|REFUGEES IN CINCINNATO: A LOCAL LOOK AT A GLOBAL CRISIS
IMMIGRATION PANEL PRESENTED BY GIVE BACK CINCINNATI AT THE
AMERICAN RED CROSS IN CINCINNATI, OHIO
March 12, 2016
|GIVE BACK CINCINNATI PANELISTS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
JOE SACK, CATHOLIC CHARITIES SOUTHWESTERN OHIO,
NAZLY MAMEDOVA, ESQ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY WANGLAW (SPEAKING),
SAMIRA JAWEED, RAHMA COMMUNITY SERVICE,
SARA HAAS, WORK INITIATIVE NETWORK (WIN) &
ROBYN LAMONT, REFUGEECONNECT JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CINCINNATI
VOLUNTEER IMMIGRATION LAWYERS AND STAFF
Pro Bono Citizenship Assistance Day, February 27, 2016.
Thanks to American Immigration Lawyers Association and
Interfaith Justice and Peace Center (Peaslee Center),
|NEW U. S. CITIZENS:
Please register & VOTE!
WHY AN APOLOGY BY CONGRESS FOR CHINESE EXCLUSION IS IMPORTANT TODAY
The legal challenge mounted by Wong Kim Ark (U S Supreme Court 1898) against the constitutionality of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1992 involved issues as
alive today as a century ago. Today, there is a movement in America to pass a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the 14th Amendment provision for citizenship
by birth in USA and making citizenship only by birth to US Citizen parents. Therefore an apology by Congress today is very important and relevant - please think
about this carefully.
THE STORY OF WONG KIM ARK , A NATIVE SON WHO STRUCK A BLOW AGAINST THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT OF 1882.
Wong Kim Ark was born in the year 1873 at No. 751 Sacramento Street , city of San Francisco , county of San Francisco, state of California , United States of
America . His mother and father were persons of Chinese descent, simple subjects of the Emperor of China, were not engaged in any diplomatic or official
capacity on behalf of China, but were residents of the United States. Wong Kim Ark grew up to be a laborer.
In 1890, at the age of seventeen, Wong Kim Ark visited China , the distant land of his ancestors. He returned on the steamship Gaelic, and was admitted to his
country of birth in the same year. After coming of age, he departed once more for China in 1894 and returned to the United States in August 1895. He sought to
enter his country of birth but was refused entry by government officials.
Wong Kim Ark was caught up in a time of intense public hysteria and agitation against the presence of Chinese and other Asian minorities (the “Yellow Peril”) in
the American West. Local political and general public sentiment were bent on getting rid of the Chinese. The “Chinese must go” demands intensified with each
cycle of economic slow-down when jobs became scarce and the Chinese were willing to work hard for less pay. In conformance with prevailing exclusionary
prejudice, the local customs collector and later the local United States district attorney asserted that Wong Kim Ark was not a citizen of the United states and had
no privilege to enter the country. For you see, in 1882, Congress had passed the racially discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act which was designed to stop
Chinese from coming to America . Wong Kim Ark was held in confinement as an illegal alien awaiting deportation.
Wong Kim Ark protested that neither he nor his parents have ever renounced his allegiance to the United States , and that he had never done or committed any
act or thing to exclude him from his country of birth. Wong Kim Ark insisted on his right to come home. He initiated a lawsuit for habeas corpus (order to release
a prisoner illegally detained) in federal district court for Northern California . The court ordered Wong Kim Ark to be discharged from confinement upon finding
him to be a citizen of the United States .
The United States government, not satisfied with the findings of the lower court, appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In United States v. Wong Kim Ark,
the question presented to be answered by the high Court was this:
Is a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who at the time of his birth are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent
domicile and resident in the United States, and are carrying on business, and are not employed in the any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of
China, a citizen of the United States?
For the Supreme Court it was a simple case. After the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Civil Rights Act of 1866 expressly provided:
All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States .
The United States Congress, shortly afterwards in 1868, obviously thinking it unwise to leave so important a concept of citizenship as an ordinary law, elevated it
to constitutional stature through Section I of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Thus, the relevant part of the Constitution expressly
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.
It is not surprising, therefore that in 1898, the Supreme Court, true to its long but checkered tradition of rendering justice independent of public hysteria, popular
emotions, and political pressure, addressed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 in this manner:
Whatever considerations, in the absence of a controlling provision of the Constitution, might influence the legislative or executive branch of the government to
decline to admit persons of the Chinese race to the status of citizens of the United States, there are none that can constrain or permit the judiciary [i.e. the
Supreme Court] to refuse to give full effect to the preemptory and explicit language of the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares and ordains that “all persons
born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”
The United States government was thus ordered to release Wong Kim Ark from confinement and to admit him to his country of birth as a full fledged citizen.
