‘Clearly there are stories we’re not telling’: Study seeks to improve diversity in news sources

Will be interesting to see the results, hopefully with some qualitative analysis of the differences in perspectives covered. One can see some of this shift occurring in the CBC:

For all the prodding, encouragement and reminders, progress to improve the diversity of voices in news stories seems frustratingly slow.

Now a project involving national news agency The Canadian Press and Carleton University’s School of Journalism is hoping to get a better understanding of who gets quoted, and provide a catalyst for change.

CP has teamed with the journalism school to “identify, track and analyze” the choice of interview subjects by its journalists. The goal is to track the diversity of individuals — or lack of, as a news release pointedly notes — based on gender, race and ethnicity and other equity-seeking groups.

Joanna Smith, CP’s Ottawa bureau chief, is the impetus behind the work. The goal, she emphasizes, is not simply to diversify sources. The goal is the better journalism that comes when news coverage is truly representative.

“Over and over again, we are returning to the same sources in TV and journalism, the same largely white, largely male, largely institution-based” people, Smith said. “The idea of broadening the diversity of our sources is really about telling bigger and better and different stories.” 

(Disclosure: Torstar, the parent company of the Toronto Star, is a part owner of The Canadian Press).

Nana aba Duncan, who holds the Carty Chair in Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion Studies at the journalism school, said a journalist’s first choice for an interview is often someone they’ve worked with or someone they know. It’s likely that source is not from an under-represented group.

“Our first thought is what is the easiest and what is the quickest?” Duncan said. “Anything that has to do with change has to be intentional.”

That’s why research is vital to track who is being quoted — and who is being left out. “We absolutely have to do it or else it just doesn’t get done,” said Duncan, a former CBC broadcaster who is part of the project research team.

Duncan says it’s also important how those voices are framed and treated in the story. Are we engaging people for their expertise, such as economics or politics, or only for their race or gender? Where are these voices appearing in the story? Are they making the news or reacting to it?

“You may have an experience in which you are undermined or … your value is just not recognized. That has an effect,” she said. 

Professor Allan Thompson, the head of the journalism school, says the lack of diversity in news articles speaks to the “embedded bias” that exist in newsrooms and journalism.

To him, diversity is about fact-checking and accuracy. “Unless the sourcing reflects society, then it’s not accurate, even if all the words are verbatim,” Thompson said.

“We’re knitting some cloth that is the narrative of our society. If we’re only using one cross-section of voices, then clearly there are stories we’re not telling, there are perspectives on stories that we’re not capturing, and we’re just self-perpetuating our own version of a narrative,” he said.

Shari Graydon, director of Informed Opinions, has been working for years to get more women’s voices into news coverage. (The organization provides a searchable database of more than 2,200 women experts, so there’s no excuse for journalists to exclude them.)

Its online “Gender Gap Tracker” shows the percentage of female sources in online news coverage by major news outlets. It measures all stories, such as those filed by news agencies, rather than those written solely by an outlet’s own journalists alone. Over the last 12 months, sources quoted in stories on the Star’s website have been overwhelmingly male (74 per cent) versus female (26 per cent). 

Graydon said that a diversity of sources in news coverage is a hallmark of good journalism. “I really think awareness is not remotely enough,” she said, urging record-keeping as a precaution against the self-delusion one is doing better than they really are. 

Lasting change requires deliberate action. Journalists have control over the sources they choose to interview. As a start, they should review their last 10 stories. Who was quoted? Going forward, the objective is to cultivate more representative sources and track that work. 

Duncan emphasizes that media outlets must support such efforts. “It’s on the institution saying, ‘We care about this. Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to spend money on caring about diversity and being intentional about it,’” she said.

This project, due to unfold over the coming months, promises to improve the diversity of sources used in CP articles, which would benefit all news organizations that rely on its coverage. I’m hopeful it will offer lessons all newsrooms can draw on.

Source: ‘Clearly there are stories we’re not telling’: Study seeks to improve diversity in news sources

Greg Abbott Backs Immigrant School Policy That Helped Turn California Blue

Of note, political virtue signalling for the right, with risks of possible backlash. Proposal is intrinsically deplorable:

In 2001, then-Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, signed what was known as the Texas DREAM Act, providing in-state tuition rates to young undocumented students as long as they were state residents for three years, graduated from a Texas high school, and promised to apply for permanent residency.

