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List of mayors of El Paso, Texas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following is a list of mayors of El Paso.

Mayor Term
Ben S. Dowell 1873–1875
Melton A. Jones 1875–1876
Solomon Shultz 1880–1881
Joseph Magoffin 1881–1885
C. Lightbody 1885–1889
Richard Caples 1889–1893
W. H. Austin 1893–1894
Adolph Solomon 1894
A. K. Albers 1894
Robert Campbell 1895–1897
Joseph Magoffin 1897–1901
Ben F. Hammett 1901–1903
Charles Robert Morehead Jr. 1903-1905[1]
Charles Davis 1905–1907
Joseph Sweeney 1907–1910
W. F. Robinson 1910
Charles E. Kelly 1910–1915
Tom Lea 1915–1917
Charles Davis 1917–1923
R. M. Dudley 1923–1925
H. P. Jackson 1925–1927
R. Ewing Thomason 1927–1931
A. B. Poe 1931
R. E. Sherman 1931–1937
M. A. Harlan 1937–1938
J. E. Anderson 1938–1947
Dan R. Ponder 1947–1949
Dan L. P. Duke 1949–1951
Fred Hervey 1951–1955
W. T. Misenhimer 1955
Tom E. Rogers 1955–1957
Raymond Telles 1957–1961
Ralph Seitsinger 1961–1963
Judson F. Williams 1963–1969
Ashley G. Classen 1969
Peter De Wetter 1969–1971
Bert Williams 1971–1973
Fred Hervey 1973–1975
Don Henderson 1975–1977
Ray Salazar 1977–1979
Thomas D. Westfall 1979–1981
Jonathan W. Rogers 1981–1989
Suzanne S. Azar 1989–1991
William S. Tilney 1991–1993
Larry Francis 1993–1997
Carlos Ramirez 1997–2001
Raymond Caballero June 9, 2001 – June 10, 2003
Joe Wardy June 10, 2003 – June 13, 2005
John Cook June 13, 2005 – June 24, 2013
Oscar Leeser June 24, 2013 – June 26, 2017 [2]
Dee Margo June 27, 2017 – present[3]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • An Examination of Hispanic and Latino History
  • Timeline of the John F. Kennedy assassination

Transcription

Wanda Williams: Good evening, everyone. I’m Wanda Williams. I’m an archivist here at the National Archives of St. Louis and I want to welcome you to tonight’s Documented Rights panel examining Hispanic and Latino history. Tonight’s panel is actually panel number six. We launched our Documented Rights series in October. That’s when we opened the exhibit that you see in the gallery to your right. And we’ve been going strong since. We want to extend our thanks to all of the scholars. To date we will have had probably close to about twenty scholars and experts from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. Washington University, St. Louis University, the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Just an expansive list of scholars who have donated their time to educate the public and provide this wonderful public service to the community. We also want to thank - I want to thank all of our staff who have been critical in pulling these programs together. Theresa Fitzgerald, sitting in the back, has worked closely with me. Bill Seibert, Nancy Schuster, Sara Holmes, and Susan Davis. I could go on and on. A lot of people have worked over the last seven months to make this series successful. We've probably had close to about a thousand people come through our doors and we're excited. Tonight is our last full panel. Next month we will have a panel - actually not a panel, we're going to show a film on May 24th and 7pm commemorating Memorial Day. And we're hoping to show the film Why We Fight. And we will be joined again by Dr. John McMannis, a military historian and a local film critic as well. And we'll examine how war is portrayed on the big screen. As in the past, the monthly panels have been based on a theme taken from a document in the exhibit. Tonight's panel is no different. The document tonight - or the documents, rather - we have a statement from the Hernandez versus Corpus Christi case from the 1950's. This case involved Linda Hernandez, who was placed in a segregated Spanish-speaking class even though she did not speak English. The other document is actually a cover from a book titled Concerning Segregation of Spanish-Speaking Children in Public Schools. This book also addresses the segregation of children with Spanish surnames. So tonight we'll talk about those documents and we'll expand the conversation to include other topics of relevance to the Hispanic and Latino community. The Documented Rights Exhibit will end on May 31st next month. It's open between the hours of 11-6 Monday-Friday, so please come out and view what is a collection of documents from more than 14 different locations around the country. These documents all offer a glimpse into the various civil and human rights struggles waged by different groups of Americans. You can also view the exhibit online at www.archives.gov. We are in the process of working on our next exhibit which will open in 2013. The title, Through America's Lens: Focusing on the Greatest Generation. The time period will be 1920-1945, so we hope some of you are returning. We hope you will come out again next year, and we hope to launch another lecture series as well. We have a box on the table for upcomming events, so if you're not on our e-mail list feel free to complete a form and we'll add you to our e-mail list. If you could please turn off your cell phones we are being taped tonight. And with that I will turn the podium over to our director, Bryan McGraw. Thank you. Bryan McGraw: Thank you, Wanda. And good evening again, everyone. I want to thank you all for being here, and especially our panelists tonight. As Wanda has mentioned, the Documented Rights Exhibit contains many many documents chronicling the trials, tribulations, and struggles that many Americans faced in their battle for equality. But here in St. Louis in addition to this exhibit we house over one hundred million military and civilian personnel records. Some of these are on display in documents in the exhibit here tonight including the likes of Jackie Robinson, who went on from his military career to play professional baseball and including as well his court martial record because he refused to move to the back of the bus. A portion of which - this is all in the exhibit and as well James Meredith, Air Force veteran, who applied and was accepted to the University of Mississippi. Of course, once they found out he was a black man they said no thank you. The National Archives has more than 40 locations throughout the United States. We are the largest location outside of the Washington, D.C. Beltway area. We have over 800 people here in St. Louis working every day to serve our nation's veterans, next of kin, genealogists, historians, and researchers. The building you're in is the newest building in the National Archives system. It's a product of seven years of labor, and love, for some folks, to replace the aging facilities that we have in St. Louis that we're required to replace to meet the standards that we have in federal records. This building is on seven acres. It has the capacity to store over 2.2 million boxes of records and we're rapidly approaching 1.7 million boxes of records as we speak right now today. We are still moving at a rate of 6,000 boxes every day. We're also a great resource for researchers interested in doing genealogy on family members that served in the military or in the civil service. We'll be more than glad to entertain and questions at the end of tonight, if you have those, about research or what we have here. Before our panelists start we have some brief remarks from Dr. Katherine Mathews, Director of Clinical Services at Casa de Salud. At Casa she oversees the clinical operations and student internships and educational partnerships. She's also conducting the Missouri Foundation for Health funded two year needs assessment among members of the region's Latino community. Dr. Mathews. Dr. Katherine Mathews: Good evening. Welcome. I was asked to reflect on how this case makes us consider things that we face today. So for me to start let me tell you a little about Casa. We're a health care organization and we specialize in serving newly-arrived, Spanish-speaking immigrants. Our purpose is to provide some care onsite, but really to help people get into the broader system of care. And so when I was thinking of that this evening I thought about the concept of separate space. And I specifically thought back to the Plessy v. Fergeson case of the 19th century and the notion that you could have separate but equal. In my experience in health care, although I've only been with Casa about a year and a half, I've been in what we call the safety net system since I moved here in 1998. And so in health care I see it continue to play out that we have separate systems for people who are poor or uninsured and that begs the question for me about whether these are truly separate but equal systems. So I invite you to reflect on when we create separate spaces what is the agenda. One of the things we're trying to do at Casa is to create a space that's welcoming and safe and respectful. And yet then try to go with people and say in turn to other spaces. And sometimes when we're going to health care organizations where either official policies or practice limit the kind of care that people can get our role through advocates called navigators or through our referral coordinator is to open up that space again and make sure that as people travel, in this case with Hispanic surnames, from one part of the health care system to another, that they don't everywhere they go encounter a separate but limited space. So it's my pleasure to be here tonight and I look forward to hearing what the panelists have to say. Bryan McGraw: Thank you, Dr. Mathews. It's now my pleasure to introduce our panel's moderator for the program. Richard T. Middleton is a professor in the department of political science at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. His research focuses on the intersection of race and ethnicity in the evolution of political power, law, political representation, and public policy. Dr. Littleton's research has appeared in numerous journals including Political Research Quarterly, Social Identities, Politics and Policy, and the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee studies. He's the author of Cities, Mayors, and Race Relations: Task Forces as Agents of Race-Based Policy Innovations. Dr. Middleton is also a practicing attorney licensed in the state of Missouri and with the federal district court of the eastern district of Missouri. He has conducted research on complex legal issues of immigration, prepared immigration petitions for clients, and directed continuing legal education materials on immigration law. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from the St. Louis University School of Law and a PhD in political science from the Unviversity of Missouri, Columbia. Doctor Middleton. Dr. Richard Middleton: Good evening and thank you for the kind introduction. It's a pleasure to be here this evening, and tonight's panel is quite timely and quite salient. And that is focusing on the rights of Latinos and Hispanics in the United States. If we look at the face of our nation's immigrant and we think of the paradigmatic immigrant to the United States at the turn of the 19th century, and if we juxtapose that portrait to today's immigrant of the 21st century. The face of the immigrant in the United States has changed. And we can say that symbolically, but as well descriptive characteristics. Phenotype, language. As a result of that, studies have found that by and large the Latino population in our country is outpacing other demographic groups. The Latino population comprises roughly 16-17% of our country's population based upon recent statistics published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Corresponding to this growth in the Hispanic population in the United States, some communities have begun to promulgate legislation aimed at addressing an immigrant problem. That is symbolic language. Language that couches the notion of a "Latino problem." And I say that not simply based upon anecdotal evidence, but statistical evidence. By and large in the communities and states where legislations is being promulgated to address a so-called immigrant problem, these states and communities are attempting to respond to a growth in the Latino population. We need only turn to Valley Park within the past 5-6 years here in the state of Missouri in the St. Louis metropolitan area as evidence of that. and comments that were made by the former mayor there, Jeffery Whitaker, as it relates to the growth of the Latino population in Valley Park, Missouri. So we have to pay close attention to the increase and legislation emanating from state and localities. These jurisdictions are beginning to encroach upon the very notion of basic human rights and civil rights of these newcomers to these communities, and just yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments relative to a very important case U.S. v. Arizona. Most of you, I'm sure, are familiar with the Arizona legislation. And that will be an important decision to pay close attention to because the court's holding in that case will really set a strong precedent for other state and locality measures, ordinances, statutes, that touch upon the very same issues: Regulating some facet of the lives of immigrants. And again, largely Latino newcomers to these communities. So without further ado I have the pleasure of introducing our panelists for tonight who I have here on my left, your right. First we have Kenneth Schmidtt. Kenneth Schmidtt is an attorney with the U.S. Legal Solutions Law Firm of St. Louis. He's practiced law since 1993, and today more than half of his legal cases deal with immigration law. Schmidtt will discuss the history of discrimination against Hispanic and Latino citizens in public education. U.S. Legal Solutions represents immigrant clients who appear before the Federal Immigration Court and before USCIS. Schmidtt is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and currently serves as the Missouri, Kansas chapter elect and liason between the chapter and the ICE disctrict headquarters in Kansas City. He's also a member of the American Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, and the Illinois Bar Association. Attorney Schmidtt earned his J.D., Juris Doctor, from the St. Louis University of Law in 1993, Master of Arts in Public Administration in 1993, and Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Pre-med. Impressive. And political science from St. Louis University in 1989. Dr. Kenneth Schmidtt: Saw the light. Dr. Richard Middleton: He saw the light. Next we have attorney Jesus Ituarte. Attorney Ituarte is currently a practicing attorney with Ituarte and Associates LLC Law Firm in St. Louis. A mexican immigrant, attorney Ituarte will discuss his experience and challenges faced faced by himself and his parents following their arrival from Mexico in 1978. His area of emphasis is civil and immigration law. He is a board member of St. Cecilia School and the former publisher of La Voc, a biweekly Spanish and English newspaper. Attorney Ituarte graduated from St. Louis University School of Law in 1994 and he is a good friend of my inlaws, who also are from Mexico. Next we have attorney and professor John Ammann, who is also a colleague of mine and a dear friend. Professor and Attorney Ammann is an attorney and director of the St. Louis University legal clinics. A very improtant service and institution here in the city of St. Louis and the metropolitan area. The clinics provide legal services to persons with low income, to government agencies, and to non-profit organizations. Professor Ammann will discuss the clinic's role in assisting immigrants in the St. Louis metropolitan area. In 1994 Professor Ammann joined the SLU faculty and has directed numerous legal clinics offered at the law school specializing in litigation, civil rights, real estate housing, and finance, as well as immigration law. Very important immigration matters. Professor Ammann earned his law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1984. The school is well-represented here today. He graduated in the top 10% of his graduating class He is the recipient of the Thomas J. White Family Fellowship in Public Law and Government and the White Family Scholarship. In addition to serving as the director of the SLU Law Legal Clinics, Professor Ammann served as the senior editor of the American Bar Association's Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law from 2003-2005. Professor Ammann is the recipient of SLU's Faculty Member of the Year award in 2003, the Governor's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003, and the 2008 Lawyer of the Year Award for his work in resolving a delay in the naturalization cases of 80 Bosnian immigrants. And last but certainly not least, the pleasure of introducing Kristine Walentik. She's a staff attorney with the Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry Immigration Law Project, yet another very important organization in our metropolitan area. Attorney Walentik will discuss the types of services provided by her organization. She joined the project in 2001 and works with a team of lawyers who provide legal assistance for family-based and non-employment immigration cases. Attorney Walentik represents and assists clients with a wide range of immigration-related legal challenges. She's also an advocate for victims of crime in human trafficking. She provides Know Your Rights training sessions throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area to educate non-citizens and citizens about their constitutional rights in immigration and the immigration process. Walentik earned her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, a Masters in public policy from the University of Denver Institute for Public Policy, and a bachelor of arts in politics and international studies from Fairfield University. Now each panelist will have 15 minutes to present, and after all of the presentations have concluded we will open the floor for discussion as well as a question and answer session. So I'd like to ask our first panelist to come forward, and that is Attorney Kenneth Schmidtt. Dr. Kenneth Schmidtt: Thank you, Dr. Middleton. In preparing my comments for today, I took a look at the materials and the cases cited. I think there's a Mendez case, Mendez v. State of California, Delgado v State of Texas, and the Hernandez case v Corpus Christi, which is referenced in the document which is the centerpiece around which this program is focused. To get an understanding of what are these issues, these challenges that have been litigated that are kind of the theme for what we're going to be talking about. And clearly, as I think has already been expressed it's a theme of integration of our immigrant community into the community as a whole. And the hurdles that have been put up, historically, to that integration. The Mendez and the Delgado cases actually go back to the 1940's. These are pre Brown v Board of Education cases. And as I reflected more on what I wanted to say tonight and the topics that I've agreed to talk about, I thought there's a certain irony. We're here talking about the historic hurdles that the immigrant community has had put in front of them in their attempts and their drive to integrate into our community, to become part of this great country that we are. And yet if you reflect back to 2008 to this immigration debate we've been having in this country for the last 10 years, and I've had occasion to do that because an individual by the name of Tom Tancredo will be coming to St. Louis U on the 22nd, I think, to be part of the speaker panel. And I wanted to do some research on what his actual positions were. You may remember him. He ran for the presidential nomination of the Republican party in 2008. And so as I did some research on what his position was and what were the arguments he was making, I find it really ironic that this was the man who was building his campaign, his primary campaign, on the argument that these immigrant groups this "immigrant problem," is a problem because they don't want to integrate. They resist integration. They segregate from our community as a whole. And I thought, well isn't that interesting. Because the struggle, when you strip away the rhetoric, the struggle of our immigrant community, whether you're talking about the Latino community today or in the 1940's, or you're talking about any of the other immigrant communities - Chinese, Bosnian, any immigrant communities. Look around, we have them even here in St. Louis in the heartland. Their struggle has always been to become part of this American dream. And isn't that just kind of interesting. Obviously you can look at me. I don't have any personal experience in that other than the work that we do with our clients every day. I think Mr. Ituarte will be able to speak more on that. But it's an interesting dichotomy between the rhetoric and reality we've lived in in the last ten years. So anyway, what I thought I'd talk about today - And actually one more point about the "immigrant problem" that we have. How ironic that we hear about that in the state of Missouri. we have 3%, roughly estimated, Latino population in the state of Missouri It may be 6% in the metropolitan St. Louis areas. I don't know what the problem is that's identified. And when you strip away that rhetoric I think it's interesting to note we're not talking about a Missouri problem that needs a Missouri solution, and that's why we see things in Jefferson City happening. We're looking at a nationwide political movement led by certain individuals that started off with Oklahoma passing a statute and the state of Missouri in 2008 passing our statute here. And then Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, and all the other states. So I think it's important if we're going to talk about these things to be able to identify the rhetoric for what it is and get it out of the way, and talk about the reality. And so in the short time I have left I thought I'd talk a little bit about what current state law hurdles immigrants may have in the state of Missouri in integrating into the public school systems. Since that's what the case and the documents that we're talking about kind of stem out of. As well as also on the federal level. And then I'll talk a little bit about