How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Whitman recaps, criminal deportations, 200 Mexico photos, the Latino health paradox and more

After allegations, reconstructing Whitman's immigration stance | California Watch Just what has Meg Whitman said in the past regarding employers and illegal immigration?

Study: Fewer immigrants coming to Los Angeles - San Jose Mercury News A USC study shows a decline in the city's foreign-born.

From housekeepergate to real policy: the tricky navigation of immigration in the midterm election | 89.3 KPCC From yesterday's Patt Morrison show: Whitman's “housekeepergate” controversy shows how unprepared political leaders are to deal with it the complicated subject of immigration.

Deportation of criminals is up, say feds | Sacramento Bee Federal data shows that of the 350,000 people  deported this year, more than half had criminal convictions, a 55 percent increase since 2008

Notorious Tijuana jail to be just a dark memory - The fetid jail is where drunken Americanos used to land, too.


Illegal hiring 101: IRCA, employer sanctions and the underground economy

Photo by Quazie/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A cash payment, June 2007

The scandal that erupted last week over gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's nine-year employment of an undocumented housekeeper has thrown a spotlight on Americans' dependence on unauthorized labor, in the home and in the general economy.

Employer sanctions for hiring unauthorized workers fall under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, a sweeping piece of immigration reform legislation that granted amnesty to nearly three million undocumented immigrants, but which was also intended to dampen the appeal of coming to the United States illegally to work through employer sanctions. IRCA made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit undocumented immigrants.

Here is a summary of the law from the Library of Congress:

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Title I: Control of Illegal Immigration - Part A: Employment

Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to make it unlawful for a person or other entity to: (1) hire (including through subcontractors), recruit, or refer for a fee for U.S. employment any alien knowing that such person is unauthorized to work, or any person without verifying his or her work status; or (2) continue to employ an alien knowing of such person's unauthorized work status.

Makes verification compliance (including the use of State employment agency documentation) an affirmative defense to any hiring or referral violation.

Establishes an employment verification system. Requires: (1) the employer to attest, on a form developed by the Attorney General, that the employee's work status has been verified by examination of a passport, birth certificate, social security card, alien documentation papers, or other proof; (2) the worker to similarly attest that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national, or authorized alien; and (3) the employer to keep such records for three years in the case of referral or recruitment, or the later of three years or one year after employment termination in the case of hiring.


Longest waits for immigrant visas: October

Source: Visa Bulletin for October 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.

Every month, Multi-American is posting the longest current waits as listed in the U.S. State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin.

For countries with the highest demand for family reunification, especially Mexico and the Philippines, the wait to enter the country legally can take several years, in some cases as much as two decades. Here's why: Every nation is allotted the same percentage from a pool of family and employer-based visas available each year, regardless of the demand from any individual nation.

Immigrants defined as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, i.e. spouses, parents, and children under 21, are exempt from the limits. But for others, such as the adult children or siblings of U.S. citizens or legal residents, the wait can be very, very long.

For those whose priority dates are listed in the monthly bulletin, it’s good news, sort of: Visas have technically become available for them, though priority dates are subject to change and frequently do.


In the news this morning: Whitman and the underground economy, immigrant detention, subtitled telenovelas, more

Whitman's - and California's - immigration hypocrisy -- Los Angeles Times How the Whitman housekeeper scandal highlights dependence on undocumented workers.

Whitman's not the first with illegal worker woes - The Orange County Register The gubernatorial candidate joins a long list of public officials to come under fire for their hiring practices.

PREVIEW-U.S. court term has free-speech, immigration cases - Reuters Arizona's appeal on SB 1070 is among the cases the high court will hear in the coming months.

O.C. jails ready for immigration detainees - The Orange County Register The county stands to make $30 million in revenue after selling jail space to the federal government for immigrant detention.

Ground Zero mosque: Our family has received death threats, says wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf - New York Daily News Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam behind the planned project, says that her family has sought help from police after receiving threatening calls.


American snapshots: Cleaning up in L.A.

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

"This must be a mop made for men," Juana jokes as she wields a heavy mop, about as tall as she is.

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

"This must be a mop made for men," Juana jokes as she wields a heavy mop, about as tall as she is.

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

"This must be a mop made for men," Juana jokes as she wields a heavy mop, about as tall as she is.

Yesterday afternoon I caught up with Juana, the subject of an earlier post in which the Los Angeles domestica dished on the housekeeping industry, the need (or not) for papers, and the scandal over Meg Whitman's maid.

She takes the bus throughout the city to clean homes and apartments, usually invisibly while her clients are out, earning $10 to $15 an hour. Here is a bit of what she does: