Immigration News Blog
Thursday, May 31, 2007
New York City Police Seek Trust Among ImmigrantsNew York City Police Seek Trust Among Immigrants
A unit of the police department is reaching out to communities that often have little faith in law enforcement.
Labor leaders divided over immigration billLabor leaders divided over immigration bill
The AFL-CIO and the Laborers' union oppose the broader immigration bill, arguing that workers here on a temporary basis are more vulnerable to labor ...
Legislation Pushed to Require Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers in New YorkLegislation Pushed to Require Minimum Wage for Domestic Workers
Supporters of the bill say domestic workers deserve special protection because they are arguably the most invisible and most vulnerable workers in the state.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Screening for all workers planned with immigration overhaulScreening For All Workers Planned With Immigration Overhaul
Tyler Morning Telegraph, TX -
They have checked 1.77 million employees, according to Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency within the Homeland Security Department. ...
Labor And NYC Officials Oppose Immigration Bill ProvisionsLabor And NYC Officials Oppose Immigration Bill Provisions
Black Star News, NY -
As details of the proposed White House-Senate immigration deal have been reaching the public, the Hispanic Federation and the Labor Council for Latin ...
Overhaul of Immigration Law Could Reshape New YorkOverhaul of Immigration Law Could Reshape New York
The proposed law could profoundly alter the currents that have long fed the city’s kaleidoscopic diversity.
Illegal immigration has global impactIllegal immigration has global impact
Still, given the social costs of illegal immigration, this is not a win-win situation of hooking up our available jobs with their available workers. ...
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Unions, tech firms gripe on immigrant billUnions, tech firms gripe on immigrant bill
By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff
Like politicians in Washington, Massachusetts business and labor leaders are finding plenty to gripe about in the proposed overhaul of America's immigration laws.
Graft Mars the Recruitment of Mexican Guest WorkersGraft Mars the Recruitment of Mexican Guest Workers
Cástulo Benavides, a union organizer, came to this forgotten mountain town to tell its men how to get legal jobs in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. But this year he introduced them to a change in a longstanding practice: the men will not have to pay anyone to get those jobs.
Asians frustrated, angry over immigration planAsians frustrated, angry over immigration plan
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco resident Francisco Villacrusis and his wife petitioned 13 years ago for their grown children to join them from the Philippines and keep them company in their final years. But if Congress passes immigration changes now being proposed,...
Hi-Tech Industry Opposes Immigration BillHi-Tech Industry Opposes Immigration Bill
The high-tech industry is making known it's opposition to an immigration bill being debated on Capitol Hill. Industry leaders say the bill won't do enough to compensate for a shortage of skilled workers and makes it more difficult to hire qualified people from overseas.
'Gang of 12' Mulling Immigration (Time Magazine)'Gang of 12' Mulling Immigration (Time Magazine)
The best chance to overhaul immigration this year -- depends in large part on how effective the Congressional "Gang of 12" is in insulating the plan from major changes
Legal Implications of the Immigration Compromise (Washington Post)Legal Implications of the Immigration Compromise (Washington Post)
The McCain-Kennedy immigration compromise, supported by the president but under attack from both the left and the right, would be the biggest change to American immigration laws in decades. Liz Stern and Carl Hampe with the immigration group in the D.C. office of lawfirm Baker & McKenzie, will be online Thursday, May 24 at noon ET to explain the legislation, how it would change current law, and ...
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Immigration Raid Leaves Sense of Dread in Hispanic StudentsImmigration Raid Leaves Sense of Dread in Hispanic Students
Willmar, Minn. The day before everything happened, Alex Sorto left Willmar High School as usual at 2:30, and grabbed a ride to his night job as a janitor at the Jennie-O turkey processing plant. He had been working there for four months, saving money for
Worker worries grow as immigration debate plays outWorker worries grow as immigration debate plays out
While Congress debates the fate of immigration reform on Capitol Hill, Stanislaus County farmer Vito Chiesa has a mountain of worries closer to home. How will he get his peach crop thinned? Will there be workers at harvest time?
