Saturday, September 20, 2014
The Family That Is Counted Together Stays Together: How To Eliminate Immigrant Visa Backlogs By Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta offers a quick fix that President Obama could implement toeliminate immigrant visa backlogs that require prospective immigrants to wait many years to come lawfully to the United States:
"There is nothing in the Immigration and Nationality Act that requires each derivative family member to be counted on an individual basis against the worldwide and country caps. That being so, President Obama tomorrow can issue an executive order providing that this long-established practice be stopped. That single stroke of the pen would revolutionize United States immigration policy and, at long last, restore balance and fairness to a dysfunctional immigration system badly in need of both. If all members of a family are counted together as one unit, rather than as separate and distinct individuals, systemic visa retrogression will quickly become a thing of the past."
Asylum Access Ecuador won a landmark victory last week when Ecuador’s Constitutional Court struck down key provisions of a restrictive refugee law.
Since 2012, Decree 1182 has imposed serious barriers for refugees seeking safety in Ecuador, including a requirement that refugees file paperwork within 15 days of arrival – often just days after receiving a death threat or seeing a family member murdered. The decree also required refugees to prove they were individually targeted for persecution, rather than fleeing generalized violence.
Most refugees were unaware of the 15-day filing requirement, and the government provided no notice at the border. Refugees who failed to file on time were denied legal status, leaving them unable to work and at risk of deportation back to sometimes life-threatening danger.
With the September 15 decision, refugees now have three months to file petitions for legal status, and 15 to 30 days to appeal a denial (up from 3 to 5 days under Decree 1182). Friday’s decision also extends protection to refugees fleeing generalized violence, reinstating a legal definition set forth in the Cartagena Declaration, a regional human rights document.
Posted: 09/09/2014 12:44 pm EDT Updated: 09/09/2014 12:59 pm EDT Share 49 Tweet 6 Email 15 Comment 0 Share on Google+ With Maksim Wynn, Analyst at the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center This post is the executive summary of a longer report released by the UCLA North American Integration and Development Center. Download the full report for more in-depth and econometric analyses. Although violence in Central America contributes to teh migration, America's economic revovery is playing an important role.
Residential segregation is one of the most visible side effects of urbanization and immigration. While ethnic enclaves can provide important social and economic resources for newcomers, such segregation can become problematic if it persists across generations and is associated with indicators of disadvantage.
A pair of reports from the Migration Policy Institute’s Transatlantic Council on Migration addresses segregation, which occurs for a number of reasons ranging from housing market discrimination to decisions on the part of the majority population about where to live.
In Residential Segregation: A Transatlantic Analysis, sociologist John Iceland explains that immigration-related segregation may differ from the segregation of long-standing minorities. New arrivals often settle in ethnic enclaves because of social networks that lead them there, but they (or their children) may move on once they have improved their socioeconomic status and learned about other neighborhoods. Sometimes, however, immigrant families become stuck in isolated communities with lower-quality housing and limited opportunities, exacerbating other problems such as poor health or unemployment.
The report examines policies to address residential segregation, which fall into two main categories: those that seek to reduce segregation directly, such as housing-related interventions; and those that target integration more broadly by attempting to improve socioeconomic outcomes or nurturing relations between groups. A central difference between the United States and Europe, Iceland notes, has been that U.S. policymakers focus on providing people with the tools to escape disadvantaged neighborhoods, while European policymakers seek to improve these neighborhoods.
A second report, Rotterdam: A Long-Time Port of Call and Home to Immigrants, points out that the city has been at the forefront of thinking about how to reduce residential segregation, as well as to improve social cohesion and bolster socioeconomic outcomes for immigrants. The authors, Han Entzinger and Godfried Engbersen of Erasmus University, argue that the recent rise in temporary forms of migration to Rotterdam presents new challenges for a city integration policy that has traditionally focused on permanent residents. To ensure the successful integration of the city’s long-term and temporary migrant populations, they conclude, Rotterdam will have to improve the quality of its housing and educational offerings, as well as invest in new industries and jobs.
These reports conclude the MPI Transatlantic Council on Migration series, “Cities and Regions: Reaping Migration’s Local Dividends.” Earlier reports in the series and a conclusory Council Statement can be found here.
CLINIC has issued this helpful FAQ on the The Impact of Unaccompanied Children on Local Communities - Frequently Asked Questions.
Rodrigo Dominguez Villegas analyzes the dangers of modern Central American migration. Mexico has long been accused of turning a blind eye to Central American migrants traveling through the country en route to the United States. With the recent unaccompanied child migration crisis garnering major U.S. public and policymaker attention, the trains that have served as unofficial conduits for some of this migration have come under scrutiny, prompting the Mexican government to take action. As many as half a million Central American immigrants annually hop aboard freight trains colloquially known as “La Bestia,” or the beast, on their journey to the United States. The cargo trains, which run along multiple lines, carry products north for export. As there are no passenger railcars, migrants must ride atop the moving trains, facing physical dangers that range from amputation to death if they fall or are pushed. Beyond the dangers of the trains themselves, Central American migrants are subject to extortion and violence at the hands of the gangs and organized-crime groups that control the routes north.
