Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

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Please Join the University of Pennsylvania LALSA for their 2012 Conference

In Academic,Conference,Education,Elections,Law schools,NLLSA,Politics,Race on January 22, 2012 by NLLSA Chair Tagged:

Please find registration information at the following link:  http://www.pennlalsa.org/index.php/conference

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Arizona law: A tipping point for states?

In Elections,Immigration,Latin America,Mexico,NLLSA,Politics,U.S. Government on May 11, 2010 by nllsachair

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that 10 more states are considering measures as strict or more than the Arizona law.

For instance, the a gubernatorial candidate in Colorado is running on a platform to “follow Arizona’s lead.”  The article goes on to say, that

Oklahoma is looking at passing tougher penalties for illegal immigrants caught with firearms. South Carolina might make it illegal to hire workers on the side of the road. In addition, state immigration legislation is also being considered in Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, and Colorado.

Looks like Arizona threw the first volley in what has become a national powder keg heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

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Be Careful What You Wish For: The high price of Arizona’s immigration law

In Elections,Immigration,Jobs,NLLSA,Politics,U.S. Government on May 3, 2010 by NLLSA Treasurer

Since Gov. Jane Brewer signed Arizona SB-1070 into law on April 23, thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets and public plazas across the country to protest the legislation—and for good reason.  The country’s strictest anti-immigration measure threatens the constitutional rights of Latinos living or passing through the state by creating an environment conducive to racial profiling and undermining sole federal jurisdiction over immigration policy.  But while civil rights and Latino advocacy groups begin to challenge the law’s legality, the economic effects may not be as slow or forgiving.

Despite the fact that the immigration law does not officially go into effect until 90 days after the state’s legislative session adjourns, likely sometime in August, many opponents are calling for a boycott of Arizona.  In fact, the state—which is a popular location for conventions, tourism, and major sporting events—may already be seeing what is clearly a backlash towards the newly-enacted law.  According to the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association, 19 meetings have already been canceled as a result of the immigration law, amounting to 15,000 canceled rooms.  The state tourism office estimates that conventions and tourist spending accounted for $1.8 billion of revenue in 2008.

Brewer, however, disagrees.  “I believe it’s not going to have the kind of economic impact that some people think that it might,” the Republican governor recently said.  If history is indicative of things to come, Brewer’s comments may not be very accurate.  According to the Washington Post, when Arizona refused to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day twenty years ago, a tourism boycott caused the Phoenix area alone to lose approximately $190 million as a result of canceled conventions.  The current boycott could have even bigger consequences for the entire state, where Hispanics make up roughly 30% of the population.

A study conducted by University of Arizona immigration policy expert, Judith Gans, showed that undocumented immigrants had a positive net fiscal impact of $940 million in 2004, even after she accounted for $1.4 billion of costs, which include education, health care, and law enforcement.  The new law will certainly cause some immigrants to leave Arizona due to a fear of being detained and deported.  Others will leave as a result of the law’s crackdown on employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants, thus making it difficult for them to find employment.  A separate study conducted by the Perryman Group reveals that if the estimated 460,000 immigrants who reside in Arizona illegally were to leave, the state would see a loss of more than $26 billion in economic activity.

The public debate surrounding the law and its potential economic impact have even stretched into the sporting arena, particularly America’s favorite pastime—baseball.  On Friday, the Major League Baseball players’ union condemned the Arizona law.  The league itself is made up largely of Latin American players who grew up in poverty and do not speak English.  “These international players are very much a part of our national pastime,” said Michael Weiner, head of the MLB union.  “Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status.”  Others, including Rep. Jose Serrano, D-NY, are demanding that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig move the 2011 All-Star Game, which is currently scheduled to be played in Phoenix.  The Arizona law is clearly inconsistent with the identity of the league, and the opportunities that the game has provided to many of the players who, if not for their athletic talent, would not normally have the opportunity to reside legally in the U.S.  Similarly, the sanctioning body of the World Boxing Council unanimously decided to stop authorizing Mexican boxers to fight in Arizona—a state that has in the past hosted such prominent Hispanic boxers like Julio Cesar Chavez and Salvador Sanchez.

On Friday, Gov. Brewer signed an amendment to the immigration law, which now allows police officers to ask about an immigrant’s legal status only while investigating the violation of a law or ordinance.  Still, the economic effects that the policy will have on the state may not be easily reversible short of repealing the law altogether.  So can Arizona repair the image it has created?  “I’m not sure they can,” said Larry Chavis, an economist and associate professor at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.  “It’s hard to imagine how they can do effective PR given that so many people disagree with the policy and the perceived wrong is so clear.”

Larry Banda is a second-year law student at Loyola University in Chicago.  He serves as NLLSA’s Central Regional Director.

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Sec’y Clinton’s Whirlwind Tour Through Latin America

In Elections,Foreign Policy,Latin America,Mexico,NLLSA,Politics,U.S. Government on March 2, 2010 by nllsachair

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is at the end of her first major tour through Latin America.  Latin America watchers expected the region to be far more receptive to the Obama Administration than it was to the Bush Administration, but so far we’ve only seen mixed results.  Given the amount of disagreements, Clinton may have her work cut out for her.  Each country poses its own unique challenges to U.S.-Latin American relations.

The fence-mending mission hit a snag, barely six months into the Obama presidency, when in July 2009, Colombia agreed to expand America’s military presence in that country.  Latin American leaders assailed the agreement — which gave the United States access to seven bases in Colombia.  For its part, however, Colombia welcomed the agreement.  Fortunately, President Uribe has since accepted a court ruling barring him from seeking a third presidential term, avoiding an awkward situation where the United States would have had to choose between promoting democracy and supporting one of its few staunch allies in the region.

Surprisingly, Buenos Aires was initially left off Clinton’s itinerary, but was added at the last minute.  But even more surprising was Clinton’s unexpected push for negotiations between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands.  Although Secretary Clinton can’t force either party to negotiate, the statement definitely raised eyebrows, in both London and Buenos Aires.

While Clinton originally planned a full-day visit to Chile, where she would have spent the night in Santiago, her trip had to be scaled back due to the earthquake that devastated the country.  Clinton decided to press ahead with the visit as a show of solidarity, where she offered technical equipment and search & rescue teams to help the relief effort.

The trip isn’t exclusively goodwill.  In perhaps the most important leg of the trip, Clinton visited Brazil to hold talks with President Lula, who has become increasingly important on both the regional and global stage.  In particular, Clinton pressed Lula on Iranian nuclear proliferation.  President Lula hosted Iran’s president in November, where he publicly supported the regime’s right to nuclear power and expressed his disapproval of sanctions.  Lula will return the favor by visiting Tehran in May.  As a temporary member of the UN Security Council, Brazil’s cooperation on this issue is absolutely critical.  Despite Clinton’s efforts, though, it looks like Brazil rebuffed the Clinton’s overtures.

Maybe Latin America just doesn’t care what we think anymore?

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David Perez is a third-year student at Yale Law School.