Two decades later, immigration politics in Texas have been completely transformed. Governor Greg Abbott is now calling for the Supreme Courtto strike down the 1982 Plyler v. Doe ruling that forces states to pay for the education of undocumented children.

Speaking on a conservative radio show, Abbott said Texas already sued the federal government long ago over having to incur the costs of the education program.

“And the Supreme Court ruled against us on the issue,” Abbott said. “I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler v. Doe was issued many decades ago.”

In light of the report that the Supreme Court is set to strike down Roe v. Wade and reverse long-enshrined federal abortion protections, Democrats and activists privately worry that efforts like Abbott’s are not the fantasy they would have seemed just six months ago, but could actually become reality in the near future.

But they argue Abbott’s gambit could backfire, as a similar campaign did after the passage of California’s infamous Proposition 187 in 1994 signed by then-Governor Pete Wilson, a Republican, which denied public services to undocumented immigrants, including public education.

After all, “Prop 187,” which only survived five years, had unintended consequences. Not only did it fail in discouraging immigrants from seeking services, it also helped to create a mobilized Latino electorate that proved to be a major factor in turning California blue.

Mike Madrid, a longtime Republican strategist, worked in California GOP politics and considers Wilson a friend. But he says the fallout from Prop 187 could serve as a warning for Texas Republicans.

“The legacy of 187 was to create a generational voting bloc of Latinos against the Republican Party that would not normally happen,” Madrid said, adding that California was then experiencing the rightward shift Texas is experiencing now. “That changed substantially because of these attacks on the community. Once attacked, Latinos rally.”

In California, the Latino share of the electorate nearly doubled at the time and support for Republicans crumbled, a far cry from the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan garnered 48% of the Hispanic vote. When Bob Dole ran in 1996, he received a paltry 6% of the Latino vote.

Julissa Arce, an activist and author of the new book “You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation,” told Newsweek she was once an undocumented student in Texas when she lived in the state from age 11 to 21.

“Thank God no one was questioning how I got there,” she said. But fear was always present. “I never wanted to go talk to my counselor, afraid they might look at my documents.”

Abbott’s rhetoric creates an environment of fear, Arce said, particularly in a state where nearly 53% of public school students are Hispanic.

The end of the state educating undocumented kids would likely include echoes of the chaos of Prop 187, with school administrators having to ask children about the immigration status of their parents, and parents who have both undocumented and U.S.-citizen children pulling their kids from school.

Abbott has tacked to the right during his reelection campaign in an effort to energize his primary voters, often around issues concerning immigration and education. He sent buses of migrants to Washington DC, a message to the Biden administration to deal with a problem he feels it has made worse.

Last week, Abbott slammed the Biden administration for providing baby formula to immigrants in holding facilities, “as American parents scramble amid a nationwide shortage of the product.”

John Wittman, Abbott’s former communications director, told Newsweekthe Texas governor widely publicized moves are an effort to draw attention to the federal government’s shortcomings.

“I think the governor’s point is the federal government continues to fail in its responsibility of dealing with immigration, and Congress has failed for decades, so as a result states have had to deal with the fiscal responsibility of the issue,” he said. “The border and illegal immigration is something Texas has picked up the tab on.”

Arce called Abbott’s announcements “anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric” for a reelection campaign, but acknowledged “it feels different because he could really turn this into action as we’ve seen with Roe v. Wade, and this relitigation of things we thought had been settled.”

Source: Greg Abbott Backs Immigrant School Policy That Helped Turn California Blue

Quebec should ‘ideally’ aim for 100000 immigrants per year, says CPQ

Not surprising. Just as in English Canada, some of the biggest boosters of increased levels are from the business community, both large and small:

Quebec should aim to welcome 100,000 immigrants per year, according to the Conseil du patronat (CPQ).

The number is almost twice the threshold set by the Quebec government.

The CPQ made the request in a white paper on immigration made public Monday.

A little over a week ago, the Conseil du patronat, along with employer organizations, had instead suggested a threshold of 80,000 newcomers per year to alleviate labour shortages.

But in its white paper, the CPQ now believes that Quebec should ideally aim for 100,000 immigrants.

