Tag: U.S.

BrazilianImmigration News

U.S.-Brazil Custody Case Reaches Highest Levels of Obama Administration

By Eduardo A. de Oliveira, EthnicNEWz.org and Feet In 2 Worlds contributor

Goldman and his son, Sean.

Goldman and his son, Sean. (Photo: BringSeanHome.org)

The ingredients were typical of a soap opera: a handsome American male model falls for a Brazilian fashion student. The couple met in Milan, Italy. From the love of David Goldman and Bruna Ribeiro resulted a happy wedding, a peaceful marriage, and life in New Jersey with their baby boy, Sean.

But the dream of a beautiful family went awry, resulting in an international custody battle that has strained ties between two friendly nations — even prompting an intervention by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2004, Ribeiro brought 4-year-old Sean to spend 15 days in Rio de Janeiro. Goldman would join them a few days later. But as soon as she landed in the “Marvelous City,” the mother called David and said she was not returning to the United States. Goldman’s nightmare started when his wife told him that if he ever wanted to see Sean again, he would have to assign sole custody of the boy to her.

Since that phone call, Goldman has fought to have the right to visit his son in Brazil. Meanwhile, Ribeiro married an influential and politically well-connected lawyer, João Paulo Lins e Silva — although in the U.S. her marriage to Goldman was still valid.

In August 2008, the couple’s story took a dramatic turn. After giving birth to a baby girl, Bruna Ribeiro Lins e Silva died of complications from the birth. Although tragic, the events gave Goldman renewed hope that, as the only blood-relative to Sean, he would finally be reunited with him.

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BrazilianImmigration NewsLatino

Latin America to U.S.: Tsk-Tsk

Brazilian President Lula da Silva at the U.N. Tuesday.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva at the U.N. Tuesday.

Miami is sometimes half-jokingly called “the capital of Latin America,” for its concentration of Latin American expats, Latin American corporation headquarters and even vacation homes for the region’s richest. No wonder then that both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama opted to outline their potential foreign policy towards the region while campaigning in Florida last week. Both candidates gave interviews to Radio Caracol that made headlines, each in its own way.

The highlight of McCain’s appearance was his apparent confusion as to Spain’s location and who its prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is [you can listen to it here.] A story on the incident in The Sydney Morning Herald was headlined “The brain in McCain under strain about Spain.” However, a campaign advisor denied there was any confusion, which can only hurt Spanish pride.

In respect to Latin America, McCain expressed coldness for the more anti-American leftist leaders in the region and support for Mexico’s Felipe Calderón in his war against drug cartels.

Obama, in turn, projected a more empathetic stance towards the region, admitting that the U.S. “has been so obsessed with Iraq that we haven’t spent time focused on the situation in Latin America.” He also seemed to defend his position on a potential meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who the McCain camp featured in an attack ad on Spanish-language TV this week:

I think it’s important for us to not overreact to Chavez. I think what we have to do is just let Chavez know that we don’t want him exporting anti-American sentiment and causing trouble in the region, but that we are interested in having a respectful dialogue with everybody in Latin America in terms of figuring out how we can improve the day to day lives of people.

Most people in Latin America would agree that the U.S. has not paid attention to the region so far this century. A lot of them, however, would probably view that as a good thing. Most Latin Americans consider the much-disliked free-market economic policies of the ’90s known as the Washington Consensus to have been forced on the region by the U.S. and the multilateral organizations on which it generally exerts commanding control, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. (more…)

DetroitImmigration News

Former President Fox in Detroit: A Mexican Viewpoint on Immigration Reform and the US Presidential Election

Vicente Fox at Wayne State University
Vicente Fox at Wayne State University. (Photo: Centro Fox)

A capacity crowd of activists, politicians, students and intellectuals from the Detroit metro area gathered at Wayne State University Sept. 12 to listen to former Mexican President Vicente Fox give a lecture on “Globalization and Immigration.” Those attending the highly publicized event were eager to hear Fox’s thoughts on immigration from the Mexican perspective.

While the immigration debate has mostly been put in the back burner -as opposed to the economy and the Iraq war- during the 2008 campaign, Fox said he believes the issue will be front and center and could be used as a wedge issue as we get closer to the November 4 election.

When asked about his thoughts on the current debate, Fox said the discussion was “misleading, full of destruction and lack of factual information.” He went on to say that the immigration debate needs to be more objective and that the American people, as well as the media, are uninformed.

According to the Employment Policy Foundation, the United States has a systemic labor shortage that is expected to transform the workplace over the next 25 to 30 years, as baby boomers retire. In this context, while the United States needs and benefits from immigrant labor, Fox said, Mexico suffers from the northward migration in the long term, losing its human capital.

“All this energy, all this talent is needed in Mexico for the development of the nation and the competitiveness of the economy,” Fox said.

Immigration regulation is key to changing the current dialogue. Fox said he supports legislation like the failed McCain-Kennedy bill, proposed in 2005. The plan would have allowed illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before Jan. 7, 2004, and who have jobs, to work legally for an additional six years and eventually become citizens, after paying fines and meeting certain citizenship requirements.

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