Coca-Cola had a beautiful advertisement during the Super Bowl. The ad featured America the Beautiful sung in a variety of languages by Americans of all different ethnicities. It is easy to be jaded and cynical in that this was an attempt to sell one of the more unhealthy products we have created. However, in the current political climate and the debates raging on immigration, identity, diversity and multiculturalism, the Coke ad showed that one of the most successful companies on the planet has cast its lot with a multicultural and inclusive America.
This is a guest post by FOBR Liz Keyes, who direct the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore. Today was a beautiful day in Baltimore immigration court. A young woman from Honduras, born male but always feeling female inside, won asylum after suffering relentless torment from her earliest days until she fled at age 17. Everyone she ever knew in Honduras treated her with cruelty, from the teachers who brutally punished her, to the classmates hurling slurs, to her father who beat her viciously, and her sister who attacked with her with a machete when she saw our client wearing girl’s clothes.
Members of the U.S. military make significant sacrifices in order to serve their country. Yet, many dedicated U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are either prevented from serving in the military or their service is considerably limited because of who they love and who their family members are. Active service members are often stripped of their security clearances, unable to advance up the ranks, and threatened with discharge from service if they have undocumented spouses, parents, and children.
On Tuesday, August 20, approximately fifty people gathered at Benach Collopy’s offices in Washington, DC to meet and support a 27 year old candidate for Congress from the 4th District of Iowa. Jim Mowrer, born on a farm in Boone Iowa, and a veteran of our war in Iraq, is challenging the incumbent Steve King for his seat in Congress. Readers of this blog need no introduction to Steve King as he is a leader of the extreme anti-immigrant faction of American politics.
On Saturday, June 15, BR team members Benach, Sandra Arboleda, and Mariela Sanchez-Odicio spent the morning at CASA de Maryland in a free legal clinic in anticipation of immigration reform. In these events, we are cast as the experts on immigration law, but I am sure that we learn so much more from greeting the community than we provide in legal advice. CASA de Maryland is an outstanding organization and on the front lines of so many essential civil rights battles.
Today, May Day, would have been my grandmother, Marta Socarras y San Martin’s 94th birthday. She was born in Havana in 1919 as the world witnessed the violent death of kingly empires and the birth of communism as a state philosophy. How odd it seems that an ideology that gripped workers and soldiers in Europe would one day take hold on a non-industrial island in the Caribbean.
Increasing the number of immigrant and non-immigrant visas available to highly-skilled workers – particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – currently appears to be the least controversial and most bipartisan aspect of the various immigration reform proposals being discussed, debated, and leaked to the public, even if the discussion about how to increase the number of STEM visas remains unclear. If certain U.S.
I had the best tacos I have ever had this weekend in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The whole Benach Collopy attorney gang headed out to the country to meet in the quiet of the mountains. And, of course, in the middle of rural America, we found tacos. Delicious tacos. I used to work with a colleague who used to discuss the virtues of America’s unique immigrant history by pointing out the benefits to American cuisine.
The Migration Policy Institute recently released a study documenting that the U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, dwarfing the $14 million spent on other federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI, the DEA and the ATF, combined, received $14 billion. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s budget, alone, is $6 billion. Something is seriously out of whack here. None of this is surprising to immigration attorneys. ICE runs a gulag archipelago of detention centers across the country, holding immigrants who have overstayed visas, entered without inspection, seek asylum, and committed minor offenses.
The House of Representatives is moving quickly to give the appearance that they have changed their tune on immigration. The House is scheduled to vote this week on the STEM Jobs Act, sponsored by the anti-immigrant Lamar Smith (R-TX). The STEM Jobs Act would provide 55,000 additional visas for foreign nationals receiving advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Supporters of the STEM Jobs Act argue that it addresses an acknowledged problem area in U.S.