Friday, February 27, 2015

Update on American Samoa Birthright Citizenship Case: Tuaua v. United States

We have previously blogged (here and here) about Tuaua v. United States, the case involving American Samoan individuals who claim that they acquired U.S. citizenship at birth by virtue of being born in American Samoa, a U.S. territory.  In particular, they argue that the plain meaning/ text of the Fourteenth Amendment, congressional intent and case law, particularly United States v. Wong Kim Ark, support their constitutional claim.

Relying primarily on the Insular Cases, Judge Richard Leon of district court for the District of Columbia rejected their claim. In particular, the Insular Cases created a distinction between incorporated territories (territories destined for statehood) and unincorporated territories and provided that only "fundamental" constitutional rights apply in unincorporated territories.  In Tuaua v. United States, 951 F. Supp. 2d 88, 95-97 (D.D.C. June 26, 2013), the court explained that citizenship is not a "fundamental" right in the unincorporated territory of American Samoa.

The case is now before the D.C. Circuit and was argued on February 9, 2015. Here's the link  to the oral argument. 

(Disclosure: I was one of the citizenship law scholars who filed an amicus brief and was represented by Gibson Dunn.  I am also writing a law review article about non-citizen nationals, the abstract of which is available here).

Those interested in birthright citizenship law would find the oral arguments fascinating. Cases mentioned (in addition to the Insular Cases) were United States v. Wong Kim Ark and Elk v. Wilkins.  For me, at least three points/questions stood out:

1) In a conflict between the Citizenship Clause and Congress's power over the territories, which one prevails?

2) The role that cases involving Filipinos' (failed) claims to birthright citizenship are playing in this case. (See, e.g., Nolos v. Holder, 611 F.3d 279 (5th Cir. 2010); Lacap v. INS, 138 F.3d 518 (3d Cir. 1998); Valmonte v. INS, 136 F3d 914 (2d Cir 1998). Indeed, the first question asked by the panel was “What about all those cases in the Philippines [in] various circuits”? Counsel for Tuaua sought to distinguish those cases by contending that the cases were "brought decades years after the Philippines were no longer part of the United States," to which the court noted that the question is "whether at the time of birth, person was entitled to birthright citizenship."

3) Whether citizenship may be rejected. That is, here,  the American Samoan government is opposed to citizenship and prefers national status for its people. By contrast, individual American Samoans desire U.S. citizenship.

I will post more about the above next week. 



February 27, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laura Murrray-Tjan Shows Us, Yet Again, that Immigration Law is Hard

Laura Murray-Tjan

Immprof Laura Murray-Tjan's latest post for HuffPo is: Whoops! The Department of Justice Admits That It Misunderstood U.S. Citizenship Law.

In her piece, Murray-Tjan covers the DOJ's Feb 12, 2015 decision in which the government admits that it had been misreading the legal requirements for legitimation (relevant to derivative citizenship for out-of-wedlock children of USC dads) since 2008.

If you haven't yet read Murray-Tjan's prior post on the 9th Circuit's confusion between COR Part A and COR Part B - you really should. I use that one in class to show that confusion about immigration law isn't just a student issue.

Murray-Tjan's posts remind me of the quote by appellate lawyer John Elwood: “It’s well known that prolonged exposure to the hyper-reticulated Immigration and Nationality Act can actually cause your brain to melt.”

Keep an eye out for future posts by Murray-Tjan. We need someone on the lookout for brainmelt as it happens.


February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Timothy Dugdale: The Constitution and Noncitizens in Two District Court Decisions

Two interesting cases have been decided in the past week at the district court level. In one, L.I. L-R v. Johnson, (DC District) James Boasberg takes ICE to task for using detention as a warning advertisement to Central America that there is no open door to the United States. Particularly vexing for Boasberg was the fact that some woman were being detained even after they had successful "credible fear" interviews that removed them from the dreaded INA 235 track of expedited removal and shunted them on the golden INA 240 rails that pass in front of an IJ, the BIA and perhaps even a court of appeals. Boasberg begins his ruling by discussing the notorious 2014 DHS memorandum that set up the detention strategy he found so failing. One would think that if the DHS is tinkering with the expedited removal system, that system would be open to judicial review regardless of AILA v. Reno (DC Circuit 1999).

