The finding comes despite the authors saying children have better education, health and more possessions. It states children need to be loved and sets out recommendations to parents, teachers and the government on how they can better care for children.The document backs traditional families, saying that by the age of three, children of single parents are three times more likely to have behavioural problems. The study also suggests children of single-parent families are twice as likely to experience poor conceptual development compared to those with married parents. The report's recommendations include the introduction of a civil birth ceremony and the possibility for parents to take three-years' leave, with a guaranteed return to work.
The report also looks at what it describes as "a massive change in our way of life" - the fact that 70% of mothers now work, compared to around a quarter 25 years ago - and that one in three 16-year-olds now live apart from their father.
The Sunday Times quotes the report as stating a key factor in the increased difficulties faced by children is the "excessively individualistic ethos" of contemporary British society.
The paper says the report calls for "a radical shift away from the excessively individualistic ethos which now prevails, to an ethos where the constant question is, 'What would we do if our aim was a world based on love?'"
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
State legislatures continue tackling immigration issues in a variety of policy arenas at an unprecedented rate. In the 2008 state legislative sessions, no fewer than 1305 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced. In 41 states, at least one law or resolution was enacted, with a total of 206 laws and resolutions enacted nationwide. Three bills were vetoed by governors.
States continue to employ a range of enforcement and integration approaches. For example,
- Colorado created a pilot guest worker program to expedite the approval of foreign workers under the federal H-2A visa program
- Arizona revisited employment-related legislation enacted in 2007.
- Iowa makes legal immigrant children and pregnant women eligible for SCHIP.
- Connecticut aims to address the needs of the Asian Pacific American community through English language instruction, health access and economic development.
- Arizona expanded its definition of smuggling of human beings to include the use of so-called “drop houses.”
- A Maryland law focuses on innovative ways to encourage heritage language learning while also encouraging new citizens of the United States to learn and master English.
- Several states commissioned studies to investigate the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration, including state remedies to recover money owed to the state by the federal government.
- Missouri, South Carolina and Utah passed omnibus legislation addressing issues such as employment, law enforcement, public benefits, legal services and identification/licensing.
Ivan K. Fong, General Counsel
Ivan K. Fong is currently the Chief Legal Officer & Secretary for Cardinal Health, Inc., and served previously as Deputy Associate Attorney General for the Department of Justice, playing a key role in directing the federal government's role in civil litigation and enforcement matters. During his tenure, Fong was the primary author and editor of "The Electronic Frontier: The Challenge of Unlawful Conduct Involving the Use of the Internet," a groundbreaking report on cybercrime policy.
He holds a Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Juris Doctor from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, Magdalen College.
David A. Martin, Principal Deputy General Counsel
Former member of President Obama's DHS agency review and transition team, Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, and former General Counsel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice.
Brian de Vallance, Senior Counselor to the Secretary
Former Director of Federal Relations for Governor Napolitano and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Federalism Officer for the U.S. Department of Justice.
Sean Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Has served in a variety of senior communications positions on campaigns and in the private sector. Most recently, he was the Pennsylvania Communications Director on the Obama campaign. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The witness, whose name and age were not released, told the International Criminal Court he was in the fifth grade of primary school in the town of Fataki, eastern Congo, when he was involuntarily recruited. He was the first witness to appear at the trial of former Congo warlord Thomas Lubanga following opening statements on the previous two days by the prosecution and defense.
However, later in the day, retracted his testimony on Wednesday, prompting a probe into witness protection. Having testified in the morning that he was recruited by the accused Thomas Lubanga's militia and taken to a training camp, the witness later told the court in The Hague his evidence had been incorrect.
Lubanga's trial is the first since the court was created in 2002 as the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, and the proceedings are being closely watched for the precedents they are setting. Lubanba is charged with "enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15" into his militia and "using them to participate actively in hostilities."
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Supporters of D.C. voting rights have pushed for years to get this bill through Congress. (D.C. residents already have a delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who can serve on committees but when it counts can't vote on final bills.) The district's supporters came close in 2007 with a measure that also would have created a new congressional seat for Utah (which was next in line among the states, given congressional reapportionment earlier this decade). Despite this neat attempt at partisan balance (a Democrat for D.C., a Republican for Utah), Republicans filibustered the measure after a threatened veto by President George W. Bush. Things are different this time. President Barack Obama co-sponsored the 2007 version of the bill, and the current one in the Senate is worded identically. There's a chance supporters can muster 60 votes in the Senate to defeat a filibuster.