Senate Bill 590 which is pending in the Missouri legislature right now which would perhaps exasperate some of that. And I thought I'd balance that out a little bit with a discussion of what the Dream Act is. You don't hear about that. Maybe talk a little about that. It's maybe more of a positive solution to some of these problems. So in 2008 we had a immigration omnibus bill. A bunch of different pieces of legislation were put together and passed. It's known as Senate Bill 1549. And the provisions in that bill that kind of impact public education are really more geared towards college education. And I don't know that when that legislation was passed it was intended or identified as "Keep undocumented individuals out of our public colleges," type of provision, but that's the way it's actually come down and is in effect. So the public benefits provision in 1549 says that no undocumented person, no person here unlawfully, can receive any public benefit. And the way it's been defined that has been interpreted to mean you cannot attend a public college. We saw, initially, the issue rose with the issue of registration and then asking for evidence that you're here lawfully. Where's your documentation? There was some back and forth discussion about that and I think ultimately the public colleges have taken the position that you cannot register for school if you cannot demonstrate you're lawfully present. On the federal level, in 1996 there was a very restrictive set of amendments to the Immigration and Naturalization Act. we call it IRAIRA. It's the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility act of 1996. And one of the kind of sneaky provisions in that went to - and I just find this ironic, too. You always hear on the other side of the debate the talk about federalism, state's rights, a state should be able to do what it wants. But they liked IRAIRA, and IRAIRA had the provision that said states, by the way, when you're accepting students into your schools and you may have in-state tuition versus out-of-state tuition, we the federal government are going to tell you that you're not allowed to give in-state tuition breaks or reduced tuition to an undocumented person. You have to charge them out-of-state tuition if you're going to accept them. That has been the federal law since 1996. Now I'll tell you many many states thumb their nose at that. For instance, Texas will accept undocumented students at the in-state tuition rate. Missouri hasn't, but other states have essentially ignored that. That is another hurdle to the educational opportunities of undocumented individuals here. But still, their drive to integrate into our communities - and we all know that education is the route to make that happen. Now currently we have - everybody's heard about the Arizona statute and we've had oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday for that. One of the copycats of the Arizona statute - in a large way it was a copycat. It was enhanced in some respects - was the state of Alabama's House Bill 56, which passed last year. Like the Arizona statute, several portions of the Alabama statute have been joined. In other words, the federal courts have said you can't force those until we litigate further issues. One of the provisions or enhancements between the Arizona statute and the Alabama statute - one of the additional hurdles that are in place in the Alabama statute is the public school registration provisions that deal with registering of K-12 students in their public school system. The Alabama statute requires that - I'm going to read this because I want to be sure - there's a bill now pending in Missouri to copy this. And it's word for word cut and paste. And when I say this is a national movement, this is not somebody - you can see the national scope of this movement. But the bill requires that at the time of enrollment the school will determine whether the student enrolling was either 1) born outside the United States or 2) is the child of an alien not lawfully present in the United States. So effectively the bill enacted in Alabama and this bill where the language has been copied into the Missouri pending legislation, requires the school authorities to identify whether or not the parents are unlawfully present in the United States and report that to the school board, which is reported to the state, which is essentially kept confidential except for the purpose of sharing information with the federal governement. We all know if you've watched the news what happened when school opened up in several counties in Alabama. We had an exodus of students. And we're not talking now about just undocumented students. We're talking about U.S. citizens and children whose parents are undocumented. That langauge has been copycat cut and pasted It is pending in the Missouri legislature right now. It's Senate Bill 590. It's been reported out of committee in favor of passing it. It has not been put on the calender of the senate floor. And we all know the legislature is required to conclude its business by May 18th. So we have about three weeks to see if that will make it through the rest of the hurdles. I have only a couple minutes remaining. The Dream Act, which would ameliorate a lot of this, allows benefits to undocumented children and young adults who were brought here. And it depends on what version of it you're looking at. This is federal legislation. But it would allow them if they were brought here under the age of 15 and if they're less than 35 years old now, and if they've completed high school or gotten a GED. If they have registered or completed two years of college, or gone into the military, it would allow them an opportunity - even though they were brought here probably by their parents without permission and they have no status now - it would allow these individuals an opportunity to obtain status and eventually go on the road to maintain that status, conditionally at first, have the conditions removed, and then eventually apply for citizenship. So these people who have done nothing wrong - because when you're five years old or two years old, you don't make the decision. Their parents brought them here. And they've demonstrated their value to the community. They're educated. They've done everything we expect a good community member to do as a young adult. We give them the opportunity to at least now integrate into our communities. I think I'm out of time. Thank you very much, Ken. Now we will have attorney Jesus Ituarte. He will speak on his experiences and his family's experiences as an immigrant from Mexico. Jesus Ituarte: Thank you, professor. Before I start, would you mind if I ask a few questions of the audience? Has anybody in the audience ever left or traveled outside of the U.S.? Show of hands? Okay. Has anybody in the audience ever traveled outside the U.S. without any money? One of them. So to put this in context - first of all thank you for having me. I guess I've got to apologize for being part of the problem that we have in the U.S. now. Sorry about that. But to put this in context, when I was asked to speak I asked, "What would you like me to speak about?" And they told me, "Talk about your experiences in coming to the U.S." and so on. And you know sometimes I don't like talking about that so much. It's a little bit embarrassing. It's a little bit odd. And it's something that we don't talk about too much in public. But you know, why not? I'm always game on. So within the context of the people that I know - the people from - because you've got to figure immigrants come in all shapes and sizes and colors. We've got immigration as a broad spectrum that has a lot of different ways for people to come to the U.S. You can be a professional, an athlete, a politician. If you have a certain skill that the U.S. will embrace you can come in. There are other ways to come in. If you have a family member in the U.S. you can have a family member sponsor you to come to the U.S. Brother, sister, and so on. Or you can be a refugee, which is not nice. Or you can seek political asylum. Different ways. But I think my experience has been with the people who don't fit into any of those categories. For the kind of people that I know, there's no way for people to come. There are no applications to be filed. There is no way for them to file documents and come in the legal way, as people call it. So there really isn't anything for them. And people come because - and this is just my experience - I don't speak for anybody. But people come because people are desperate. When I was a kid I remember I was maybe eight or nine years old. And I remember playing outside my street in our home. And it's a dusty little street. And we had skinny dogs running all over the place trying to find a bone or something. Never could. But I remember seeing my dad walking down the street. And my dad's a big, good-looking guy. I think it's in his genes. And he came down and he had a scruffy beard and he looked dirty and his shoes were all torn up. Later on I found out that my dad, when he first came to the U.S., walked 13 days across the mountains to get here. He crossed at the El Paso- Juárez border. And he and two other guys had never been to the U.S. They didn't know anybody, they didn't speak English, they didn't have any money. They just knew that there was work up here, so they came up. And the first time they came up, they walked across the desert and ate whatever they could on the way and picked it up. Immigration caught them the 14th day and sent them back. And my dad came home a little defeated. Quite defeated, actually, you know. And within a couple of months he dusted off his clothes and did it again. The second time he and the same two guys that left jumped on the top of a freight train in Texas outside El Paso. They were on top of the train, and there was no food or water. And the train stopped in what my dad says was Kansas City, but he's not sure. So the train stopped and they got off the train. And they didn't know what to do or where to go, so they just walked. And somehow they ended up on Highway 70. And this stuff just happens as coincidences all the time. That a Mexican guy who was coming from St. Louis to Kansas City saw them and picked them up. And that man ran a restaurant in North County called the Hacienda Restaurant. So he brought them in and gave my dad a job. This is 1970, maybe. And my dad and the other two friends worked. And they were there for awhile. About eight years later, about 1978, my dad sat us all in the kitchen at home in Mexico. And my dad would work and he would go home for three months, come back. He would do that all the time. Send money and so on. But one day he wanted us to go to be with him here in the U.S. So he sat us in the kitchen and told us, "Guys, we're going to a different place." Which was here. He said, "It's very different from home. It's not nice like home. It's kind of bad. But you guys know what good and bad is, so I expect good." And we came to St. Louis. None of us wanted to come to St. Louis. I think that most people that end up coming here