April 2013 Archives

Wed. May 8: Quiz 5 Study Guide


Border Security.pptx
Guest Worker Program.pdf
Immigrant Integration.pptx

"We are all suspects now" (Tram Nguyen)
Jose Antonio Vargas
"Third Force" of Latino Politics (Juan Gonzalez)
2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Answers should be written in short paragraph form (no bullet points). Strong answers reveal more than just factual retention; they are indicators of your understanding of course themes and significance. No notes or books will be allowed. The time for the quiz will be 15 minutes.

HOW TO ANSWER ID'S: Complete definitions or identifications generally contain the following elements:
-Who or What? (Identification)
-What happened and how? What did it do? What did it change? (Action)
-When did this happen? (Time)
-Why did it happen? (Motivation)
-Where did it happen? (Location)

A strong answer thoroughly answers the above questions and explains the historical significance of the name, term, or concept at hand. Whenever relevant, it should also provide a specific example from the readings. Identifying historical significance is a way of answering the question, SO WHAT? (Why was this important?) A complete identification, then, always includes the important impact or effect of the person, event, or idea in history. A helpful formula for structuring your answers to these "ID" questions is:

In [date], [person] did [what action] to [whomever], in [what place]. The event was caused by . . . The event resulted in . . . The event was important because . . .One example from the readings is...

Mon. May 6 - Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744)

Main sections:
Border Security
Pathway to Citizenship [Adjustment of Status]
Guest worker Program [NonImmigrant W visa]
Future Immigration Flows
Interior Enforcement
Immigrant Integration

You will be assigned a section of the bill. Use the summary from the Migration Policy Institute. Your assignment is to:

1. Review the overall proposed legislation, especially how the different components relate to each other

2. Research the provisions of the bill that relate to your section

3. find at least two news sources and/or statements related to your topic in your research. [Try to find opposing views if possible.]

4. Discuss the bill amongst yourselves and come to a consensus

5. Present your summary and analysis of the bill in a powerpoint or other presentation document to share with class. Prof. Lee will upload to the class blog for study purposes

Official Text of the Bill,, Govtrac.us
Resources from Migration Policy Institute
American Immigration Council
Center for Immigration Studies
Federation for American Immigration Reform
American Immigration Lawyers Association
National Council for La Raza
Immigration Policy Center
Heritage Foundation

Mon. Apr. 29: Debating Immigration

In the News:

"All the paths to US citizenship in the Senate's immigration bill, visualized"

"Boston Case Casts Shadow Over Senate Immigration Hearing," NPR, 4/23/13

"Q. and A.: The Senate Immigration Bill" New York Times, 4/22/13

"Heated Questions and Divisions Emerge at Immigration Bill Hearing" NYT, 4/23/13

For recent background, including the 2007 attempts at comprehensive immigration reform, see the New York Times "Immigration" Topics page

Center for Immigration Studies
Federation for American Immigration Reform
American Immigration Lawyers Association
National Council for La Raza
Migration Policy Institute
Immigration Policy Center

Undocumented/Unauthorized Immigrants
-"Unauthorized immigrants" are all foreign-born non-citizens residing in the country who are not "legal immigrants."
-11.2 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in 2010
-Unauthorized immigrants made up 3.7% of the nation's population and 5.2% of its labor force in 2010
-2012: Undocumented immigration is down dramatically. In 2005, 1.1M were apprehended; in 2011, 340,000 apprehended
-Jose Antonio Vargas, "My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant," New York Times, June 22, 2011
-Filipino American Pullitzer-prize winning journalist entered at age 12 without proper documentation
-Jose Vargas' story

Border Battles
-Demographic arguments
-Economic arguments
-National Security
-Cultural arguments
-Human rights/civil rights arguments
-Undocumented Immigration

Immigration Restriction and Border Security, 2006-present

-Laws and Border Security
Federation for American Immigration Reform

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Effort, 2006-2007

-Immigrant Rights Marches, 2006
-Comprehensive reform fails, 2007
-States and Cities take initiative
-AZ's SB 1070 (2010) and Alabama's law (2011)
-Pres. Obama's State of the Union Address, 2012 related to immigration