If that political battle is won, the war will shift to the courts, where it faces uncertain prospects. The constitutional claim against the D.C. Voting Rights Act is that Congress lacks the power to create a new congressional seat for the district. There's a strong textual argument for this position, advanced by George Washington University law profesor Jonathan Turley and others. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that "[t]he House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states …" and there's no question that Washington, D.C., is not a state. Congress cannot amend the Constitution through ordinary legislation simply by calling D.C. a "state," and therefore the D.C. act is ostensibly unconstitutional. Supporters like Turley have backed up their arguments with extensive historical analysis based on the Framers' intent in giving the District of Columbia its odd status.
Perhaps surprisingly, some conservative heavy hitters (who tend to favor textualist and originalist interpretations of the Constitution) nonetheless have come out in favor of the constitutionality of the measure. Ken Starr has argued that Article I elsewhere, in what's called the District Clause, authorizes House representation for the district by providing that "[t]he Congress shall have power … to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over the District of Columbia. Profesor Viet Dinh, who worked as an assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, has made similar arguments that Congress' power under this Clause is plenary, and he backs it up with his own analysis of the Framers' intent.
The debate also centers on an obscure 1949 Supreme Court case, National Mutual Insurance Co vs. Tidewater Transfer Co. Tidewater considered the constitutionality of a 1940 congressional statute, which provided that federal courts should consider residents of Washington, D.C., as coming from "states" for purposes of "diversity jurisdiction." (That's the legal framework that allows federal courts to hear cases arising under state law when a resident of one state sues the resident of another.) In a fractured decision, the Supreme Court upheld the 1940 law, despite an earlier 1805 Supreme Court ruling holding that D.C. residents could not be considered residents of states for diversity jurisdiction purposes.
When somebody sent me this invitation from Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, I thought at first it was a joke from the Onion. What do you think of the Davos rich and powerful going through the “Refugee Run” theme park re-enactment of life in a refugee camp?
Can Davos man empathize with refugees when he or she is not in danger and is going back to a luxury banquet and hotel room afterwards? Isn’t this just a tad different from the life of an actual refugee, at risk of all too real rape, murder, hunger, and disease?
Did the words “insensitive,” “dehumanizing,” or “disrespectful” (not to mention “ludicrous”) ever come up in discussing the plans for “Refugee Run”?
I hope such bad taste does not reflect some inability in UNHCR to see refugees as real people with their own dignity and rights.
Of course, I understand that there were good intentions here, that you really want rich people to have a consciousness of tragedies elsewhere in the world, and mobilize help for the victims. However, I think a Refugee Theme Park crosses a line that should not be crossed. Sensationalizing and dehumanizing and patronizing results in bad aid policy – if you have little respect for the dignity of individuals you are trying to help, you are not going to give THEM much say in what THEY want and need, and how you can help THEM help themselves?
Unfortunately, sensationalizing, patronizing, and dehumanizing attitudes are real ongoing issue in foreign aid. David Rieff in his great book A Bed For the Night talks about how humanitarian agencies universally picture children in their publicity campaigns, as if the parents of these children are irrelevant. A classic Rieff quote: “There are two groups of people who like to be photographed with children: dictators and aid officials.”
Alex de Waal in his equally great book Famine Crimes (and continuing writings since) writes about “disaster pornography.” He gives an example of a Western television producer in Somalia in 1992-93 who said to a local Somali doctor: “pick the children who are most severely malnourished” and bring them to be photographed.
Here’s a resolution to be proposed at Davos: we rich people hereby recognize each and every citizen of the globe as an individual with their own human dignity equal to our own, regardless of their poverty or refugee status. And Davos man: please give Refugee Run a pass.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
To be eligible for a visa, the victim must have information concerning the crime, be helpful in the investigation or prosecution and have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime. After three years, visa holders can apply to become legal permanent residents and can eventually become U.S. citizens. The law allows 10,000 applicants to receive visas each year. They can petition for certain family members to also receive visas.
Because it took so long to create the regulations for the visas, the government created an interim relief for qualified applicants. Until a decision is made on the visa, those applicants are protected from deportation and can receive work permits and access to public services while they are waiting, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
During the darkest days of the war in Iraq, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked whether the United States' best days were behind it. Instead of piling on with the popular suggestion that the U.S. was a nation in decline, Blair calmly replied that failing countries usually repel rather than attract immigrants.