Having struck a legal blow against the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a natural born, native son had finally come home.
Today, most immigrants in America know that their children who are born in the United States are automatically vested with natural citizenship by virtue of the
birth. Some may know that this is because of the 14th Amendment. Now, we should know and remember how this fundamental right was attacked, defended and
won at law: Wong Kim Ark, a simple Chinese laborer, refused to accept the attempted infliction of an unjust act and chose to vigorously pursue his rights under
the law. His efforts were fruitful and the fruits continue to benefit many people to this day.
Today some people actively want to do away with the Citizenship Clause of the 14 Amendment. See, e.g.
Defend Our 14th Amendment – Child of Steel and Fire
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution came into existence on July 9, 1868, only after the end of the Civil War – a child born of trial by fire
and steel. Section One begins with the Citizenship Clause which provides that “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.” The purpose of the Citizenship Clause was to reverse the ignominy
of Dred Scott v. Sanford , an 1857 decision of the United States Supreme Court which barred African Americans from becoming citizens of the land in which they
were born, a decision that affirmed the institution of slavery, a decision that led to war. Slavery was profitable because the children of those enslaved were
automatically the property of the slave-owner and never a free citizen of the Nation into which they were born, never to be protected by the Constitution and the
laws of the land.
To emasculate the 14th Amendment of its Citizenship Clause is to take a step backwards into the time when slavery marred the humanity of this land and the
fairness of our politics. It is to disrespect all those who gave their lives to end the institution of slavery and of Jim Crow. Furthermore, to take out the
Citizenship Clause is to endanger the remaining Clauses of the Section - the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses as they are to be applied in the several
States: “Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.” Chinese Americans may take pride in the fact that Wong Kim Ark challenged the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that sought to deprive
persons born in the United States of Chinese parents their right to natural born citizenship and won a decision from the U S Supreme Court (U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark,
1898) upholding the born- in-the-USA Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment. In 1954, the Equal Protection Clause became the foundation for Brown v. Board
of Education (1954), a decision of the Supreme Court which called for an end to racial segregation all across these United States.
Does the fact that these Clauses protect all “persons” who are “within the jurisdiction” of a state within the Union cause offense to anyone? This ideal is a vital
cornerstone of the majesty of American law, a beacon of hope and a guiding example to all Nations of the world. It is a shining light proclaiming that our laws
apply fairly and equally to all who live within our borders, without regard to our status but just because we are vulnerable human beings deserving of and entitled
to due process and equal protection of our laws. This I believe was the dream deep in the hearts and souls of those who wrote the Constitution, as amended,
and of the many more who fought to defend it.
An opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang, Memorial Day, 5/30/2011
|TO SEARCH THIS SITE
click options above & select
"only search in this domain/site"
|On 07/26/2007, a federal judge declared
unconstitutional the entire ordinance passed
during July 2006 by the City of Hazleton,
Pennsylvania. U.S. District Court Judge
James M. Munley, in a well analyzed 206 page
opinion, ruled that "Federal law prohibits
Hazleton from enforcing any of its provisions of
its ordinances." Hazleton had sought to
impose fines on businesses that hire and
penalize landlords who rent to undocumented
immigrants. Hazleton has a population of
31,000 and once was a key coal mining town
which during the end of 19th century drew its
labor from Eastern Europe. Ironically,
Hazleton was the hub of the Lattimer Mine
which provided coal to the Bethlehem steel
mills. On 9/10/1897, a sheriff's posse fired on
unarmed labor strikers comprised of Polish,
Slovak, Lithuanian, Italian and Hungarian
anthracite miners, killing 19 and wounding 3
dozen more, some whom later died. This
bloody incident is remembered as a turning
point in the American labor movement as
reports of the shooting drew nationwide
sympathy for the plight of Slavic immigrants
and added 15,000 to the membership of the
United Mine Workers. During recent years, the
Latino population in Hazleton had risen from
5% to 30%. The Hazleton ordinance appears
to have severe constitutional defects as it
contravenes the Congressional preemption of
immigration policy and has drawn a pledge
from civil rights groups to have the legislation
reviewed in court.The Court found that the city
exceeded its police powers, violated the
Supremacy Clause of the U. S. Constitution
(upon which federal preemption is based),
violated the 14th Amendment (both Due
Process & Equal Protection Clauses) and
violated the freedom to contract of illegal
aliens, who are held to be "persons" under our
federal civil rights statutes and more
important, under our U. S. Constitution. The
City intends to appeal. To read the decision,
This federal court ruling casts doubt on the
enforceability of numerous, but similar local
legislation promulgated by towns and cities in
the rush to control the estimated 12 million
undocumented immigrants within the United
State, including that of Sycamore Township in
Hamilton County, Ohio. Trustees there on
6/21/2007 voted to fine any contractor on a
township project $5,000 or 10% of the total
value of the project, whichever is higher, if that
contractor is caught using illegal immigrants.