U.S., Mexico Hold 65th Annual Boarder Health Conference Focusing on Migrant HealthU.S., Mexico Hold 65th Annual Boarder Health Conference Focusing on Migrant Health
U.S. and Mexico leaders on Monday held the 65th annual U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association meeting, at which the nations discussed collaborative efforts to address migrant health issues, the McAllen Monitor reports.
Debate pits immigrants against U.S. workers / Pro-union Dems clash in Senate over whose needs prevailDebate pits immigrants against U.S. workers / Pro-union Dems clash in Senate over whose needs prevail
By Carolyn Lochhead
California Sen. Barbara Boxer and other pro-union Democrats clashed on the Senate floor Tuesday over whether admitting 400,000 temporary low-skilled workers each year to the United States would harm struggling American workers or help the immigrants who die...
Tracking the aftermathTracking the aftermath
By Julie Ferguson
Hello to the readers of Working Immigrants. While Peter is traveling, I will be following some of the news stories about the immigration law - or any other related matters that I might find - and posting them here. I'm not the topic expert that Peter is, but my colleagues and I at Workers Comp Insider do keep our eye on issues related to immigrant workers and post on the topic from time to time.
Senate Reduces Guest-Worker Visas in Immigration Legislation (Bloomberg.com)Senate Reduces Guest-Worker Visas in Immigration Legislation (Bloomberg.com)
The Senate voted to cut in half the number of visas available under a proposed guest-worker program as part of an overhaul of immigration law.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Will Immigration Amnesty Hurt African Americans?Will Immigration Amnesty Hurt African Americans?
As the U.S. immigration debate comes to a boil, many African Americans are wondering what reform will mean for their community. T. Willard Fair, President and CEO of the National Urban League of Greater Miami, talks to Farai Chideya about what unites -
Temporary Workers Program Challenged in Immigration DebateTemporary Workers Program Challenged in Immigration Debate
The Online NewsHour
Some senators on Tuesday challenged the part of the immigration bill that addresses temporary workers, with some vowing to limit or cut the program. The NewsHour takes a closer look at the interests surrounding the temporary worker program.
Immigration study dispels mythsImmigration study dispels myths
Immigrants living in Florida are as likely to hold an advanced college degree and more likely to be entrepreneurs than their native-born counterparts, according to a new study by Florida International University.
Eastern European UK workers growEastern European UK workers grow
Almost 8,000 Romanian and Bulgarian workers registered to work in the UK in the three months after their countries joined the European Union in January.
AFL-CIO plans news conference Tuesday to outline concerns about guest worker programAFL-CIO plans news conference Tuesday to outline concerns about guest worker program
Opposition to a compromise immigration overhaul grew on Monday, with labour unions and Hispanic groups saying the deal brokered by leading U.S. senators and the White House was bad for workers, families and employers.
Fewer East Europeans entering UK work force as result of govt policiesFewer East Europeans entering UK work force as result of govt policies
In a report published today, the UK Home Office said that a total of 49,000 individuals from Eastern Europe sought work in the UK during the January to March period, about 16,000 less than in the previous three-month period.
No US Senate immigration vote until June (AFP)No US Senate immigration vote until June (AFP)
AFP - The top Democrat in the US Senate on Monday bowed to growing political pressure and put off a vote on a contentious immigration overhaul until next month.
Senator: Scrap temporary worker program (AP)Senator: Scrap temporary worker program (AP)
AP - Efforts to limit or scrap a temporary worker program will provide the first test of a wide-ranging immigration bill, Senate leaders said Tuesday as lawmakers began tackling a long list of proposed amendments.