Far from indicating a country on the ropes, the foreigners seeking both legal and illegal entry into the U.S. in the last decade are a market signal pointing to a nation doing far better than elite thinking around the world has suggested. Simply put, countries that attract the washed and unwashed the world over are pictures of success; the countries that lose their limited human capital are failures. Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe do not have immigration "problems."
All of this speaks to a broader truth about immigration itself. High immigration doesn't indicate a nation besieged, but rather the fact that jobs exist. When jobs do not exist, basic market forces cause migrants to seek economic opportunity elsewhere.
Thanks to a weakened economic outlook stateside, the number of people "caught trying to sneak into the USA from Mexico is at its lowest level since the mid-1970s.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
1) Legalization of the nation’s undocumented workers is now an economic necessity, as well as a moral and civil rights imperative. Legalization increases short-term incomes, job creating consumption and net tax revenues in the low wage segments of the labor market, as well as sets the long-term foundation for an expanding middle class and a more sustainable economic recovery. The experience of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) is very instructive in this regard, producing both wage and consumption gains, and enhanced tax-revenue collection in the midst of a recession of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, as well as decades of very high rates of educational, home and small business investments by newly legalized families. If Congress and President Obama legalized the current 10-12 million undocumented persons in the U.S. an economic stimulus of $30-36 billion in personal income, 750,000-900,000 new jobs, and $4.5 to $5.4 billion in net tax revenue would result!
2) Movement now towards legalization and naturalization of the roughly twenty million legal permanent residents and undocumented persons would create local and state regional mini-booms in civic engagement. Furthermore, enabling civic participation of these previously excluded groups will substantially intensify public support for an inclusive and humane tenor with regard to immigration reform as well as public policies aimed at providing support to low income and socially disadvantaged socioeconomic profiles.
3) The national security outcome desired by Washington, D.C. of declining undocumented migration is attainable under existing law and there is no need for further legislation expanding security-related provisions related to undocumented migration. Indeed, we must begin to recognize that the current approach is very costly (in money, rights and lives), and increasingly yielding diminishing returns. Massive security-related expenditure growth now yields lower numbers of apprehensions as migration from Mexico to the US (both undocumented and legal) has been dropping due to security measures, the climate of repression in immigrant communities, and the declining regional economy. The unintended consequences of further pursuing the current enforcement only approach include generating a vulnerable underground economy and maintaining an artificially low wage floor, actually encouraging the demand for vulnerable undocumented workers.
(HT: ImmigrationProf Blog)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
As a U.S. representative Gillibrand has taken positions on immigration that are deeply troubling:
Gillibrand clearly has a poor record on immigration and her appointment will be extremely disappointing to the pro-immigration community. All the more surprising is that it comes from a Governor who presumably wanted to appoint someone who is going to appeal to one of the most pro-immigration constituencies of any state in the country. Now that she represents all of New York state, lets hope she reconsiders her position.
- She sponsored legislation that sought to require local police officers to take on immigration enforcement duties, even though police chiefs have testified it would impair their ability to protect the public.
- She strongly supported throwing more resources toward ineffective border enforcement, but appeared to oppose any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
- Gillibrand opposes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and co-sponsored the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act in 2007.
- As Andrea Batista Schlesinger pointed out on The Huffington Post, Gillibrand has received a high score –a “B”– on the Immigration-Reduction Report Card created by anti-immigration group NumbersUSA.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the caterpillars -- the suspects are African armyworms -- are inching across norther Liberia in numbers so vast they can only be described as "hordes." They are infecting precious food and water supplies, destroying the environment, and endangering health. Worse, they may spread into neighboring West African countries, igniting a kind of regional catastrophe not seen since (albeit very different from) Liberian warlord Charles Taylor enmeshed the region in war. With no solution yet apparent, the crisis calls to mind some sort of twisted horror movie.
Nearly 2,000 people are crammed into the camp, where Italian authorities hold people picked up or rescued trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa in small boats. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) made a rare criticism of Italy on Friday, expressing concern about the camp which it says is only built to accommodate 850 people.
Originally a temporary stop for people waiting for transfer to other centres in Italy, the camp's role has changed this year with tough new immigration rules meaning all those rescued are kept in Lampedusa until being granted asylum or expelled.
Hundreds of people are now sleeping outdoors under plastic sheeting, with overcrowding creating what the UNHCR called a "difficult humanitarian situation".