Federal Dream Act:  Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act
-Bi-partisan sponsorship (Hatch, UT and Durbin, IL)
would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the country at a young age and serve in the military or attend college
-6 year long conditional path to citizenship
"21st Century Underground Railroad" - calling attention to America's broken immigration system

The View from MN
"Minnesota has enacted several recent laws for the benefit of its large refugee population, while also excluding undocumented immigrants from some public benefits."
-MN S 460 (2010). Human Services. Undocumented non-citizens and immigrants are restricted from receiving general assistance medical care.
"Settlement may restore EMA benefit" MN Public Radio, April 17, 2012

Wed. April 17: Post 9/11 Immigration Policies

In the News

"Bipartisan group introduces immigration reform bill," Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2013

Statement by the President on Commonsense Immigration Reform, April 16, 2013

"U.S. Muslims Mobilize To Prevent Boston Marathon Backlash," Huffington Post, 4/16/13

Post 9/11 Immigration Policies and Anti-Immigrant Backlash
A matter of necessary national security? Or institutionalized discrimination?
Tram Nguyen: "We Are All Suspects Now": Since 9/11 counter terrorist efforts have merged with U.S. immigration policy resulting in discrimination against immigrants perceived to be Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, or South Asian on the basis of their name, race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. The domestic war on terror has caused entire communities to come under suspicion and increased racial profiling of all immigrants.
-Post 9/11 Roundup
-FBI Visits
-USA Patriot Act
-Special Registration
-Absconder Apprehension Initiative
-Refugee and Asylee Restrictions
-Case of Abdullah Osman, Minneapolis

Racial Profiling and Hate Crimes directed at South Asian, Muslim, and Arab Americans
Valerie Kaur's "Divided We Fall"
-"The Story Behind the Film" (10 mins) - watch this for Balbir Singh Sodhi
-"We are All Muslim" (10 mins)
-"National Security and Civil Rights?" (10 mins)
-"Rising up Against the Hate" (the Sikh Coalition) (10 mins)
-"Where are They Now?" - update on Balbir Singh Sodhi's family

Apr. 15: SE Asian Migrations & "The Latehomecomer"

1975 Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act
-Pres. Ford established Interagency Task Force (IATF) in April, 1975 to coordinate federal activity concerned with evacuation and resettlement of Vietnamese refugees.
-Most refugees admitted on a "parole" basis on emergency basis.
-Allocates federal funds to assist with relocation and resettlement for refugees
-1977 Amendment allows permanent legal residence in the United States for certain refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos

Refugee Act of 1980
-First comprehensive refugee legislation in U.S. history-Designed to ease process and centralize admissions
-Set annual quota for refugees at 50,000 (which actually slowed the entrance of SE Asian refugees)
-Ended parole system, decentralized the process, and turned states into main caretakers.
-Allowed refugees from all over to come to U.S., not only those who were refugees from Communist countries like before.
-Afterwards, any person with a "well founded fear of prosecution" could apply
-Shift from U.S. governmental regulation to management by voluntary agencies (mostly religious organizations) who contracted with the federal government to sponsor refugee families
-Federal policy encouraged refugees to find gainful employment as soon as possible.
-The government also tried to minimize financial burden on any single region by dispersing the refugees widely
-But forced separation from families and dispersal of communities had negative effects on groups that had faced persecution, forced displacement, and genocide

Why Minnesota?

  • MN was one of the first states to respond to newly established federal refugee policy

  • Strong social service agencies led the way in resettling refugees

In the 1990s, the proportion of immigrants who were refugees in MN ranged from 24-46%, compared to 6-16% nationwide

Refugees from Africa, Asia, and former Soviet Union (especially Somalia and Laos)
2000 Census:

  • 13% of foreign-born Minnesotans are from Africa (compared to 3 % nation-wide)

  • 41% are from Asia (compared to 26% nation-wide)

  • 43,000 Hmong in MN, a 255% increase since 1990 (much of it secondary migration from CA and elsewhere in U.S.)