to the U.S. are people that are forced to come up. Nobody wants to leave home where you're loved and wanted. You know, I was reminiscing with Ken because my wife is now with two chickens. Now we have chickens at home. And I'm thinking, "My god, I can't go back." I want to succeed, you know? Going back is... I don't want to be an immigrant anymore. But anyway, my dad drove us from a place called Chihuahua in north central Mexico and it took us about a day and a half to get here. And my parents were poor, and they were also cheap. So on our trips they had a cooler with food and we never stopped at a restaurant. I think the first time I ate at a restaurant I was maybe 15 or 16. We just never ate at restaurants. But we cried. All of us cried from Chihauhua to St. Louis. And when we arrived in St. Louis - this is late summer. I was 14 going on 15. And we didn't know where we were. My dad had a basement that we were going to live in. So the following day I got up and stuck my head out the window, and all I could see was black asphalt everywhere and red brick buildings. And I thought, "How odd, no one's outside. This is really weird." Because back where I'm from people are outside all the time. People just live outside. And that was odd. And I had never seen a black person before until we moved to St. Louis. So soon after we arrived the question became, "Where are you guys going to go to school?" My dad said, "I don't know, I don't speak English!" So I ended up going to a place called Roosevelt High School, which is South City. I don't know if anybody knows it or not. But now I'm going to give my daughter a tour of the high school because they have metal detectors and I don't want to be shocked about that. But for me that experience was very - it was a hard experience, it was funny. I didn't know - in Mexico the school I had attended was a federal school. We have a lot of kids in Mexico - or had a lot of kids at the time - most schools where we were from had two shifts. They had a morning shift and evening shift. so the kids would go to class from 7:30-1:30 and go home, and then the people clean the buildings, and then 3:00-9:00 the second set of kids come in and use the same building. So you've got a lot of kids. So you never ate in school. So I didn't know in Roosevelt that you could eat lunch in school. So I had a class on the third floor and the alarm went off and rang. And I could see all the kids running down into the cafeteria, but I didn't know. So I just sat there. And I think it took me about two weeks to figure out that you could eat in school. I didn't know you could. And then once you figure out that you can eat, then you deal with how you can eat or what you can eat. Because we didn't have any money. So I was given a meal card. Back in the time they would punch it for you and you'd check things off. It was kind of fun. I think the thing that saved me in school - out of my graduating class in high school at Roosevelt, I think about 8% of the class went on to college. And I think maybe 4% graduated from college. And I think the one thing that saved me was that I had a very solid basic education from Mexico. We were doing chemistry in 7th grade. We started doing physics in 7th grade. I had math, and so on. So I'd seen even when I was in high school, the math we were seeing in Roosevelt I had seen in 7th grade before. Which is great for me. But that experience was always hard. Now we see - lucky for me I've been very fortunate. I've had a family that pushes a lot with school, education, and so on. And I've been super fortunate, but I'm seeing a lot of people - not just Mexicans, but people from all over the world - come in and have similar problems as I did. But it seems to me that when I came to the U.S. that maybe life in the U.S. for immigrants was a little more innocent. And you weren't the object of ridicule or persecution, and so on. I'm now married. I have three kids. A 12 year old daughter and a 10 and 8 year old boy. And my daughter when she was young - my wife is Irish/Danish, so she's as white as white can be. So my kids like to say that they're half Irish, half Danish, and a little Mexican. But I told my daughter, look honey you have a mustache. I do say that to my daughter, by the way. But you know, nowadays it seems that we're getting attacked from all over the place. And without going into the politics, it isn't nice. Some of it is brought onto us by ourselves. Some of our clients behave badly sometimes. Some of them do things they shouldn't be doing. But I think overall for the most part people are good-hearted. They work hard. And just for the sake of this I don't see how any state in the U.S. would benefit from not allowing the kids to stay. I'm on the school board of St. Cecilia. St. Cecilia is now the Mexican school in St. Louis. I don't know if any of you guys are familiar with it or not. About five years ago St. Cecilia was about to close, and a group called Access, which is a couple of wealthy guys - And they said, "Hey guys, if you teach the way we want you to teach we'll fund the school for you and pay for the whole thing." So they did. And one of the problems we have is that a lot of our kids come from backgrounds that don't have a basic education when they come. Or their parents don't go to school either, and they don't know what to do or how to do it. And when they come up kids end up dropping out of school left and right. Some of them don't even make it to high school, which to me is a total and complete travesty. But in St. Cecilia's we have this deal now that when we graduate a class of kids - and this year we've got 22 students graduating - when they graduate we've got a network with the school college reps that take the kids on scholarships. Each takes a couple of kids. And we're seeing some of our kids now going to college. How am I doing on time? So we're seeing our kids going to college. And we've got some great kids and some smart little kids, but we're coming up to the fact that a lot of them don't have legal documentation. They're either illegal aliens or undocumented. And the problem is that the kids want to stay. They want to go on. And there's just no way for them to continue. And that's really sad. I don't know how any state would benefit by not having the students better themselves. And the other thing we see a lot in my office is the undocumented become people to prey on by a lot of different people. Not just employers. We see policemen do really severe things to them in the way they treat them. And when we get - when I get a traffic ticket I laugh at the cop. I tell him, "Give me another one." You know? That's all you got? But to these poor people, a simple ticket for not having a license changes their lives. These poor guys get off of work and they go on home and suddenly they get pulled over because their license plate light is off. They don't have a driver's license, so they get stopped, arrested, ICE comes in, and before they know it they're in jail here later. There's a bond that will be $3,000, $5,000, $10,000. And you've got these poor families that now are even poorer because they can't bond the dad out. I don't know what's going to happen. But I think it's ongoing. I hope that soon enough we have more kids that go to the U.S. Thank you very much. Dr. Richard Middleton: Thank you very much, Attorney Ituarte. Our next panelist is Professor John Ammann from the St. Louis University School of Law Legal Clinic. Professor John Ammann: Thank you, I'm honored to be in front of you tonight with this great panel. I don't know a lot of things for sure about the immigration debate, but what I can tell you for sure is that St. Louis is a better place because the Ituarte family moved here from Mexico. People like Jesus are leaders in the Hispanic community. And we're a richer community because his dad and mom made the sacrifice to move their family here. Jesus started out with a question about driving. I'm going to have the same thing. A lot of you have been overseas or out of the country, right? How many of you, when you were outside the country, drove a car in that other country? Okay. Now did you take the test in the language of the country you were in before you started driving? Or did you just get the car and drive? Nobody took a test, right? Did you take a test? You did? I've never had that before. One of the bills in the Missouri legislature this year says that anybody taking a drivers test in Missouri has to take it in English. They've already passed the bill provisionally. But now it would be for anybody driving a vehicle here. But we could go to Mexico next week on a trip, hop in a car, and drive without taking a test or anything. Now I know you'd be a tourist and all that. I understand the difference. But part of what I want to talk about tonight is the double standards we face in this immigration debate. So that's one of them. We want everybody who drives in Missouri to take the test in English, but that only applies to certain people. I had the experience - all of us up here have dealt with the municipal court. And for a lot of us, that's where we see the real problem with police and racial profiling of immigrant families. Let's agree on one thing tonight - that we will never use the words "illegal alien" again in any conversations about this. Even the U.S. Supreme Court now has gone to using "undocumented persons." And I know some of you are people of faith. A person cannot be illegal. An illegal person does not exist. That should not be a category. So "undocumented person" is the appropriate way to discuss this. But we deal with the municipal court, and in St. Louis county it's usually night court. I run into Ken and Jesus all the time in night court. And I was in traffic court. Some of you have been there, unfortunately, right? In Ladue. This was several years ago. And I hadn't been out there before. And the room was about this size over here. And 90% of the people in the room had brown skin. They looked like Jesus. And I'm like, "I don't get it. This is Ladue." I was expecting rich white people who were driving their Mercedes a little too fast, you know? So one of the other attorneys was there and I said, "I'm just missing it. Why are all these Hispanic people in here?" And he said, "Don't you get it? These are the gardeners, and the maids, and the domestic workers who work for the rich people in Ladue and get pulled over by the Ladue police officers because they're committing the crime of driving while brown." And it dawned on me 90% of that room was Hispanics. And it has to be racial profiling in those social circumstances. And there's statistics from the Attorney General about racial profiling and how it's a real problem. And I'm just picking on Ladue. Lots of cities have issues with targeting Hispanics when they pull them over. But it's a severe problem. Let me give you another story. Christmas of 2009. Haitians living in the United States - tens of thousands of Haitians - undocumented. They're driving to midnight mass. Most Haitains are Catholic, right? Driving to midnight mass in the United States. Driving