21st Century America Project

For years the team at NDN/NPI has been a leader in helping policymakers better understand the changing demographics of the United States. We are excited to announce that we are bringing our demographic and public opinion research together under a single banner: The 21st Century America Project. The project will feature work by Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, NDN/NPI Fellows, authors of the critically acclaimed book Millenial Makeover; Alicia Menendez, our new Senior Advisor, who has extensive experience working in these emergent communities; and other NDN/NPI Fellows and collaborators.

Below, please find some of the highlights of our past work on 21st Century America:

2010 Highlights

A Continued Look at the Changing Coalitions of 21st Century America, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

Hispanics Rising 2010

The American Electorate of the 21st Century, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

Millennial Makeover, a blog by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

Data Matters Columns, a blog by Mike Hais

2009 Highlights

The Drop Dobbs Campaign

The Anti Vitter-Bennett Amendment Campaign

The New Constituents: How Latinos Will Shape Congressional Apportionment After the 2010 Census, by Andres Ramirez

NDN Backgrounder: Census 2010, Immigration Status and Reapportionment, by Andres Ramirez

Latino Vote in 2008, by Andres Ramirez

2008 Highlights

End of the Southern Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg

Hispanics Rising II

2007 Highlights

The 50 Year Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg and Peter Leyden in Mother Jones

AZ Governor Jan Brewer, SB1070 and Private Prisons

Phoenix-based KPHO News Station has produced a damaging news story recently about Jan Brewer, SB1070 and the private prison system in Arizona.

The story notes that while tourism and the state economy is taking a beating due to the curious habit of many of the states state political elites constantly characterizing Arizona as a war zone to the national media, there is one business that is still raking in money off of SB1070: the private prison system.

Apparently many of Gov. Brewer's staff have connections to the private prison system, which was granted  contracts from the state.

The full story is below:

E.J. Dionne Jr. Gets It Right on G.O.P. and the 14th Amendment

E.J. Dionne Jr. of the Washington Post, has put up a column today about Republicans who want to change the 14th amendment to deny immigrants birth right citizenship. The full story can be read here.

The article puts the current Republican Party stance on the 14th Amendment in a more historical context.

What E.J. and a number of other publications have noted is that for the most Republicans are proud of the fact that they passed the 14th Amendment.

Jonathan Allen of the Politico has a story up here, highlighting the fact that the Republican National Party website actually touts the fact that it was the G.O.P. that passed the Fourteenth Amendment. The RNC web page is here.

Before I digress further, below are excerpts from E.J.'s article:

Rather than shout, I'll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party's greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?
This Story

Honestly, I thought that our politics could not get worse, and suddenly there appears this attack on birthright citizenship and the introduction into popular use of the hideous term "anchor babies": children whom illegal immigrants have for the alleged purpose of "anchoring" themselves to American rights and the welfare state.

Particularly depressing is that the idea of repealing the 14th Amendment's guarantee of citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States" was given momentum by one of the nation's most reasonable conservatives.

E.J. then takes aim at certain members of the G.O.P.

"People come here to have babies," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "They come here to drop a child. It's called, 'drop and leave.' To have a child in America, they cross the border, they go to the emergency room, have a child, and that child's automatically an American citizen. That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons."

Drop a child? How can a strong believer in the right to life use such a phrase?

I can't do better on this than the Cleveland Plain Dealer's estimable columnist Connie Schultz: "I have lived for more than half a century, and I have yet to meet a mother anywhere in the world who would describe the excruciating miracle of birth as 'dropping' a baby."

Graham has long favored comprehensive immigration reform, so it's hard to escape the thought that his talk of child-dropping is designed to appease a right wing out to get him because he's "too liberal."

Just as dispiriting: Sen. John McCain, another once-brave champion of immigration reform, has tried to duck the issue. McCain, facing an Arizona Republican primary challenge on Aug. 24, has said he supports "the concept of holding hearings" on the meaning of the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship clause.

However before you write this off as an attack on Republicans, E.J. takes the time to point out that what makes their current stance so frustrating is that the G.O.P. has a proud history on civil rights issues:

Nothing should make Republicans prouder than their party's role in passing what are known as the Civil War or Reconstruction amendments: the 13th, ending slavery; the 14th, guaranteeing equal protection under the law and establishing national standards for citizenship; and the 15th, protecting the right to vote. In those days, Democrats were the racial demagogues.

....Epps cites an 1859 oration by Carl Schurz, the German immigrant and Republican leader who helped deliver his community's vote to Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Schurz later became a leading backer of the 14th Amendment.