The second case, Maca v. US Attorney, illuminates why the expedited removal statute as it's written is pretty diabolical. Mr. Maca lived continuously, albeit illegally, in the United States for 16 years. He made a trip to Mexico and tried to get back into the country using a fraudulent ID. He was rewarded with an expedited removal. Unfazed, he quickly snuck back into the States and resumed his life with four US citizen children. Years later, he was found out when he went to inquire about securing a work permit. Maca filed a writ of mandamus demanding that DHS adjudicate a cancellation of removal petition. He contended he met all the requirements for such relief.

The judge was unconvinced. "…the placement of the cancellation provisions within § 1229 suggests that Congress likely intended to make cancellation relief available only to those aliens receiving the full procedural protections of a formal removal proceeding, while aliens subject to expedited removal receive only those protections afforded them in § 1225—which severely restricts procedural safeguards and limits the judicial review of expedited removal determinations."

It should be noted that any alien apprehended inside the US who can prove he or she has been continuously present for two years receives an INA 240/1229 proceeding. At the border, Maca was assimilated as an "arriving alien" and he had no game on any of the three prongs found at 1252(e)(2)(A-C). 1252(e)(5) bars judicial inquiry into whether he was eligible for relief although in Kabenga v. Holder (SD New York 2015), the judge stomped all over 1252(e)(5) so she could determine if the petitioner was in fact admissible. Judge Gordon delves deeper into the Kafka-esque dilemma.

8 C.F.R. § 1240.20(a) provides that an application for cancellation of removal shall be submitted on Form EOIR-42, "Application for Cancellation of Removal." Because Maca would apply for cancellation as a nonpermanent resident, the form he must use is Form EOIR-42B.40 The form provides that an applicant is eligible for cancellation only if "[p]rior to the service of the Notice to Appear, [he has] maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for ten (10) years or more."41 A Notice to Appear is filed in order to commence formal removal proceedings before an IJ.42 An alien subject to expedited removal never receives a Notice to Appear. As a result, an alien subject to expedited removal would never qualify for cancellation based on the application form required by the Secretary of Homeland Security's regulations because he could never calculate the period of his physical presence in the United States with reference to the date of service of his Notice to Appear.

If Boumediene and the functional approach to alien rights articulated by Justice Kennedy are now the supreme control over habeas, including the immigration context, this case illustrates why the expedited system is unconstitutional. Maca did not get the due process he was due because the system as it's cravenly built won't let him get it.

"Without any right to cancellation, Maca cannot make a showing as to any of the standing elements, including injury, causation, or redressibility.43 Accordingly, he has failed to establish that he has standing to bring claims premised on defendants' alleged failure to adjudicate his application for cancellation."

Timothy Dugdale, Ph.D. Atomic Quill Media

February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Jennifer J. Lee, Outsiders Looking in: Advancing the Immigrant Worker Movement Through Strategic Mainstreaming

Jennifer J. Lee, Outsiders Looking in: Advancing the Immigrant Worker Movement Through Strategic Mainstreaming, Utah Law Review