just at the speed limit and not over. Because if you get pulled over and you don't have a license and you're not documented, you're in trouble. So they're driving right at the speed limit. Looking over their shoulder, don't want to get picked up. Living in constant fear, which a lot of immigrants do. A month later those tens of thousands of Haitians have clear legal status in the United States. They can now go to work, they can now apply for benefits, their kids can go to American schools. What happened? An earthquake that killed 220,000 people. That's what happened. Within two days of the earthquake, the Department of Homeland Security - the United States government - gave Haitians living here illegally temporary protected status. Chris is going to talk a little bit more about that. For humanitarian reasons, we gave them permission to be here legally for an extended period of time. It was the right thing to do. Did anybody object? Did you hear Mitt Romney screaming that we can't let those Haitians in? No, there was nobody opposed to it that I heard. Do you agree with that? Had to check with the expert here. But we gave them temporary protected status, and they became legal residents. There are many parts of the immigration code that have humanitarian aspects to it. And I've argued that what we should be doing is just expanding those humanitarian aspects. Asylum, other refugee statuses, other protected statuses. The biggest problem with Mexico and Central America is the numbers. Now there are people in Mexico who have better humanitarian reasons for coming here than even some of the Haitians, right? Families in Mexico - and I'm not trying to stereotype what's happening in Mexico. But the drug dealers in some towns - Jesus can argue with me or correct me if he wants. In some towns the drug dealers have taken over. Family members are being beheaded. Family members are being killed. Families are living in fear. Not to mention the economic crisis and the poverty. Why don't we use our humanitarian efforts and grant legal status to people from Mexico? Well part of it is just the sheer numbers. We show compassion to the Bosnians. If you were from Syria and came to the United States tomorrow we'd give you protected status because of the problems in Syria. So we have humanitarian aspects of it, but we can't absorb the numbers. And I haven't solved that problem yet. But we can't say, "Let the Haitians stay, let the Bosnians stay, Mexicans? I don't think so." What's the difference? What's the problem? And Jesus and Ken have talked about it. The people who will tell you, "We're not opposed to immigration, we're just opposed to illegal immigration. Tell them to go home and do it the right way." And as Jesus has indicated, it can't be done. Right? If you don't have any employer here and you don't have any family in the United States to sponsor you and bring you over, what would the wait be today if you were in Mexico trying to get here? 20 years? 25 years? If you could even do it. Kenneth Schmidtt: If you qualify. Professor John Ammann: If you qualify. It could be decades, right? So to tell somebody, "Oh just do it legally." Like you can go back and come back next week? It doesn't work that way. Mitt Romney's saying self-deport and then come back legally? It's not a practical solution. Our program tonight is about documented rights. And I want to make an argument, being from St. Louis University, a religious institution, I can use that pulpit a little bit to talk about documented rights not only in the U.S. Constitution and American law but from a religious standpoint. What is one of the few things that all of the major world religions agree on? The rights of immigrants. "Welcome the stranger." Christ said, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me." Every major world religion: Judaism, Hinduism, Muslims. Every major religion says, "Welcome the stranger." Why? Because the stranger at your door, the stranger at the border, may be god himself. And I would submit it is god. So from the religious standpoint, if we're talking about documented rights, every major world religion has documented in their religious teachings that strangers, immigrants, have rights and you should accept them as your neighbor. Now the caveat to that is, you won't hear what I just said in any of the presidential debates. That's not part of our political discussion for obvious reasons. But I think religious institutions have a huge role to play. Dr. Matthews and the great work she's doing at Casa. You don't ask for paperwork for your patients. They don't check the legal status of people coming for medical care. Why are we telling school principals that they have to check? So again, religious-based institutions will have a role to play in bringing some compassion to the debate. That's one thing you don't hear in this debate. The compassion and humanitarianism. It's all about closing the borders and keeping people out. The last point I want to make about the double standards. I can't talk a lot about the legislation in Missouri and that sort of thing. Think about what just happened in 2010. What did we have in this country? We had the U.S. Census. What happens during the census in every community and every state? Have you ever heard of any municipal government or state that doesn't want more residents? During the census we try to count everyone. We try to count people in prison, in the homeless shelters. We want every warm body we can get. Why? Because we get federal assistance that way, and everything else. To me this proves the racist portions of the immigration debate. Valley Park. Jesus and I were involved in a lawsuit challenging the law in Valley Park. Ken and I were part of a group challenging actions in the city of St. Ann where they were targeting Hispanics. I can tell you that St. Ann and Valley Park during the census wanted to count every resident. They want more people in their borders. Just not those people. We want to count everybody, we want to grow, we want to have more people within our borders. But not those people. And that's the problem with some of the things that are happening. Thank you. Dr. Richard Middleton: Thank you very much, Professor Ammann. Our last panelist is Kristine Walentik. She is staff attorney with Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry Immigration Law Project. Kristine Walentik: Thank you. Thanks for inviting me to be here tonight. I was asked to talk a little bit about the day-to-day stuff. Working with Hispanics and the immigrant population in general. As we heard already, we've heard about the policy arguments and about immigrants coming here. But what happens if people are trying to get their status in this country? So I'm with the Catholic Immigration Law Project. We're an agency through Catholic charities. And we represent anybody who's looking for help with an immigration case regardless of their status. So they can be undocumented, or they can have their residency, or trying to get their citizenship. We help people naturalize. And we do both affirmative and defensive cases. But our biggest thing is that we work with just low income. So we have income guidelines. We try to work with those people that can't afford the private attorneys to fight their cases, whether it be in deportation procedings where they have to go in front of an immigration judge, or if they're just trying to get their family to come here. They've been in the United States, they're applying for their family. Or some other way that they are able to apply for a benefit. So we kind of do the whole spectrum. The only thing we don't do is employment law and temporary visas, because usually if you're coming here temporarily or if you're coming here through an employer, they have the money to pay for the private attorney. As we were talking - we've talked a lot about the negative parts of immigration law and the hard parts. We do have to have a lot of people come to our office, and we have to tell them there's nothing that we can do for their case. We just tell them, "Keep staying here, stay under the radar, don't drive in certain locations where we know the police are more likely to stop them." We have to kind of give warnings to them and we say, "Just keep living your lives. Be here. Once you're here longer - more than ten years. Sometimes there's way for people to fight their cases if they do get picked up. But we do have to tell them the realities. There are some humanitarian reasons, as John mentioned, of ways for people to stay in this country or to get status. And where our immigration laws are actually encouraging people to come forward. And most of the time it's going to be people who are victims of crimes. Some sort of violence. We have victims of crimes. Anybody who assists the police with the investigation of someone. Our immigration laws really want to encourage people to not be afraid to call the police. If they're the victim of a crime or if they see a crime, they can be part of it. Their family members. They want them to call the police so the police can prosecute these people. It's for safety issues. So they will give visas and give people a path towards their residency and then their citizenship if they can help the police. Also victims of human trafficking, which has become a new thing. Over the last couple of decades it has been more popular. These are people who have been either labor trafficked or sex trafficked into the country. Or once they're in the country, they're taken advantage of. Their employers are using fraud and forced coercion. And they want to come forward and get out of the situation when they're not being paid or they're being threatened that they're going to have ICE called on them if they don't keep working for little pay for several hours. And also victims of domestic violence. So if you have a spouse who's a lawful current resident or a citizen and you've been the victim of domestic violence, you can apply for your residency. They want to encourage people to leave the situation if it's not safe. They want to not let their spouse have the power over them to say, "Well you don't have any papers, so I can do what I want to you." The laws really do want to work with those people. Also for juveniles, we've seen a lot of juveniles who cross the border from Latin America: Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico. They're coming here by themselves. Maybe their parents are already here and they're trying to find them. Or they're coming to help their families back home. They're coming, they're under 15 or 16 years old. If they can show that they've come to this country - if they can't find their parents - if they can show that one or both parents has abused, abandoned, or neglected them, they can apply to get special juvenile status in this country which will give them a path to encourage them to go to school. To get an education here where they're not going to have to work. Where they can follow the system and get their rights, get their benefits, become a resident, become a citizen, and hopefully one day go to college. Also I think