"All the social and national elements of the civilized world are represented in the new land," Schurz declared. In our nation, "their peculiar characteristics are to be blended together by the all-assimilating power of freedom. This is the origin of the American nationality, which did not spring from one family, one tribe, one country, but incorporates the vigorous elements of all civilized nations on earth."

Let's hope that the current discourse can return to where it was when Republicans actually defended the 14th amendment.


NDN Statement on GOP and FAIR Assault on 14th Amendment

FAIR and the Republican party have begun a campaign to remove birth right citizenship from the 14th Amendment.

NDN President Simon Rosenberg and I have prepared a statement on these actions:

We at NDN oppose the FAIR and Republican driven push to change the Fourteenth Amendment to deny immigrants birth right citizenship. 

As a country we made a conscious decision to grant those born in America the opportunity to not be denied citizenship based purely on political motivation.

That is why the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment chose an objective standard for citizenship--birth, which they considered something that could not be politicized.

Fast forward to today, and FAIR and members of the Republican party are trying to do exactly what the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment hoped to avoid: politicize a right so basic and simple that it was thought to be outside of political posturing.

If FAIR and Republicans are serious about fixing our broken immigration system, they would join Democrats and work in good faith on passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Alicia Menendez On Fox News Talking About Border Security

NDN Senior Policy Advisor Alicia Menendez was on Fox News morning show Americas Newsroom with Paul Babeu, Pinal County Sherriff to talk about Border Security.

Officer Babeu is a bit of celebrity these days, he had a staring roll in an infamous piece of campaign propaganda featuring Arizona Senator John McCain. For those of you who have not seen the ad Complete the Danged Fence, it is below.

Sherriff Babeu is presented as a law enforcement leader on the Fox News segment, however he has had far more experience as a politician.

During the segment with Alicia, he alludes to being from the East Coast, this is significant because it draws attention to who Paul Babeu was before he came to Arizona.

In a recent profile done in the Arizona Daily Star it was revealed that Sherriff Babeu, was born and raised in North Adams, Mass. and was elected to the City Council at age 18. The Sherriff, now 41, moved to Arizona after losing a Mayoral bid in his home town. The full profile can be read here, excerpt below:

But to some, including longtime Arizona law enforcement officials, Babeu is a pretender. Many officers question how 3 1/2 years spent patrolling Chandler's streets, plus a border deployment, qualify him as a national expert on border security, said Bill Richardson, a retired Mesa police officer who also worked for 10 years on a Drug Enforcement Administration task force in Pima, Pinal and other counties.

"It would be like a college freshman pre-med student who's had one anatomy class telling a veteran pathologist how to do an autopsy," said Richardson, who has followed Babeu closely since 2008.

Smuggling has long occurred in western Pinal County, but Babeu's claims of soaring violence have more to do with his own political aspirations than reality, Richardson said.

"What he's very skillfully doing, much like (Joe) Arpaio and (State Sen. Russell) Pearce, is he's creating fear or fanning the flames of fear, that the undocumented are the root cause of crime in Arizona," Richardson said. "In fact, they are not."

He has had far more experience as a politician then as a law enforcement officer.

His ability to spin a story is on display in this segment

Sherriff Babeu starts the segment by bemoaning the lack of federal support for the border. Going so far as to say that in a time of need the federal government is actually suing the state instead of sending troops to the border. He then claims that President Obama is playing political games with our national security.

There are a couple of things wrong with this logic: As Alicia mentions in the clip President Obama is sending an unprecedented amount of resources to the border. This is a fact, just ask  The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and John Morton, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HERE.

Sherriff Babeu's other assertion that in a time of need, the federal government is suing the state is the worst kind of political spin. The federal law suit has nothing to do with border security and everything to do with SB1070.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has admitted that SB1070 has nothing to do with border security. So saying that the President is playing political games with national security while making an erroneous connection between the federal government lawsuit against SB1070 and Arizona's Border security is a little hypocritical.

It is entirely possible to work towards securing the border, and file a lawsuit against an unconstitutional state law.

But I digress...

When asked if the border is in fact safer, he recounted a single instance when his deputy encountered border violence, as an example of out of control violence. To be fair he never answered one way or the other if violence was down on the border.

Crime is down along the border, in fact this is well established by the FBI:

Further evidence can be seen here Arizona Violent Crime Down, Except Under Tough Anti-Immigrant Sherriff

The full clip can be seen below. <


FAIR Is At It Again - U.S. Immigration Fight Widens To Native Born

Anti Immigrant Group FAIR is at it again in Arizona and The United States Senate, helping to craft legislation that would deny any one born on American soil automatic citizenship.

