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  1. FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN BILLIONAIRE PRAISES IMMIGRANTS

    by , 07-21-2008 at 06:16 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    A reader sent me this link to a Tampa Bay Business Journal profile article on Sheila C. Johnson. Ms. Johnson is one of the most successful business owners in America. She owns major real estate interests and professional sports teams and she is also a major philanthropist. And being an African-American woman, she has no doubt had to work even harder to get to the top. I thought this comment from her interview was especially interesting:Who are your heroes in the business world?

    I know this is going to sound crazy, but with all the hubbub about immigration, I look at the recent immigrants in this country -- the people many are saying are here looking for a handout -- and I realize they are just about the only people actually exhibiting the kind of work ethic that built this country. And they're certainly keeping alive the concept of the American dream. Not only that, but they're doing the kind of jobs that most native born Americans wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole, the jobs many feel are beneath them. I guess I consider these people my heroes because without the work that they do, day in and day, this economy would absolutely crumble.Note that a subscription to Bizjournal.com is required to see the whole article.
  2. MAYORS TO BUSH: STOP THE RAIDS AND PUSH THROUGH IMMIGRATION REFORM

    by , 07-21-2008 at 06:05 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    The US Conference of Mayors passed the following resolution at its recent meeting in Miami:

    CALLING FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM WHICH PROMOTES THE
    REUNIFICATION OF FAMILIES,  PROVIDES LEGAL STATUS WITH A PATH TO
    EARNED CITIZENSHIP,  AND A PLAN FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE IMMIGRANT
    WORKERS


    WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes
    the economic, social and cultural contributions immigrants bring to
    their communities; and

    WHEREAS, the responsibility of municipal leaders is to protect the wellbeing and safety of all the people residing in their cities; and

    WHEREAS,
    many local governments have passed resolutions, ordinances and policy
    directives reaffirming non-participation in the enforcement of civil
    immigration law by city officials and agencies to promote immigrant
    trust in its police and avert racial profiling and civil rights
    violations; and

    WHEREAS, The International Association of Chiefs of Police Guide to Immigration Issues
    concludes that local police leaders face a growing set of immigration
    related duties in the face of scarce and narrowing resources; and

    WHEREAS,
    raids and deportations are increasing in scope and number in recent
    weeks and months, separating families and spreading terror in our
    communities; and

    WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors
    opposes the separation of families by the enforcement of our current
    immigration laws and supports the reunification of families that have
    been so separated, especially those "mixed status" families with U.S.
    citizen children of which there are an estimated four million children
    currently in this country; and

    WHEREAS, the national political debate on immigration reform has tended to polarize our communities; and

    WHEREAS,
    it is the duty of local governments to respect the rights of and
    provide equal services to all individuals regardless of national origin
    or immigration status,

    NOW,  THEREFORE,  BE IT RESOLVED
    by The U.S. Conference of Mayors acting on behalf of its constituents
    to call on the President of the United States to issue an executive
    order to cease and desist in the execution of all raids and
    deportations that do not relate to our national security or to criminal
    activity until comprehensive immigration reform is completed and to
    suspend immediately all deportations of parents with U.S. citizen
    children; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S.
    Conference of Mayors supports comprehensive immigration reform which
    promotes the reunification of families, provides legal status with a
    path to earned citizenship to the estimated 12 million undocumented
    workers and designs a plan for current and future immigrant workers.
  3. Compete America Letter

    The CTIHS -- which formally has combined its effort with the AAIHR -- was asked to become a signatory to Compete America's sign-on letter. The July 17 letter asks Congress to enact three pieces of legislation: H.R. 6039, H.R. 5921 and H.R. 5882.

    As explained in the letter, the three bills will address many shortcomings in the EB green card system. For example:

    - H.R. 6039, by exempting highly educated, foreign-born students earning an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from a U.S. university from the annual EB green card limit, would help U.S. employers retain these talented individuals in the U.S. workforce. For example, foreign nationals comprise half of the master's and 70 percent of the Ph.D.s in electrical engineering from U.S. universities.

    - H.R. 5921 will help put an end to multi-year wait times by eliminating unduly restrictive per country limits on EB green cards.

    - H.R. 5882 will help to reduce visa backlogs by "recapturing" EB green cards from prior years that went unused due to government processing delays and making them available immediately to those who meet the requirements.

    These three bills, along with H.R. 5924, are all viable candidates for enactment this summer/fall. By partnering with Compete America, the CTIHS/AAIHR raises its profile. Members of Compete America include some of America's largest and most prestigious companies and organizations.
  4. IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: KHATUNA LORIG - OLYMPIC ARCHER

    by , 07-20-2008 at 07:45 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)

    Khatuna Lorig will represent the US in Women's Archery at the Beijing Olympics. She previously competed for the Former Soviet Union at the 1992 Games (where she earned a bronze medal) and then the Republic of Georgia in 1996 and 2000. She just missed qualifying in 2004. Now she'll compete in her fourth Olympics for her new country.

    Good luck Khatuna!
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  5. 33 NATURALIZED US CITIZENS TO COMPETE FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN BEIJING

    by , 07-20-2008 at 07:23 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    According to the Associated Press, this is more than a 20% increase since the 2004 Olympics. The AP article also has some humorous quotes from the antis basically saying that we should only be allowing in Olympic athletes and Nobel Prize winners. What these less than Nobel-level thinkers don't get is that the immigrant society that is the United States is one of the key reasons these 33 athletic superstars chose the US. Some of the athletes came as refugees and at least one was an illegal alien when he entered the country. So I presume the antis should have put an asterisk after their remarks.

    By the way, I'll be featuring many of these athletes over the next month in my Immigrants of the Day posts.
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