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  1. Miami Herald: Obama is deceiving Hispanics on immigration

    by , 05-31-2011 at 11:40 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Andres Oppenheimer has written an op-ed for the Miami Herald that properly characterizes the Obama administration's immigration reform strategy.
    Here is an excerpt:

    Gutierrez and growing numbers of Democrats in Congress say that Obama's immigration reform campaign is political posturing, because the president knows that he won't get the votes for congressional passage of a comprehensive immigration reform in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
    Obama's rhetoric may help win Hispanic votes for the 2012 elections by showing Republicans as the stumbling block for immigration reform, but is creating false expectations among Hispanics, they say.

    Click here for the full article.
  2. Letters of the Week - May 31 to June 5

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as "Comment" below.
  3. Rally for Immigration Reform in Nevada

    by , 05-31-2011 at 11:01 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    by , 05-31-2011 at 06:11 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo
    Two recent bills have been introduced in the US Congress, both of which purport to ease the immigration process for healthcare professionals.
    HR 1929 has been introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Rep. Sensenbrenner has long been harsh on legalization of the undocumented, but sensible on immigration for professionals. Rep. Sensenbrenner has submitted versions of HR 1929 in past Congressional sessions, although none have ultimately become law. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) is a co-sponsor of the bill.
    HR 1929 calls for 20,000 immigrant visas to be issued to Registered Nurses.Nurse's immediate families would also get immediate immigrant visas, but they would not count against the 20,000 quota. In order to use these special visas, employers would be charged an additional $1,500, which would go to funding US nursing programs. These visas also would be available for Physical Therapists. This bill is very similar to several prior bills, notably the Schedule EX visa in the mid-2000s that allowed a one-time visa quota of 50,000 visas for nurses and their families.
    While MU applauds the introduction of HR 1929, we expect that the bill will not be enacted into law.
    HR 1933 has been introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. Like Rep. Sensenbrenner, Rep. Smith has long been harsh on legalization of the undocumented, but sensible on immigration for professionals. Rep. Smith's bill calls for the revival of the H-1C program. The H-1C program had been around since the mid-1990s and allowed 14 special hospitals the opportunity to employ nurses. These 14 hospitals are mainly in Texas, which explain Rep. Smith's sponsorship. The H-1C expired in December 2009 and was not reenacted.
    MU is in favor of passage of HR 1933, but we are also skeptical that the bill can become law.
    Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or
  5. Xeriscaped Immigration -- with All the Juice Squeezed out

    by , 05-31-2011 at 06:05 AM (Angelo Paparelli on Dysfunctional Government)
    It's been desiccation junction everywhere in the nation of immigrants. Week-long fears of a government shutdown (averted nearly at the witching hour, midnight on April 8) seemed to suck the air and the attention spans out of official Washington.  A volunteer army of lawyers, descending on the Capitol for a National Day of Action to fix America's broken immigration system, heard most legislators, Administration officials, and their staffs dampen expectations: There would likely be no let-up in detentions, removals and worksite enforcement, and no legislative action or administrative relief on comprehensive immigration reform until after the 2012 elections. 

    To accentuate the point, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) served a notice to appear for a removal hearing on Prerna Lal, an outspoken DREAMer, just as she blogged that "Obama Issues A Gag Order On 'Stop the Deportation' Campaigns."  Heaven forfend that the President be called to account for his broken promises on immigration as he seeks Latino help to secure a new lease on the Oval Office.  Ironically, the State Department in its release this week of its Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, although referring to the actions of foreign governtments, aptly described what happened to Prerna: "[H]uman rights defenders are singled out for particularly harsh treatment."

    The week also signaled continued frailty in the economy as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received just over 10,000 H-1B visa petitions for foreign workers in specialty occupations (about 5,900 petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and roughly 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap for holders of advanced U.S. degrees). The H-1B visa quota has been an accurate lodestar for the health of the economy, rapidly depleted when the good times would roll, and slow to run out when times are less robust. [See this Jan. 2011  GAO Report, Page 15, Figure 6: Time to Reach Annual Cap and Cap Level, Regular and Master’s Cap, FY 2000–FY 2010.]  Apparently even an upsurge in high-tech hiring did little to move the H-1B needle.
    Meantime, journalists reported that the nation's immigration judges are facing burnout and compassion fatigue (with at least one judge on antidepressants and seeking psychological help) as the system of assembly-line injustice acts like a wood chipper on overdrive, grinding up citizens and immigrants with equal disdain.

    Maybe it will take another way of understanding the facts. Perhaps a documentary film can touch the heart and the head when pleading and logic fail. Neither inflammatory nor melodramatic, or one-sided, this film Undocumented depicts real people whose lives are in torment by Washington's failure to fix the eminently fixable immigration laws.

    If not film, then possibly prayer from the psuedonymous patriarch in Undocumented:
    My Lord, bring peace to this country.
    They are putting [in] many strict laws.
    Not just against Hispanics but against all.
    My Father, I pray you soften the hearts of these lawmakers.
    Soften their hearts and make them sensible, my Lord.
    Make them see, we are human, just like them.

    And they need not attack us, and destroy families.
    The children are the future of this country.
    Change their minds and transform them.
    And one day they will come to know your true love.
    We pray for Austin [Texas] my Lord.
    We ask for you, Father, to transform them.
    And we ask for your blessings and guidance.
    Oh, and another noteworthy thing happened this week.  On April 8, Sidney Lumet, film director with a social conscience, passed away.  He immortalized the line, which just as well might have been referring to immigration, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"  He also wrote:

    [The] kind of film in which I believe goes one step further [than mere entertainment].  It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.
    In the best Lumetian tradition, let's hope that Undocumented does just that. 

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