According to recent data, there are no less than 240,000 positions to be filled throughout Quebec. The economic community is pushing the Legault government to admit more immigrants.

Despite the government’s current efforts to fill jobs, nearly a quarter of the current vacancies cannot be filled, which represents 300,000 jobs over the next five years, the CPQ calculates.

Immigration is “both unavoidable and fully necessary,” the employers’ organization argues.

Source: Quebec should ‘ideally’ aim for 100000 immigrants per year, says CPQ

“The Finest Immigration Station in the World” – Angel Island

Fascinating history of Angel Island Immigration Station, the west coast equivalent of Ellis Island, but with the important differences noted in this excerpt:

A common shorthand for the Angel Island Immigration Station is “the Ellis Island of the West,” but this false equivalency downplays Angel Island’s brutality. Ellis Island detained twenty percent and deported two percent of its largely European population. Angel Island detained over half and deported one in five of its largely Asian population. An Ellis Island of the West did in fact exist on Angel Island, it was just found on the other side of a wall, upstairs or downstairs, or on the opposite side of a dining room; manifested in differences at the level of a tablecloth, silverware, shower water, or the interrogation table.

The imbalance between the two sites continues into the present. Though Angel Island prominently displays a plaque noting the “Sister Park” status of Ellis Island, the plaque’s language makes clear that Ellis Island is a national park while Angel Island is only a state park. A dedicated ferry takes tourists to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty; visitors to Angel Island board a ferry mostly used by passengers seeking recreation, and the private company that operates the only route submitted a petition to suspend all service in December 2020.33

Nonetheless, the preservation and dissemination of Angel Island’s legacy provides an opportunity for what Viet Thanh Nguyen has termed “just memory” when he writes that “any project of the humanities … should also be a project of the inhumanities, how civilizations are built on forgotten barbarism toward others.”

Demonstrating this potential, in 2003 Angel Island’s travelling exhibition Gateway to Gold Mountain opened at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum with a lion dance performed by students from the Chinese Community Center of New Jersey. In doing so, it argued for inclusion of those historically excluded from the wider narrative of American immigration. Local papers described Asian American visitors seeing their own stories in the museum for the first time.

Speaking to the press, Ellis Island’s curator of exhibits and media maintained that the exhibition “enables us to tell the larger story.”

As an antidote to the mythologies of Ellis Island and American immigration, the preservation and dissemination of Angel Island demonstrates that architectures of exclusion existed on both shores and were unequally applied along lines of race and class, with disease labeled as the culprit.

Source: “The Finest Immigration Station in the World” – Architecture

Institute for Canadian Citizenship makes Canoo [Cultural Access Pass] available to Permanent Residents

Significant move, expanding access to Canoo to Permanent Residents during their first 5 years in Canada, not just new citizens within one year of becoming a citizen.

From their announcement:

Thanks to generous donors large and small, 2 million Permanent Residents will now have free VIP access to our country’s best culture and nature attractions from the get-go. There is no better way to prove to immigrants that Canada values and respects them – to make them feel truly and completely at home. 

We also added spectacular new benefits to Canoo, including big discounts with Air Canada, film festival memberships, sports tickets, concerts, shows, classes, kid-friendly activities, volunteering, and so much more. 

Canoo is now a one-stop-shop for becoming Canadian, not just in your passport, but in your heart.

Doyle: Tucker Carlson didn’t shoot anyone, but he’s monetizing white panic

Good column. Unethical business and financial strategy…

They’re lining up to condemn Tucker Carlson of Fox News and understandably so. That shooter, a self-declared white supremacist who killed 10 people in Buffalo, had reportedly posted an online manifesto espousing the Great Replacement theory, and Carlson is the biggest purveyor of that conspiracy belief.

The conspiracy theory is that non-white individuals are being deliberately brought into the United States (and other Western countries) to supplant white voters, in order to further a political agenda. It’s been around for decades, this crackpot theory, but Carlson is the one who mines it with cunning and determination. He’s touched on it often and sometimes been more brazen.

On one of his shows in April, Carlson said: “I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement,’ if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World. But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening, actually.”