Not to be deterred or discouraged are Ohio
Representative Courtney Combs and Senator
Gary Cates, who at the urging of Sheriff
Richard Jones of Butler County, Ohio are
proposing to jointly introduce into the Ohio
Legislature, yet another round of bills directed
at undocumented immigrants. They propose
o Require public employers to use a "status
verification system" when hiring new
o Require jails and prisons to make a
reasonable effort to determine inmate
o Prohibit employers from laying off citizen
employees in favor of aliens.
o Require public agencies to verify that people
who apply for certain public benefits are U.S.
citizens or "qualified aliens."
o Regulate non-resident tuition and fees at
state colleges and universities.
o Establish a fraudulent-documents
identification unit within the Ohio Department
of Public Safety to catch fake IDs.
To read draft of the Ohio immigration statute
as proposed by Mr. Combs, click here.
|CLICK TO GO TO
>PAGE 1> >PAGE 2> >PAGE 3> >PAGE 4> >PAGE 5> >PAGE 6>
>PAGE 7> >PAGE 8> >PAGE 9> >PAGE10> >PAGE11> >PAGE12>
>PAGE 13> >PAGE 14> >PAGE 15>
|On 09/29/2006, the U, S. Senate by a vote of 80-19
gave congressional approval for a 700 mile fence
along the U.S.-Mexico border. This bill was signed
into law by President Bush on 10/04/2006.
|On 09/21/2006, the U S House of Representatives
approved 3 bills aimed at controlling the border. A
bill to criminalize the building of border tunnels
passed unanimously. A bill giving authority to state
and local governments to enforce federal immigration
laws passed by 277-140. A proposal to allow U.S.
agents to detain dangerous illegal immigrants beyond
6 months if they cannot otherwise be deported and
speed up deportation of criminal immigrants,
especially illegal immigrants who are gang members
passed 328-95. Earlier in the week, the House also
passed a bill to require voters beginning in 2010 to
present at the federal election polls photo
identification that also proves citizenship. Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist wants a quick approval on
the House bill but there is no agreement in the U S
Senate which has indicated preference for
comprehensive immigration reform.
(Click Where Indicated)
|Current U. S. Eastern Time:
|On 09/07/2006, Jing Fei Jiang, 37, the owner of
Bee's Buffet on Nilles Road in Fairfield, Ohio was
indicted by a federal grand jury with 12 counts of
criminal violations of federal immigration law and
making a false statement on a loan application.
The federal government is also seeking forfeiture of
his assets which includes two parcels of real estate,
|his 2004 Nissan Titan and about $300,000 in cash which were seized during the
immigration raid. Jiang will be arraigned in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Ohio. The immigration charges allege that Jiang had helped
illegal immigrants enter the United States, transported them to and from his
restaurant and had been providing them a place to live in a house owned by Jiang.
Jiang was arrested from his home during an immigration raid on 06/05/2006. If
convicted, Jiang is facing up to 30 years in prison and he will be facing deportation
charges after serving his sentence.
|04/21/2006: Feds Raid Workplaces for
Undocumented Immigrants. On Wednesday, federal
Immigration Agents of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security conducted coordinated
operations at 40 plants run by IFCO Systems North
America across the nation, including one in
Evendale, Ohio. Detained were a handful of
company executives and a greater number of
undocumented workers. Secretary Michael Chertoff
announced that this is the kick-off of a comprehensive
federal effort to enforce the immigration law and that
large-scale hiring of illegal immigrants is often a form
of organized crime and laws used against the mob
can be applied against employers.
|Colorado Restricts Benefits to Undocumented
Immigrants. On 07/11/2006, the state of Colorado
passed a bill that would bar adult undocumented
immigrants in that state from receiving most
non-emergency state benefits such as health care
including Medicaid and Medicare, unemployment
insurance, energy assistance programs and aging and
adult services. All persons, estimated to number
about 1 million, applying for or renewing state and
federal public assistance must prove legal residency.