The immigrant worker movement faces the age-old problem of social movements: whether change should be pursued from the inside or outside. Shaped by dominant cultural norms, the current legal framework generally disadvantages immigrant workers. They suffer from workplace exploitation, anti-immigrant hostility, and exclusion. By examining the interplay between law and culture, this Article offers a unique perspective on how immigrant workers have the power to change law through cultural narratives. Change pursued from the inside by immigrant workers, community advocates, and public interest attorneys has more immediately provided positive results for immigrant workers. They have done so by mainstreaming immigrant workers with cultural narratives that emphasize their identity as workers who contribute to society and as victims of criminal employers. Such mainstreaming, however, is potentially fraught with well-known perils, which can include the creation of stereotypes and classes of outsiders while obscuring the need for fundamental change. On the other hand, while a transformative or even more radical narrative of universal rights and global citizenship might provide for a more normative ideal, it can be excessively utopian or antagonistic. Presented with this dilemma, the immigrant worker movement must determine how to best advance its agenda. I suggest that the use of “strategic mainstreaming” – mainstream cultural narratives that are owned, shaped, and cleverly deployed by immigrant workers – can best promote the legal rights of immigrant workers and their inclusion into society. This approach corresponds to a vision of advocacy that respects the voice of subordinated individuals and communities, which maximizes empowerment and solidarity while minimizing the damage created by aligning with dominant elites. At the same time, it offers a way that immigrant workers can achieve success, often through the use of multifaceted advocacy with local mainstream institutions. Over time, the hope is that strategic mainstreaming will not only create increased familiarity with immigrants as societal members but also increase their political power.



February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will DHS Shut Down?

Congress remains working on a Department of Homeland Security appropriations measure.  


February 27, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

New H4 Regs in Meme Format

Yesterday, I posted about the new H4 regs, which will grant work authorization to certain spouses of H1B holders.

Today, I bring you the meme response:


Thank you, internet.


February 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Matthew Kolken reports: ICE not honoring prosecutorial discretion

Cute baby meme below notwithstanding, immigration attorney Matthew Kolken reports that ICE is no longer honoring the government's November 20, 2014 memos on prosecutorial discretion when making detention decisions. Kolken quotes a circulation from the AILA Carolinas Chapter that: "ICE has been given the instructions NOT to take into consideration DACA or DAPA eligibility in... detention decisions."

If this is true, it's very troubling. It would be one thing to not take into account DAPA eligibility at this time. Judge Hansen's injunction puts that program on hold for the time being. Although, a generous approach would be to put DAPA cases in a holding pattern, until the courts decide the final outcome of the case.

DACA is a different thing altogether. "Original" DACA has not been challenged. If ICE is failing to consider DACA issues in making detention decisions, that seems to be in contravention of the prior stated policy.

The bottom line is this: Hansen's decision doesn't just affect people in the shadows who cannot come forward to obtain relief. It's having an effect on people already in the system who may have been flagged as eligible for potential relief but who are now facing detention.



February 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Divided We Stand: Constitutionalizing Executive Immigration Reform Through Subfederal Regulation by Bianca M Figueroa-Santana

Divided We Stand: Constitutionalizing Executive Immigration Reform Through Subfederal Regulation by Bianca M Figueroa-Santana, Columbia University Law School,  Columbia Law Review, 2015

Abstract: The narrative is by now familiar: Faced with congressional deadlock and a “Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws,” states have taken up the reins of immigration regulation. Yet, state action tells only half the story behind our current immigration landscape. In the past decade, while states busily legislated, President Barack Obama muscularly deployed executive power to reorient national immigration policy by implementing Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

While the constitutionality of Obamian immigration reform has garnered considerable scholarly interest, less attention has been paid its human implications. For DACA beneficiaries and their allies, erudite curiosity about DACA’s doctrinal standing is crucial only insofar as it sheds light on the fate of millions of noncitizens who have come to rely on DACA for their dignity, livelihood, future, and freedom. Accordingly, this Note assesses the likelihood that noncitizen DACA beneficiaries will continue to enjoy the benefits and entitlements of deferred action after the Obama Administration cedes power. It argues that Obama’s deferred-action strategy has whittled a vital entrée for states into the world of immigration policy such that state power must be considered in assessing the durability and constitutionality of DACA and its attendant benefits and presents a strategy for incorporating state power into traditional analyses of presidential power.