Miriam Jordan, Jean Guerrero and Laura Meckler have a story up in today's Wall Street Journal on the growing fight to change the 14th Amendment to deny people born on American soil automatic citizenship.

The story entitled U.S. Immigration Fight Widens to Native Born can be seen HERE. Excerpts below:

The immigration debate is reviving the explosive idea of denying citizenship to children born on U.S. soil if their parents are in the country illegally.

A U.S. senator and a state lawmaker in Arizona, both central players in the battle over immigration law, separately proposed this week that "birthright" citizenship be denied to the children of illegal immigrants. They said the change would help stem the flood of illegal border crossings.

FAIR President Dan Stein is helping to spear head this campaign:

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which calls for cracking down on all immigration to the U.S., said that citizenship as a birthright isn't automatic in many countries in the West.

"We should not allow language from 1868 to enslave our thinking...in the 21st century," Mr. Stein said.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R) is leading the fight against the children of immigrants:

"People come here to have babies. They come here to drop a child," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Wednesday night on Fox News. "That shouldn't be the case. That attracts people here for all the wrong reasons." Mr. Graham is a onetime partner with Democrats in crafting a proposed overhaul of immigration laws.

This legislative action in the Senate is being mirrored in Arizona, by State Senator Russell Pearce:

In Arizona, Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, the architect of the immigration law that drew a legal challenge from the Obama administration, said he wanted to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in his state to illegal immigrants.

Changing the 14th Amendment is a significant undertaking:

At issue is the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, enacted in 1868 to ensure that states not deny former slaves the full rights of citizenship. It states, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Mr. Pearce, like some other proponents of the change, argued that the amendment as written doesn't apply to illegal immigrants. Because illegal immigrants aren't "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S., as the amendment requires, they fall outside its protection, these people argue. A group of House lawmakers made a similar argument when they tried to pass legislation changing the birthright principle in 2005.

"When it was ratified in 1868, the amendment had to do with African-Americans; it had nothing to do with aliens," Mr. Pearce said. "It's got to be fixed."

Given the controversial nature of this proposal, successfully amending the Constitution would be considered a long shot. It requires a vote of two-thirds of the House and of the Senate, and must be ratified by three-fourths of state legislators.

A change in state law redefining who is a citizen would likely draw a legal challenge, as did Arizona's effort to change state immigration law.

Under Mr. Pearce's proposal, Arizona would refuse to issue a birth certificate to any child unless at least one parent could prove legal presence in the U.S. "The 14th Amendment has been hijacked and abused," Mr. Pearce said. "We incentivize people to break our laws."



AZ Governor Jan Brewer: SB1070 Does Not Secure Border

EJ Montini of the Arizona Republic has written a piece on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's interview with Larry King Live. In the story, Montini examines Gov. Brewer's changing view on what SB1070 is meant to accomplish.

Many of SB1070's most ardent supporters have contended that SB1070 is important because it helps secure the border.

However Governor Brewer in her interview with Larry King admits that SB1070 does nothing to secure the border. The full story can be read HERE.

Excerpts from the story can be read below.

KING: “One of the things they would say, and show me something in SB-1070 that actually improves border security. It may have -- your intention may have been, and if you had been allowed to implement it fully, you may have dealt more aggressively with immigration
enforcement interior, but what in that bill would have improved border security?”

BREWER: “Well, you know, Senate Bill 1070 is just another tool in our tool box in regards to trying to address the issues that we're facing here.”

KING: “But you concede it wouldn't do much along the border?”

BREWER:Well, you know, I'm not quite sure about that. I think -- well, not along the border. I think it would help in telling people that it is illegal to come into the state of Arizona, which it already is, but it's just not being enforced. And so if they use it, the states themselves were going to enforce it, that certainly would maybe give people pause before they came running and crossed the border.”

After establishing that Gov. Brewer knew full well that SB1070 did nothing to secure the border, Montini notes that the law was crafted not as a piece of well thought out immigration policy but as a means to bolster Gov. Brewer's election chances:

I added that for Brewer SB 1070 was never about securing the border but about securing her election.

To which a reader calling himself “Neeters” responded, “Montini apparently drinks before writing. His lost of brain cells grows more apparent with every drama piece he tries to create out of nothing. Never was it said that SB1070 would do anything to secure the border.”

Except that on Brewer's Facebook page she defended SB 1070 by saying, “Rest assured we will not back down until our borders are secure.”