An estimated 50,000 persons can be denied benefits
under this bill which passed the Colorado Senate by
a vote of 22-13 and the state House 48-15, both of
which have a majority of Democrats. The bill also
requires employers to verify the status of employees
and an employer can be penalized for "reckless
disregard." Republican Governor Bill Owens is
expected to sign the bill into state law, one that is
touted as the toughest in the Nation. The
constitutionality of this non-federal law under
federalism is yet to be determined.
|U. S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEPORTATION:
On 06/22/2006, the U. S. Supreme Court upheld the
deportation of a truck driver who had lived in the U. S.
for the last 20+ years. In the case of
Fernandez-Vargas v. Gonzales, 04-1376, the Court by
a vote of 8-1 held that he was subject to the stricter
provisions of the 1996 amendments to the
Immigration and Nationality Act (Illegal Immigration
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 aka
IIRIRA) which bars a person who had been deported
from getting any immigration benefits upon reentry.
Mr. Fernandez- Vargas had been previously deported
several times since the 1970's and after his
deportation in 1982, he again returned to the U.S.,
became a father, started a trucking business, and in
2001, married his longtime girlfriend who was a U.S.
Citizen. None of these facts persuaded the Court to
grant relief from removal to Mexico. Instead, the
Court held that the reinstatement statute could be
retroactively applied to a pre-1996 deportation order
of the Immigration Court. Justice Stevens filed the
lone dissent, citing "harsh consequences ... to
thousands of individuals."
|04/17/2006 UPDATE: Today, Georgia Governor
Sunny Perdue signed into law at the state level a bill
which requires verification of adults seeking
state-administered benefits for legal immigration
status, penalizes employers who knowingly hire
undocumented immigrants, requires that companies
with state contracts check the immigration status of
employees, and directs state police to check the
immigration status of people under arrest. The
constitutional viability of this new state law in the
face of federal primacy in immigration matters is yet
to be tested.
|U. S. CONGRESS HINTS AT A LACK OF INTEREST IN
GRANTING PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP THIS YEAR.
On 06/20/2006, GOP legislators, after attending a
strategy session with House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert,
declared that the legislative priority this election year
is to enact laws that secure the border. Pointing to
polls taken recently, and to the recent campaign
experience of Rep. Brian Bilbray who won a special
election this month in the San Diego area, GOP
members of Congress suggested giving a low priority to
legislation that provide for a pathway to citizenship for
undocumented immigrations already in the United
States. Speaker Hastert said that while planning to
open hearings in August, he would not set a firm
time-line for the completion of immigration hearings
in the House. Community hearings directly involving
the public are in the plans and may begin as early as
July. Hastert and other Republican leadership
avoided answering questions pertaining to the
time-frame for the compromise with the Senate
version which favors comprehensive immigration
reform, again suggesting that the possibility of
compromise will be remote, especially on the
question of "amnesty." Members of the House who
run for office every two years tend to be more sensitive
to public opinion which they believe to be prevailing
in the short-term while Senators, who hold six year
terms, are able to take a longer term view on public
policy. The President has signaled preference for
comprehensive immigration reform along the lines of
the Senate proposal. The divisiveness of immigration
reform will heat up politically at the grass-roots even
as the nation enters the first days of summer and
politicians will be scrambling before their various
constituencies for electoral advantage on this
|On 04/23/2006, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), who
chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced
that he is ready to re-open the debate on immigration
reform soon after Congress returns on Monday from
spring recess. This sentiment is echoed by Senator
Bill Frist (R-TN), the Majority Leader of the Senate,
who went further to say that he expects Senate
passage of immigration reform by Memorial Day. Not
to be left behind, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) said
passage can happen in Senate if "the administration
will weigh in and the president will take a leadership
role on this," and he further called for a bi-partisan,
comprehensive bill. If and when a bill is passed by
the Senate, it must then be compromised with HR
4437, the Sesenbrenner Bill, a strict enforcement
oriented version passed in the House of
Representatives since December 2005. The two
versions are very far apart in approach.
|FEDERAL AGENTS RAID HOME IN FAIRFIELD, OHIO.
On 06/05/2006, agents of the U. S. Immigration &
Customs Enforcement with the assistance of City of
Fairfield Police raided a home and detained 10
persons on federal immigration charges. Detained
were the owner and employees of Bee's Buffet located
on Nilles Road in Fairfield.
|On 5/19/2006, the U. S. Senate by a vote of 62-36
approved a comprehensive immigration bill that
balances border security with America's need for
immigration labor. Both Senators Voinovich and
DeWine from Ohio voted in favor of passage. The
Senate version will go to the House of Representatives
for final compromise. The House version is concerned
only with border security and if a compromise is made,
then the bill can go to the President for signature into
national law. Mr. Bush has signaled preference for
comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate
provides for the following: Addition of 1,000 new
Border Patrol agents this year and 14,000 by 2011,
short-term deployment of National Guard to the
southern border, the construction of 370 miles of
triple-layered fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers
and new surveillance equipment, new guest worker
program of 200,000 individuals a year and 1.5 million
temporary agricultural workers who eventually may
self-petition for permanent residency. Persons who have
been unlawfully present for five years or more would be
permitted to remain, continue working and eventually
apply for citizenship, but must pay at least $3,250 in
fines and fees, settle any back taxes and learn English.
