How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Longest waits for immigrant visas: December

Source: Visa Bulletin for November 2010, 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 well into December, which means it's time to post the longest current waits as listed in the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

Immigrant visas have technically become available for those whose priority dates, i.e. the dates on which their petitions were filed, are listed in the bulletin. And this month, the hopeful immigrants who have been waiting the longest to come legally have been in line since the beginning of 1988. That's right, their petitions were filed in the eighties.

As listed in this month’s Visa Bulletin, the longest waits have been endured by:

1) Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens from the Philippines, a wait of nearly 23 years (petitions filed January 1, 1988).

2) Unmarried adult (21 and over) sons and daughters of U.S. legal permanent residents from Mexico, a wait of more than 18 years (petitions filed June 22, 1992)


A blow-by-blow of last week's Dream Act strategy

So just what was it that happened with the Dream Act last week? A victory in the House on Wednesday, a Senate move to table the bill on Thursday, and media reports since that have ranged from declaring the bill dead to its having a better chance now than before.

For those still shaking their heads, The Hill has the best blow-by-blow analysis I've seen yet of what is referred to in the piece as a "carefully designed strategy" orchestrated between both chambers of Congress to give the measure its best possible shot. From the piece:

The fast-evolving process required behind-the-scenes scheduling changes; an eleventh-hour hearing; constant lobbying from supporters; and a risky-but-successful show of procedural gymnastics in the Senate — all aimed at lending momentum to the hot-button bill in hopes of enacting it by month's end.

In short, supporters say, the process has infused life into the policy.


In the news this morning: Dream Act 'tweet war,' AZ-style law for Kentucky, mariachi opera, more

California congressman extends DREAM Act tweet war through the weekend - The Hill Excerpts from the war of the tweets between Orange County's Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, an opponent of the Dream Act, and the supporters he has engaged with on Twitter.

Kentucky Republicans want Arizona-style immigration law - Miami Herald Kentucky GOP leaders plan to file proposed legislation that would allow local police to carry out federal immigration law.

Post Partisan - The Washington Post Edward Schumacher-Matos on the message he'll take if the Dream Act is voted down.

A trumpet's note of hope in a mariachi opera - Houston Chronicle The immigrant story of a young mariachi trumpeter, performing in a Houston Grand Opera production that is touted as the world's first mariachi opera.

Court Tells ICE to Stop “Dragging Its Feet” on Document Release - ColorLines A federal judge has ordered the immigration enforcement agency to release more documents pertaining to its Secure Communities program, which some local governments have tried to opt out of.


Back again soon

I'm taking the rest of the day off to pack up for a move.

It's been a big news week, though, and I've enjoyed seeing all of your comments regarding the Dream Act. So the floor is yours - feel free to share your thoughts on the bill's prognosis and where you stand on it. I'll be posting some reader comments again next week.


In the news this morning: Dream Act poll and promises, minorities and Twitter, Supreme Court's use of 'illegal' vs. 'undocumented,' more

Poll: Majority Of Americans Would Vote For DREAM Act - Talking Points Memo According to a new Gallup poll, 54 percent of respondents said they favored the proposed legislation that would grant conditional legal status to undocumented youths who attend college or join the military. Forty-two percent said they oppose it.

Reid: “DREAM Act Is Not a Symbolic Vote,” Will Return This Year - ColorLines After yesterday's move to table a Senate version of the bill, the Senate Majority Leader promises to bring the House-approved version up for a vote in the Senate this month.

BBC News - Twitter use strongest among US minority groups A Pew Research Center study finds that African-American and Latino adults in the United States are twice as likely as whites to use Twitter.

Illegal Immigrants Without Driver’s Licenses Risk More Than a Ticket - New York Times At least 30,000 undocumented immigrants who were stopped for traffic violations in the last three years have wound up in deportation proceedings.