Aswini Anburajan

Aswini Anburajan is a writer for Feet in 2 Worlds, an ethnic media reporting project supported by the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School.

Recent Articles

Gay Immigrants Face Another Setback

I wrote earlier this week that immigration activists are taking the same approach as gay rights activists in making a state-by-state push for the Dream Act. The concerns of both these groups dovetailed yesterday in an announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that gay couples who are married cannot apply for permanent residency for their partners, unlike heterosexual couples, The New York Times reports. The decision by the Obama administration not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act has created a gray area for these couples, who risk deportation should they file for green cards for their spouses. Earlier this week, the NYT reports, Citizenship and Immigration Services suspended looking at these cases while they tried to clarify the legal policy. It sent a wave of hope among the gay-rights community that ended up being false. Andrew Sullivan in describing current immigration laws around heterosexual marriage writes : The US recognizes the marital and...

Quiet Enforcement With No Real Solution

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration has launched a quiet attack on illegal immigration. The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement division [ICE] has been auditing firms, rechecking employment data. Two companies in recent months, Chipotle and Harvard Maintenance, have laid off around 1,000 workers. Critics of U.S. immigration policies on the left and right take issue with such aduits b the Obama administration, also known as silent raids. They say that as a practical matter, the raids shilft illegal immigrants with relatively well-paying jobs into the underground economy. Cnservative would rather deport the immigrants; others call for a path to U.S. citizenship. The WSJ article profiles a man who lost a job that paid him $14 dollars an hour but who says that he and his co-workers who have been laid off would rather be in the U.S. unemployed than return home. And that's where the issue lies. While the Obama administration deserves some credit for not going in...

What the Rest of the World Is Watching

Think the Red Sox versus the Yankees at the World Series Final and then times that by a billion. Two nations are at a standstill today as they play for a spot in the finals of the Cricket World Cup. India versus Pakistan has caused schools to be let out early in India -- a nation obsessed with education. People have taken off work, and a friend in Pakistan e-mails to tell me that the local sports stadiums have been opened up to show the matches and are overflowing. Peter Roebuck of writes: Interest is at fever pitch across the region. India's parliament is shutting up shop at 2.30 pm. A large screen has been erected in the halls of debate. Mumbai's taxi drivers are taking the day off. Companies are asking their employers to arrive at 7am, promising to stop work in time for the first ball. They, too, have put up screens in offices and on factory floors. Otherwise no one would turn up for work. The Melbourne Cup might stop a nation. India versus Pakistan in the World Cup stops...

Open-Source Crisis Mapping

The new AT&T T-Mobile merger has raised fears among Internet-privacy folks that further attacks on Net neutrality may be forthcoming. If anything is a testament as to why the Internet should stay free, open, and available to all, its Ushahidi -- a crowd surfacing platform that allows users to input data to create crisis maps; check out this one of disaster areas in Haiti . According to an NPR story about the platform, aid workers rely on it for data. In tech-savvy Japan, it's been critical in helping the country understand the extent of earthquake damage, and businessmen have volunteered to provide hundreds of free cell phones to the Japanese so they can create an accurate, crowd-sourced map. Can you imagine what it could do for the 2010 or 2012 elections? You could build maps on political visibility -- where a candidate has signs, where they've gone door to door, etc. Like I said, one more reason to keep the web open and free - even if its just for political junkies like me.

State-by-State Push for a Dream Act

Three states may not be a watershed, but passage in three states of Dream Act-like bills shows a growing momentum for a national bill that would put the children of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship if they attend college. Maryland’s Senate recently passed a bill that would allow undocumented students an opportunity to attend state universities and colleges at in-state tuition rates. Should Maryland’s governor sign the legislation it would become one of 11 states in the country, ranging from Kansas to California, that permit this. In California, a bill that would allow undocumented students to compete for state aid and scholarships is under consideration. A New York bill, introduced late last week, takes the legislation further, allowing students who are here illegally but have graduated from high school in New York to access scholarships and financial aid for college, get access to health insurance, obtain driver's licenses, and be able to hold some state jobs...