Part I opens with a brief history of immigration federalism. Part I.A.1 traces fluctuations in state and federal immigration power from the preconstitutional era to the present and problematizes the myth of federal exclusivity. Part I.A.2 describes the momentous shift in constitutional immigration power to the subfederal level that has taken place during the Obama administration. Part II argues that a return to subfederal immigration reform is preferable to renewed federal dominance and possible under the Supreme Court’s most recent immigration jurisprudence and reveals ways in which integrationist states can use their newfound power to entrench policies such as DACA. Part III locates Obamian immigration reform, and deferred action in particular, within the traditional Youngstown framework, incorporating federalist principles into the Youngstown schema as a means of weighing state power in the constitutional balance. Ultimately, this Note argues that subfederal political support, if carefully cultivated and deftly maneuvered, can succeed in ratifying Obamian immigration reform, both within the Youngstown framework and as a matter of popular constitutionalism.


February 26, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Immigrant of the Day: Julissa Arce (Mexico) -- From Undocumented Immigrant to Goldman Sachs Master of the Universe

This Bloomberg Business article ("How an Undocumented Immigrant From Mexico Became a Star at Goldman Sachs") profiles our Immigrant of the Day, Julissa Arce who went from selling funnel cakes in Texas to derivatives at Wall Street’s most profitable securities firm


February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Towards Alternate Approaches for Assessing Domestic Violence Asylum Claims by Alvin Santos

Towards Alternate Approaches for Assessing Domestic Violence Asylum Claims by Alvin Santos South Texas College of Law December 17, 2014

Abstract: This paper is divided into three main sections. The first section will briefly describe the elements for establishing an asylum claim. The second section will then layout the difficulties of recognizing domestic violence asylum claims and highlight current proposals in the academic literature for addressing the problem of inconsistencies in the application of the law, and offer a critique of those proposals. The final section will put forward two ideas of alternate approaches for assessing domestic violence asylum claims. One is to regard domestic violence as the same as involuntary sterilization and the other, is to see domestic violence as persecution as a matter of binding customary international law.


February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Report: Intersecting Inequalities: Research to Reduce Inequality for Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth


As the proportion of our nation’s children of immigrant origins increases, new research is essential to understand and intervene in shifting patterns of disparity.

Over 40 million (approximately 12.5 percent) of people residing in this country are foreign born, and 25 percent of children under the age of 18, a total of 18.7 million children, have an immigrant parent. And while many immigrant-origin youth successfully acclimate to their new land, faring as well as or even better than their native same-ethnicity peers, others face significant challenges in their educational and psychosocial adaptation. Most at risk are youth at the intersection of multiple types of disadvantage, namely low parent education and employment, poverty, newcomer status, language barriers, racialization, and undocumented status.

In “Intersecting Inequalities: Research to Reduce Inequality for Immigrant-Origin Children and Youth,” Carola Suárez-Orozco and colleagues explore how inequality plays out along these six dimensions of disadvantage particular to immigrant-origin families, outline how developments in educational and family contexts can alleviate unequal outcomes and opportunities, and introduce four broad areas of future research that may inform policies, programs, and practices to reduce inequality for immigrant-origin children and youth.


February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The conservative case for DACA: The intriguing legal theory you won’t hear on Fox News


Michael Kagan in Salon poses a challenges to liberals defending the President's expanded deferred action program:

"Herein lies an opportunity to defend DACA and DAPA by taking a page from the conservative playbook. President Obama’s immigration actions should be understood as sensible measures to move power out of the hands of unaccountable civil servants, and return it to democratically elected officials. They are justifiable efforts to prevent a public sector union from hijacking public policy."


February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Regs Out to End the "Curse" of the H4

In May 2014, the Obama Administration announced a plan to allow spouses of H1-B holders to work while living in the US. We've been watching the Obama administration's progress towards ameliorating the "cursed" status of H4 spouses.

Now the regs out out! Starting May 26, 2015, certain H4 spouses will be eligible to work.

