April 30, 2010

National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders File Lawsuits Against Arizona Immigration Law

Source: USA Today

New attacks on Arizona's controversial immigration law allowing police to stop people they suspect are in the country illegally are coming from varied fronts.

Two lawsuits were filed Thursday attacking the measure. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders filed suit in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, alleging the measure is illegal because it usurps federal immigration enforcement authority and because of concerns that the law contributes to racial profiling.

The group said on its website that it represents 20,000 churches in 34 states.
An attorney representing a Tucson police officer filed suit in U.S. District Court in Tucson to block the law.

Latina pop star Shakira also has entered the fray, with announcements that she planned to discuss her concerns about the law with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Police Chief Jack Harris and other officials. Gordon has said he will sue the city to block the law from taking effect.

Officials in the state say support for the measure has been strong. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer's office said it received 5,186 telephone calls in favor of the bill and 2,006 against. Ninety percent of the telephone calls to the office of Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a sponsor of the bill, are in favor, said Mike Philipsen, a spokesman for Arizona's Senate Republicans.

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April 25, 2010

CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund to Fight Arizona's SB-1070 through the Courts

Washington, DC- The National Coalition Of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders is supporting CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund as it moves expeditiously to challenge the new anti-immigrant Arizona SB-1070 law on matters of constitutionality.

"Our Churches and Pastors in Arizona are outraged about the significant threat this anti-immigrant law will have in the lives of Arizona's Latino's," said Rev. Miguel Rivera, Chairman of Conlamic.

Conlamic leaders have prayed for peace and justice in Arizona, as concerns about racial profiling and increased racial animosity may develop against Latino's and other minorities and their families you live and work in the state of Arizona as a result of local immigration enforcement by local Police officers and government employees.

Latino evangelical leaders will not tolerate activity such as racial profiling in their communities. Governor Janice Brewer in Arizona has made a serious error in judgment by using her authority to enact state policy that will do more harm than good for Arizona.

"This policy violates the rights of American citizens, particularly the fast growing Latino population of Arizona by eliminating the basic right of due process, which we are certain that the courts will agree,"said Rev. Miguel Rivera, Chairman of Conlamic and Conlamic Legal Defense Fund.

"The issue is not that Arizona is state fraught with racism, because its not. The issue here is that Governor Brewer has taken this action in order to please her political backers - something that will likely backfire on her and Republicans in November," said Carlos Galindo, CONLAMIC-Arizona Coordinator, who represents 300 Latino evangelical churches and pastors in Arizona.

"We expect a federal judge to find SB-1070 unconstitutional and illegal in its merits. We plan to file a formal complaint," said William Sanchez, Esq. President of CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund.

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April 21, 2010

Immigrants in work force: Study belies image

By Julia Preston
New York Times

ST. LOUIS — After a career as a corporate executive with her name in brass on the office door, Amparo Kollman-Moore, an immigrant from Colombia, likes to drive a Jaguar and shop at Saks. "It was a good life," she said, "a really good ride."

As a member of this city's economic elite, Kollman-Moore is not unusual among immigrants who live in St. Louis.

According to a new analysis of census data, more than half of the working immigrants in this metropolitan area hold higher-paying white-collar jobs — as professionals, technicians or administrators — rather than lower-paying blue-collar and service jobs.
Among U.S. cities, St. Louis is not an exception, the data show. In 14 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, Boston and New York, more immigrants are employed in white-collar occupations than in lower-wage work like construction, manufacturing or cleaning.

The data belie a common perception in the nation's debate over immigration — articulated by lawmakers, pundits and advocates on all sides of the issue — that the surge in immigration in the past two decades has overwhelmed the United States with low-wage foreign laborers.

Overall, the analysis showed, the 25 million immigrants who live in the country's largest metropolitan areas (about two-thirds of all immigrants in the country) are nearly evenly distributed across the job and income spectrum.

suggests, moreover, that the immigrants played a central role in the cycle of the economic growth of cities over the past two decades.

Cities with thriving immigrant populations — with high-earning and lower-wage workers — tended to be those that prospered the most.

Surprisingly, the analysis showed, the growing cities were not the ones, like St. Louis, that drew primarily high-earning foreigners.

In fact, the St. Louis area had one of the slowest-growing economies.

Rather, the fastest economic growth from 1990 to 2008 was in cities like Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix that received large influxes of immigrants with a mix of occupations — including many in lower-paid service and blue-collar jobs.