How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Census Bureau history lesson: The immigrant population over time

Photo courtesy of Erica Marshall/Flickr (Creative Commons)

For those who love statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau has compiled a nifty list of historical census facts regarding the nation's foreign-born population, as hot of a newsworthy topic today as it was in the nineteenth century.

Here's nifty historical fact number one:

The foreign-born population accounted for 10 percent of the total U.S. population in 1850, and 15 percent in1890. Today, the foreign-born comprise 12 percent of the population.

In other words, immigrants are no bigger part of the population than they were 111 years ago, and comprise only a slightly larger piece of the pie today than they did before the Civil War.

Also in the numbers, though, is one telling difference that may well influence perceptions: The ethnic and racial makeup of the foreign born.

From another item on the list:


In the news this morning: More on states' immigration plans, CO governor seeks conditions from ICE, the census and Latino politics, more

States seek to tackle birthright citizenship, illegal immigration - Atlanta Journal-Counstitution More on state lawmakers' plans to gather in Washington this week to announce their anti-illegal immigration strategies, including a plan by GOP legislators to challenge the 14th Amendment.

Ritter expected to make announcement on use of Secure Communities data - The Denver Post Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter has sought four conditions to the agreement with immigration authorities on the fingerprint-sharing program that aims to find and deport people with criminal records, including that it be used only for serious crimes.

Immigrants Call For National Bud Lite Boycott Against Hensley - Technorati Immigrant rights activists in Arizona want to boycott Bud Light over contributions made to anti-illegal immigration candidates by its chief distributor in the state, Hensley and Co.


14th Amendment, Section 1: The battle begins

Photo by Victoria Bernal/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A baby at a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles, May 1, 2010

After months of strategizing, the battle over the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is about to officially begin.

On Wednesday, two Arizona Republican leaders, including SB 1070 architect Sen. Russell Pearce, will introduce to press in Washington, D.C. the model legislation that they hope will force the U.S. Supreme Court to review and eventually reinterpret the constitutional right to U.S. citizenship for all those born in this country, with the goal of denying the right to children born to undocumented immigrants.

Arizona lawmakers will not be the only ones introducing the model legislation, the product of a larger coalition of state legislators who share the same goal. Legislators in at least 14 states plan to do the same, with the objective of prompting a judicial review.


Longest waits for immigrant visas: January

Source: Visa Bulletin for January 2011, U.S. Department of State

Nations with current longest waits for family-sponsored based immigrant visas: The priority dates shown are when applicants now up for processing filed their petitions.

It's January, which means it's time for our monthly feature on the longest waits for green cards. Last month, the people who became eligible for immigrant visas after waiting the longest had endured a wait of 23 years, having filed their petitions in early 1988.

This month it's no different, according to the U.S. State Department’s Visa Bulletin. Some of the hopeful immigrants whose number is up to receive a green card this month have been waiting in line since January 1988. That was before the launch of the World Wide Web, when acid-washed jeans were considered fashionable, and before most people had ever heard of grunge rock.

Immigrant visas have technically become available for those whose priority dates, i.e. the dates on which petitions were filed, are listed in the bulletin. This month, the longest waits have been endured by:


In the news this morning: Immigration bills from the states, the 14th Amendment challenge, Arizona's anti-ethnic studies law, more

Immigration Battle Shifts to States With Wave of Bills - The New York Times Among other things, at least half a dozen states will introduce laws similar to Arizona's SB 1070, and a coordinated effort in at least five states will seek to do away with automatic U.S. citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants, as now guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

Date set for unveiling of birthright citizenship bill - Arizona Capitol Times Arizona GOP leaders Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of SB 1070, and Rep. John Kavanagh plan a press conference Wednesday at the National Press Club to introduce model legislation that, they hope, would force the U.S. Supreme Court to reinterpret the 14th Amendment.

Watch out for those American-born criminals, Utah data suggest - Salt Lake Tribune Research from Brigham Young University attempting to quantify Utah’s crime rate for undocumented immigrants has so far found that they commit no more violent and property crime than people born and raised in the United States, and less by some measures.