H4 work authorization is tied to whether the H1B spouse is seeking LPR status and has either: (i) an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140), or (ii)  H1B status under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.

The goals of the new program are to:

reduce personal and economic burdens faced by H-1B nonimmigrants and eligible H-4 dependent spouses during the transition from nonimmigrant to LPR status. The final rule will also support the goals of attracting and retaining highly skilled foreign workers and minimizing the disruption to U.S. businesses resulting from H-1B nonimmigrants who choose not to pursue LPR status in the United States. By providing the possibility of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses, the rule will ameliorate certain disincentives for talented H-1B nonimmigrants to permanently remain in the United States and continue contributing to the U.S. economy as LPRs. This is an important goal considering the contributions such individuals make to entrepreneurship and research and development, which are highly correlated with overall economic growth and job creation. The rule also will bring U.S. immigration policies concerning this class of highly skilled workers more in line with those of other countries that are also competing to attract and retain similar highly skilled workers.

For a less rosy look at H4 spouses (and the family violence that can result from their "tied" immigrant status - something these regs do not change), do check out immprof Sabrina Balgamwalla's article Bride and Prejudice.


February 25, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

US measles outbreak not linked to undocumented immigration, top U.S. health official says


Lauren Gambino for The Guardian reports that a top U.S. government health official earlier this week attempted to dispel claims of a link between the recent measles outbreak and undocumnted immigration to the United States.

Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said there was no evidence to support claims that measles is being imported into the country by undocumented immigrants. Most commonly, she said, measles reaches the US through unvaccinated Americans who travel to Europe or Asia. She said further  that "the Americas was the first region to actually eliminate measles. . . . In fact, the year’s outbreak, associated with the Disney park, the US exported measles virus to Mexico. So we see the virus unfortunately going the other direction.”

There have been 154 confirmed cases of measles in the US this year, a majority of them linked to initial exposure at California’s Disneyland theme park. According to the CDC, 17 states and Washington DC have reported cases of the disease. Canada and Mexico have also reported cases stemming from the Disneyland outbreak.

Some anti-immigration reform advocates have tried to force a connection between measles and immigration. Last year, during the height of public concern over Ebola, health officials were forced to debunk claims that undocumented children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America were carrying the disease, which was affecting countries in west Africa.

Schuchat responded to such claims before a Senate health committee earlier this month, telling lawmakers the current measles outbreak could most likely be traced back to a strain that came from the Philippines, which saw its immunization structure destroyed by a typhoon in 2013.


February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)


Roberto-gonzales-102142 Steven-raphael_200_280_80

THE RUSSELL SAGE FOUNDATION JOURNAL OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION: EFFECTS OF POLICY ON THE EXPERIENCE OF ILLEGALITY Edited by Roberto G. Gonzales, Graduate School of Education Harvard University, and Steven Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy University of California, Berkeley

Roughly one-third of the foreign-born population residing in the United States is unauthorized, totaling nearly twelve million individuals. In the absence of sweeping changes in federal immigration law, various policies in the United States effectively relegate the unauthorized to a secondary status, with labor market opportunities limited to low-wage jobs and informal employment and binding restrictions to social mobility for both adults and children. However, while tighter border enforcement has made it more likely for undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States once here, the current period has been marked by record levels of deportations. High deportation levels, aggressive prosecution for immigration violations in federal courts, and increasing cooperation between local and federal authorities in enforcing immigration law have likely pushed undocumented immigrants further out on the margins of their communities and isolated them from many formal public institutions. And in the absence of federal immigration reform, states and municipalities have been left to craft their own proposed solutions. Taken together, current policies and practices have shaped the everyday experiences and a range of outcomes of a relatively large and settled population of undocumented immigrants. However, these individuals do not live in isolation, and these practices have also had ripple effects on their citizen spouses and children, legal resident relatives, native-born, co-ethnics, and their neighbors and co-workers.

