Monday, May 30, 2011

Ruben Navarrette takes on Lamar Smith

Ruben Navarrette writes a regular syndicated column and often comments on immigration issues.  In today's column he is critical of Lamar Smith and the Republican Party's take on immigration policy:

Previous columns have also taken on the Texas legislature and Governor Perry on sanctuary cities:

Back From Paris

I am back from my week in Paris, and I had an enjoyable trip, with a few highlights related to antidiscrimination policy.  Last Monday I attended the Y'a Bon awards in Paris.  This is an annual event hosted by the organization Les Indivisibles.  I was invited by Rokhaya Diallo who was a participant in the conference I organized around Transatlantic Intolerance back in February.  The event highlights the most egregious racist statements made in the media by high profile people in France like government ministers and business people.  It was interesting to see a different perspective around issues of racism in France, since I am normally spending time with academics, many of whom continue to insist that racism isn't an issue in France.  It is also interesting to note that there is a much stronger linkage to issues around racism, discrimination and immigration in France.  For example, many of the statements have linkages to the colonial past (e.g., Guerlain's use of the word negre) or Muslim immigrants.

I also attended a conference at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) Law School around the issue of organizations like La Halde, France's main antidiscrimination body, being folded into a human rights body call the Defenseur des Droits.  Most of the commentators focused on how this would reduce the effectiveness of the different entities that had focused on discrimination related to gender, sexual orientation, race, and many other grounds.  This has clearly been a political process, with the Sarkozy government focusing on this as a "rationalization" of the different entities (i.e., cutting people and budgets), but also reducing the ability of these organizations to "blame and shame" businesses, and even government entities that discriminate.  France does not have a legal tradition of class action law suits and they generally do not collect data that would help to support discrimination cases, so this will be a major dilution of the ability to pursue these types of cases.

Other immigration news updates:
The New York Times reports on the Obama administration's focus on employer sanctions:
A critique from the Daily Beast of Obama's approach to immigration legislation:
California Assembly vote to limit immigration checks:

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Paris

I have been in Paris this week, giving a talk at the University for Social Science Studies (EHESS), meeting with people about my research, and attending a day-long conference on changes in anti-discrimination institutions here in France. Unfortunately, things seem to be moving in a negative direction, but I'll be writing more about that later. Of course the big news has been Dominique Strauss-Kahn, aka DSK.  After initial disbelief, the French seem to have gotten used to the idea that he isn't going to be able to make quick work of this problem.  Other news includes Obama's trip to Britain and now he is in France for the G-8 meeting.

The New York Times has had several interesting articles related to immigration:

The first is the sad story of a migrant living in the shadows in Europe:

Migrant labor in Napa Valley:

Supreme court upholds Arizona's employer sanctions law:

Friday, May 20, 2011

From the Dallas Fed

I have been attending a conference at the Dallas Fed Immigration Policy in an era of Globalization

The papers presented will become part of the third edition of the book Controlling Immigration
I am working with Phil Martin on the chapter on Germany.

Panels on the U.S., Canada and Australia began the conference, as "Nations of Immigrants."  Panelists examined issues around the maintenance of the status quo in the U.S. which is beneficial to business and people who benefit from hiring low-wage/low-skilled workers, particularly from Mexico.  Canada was highlighted as a country that has very positive public opinion on immigration, although it's not totally clear what factors into this attitude.  Australia has had a rather unsuccessful push to limit refugees that land there, and is trying to work with other Asian countries to help with the processing of refugees and asylum seekers.

For the European cases, some of the clear themes coming out of the conference is the focus on immigrant integration policy.  It is a way to provide access to language programs and civics education for immigrants but it is also used as a form of immigration control, particularly in the area of family reunification. Due to court rulings and human rights policies, many European countries have been unable to restrict family reunification immigration, but this is beginning to change through the use of language requirements prior to receiving a visa.

There were also excellent papers and discussion around shifts in policy in countries like the UK, where issues such as 9/11 and securitization have impacted liberal policies and a shift in government has refocused policy on control.

The Scandinavian cases focused particularly on the role of the welfare state and history to explain similarities and differences and the discussion focused attention on the role of politics and populist parties.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Christian Science Monitor on Muslims in Europe

Now it's time for something from the European side of the Atlantic.  Issues around Islam and anti-Muslim sentiment have been a hot topic, particularly since the publication of books in France and Germany that claim that Muslims are "dumbing down" society, and that they refuse to integrate. However, issues of discrimination need to be addressed as well:

Obama's speech on immigration


Leave it to the Irish Times to cover the Latino response:

Republicans push back:

The push by Obama continues:

 Ruben Navarette's opinion -- tough as always:

Some facts on U.S. Mexico relationship:

Reyes defends border cities:

Some new MPI reports

There are two new reports from MPI -- the first is on skilled immigration and competitiveness in the U.S.:

Here is the link to the report on the EU:

This is part of a larger project on:

US and European Immigration Systems

A Collaborative Project on Improving the Capacity for Responding to Global Challenges

MPI is also collaborating with the Wilson Center on the following project on regional migration and competitiveness:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Obama to revive immigration reform

Can Obama use the political capital he gained this week to revive immigration reform?  I'm skeptical, but here are what some of the commentators in the media have to say:

From Time magazine:  Global Spin
Washington Examiner:  Obama to propose broader immigration reforms
From Reuters:  Obama-and-the-vexed-issue-of-immigration

Obama's meeting with Hispanic legislators from the Huffington Post:  Hispanic-lawmakers-obama-immigration-policy

In other news:
The Chipotle restaurant chain is in the spotlight for immigration violations:  Denver based Chipotle under scrutiny
The Hispanic Caucus calls for a freeze of: Secure Communitites

More from the New York Times on:Secure Communities