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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

I've been reporting here on how local governments are using landlord-tenant laws to crack down on illegal immigrants. But apparently, legal immigrants are getting swept up as well. Case in point - Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. The Times reports this morning on how local housing authorities are citing landlords renting to Indians on the ground that Indian families who rent rooms to to Indian students, those on work visas are violating and newly arriving family members, are illegal boarding houses or are too crowded.


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  1. TX's Avatar
    Another reason why illegal and legal immigrants must join together to fight the common enemy. Maybe this was needed to wake up the legal immigrants who think their cause and their fight is different from the fight of the undocumented. Let's wake up folks, as has been quite evident, those who hate the undocumented hate all immigrants, legal or illegal. Anti-immigrants are truly anti-IMMGRANTS; they do not differentiate between legal and illegal. It's about time that we too stop thinking that these are two different groups.
  2. vg's Avatar
    Recently a lwa passed where i live ..for some it's good news for some it's mixed news ..
  3. KT's Avatar
    Now there is a growing trend of local officials tragetting immigrants

  4. Another voice's Avatar
    These so called housing violations that are part of meassures taken by local communities across the country are just a tool by the anti-immigrant crowd to spread their NOT WELOCOME Message in the US to the immigrant community Legal or Illegal they do not care.
  5. TX's Avatar
    vg, can you please explain why you think this is good news for those living in Cobb county?
  6. vg's Avatar
    tx ..

    some of the Supporters/home oweners (who think it's good for them )say it's needed to curb the eyesore of overcrowded houses/apartments, with yards full of cars, that drive down property values.

    But immigrant rights group say it's yet another attempt to make life impossible for a booming community of immigrants, who often have extended families and limited resources.

    personally they should allow how many people to live based on sq foot with no othe restrictions ..Cobb county one may be litte off the line ,since it says who can and cannot ..


  7. 's Avatar
    Let's forget about the conflict between nativist's interests and immigrants' interest for a while. How come these nut and crazy authorities arrive on a conclusion that per person larger squarefootage usage is the sign of development? Do these jokers have any clue about human evolution and how human mind works? And who will define the "Family" ? In some culture family means three generations live together at one place if circumstances permit and that is perfectly healthy and at least people live that way generally do not have mental problems and do not have to take sleep pills to sleep and digestion pills to digest the bread and do not have to take appointments of Psycologists to become mentally healthy.
  8. TX's Avatar
    vg, last I checked this was a free country, and now it seems like some county government wants to take away my freedom to live as I please in my house that I paid for with my hard earned dollars. In a free country don't you think I should be able to live with whomever I please in my own house? And so what If I want my two brothers and my parents to live with me, where is my freedom?

    Greg, couldn't this be considered as unconstitutional? I thought the constitution gave us some freedoms to live as we please in our own homes. Next thing you know they will be passing laws dictating what kind of TV shows we watch, or what kind of food we cook in our house, I can't wait till the day some nativists goes to city council and complains about the smell of Indian or Chinese food coming somewhere from their neighborhood. They will pass some kind of law banning smells that are not suitable to nativists because it's the Indian immigrant responsible for the smell of the spicy food.

    I don't mean to sound an alarm but if you think about it, this is just a start. If they start with dictating how many people can live in a house, don't you think they can dictate HOW you live in your own home? Next I can see some town passing ordnances banning gay couples living in their own house because majority of the people in the community do not agree with that lifestyle. To some of us Asians living with extended family is a lifestyle choice. I mean when and where does this stop?
  9. Calouste's Avatar
    Well, as long as you're white and christian, you can live with as many people in a house as you want:

  10. What about associations?'s Avatar
    I am not able to paint my house the color I want or put a shed in the yard without the blessing of the association.

    Just because you are a middle class white male doesn't mean rules don't apply to us. If you don't agree, I'll email you the bylaws of my association.

    I think I would hear from someone if I had "too many" people living in my house no matter what race they are. Especially if they each had cars that would be parked on the street.

    I don't think this is discrimination. I think it is the application of zoning laws. If you don't agree with the zoning laws, go and fight it.
  11. MD's Avatar
    Hi Greg,

    I am an Indian and I don't agree that the housing laws are unfairly targeted against my countrymen.

    There are civic duties (commonsense) and enforced rules in every communities.

    Nobody asks you to garden. Nobody asks you to restrict excessive number of guests. Nobody asks you to wear clean clothes when you roam around a community. These are all your civic duties based on where you live.

