Thursday, July 2, 2015
Neil Gaimon taking part in Chipotle's Cultivating Thought Series:
I am thinking about the fragility of civilization. Look around you, at the building you are in, the road you travel on. What you see was made by people who agreed that they would get up in the morning and go to work and nobody would shoot at them or fire mortars at them; there would not be checkpoints at which they could be taken out and never seen again; that there would be food in the shops, and water in the taps, and shoes to buy and to wear. People who believed that the place you go to sleep tonight will be here tomorrow.
There are now fifty million refugees in the world today, more than at any time since the end of the Second World War. And at some point, for each one of those people, the world shifted. Their world, solid and predictable, erupted or dissolved into chaos or danger or pain. They realized that they had to run.
You have two minutes to pack. You can only take what you can carry easily. You are going to have to walk a long way. You hope that somewhere, someone is going to take you in. I have started to think of humanity as family: a family that quarrels, but which must, when things get hard, put aside old arguments and divisions, and care for each other. Sometimes someone needs somebody to take them in, and that’s the function of family. It’s time to care.
You have two minutes to run. What will you take with you?
Adelanto Detention Center is Southern California's largest immigration detention facility. And it's about to get bigger.
The facility, owned an operated by the private prison industry leader GEO Group Inc., currently houses 1,300 men. The LA Times reports that it will undergo expansion by an additional 650 beds to include a women's housing unit.
According to The Washington Times, ICE's deputy field office director for enforcement and removal in Los Angeles, David Marin, has said that the move "helps consolidate detention space because beds are expensive and hard to find in cities such as San Francisco." ICE officials also report that "most" detainees at Adelanto have criminal records. But the facility will also house " immigrants with medical needs" and "recently arrived asylum seekers."
This photo, courtesy of GEO Group, shows the current scale of this sprawling detention facility. It's located outside of Victorville
photo by Aletia Image Department
As we told you yesterday, Pope Francis is coming to America. Here's the question tickling in the back of my head: How?
I imagine he needs a visa. Vatican City is notably absent from the list of Visa Waiver Countries.
But what's the proper visa for a head of state? I tried finding the answer in Kurzban's but there's a noticeable absence in the index for "pope" or "head of state."
I'm guessing he would qualify for any number of options. He could perhaps obtain an A visa as an ambassador, a B visa for a tourist or one traveling for business (this would seem to be in keeping with his famous humility), an O visa (he's got the "extraordinary ability" and "international acclaim" down pat), a P visa (which, according to the ambiguous footnote 157 in 4 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 533 (1993) may be a visa a pope once received), or an R visa. Does anyone know for certain what he will likely seek?
And, finally, who is doing his visa work? I'd love to be the immigration law firm who can boast on their website "We represented Pope Francis. We can help you too."
Please, if you know, give us all some insight in the comments below.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
"Nicholas Winton in Prague" by cs:User:Li-sung
On the eve of WW2, Briton Nicholas Winton organized the rescue of 669 children from Czechoslovakia. By his acts, the children, mostly Jewish, were saved from near-certain extermination in Nazi concentration camps.
The NYT has an incredibly moving obituary for Mr. Winton.
Some of the children Mr. Winton saved are still alive today. They and their descendants exceed 6,000.
Mr. Winton was a true hero. He continues to be an inspiration.
Inspired by Harvey Milk's 1978 "come out" speech, immigrants' rights activist and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas is encouraging undocumented immigrants to "come out" of the undocumented closet. As readers of this blog may recall, Vargas famously came out in 2011 a NYT Magazine. As the above picture shows, Vargas was featured with other undocumented Americans in a Time cover story in 2012.
Vargas and his organization, Define American, have launched their "Coming Out" campaign. Vargas notes, "It's time undocumented people and allies come out and share their stories. By doing so, you publicly recognize the humanity of the more than 11 million undocumented Americans who support the immigrant heritage of our nation."
Here's a link to the video: http://bit.ly/da-outfor.
Do you agree that undocumented immigrants should come out and reveal their unauthorized status?
I'll share my thoughts on this question in the next couple of days and blog about the parallels and differences between the LGBT rights movement and immigration justice movement.
photo by Aletia Image Department
Pope Francis is coming to Philadelphia in September. In a speech planned for outside of Independence Hall, the pope will address immigration, "one of his favorite pastoral issues." It will be his first papal visit to the United States.