Moral condemnation of Carlson is in order. He knows what he’s doing. (His use of key words is telling, and we note Pierre Poilievre aims anger at various “gatekeepers” while campaigning for the leadership of Canada’s Conservative Party.) But there’s context to take into account. First, Carlson is only the latest in a long list of demagogues in the United States who incite hate based on fear of non-white ethnicities. You don’t need to be a historian to be aware of Huey Long, George Wallace and Pat Buchanan. You don’t need to be a student of U.S. media to know that there is a through-line going back from Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh to Father Charles Coughlin, the “radio priest” who had an audience of tens of millions in the 1930s, peddling anti-Semitism and fear about immigrants being “foreign invaders.”

The American tolerance of demagogues who incite hate is an anomaly in Western countries. But the matter was settled decades ago when First Amendment rights were solidified by the courts and all kinds of commentary and assertions were allowed to participate in what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. called, “the marketplace of ideas.”

Carlson is an entrepreneur in that marketplace, as is his employer, Fox News, mining white panic and other alarmist ideas for profit. It’s just business and it’s not new.

What is new is the absence of truly mass media and entertainment. Carlson may only have a tiny fraction of the audience that Father Coughlin once had, but he’s stirring up what exists in the dark corners of the internet, mainly unseen. And there is very little to counter what Carlson is stirring up. The remaining remnants of mass-appeal news and entertainment outlets shine their lights on a sunlit America, not its dark subculture corners. Network TV and cable channels cling on to smaller audiences than before, and only live sports seem capable of engaging a mass audience. If there’s no mass audience, then the expectation of a mass revulsion at Tucker Carlson is futile.

A lot of Americans have no idea that Carlson might be connected to the mass shooting in Buffalo. You don’t have to be a TV critic to understand that Fox News now exists in a shattered landscape in which there is simply too much TV – more and more streaming services producing more content than anyone can catch up with, plus network TV, cable and an array of web services. There’s no national narrative, there are only sparks flying occasionally that briefly illuminate very dark spaces.

While Fox News monetizes white fear of change, other outlets monetize escapism. There have been few attempts to dramatize or illustrate the dangers of racist subcultures. One of the few, HBO’s Watchmen, was very powerful but probably had more critical accolades than it had engaged viewers. The same applies to HBO’s Lovecraft Country, and both present structural racism in the context of an alternative reality or the supernatural. The movies of Jordan Peele, Get Out and Us, treat racial paranoia with seriousness, but they are outlier entertainment in a world of Marvel superheroes.

One could take comfort in the fact that Grey’s Anatomy has been going for 18 seasons in part because it looks like the United States; the diversity of characters is striking and over the years it simply became steadily more and more inclusive. Right now, mind you, diversity is the devil that Fox News and Tucker Carlson are warning viewers about. And there’s more money to made from that in a media and entertainment landscape shattered beyond recognition. That’s the important context.

Source: Tucker Carlson didn’t shoot anyone, but he’s monetizing white panic

Diversity of Asian Americans shatters the “model minority myth”

Interesting breakdowns that are comparable to some of the Canadian breakdowns (where we have the advantage of greater desegregation among Asian Canadians (South Asians, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asians and West Asians):

Asian Americans hail from dozens of countries — and their experiences in America are starkly different depending on their origins.

Why it matters: This vast, diverse group is often lumped together under the “model minority myth” — the stereotype that all Asian Americans are well-educated, wealthy and successful.

  • If you look at averages, Asian Americans appear to be richer and better educated than the average American.
  • If you disaggregate the data, the model minority myth crumbles. We see high levels of poverty and below-average levels of educational attainment.

But because that data is seldom disaggregated, “Asian Americans have had to make the case over and over again that they suffer from racism and hostility and violence,” says Ellen Wu, a history professor at Indiana University.

The big picture: The U.S. Asian American population doubled from 2000 to 2019, hitting 22 million. Asians are the fastest-growing group in America — outpacing white, Black and Hispanic Americans and projected to pass 46 million by 2060, according to the Pew Research Center.

  • “They all have very different starting points,” says Neil Ruiz, associate director of race and ethnicity research at the Pew Research Center.
  • Consider, for example, an Indian immigrant who comes to the U.S. via H-1B visa for a high-paying gig at a tech company. That person will have a far easier time building generational wealth than a Burmese refugee coming to America to escape conflict, Ruiz says.

