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Dan Kowalski, editor of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, has some tough words for leading Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, particularly concerning border enforcement measures. I tend to agree with Dan, but when it comes to the Democratic presidential candidates, we're grading on a curve. With the possible exceptions of John McCain and Rudy Guiliani who have good records and haven't succumbed to the anti-immigration mania in the GOP, the Republican contenders are likely are so bad that they wouldn't even answer interview questions from a pro-immigration group.
This is only immigration news because a lot of people use Fedex to ship packages to the USCIS Regional Service Center in Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas. If you are sending a package to the TSC, you might want to make sure it got there.
One of my colleagues heard Ms. Murekatete speak last week in Memphis and highly suggested including her in the blog. Ms. Murekatete is a young woman who survived the genocide in Rwanda and now is devoting her life to educating the world about what happened in her land and why the US needs to stop similar tragedies in other countries. Her story is painful to hear, but certainly a wake up call for listeners. Check out Ms. Muraketete's web site to see what her organization is doing to heal the world.
Millions of people around the world could very possibly owe their lives to David Ho, a Taiwanese-born researcher who early on realized that HIV was a virus. He pioneered the use of protease prohibitors and led the development of the "cocktails" of drug treatments taken by HIV positive individuals. Ho is one of the few medical researchers ever to receive the Time's Person of the Year honor. He shares the title with Popes, Presidents, business magnates and Kings (and a few villains since the designation is given to the person deemed to have the greatest impact on the world in the prior year). My quick study of the list indicates that Ho is the only individual medical researcher ever to be selected.
Another high profile security snaf this time involving the president of Real Madrid. From the team's web site:
Ramón Calderón detained in a New York airport due to mistaken identity
Real Madrid President Ramón Calderón was accidentally detained for several hours in a New York airport after an immigration officer saw that one of the President's surnames was blacklisted.
This coincidence activated the typical security measures which have been stepped up in recent days due to the U.N. summit and President George Bush's visit to New York.
As soon as the incident was known, the Club contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior.
Once the matter had been resolved, the President of Real Madrid, who is in New York for personal reasons, received an apology and continued about his business.
Ooh, this is getting good. Yesterday I reported how the Small Business Administration has gone on the offensive against DHS for breaking the law in the way it released the new "no match" rule. No response yet from DHS.
Today, DHS takes on the State of Illinois over a law the state passed BARRING employers from using the beleaguered Basic Pilot program until DHS has the number of "false positives" where US citizens and permanent residents are incorrectly identified as not being work authorized down to less than 1%.
While I'm sympathetic with Illinois on the facts, as a matter of law, I'm actually siding with DHS. I believe the Illinois law is unconstitutional because it preempts a federal immigration law and under the Constitution, that authority is reserved for Congress. Funny thing is that the anti-immigrants would be smart to side with Illinois on this one because if Illinois loses, state and local laws around the country seeking to enforce immigration laws will be in even greater trouble.
Now this was unexpected. The Small Business Administration has notified the Department of Homeland Security that it has violated federal law in releasing the final social security number no match regulation. The rule was set to take effect last week, but has been held up pending a federal judge's hearing on October 1st. This will no doubt give new ammunition to the plaintiffs in that case.
This is also surprising because it makes it clear that DHS was pretty sloppy (and, by the extension, so was the White House) and it looks like they rushed this rule out most likely for political reasons as opposed to being truly ready to go. The SBA is not ready to play ball.
Jerry Yang, a Hmong Laotian native, is the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. Yang, born in 1968, fled with his family from Laos to neighboring Thailand in the 70s and spent four years in a refugee camp where he lost a brother and sister. Yang came to the US as a refugee in 1979 and grew up in California. He quickly caught up with his American-born fellow students and went on to receive a masters degree in health psychology from Loma Linda University. He now is a therapist and father of six.
And, incidentally, he's a pretty good poker player. He's earned more than $8,000,000 in poker tournaments. Yang has pledged 10% of his winnings to three charities - Make-a-wish, Feed the Children and Ronald McDonald House.
Reader USC posted a
link to a disturbing article in this morning's Washington Post regarding just how much information the government is collecting on all of us as we travel in and out of the country. This raises the age old question of just how privacy we are willing to give up in the name of preventing a terrorist attack. One is reminded of the two way television monitors on the walls in George Orwell's 1984 where citizens of Eurasia were constantly being monitored. While the US is far from a totalitarian regime, every totalitarian regime justifies forcing the people to give up its rights - particularly the right to privacy - in exchange for security. Unfortunately, when people are scared, they are quick sacrifice their freedoms. Sure, many will say that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But life isn't that simple and we cannot always trust the integrity of those doing the snooping. The challenge is to set limits that allow our government to protect us without our becoming a police state. That includes ensuring that there are watchdogs watching the watchdogs.