Arab-Americans help Dearborn’s population increase

Dearborn, Michigan recorded a slight increase in population from 2000 to 2010, according to U.S. Census figures.  Dearborn’s population rose from 97,775 to 98,153 people during the 10-year period, while most surrounding communities registered population declines, and Detroit’s population plummeted by 25 percent.

Researchers attribute Dearborn’s population trend, at least in part, to Arab newcomers and other immigrants of Middle Eastern heritage.

The Chicago Tribune reported recently that, according to Michigan demographer Ken Darga, Dearborn’s population statistics “offer some encouragement for the community in an area that has been hammered by a long, painful economic slump.”

“It’s a bit of positive news in an area where there isn’t very positive news,” Darga said.

You can read the Chicago Tribune article here.

Know Your Rights Meeting, Pontiac, Saturday April 2

The Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform Michigan (AIR) will host an “Immigrants Know Your Rights” meeting on Saturday, April 2, 2011, beginning at 12:30 pm at Grace & Peace Community Church, 451 W. Kennett Ave., Pontiac, Michigan 48340.

The meeting will include presentations regarding your rights as an immigrant.  Immigration attorneys will be available to conduct free legal consultations.

Please click here for more information.

Gov. Snyder renews call for more immigrants in Michigan

Gov. Rick Snyder called for more immigrants to settle in Michigan, after reviewing recent U.S. Census data showing that Michigan is the only state that had an overall loss of population from 2000 to 2010.

Speaking recently at an annual “Michigan Muslim Capitol Day” event, Gov. Snyder said, “We need to celebrate diversity; it’s one of our strengths. One of the things I’m proud to say I’m already encouraging, that was in my state of the state message, is the idea of more immigration, particularly for advanced degree people.”

Click here to read more about Gov. Snyder’s speech.

Judge dissents from “unconscionable” separation of family

Judge Harry Pregerson, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recently dissented from the majority’s denial of an appeal from an Immigration Judge’s denial of cancellation of removal.  The result means that five U.S. citizen children will be without their father, the sole breadwinner in the family.  Two of the children suffer from severe medical conditions.

Judge Pregerson concluded that the majority’s denial of the appeal was an “unconscionable result” that “deprives American-born citizen children of their constitutionally protected right to remain in the country of their birth with their family intact.  This outcome is unjust and violates due process.”

Click here to read the Court’s denial and Judge Pregerson’s dissent.

Arizona legislature defeats anti-immigrant bills

In the Arizona state legislature, a group of state senate Republicans joined Democrats in defeating a series of anti-immigrant bills.

Leading the drive against the bills were many of Arizona’s largest employers, who signed a letter to a top Arizona legislator explaining their opposition to the bills.

“Arizona’s lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration. But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur,” the letter states.

“It is an undeniable fact that each of our companies and our employees were impacted by the boycotts and the coincident negative image.”

Here is a link to the article.

International organization criticizes DHS detention policies

An international rights group condemned U.S. immigration policies regarding the apprehension and detention of immigrants.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, a part of the Organization of American States, issued a comprehensive review of the U.S. government’s immigration enforcement practices in recent years, and found fault with many aspects of actions taken on behalf of the U.S. government.

You can view the 155-page report here.

Eloquent commentary on the benefits of the DREAM Act

Emily Rosenbaum has written a thoughtful piece about the DREAM Act at the Columbia University Teachers College website.

Ms. Rosenbaum carefully reviews arguments for and against the legislation, taking into consideration a variety of issues, including, perhaps most importantly, the compelling need of undocumented immigrants to be adequately educated so that they may contribute to our nation.

Ms. Rosenbaum’s commentary is available here.