Sunday, January 29, 2006

Immigration News Round-Up

I'll be tied up the next few days working with the Alito Filibuster effort, so here's a round-up of the latest news on the immigration front that I won't get a chance to cover in detail.

"St. Patrick's Day, 1867...Rum, Blood, The Day We Celebrate" by Thomas Nast, from Harper's Weekly.

After the fold:
Mother Jones covers Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz case
Sundance documentaries explore immigration
more below the fold


A new study has been published by the Center for the Study of Urban Policy on Day Laborers

On The Corner: Day Labor in the United States
Abel Valenzuela, Jr., Nik Theodore, Edwin Meléndez, and Ana Luz Gonzalez
Center for the Study of Urban Poverty UCLA

Executive Summary

This report profiles, for the first time, the national phenomenon of day labor in the United States. Men and women looking for employment in open-air markets by the side of the road, at busy intersections, in front of home improvement stores and in other public spaces are ubiquitous in cities across the nation. The circumstances that give rise to this labor market are complex and poorly understood. In this report, we analyze data from the National Day Labor Survey, the first systematic and scientific study of the day-labor sector and its workforce in the United States.

This portrait of day labor in the United States is based on a national survey of 2,660 day laborers. These workers were randomly selected at 264 hiring sites in 139 municipalities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The sheer number of these sites, combined with their presence in every region in the country, reflects the enormous breadth of this labor market niche.

Our findings reveal that the day-labor market is rife with violations of workers’ rights. Day laborers are regularly denied payment for their work, many are subjected to demonstrably hazardous job sites, and most endure insults and abuses by employers. The growth of day-labor hiring sites combined with rising levels of workers’ rights violations is a national trend that warrants attention from policy makers at all levels of government.

In some cities, the rise of day labor has been accompanied by community tensions, in part because of inaccurate and unsubstantiated portrayals of these workers. The aim of this study is to provide sound empirical data on the day-labor phenomenon that can inform public discussions and provide the basis for thoughtful policy approaches to this complex issue. Below, we present some of the most important findings from the National Day Labor Survey.

On The Corner: Day Labor in the United States (PDF)

More on this from the MSM

New York Times
Boston Globe

Mother Jones covers Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz case

Mother Jones has an excellent article about the case of Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz and the group "No More Deaths"

Immigration Clampdown
Last summer, two aid volunteers saved some desperately ill Mexicans who'd crossed illegally into Arizona. For their troubles they may end up in jail.

Andrew Gumbel
January 18 , 2006

On July 9 last year, a group of eight Mexican migrants made the hazardous journey across the U.S. border into Arizona and, after three days of walking through the blistering desert heat, stumbled into a group of humanitarian aid volunteers near the farming village of Arivaca, about 60 miles southwest of Tucson.

Five of them needed no more than rest, food, water and relatively minor treatment for blisters on their feet before they were on their way again. But the other three were in altogether worse shape. According to several eyewitnesses, they were badly dehydrated and vomiting repeatedly after drinking contaminated water from a cattle trough. One of them, Emil Hidalgo-Solis, later told investigators he was unable to keep anything in his stomach, solid or liquid, and noticed that his diarrhea was streaked with blood.

The aid volunteers, representing a group called No More Deaths, brought the three to their camp in Arivaca and, following standard protocol, discussed the men’s symptoms over the telephone with a registered nurse, who consulted in turn with a physician. Together, they decided the men needed to be brought to Tucson for further examination and treatment.

So far, this was nothing out of the ordinary in a border region where undocumented migrants have lately been crossing—and dying—in record numbers. (More than 280 bodies were recovered from the border region in 2005 alone, up from the previous year, and there is every expectation the number will increase in 2006.) No More Deaths was established in 2002 in direct response to what its members see as a shocking and needless loss of life arising from the inconsistencies and contradictions in U.S. immigration policy. Over the past three years, the group and its dozens of volunteers have established a modus operandi with the Border Patrol permitting it to carry out its mission of distributing food, water, and medical aid more or less unmolested.

But on that day last July something very unusual happened. The two volunteers who drove the sick migrants to Tucson were flagged down by the Border Patrol and arrested along with their charges. According to the Border Patrol, the three men sitting in the back seat of their car were not sick at all—or at least not sick enough for the assistance they received to be regarded as strictly humanitarian in nature.


Sundance documentaries explore immigration

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) -- Amid all the glitz at the Sundance Film Festival's debut weekend, three obscure filmmakers managed to win fans with their work on illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The paparazzi chased "Friends with Money" star Jennifer Aniston, and the comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" fetched around $10 million from distributor Fox Searchlight to become the first major movie sale at the festival.

But it was Mexican documentarian Tin Dirdamal's "DeNADIE," Joseph Mathew's documentary "Crossing Arizona" and Pablo Veliz's drama "La Tragedia de Macario" that tugged at heartstrings

That's about it for now, catch ya on the rebound

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