Pope Francis truly is "The Migrant Pope." His first official trip outside of Rome was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where he said mass in memory of the thousands of North Africans who died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
Pope Francis himself is the son of immigrants who ventured from Italy to settle in Argentina.
One individual interviewed about the pope's visit to the United States expressed hope that the visit would "challenge Christians to look at immigration in a Christian light." That quote reminds me of a great piece that immprof Victor Romero presented at last winter's immigration symposium at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law - “The Prodigal Illegal: Christian Love and Immigration Reform.” We'll be sure to link you to the article when it reaches SSRN.
Theorizing Immigration Control
The injustices that result from immigration governance are glaring. They are so glaring that normative theorizing about such governance may seem, at best, a low priority. At worst, theorizing may seem a way of legitimizing the illegitimate.
Taken too far, this anti-theoretical attitude would be a mistake. There remains a pressing need to resolve political-moral questions concerning immigration governance.
In particular, the standard view that it is morally proper for states to have broad, possibly unfettered, power to control immigration is a root cause of many of the injustices associated with immigration. This view can only be met by attempts, theoretical in nature, to come to grips with the nature and limits of the power to control immigration.
While it suffers from inadequacies, I believe my book – Justice and Authority in Immigration Governance (2015) – makes progress toward a better understanding of what reasonably just immigration governance would look like. Below, I briefly describe the book’s claims in the presumptuous hope of provoking others to engage with the arguments for these claims.
To begin, I do not deny the right to control immigration; although I believe this right resides with states for essentially contingent reasons. Further, this right is not one of “absolute and unqualified” control. Rather, it is a right to exercise judgment regarding whether an immigrant should be admitted or not to a state’s territory.
To command authority, this judgment must be exercised reasonably. It must take account of both would-be migrants’ circumstances as well as the impact immigration will have on a receiving state. If this power of judgment is not exercised reasonably, migrants will have no obligation to obey immigration law, with all the instability this result implies.
Most rich, liberal states pursue unreasonable immigration policies now. Such unreasonableness is made manifest in the overall inegalitarianism of these policies. The tendency of most rich states to admit the well off and exclude (or exercise greater control over) the worse off leads to a disturbing correlation between disadvantage and the likelihood of suffering. Inegalitarian admissions policies are likely also unreasonable in themselves, evincing profound disregard for the situation of worse off migrants and the impact immigration would have on their lives.
What would it be to exercise the power of judgment over immigration reasonably? I propose four principles in my book.
First, any cap on immigration must be set in accordance with considerations of the need to maintain stability and the need to respect members’ legitimate expectations.
Second, under any such cap, priority of admission must be given to the worst off, where being “worst off” is a function of both the absence of rights and economic disadvantage.
Third, immigration policies must avoid second-order injustice; that is, any policy regarding admission or exclusion must not result in or require for their enforcement such blatant injustices as indefinite detention or the use of excessive force.
Fourth, there are certain migrants that states are obligated to admit to citizenship. Those are the migrants who develop a form of allegiance, which I call “juridical integration”, to the rules and principles of justice embodied and guaranteed by a state.
If you have read this far, this summary will have raised more questions than it answers. It has likely provoked skepticism. Good. I believe the principles above will minimize injustice in immigration governance and allow for the reconciliation of both migrants and non-migrants with the social and political world that results. But I also think the arguments in my book are insufficient. Making them more robust is the long-game in addressing the great evils that result from immigration control by states.
Colin Grey (email@example.com) is professeur régulier en droit des migrations at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and a former legal advisor to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canda. His book, Justice and Authority in Immigration Law was published by Hart Publishing earlier this year.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Monday announced the panel of judges who will hear arguments on the merits on the U.S. government's challenge to an injunction halting President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Circuit Judges Carolyn Dineen King, Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Walker Elrod will hear oral arguments in the case on July 10 in New Orleans. Judges Elrod and Smith constituted the majority of the Fifth Circuit panel that denied the government’s motion to stay the injunction in May.
The panel also requested additional briefing pertaining to the state challengers' standing in light of a Supreme Court redistricting ruling issued on the same day.