Monday, May 21, 2007
What the Senate Bill is trying to doWhat the Senate Bill is trying to do
By Peter Rousmaniere
It is Saturday 5/19 and I have not seen the bill yet. It is apparently 350 pages long. I’ve only read very short commentaries and seen an outline. But from these I have formed a mental picture of what the sponsors are trying to do, which I will lay out in five steps. This is primarily a workforce plan for the country. The net effect of the bill if enacted will be to put to rest the illegal immigrant issue, expand temporary work immigration, and shift long term immigration more towards work skills.
Immigrant plan isn't loved by H-1B fansImmigrant plan isn't loved by H-1B fans
By Tom Abate
Silicon Valley leaders say they are disappointed that a huge immigration reform bill unveiled Thursday did not do more to increase the scope of the H-1B visa program. Meanwhile, critics of the program cheered hints that Congress seems to be asking...
Illegal Migrants Dissect Details of Senate DealIllegal Migrants Dissect Details of Senate Deal
The immigration bill would change a system based primarily on family ties into one that favors skilled and educated workers.
After Aiding Bill on Immigration, Employers BalkAfter Aiding Bill on Immigration, Employers Balk
Employers said that they were unhappy with the bill because it would not cure anticipated labor shortages.
Overhauling Immigration Is Big Business, TooOverhauling Immigration Is Big Business, Too
Only 3 percent of the nation's illegal immigrants work on farms. Five times as many fill construction jobs and ten times as many are in the service sector. Those businesses stand to benefit from the immigration plan.
Florida employers hope bill makes hiring easierEmployers hope bill makes hiring easier
With 50 jobs open and 120 others filled by temporary foreign workers, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is hurting for help.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Workers caught daydreaming on US immigration dealWorkers caught daydreaming on US immigration deal
Reuters AlertNet, UK -
Day laborers stood in the shade of a palm tree hoping for work and dreaming of a life out of the shadows on Friday, a day after U.S. Senate leaders struck a deal on immigration reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants a shot at becoming legal.
What is an immigration point system?What is an immigration point system?
By Peter Rousmaniere
The Senate bill will include a point system to sort out and prioritize persons seeking to immigrant – or to change their status from temporary to permanent in the U.S. A pint system is reported to be a keystone for bipartisan support of immigration reform. So, what is it?
Mexicans fear U.S. immigration planMexicans fear U.S. immigration plan
Congress' new immigration plan was bad news for tens of thousands of poor Mexicans who depend on a U.S. guestworker program for temporary jobs in agriculture and other seasonal work, such as landscaping and construction. Millions of would-be migrants
Immigration proposal brings hope, new worriesImmigration proposal brings hope, new worries
Immigrants and their advocates in South Florida on Thursday greeted a Senate pact that could lead to the legalization of millions of undocumented migrants with tempered optimism.
Judge: Ag-Mart broke migrant-worker lawsJudge: Ag-Mart broke migrant-worker laws
Ag-Mart, grower of the popular Santa Sweet grape tomato, ''intentionally'' violated federal laws that guarantee clean, safe and licensed housing for nearly 2,000 of its migrant farm workers at the company's farms in North Florida, a federal judge has ruled.
Workers give their accounts to UN envoy. Smithfield Packing in injury inquiryWorkers give their accounts to UN envoy. Smithfield Packing in injury inquiry
Nieto and a former co-worker testified to a United Nations envoy Wednesday about abuses they say they suffered at Smithfield Packing Co.'s plant in Tar Heel, N.C., about 85 miles southeast of Raleigh. It is the world's largest pork-processing plant. The women told Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante that they were hurt, denied health care they wanted, forced to continue working and, finally, forced out of the company. Both say they can no longer work.
