This week Alabama passed immigration legislation that turns the police force, whose primary duty is to protect, into immigration officials with the power to question anyone, where there is “reasonable suspicion”, about their immigration status. Moreover, schools which are supposed to provide a nurturing and safe environment are now responsible for recording the undocumented status of their students. In case there was any doubt about the devastating implications of this law for the Hispanic community in Alabama, one only had to read this week’s headlines: “After Ruling, Hispanics Flee…” (New York Times), “Hispanic Students Vanish from Alabama Schools…” (Associated Press). The State of Alabama has confirmed that over 2,000 Hispanic children never showed up for school on Monday. Continue reading ‘Alabama, Land of the Scared’ »
Posts tagged ‘immigration’
Los Angeles Students to Be Taught That Arizona Immigration Law Is Un-American
By Jana Winter
Published June 02, 2010
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The Los Angeles Unified School District school board wants all public school students in the city to be taught that Arizona’s new immigration law is un-American.
The school board president made the announcement Tuesday night after the district’s Board of Education passed a resolution to oppose the controversial law, which gives law enforcement officials in Arizona the power to question and detain people they suspect are in the U.S. illegally when they are stopped in relation to a crime or infraction.
Critics of the law say it will result in racial profiling.
The school board voted unanimously on Tuesday to “express outrage” and “condemnation” of the law, and it called on the school superintendent to look into curtailing economic support to the Grand Canyon State. About 73 percent of the students in the school district are Latino.
But supporters of the law say the school board is way out of bounds and that the measure will just distract from the children’s education.
“This is ridiculous, it’s ridiculous for us to be involved in Arizona law,” said Jane Barnett, Chairman, Los Angeles County Republican Party. “There is a 50 percent dropout rate in some parts of the school district—is this going to keep kids in school?”
According to its press release, “The Los Angeles Board of Education also requested that Superintendent Ramon Cortines ensure that civics and history classes discuss the recent laws with students in the context of the American values of unity, diversity and equal protection for all people.”
“America must stand for tolerance, inclusiveness and equality,” said Board President Monica García, according to the release. “In our civics classes and in our hallways, we must give life to these values by teaching our students to value themselves; to respect others; and to demand fairness and justice for all who live within our borders. Any law which violates civil rights is un-American.”
In an e-mail to FOXNews.com, school district spokesman Robert Alaniz elaborated:
“The Board of Education directed the Superintendent to ensure that LAUSD civics and history classes discuss the recent laws enacted in Arizona in the context of the American values of unity, diversity, and Equal Protection for all. Much like a number of controversial periods and laws that are part of our history and are currently taught including:
– Jim Crowe laws and segregation
– Native American reservations
– Residential schools (for Native Americans)
– The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
– Anti-Irish racism in the 19th century
– Racism against immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe in the 20th century
– Internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II
– The Mexican Repatriation Program (1929-1939).”
The school district resolution also opposed another new Arizona law that bans schools from teaching classes that promote the overthrow of the government or advocate ethnic solidarity.
The school board called on Arizona’s leaders to reverse both of these “misguided” new laws, the press release said.
The board said the laws “effectively sanction and promote unconstitutional racial profiling and harassment,” and “blatantly violate the civil rights of both Arizona residents and all visitors to the State.”
They said Arizona’s new laws also “severely restrict the education of all children in Arizona by refusing to incorporate vital sections of history that incorporate the contributions of this country’s many diverse groups.”
The superintendent was also asked to investigate ways to curtail contracts with Arizona-based businesses and district travel to the state.
“We need to do everything in our power to help our students be global citizens, develop appreciation for the diversity in our midst, and reject any forms of racism or bias,” said Board Vice President Yolie Flores. “This resolution highlights our commitment to ensuring that our students understand the ideals and constitutional rights that this great country is founded on, while also gaining an appreciation of the histories and cultural contributions of those who have helped build this nation.”
