More Asian-Americans Joining the Army

In the U.S. Army, Asian-Americans have typically volunteered at the lowest rate of any ethnic group. They make up 4 percent of the population, and only 1 percent of military recruits.

But that seems to be changing. Something is suddenly drawing Asian-Americans in California into the Army at a remarkable rate. And there have been similar increases in other Asian-American population centers, like Seattle and New York.

In Los Angeles County last year, 22 percent of Army recruits were Asian-Americans — almost twice their proportion in the population. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the sign-up rate is also spiking. The proportion of newly enlisted soldiers who are Asian-Americans this year is nearly double that of last year. Click here for the rest of the story.

Nebraska Town Jumps on Anti-immigrant Bandwagon

Josh Funk of the Associated Press reports that voters in the Nebraska city of Fremont on Monday approved a ban on hiring or renting property to undocumented immigrants.  “The measure is likely to face a long and costly court battle, with the American Civil Liberties Union saying it will try to block it before it even goes into effect.”  Fremont, a town of about 25,000 people, has experienced a growth in its Hispanic population, in no small part due to the jobs at meatpacking plants. Despite a low unemployment rate, some residents worry fear that Americans are losing jobs to undocumented immigrants.

For the full article, click here.

Another Victory for Immigrants in the U.S. Supreme Court

In another victory for immigrants in the U.S. Supreme Court (who won in three of four cases last Term and are doing quite well this Term — including an important victories in Padlilla v, Kentucky and Kucana v. Holder), the Court today ruled for a long-term (since 1983) lawful permanent resident facing deportation and against the government in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder.  The case presented the question whether a misdemeanor state drug possession conviction amounted to an “aggravated felony” under the U.S. immigration laws.  The Court ruled “no” in the circumstances of the case before it.

For background on Carachuri-Rosendo, click here and here.

Justice Stevens, also the author of the majority opinion in Padilla v. Kentucky, wrote for a unanimous  Court, although Justices Scalia and Thomas concurred in the judgment.  Download 09-60[1]

Major League Baseball Preps for SB 1070

From Julianne Hing at

New recruits for Major League Baseball teams are headed to Arizona this week for the Arizona Rookie League, and teams don’t want their players getting into trouble with the law. Not because they’re worried players will commit a crime, but because many are from Latin America, and teams fear their players’ brown skin could attract the attention of law enforcement officers who are getting ready to start enforcing SB 1070 when it goes into effect on July 29.

AP reports that both the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians equip their players with photo ID cards that have contact information for a representative from the team for police to contact, should a player be stopped. Teams are also holding seminars so players know about the political and social environment of the state.

The program, a rookie-level professional league, starts today in the Phoenix area, and will host 150 players from Latin America alone through August.

Latino players make up a significant part of the MLB ranks. Many are from the Dominican Republican, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba. And in the weeks immediately after Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, players of all nationalities spoke out against the law, which allows law enforcement to detain and question any person they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country without papers. San Diego Padres’ star Adrian Gonzalez has said he will boycott the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix if the MLB does not respond to calls to move the game.

New York Mets’ catcher Rod Barajas told the NY Times: ““If they happen to pull someone over who looks like they are of Latin descent, even if they are a U.S. citizen, that is the first question that is going to be asked. But if a blond-haired, blue-eyed Canadian gets pulled over, do you think they are going to ask for their papers? No.”

A coalition of groups including MALDEF, the ACLU, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the NAACP and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center filed a lawsuit challenging the law in May. And in early June the same coalition filed for injunctive relief to stop the law from going into effect.

But MLB teams aren’t waiting to hear back from the judge. “We brought in a local police officer to explain the situation and issued each player an ID card so they don’t have to rely on carrying around their visas and paperwork with them,” Cleveland Indians’ player development Ross Atkins told the AP. If only every other immigrant in the state had the confidence of that kind of protection.

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