A blog response from “Beenaround” added, “I don't recall in Brewer's spiel after signing SB 1070 that she ever mentioned anything about ‘the need to secure our border.'”

Except on the website the governor uses to solicit funds to fight lawsuits against SB 1070 a printed slogan reads "maintaining a safe border.”

And a note from Brewer to potential donors reads, “Thank you for your interest in my efforts to lead the Great State of Arizona. I am humbled by the prayers and support you and many others have offered to me.

“If you would like to contribute to Arizona in defending border security and immigration matters, please click the appropriate donation button on this page.”

Now she admits that SB 1070 is not about “defending border security.” Still, pointing this out was called “one of the dumbest articles you have written” by “AZpokerdood,” who added, “Governor Brewer has requested help with the actual border from President Obama. She has also requested additional border patrol agents.”

Sounds about right to me...

The full interview is below. <


Law Enforcement Officials Support Partial Injunction on SB1070

The Legal Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative represents a consortium of the chiefs of police from America's major cities and other law enforcement professional organizations.  The organization is engaged in the debate over comprehensive immigration reform and SB1070.

They overwhelmingly support the partial federal injunction on SB1070:

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton’s decision today to issue a partial injunction against Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, is a victory for law enforcement leaders around the country, who have been among the law’s most vocal opponents. The injunction covers the provision of the law requiring police officers in Arizona to ask anyone for papers during a stop, detention or arrest if “reasonable suspicion” existed that the person was undocumented—a provision which would have diverted policing resources away from fighting violent crime and destroyed the public trust between residents and law enforcement that makes community policing effective.

They have also released a background memo which highlights the overwhelming opposition to SB1070 that local law enforcement officials nationwide have registered.

In April the Police Executive Research Forum, at the request of Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, sent a delegation of some of the nation’s leading city police chiefs—including Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Philadelphia Police Commissioner and President of PERF, Charles Ramsey, and Chief Rob Davis of the San Jose Police Department and President of the U.S. and Canada Major Cities Chiefs Association—to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder and ask the federal government to prevent the law from going into effect. Their effort was successful, and the suit filed by the Department of Justice included declarations from Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villas nor  and Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. National organizations including the National Latino Peace Officers Association, the National Black Police Association and the Hispanic American  Police Command Officers Association  have passed resolutions or issued statements condemning the law, and the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police  issued a forceful declaration opposing S.B. 1070.

The full report can be seen here.

Portions of Federal Injunction on SB1070 Upheld : Balance of Equities Tips in the Federal Governments Favor

Alia Beard Rau, Ginger Rough and JJ Hensley of the Arizona Republic have an excellent summary of the legal ruling today on SB1070 up HERE.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has upheld a temporary federal injunction on portions of SB1070 before it goes into law on July 29th. The article goes into greater detail. The ruling can be read HERE.

Bolton's ruling stops four of the law's more than a dozen provisions from going into effect. "The court also finds that the United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the court does not preliminarily enjoin enforcement of these sections," she states in the ruling. "The balance of equities tips in the United States' favor considering the public interest."

Key parts of SB 1070 that will not go into effect Thursday:

•  The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally.

•  The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry "alien-registration papers."

•  The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)

•  The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.

The ruling says that law enforcement still must enforce federal immigration laws to the fullest extent of the law when SB 1070 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Individuals will still be able to sue an agency if they adopt a policy that restricts such enforcement.

What This Ruling Means:

According to the article:

Brewer had tasked the Arizona Police Officer Standards and Training board with creating a training video for law enforcement around the state to help them comply with the law.

Lyle Mann, the agency's director, said Bolton's decision raises more questions about what portions of the law, if any, police departments will be enforcing on Thursday.

"We will review in detail the injunction as issued to see what, if any, response we need to provide to agencies," Mann said.

Arpaio said he was not surprised by Bolton's ruling, but it will have little impact on his planned "crime-suppression" operation scheduled for Thursday.

"That's not going to affect our human-smuggling or employer-sanction investigations, that wasn't addressed in that law," he said.

Arpaio said the only thing Bolton's ruling changed is the ability for Arizona law enforcement to use a state charge - willful failure to carry documents - to book someone into jail. Now, Arpaio said, the agencies can continue to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to determine if federal agents will take custody of the suspect.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is expected to appeal this decisions. As always check back here for more as it develops

NDN In the News: Is Immigration a Desert Mirage for the GOP?

Tim Gaynor from Reuters has a special report up on the Republican party's stance on the Arizona Immigration law SB1070.

The report acts as an excellent primer on the politics around SB1070. It also explores the idea that many Republican's see the popularity of SB1070 as an opportunity to create a wedge issue out of immigration.

