March 2007 Archives

“Any other topics??

By Daniel Necas, Immigration History Research Center

Reading some of the latest journalistic accounts of the various sides of the immigration issue, one would almost begin to feel that immigration is the single most important question in current U.S. developments. Immigration is being portrayed as the number one issue that Republicans entering the presidential race have recently had to deal with

No Escape

By Andy Urban, PhD candidate in History at the University of Minnesota. IHRC Affiliated Faculty

So much for a bit of a vacation. In recent months, to use an apt cliché, trouble seems to follow President George W. Bush wherever he goes. His weeklong visit to various Central and Southern American countries that ended on March 14, was not a trip marked by Guatemalans, Mexicans, and so on, greeting him with open arms. To begin with, Bush’s entire relationship to this region has been troubled by an unfulfilled promise – that his presidency would pay greater attention to Central and Southern American countries than his predecessors in the Clinton administration. After September 11, this promise went out the window. In addition, Bush’s trip to the region was shadowed by a strategically timed jaunt undertaken by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Chavez took the opportunity to bash Bush as it were, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Although I am personally no fan of Chavez’s recent acts of censorship over the Venezuelan media, it is nonetheless enjoyable to see him dog the President and ruin the staged visits he was making. Add to all of this the protests that accompanied Bush’s visit – some of which ended in violence and perhaps excessive police force against demonstrators (as the very last paragraph of this LA Times article describes [link]), and you can see why the man often chooses to squirrel himself away in Texas.

By Elizabeth Boyle, Associate Professor of Sociology & Law, IHRC affiliate

When my Grandfather Cianciaruso was a young man, he worked as a shoe repairman in Iowa, and every month he sent most of the money he earned back to his mother in Italy. At that time, it was common for migrants to send money back to family members (these payments are called "remittances"). And remittances are still exceedingly common among new migrants today. The more things stay the same, the more things change, however. Today, remittances are viewed as a possible solution to global inequality and poverty. From where does this view come, and how realistic is it?

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