they mentioned asylum and refugees. Refugees are people that come to this country after - usually with war. St. Louis is best known because we have a very big Bosnian population following the Bosnian War in the 90's. Those people, we want to encourage them to come here. We want to help be a safe haven for them. People that have come here from Latin America who are afraid to go back to their home country because they've been persecuted, tortured, or they have a reason to believe that they're going to be tortured again. These people we can sometimes help. We can get them status in this country as well. And as John was saying with temporary protected status. When earthquakes happened in Honduras in 1998, and Hurricane Mitch. Right after that Hondurans have gotten their status to be temporary protected status. But that temporary has been over ten years. We just renewed it at the end of 2011 for another year and a half. So there are ways to help the people. And I'm not going to say that our laws are perfect and that we can help everybody. But it is important to know that these are the ways some people can be helped. And they are encouraging people. It gets sad when you have to have something happen to you first before you can get any status or legal rights in this country. But at least that's something. And maybe, as John said, we can expand on that. So those are the biggest things that our agency works with. And we try to at least answer questions for people. If they hear things - a lot of rumors come out that this law has changed or this law has changed. We really encourage people to come forward so we can explain to them what really is going on and answer people's questions. Because some people don't even realize that they have an opportunity to get status here. Sometimes we actually have people who don't realize they're citizens, because their parents became citizens and they never knew it. So those things, we try to at least answer questions for people and give advice. And just try to calm their fears about what would happen. We do Know Your Rights presentations in the community, letting them know that people who are undocumented don't necessarily have to answer the door if the police are knocking. There's certain things they can do to protect themselves. So we try to just get people to know that to kind of alleviate their fears. Dr. Richard Middleton: Thank you very much. Now we would like to open the floor for questions and answers. We'd like to proceed by asking you to identify that you do have a question, perhaps by raising your hand. I see that we have a microphone here. And then if you would so kindly please stand. Or if you would like to remain seated that's fine. If you could kindly identify yourself and then identify who your question is for if it's for a specific panelist or in general. And one other request, if you could please project your voice in an audible resonance. We do have video taping going on so your question can be captured on video tape. So first question? Audience Member: Yes, my question is for Kristine. Forgive me for not saying your last name. You mentioned about the humanitarian exemptions. Are those for the federal level or the state? Each state has their immigration laws, too? Kristine Walentik: Everything in immigration is actually federal. So it's inside the whole country. Audience Member: So a state cannot write anything to override those? Dr. Richard Middleton: That's exactly the debate that's before the Supreme Court. Audience Member: That's what the debate is. Thank you. Audience Member: My name's Bill Siebert. I work here at the National Archives. I think I know the answer to this question, but I wanted to ask it just to get it on record. All of the organization stuff that we heard from connected to the Catholic church. Do you all help people regardless of their faith? Professor John Ammann: Yes. Audience Member: Okay, thank you. Audience Member: Hi, I have been here for 20 years. I just came from a meeting. They have a workshop all day with AJC. Professor John Ammann: The American Jewish Council? Audience Member: Yes. So it's really nice workshop regarding all of this that you've mentioned before. And it seems like we are going to start trying to get together and see how we are going to help overcome this in the Jewish community. So if you're not familiar, that kind of organization has been trying to stop some laws that they want to pass. And we're fighting to overcome the Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona. Audience Member: To any of the lawyers in the audience, the state of Missouri, the law of the drivers license. What happens with U.S. citizens that do not speak English? Kenneth Schmidtt: Right now, presently? Right now in order to get - and this has been the law since 2008, part of the bill that was passed as law since then. I talked about the public benefits provisions. One of the other provisions made it very clear that if you're not lawfully present in the United States and a resident of the state of Missouri, you cannot get a Missouri drivers license. But you asked about U.S. citizens. So U.S. citizens are still entitled to get a Missouri drivers license, oddly enough. And it's currently offered in 11 different languages. You don't have to be a U.S. citizen. You have to be lawfully present. So we've heard about the Bosnians, and that's a very good example because the Bosnians were invited here by the federal government. Refugees don't come here on their own. They come of their own will, but they have to be invited in by the federal government from a refugee center in their home country. As part of that refugee process, they're plugged into places like the International Institute or the Catholic Charities Refugee Services and the federal government provides about six months of transitional training. In that six months they have to process - the whole story that you heard from Jesus - they have to process that, figure out how to exist in this town with very poor public transportation. They have to get a job, they have to learn to speak English, and they pretty much are expected to be somewhat self-sufficient after that time period. Because the funding from the federal government to support them is over. One of the things - if you've grown up in this town like I have - if you can't drive, you're stuck. So if your English isn't proficient enough that you can take a written exam in English, you may have a problem getting that license in that six months. So that's kind of the real insidious effect that will happen if the pending legislation that says, "No you have to take it in English. You can't even bring your own translator," is going to be. And that bill, by the way, has passed the House. And in the debate in the House floor, it actually picked up some moderate Republican opponents. But it still passed nonetheless, and has recently been passed out of the Senate committee and will come up for a vote in the Senate, unfortunately, probably in the next couple of weeks. Audience Member: Hi, I'm a student from St. Louis University and my question is for Mr. Schmidtt. What are some measures taken in state and local government, or even the federal government, in trying to break this stigma against undocumented persons in the United States? Or even in the educational systems. Kenneth Schmidtt: Other folks chime in, please. But unfortunately I think what has happened at the state and legislative level has been just the opposite. I talked about this kind of national movement. It's not a state, it's not a particular organic problem in Missouri that Missouri legislatures are trying to address. I mean, if you go down some time and listen to the public hearings on some of this legislation and listen to the legislator introducing - two years ago there was a human trafficking bill supposedly introduced which went nowhere. Thank goodness. The bill actually would have made it - if you read the language - it would have made it illegal for an undocumented person to drive himself to immigration court because he would be transporting himself. This is the kind of legislation that's introduced. And you hear the person supporting it, who's introduced it, testifying in favor of this legislation before the committee doesn't understand his own legislation. Somebody gave it to him to put into the hopper. So your question was what is done to decrease the stigma against immigrants on the state level. Unfortunately nothing much. The real battle - the good things that have happened happen very locally. They happen where you have school boards, you have educators, people in the public benefits business, that personally understand the issue, that have reached out to organizations like the AJC and the staff at Casa de Salud. Who have educated themselves and at that point think differently about it and engage in their particular roles in a different way. That's all I can really offer. Professor John Ammann: You may have heard some of the news yesterday after the Arizona argument in the Supreme Court. There's the Secretary of State of Kansas. His name is Kris Kobach. He's responsible for writing a lot of these laws including Missouri's. Including Valley Park's. Including Pennsylvania's. Including Arizona's. And you're going to hear a lot about him over the coming weeks because he's a friend of Mitt Romney's. So you hear a lot about Kris Kobach. And he almost singlehandedly has brought this issue to a lot of communities. So I'm just saying watch for his name. The other point I wanted to make that underlies all this: You'll hear a lot in the debates about the e-verify system. And I don't know, Richard, if you can talk about that a little bit. I don't know a lot about it except that I do know it has many flaws. I talked to you about the Haitians having protected status overnight. That would not show up in the e-verify system. You know? If you ran that Haitian's name the day after they have protected status, they're not going to be in the system and the police officer is going to say, "You're not here legally. You're going to jail." And as Kristine indicated, there's people who are here legally that don't know they're here legally. Richard, can you talk about e-verify a little? Dr. Richard Middleton: Yeah. In 1990, Congress passed IRAIRA. And Title IV of IRAIRA made provisions for three pilot programs. E-verify was coined as the basic pilot program. And that rubric has since changed to e-verify. And it's an electronic system. You can go to the e-verify website as an employer. It's free to utilize the system. And it's a database designed whereby an employer can enter in pertinent information conforming with the law. INA 274A makes certain requirements which was part of IRCA, Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986, that mandates employers check certain documents to verify that a potential employee is an authorized alien for purposes of employment. Among those documents include a document that identifies the person is who he or she says they are as well as employment authorization under federal regulations. So the e-verify system is