Lawmakers introduced Federal legislation Wednesday that would help stop select Indonesian immigrants from being deported, Reuters reported. The Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act’s purpose is to aid a group of Indonesian immigrants in New Jersey as well as smaller groups in New York and New Hampshire, who, despite a special agreement with immigration officials to work legally, have received deportation letters.

Most are Indonesian Christians who fled the country in the late 1990s because of religious persecution, according to Reuters. When they came to the U.S. they were allowed to get Social Security cards and work legally. But in 2003, following 9/11, a special government program which required foreign-born adult males from a group of mostly Muslim countries (Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world) to register with the government. When these Christian Indonesians registered, however, the Reuters article said, and started the process of applying for permanent status, they were told it was too late to apply for asylum because it has to be done within one year of arrival. Starting in 2006, the government began deporting these Indonesians.

Read more here.

After recently reading a book about men who faced deportation because of this same government registration program, ”We Are All Suspects Now,” I found the topic of the article particularly interesting. The article paralleled that book in many ways. For example, both discussed how these immigrants registered in “good faith” because they thought if they followed the rules they would be okay.

-Cristabelle Tumola

Attorney Gen. Luther Strange

Photo: AP

The AP recently obtained a letter from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to state legislators urging a rewrite of the controversial immigration law. Specifically, he recommended that the legislature repeal two parts of the law: the section that criminalizes failing to carry registration documents while unauthorized, and the section requiring schools to collect information on the immigration status of students. The initial report from the wire service described the content of the letter. Later reports on Politico and CNN also included business groups’ criticisms of the law, in particular fallout from the Mercedez-Benz incident.
— Marianna Nash

Joaquin Luna

A lot has been reported about the suicide of Joaquin Luna.

It’s a fact that he was undocumented and he shot himself  the day after Thanksgiving.

Supporters of the DREAM Act have highlighted him as a symbol of what happens when a youth loses hope.

His family believes his undocumented status contributed to his death.

The San Antonio Express-News reported that he did not mention the DREAM Act in his lengthy suicide note.

The story is evenly reported and leaves one to draw an independent conclusion.

The reasons for Luna’s death may be layered.

But other students who are undocumented have attempted suicide or gone through with it.

I reported on this for my Chicanisima blog.

Many undocumented students do lose hope for the future. This is a topic that merits further reoporting.

– Teresa Puente

The Sacramento Bee reported December 3: “Nearly a million undocumented immigrants could live and work openly in California with little or no fear of deportation under an initiative unveiled Friday by a state legislator and others.”  The California Opportunity and Prosperity Act “would apply to illegal immigrants who have lived in California for four years, have no felony convictions, are not suspected terrorists, pay a fee to administer the program, and can speak English or are learning it,” the article said.

Read more here

The article did a good job of showing the opinions of those who support and oppose the initiative and why. Still, I would like to know more specifics about the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act.

-Cristabelle Tumola

Posted by Rebecca Ellis:

A New York City Council meeting is coming up on Dec. 13 to address the use of private detention centers to hold immigrants while waiting for their federal hearings. Councilman Daniel Dromm is leading the investigation and has already filed a petition with the Department of Justice.
For more information, read the article in the Wall Street Journal:

A recent Colorlines story addressed a new campaign to get The Charlotte Observer to stop using the word “illegal” to refer to unauthorized or undocumented immigrants. The article gave readers a deep understanding of the controversy. What it did not do was address the other news outlets that use the word “illegal” – many of which have wider audiences and greater prestige than the Observer.

 

– Marianna Nash

 

From the San Jose Mercury News "For decades the nation has endlessly debated how to solve the problem
of illegal immigration. One side calls for aggressive enforcement of  existing laws. The other side  calls for "comprehensive immigration reform." But while the debate rages, millions of American       children are left with the real possibility that their undocumented parents will be detected and     deported.
For the past year, a Mercury News reporter and photojournalist followed a San Mateo family on their emotional journey through the  U.S. immigration system. Both parents came here as illegal immigrants, but all six of their children are American citizens."
I like this series because it is a complete package. There is a mini doc and a narrative piece. I    also like how it weaves in opposing voices with audio sidebars. It also makes great use of graphics. This is a strong multimedia package.

http://www.mercurynews.com/torn-apart