Adaptation in the U.S.
Different rates of adaptation (class, generation,gender, pre-migration experiences, etc.)
Changing gender roles
Generational differences
Family breakdown

Forming Communities: The Case of Hmong Americans in MN
2010 Census Statistics for MN
2002 Election of Mee Moua
"A new generation of Hmong women pursues college" (MPR, September, 2009)

Apr. 8: SE Asian Refugee Migrations

What is a refugee?
Definition of "Refugee" United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
"A refugee is essentially any person who is outside his home country owing to well-founded fear of persecution for reasons, of race, religion, nationality or political opinion." (General Assembly Resolution 428 (V) of 14 December 1950)

"An applicant for refugee status is normally in a particularly vulnerable situation. He finds himself in an alien environment and may experience serious psychological difficulties in submitting his case to the authorities of a foreign country, often in a language not his own."

Displaced Persons Act of 1948
-Helped individuals who were victims of persecution by the Nazi government or who were fleeing persecution because of fear of persecution based on race, religion or political opinions.
-From 1945 to 1952, more than 250,000 Jewish displaced persons (DPs) lived in camps and urban centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy.
-U.S. act authorized 200,000 DPs to enter the United States, including 80,000 Jewish individuals
-Displaced person could bring their family with them as long as they were "good" citizens who could stay out of jail and provide financially for themselves without public assistance.

Cuban Refugees (see class session on 4/3)

First wave of Vietnamese Refugees, 1975 (130,000)

-mostly high ranking government officials and military officers and their families
-2/3 held white-collar jobs in Vietnam; 24% were from professional, managerial, technical backgrounds; 5% farmers / fishermen
-most came from urban areas, were Christian, and migrated as families
-adaptation to United States was relatively smooth
"Saigon Evacuated," History.com

Second Wave, 1977-1980s (653,000)

Political prisoners
-included lower ranking government officials who had not been able to escape were forced into "reeducation camps" for individuals associated with the old regime
-made to suffer in deplorable conditions; many arrived in U.S. permanently scarred; Had higher rates of poverty and a more difficult times adjusting to the U.S. than the first wave

"Boat People"
-ethnic Chinese who had been expelled after Vietnam and China engaged in war in 1978
-escaped in secret by boat in the open seas to places of refuge throughout SE Asia, especially Thailand
-30-50% die during escape
-430,000 ethnic Chinese expelled from Vietnam. Estimated arrivals in U.S. = 261,000
-Diverse group, including educated professionals and fishermen, farmers, from rural areas
-Adjustment to U.S. more difficult: non-English speaking, lower employment rates, disillusionment, family unit breakdown, gang activity

Third Wave: Refugees from Laos, 1977-1990s (ethnic Lao, Hmong, Mien)
-North Vietnamese supply line ran through Laos. As Americans and North Vietnamese battled over control of the supply line, war spread to Laos
-Hmong "Armee Clandestine" recruited and trained Hmong soldiers. At its peak, 40,000 men served
"Laos: The Not So Secret War" (1970) CBS News
-General Vang Pao - allied the Hmong with the U.S. CIA
-Portraits: Ly Xiong Pao, soldier in the "Secret Army" (MPR, 1999)
Becoming American (Documentary about Hmong Refugees)

Fourth Wave: Cambodia
-Pol Pot's KHMER ROUGE emerged victorious in April 17, 1975
--Communist, goal to restructure local economy into self-sufficient agrarian economy
--elites, educated, professionals, city dwellers persecuted
--slave labor camps established
--2 to 3 million Cambodians (33% population) died unnatural deaths from starvation, overwork, torture and execution
-Post-war Cambodia
--1978 invasion by Vietnam drives out Khmer Rouge but does not lessen hardships
--Refugee exodus
--100,000 resettled in U.S.

