Garcetti: ‘My support of Israel is kind of an unshakable thing’ An interview with L.A.‘s mayor

Posted by on August 27, 2014 in News Clips

In late June, as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hit his one-year anniversary in the job, local media outlets gave him only passing reviews.

The Los Angeles Times characterized his governance style thus far as “low-risk,” while the L.A. Daily News said his policies have been “free of drama.” He was also criticized by one UCLA professor in the L.A. Times for being more focused on day-to-day things such as infrastructure repairs and 311 wait times than on big-picture items like the city’s poorly performing public schools.

So it may have come as a surprise to mayoral observers when, on...

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Welcome to the Jungle

Posted on June 05, 2014 in Countdown
Let the pontificating begin. Some say that Arab countries have "warmed to President Obama." Others are saying Arabs have given the President a "negative 2014 report card." This can only mean one thing – a new Zogby Research Services poll is out. This week, ZRS released a comprehensive poll conducted in 7 Arab countries that looks at how Arabs view President Obama and U.S. policy in the region.
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Fasting for Immigration Reform

Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Blog

By Maha Sayed Legal Fellow

On Thursday evening, immigration advocates will end their fast in support of immigration reform. Since November 12, a group of faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders participated in the “Fast for Families” on the National Mall, a grassroots campaign designed to pressure House Republicans to take an immediate vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. H.R. 15, the companion House bill to the Senate immigration reform bill that passed in June, would tighten border security and provide a path to citizenship for the 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently working and living in...

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An Update on Secure Communities in California

Posted by on September 11, 2013 in Blog

Almost a year ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the TRUST Act (Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act), a bill widely considered the first serious challenge to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency’s Secure Communities program (S-COMM). Secure Communities mandates that all individuals arrested (not convicted) of a crime be screened for immigration status. The 2012 TRUST Act would have prevented California law enforcement agents from detaining suspected illegal immigrants and handing them over to federal authorities unless those individuals were suspected of committing a serious or violent crime....

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Department of Education Upholds Free Speech

Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Blog

In a victory for free speech, the Department of Education dismisses complaints filed against three California campuses that would have silenced campus activism on Palestine. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAugust 28, 2013Contact: Omar Tewfik Washington, 08/28/2013 - Civil rights organizations led by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus welcomed news that the Department of Education's (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has closed three investigations against three University of California schools, at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Irvine, which falsely alleged that Palestinian rights activism created an anti-Semitic climate. The complaints underlying the investigation...

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AAI Statement Opposing Immigration Enforcement Bill H.R. 2278, The SAFE Act

Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Blog

The SAFE Act, passed in the Judiciary Committee yesterday, is a misguided bill with a single-minded focus on immigration enforcement that will increase detentions and deportations and will create an environment of rampant racial profiling without addressing the fundamental flaws of our broken immigration system.

The bill was introduced in June 2013 by the Chair of the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), with the support of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). 

The Arab American Institute applauds the efforts of the Members of Congress who have been working tirelessly to...

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AAI Statement Opposing Immigration Enforcement Bill H.R. 2278, The SAFE Act

Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Blog

The SAFE Act, passed in the Judiciary Committee yesterday, is a misguided bill with a single-minded focus on immigration enforcement that will increase detentions and deportations and will create an environment of rampant racial profiling without addressing the fundamental flaws of our broken immigration system.

The bill was introduced in June 2013 by the Chair of the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), with the support of the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). 

The Arab American Institute applauds the efforts of the Members of Congress who have been working tirelessly to...

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What Monday’s Supreme Court Decision Means

Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Blog

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a key decision on voting rights. By a 7-2 margin, the Court said that Arizona cannot require new voters to present proof of citizenship before being added to the voting rolls. In its decision, the Court held that the Arizona requirement was “inconsistent with” the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires that states accept and use the federal form. The federal form allows applicants to mail in their registration forms, simply swearing that they are U.S. citizens eligible to vote.

The Arizona requirement was one of a spate of...

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California Drone Bill

Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Blog

The drone bill proposed in the California State Assembly, AB 1327, will allow law enforcement agencies to use drones if they have obtained a warrant, or without a warrant in emergency situations (fires, hostage crises, search and rescue operations) or when there is an imminent threat; however, use of drones in such situations is limited to two hours. It also allows other public agencies to use drones to conduct geological inspections related to their mission, with prior approval of their governing legislative body. Public agencies would be required to provide one-time advance notice to...

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Sam Jammal: Rep. Cardenas’ New Chief of Staff

Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Blog

By Jennine Vari

Spring 2013 Intern

Arab American and Latino lawyer Sam Jammal was recently hired to serve as Chief of Staff to California Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-29). Jammal has had a prominent legal and legislative career in both government and advocacy.

Jammal started off as a Legislative Staff Attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), one of the nation’s leading Latino civil rights organizations, after graduating from George Washington University Law School in 2007. Two years later, he transitioned into politics, working as a Legislative Counsel for Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and...

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