Local residents on the island held a peaceful protest on Friday against Italian government plans to build a new camp there to identify and expel illegal immigrants.
About three quarters of migrants reaching Italy by sea last year applied for asylum, of whom half got refugee status or protection on other humanitarian grounds, the UNHCR said.
Monday, January 19, 2009
With a day left in his presidency, Mr. Bush exercised his constitutional power to grant clemency — for the last time, according to a senior White House official — in a case that has touched off fierce debate in the Southwest.
“These agents shot someone whom they knew to be unarmed and running away,” said the prosecutor, United States Attorney Johnny Sutton. “They destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened. It is shocking that there are people who believe it is O.K. for agents to shoot an unarmed suspect who is running away.”
The defendants were convicted of shooting Mr. Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks as he fled across the Rio Grande, away from the van. Not only did the defendants not report the shooting, but they tried to conceal what they had done by picking up spent cartridge casings, Mr. Sutton said.
Mr. Compean was sentenced to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised released, with a $2,000 fine. Mr. Ramos was sentenced to 11 years, with the same supervised release and fine.The commutation granted by President Bush means the prison sentences of the men, both from El Paso, will expire on March 20, the Justice Department said. The supervised release and fines will still apply.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The story of Muzaffar, a survivor has led to investigations in Thailand. He said that Thai security forces first forcibly detained him and hundreds of other refugees offshore, and then towed them back into international waters in a motorless barge, where they were at the mercy of the shark-infested sea. Over 300 people who were with Muzaffar are missing; they are all believed to be dead.
Thailand's new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said he will meet human-rights officials to discuss claims of Thai army abuse of these asylum seekers. Privately, some Thai military and police sources have admitted to the BBC that this has been happening.
Muntadar al-Zaidi has been in custody in Iraq awaiting trial since the incident during a visit by Mr Bush to the country in mid-December. He fears for his safety in his Baghdad prison, the paper says, quoting his lawyer, Mauro Poggia. The lawyer argues his client likewise cannot resume his old job in Iraq. Since his arrest, the Iraqi has reportedly been beaten in custody, suffering a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding.
Mr Poggia said he had been contacted by Mr Zaidi's family and was drafting a letter to the Swiss foreign ministry requesting its assistance in granting him political asylum.
- An accurate represenation of the refugee resettlemen system. At one point Walt is in his truck with Sue Lor and in answer to his question about why are there so many Hmong in such a cold place anyway, she mentions that the Lutherans brought them over here. Refugees who are resettled have very minimal input about where they are resettled, which is why there are large concetrations of Hmong and Somalis in Minnneapolis.
- The plight of young men caught between the pressure of joining a gang or being ostracized by them. In many inner cities, where gang life is predominant, without a strong male presence in the household, it can be a hard life to escape.
- Gender based violence cuts across all races and ethnicities.
(HT: Marginal Revolution)
Kerala earned almost 20 billion rupees ($500m) from foreign tourists in 2006 (the latest year for which figures are available) and about 245 billion (in the same year) in remittances from Keralites working abroad, 89% of whom go to the Gulf. The state has an astonishing 24.5 emigrants per 100 households. Kerala’s per capita output is one of the lowest in India, but its per capita expenditure is one of the highest.
Kerala’s emigration policy has been a model for the rest of India. It was the first state to set up a department for non-residents. It has started offering non-resident Keralites (NRKs) identity cards, which also provide social insurance, covering accidents and repatriation of the dead.
When asked to reflect on his mistakes, Bush made a rare admission. "I believe that running the Social Security idea right after the '04 elections was a mistake," he said. "I should have -- should have argued for immigration reform."
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Foreign Policy Magazine has a photo essay of Gaza, Children, and War:
The U.N. has turned 23 of its schools into shelters for Gazans displaced by the fighting. But taking refuge in a school is no guarantee of safety. On Jan. 6, Israeli soldiers fired mortar shells at a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp. Forty-two people were killed, and Palestinian medical officials said many were civilians.
Friday, January 9, 2009
The Bush administration has issued a ruling that illegal immigrants do not have a constitutional right to effective legal representation in deportation hearings, closing off one of the most common avenues for appealing deportation decisions.
The ruling, by Attorney General, concerns three appeals by people ordered to be deported who said their cases had been hurt by mistakes by their lawyers. Mr. Mukasey wrote in an opinion released late Wednesday that “neither the Constitution nor any statutory or regulatory provision entitles an alien to a do-over if his initial removal proceeding is prejudiced by the mistakes of a privately retained lawyer.”