an electronic system designed to check the information that the prospective employee provides to the employer to make sure that employee is authorized for purposes of employment. As Professor Ammann mentioned, there are of course flaws in this system. And one such flaw is a part of the information sharing between the Social Security Administration as well as USCIS. Both of those entities have a mandate under the statutes to update the information and to share information. But as you can imagine, with the paperwork taking time to be processed and entered into a database, we have bureaucrats who have a mountain of paperwork on their desk to process. There are delays in entering that information. Also if a person changes status and they don't contact the Social Security Administration and say, "I entered as a visitor on a B visa and I was not authorized for purposes of employment under the Immigration Act, but now I'm a U.S. citizen. I've gone from being a visitor to a lawful permanent resident. And now I'm a U.S. citizen. But I didn't bother to update my information." Then there may be a gap in that information. And so sometimes you get results in which a person who's otherwise a U.S. citizen is told, "You're not authorized here in our e-verify system. What's going on?" And so that's just some of the flaws that you will hear about. Audience Member: I wanted to throw out a question and ask the panelists to project what would happen if the Robert's court decided at some point to overturn Plyler v. Doe 1984, which basically says that children do have the right to a primary education. That's an outcome that I think is at some point a possibility. And a somewhat frightening one, given that we're talking about a population that's going to be about 45 million people by 2050. I was wondering if you could think maybe in practical terms about what that actually looks like for young people who will no longer have access to primary schools and such. Thanks. Dr. Richard Middleton: In that case eminating from Texas, one of the court's main concerns was that you would create basically a nation of under-educated or uneducated persons, and that that would be a significant constraint on our social, economic, and political resources. And so to change that precedence would go counter to the logic that the court established in that case. And practically what you would have, potentially, are significant numbers of young people moving into young adulthood and into adulthood who are uneducated, under-educated, if you will, and becoming, basically, a burden on our social services. And that sort of goes counter to our notion that here in the immigration system we don't want people to become a public charge. Give me your tired, give me your poor, give me your huddled masses yearning to be free. Well we have to really rethink if that's really our mantra in our country today if we're going to begin to change that approach and say, "Well now we're okay with basically creating an underclass of persons who really aren't going to go anywhere. They're not going to self-deport." So they'll become a burden on the local and state and federal infrastructures. Audience Member: Hi, I have to admit that I haven't been following too closely - but I will from here on out - the arguments in this case before the Supreme Court. It just seems to me that immigration has always been a matter for the federal government. So what are the arguments on the other side? Are they state's rights arguments? Is it 10th Amendment? Whatever is not specifically appointed to the federal government is reserved for the states? Can someone explain a little bit about what that argument might be? Dr. Richard Middleton: It's a very sophisticated argument. And Professor Ammann mentioned Secretary of State of Kansas, Kris Kobach, who's also a professor of immigration law. He's very intelligent. Basically it is a state's rights argument, but I sort of coin it as a dormant immigration clause aspect. To borrow from the notion of the dormant commerce clause. Basically what you have is that the Supreme Court, in a 1976 case emanating from California opined on what we mean by the phrase "regulation of immigration." And the Supreme Court said in that case that Congress has plenary power - complete power - to regulate immigration. And the court went on to define what it meant by "regulation of immigration." It is a very narrow definition. It means to define - the definition is who can enter the United States, who to deny entry to, and the conditions under which a lawful entrant may remain. So it's a very narrow definition. The Supreme Court went on to say anything that touches upon or affects the life of an immigrant is not necessarily a regulation of immigration. And this was a case that looked at a California code dealing with employment. This was pre-Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986. So that sliver - that opening - which was really articulated again in the case Florida Avocado and Lime Growers versus Paul, a case also coming from California, in which there was a case in which the state of California had different restrictions on harvesting of crops vis-a-vis the federal regulations. And the Supreme Court said in that case not every state statute that mirrors a federal statute is going to cause the Supreme Court to say the states are preempted. The states are kicked out. So the federal government is going to say, "We preempt the states. We're the big kahuna. Article 6 of the National Supremacy Clause says that we trump the states. They're the little fish." But the states are saying, Well we have the Supreme Court precedence from Avocado and Lime Growers versus Paul and other cases where the Supreme Court says if you can have two statutes, a federal statute and a state statute that can be read harmoniously and they don't necessarily conflict, the Supreme Court is not going to find that there is preemption - that there is a conflict. And so what Kris Kobach - he's travelling around the country basically telling states, "Make your ordinances, your statutes, a carbon copy, a blueprint, of the federal statute." And what you do is you create your own local cause of action. You don't have to wait for the federal government to come in and enforce immigration law. You have your own state immigration laws, and you're not preempted because you're just enforcing federal law. Kenneth Schmidtt: The other side of that debate, though, is as Dr. Middleton said, it is exclusively in the purview of the federal government to decide who can stay here and how they're going to be removed. The Arizona folks - and I had this same debate with Joe Brasil, who's the county council chariman in St. Charles County. And this is the standard mantra. "The federal government's not doing their job, not enforcing, so we have to do it." Well policies aside, that's wrong. If you look at the amount of money and the resources spent by the federal government on border security - number of boots on the ground and internal security, it has grown - depending on what category you want to look at - anywhere from 300-500% over the last 15 years or so. And yet you look at the number of undocumented folks in the country, and it's gone up about 250%. So the fact that the federal government hasn't enforced the law is false. It's made an enormous investment in trying to enforce this broken law, which is what the problem really is. And it's been an enormous failure. One more example. Any of you can do this research yourself. Go to the ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement website. They publish every year a statistical yearbook. Go to the most recent 2011 yearbook, and look at the data they have in terms of the number of new cases filed in front of the immigration courts and the number of cases actually disposed of - completed. And compare the two. In the last five years they've racked up a deficit of 130,000 some odd cases. 130,000 some odd more cases filed than what they were able to dispose of in the last 5 years, and that number's growing each year. So the idea that the federal government's not enforcing is false. But that's part of the mantra. Now the real issue in Arizona versus the United States is the United States argued at the district court level, at the 9th circuit level, that you're the effect of what Arizona wants to require in their statute. In at least four different sections. The effect is that it interferes with our priorities. It's not just that they have this parallel statute and they're complimenting what the federal goverment has decided. Because remember, here we are with a problem bigger than the resources available for the federal government to handle. So the federal government has a prerogative of setting what our priorities are going to be, who we're going to target, who we're not going to target - in terms of the whole universe of undocumented folks. That's our priority. And here comes along the state of Arizona saying, "Every single person that you have reasonable suspicion might be undocumented" - whatever that is, but that's a different argument - "has to be checked out." Not maybe checked out once they've been arrested for some other state crime. Must be checked out. That's an enormous explosion in the number of people that now the federal government has to concern itself with. When for the last ten months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington has been telling the local offices, "We have a priority list. Undocumented folks who commit murder, child abduction, drug trafficking, we want to focus on those. Undocumented folks who the only thing they've done wrong is driven without a license - prosecutorial discretion. We're going to exercise our discretion not to prosecute those claims in the immigration courts." So what Arizona wants to now require creates this conflict in how those resources are used. That's the federal government's argument. One more example. The American Immigration Lawyers Organization is a national organization that represents almost 12,000 immigration practitioners nationwide. So I had these conversations with my counterparts in Arizona. Kirstine talked about VAWA and U visas. U visas are a visa that allows somebody to get status here who's been a victim of a crime and actively participates with the law enforcement authorities. In order to apply to make that application to the federal government, you have to have an affidavit signed off by the police officer, his chief, the prosecutor, whatever. The local jurisdiction where this crime occurred. We know, at least anecdotally, that as soon as the Arizona bill looked like it was going to become law, before it was litigated - all of a sudden county sheriffs, local police chiefs, these folks stopped signing those affidavits. Because at least their interpretation was - the attitude of state law was, we have a clear federal law that encourages victims to have this benefit, and now we have a state statute that actively interferes with that. And by the way, one comment on VAWA. It's not a given. It's a benefit. VAWA is the Violence Against Women