links for 2011-06-19

  • "Diplomatic crises between nations may come and go. Yet no president has done more to generate as many crises as Nicolas Sarkozy has to worsen relations between France and its former North African colonies. Indeed, Sarkozy has come to personify through his words and actions, the worrying and growing disdain which exists in France towards all things foreign or related to immigration. Here are some of Sarkozy’s actions which have alienated and even stigmatized North Africans in France and indeed angered his counterparts across the Mediterranean."
  • "Antolin Aguirre was testifying in Austin, Texas on Monday, against a proposed bill that would crack down on illegal immigration.

    "Mr Aguirre  spoke in Spanish and used an interpreter to relay the information – even though he has been in the U.S. since 1988.

    "The debacle caused Senator Chris Harris, a Republican from Arlington, to launch an angry outburst after just two minute and brand the man 'insulting'.

    "Sen. Harris said: 'Did I understand him correctly that he has been here since 1988? Why aren’t you speaking in English then?'

    "Through his interpreter, Aguirre said Spanish was his 'first language and since it is his first time giving testimony he would rather do it in Spanish.'

    "But Sen. Harris replied: 'It is insulting to us. It is very insulting. And if he knows English, he needs to be speaking in English.'

  • "Immediately, students began protesting again, and were met with extreme violence. In the U.S., the administration gave this conflict no attention and the U.S. media rarely covered the issue. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to clandestinely oppress the Puerto Rican masses and take advantage of the island. Despite this attempted cover-up, Puerto Ricans know that colonization is a tactic used by the U.S. around the world to increase U.S. profit and power. Puerto Ricans have thus maintained an independence movement for over a hundred years, for independence would allow the island to cultivate its own institutions based on its culture. Thus, the recent violent retaliation on student protesters in Puerto Rico sparks an opportunity to reevaluate the U.S.’s continued exploitation of its colony."
  • "Individual social factors included education, poverty, health insurance status, employment status and job stress, social support, racism or discrimination, housing conditions and early childhood stressors. Area-level social factors included area-level poverty, income inequality, deteriorating built environment, racial segregation, crime and violence, social capital and availability of open or green spaces.

    "The investigators found that approximately 245,000 deaths in the United States in the year 2000 were attributable to low levels of education, 176,000 to racial segregation, 162,000 to low social support, 133,000 to individual-level poverty, 119,000 to income inequality, and 39,000 to area-level poverty."

  • "There is little chance that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be repealed – but that’s not the point, according to law experts and advocates of immigrant communities. The objective of conservatives who are pushing to deny birthright citizenship – an issue that resurfaced in this week’s Republican presidential debate – may simply be to change the conversation, to move the “goal post” on the immigration debate. And even though they will likely not be successful in changing the Constitution any time soon, the effect of the debate itself has already led to a climate of fear among immigrant communities and – in particular – women and children.

    "'While the debate about the 14th Amendment is about the Constitution in letter, the battle that is being pitched is fundamentally about immigrant women’s wombs,' said Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum."

  • "Facing a barrage of criticism from some Democratic governors, members of Congress and local officials, the Obama administration is altering a controversial federal program in which law enforcement agencies share fingerprints of suspects held in local jails with U.S. immigration authorities.
    "The Secure Communities program, which was intended to identify and deport convicted felons, wound up also ensnaring minor offenders, victims of domestic abuse and other crimes, as well as witnesses to crimes and people who were arrested but not convicted of offenses.

    "Under the new guidelines, he said, immigration officers will be instructed not to deport individuals who are victims of a crime or witnesses in a criminal case. Particular care will be taken to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are not being deported after reporting abuse to police, he said."

  • The graph about HRC's Boris Dittrich is rather interesting.–AJP

    "Following tense negotiations, members of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favor of the declaration put forward by South Africa, with 23 votes in favor and 19 against.

    "Backers included the U.S., the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. Those against included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. China, Burkina Faso and Zambia abstained, Kyrgyzstan didn't vote and Libya was suspended from the rights body earlier.

    "Boris Dittrich of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch said it was important for the U.S. and Western Europe to persuade South Africa to take the lead on the resolution so that other non-Western countries would be less able to claim the West was imposing its values."

  • "Mr. Thompson, an Obama supporter, is skeptical about that. 'To this day,' he said, 'I don’t think Barack Obama has any issue with two people of the same gender getting married.'

    "Now President Obama says his views on same-sex marriage are 'evolving,' and as he runs for re-election he is seeking support from gay donors who want to know where he stands."