    If you live in a farmland, you will have tractors parked outside your house, but not when you live in a city. Neighbors wont except a tractor in their community, but they cannot enforce it.

    If you live in a community where micro-families live, try to live like that. Don't rent out your home to 10 people and overcrowd your area. If you need to do that, live in an already crowded community and nobody will notice you.

    Unfortunately, everything boils down to how permanent are you in this country. I have found many people who make huge money but living a modest life. They are unsure when they need to leave as they don't have a Green Card. They cannot buy good cars nor furnish their houses. Only thing they can do is to save every bit of money. With Green Cards taking 7-10 years, nobody is sure where they will be tomorrow.


  12. 's Avatar
    In some part of the the US couple who are not married are not allowed to live together, regardless of nationality.
  13. Vikram's Avatar
    I'd to say to all those who think its unfair of the government.Its unfair of the USCIS to take that long for the green card. Its unfair of your employer etc. etc. Please you are more than welcome to go back to your country.

    I'm indian and can tell you, in most cases personally I've noticed its the stingy group which prefers to stay that way. Its not about the joint family etc. concept. And the times article is just taking a very simplistic view of that. So pls dont tell me that crap!. Its a lifestyle thing. Why people who come here as workers and make a decent salary continue to live like crap! pardon my language. But that's the reality and that lifestyle gets noticed as out of place in this developed nation.

    my 2 cents
  14. 123's Avatar
    Vikram, I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion. One has to be poor to know what the meaning of being rich is. However, for those who have experienced being poor value money even more. While making a decent salary helps in "upgrading" ones lifestyle, many people can live with out the luxuries of life. What you see as a "crapy lifestyle" is perfectly fine to others. One might even argue that this "crappy lifestyle" is much better than their living standards back in their home country.

    Many immigrants have filial piety duties as well that the general public don't see. My salary also pays for the $2000 I send home every year, the $8000 I've paid my attorney this year, and the constant $2000/year for EAD + atty fees each and every year. Give me a break. My net salary is $10k less than my peers. With an addional $10k a year, I'm sure many people can afford that BMW and that nice stainless grill on their (yet to be purchased) waterfront house and get out of their "crappy lifestyle".

  15. TX's Avatar
    123..I agree with everything you said. People like Vikram have come to this country and forgotten their roots, its one thing to assimilate in this country but that doesn't mean that we should give up some of the traditions and lifestyles of our cultures.

    Vikram, all I can tell you is to have some respect for those who might not be as fortunate as you, how do you know someone is being stingy? You don't know everyone's situation. I may make more then the average American does but at the same time I do not spend like the average American because I have obligations and priorities that do not allow me to entertain your idea of a non-crappy lifestyle. To you a joint family might not be a lifestyle choice, but for many of us south Asians it still is a preferred method to live, last I checked, this is America and we are free to live as we please, if you do not like that concept then I suggest you go back to some country that doesn't allow these freedoms to its citizens.
  16. Prasun's Avatar
    What Vikram suggests is total crap. Every first generation immigrant(be it Germans, Irish or Italians) that have come to this country have lived the way we Indians do initially. It is not about being stingy nor is it the lifestyle. And this stupid thing about telling others to go back shoud not be tolerated. Everybody is here on their own merit and nobody needs advice atleast from people like Vikram. Also its better to be stingy and save rather than run credit card debts.
  17. Another Immigrant's Avatar
    i agree totally with Prasun . Vikram from what you said , what i can say is that you have not seen all.
  18. Prasun's Avatar
    I suggest henceforth Vikram keep his 2 cents worth of advice to himself. We are all better off without such wimps.
  19. prasun's Avatar
    It is one thing to give constructive criticism while totally rude to denigrate somebody or group. If Vikram does not have the basic decency or manners, he should spend his time acquiring them rather than spending his time making absurd statements.
  20. Vikram's Avatar
    No offense to everyone. Just like you'd your view point on how to live. I'd expressed mine. The reasons why the government has been harsh to people like you is attributed to similar reasons? Can u do anything about? Can you change it? Go knock yourself out, rather then trying to assimilate. For those who think being adaptive isn't a good thing, then why come to this melting pot of the world. Again I'm giving you my neutral opinion. For those who think, I'm fortunate to have a such a lifestyle because I make more...oh god no way..i've seen people who perhaps make double of me still live the "crappy lifestyle". Its all about improving, what's the point if you don't do even after coming here.
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