal Solutions
Released on Wed, Jul 28, 2010
Washington, D.C. - Today, Phoenix district court judge Susan Bolton enjoined key provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB1070. The judge recognized that the federal government has primary authority over making and enforcing immigration law, and that while states have limited authority in this arena, they cannot interfere with federal enforcement or undermine federal priorities. The decision acknowledges the complex nature of immigration law and the harmful consequences of local police attempting to make immigration determinations. The judge also recognized the serious strain that the Arizona law would place on federal resources, which would detract from the federal government's ability to enforce immigration laws in other states and target resources toward serious criminals.Read more...
Washington D.C. - Opponents of immigration reform are often quick to differentiate their disdain for unauthorized immigration from their alleged support of legal immigration. However, finding any evidence of that support has always been elusive and, over the past several months, the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement has conducted hearings that question the value of all forms of immigration. They continue to perpetuate the myth that all immigrants - including legal immigrants - are stealing jobs from native-born workers.
Today, the committee continues these same attacks on legal channels of immigration with a hearing on diversity visas, a program which provides 55,000 green cards annually by lottery to persons from countries that do not currently send many immigrants to the United States. The diversity visa is a relatively small program designed to increase the diversity of our immigrant flows. One prime example of a diversity visa winner is famed soccer player Freddy Adu.Read more...