1) Texas governor and floundering GOP presidential candidate, Rick Perry, debunked on Tuesday the idea of offering amnesty to the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the US. “Well, one of the things we’re not going to do is support amnesty. There’s not anybody that’s going to be — I don’t care whether you’ve been here 25 days or 25 years — there’s not going to be amnesty involved in the program,” Perry said on Fox’s Greta Van Susteren.

Perry’s claims were apparently aimed at surging GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich recently asked for a compassionate application of immigration laws and a form of amnesty for people with ties in the community. It would have been interesting to get a quote from the Gingrich camp, and it would have been interesting to get a quote from Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.  Sen. Rubio recently urged Republicans to tone down their rhetoric on immigration reform in they wish as a party to garner Hispanic support for the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Sen. Rubio is considered a VP candidate. Moreover, I am wondering how Perry’s views are playing back at Texas, where he has a strong Hispanic population and where he came under fire for granting illegal aliens college tuition breaks. Summary by Luis Perez

More information can be found at:http://bit.ly/vjhlO4

2) Former speaker of the House and GOP presidential candidate is being leveled for proposing amnesty and a compassionate approach the illegal immigration problem in the US. Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-California, who is the GOP chairman for the Illegal Immigration Caucus, called into question Gingrich’s idea and said that the speaker’s proposal is akin to “drilling a hole in the bottom of a sinking boat to let the water out.”

The story captures the explosive nature of the topic and it reflects, in varying degrees, the sentiment among most Republican circles on immigration. The story also quotes a US Congressman from Iowa who questions Gingrich’s understanding of the problem. The story is well written and incisive. It would have been interesting to get a quote or response from the Gingrich camp in this story; it seemed a tad one sided.

More information could be obtained on The Hill:http://bit.ly/rS7L4O


1) Leading Spanish media outlet, Univision, reports that there is consternation and uproar among civil liberty and advocacy groups about a proposed Utah state law, known as HB497, that would give law enforcement agents broader powers, including the ability to request immigration documents from an arrestee and to report an arrestee with the ICE. Critics charge that this expansion of law enforcement authority is dangerous since it can pave the way for racial profiling and harassment. Now, critics are urging the Department of Justice to intervene as law suits are flying all over the place.

The article is well written and reported, but it would had a stronger punch had it discussed the genesis of the proposed law, such as why are some people in favor of this law, and how the HB497 law reflects what is being proposed in South Carolina. Also, it would be interesting to see if this proposed law is influencing immigrants, like in the Alabama situation, to move to neighboring states and how the states that neighbor Utah feel about an influx of immigrants moving into their respective state. Summary by Luis Perez

More information can be found at:http://bit.ly/shGhK1


 2) Like I shared in my blog that discussed the proposed South Carolina immigration law,

Puerto Ricans, who are both Hispanics and Americans, were going to be subject to scrutiny and harassment. In Alabama, this is already taking place. Scores of Puerto Ricans have been exposed to secondhand treatment and potentially discriminatory practices. For example, there is a woman named Carmen who was asked by her employer to submit a legitimate US birth certificate. A miffed Carmen retorted that as a Puerto Rican she is an automatic US citizen. Her boss continued to press on by asking, “what area of New Mexico or lower California is Puerto Rico located?”

More than a geography gaffe, the ignorance underscores the potential problems that the Alabama law pose for Hispanics who are US citizens. The story does a great job in capturing this point. It would have been nice to have a quote from US Congressman Luis Guiterrez, of Chicago, who is a fierce advocate of immigrants and who is of Puerto Rican ancestry. Summary by Luis Perez

More information can be found by reading Univision.com at: http://bit.ly/sj7iM6

Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Reuters reports that Republican presidential primary candidate Gov. Rick Perry while campaigning in New Hampshire with a controversial Arizona sheriff said: “My policy will be to detain and deport every illegal alien who is apprehended in this country. And we’ll do it with an expedited hearing process so that millions of illegal aliens are not released into the general population with some hearing date down the road.” Mitt Romney and others have criticized the Texas governor for being too soft on immigration, the article said.

Read more at Reuters.com

 Although the article was based on a single quote from Gov. Perry, it had many layers to it. It added context about the Republican primary campaign and the debate over immigration in the U.S.

-Cristabelle Tumola

Photo by Ansa

Posted by Alessandra Potenza

More than 2,000 immigrants have died so far in 2011 in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe from Africa. The number goes up to 17,856 in the last 20 years.
The data was gathered by Gabriele del Grande, an Italian journalist and author who has been collecting information about immigration for years and has published it on his personal blog Fortress Europe.

In the last few months, after the beginning of the Arab spring, more and more people began to flee North Africa in search of security. Immigrants often travel in overcrowded boats, in inhumane conditions. When the boats sink there’s little to do to save their lives.

To read the article on La Repubblica, click here.

Posted by

Dervedia Thomas

Controversy stirred in Alabama over the state’s immigration law when the arrest of a German Mercedes-Benz executive made the headlines.

According to the Associated Press, the executive Detlev Hager, 46, was on business in the state when he was pulled over by police in his rental. Unable produce a driver’s license or another identity document,  he was taken into custody and placed in the Tuscaloosa city jail.

The case was later dismissed in municipal court when he was able to show the proper documentation.

Mercedes Benz is one of the state’s leading employers, and is credited with providing the impetus for the state’s large automotive industry, which includes foreign manufacturers Honda, Hyundai andToyota.

The article is good but it does not say how long the exec stayed in prison after being arrested nor did it have any quotes from the exec or his company.



(Photo: the Guardian / Pertti Nisonen)

A Guardian article, published November 21, discussed how well immigrants assimilate into Finnish culture because of its education system. According to the article, just 5 percent of Finland’s population is foreign born, but it’s diversifying faster than other European nations. The Finnish education system is already admired around the world for its high standards. Those standards also exist for helping immigrant children reach the same level in language as their Finnish peers. Tough requirements for teachers and government funding are responsible for the excellent education system. Schools receive money for being in a poor area, having special need children or having students who have lived in the country for less than four years.

Read more at Guardiannews.com

I always find it interesting to read about how Europe, which unlike America doesn’t have a long history of immigration, is dealing with an increase in immigrants. Since the article was in a British newspaper, the writer discussed how the Finnish education system compared to the English one when it comes to educating immigrant children. The article did a good job of discussing the merits of the Finish system, yet pointing out that with more immigrants, England has a different approach to educating student immigrants. After reading this article, I would like to know more about how the U.S. education system handles immigrants.

-Cristabelle Tumola

This series ran in The Orange County Register. It looks at the impact of deportations from both sides of the border. One story focuses on how an Orange County town is seeing hard economic times because immigrants have left. Another story looks at what has happened to people who have  been deported back to one small town in Mexico. A third story looks at how one family with U.S. citizen children is struggling to make a new life in Mexico. The reporting is rich and detailed. This is a strong project because it shows the impact of immigration policy in the U.S. and Mexico

-Teresa Puente

Immigrants’ return to Mexico alters Santa Ana


O.C. family returns to a violence-plagued Mexico


Mexican village serves as purgatory for the deported