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.
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield tremendous political power in Virginia, but are also an integral part of Virginia's economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse.
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...
According to new U.S. Census Bureau projections, by 2042 American minorities will grow to become a majority, adding to the ethnic and racial diversity that has historically defined our country.While some fear that demographic shifts threaten American identity, research and experience has shown that today's immigrants integrate into American society just as generations of immigrants before them – they learn English, buy property, intermarry, become U.S. citizens, and otherwise weave into the fabric of this nation.
As a front-page story in today's Washington Post reminds us: "Not since the last great wave of immigration to the United States around 1900 has the country's economic future been so closely entwined with the generational progress of an immigrant group." The story highlights the degree to which the children of immigrants from Latin America have become crucial to sustaining the working-age population and tax base of the nation as the 75 million Baby Boomers retire. The parents of these children most likely would not have even come to this country if not for the U.S. economy's past high demand for workers to fill less-skilled jobs; demand which was not being adequately met by the rapidly aging and better-educated native-born labor force.
The Community Education Center of the American Immigration Council has launched its 14th Annual Creative Writing Contest for "Why I'm Proud America is a Nation of Immigrants". The contest which is run by local chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association has more than 5,000 entries from around the country annually. The contest is open to fifth graders during the 2010-2011 school year.
Washington D.C. - More than two years into the Obama Administration, it is still unclear whether President Obama’s immigration agenda will ultimately be remembered as an enforcement-driven enterprise, or one that uses the full force of executive branch authority to improve our badly broken system. On the one hand, the President continues to voice support for comprehensive immigration reform that would create a new immigration system that is more fair, just, and practical than the unworkable system now in place. On the other hand, the Administration repeatedly trumpets the fact that it is deporting more people with greater efficiency than its predecessors. When confronted by this apparent contradiction, Administration officials claim that, in the absence of Congressional action, their hands are tied and they must simply enforce the dysfunctional laws that are now on the books. This response ignores the important and completely legitimate role that the Executive branch of government has always played in interpreting and implementing existing laws.
It is time for the Administration to more clearly define a vision for what its legacy on immigration will be, then take action to ensure that vision is reflected in its interpretation and implementation of immigration law. Without bold and decisive action, President Obama’s legacy on immigration will come to be defined by a do-nothing Congress with a chronic inability to pass legislative reform.Read more...