Act. It has a whole range of applications for money available for domestic abuse and such. It includes the provisions that allows somebody whose only status here is their application process based on a family relationship to somebody who incidentally is also abusing them - it allows them to continue independently and get their green card. It allows for the U visas, that I just talked about, the T visas and the S visas. That is a bill that has to be reauthorized every five years by Congress, and this week or next week it's up for a vote. So pay attention. Professor John Ammann: Two points about what the Missouri legislature is doing. Senate Bill 590, which could pass - the next two months are going to be crucial. What the Missouri legislature does in the next three or four weeks. What the U.S. Supreme Court does with the Arizona case. The next 20 years of immigration regulation is going to be decided in Missouri and by the Supreme Court in the next couple of months. So it will be interesting to watch. But Senate Bill 590 has a provision that wasn't in the 2008 legislation that requires you to have documentation with you. And if the bill passes, it becomes a crime not to be able to document your legal status. Now theoretically you'll get arrested, put in jail, and as soon as you get - If I'm driving and I left my license at home, I will be put in jail. Now I'll get out as soon as my wife can drive my license to the jail, right? But if you're Haitian and you don't have a piece of paper saying you're here because of the earthquake, you will stay in jail until you're deported or you can prove that you're here legally. So Senate Bill 590 goes a lot further. Even further than the Arizona law, right? Kenneth Schmidtt: The public school stuff is further than Arizona. Professor John Ammann: But also making it a crime not to have your paperwork. So let me read to you from Senate Bill 473. This is where the state of Missouri now joins Arizona saying the federal government hasn't done its job, so we're going to help regulate immigration. The state of Missouri, the sponsors of Senate Bill 473, at least, now believe they can control the federal government. So Senate Bill 473 says the Attorney General of Missouri shall seek appropriate relief on behalf of the state and its officer to compel the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws upon the adoption of this section by the qualified voters of the state. In subsequent years, when the Attorney General determines at his discretion that such suit is necessary and proper, when the Attorney General is directed to seek such relief by executive order. Whatever. So the Attorney General of Missouri, right now Chris Koster, would have to sue the federal government for not doing its job. Section 2 says the Attorney General shall request the state auditor, the Missouri auditor, to submit a statement containing an itemization of costs incurred by the state and political subdivisions due to the federal government's lack of enforcement of its immigration laws. So not only does Missouri say, "You don't preempt us, federal government, but now we regulate you." And that's clearly contrary to the United States constitution. Audience Member: I wanted to go back to Hernandez versus Corpus Christi. Critical race theory wasn't around during that time. Could you, Dr. Middleton, speak to critical race theory and how that theory is being used to identify flaws in immigration law? Dr. Richard Middleton: I'll address the first part first. I'll have to think a little bit about the later part, because I haven't given thought to the later part. Critical race theory is sort of a dogma or paradigm present in legal studies. There's also sort of a critical psychological theory. But as it relates to critical race theory in legal studies, scholars such as Derrick Bell advance the notion that you cannot adequately understand legal institutions without identifying how race interacts with legal decision making. Legal implementation as it relates to our political, social, and economic institutions. And so a critical race type theory would ask the question, for example - I do research as it pertains to the construction of racial identity and I've done research looking at how historically state legislatures sort of regulated the identification of mixed race. Mixed African-American, white, or Caucasian persons. Beginning with the notion of being Mulatto and moving to the Plessy rule. The 1/8th drop of black blood rule. Into today. And those decisions impact potentially how people view themselves when they're defined in certain ways. To say, "Well if you have any black blood whatsoever, no matter how little it is, you are considered to be African-American in this country." That sort of shapes your understanding about who you are as a person. And it also sort of places you in a box in terms of historically what rights you don't have. And we of course know that legacy looking at Post-Reconstruction Jim Crow into today. And so critical race theory as it relates to immigration law - I haven't really given much thought to that, but I think if you ask fundamental questions about what is the paradigm behind our immigration policy and the three main approaches to how a person can immigrate to the United States - family, employment basis, and then this notion of a diversity lottery. And then to a lesser extent those seeking asylum status, refugee status, and those who might be paroled in. I think that we make some normative assumptions about who we want to come to the United States, who we want to admit, who we want to allow to stay here. And then when we begin to look at - with family-based immigration - our quotas and caps, the cap numbers that we place based upon per country. And when those numbers become oversubscribed. How there's a rollover. When we began to look at those statistics, we see that persons coming from countries whose demographics tend to be those who are browner - have browner skin - tend to have longer wait times. Mexico, India, the Philippines. And then when we think about those countries where individuals have a very difficult time even coming on a visitor's visa. The Dominican Republic. I do research in the Dominican Republic, and quite often I have friends from the Dominican Republic tell me it's almost impossible - Particularly for young, single men coming from the Dominican Republic - to get a visitor's visa. Because there's a presumption in immigration law in INA 214B that you have to not have the intent to come to immigrate. And it's difficult for them to prove that they're not coming to immigrate because oftentimes they're single, they don't have ties with family, they don't have significant assets and resources in their home countries. So there's a fear that they're going to come to the United States and remain. Well, when we stop and think about those countries where we tend to have a little bit more lax policy in terms of asylum - Cuba. Special protected status and what have you. Most recently Syria. We begin to see some telling signs about who we deem to be a desirable immigrant to come to the United States. And so I think there are the undertones there in immigration law. Of course it's not explicit, because that would violate a whole host of factors. Equal protection, due process. But there are undertones there. And it manifests itself through the implementation of policy. Other questions? Audience Member: What's going to happen next? In two months? Kenneth Schmidtt: There was a USA Today article about a month and a half ago that talked about all the unfortunate and unhappy legislators in Missouri and Kansas and some other states just upset and shocked that their immigration bills weren't making it through their own legislatures that their party even has a majority in. The main reason why things seem to be stalling in Missouri and Kansas and other places is because everybody's watching the Arizona bill. Kris Kobach has made three retirements writing this stuff, selling his services to write this stuff, and then selling his services to defend it and to advise on it. So they've spent a lot of money. And that's been a very powerful argument, I think, with the Missouri legislature. You know, let's just wait and see what happens. If Arizona is upheld, I think those are going to go forward. I don't think they're done riding that horse yet. I think there's still some political capital in it, unfortunately. And it's ugly, ugly, ugly. I don't like overstating these things. I was in DC about a month ago and I finally had the opportunity to go see the Holocaust Museum. Everybody should do that. Everybody should think about what happened there in the context of how we're really - the context of our debate, the language that's used in that debate. The language is always the first thing that's used. It was the first thing then and it's the first thing here. It was the first thing in Rwanda. Hutu power. Always. And it always leads to very dark, ugly things. And that's not what should happen in this country. Legislatively we will have a decision from the Supreme Court on Arizona. The session ends in June, so they'll give us an opinion. The Missouri legislature won't reconvene until next year. Between now and the November elections immigration reform is dead. Comprehensive immigration reform is dead. The Dream Act is probably dead. So what happens after the elections I don't know. Take a look at the polling numbers in several key senate races. It's not encouraging. The executive side is probably more encouraging on that. It's going to be rough. Bryan McGraw: Any other questions? First of all I want to thank all of our panelists here tonight for coming out. We owe them a big round of applause. I know, just speaking for my benefit, I've learned a lot from today. As a student of history, as a student of public policy, as someone who served overseas and who has seen Rwanda firsthand, it's a profound argument. And it would also unfortunately cast a somewhat negative light on humanity in many ways. I do have something that I would like to present to our guests here tonight. So I will do these in the order that they're here. And it's basically, for those that haven't seen, it's a photo of our new building along with a certificate signed by yours truly. Not that that means anything. And Mr. Seibert. Dr. Middleton. Dr. Richard Middleton: Thank you. Bryan McGraw: Dr. Matthews. Dr. Mattews: Thank you. Kenneth Schmidtt: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Bryan McGraw: Jesus. Jesus Ituarte: Thank you so much. Professor John Ammann: Thank you, sir. Bryan McGraw: And Kristine. That concludes our program. For anyone that has any questions about the archives or anything, I'm going to stick around for a little while. But I want to encourage you all to drive safely on your way home and thank everyone again for coming out tonight.

References

  1. ^ HAMILTON, NANCY (June 15, 2010). "MOREHEAD, CHARLES ROBERT". tshaonline.org. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2017/06/26/helm-city/430582001/
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