In this special issue of RSF we will assemble an interdisciplinary team of researchers employing a wide range of methodologies to explore the effects of federal, state, and local policy on the experience of illegality in the United States in its multiple domains. In particular, the authors will investigate the effects of illegality on various pathways to social mobility and the barriers created by this status to full civic participation in the country's institutions.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for papers.

Anticipated Timeline

Prospective contributors should submit a CV and an abstract (up to two pages in length, single or double spaced) of their study along with up to two pages of supporting material (e.g., tables, figures, pictures, etc.) no later than 5 PM EST on May 15, 2015 to:

All submissions must be original work that has not been previously published in part or in full. Only abstracts submitted to will be considered. Each paper will receive a $1,000 honorarium when the issue is published. The journal issue is being edited by Roberto G. Gonzales, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, and Steven Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley. All questions regarding this issue should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at and not to the email addresses of the editors of the special issue.

A conference will take place at RSF in New York City on October 2, 2015. The selected contributors will gather for a one-day workshop to present draft papers (due on September 9, 2015, a month prior to the conference) and receive feedback from the other contributors and editors. Travel costs, food, and lodging will be covered by the foundation. Papers will be circulated before the conference. After the conference, the authors will submit their revised drafts. The papers will then be sent out to two additional scholars for formal peer review. Having received feedback from reviewers and the RSF board, authors will revise their papers. The full and final issue will be published in the late 2016. Papers will be published open access on the RSF website as well as in several digital repositories, including JSTOR.

Please click here for a full description of the topics covered in this call for papers.


February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Recap of Oral Arguments in Kerry v. Din: Review of consular visa decisions for the twenty-first century



Ed Kneedler arguing Kerry v. Din 

Drawing Courtesy of (Al Lien)

Here is my recap and analysis of the oral arguments yesterday in Kerry v. Din, which has been the subject of a considerable amount of commentary on ImmigrationProf blog.  

Ed Kneedler of the Office of the Solicitor General took a "take-no-prisoners" approach to defending the doctrine of consular nonreviewability and repeatedly invoked the Cold Warrior cases of Knauff (1950) and Mezei (1953) (an approach that Chuck Roth thoughtfully commented upon here), which law professors love to hate.  Mark Haddad for Fauzia Din took a more measured approach calling for the Court to apply its decision in Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972) and affirm the court of appeals decision allowing for narrow judicial review of visa denials by consular officers.

My bottom line:  A 5-4 Court applies Mandel to the facts of this case.  However, it is far from certain whether the Court will find that the visa denial in this case satisfied the facially legitimate and bona fide requirement of Mandel.



February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

DHS Funding in Limbo, New Rep Plan in the Works?


The stalemate over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security continues, with Republicans pushing for the nuclear option on the President's executive actions on immigration and Democrats defeating those attempts. Elise Foley on Huffington Post reports that the Senate has a plan to break the standstill on DHS funding.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Monday that the chamber will vote on a stand-alone bill to block President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions. That bill will be separate from funding for DHS, at risk of shutting down after Feb. 27 because of the impasse over whether funding legislation should include measures to block Obama's immigration actions. If Republicans move next to vote on a DHS funding bill without those riders, a DHS shutdown could be averted.  It remains unclear whether conservative lawmakers would be open to such a strategy.

McConnell announced the plan for a stand-alone bill after Senate Democrats for the fourth time blocked a House-passed bill that would fund DHS and stop an array of Obama's immigration policies.

For further analysis from The Hill, click here.