Louisiana: Wage Laws Cover Foreign Workers, Judge SaysLouisiana: Wage Laws Cover Foreign Workers, Judge Says
Foreign workers brought into the United States by companies facing labor shortages are covered by federal minimum wage laws, a judge in New Orleans ruled May 15. In what he said appeared to be the first federal ruling on this issue, which could affect thousands of workers nationwide, the judge, Eldon E. Fallon of Federal District Court, found that workers hired by Decatur Hotels in New Orleans had the right to sue their employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The workers are seeking to be reimbursed for thousands of dollars in travel and other costs to get the hotel jobs, arguing that the company’s failure to do so left them working for less than minimum wage.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Greenspan: More skilled immigrants neededGreenspan: More skilled immigrants needed
For the U.S. economy to prosper, white-collar professionals must have more competition from skilled immigrants, former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan told metro Atlanta executives Thursday. A shortage of skilled workers is hampering growth while also widening the gap between skilled and unskilled, he said. "We could solve two very important problems with the stroke of the pen," he said. "What we can do is increase the supply of skilled workers dramatically. What we will do is flatten out the increase in wages for skilled workers."
Transcript of Senate News Conference on ImmigrationSenate News Conference on Immigration
Washington Post, DC -
SEN. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, D-MASS.: Good afternoon.
First of all, I want to thank all of our colleagues that are here for their extraordinary effort in terms of the helping to fashion national policy on an extremely complex, difficult, very emotional issue and where there's been a lot of divisions.
Blocking H-1B bad for economy states Indian Commerce MinisterBlocking H-1B bad for economy: Nath
New Delhi: After some American lawmakers of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Immigration accused Indian tech firms of abusing the H1-B visa programme to displace skilled American workers, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath says he will raise US allegations
Deal Is Reached in Senate on ImmigrationDeal Is Reached in Senate on Immigration
Senators from both parties announced an agreement this afternoon on a system to offer legal status to illegal immigrants.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
EU to target illicit work, fight illegal immigration from EastEU to target illicit work, fight illegal immigration from East
EUX.TV, Netherlands -
The European Union's executive arm also said that it wanted to boost measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration and human trafficking from eastern and ...
Workers sue factory raided by U.S. immigration officialsWorkers sue factory raided by U.S. immigration officials
AP - A Massachusetts leather company targeted in a major immigration raid this winter tried to avoid paying overtime by giving out checks for extra work through a phony second company, according to a lawsuit
Chronology of Senate immigration reform bill this yearChronology of Senate immigration reform bill this year
By Peter Rousmaniere
A bill is about to be brought to the floor. From Migration Information Source on May 15, here it is:
Indian Companies Questioned for H1-B VisasIndian Companies Questioned for H1-B Visas
U.S. senators demand to know how many U.S. citizens Indian companies employ in the U.S., how many H-1B visa holders replace laid off workers in the U.S., and other tough questions The U.S. senate has demanded an explanation from nine Indian technology
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Britain:Bosses central to new immigration plans
The Observer Blog, UK -
"What we are proposing here will, I think, flush illegal migrants out," the immigration minister, Liam Byrne, told reporters as he outlined the plans this ...
University of Utah honor students take long look at immigrationU. honor students take long look at immigration
Salt Lake Tribune, UT -
University of Utah graduate B. Jay Flynn had never considered himself an extremist in his opposition to illegal immigration. But he did have strong views on ...
Immigrants Place Hope in TaxesImmigrants Place Hope in Taxes
More undocumented immigrants, motivated in part by proposed legislation that would allow them to earn legalized status, reported their income this year to the IRS, some tax preparers say. 'There are rumors that [filing tax returns] will be necessary to
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Ranking economics over family in immigrationRanking economics over family in immigration
By Peter Rousmaniere
A New York Times editorial last week and an AP story (further below) both address the White House plan to reduce the volume of immigration based on family ties in favor of recognizing the potential of applicants to add to the economy. As I have posted before, Canada is trying to do this; so is Australia and France.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Chinese Restaurant Workers in U.S. Face HurdlesChinese Restaurant Workers in U.S. Face Hurdles
There are about 40,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States. Many of the workers in the kitchen are recent arrivals from China -- some legal, some not -- and many took on significant debts to get to the United States.