Those with between two and five years must exit to a
point of entry before re-entering and are subject to the
same fines, fees and requirements. Those in the
country illegally for less than two years must leave with
no guarantee of reentry.
|On 04/24/2006, President Bush, speaking before a
business gathering in Orange County, California,
suggested that he preferred the more comprehensive
Senate plan than the enforcement oriented HR 4437
passed by the House of Representatives in December,
2006. Unfortunately, the draft proposed by the
Senate Judiciary Committee has not been approved
by the full Senate due to partisan wrangling. Senate
leaders have called upon the President to assist in
making immigration reform a reality this year, but a
second-term president with record low approval
figures may have much difficulty in jawboning the
severely divided legislature to compromise during this
mid-term election year. On the same day, the federal
crackdown continued with the arrest in Florida of 183
alien fugitives (under deportation orders) and other
immigration law violators.
|On 5/19/2006, as part of immigration reform, the United
States Senate approved two complementary proposals
in support of the use of the English language in the
United States. First, by a vote of 63-34, the Senate
declared English as the national language because it
will promote national unity. Next, in deference to
critics, the Senate also approved by a vote of 58-39, an
alternate proposal to make English the nation's
"common and unifying language." Both versions will
go to the House of Representatives, along with the rest
of immigration reform, for final compromise before an
English language bill is presented to the President for
signature into law. Mr. Bush signaled that he would
accept either one of the two proposals.
|BUTLER COUNTY SHERIFF ARRESTS, THEN
RELEASES SUSPECTED UNDOCUMENTED
IMMIGRANTS. On 5/18/2006, Sheriff Deputies were
summoned to a Wayne Township construction site on
report of an argument. They found a group of workers on
the site and upon the authority of the Butler County
Sheriff, 18 of the men were taken into custody on
suspicion of being undocumented aliens. On the same
day, the 18 were released without being charged. On
5/19, Sheriff Rick Jones explained that he had released
the men because he lacked the authority to enforce
immigration law. U S Immigration Enforcement's
resident Agent-in-Charge Richard Wilkens confirmed that
the arrests had been made without the knowledge of the
federal authorities and that the Sheriff generally may
make an arrest only if he was charging those arrested of
breaking Ohio law. This unusual episode has the
unfortunate effect of reinforcing the public impression
that America's border is broken.
|On 04/25/2006, President Bush held a plenary session
with leading Senators from both parties to discuss
completion of immigration reform in the U. S.
Senate. The Senate and the House of
Representatives must then agree on a final bill for the
signature of the President.
|On 5/15/2006, President George W. Bush gave a
prime-time television address to set forth his vision for
immigration reform. In a concession to conservatives,
he agreed that the southern border was broken, and
promised to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops
to help secure the border against unauthorized crossings
into the United States. The President gave his support
for a guest worker program. Mr. Bush also outlined his
prerequisites for the gradual naturalization of
undocumented immigrants. These are (1) payment of a
fine for breaking the law, (2) a record of paying taxes, (3)
absence of a criminal record, and (4) the ability to speak
English. This is the first instance of this President
addressing domestic policy from the Oval Office via
|On 04/27/2006, federal agents of U S Immigration &
Customs Enforcement, in conjunction with the Butler
County Sheriff arrested 10 persons in Hamilton,
Middletown, Fairfield, and West Chester Township.
