Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bounty, Jackie Chan and the contributions of immigrants

The new nativist, know-nothings want to seal the borders to protect American jobs and keep out lazy freeloaders who will overwhelm our schools and hospitals.

One thing Tancredo et al need not worry about is that immigrants will use up all our paper towels. An immigrant I know was recently chastising me for overusing paper towels. Wipe up a mess, throw out. That's the way I've always done it.

He, on the other hand, makes multiple uses of the same sheet. For example, one sheet to wipe a bowl, then clean the dishes, then clean the counter, then clean the floors. And then perhaps soak the dirty paper towel in water, dry over night, and reuse.

This is apparently common practice in China. There is even a rumor in the Chinese immigrant community that Jackie Chan has publicly spoken out on this issue, criticizing US citizens for wasteful paper towel habits.

I'm glad to report, however, that this immigrant paper towel expert is a loyal supporter of American big business. He recommends Bounty over all other brands, claiming he uses exactly one case (12 rolls) per year.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Grudging Recommendation: Today's Krugman Column

As a non-card-carrying libertarian, I'm not a particular fan of Paul Krugman. But I do admire his persistent, and aggressive anti-Republican attack posture. Today's column in the Times is a good one -- nailing the Republicans for hoisting the anti-immigration issue as the new "Willie Horton" red flag of the coming elections. I wasn't aware that Republicans were trying to exploit anti-Hispanic sentiment in connection with the recent shootings in Newark. Krugman must watch more Fox News than I do -- I wasn't aware of it. Apparently, my old friend Tom Tancredo showed up in Newark to denounce the city's leaders. This is only sparking my interest in posting some of our footage of a trip Trancredo made to New Hampshire a number of years ago, where he was presenting an award to a local police chief who had taken it upon himself to arrest illegals. It was well before Tancredo became an officially declared candidate.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Golden Venture in the News

New York 1 ran an update story on the status of the Golden Venture passengers Aug. 14th. You can read the story and watch video here. A link to the story is also posted at the Golden Venture documentary web site, here.

There's not much new in the story. The Golden Venture passengers "paroled" by President Clinton in 1997 remain in limbo, still waiting for permanent legal status, still waiting for the status what would make it possible to move on with their lives, and to travel back to China, to see family they haven't seen in more than a decade.

NY1 reports Ruschell Boone, who wrote the piece as part of the "Queens, Then and Now" series, based much of the article on an interview with Ben Chen, a Golden Venture passengers in York, PA.

I've known Ben for years. I wonder how Ruschell got Ben to speak on the record. I was never able to convince Ben to be in my documentary, even though he is one of the lucky Golden Venture passengers who received political asylum fairly early on, and today is a US citizen.

I'm glad that Ben is speaking up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Immigration Service Outrage: Checkups and Vaccines

Welcome to my first blog. And good timing it is, because just today I found out about a new immigration service scam. Maybe it's not a scam -- but someone is making some money out of it. And it's definitely an annoyance.

The offending policy? Mandatory health check ups for green card applicants. A good friend depends on her H1-B visa to maintain continued employment at a US university, and also has a green card application pending. Her lawyer ($2700 fee for H1-B extension, green card fee for three steps, about $6700) informed her that it's time to get the mandatory health check up for the green card application. (Green card application pending: since Dec. 2004!).

For the third step of the green card process, change of status (isn't this fun!), my friend now has to get a health check up -- from a government certified doctor! The list of government approved physicians is available on the USCIS web.

The cost for the check up? A survey on the phone indicates the normal fee is from $150 to $200. The doctor she picked asked her to bring $180 cash, with appointment available on the same day. She headed downtown, and in the office, found out that the $180 did not include lab fees, another $65.

The poor friend had to get 1 shot, 1 skin test and 1 test.

One more visit required, at no extra fee (she hopes).

Thank god the US government and the medical profession are keeping America safe!