By the numbers: The median income of Asian households in the U.S is $85,800, and 54% have college degrees, per Pew.

  • But only three groups — Indians, Filipinos and Sri Lankans — fall above that household income. And college attainment for many groups is well below the average.

The stakes: “So many groups have been neglected and ignored,” says Quyên Dinh, executive director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.

  • “People are not always convinced that Asian Americans are a legitimate minority group that deserve to be included in affirmative action and diversity initiatives,” says Wu.
  • For example, 30% of Southeast Asians — a region encompassing nations like Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos — don’t have high school degrees.
  • “Because of the model minority myth, these students’ silence in classrooms is misinterpreted as understanding instead of a cry for help,” Dinh says.

What to watch: Activists and experts see a silver lining in the recent spikes in anti-Asian violence. “There is a new spotlight on the Asian American community,” says Dinh.

  • “Awful things have always happened,” Wu says. “But now Asians are collecting the data and recording what’s happening, and Asian journalists are amplifying these stories.”

Source: Diversity of Asian Americans shatters the “model minority myth”

[Canadian] Military failing to remove barriers to diversifying ranks: ombudsman

Long-standing challenge:

Canada’s military ombudsman is joining the chorus of those accusing the Canadian Armed Forces and Defence Department of failing to address long-standing barriers to recruit and retain more women, visible minorities and Indigenous people.

Gregory Lick says in a new report that the military and department have adopted numerous initiatives over the last 20 years to increase the share of Armed Forces members who come from those underrepresented groups.

The moves followed several human-rights decisions and the passage of employment equity laws, amid a growing disconnect between the makeup of the military, predominantly composed of white males, and the rest of the country’s population.

Yet the ombudsman found those initiatives resulted in little progress on increasing representation from underrepresented groups, with the military consistently falling far short of its own targets.

“I am adamant that in order to not repeat the same mistakes, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces need to do things differently,” Lick said in a statement Monday.

“Fresh and creative thinking is required. Rehashing former initiatives simply will not cut it. Period. We will continue to monitor developments within the defence community in order to inform our own next steps on this matter.”

The ombudsman’s report comes weeks after a panel of retired Armed Forces members released the results of its own review, which took the military to task for not acting on dozens of previous studies and reviews of racism in the organization.

The scathing anti-racism report, which followed a yearlong review ordered by then-defence minister Harjit Sajjan, also accused the military of not doing enough to detect and prevent white supremacists and other extremists from infiltrating its ranks.

Lick’s review, also requested by Sajjan, looked at efforts to increase the share of women, visible minorities and Indigenous people in the Defence Department and military since becoming subject to employment equity laws in 1997 and 2002, respectively.

It specifically noted the military’s failure to make any real progress toward its various targets, which include having 25.1 per cent of all Armed Forces members be women, 11.8 per cent be visible minorities and 3.5 per cent Indigenous people.

“Despite the CAF’s efforts over the past 19 years, the percentage of women members stagnated until 2019, when a one-per-cent increase brought that representation level to 16 per cent of all CAF members,” the report reads.

“The limited increase in Aboriginal peoples (2.8 per cent) and visible minority members (9.6 per cent) has not been sufficient to keep up with Canadian demographics,” it adds.

The report goes on to note that not only has the Armed Forces failed to achieve its targets, but that those targets have been repeatedly criticized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and others as far too low given the country’s changing composition.

The Defence Department reported more success in terms of diversifying its civilian workforce, but nonetheless faced many of the same challenges.

The ombudsman reported that his office had received 931 complaints relating to recruitment and 879 complaints involving promotions or career advancement since 2010. Another 189 workplace discrimination complaints were received.

“While designated employment equity groups did not submit all these complaints and not all would have been deemed to be unfair, these numbers show that the DND and CAF face challenges to the provision of fair and equitable employment,” he wrote.

The ombudsman noted numerous barriers to the recruitment of Armed Forces members from the designated groups had been reported over the years, including language requirements, security-clearance delays and a lack of representation among recruiters.

The review also noted that because military personnel have to start at the bottom and work their way up, fixing the recruitment process is a critical first step. Concerns were nonetheless also identified around retention and promotions.

Lick emphasized the importance of addressing the problem given what he described as a growing need for a diverse force that reflects Canadian society and is able to operate in new and innovative ways.