These persons were detained pursuant to federal and
local warrants and being held in a federal facility in
Cincinnati. They are being processed by the federal
government for deportation from the United States. All
but one were picked up at residences and one was
arrested at the workplace. To date, no employer has
been charged. According to Sheriff Richard K Jones
of Butler County, often outspoken about federal
inaction, further enforcement sweeps are to be
|On 05/09/2006, the U. S. Department of Home Security
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement, after an two year
investigation, conducted an arrest sweep. Targeted
was Fischer Homes located in Crestview Hills,
Kentucky. In addition to a search and arrests at the
corporate office, construction sites in Hebron, Union,
and Florence, raids were made at residences. 4
supervisors and 76 workers were detained. Fischer
Homes has denied any immigration violations and the
case against those detained will proceed in Federal
District Court for Eastern Kentucky which is located in
Covington, Kentucky. Commentng on the raid, the
federal government issued a "no tolerance" statement
against future employers who hire or "harbor"
EATING IN AMERICA WITHOUT CHOPSTICKS
But ever since my childhood days in multicultural Malaysia, I acquired the habit of using a fork
at meals. Once at table, a dinner guest, a friend of my wife who is also from Taiwan, saw me
commence to eat without chopsticks and asked me, in a sharp, disapproving tone in Chinese,
this question: “Why are you [a Chinese] not using chopsticks?” The first time this happened
to me, it was in my home where I was the host, and the outspoken objector, my invited
guest. I was frankly taken completely by surprise and my jaw dropped and I had a hard time
keeping the food from falling out. There was an awkward silence for what seemed like
infinity. I looked at him and saw that he had been properly provided with chopsticks. He
glared back at me. It was I, the host and master of the house (together with my wife) who
was affronting him, a dinner guest! A range of emotions passed through my brain. Finally, I
decided to keep my decorum and out of sheer courtesy for my guest, for he was not only a
friend of my wife, but also her former tutor, I quietly asked my wife to bring me a pair of
chopsticks. A broad smile beamed from my guest and dinner was finished before things got
I have had this same protest directed at me at other Chinese social events. Over the years, as I
grew older and more set in my ways, I simply smile at my detractor, silently dismiss the
comment as a lack of dining etiquette and continue eating Chinese food with a fork, as I
preferred. These days, when I felt sufficiently feisty, I even rebuke that person for not
speaking in English, as the chopsticks demand is inevitably made in Chinese .
I feel the same way about the failure to use English in public, and especially in political
discourse. This is why I feel that it is a poor idea to publicly sing the “Star-Spangled Banner,”
especially in the context of political protest, in any other language than the original composed
English by Francis Scott Key in 1814. And so it is for "Nuestro Himno."
An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang, Publisher.
|The New Colossus
Emma Lazarus (1883)
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome;
her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
|Those who would give up
Essential Liberty to
purchase a little Temporary
Safety, deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety -
Benjamin Franklin (1759).
|Abraham was an Immigrant: A Theological Reflection
Abraham is widely accepted as a patriarch of the three
great monotheistic faiths of the World. Abraham was an
immigrant. His father, Terah was from the land of Ur of
the Chaldeans (somewhere in present day Iraq) and while
the tribe was resting at Haran, Terah died. Abraham, then
known as Abram, heard God tell him to get out of his country and from his father's
house to a land that God will reveal. Abram, whose obedience is renowned,
complied. .... For rest of reflection click here.
|To read the antil-alien House Bill 654
introduced by Representative Bill Seitz of
Cincinnati in the previous term of Ohio
General Assembly which failed to pass
|WANG NEWS SERVICE
An Independent Source of News & Views
|Natalie Fair-Albright is interviewed
about the children's rally
|WITH MALICE TOWARDS NONE,
WITH CHARITY FOR ALL ...
With fewer than six weeks before his untimely death,
President Abraham Lincolnsaid these words:
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see
the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for
him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may
achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
Now nearly a century and a half later, these enduring words carry the same wisdom for us.
While not facing the aftermath of four years of bloody civil war, we, nonetheless, are a people in
need of healing among ourselves and with all nations. Four years after invading Iraq and
expenditure of lives and treasure, we are faced with a stalemate and quite possibly withdrawal in
the midst of sectarian civil war in that country. At home the Senate just voted, once again, to
set aside much needed comprehensive immigration reform because some see an invasion of
illegal aliens who do not deserve amnesty.
President Bush who prematurely declared “Mission Accomplished” vis-à-vis Iraq, and “See you
are the signing,” respecting legislation on immigration reform is burdened with record low
approval ratings The Congress too has similar or even lower ratings by the people who elected
them. The American people, facing the humiliation of the lack of progress in the war in Iraq and
the looming specter of an ignominious retreat is understandably divided, frustrated, and angry.
In my opinion, it is this division, coupled with the inability of the President to rally the national will,
that are the reasons for the failure to complete long overdue reform of our federal immigration
I fear worse. Given the inability of America to succeed in Iraq, our national psyche will pressure
some of us to turn our frustration inward against those who are politically most vulnerable
amongst ourselves, the undocumented immigrant. If we cannot impose our will in Iraq, we can
surely get our way against those who break our immigration laws. But before we raise the hue
and cry once again to round up and deport all those who do not have proper immigration
papers, let all of us pacify our spirits, calm our hearts, and focus our reason by reflecting on the
immortal words of our great martyr for freedom: "With malice towards none, with charity for
An Opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang - July 16, 2007
|LULAC OPPOSES COMBS IMMIGRATION
PROPOSAL FOR OHIO ASSEMBLY
On 8/10/2007 the League of United Latin
American Citizens (LULAC) sent a 4 page
letter to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland setting
forth opposition to the Immigration Bill to be
proposed by Ohio Representative Courtney
Combs of Butler County for the 127th General
Assembly. The letter contends that Mr.
