May 2006 Archives

Love, Babies...and Migration

By Donna R. Gabaccia, Rudolph J. Vecoli Professor of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

Human beings continue to act like human beings--to fall in love, marry, have babies, and want to preserve family ties--even as they migrate across national boundaries. Their completely normal choices pose fundamental
challenges to common assumptions about citizenship. They complicate the already-complex politics of devising and implementing immigration policies.

By Erika Lee, associate professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota.


While U.S. senators and congressmen wrangle over negotiations on federal immigration legislation, state politicians in Georgia decided to take matters into their own hands this week.

"I am a worker, not a criminal"

By Donna R. Gabaccia, Rudolph J. Vecoli Professor of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

Through an accident of professional travel, I was in France on March 28, as
a million protestors hit the streets. Young people were objecting to a law
that would allow employers to dismiss them without cause. They carried
signs that said “�No to trial employment!�

The protests were effective: this Monday the French government dropped the
proposed legislation. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4865034.stm)

Will we see equally swift and dramatic responses in Washington to the
millions demonstrating in American cities over the past 10 days?
(http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/11/us/11immig.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

By Donna R. Gabaccia, Rudolph J. Vecoli Professor of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

In recent weeks President Bush has asked for a “temporary worker� program
that would create visas for low-skill workers. Such low-skill workers have
almost no access to visas under current immigration law. They make up the
largest group of immigrants without proper documentation, the so-called
“illegals.�

Democracy at Work

By Katherine Fennelly, Professor of Public Affairs at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute

An amazing thing happened this week. Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets across the US, and the Senate Judiciary Committee appeared to listen. Only a few weeks earlier political pundits had predicted that moderate proposals for immigration reform were ‘dead in the water’ in the Senate, and likely to be supplanted by punitive ‘enforcement only’ bills, such as those passed by the House of Representatives in December of last year (see footnote 1).

By Joel Wurl, Head of Research Collections and Associate Director of the Immigration History Research Centerat the University of Minnesota

The recently completed World Baseball Classic may seem an unlikely starting point for commentary on migration, but as this Miami Herald article illustrates, it actually furnishes an interesting window on a host of complex, inter-related issues.

Majority Minorities

By Donna R. Gabaccia, Rudolph J. Vecoli Professor of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

Immigration has repeatedly reshaped American populations. Can history help us understand what is happening today in American cities as “minority becomes majority?�

By Donna R. Gabacia, Rudolph J. Vecoli Professor of Immigration History and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota

Minnesotans may not realize that angry debates about immigration are not
limited to their home state—or to the present.

Oh say can you…sí?

By Andy Urban, PhD candidate in History at the University of Minnesota and member of the IHRC Advisory Council

Not surprisingly, this week’s media coverage of immigration was dominated by the nationwide rallies organized by immigrant advocacy groups, protesting the recently passed House of Representatives’ Bill that seeks to harden the policing of the border and to increasingly criminalize undocumented immigration. The rallies reached a pinnacle on Monday, when hundreds of thousands of immigrants in cities large and small ("Hispanic residents quietly show muscle in St. James" The Star Tribune) boycotted work and school in order to demonstrate their importance to the US economy.

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