“With the CAF currently operating at a deficit of approximately 10,000 to 12,000 regular and reserve force members and thousands of positions unfilled in the civilian ranks, a crisis is slowly emerging,” he said.

“Critical to the ongoing success of the DND and the CAF is ensuring that people of diverse backgrounds consider a career in these organizations and see themselves reflected in their mandates.”

While past reports and reviews have proposed a number of measures to address the problems, Lick echoed the anti-racism panel’s findings about a lack of action, saying: “It is unclear whether the CAF has implemented all these initiatives.”

Although Defence Minister Anita Anand was given four weeks to respond to the ombudsman’s report before its public release, Lick said he had yet to receive a response. The Defence Department did not immediately comment Monday.

Source: Military failing to remove barriers to diversifying ranks: ombudsman

‘Dire Consequences’: SCOTUS Justice Gorsuch Sides with Liberals Against Justice Barrett’s Majority Opinion in Immigration Case

Bizarre ruling but given the make-up of the court, not surprising:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled against immigrants seeking judicial review of mistakes and errors made by immigration agencies. In a 5-4 majority opinion, Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote that federal courts are categorically barred from considering such issues.

“It is no secret that when processing applications, licenses, and permits the government sometimes makes mistakes,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in a passionate dissent. “Often, they are small ones—a misspelled name, a misplaced application. But sometimes a bureaucratic mistake can have life-changing consequences. Our case is such a case.”

Joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Gorsuch castigated the sweeping nature of the majority’s decision and its fealty to the administrative state.

“Today, the Court holds that a federal bureaucracy can make an obvious factual error, one that will result in an individual’s removal from this country, and nothing can be done about it,” the dissent notes. “No court may even hear the case. It is a bold claim promising dire consequences for countless lawful immigrants.”

In the case stylized as Patel v. Garland, Pankajkumar Patel, who has lived in the country for nearly 30 years, accidentally ticked the wrong box on a driver’s license application question about his citizenship status in Georgia. Peach State prosecutors initially pressed charges but later determined that they lacked evidence to prove a crime had been committed. Notably, his incorrect check mark didn’t have any bearing on his request for a driver’s license because under Georgia law, he was entitled to one even though he wasn’t a U.S. citizen because he had filed for a green card and had a valid work permit.

The Department of Homeland Security rejected Patel’s green card application on the basis of a statute barring immigration status adjustments to anyone who “falsely represents . . . himself . . . to be a citizen of the United States” to obtain a “benefit under . . . State law.”

After that, the government initiated deportation proceedings against Patel, who has three children who also live in the country. He then re-filed his green card application under the relevant statutes and repeated his consistent claims about his lack of intent to deceive and how Georgia law regarding that benefit–the driver’s license–wasn’t actually contingent on how he filled out the form in the first place.

“None of this moved the immigration judge,” Gorsuch writes. “He said he did not believe Mr. Patel’s testimony that he checked the wrong box mistakenly. Instead, the immigration judge found, Mr. Patel intentionally represented himself falsely to obtain a benefit under state law. According to the immigration judge, Mr. Patel had a strong incentive to deceive state officials because he could not have obtained a Georgia driver’s license if he had disclosed he was ‘neither a citizen [n]or a lawful permanent resident.’”

But the immigration judge was incorrect. Patel followed up and said exactly as much before the Board of Immigration Appeals.

“In his appeal, Mr. Patel argued that the immigration judge’s finding that he had an incentive to deceive state officials was simply wrong—under Georgia law he was entitled to a driver’s license without being a citizen or a lawful permanent resident given his pending application for adjustment of status and permission to work,” the dissent notes. “Mr. Patel submitted, too, that all the record evidence pointed to the conclusion he simply checked the wrong box by mistake; even state officials agreed they had no case to bring against him for deception.”

The agency tribunal ruled against him. In additional appeals, with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, various federal judges opined at length about whether or not they even had the ability to review Patel’s case. In their first ruling against him, a three-judge panel determined they lacked jurisdiction to even hear the case.

Patel appealed again. The full court then decided, in a 9-5 opinion, that one small bit of statutory language precludes courts from reviewing cases like Patel’s–while also noting that they had to overrule “numerous” precedents in various circuits in order to reach the conclusion that they can’t really consider such cases at all.