It is difficult to see how the Obama administration can convince a majority of this panel to lift the injunction. Judges Smith and Elrod seemed adamant in denying the stay that the administration had not established a likelihood of prevailing on the merits.
Overall, it was a pretty tame debate as these things go. Among other things, Rivera said that he thinks the title of her new book, "Adios America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole," is "insulting."
Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic has an interesting article on presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his common sense -- and humane -- views on immigration. Senator Graham, who in the past has supported comprehensive immigration reform with a path to legalization, criticized fellow Republicans in an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival that focused on immigration. Some of his rivals in the race for the GOP nomination have said “mean” things on that subject, he argued, casting immigration restrictionists as political liabilities who share the blame for his party’s loss in 2012 election.
“When I was 21 my mom died,” he said. “When I was 22 my dad died. Neither one of my parents finished high school. We owned a liquor store, a bar, and a pool room. That's why I'm well-qualified to be president. My family was destroyed by illness. I will not destroy families just for the hell of it. And that's what self-deportation is.” (emphasis added).
Senator Graham is distinguishing himself from the other Republican presidential candidates, such as Chris Christie, Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal et al. who generally speaking oppose a path to legalization and call for greater immigration enforcement.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I can't help it. Presidential elections are just a lot of fun. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Who would have guessed that Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and a fully array of characters would declare that they were candidates for the GOP nomination? Now, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, with a personality that is larger than life, has made it official. He is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
An avowed fan of New Jersey native son Bruce Springsteen, Christie once supported a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants but publicly changed his view a few weeks ago as he readied his presidential run. A International Business Times article observes that
"Christie has spent much of his time in office avoiding the issue of immigration. . . . Initially, Christie backed a pathway to citizenship. But that view has become untenable among many Republicans, who call it amnesty as they make an effort to stamp out any of its supporters in the party. In May, Christie shifted his position, saying he no longer backs that pathway. . . . There are still a lot of blanks for Christie to fill in on the issue of immigration. And, since it will be such a hotly contested issue during primary season, there will be many waiting to hear a more lengthy explanation of his views."'
Yesterday, ICE issued new memorandum for regarding the care of transgender detainees. The 18-page memo affirms that ICE will provide "a respectful, safe, and secure environment for all detainees, including those individuals who identify as transgender."
Officers in Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will now give detainees an opportunity to disclose their gender identity, if they choose to do so. And ERO will make "individualized placement determinations to ensure the detainee's safety." That, as Fusion reports, means that individuals may be now housed in detention facilities that match their gender identities.
In addition, the memo calls for the specically-trained LGBTI coordinators and liaisons within the ERO.
The Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteen Amendment guarantees the right to gay marriage in all states will have profound effects not just here in the U.S., but abroad. Immigration authorities already had recognized gay marriage if it was determined it was lawful where it was performed. Previously, the Obama administration recognized the unconstitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The administration’s position was subsequently justified when the high court struck down key provisions of DOMA in 2012 in United States v. Windsor. In that decision, the court held that the Fifth Amendment applied to invalidate provisions of DOMA which sought to confine the federal definition of marriage and spouse to apply solely to heterosexual unions. Only after Windsor did the administration begin officially recognizing gay marriage for immigration purposes. Friday's decision in Obergefell goes even further than Windsor. Now, the Supreme Court has held not just the federal government cannot restrict the definition only to heterosexuals but that all the states must allow homosexual marriages, and importantly must recognize any such marriages which were lawfully entered into in other states (and presumably abroad, although the court’s decision does not explicitly say that). In terms of contiguous countries to the U.S., it is worth noting that Canada has recognized and provided for homosexual marriage for about 10 years now. In 2010, the Supreme Court of Mexico, by a vote of 8-2 upheld the constitutionality of Mexico City’s same-sex marriage law and also later ruled that such marriages were valid throughout the entire country. For purposes of immigration, the fact that all states must allow for and provide homosexual marriages will do away with a major impediment which faced some immigrants who resided in states where such marriages previously were not permitted. Under certain situations immigrants who reside in the U.S. can adjust their status if they are in a bona fide, valid marriage to a U.S. citizen. It is no longer an impediment that they are homosexual and living in the U.S. in a state which doesn’t recognize gay marriage. That said, the decision also affects not just people trying to adjust their status but also people who are applying for certain immigration benefits, such as waivers from the immigration courts and administrative bodies, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Waivers may apply, depending on the type of case, where for example a person has a “qualifying relative” such as a U.S. citizen spouse and can show certain equities exist, such as “extreme hardship” to the qualifying relative. Other important relief may be available, such as lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal, and the recognition of same-sex marriage, although not specifically required by statute to make someone qualified for this type relief, will now be considered by the immigration judge as it relates to the overall equities of the case. Most importantly, as the majority of justices duly recognized in Obergefell, a decision to validate same-sex marriage is not just about the spouses involved, but also about their entire family unit: the son or daughter of same-sex partners can now rest assured that the state will recognize their whole “family” as legitimate. Immigrants who find themselves in immigration proceedings will now be able to point to the Obergefell decision and the immigration authorities will be bound to take into account their entire family. The government now must recognize them as bona fide parents, spouses, and children as a product of a legitimate same-sex marriage.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will celebrate the nation’s 239th birthday by welcoming more than 4,000 new U.S. citizens at over 50 naturalization ceremonies across the country July 1-4.