Corruption Leads to Deep Debt for Guest WorkersCorruption Leads to Deep Debt for Guest Workers
More than 100,000 temporary workers come to the United States each year; they pay a battery of fees to recruiters who place them in low-wage jobs. Critics say the system is ripe for abuse; immigration bills in Congress would do little to change that.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Mount Kisco Journal: Immigrants’ Hopes, and Their Fears, Change a Westchester TownMount Kisco Journal: Immigrants’ Hopes, and Their Fears, Change a Westchester Town
Two recent events have sent waves of unease through Mount Kisco’s mostly Guatemalan immigrant population.
Local immigration laws bring high costsLocal immigration laws bring high costs (AP)
AP - Cities across the U.S. are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending themselves against lawsuits and other challenges to ordinances enacted to keep out illegal immigrants.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Migration to U.S. Tops Death in MexicoMigration to U.S. Tops Death in Mexico
Mexico has lost more people to migration to the United States than death since 2000, according to a government report released Thursday. Mexico's demographics agency found that an average of 577,000 people migrated to the U.S. each year between
U.S. Universities, Research Parks Hit Hard by Government Cap on H-1B VisasU.S. Universities, Research Parks Hit Hard by Government Cap on H-1B Visas
The current U.S. cap on the number of skilled-worker visas (H-1B) severely handicaps the ability of U.S. universities, science and and technology-related companies and research facilities in their ongoing missions to develop new technologies, medicines and other innovative products that put the country on the leading edge of the global economy, according to the Association of University Research Parks (AURP).
Mexican migrants' union demands action after murderMexican migrants' union demands action after murder
A union representing Mexican seasonal workers on U.S. farms demanded on Thursday that Mexico's government solve the murder of one of its officials who protected immigrants from con men.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Rate of money tranfers to Latin America slowsRate of money tranfers to Latin America slows
The amount of money Latin American immigrants sent home from the United States grew at a slower rate during the first two months of the year than in the same period a year ago, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
ArvinMeritor Cuts 2,800 Jobs, 13 PlantsArvinMeritor Cuts 2,800 Jobs, 13 Plants
Auto parts supplier ArvinMeritor Inc. said Tuesday it would close 13 plants in North America and Europe and cut 2,800 jobs globally in a restructuring plan expected to cost $325 million. The company said it will close nine plants in North America and...
Guest worker program and all immigrant workersGuest worker program and all immigrant workers
By Peter Rousmaniere
A guest worker program, introduced within a broader immigration reform act, will deliver much needed worker protections to millions of currently undocumented / illegal workers. The legislation being proposed now, such as the STRIVE Act (about which I have posted) prescribe worker protections in order to prevent these workers from being exploited and from driving down compensation for all low wage jobs. What is not really understood today is the positive effect that these worker protections will have on the millions of legal immigrants working today in low wage, low skill jobs. I believe this spill over effect will take place and positively improve the working conditions of ten to fifteen million workers. We native born Americans do not realize how many immigrant workers -- legal and illegal -- have marginal access to jobs with benefits and pay most of us assume. How this spill over effect will work - through state minimum wage laws, better overall enforcement of worker protections, union activity -- is yet to be seen.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Low Turnout Seen for Immigration Rallies (NPR)Low Turnout Seen for Immigration Rallies (NPR)
Advocates for the rights of undocumented workers are staging dozens of marches and rallies across the country this May Day, but organizers expect turnout to be just a fraction of last year's demonstrations. Last year's marches also energized anti-immigration groups, and cost dozens of participants their jobs.
Protesters Press for Path to CitizenshipProtesters Press for Path to Citizenship
By By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press Writer
Demonstrators demanding a path to citizenship for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants hope that nationwide marches on Tuesday will spur Congress to act before the looming presidential primaries take over the political landscape
Slowdown in U.S. felt in MexicoSlowdown in U.S. felt in Mexico
When California's housing market was booming, Lucretia Diaz could feel the good vibrations 2,200 miles away in her rural hamlet in southern Mexico.