Apr. 3: Puerto Ricans and Cubans

Puerto Ricans ("Citizens yet Foreigners")

  • The U.S. acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898

  • Not until 1917 were Puerto Ricans allowed to become American citizens

  • But they cannot vote

  • They are seen as foreigners, not citizens (similar to Filipinos as U.S. Nationals)

  • Puerto Rico was accorded commonwealth status in 1947, but status of island and its peoples as possessions of the United States did not change

  • As citizens, the people of Puerto Rico can move throughout the 50 states just as any other Americans can

Post WW2 migration factors

  • Economic depression in Puerto Rico

  • U.S. factory owners and employment agencies began recruiting heavily on the island

  • Return of thousands of Puerto Rican war veterans, whose service in the U.S. military had shown them the world

  • "They returned home believing that they had earned a place at the American table." (Author Juan Gonzalez)

  • Most significant cause was the sudden availability of affordable air travel

  • Puerto Rican migration became the first great airborne migration in U.S. history

Cuban Migration before 1959

  • Cuba becomes U.S. territory in 1898; strong U.S. ties and role in Cuba

  • Long-time pattern of migration across the Straits of Florida to work in the sugar, coffee, and tobacco industries

1959 Communist Revolution

  • 215,000 flee to U.S. in the first four years by air (elite, with U.S. connections or connections to U.S. backed dictator)

"Special Refugees"

  • "Few immigrant groups have commenced their economic adaptation to American life from a position of such relative advantage." (Alejandro Portes)

  • 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act made them instantly eligible for public assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, free English courses, scholarships, and low-interest college loans, business credit, and start-up loans

  • Act also allowed any Cuban who had lived in the U.S. for a year to become a permanent resident--a privilege that has never been offered to any other immigrant group.

  • "Cuban Miracle" in Miami - commercial boom, self-supporting entrepreneurs

1960s-1970s: 300,000 refugees allowed in (air travel resumed)
largely upper and middle classes; brought technical skills

1980 Marielitos

  • 1980: under international pressure, the Cuban government opened the port city of Mariel to any Cuban who wanted to leave for the United States

  • Cuban Americans mobilize to send a massive flotilla of private yachts, merchant ships, and fishing boats arrived in Mariel to bring Cubans to Florida

  • In the six months the port remained open, more than 125,000 Cubans were delivered to the U.S.

  • much less affluent than previous generations

  • a few thousand had been incarcerated while in Cuba

  • As a result, many Marielitos were stigmatized in the U.S. as undesirable elements, and thousands were confined in temporary shelters and federal prisons--some for years.

  • Their arrival marks a change in how Cuban refugees had been viewed and welcomed before

Later Refugees

  • 1980s and 1990s: tens of thousands attempt to flee by sea, chancing death by drowning, exposure, or shark attacks to make the 90-mile crossing

  • They come on flimsy, dangerous, homemade vessels, including inner tubes, converted cars, and cheap plywood rafts, or balsos

  • Hundreds of the balseros died on the journey, and both governments came under global pressure to stop the flotillas. By the end of the 90s, the two countries agreed that U.S. would return any boats to Cuba

1994: The end of special treatment

  • August, 1994 - 20,000 Cubans attempt entry

  • Pres. Clinton disallows special treatment for Cubans. "All persons from the island nation heading for the US on rafts and small boats are to be treated as illegal aliens, detained in centers outside the US, and not permitted to enter the US unless they can satisfy the criteria for refugee or immigrant status individually."

Elian Gonzalez, 1999

  • November, 1999: a six year-old boy named Elian Gonzalez is found in the Straits of Florida clinging to an inner tube. His mother and 11 others had drowned

  • He is rescued and lives with Miami relatives for six months

  • U.S. & Cuba engage in bitter struggle to return Elian to his father in Cuba

  • Cuban exiles in Miami lead the battle to keep Elian in the U.S.

  • U.S. government orders him returned


"Puerto Rico Vote Endorses Statehood," Nov. 7, 2012 (AP)
The Mariel Boatlift, Miami Herald (passenger lists and memories)

El Mariel Timeline (Miami Herald)

Elian Gonzalez 10 year anniversary story on CNN (April, 2010)

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