“As we celebrate Independence Day, we welcome over 4,000 new Americans who will be able to enjoy all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship,” said USCIS Director León Rodríguez. “From Los Angeles to New York, Miami to Seattle, Indianapolis to Los Alamos, these individuals are showing their full commitment to the freedoms, values and ideals that have inspired Americans since the Declaration of Independence in 1776.”
Citizenship candidates will take the Oath of Allegiance at locations including the New York Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago, Seattle Center, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans and the Tower Theater in Miami. This year’s celebration also will feature ceremonies at historic sites such as George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Virginia; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia; and the USS Midway in San Diego, California.
To view a list of 2015 Independence Day naturalization ceremonies, visit uscis.gov/news.
USCIS encourages new citizens and their families and friends to share their ceremony experiences and photos afterward on Twitter and other social media, using the hashtag #newUScitizen.
Monday, June 29, 2015
NBCUniversal has cut its ties with Donald Trump, a recent GOP entrant in the race for the Presidency. NBCUniversal, under pressure from an array of Hispanic and other groups, has announced that it is severing its business ties to Trump. The Miss USA pageant will no longer air on the network. Nor will the Miss Universe pageant. Both pageants were, until now, jointly owned by NBC and Trump.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," the company said in a statement on Monday. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."
Bobby Jindal has only recently joined the presidential race for 2016. But his PAC already has a message on immigration currently airing in Iowa:
If it's too much of a commitment to watch the thirty-second ad, let me summarize: he's tired of "hyphenated Americans," "our immigration system is broken," folks who want to immigrate should do so "legally" "adopt our values" "learn English" and "roll up their sleeves and get to work."
With its decision last week in King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court kept the Affordable Care Act in the news and on the books. On the Insightful Immigration Blog, Cyrus Mehta discusses noncitizen eligibility for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
PEOPLE Magazine Headline: Donald Trump Defends His Immigration Stance Amid Miss Universe Controversy: 'I Don't Have a Racist Bone in My Body'
Aren't Presidential campaigns great? ImmigrationProf over the next two years no doubt will have some fun with the various presidential candidates' positions on immigration. Donald Trump, just in his campaign announcement, sparked a firestorm of immigration controversy. This headline from a People magazine story says it all.
Bobby Jindal looking pensive or confused, you pick!
For a variety of reasons, I have been avoiding any mention on this blog of the latest entrant in the 2016 Presidential race. The American Immigration Council has done a report on where Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, the 13th presidential candidate to formally enter the 2016 presidential race, stands on immigration.
Jindal is the third declared 2016 presidential candidate that is the son of immigrants – the two others being Senators Mario Rubio and Ted Cruz. In his announcement speech, Jindal embraced his own immigrant heritage. A look into his rhetoric and policy positions on key pieces of immigration reform legislation reveals some thoughtful, but missequenced solutions on immigration, as well as a general misunderstanding of executive authority and the nation’s humanitarian obligations to asylum-seekers.