February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Carrie L. Rosenbaum, The Role of Equality Principles in Preemption Analysis of Sub-Federal Immigration Laws: The California TRUST Act


Carrie L. Rosenbaum, The Role of Equality Principles in Preemption Analysis of Sub-Federal Immigration Laws: The California TRUST Act, Chapman Law Review (2015)   Download The Role of Equality Principles in Preemption Analysis of Sub-federal Immigration Laws

Secure Communities, and now the Obama Administration’s Priority Enforcement Program, incentivize local law enforcement officers to potentially misuse their discretion in enforcement of criminal law to identify those they suspect of being unauthorized migrants. TRUST Acts evolved in part as an attempt to curtail the possibility of such abuses of discretion by limiting local law enforcement’s ability to detain individuals beyond their original criminal incarceration pursuant to Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold requests. The question of whether federal immigration law preempts state and local legislation related to immigration law has primarily focused on anti-immigrant measures. In this article however, I address preemption of immigrant integrative sub-federal immigration laws like California’s TRUST Act, which may decrease the harms caused by potentially racially imbued discretionary sub-federal policing. Specifically, I contend that federal immigration law does not preempt TRUST Acts, particularly when assessed in light of equality principles. With little likelihood of comprehensive federal immigration reform, sub-federal entities will likely continue to create measures relating to immigration law. It may be possible that integrative ones have a stronger basis in the law than those that are anti-immigrant.


February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supporting Immigrant Integration in Europe: What Role for Origin Countries' Subnational Authorities?


A new Migration Policy Institute Europe report, Supporting Immigrant Integration in Europe: What Role for Origin Countries’ Subnational Authorities?, examines the efforts that a number of major migrant-sending countries—including Morocco, Turkey, and Mexico—have undertaken to promote the successful integration of their immigrants abroad. The report is part of the INTERACT research initiative co-financed by the European Commission, which is examining to what extent policies in EU Member States and origin countries complement or contradict each other with regards to immigrant integration.

The substantial role that subnational authorities in EU Member States play in the governance of migrant integration is widely recognized. Regional and local authorities in Member States have control over the implementation and delivery of a wide array of integration-related services. However, while much is known about integration at the subnational level in receiving countries, little is known about the role of corresponding authorities in migrant-sending countries.

A number of major migrant-sending countries (including Morocco, Turkey, and Mexico) have started to promote the successful integration of their immigrants abroad, with the expectation that successfully integrated immigrants have more to offer their countries of origin. Until now, the substantial diaspora engagement measures seen most often at the national level have overshadowed activities at the regional and local level. But as a significant number of these countries undergo decentralization reforms and make efforts to strengthen local governance, the role of subnational authorities in supporting migrants begins to take on a new meaning.

This MPI Europe report represents the first attempt to investigate how the activities of origin countries' regional and local institutions may improve the lives of emigrants to Member States of the European Union. It discusses relevant obstacles as well as opportunities for sending-country cities, regional political entities, and federated states in the design and implementation of policy measures to improve the trajectories of migrants. The report also underscores the importance of international cooperation at the subnational level—specifically city-to-city partnerships—focusing on well-established migration corridors in Europe with the assumption that historical links or geographic proximity can make cooperation easier.


February 24, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Help a Domestic Violence Survivor and Mother Who Faces Deportation

Stand with nan-hui

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Asian Law Caucus is seeking to support Nan-Hui Jo, a survivor of domestic violence, who may be just days away from permanent separation from her six-year-old daughter.

Please sign this petition asking that ICE Field Director, Craig Meyer, use prosecutorial discretion and drop ICE's case against Ms. Jo.

For the past seven months, Nan-Hui has been separated from her child and continues to be detained at Yolo County Jail in Woodland, CA. In 2009, Nan-Hui fled with her child to South Korea, her home country, after physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her then-partner and child's father.

On two occasions in August 2009 and October 2009, Nan-Hui called the police in Sacramento after her child's father physically abused her. After Nan-Hui left her child's father, he reported her for kidnapping. In July 2014, when she returned to the United States, she immediately was arrested for alleged child abduction.

Nan-Hui is also a victim of ICE's systematic deportation apparatus that has deported over 2 million individuals during President Obama's administration. Nan-Hui's case highlights the dysfunction within ICE, which forcibly separates 1,100 families a day.


February 23, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)