Immigration courts operate within the Justice Department and are not part of the judicial branch, so Mr. Mukasey’s ruling has the effect of the highest immigration authority. Any challenge would have to take place in the federal appeals courts. Immigrant advocates said that they expected the ruling to be appealed.
In explaining his ruling, Mr. Mukasey said that the Sixth Amendment right to a lawyer applied only in criminal cases and that deportation was a civil action. He wrote that the due process clause, part of the 5th and 14th Amendments, applied in criminal and civil proceedings but that the guarantee of due process applied only to actions of government and not to actions by private individuals like an immigrant’s lawyer.
“There is no constitutional right to counsel, and thus no constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel, in civil cases,” he wrote.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Secretary of Homeland Security Mr. Chertoff said the criminal activity in Mexico, which has caused more than 5,300 deaths in the last year, had long troubled American authorities. But it reached a point last summer, he said, where he ordered specific plans to confront in this country the kind of shootouts and other mayhem that in Mexico have killed members of warring drug cartels.
Officials of the Homeland Security Department said the plan called for aircraft, armored vehicles and special teams to converge on border trouble spots, with the size of the force depending on the scale of the problem. Military forces would be called upon if civilian agencies like the Border Patrol and local law enforcement were overwhelmed, but the officials said military involvement was considered unlikely.law enforcement officials and bystanders, often not far from the border.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Bush administration has rejected a request by Haitian President René Préval and others to allow tens of thousands of undocumented Haitians living in the United States to stay until their homeland recovers from a string of deadly summer storms:
''After very careful consideration, I have concluded that Haiti does not currently warrant a TPS [temporary protected status] designation,'' Michael Chertoff, secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, wrote in a letter last month to Préval.
TPS was approved by Congress in 1990 for foreign nationals fleeing civil war and natural disasters. After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Washington granted several Central American countries TPS, and the designation was recently renewed. TPS is a limbo status that gets you a renewable work permit and reprieve from deportation, but often no immediate way to get on track for permanent resident status and eventually citizenship. It can be revoked on a technicality, like sending in the incorrect fee. Minor arrests can tank your TPS status.
Countries given TPS: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua (but not Guatemala)
Countries not given TPS: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi
Do you see a pattarn here?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Albinism, a genetic disorder characterized by lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, is listed as a rare disease by the National Institutes of Health
Around the world, between one in 17,000 and one in 20,000 people are albinos. The prevalence in parts of Africa, however, is far higher than the global average. Albinos make up about one in 4,000 people in South Africa and perhaps one in 5,000 in Nigeria.
According to a 2006 review published in the journal BMC Public Health, the prevalence in Tanzania is one in 1,400, but this estimate is based on incomplete data. Since Tanzania's total population is more than 40 million, that would suggest an albino community of about 30,000. A census is under way, however, and the Albino Association of Tanzania believes the total figure could be more than 150,000.
Step 1: Place Shelter in desired location
Step 2: Open from enclosed position to basic structure
Step 3: Set floor, attach jack strands and level the structure
Step 4: Secure I beam and shelter floor in lock position
Step 5: Attach fabric support rods and modular reinforcement
Step 6: Attach inner fiber lining. This includes and already interwoven mosquito net
Step 7: Attach outer fly layer of fabric. This layer helps shield from the sun and protects from elements
Step 8: Secure top flooring to bottom structure and repeat the process
From the New York Times:
Dismantled, the Über Shelter looks like a large gray gurney. But this compact pile of aluminum unfolds into a two-story home, complete with lights, stove, porch and a small refrigerator. Rafael Smith, a senior in the industrial design program at Purdue University, designed the Über Shelter for his undergraduate thesis project…The model is meant to reduce sprawl. Because the shelter can hold two families, one on each floor, the camp size can be reduced by half, and he equips each home with solar-powered electricity. The unit, which unfurls to roughly the size of a truck, is made of lightweight recyclable aluminum, so it can be cheaply transported by car or parachuted in to a disaster area.
Watch the video "We Dont Speak Mexican Here:"
Here is the story.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Because Southwest border communities are largely Latino, recruits there have an advantage in the required Spanish fluency as well as familiarity with the job. Applicants who can pass a Spanish test can skip 40 days of required language instruction at the academy.
Though the Border Patrol force has become more ethnically diverse, it's still about 95 percent male. However, the recruiting drive boosted the number of female agents to nearly 1,000.