Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Immigration News

Loew's Canal Street Theater May Become Chinatown Cultural Center
(, 1/15/10)

On summer weekends, Rebecca Lepkoff remembers holding 15 cents in her hand and lining up to get into the Loew's Canal Street Theater to escape the heat of her Hester Street tenement. It was 1928, and she was just 12 years old. The enormous movie theater on Canal Street near Ludlow was the center of the neighborhood.

"It was a lovely theater. It was a beautiful theater," Lepkoff, now 93, told DNAinfo. "It was very roomy." Today, the decrepit theater, which closed down nearly four decades ago, is a warehouse. But it may get a new life — as a Chinese performing arts center — and once again become the center of an old neighborhood, now largely dominated by Chinese immigrants.

Special status will halt deportations from U.S.
(USA Today, 1/14/10)

Lawmakers and immigration groups are calling on the Obama administration to grant Haitians in the USA, including those here illegally, a special temporary legal status that would protect them from deportation and allow them to take jobs. That would be a step beyond what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced: a halt in deportations "for the time being." About 30,000 Haitians now in the USA had been ordered deported.

Immigration reform advocates see inspiration in work of MLK, honored at naturalization events
(Los Angeles Times, 1/14/10)

After almost nine years, Nigerian immigrant Emakoji Ayikoye is now an American. The final step came at a naturalization ceremony, where he and about 100 others recited the citizenship oath. But Thursday's ceremony was weighted with more symbolism than usual for the 32-year-old college math teacher. It was one of several being held nationwide in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Another, on Friday in Atlanta, will feature a speech from his daughter Bernice King.

Honoring the slain civil rights leader via a naturalization ceremony makes perfect sense to Ayikoye. And around the country, immigration reform advocates also are connecting their efforts to the work of King and the civil rights movement, looking for inspiration and a way to gain support in hopes of passing legislation in 2010.

Makeshift Homes Are Leveled in Suffolk County
(1/13/10, New York Times)

Up to 30 men had called these woods home until Monday morning, when the owners of the 26.6-acre property had the men’s tents torn apart. Skinny tree branches, which the men had used as posts for their plastic tarps, were now strewn about. Some of the men, most of them illegal immigrants, had lived in the clearing for years. Its location, even in winter, was a natural: a quick-enough walk from a trailer that serves as a hiring center for day laborers, supported by the town of Huntington, in Suffolk County. But as of late, it had been a futile trip.

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