“It is a sad day in America when the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution are trampled upon under the color of law and authority,” said LAUSD Board Member Martinez. “Everyone, regardless of their status in the United States, has the right to equal protection under our laws. These Arizona laws are nothing but a knee-jerk backlash resulting from the lack of a comprehensive and well thought out immigration reform policy.”
The LA County Republican chairwoman said she’s been inundated with phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages from people all over Los Angeles who say their school district has no business meddling in another state’s laws when they’ve got so many problems of their own to deal with.
“This is really crazy,” she said. “Everybody is upset about this.”
Barnett called the school board resolution a “pathetic stunt” that distracts educators from what they should be focusing on: educating the students.
“This is nothing we should be involved in. Let the courts deal with this,” she said. “We need to keep out of other people’s states’ business.”
Nathan Mintz, the founder of the South Bay Tea Party and the Republican nominee for the 53rd State Assembly seat.
“This is just another example of these embedded bureaucrats in California doing anything they can to deflect and distract from the poor job their doing of educating our children,” said Nathan Mintz, the founder of the South Bay Tea Party and the Republican nominee for the 53rd State Assembly seat.
He said attacking Arizona’s immigration law is just “a distraction from the key issue of educating the kids in our schools.”
“We support Arizona,” Barnett said. “In fact, I think we ought to go there right now for vacation.”
April 29, 2010 5:58 p.m. EST
Topics: politics, migration, values, ethics, minority group, national or ethnic minority, social issue, religion and belief, United States
Tejinder Singh – AHN News Correspondent
Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – People of various faith voiced their support for immigration reforms on Thursday in a tele-conference call with journalists, kick-starting a weekend of action in communities from coast to coast, calling for comprehensive reform, according to Kristin Williams representing Faith in Public Life.
FPL, a strategy center for the faith community, working on issues of justice, compassion and the common good, said in a statement, after organizing the call with journalists, “the Arizona law demonstrates the immediate and severe consequences of failing to fix our broken immigration system.”
“The Arizona law and the outpouring of condemnation from the faith community underscores the urgency of enacting humane, comprehensive immigration reform,” said Jen Smyers, Associate for Immigration and Refugee Policy at Church World Service, adding during the call, “We are praying, protesting, and standing in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters to push Congress to enact humane immigration reform before August recess.”
Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church aptly put the sentiments of immigrants in perspective saying, “They fear that they will be stopped for being brown, that their immigrant parents will be deported, that their families will be separated and trampled by a rampant hatred that is out of control in Arizona.”
The faith community’s support for Arizona’s immigrant community and comprehensive immigration reform united people of faith from across the religious and ideological spectrum in a historic call for justice.
“As evangelical Christians, we like to believe we would have stood against slavery, we would have advocated for women’s suffrage, and we would have marched in Selma with Dr. King,” said Rev. Troy Jackson of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, OH.
“The law passed in Arizona tramples on the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This law only serves to highlight the sore need for fair and just immigration reform at the federal level,” said Jaspreet Singh, Staff Attorney United Sikhs, in New York.
United Sikhs urged “all people and faith communities,” to fight against “any policy that relies on profiling or arbitrary means to override basic and fundamental constitutional freedoms.”
The church attendance would also largely get affected as Yvonne Diaz, of Iglesia Menonita Hispana said in a statement, “On Sunday my church will hold a vigil in support of immigration reform, but fear of racial profiling and harassment will prevent many in the Latino community from attending.”
Different community leaders in one voice reiterated that reform will not only keep families together and protect “both our values and interests as a nation, “but will also preclude the possibility of more states passing discriminatory immigration laws that create climates of suspicion and fear and do little to fix the “underlying problems with our broken system.”
USCIS releases list of special benefits available to Chilean Nationals in the light of the natural disaster
Washington DC, 14th March 2010: Following the massive earthquake that destroyed Chile and has affected millions, the USCIS released a list of benefits that are available to Chilean Nationals upon request.
Temporary relief measures available to nationals of Chile may include: Continue reading ‘USCIS releases list of special benefits available to Chilean Nationals in the light of the natural disaster’ »