Combs’ assertion that “illegal immigration is
causing economic hardship and lawlessness
in Ohio” unfairly sensationalizes the issue and
that the Combs proposal merely restates
federal provisions. Instead, the LULAC letter
points out that "undocumented immigrants
typically provides sorely-needed labor to
United States industries that lack sufficient
workers," and "work in some of the lowest
paying and toughest jobs in the nation." The
LULAC letter opposes the Combs proposal
because “by granting local law enforcement
immigration authority, the state of Ohio will
create a society of fear,” and immigration
reform should be left as a federal topic. The
letter was signed by Mr. Jason Riveiro, Ohio
Deputy Director LULAC.
To read the entire LULAC letter including 16
footnotes to references, click here.
To read draft of the Ohio immigration statute
proposed by Mr. Combs, click here.
|ARCHBISHOP DANIEL E. PILARCZYK ADDRESSES
|Immigration Panel At
HUMAN RELATIONS SUMMIT,
11/19/2007, City of Cincinnati
Human Relations Commission
|On 3/3/08, the Wise Center hosted a forum on immigration issues.
Photo shows Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass introducing from right to
left Brooke Menschel, Assistant Legislative Director, American
Jewish Comittee, D.C., Amy Marmer Nice, Esq. Dickstein, Shapiro,
LLP, D.C. and Prof. Monica Schneider, Miami University, Ohio.
|IMMIGRATION PANEL AT
WISE TEMPLE CENTER
|BY VOTING WE SAY NEVER AGAIN TO PEOPLE V. HALL
In the court case of The People v. George W. Hall, the California Supreme Court decided that a white man
cannot be convicted of murder in a court of law by the testimony of Chinese witnesses. The opinion of that
court was mainly based upon the prevailing view that the Chinese were "a race of people whom nature has
marked as inferior, and who are incapable of progress or intellectual development beyond a certain point, as
their history has shown; differing in language, opinions, color, and physical conformation; between whom and
ourselves nature has placed an impassable difference" and as such had no right "to swear away the life of a
citizen" or participate "with us in administering the affairs of our Government." (To read the complete opinion of
People v Hall, click here. Our readers can take cold comfort in the fact that People v. Hall was rendered in
1854, but can one really afford such an approach?
Are the Chinese a race of people who are “inferior,” “incapable of progress,” and “incapable of development
beyond a certain point?” The Chinese certainly have a different language from English, Spanish, and German
- it can be argued that the color is also different and there are distinguishing physical traits - but is People v.
Hall dead and gone after the baptism by fire and steel of the American Civil War and with the discovery of civil
rights in America?
The answer to this perplexing and disturbing question is that it is and is not.
To say it is not, all we need to do is to look at the recent example the portrayal of Asian Americans by CNN in
its Anderson Cooper 360. To read the protest letter of the Japanese American Citizen's League, click here.
On the positive side, Asian Americans, as citizens of the United States, have that most fundamental of civil
rights – the right to vote. By voting we get to participate in the selection of our legislators, executive officers,
and in Ohio, even our judges. Legislators will make the statutes that regulate society and the executives such
as the President, Governor, and county Commissioners get to carry out the statutes on a day-to-day basis.
Judges will resolve any constitutional or legal issues regarding the statutes being enforced
The good news is that the 2008 Presidential Elections is coming on the first Tuesday of November! Never
again the likes of People v. Hall. On Election Day, get out there and participate with America in administering
the affairs of our Government. Before we can do anything more, we must first get out there and VOTE. An
opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang updated 3/7/2008.
|IMMIGRATION SEMINAR AT CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL
IN THE CITY OF CINCINNATI, 01/11-2/1/2009
For four consecutive Sundays ending with the first Sunday in February,
Christ Church Cathedral hosted a seminarseries entitled "Immigration
& the Church." Shown in photo on right is Mr. Alfonso Cornejo, president
of the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA presenting demographics on Hispanic immigration and
explainingthe contribution of Hispanics to the Greater Cincinnati economy. Other speakers were
Mike Phillips, formerly Director of Editorial Development with Scripps Newspapers who developed
an Hispanic cultural awareness training program with the National Association of Hispanic
Journalists and Charleston Wang, immigration attorney. This seminar series focused on
immigration from Latin American countries, the prospects of legislative reform for all immigrants in
2009 and the role of the Church in crucial immigration issues.
