Friday, August 13, 2010

Immigration News Roundup - 8/13/2010

1. Mercy Without Borders: Mark and Louise Zwick, the founders of Casa Juan Diego Catholic Worker in Houston, have a new book coming out in November called Mercy Without Borders: The Catholic Worker and Immigration. The book, to be published by Paulist Press, "is the Zwick's' story, a Catholic Worker story, interwoven with the stories, the joys, hopes, and tragedies of immigrants who have come to Houston, and an impassioned plea for a change in the political and economic forces which drive people to immigrate." The Zwicks have been truly devoted to helping our hermanos and hermanas for many, many years, so click on the book title and pre-order a copy of their book to help them and Casa Juan Diego, OK? Gracias.

2. 8 percent of U.S. newborns have undocumented parents: One of about every 12 babies born in the United States in 2008 was the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, a Pew Hispanic Center study released Wednesday concluded. According to the study, an estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in this country that year had parents who were in the United States without legal documentation...More than three-fourths of all unauthorized immigrants in the United States in March 2009 were Latinos, Jeffrey S. Passel, the study's author, said. And nearly one of every four children under age 18 in the nation was a Hispanic.

3. The 14th Amendment: The statistic immediately above on births to undocumented parents has led some lawmakers to call for revising the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees U.S. citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, regardless of the origin of the parents. Some Republicans, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, have since backtracked, realizing perhaps that supporting this move would not help them get the much-needed Hispanic vote. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today called the idea of amending the Constitution "just wrong". For those who are confused about the debate surrounding this issue, the immigation experts at the Center for American Progress have helpfully separated fact from fiction in a memo titled Birthright Lunacy.

4. Poll finds Catholic identity of young Latinos decreasing: A recent poll of 1,500 Hispanics conducted by Univision and the Associated Press found that among Hispanics in the United States, 62 percent still identify as Catholic, but that includes only 55 percent of young adults 18 to 29, compared with 80 percent of elders 65 and over. Univision also reported that, though a majority of Hispanics are Catholic, they are less likely to practice the faith, with only 35 percent of those surveyed attending religious services weekly. On religious and social issues, the poll found Hispanic Catholics to be more liberal than their Protestant counterparts. Seventy percent of Hispanic Protestants said the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally, compared with 46 percent of Hispanic Catholics. Just 26 percent of Protestants said abortion should be mostly legal, compared with 41 percent of Catholics. The poll also found that 49 percent of Latinos who speak more English than Spanish are in favor of legalized abortion, a number which is comparable to the opinion of the general public. And 59 percent of Protestants said same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry, compared with 29 percent of Catholics.

5. McDonnell appeals to feds for immigration tool to train troopers: The Washington Post reports that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) sent a letter this week officially asking U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to allow his state's troopers to act as immigration and customs agents. The governor seeks to have certain Virginia State Police trained to enforce immigration laws within the state's borders, emphasizing that he is especially interested in targeting undocumented individuals who are engaged in major drug offenses, violent offenses and DUI.

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