As wedge issues go, however, this one may well end up languishing in the desert. Many political analysts say illegal immigration is unlikely to be a deciding factor in all but a handful of contests -- mostly in Arizona itself.

And the eventual backlash against the measure, experts say, could prove severe for its champions, alienating an increasingly affluent Hispanic electorate once considered a potential conservative goldmine for the Republican Party.

The report also focuses on the potential political gains and losses for Democrats in the fall. NDN President Simon Rosenberg is quoted in the article. 

But while the law and the administration's measures to counter it may energize some voters, analysts say illegal immigration is unlikely to become the decisive issue in any of the congressional districts that are coming into play next fall, except possibly in a handful of Arizona House races.

"This is an issue that in every election the Republicans believe is going to be the keys to the kingdom, and it never performs for them politically," said Simon Rosenberg, founder of NDN, a Democratic advocacy group and think-tank.

"For most Americans this is a secondary or tertiary issue. What they want their politicians to address at the federal level is the economy, healthcare ... issues that are actually more important to them," drawing on polling to back up that argument.

The full text can be read here.


One Heart One Beat - Black Eyed Peas, SB1070, and Racial Profiling

Taboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, has released a protest song against SB1070 called One Heart One Beat.

In an interview on MSNBC, Taboo said he was inspired to write the song because he felt that the law would promote racial profiling.

Taboo noted that his mother had lived in Arizona before SB1070 was proposed, and had been a victim of racial profiling.

Arizona has a history of problems with racial profiling. JJ Hensley and Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Arizona Republic published a story How Racial Profiling Cases Changed Arizona Policing, excerpts are below:

Arizona's new illegal-immigration enforcement law has raised a host of concerns from critics, but none more prevalent than the pervasive fear that the law will lead police officers to target those who look Hispanic.

Those concerns are not unfounded. It has happened in Arizona before.

Racial profiling - stopping and questioning individuals based strictly on their race or ethnicity - is in most cases illegal. It is also easy to allege but difficult to prove in individual cases.

Two episodes in Arizona brought problems with racial profiling to the fore. The police agencies involved were left paying out settlements, implementing new training measures and overhauling their procedures to fend off similar claims in the future.

The two instances are below:
1997 Chandler sweep

A joint operation of Chandler police and U.S. Border Patrol agents resulted in the arrests of 432 undocumented immigrants. But it also caught in its snare hundreds of legal immigrants and U.S. citizens of Hispanic descent.

The five-day operation drew criticism from the Hispanic community that it was racially motivated.

A $35 million civil-rights lawsuit was filed, alleging violations of the constitutional rights of legal immigrants and citizens who were detained. The Chandler City Council paid $400,000 to settle the claims.

Federal investigations found that the sweep violated Border Patrol policies by going into residential areas and concluded that the racial- and economic-profiling allegations were difficult to defend. Border Patrol agents had failed to document basic information about the people who were detained, and the sweep was conducted in poorer parts of the city.

2001 DPS case

In 2001, racial profiling again was the focus of a class-action lawsuit after 11 motorists accused state Department of Public Safety officers in northern Arizona of targeting minority drivers for traffic stops and searches.

The suit was dismissed, appealed and ultimately settled, with the stipulation that DPS launch a data-collection campaign that included information on every stop officers made, including the reason for the stop, characteristics of the driver and vehicle, and the stop's date, time and location. The agency later agreed to give the information to an outside team to evaluate.

More recently SB1070 may have already been responsible for the death of a Hispanic U.S. citizen in Arizona.  Nicholas Riccardi of the Las Angeles Times has the full story here:
Had Arizona's governor not just signed the toughest law against illegal immigrants in the nation, the killing of Juan Varela probably would have been written off as just a tragic neighborhood dispute.

The 44-year-old U.S. citizen was watering chile plants in his front yard when a neighbor confronted him and shot him to death, according to police documents.

Varela's brother, Antonio, told police that the neighbor, Gary Kelley, who is white, called Juan Varela by an ethnic slur and said he had to "go back to Mexico" now that Gov. Jan Brewer had signed SB 1070. The family campaigned to publicize the death, culminating with the county prosecutor's decision last month to add a hate-crime allegation to the second-degree murder charges filed against Kelley.

For those that say that SB1070, will not lead to racial profiling, the above examples would indicate, that in Arizonawith or without the state immigration law, profiling was already a problem.
An Arizona district judge is expected to give a ruling on the federal law suit against SB1070 some time between now and Thursday.

The Taboo protest song is below: <


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