The statute reads, in relevant part:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law . . . and regardless of whether the judgment, decision, or action is made in removal proceedings, no court shall have jurisdiction to review— (i) any judgment regarding the granting of relief under section . . . 1255 of this title.

Under federal law, there’s a two-step process for whether or not an immigrant is entitled to relief from a deportation decision. The first step is whether or not an immigrant is entitled to having their status adjusted. The next step is whether or not, in the government’s discretion, they might then not be deported.

In Patel’s case, the judge, the BIA, and the 11th Circuit ruled against him at step one. The 11th Circuit’s logic was that the above-referenced statute foreclosed against a court hearing anything about how the agency had erred at the first step. The second step was never even considered by the court. Barrett’s majority opinion endorses that view.

Gorsuch explains (and criticizes) at length:

Following the Eleventh Circuit’s lead, the majority contends that subparagraph (B)(i)’s phrase “any judgment regarding the granting of relief under § 1255” sweeps more broadly. On its account, the statute denies courts the power to correct all agency decisions with respect to an adjustment-of-status application under § 1255—both the agency’s step-one eligibility decisions and its step-two discretionary decisions. As a result, no court may correct even the agency’s most egregious factual mistakes about an individual’s statutory eligibility for relief. It is a novel reading of a 25-year-old statute. One at odds with background law permitting judicial review.

“It does not matter if the BIA and immigration judge in Mr. Patel’s case erred badly when they found he harbored an intent to deceive state officials,” the dissent goes on. “It does not matter if the BIA declares other individuals ineligible for relief based on even more obvious factual errors. On the majority’s telling, courts are powerless to correct bureaucratic mistakes like these no matter how grave they may be.”

The dissent even repeats some of its own language verbatim but with added italics to stress the points:

[U]nder the majority’s construction of subparagraph (B)(i), individuals who could once secure judicial review to correct administrative errors at step one in district court are now, after its decision, likely left with no avenue for judicial relief of any kind. An agency may err about the facts, the law, or even the Constitution and nothing can be done about it.

Gorsuch goes on to note that tens of thousands of such rejections are handed out by agency officials each year and argues that Barrett’s opinion “will almost surely end all that and foreclose judicial review for countless law-abiding individuals whose lives may be upended by bureaucratic misfeasance.”

Source: ‘Dire Consequences’: Justice Gorsuch Sides with Liberals Against Justice Barrett’s Majority Opinion in Immigration Case

Statistics Canada: Portrait of the social, political and economic participation of racialized groups

No real surprises in this useful overview but important to have:

In response to Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, Statistics Canada’s Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics is releasing an initial set of 13 data tables on social inclusion. Nearly 100 indicators can now be used to examine various socioeconomic facets of racialized groups. 

The concept of racialized population is measured with the ‘visible minority’ variable in this release. ‘Visible minority’ refers to whether or not a person belongs to one of the visible minority groups defined by the Employment Equity Act. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour” (for more details, please refer to Note to readers). 

These indicators provide valuable information to develop policies to combat racism and discrimination, and they reflect the agency’s commitment to greater insights through the use of disaggregated data. The new data sheds light on the unique experiences of racialized Canadians, whether they immigrated to Canada or were born in the country.

The indicators published today are organized into a wider framework of themes for measuring social inclusion within Canada’s diverse population. The themes are the following: participation in the labour market; civic engagement and political participation; representation in decision-making positions; basic needs and housing; health and well-being; education, training and skills; income and wealth; social connections and personal networks; local community; public services and institutions; and discrimination and victimization.

This article provides an overview of social inclusion of racialized populations under the two themes: civic engagement and political participation, and representation in decision-making positions. It looks at key indicators of participation in community groups and organizations, representation in senior management, and voting in elections and political engagement. The analysis focuses on the seven largest racialized groups in Canada: South Asian; Chinese; Black; Filipino; Latin American; Arab; and Southeast Asian Canadians.

The findings show that while the rates of civic participation of racialized Canadians are generally similar to the rest of the population, their representation in management positions is considerably lower, and their voter turnout and political engagement are somewhat lower compared with other Canadians. There are also important differences amongst the racialized groups on these measures of social inclusion.

Source for full report with tables: Portrait of the social, political and economic participation of racialized groups