|BISHOP THOMAS BREIDENTHAL
TOUCHES ON PLIGHT OF IMMIGRANTS
DURING EASTER SERMON
THE MYTH OF THE MODEL MINORITY
One Sunday morning in October, our community was jolted awake by the morbid news of an
apparent double murder-suicide at a local Chinese restaurant. The comments that were
triggered by this tragedy on the internet and elsewhere are just as disturbing. Some people
pointed to the economic slowdown and linked it with the stereotype of Asians committing
suicide to escape the dishonor of business failure. Yet others manifested a glib “they are not
like us” attitude. Asian American small businesses, many of which are restaurants, are an
inseparable part of our economy and they share in the hard times and well as good. We are
not isolated islands but every one is part of this land. The stereotype of the model Asian
minority who can outwork the rest is just a myth. I know of more Asian American businesses
which have closed or are closing along with the others in this downturn of economic fortunes.
The unexpressed tragedy I have sensed, beginning with my own gut reaction, is that the
Asian American community tends to pretend that “no big matter” has happened and life for
the rest somehow will go on as normal if only we take care of our own business. This is
followed by an inability to talk about and deal with such problems as a community. Because
of cultural differences and language complications, generally there is also reluctance within
those afflicted to reach out for help early when tragedy may yet be prevented. Beyond this,
the reality is that there is limited availability of organizations and professionals to help Asian
Americans who are suffering domestic violence and other severe social and mental health
problems that may lead to homicide. I hope our greater community can come to view the lives
lost with compassion and then reach out to help when help will still make a difference. We
should realize that during these difficult times, misfortune can strike any of us. In the final
reflection, we will be seen as helping ourselves.
An opinion by Charleston C. K. Wang 11/11/2008.
|CINCINNATI MAYOR JOHN CRANLEY
WITH RABBI MARGARET J. MEYER
PRESIDENT OF THE METROPOLITAN AREA
RELIGIOUS COALITION OF CINCINNATI (MARCC)
ANNOUNCING THE CINCINNATI ID CARD
May 12, 2016
|BISHOP THOMAS BREIDENTHAL OF THE DIOCESE OF
SOUTHERN OHIO WITH THE EPISCOPALIANS
|NAZLY MAMEDOVA, ESQ,
A MEMBER OF THE MAYOR'S
IMMIGRATION TASK FORCE
WITH MR. CRANLEY
|TESTIFYING BEFORE THE CINCINNATI CITY COUNCIL IN
SUPPORT OF THE CINCINNATI ID RESOLUTION,
CINCINNATI COUNCIL CHAMBERS 5/12/2016
|OUTSIDE COUNCIL CHAMBERS AFTER THE RESOLUTION PASSED 5-1-3.
TO CHARLESTON'S LEFT ARE MARGARET A. FOX, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF MARCC AND TED BERGH CEO OF CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF
|CLOSURE OF U. S. IMMIGRATION
COURT IN CINCINNATI PROMPTS
CONGRESSIONAL LETTER OF INQUIRY
The April 6, 2009 closure of the U. S. Immigration Court (Executive Office of Immigration Review)
located on the 4th Floor of the Federal Office Building, 550 Main Street, Cincinnati, Ohio and the
transfer of currently pending and future cases to Cleveland, Ohio has prompted a joint letter of inquiry
from U. S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Representative Steve Driehaus. Click here to read their
letter dated April 14. The sudden closure of the Cincinnati location is expected to impose additional
expenses on immigrants who are to appear before the U. S. Immigration Court. A number of such
persons are still waiting for an Employment Authorization Document and therefore have no legal
documentation to obtain an Ohio Driver's License and do not own a car. The 500 mile round trip is a
heightened burden, especially if an immigrant must spend 1 -2 days to travel the round-trip to
Cleveland by bus. It is feared that some immigrants will be deported in absentia. The better
approach is to resume court proceedings in the Federal Office Building in Cincinnati as that courtroom
is fully equipped with tele-video conferencing capability which facilitates appearances before
Immigration Judges in Cleveland, Ohio, Arlington, Virginia or anywhere else. Tele-video appearances
are currently in use for immigrants who are detained in the Butler County Jail in the City of Hamilton,
Ohio. The re-opening of the Cincinnati court will also benefit the environment as it is a conservation of
unnecessary highway travel for thousands of individuals which add up to millions of miles.
|FIRST MIAMI VALLEY
Challenges and Opportunities for Immigrants in the Dayton Area
|On 2/27/08, Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq.
delivered the Keynote Luncheon Address: "Primal Fears & Hope Eternal"
Shown in photo above is Professor Theo Majka (right) welcoming Mr. Wang.