The startling and disturbing fact is that two-thirds of the world's refugee population lives in an intractable state of limbo, currently spending an average of 20 years in exile. Traditionally, host governments have responded to refugee influxes and long-term displacement through encampment policies and/or the restriction of human rights, taking the view that if human rights are acknowledged and if refugees are permitted to work legally, they will disrupt labor markets and social systems. This assumption is not supported by the facts, and the result of restricting work rights in policy and practice has meant that the skills, capacities and potential economic contributions of refugees have been greatly overlooked.
Asylum Access and the Refugee Work Rights Coalition recently released the report, "Global Refugee Work Rights Report: Taking the Movement from Theory to Practice" which debunks popular misconceptions surrounding work rights, offering compelling legal and economic arguments to extend refugees the right to access formal labor markets.
The Member States of the United Nations by September 2015 will have negotiated a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are ambitious in their sweep, focused on ending poverty and hunger, combating climate change, making cities more sustainable, and improving health and education. These goals will frame the United Nations' post-2015 development agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire at the end of 2015. While the MDGs did not contain any target setting on migration and development, a draft of the SDGs produced by an Open Working Group composed of UN Member States does include a focus on improving the quality of the migration process within the broader goal of reducing inequality within and among countries.
In Integrating Migration into the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda, author Lars Johan Lönnback examines the role of migration within the development agenda, suggesting that inclusion of clear migration targets could provide substantial benefits to the world’s 232 million migrants as well as their children.
Check out the SF Immigrant Film Festival 2014. Sit back and enjoy 3 Short Movie Marathons:
Saturday, Oct.4 at La Peña Cultural Center - Berkeley
Sun. Oct. 5 at Mission Cultural Center, MCCLA-San Francisco
Thursday, Oct. 9 at City College of San Francisco, Mission Campus
A new report from the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth, examines the impact of DACA and potential future DREAM Act-like education attainment provisions on unauthorized immigrant youth. The report provides a sociodemographic snapshot of the population and adult education system capacity, and explores the education-success challenges for three key DACA subgroups: individuals under age 19, those 19 or older without a high school diploma or GED, and those 19 and older with a high school diploma or GED as a terminal degree. It concludes with recommendations for actions that policymakers; leaders in the secondary, postsecondary, adult education, and workforce training fields; and other stakeholders can take to support educational attainment by these youth.
Joe Palazzolo of the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit appears to be copying and pasting the wrong legal standard into some of its opinions in immigration cases.:
"Last year, the New York court received 17% of the 7,225 appeals nationwide challenging decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest administrative immigration court. Brian Soucek, a professor at U.C. Davis School of Law, found in a 2012 study that the New York court had repeated, verbatim, a legal standard that he believed was misleading in a dozen unpublished orders involving asylum claims from 2008 to 2012. Mr. Soucek said in an interview that the Second Circuit stopped copying and pasting the legal standard for a stretch after his paper was published, but then the language reappeared in three more cases this year."
This book offers a comprehensive portrait of French and American journalists in action as they grapple with how to report and comment on one of the most important issues of our era. Drawing on interviews with leading journalists and analyses of an extensive sample of newspaper and television coverage since the early 1970s, Rodney Benson shows how the immigration debate has become increasingly focused on the dramatic, emotion-laden frames of humanitarianism and public order. Yet even in an era of global hypercommercialism, Benson also finds enduring French-American differences related to the distinctive societal positions, professional logics, and internal structures of their journalistic fields. In both countries, less commercialized media tend to offer the most in-depth, multi-perspective, and critical news. Benson challenges classic liberalism's assumptions about state intervention's chilling effects on the press, suggests costs as well as benefits to the current vogue in personalized narrative news, and calls attention to journalistic practices that can help empower civil society. This book offers new theories and methods for sociologists and media scholars and fresh insights for journalists, policy makers, and concerned citizens.
Here is a review.
Maria Echaveste, the policy and program development director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, has been nominated by President Obama to become the United States’ next ambassador to Mexico. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to hold the post.
From 1998 to 2001, Echaveste served as assistant to President Bill Clinton and his deputy chief of staff, overseeing issues relating to Mexico and Latin America. More recently, she served as the nation’s special representative to Bolivia from 2009-10 In September 2010, Echaveste joined the board of the U.S./Mexico Foundation to help develop its Mexican-American Leadership Initiative, aiming to engage Americans of Mexican descent to engage constructively with Mexican organizations.
Echaveste is a graduate of both UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
Immigration Article of the Day: Bordering by Law: The Migration of Law, Crimes, Sovereignty, and the Mail by Judith Resnik
Bordering by Law: The Migration of Law, Crimes, Sovereignty, and the Mail by Judith Resnik, Yale University - Law School 2014 J. Resnick, Bordering by Law: The Migration of Law, Crimes, Sovereignty, and the Mail, Nomos Publishing. 2015, Forthcoming Yale Law School, Public Law Research Paper Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 509
Abstract: Law is filled with segmented narratives. The literature mapping the illegalization of the migration of peoples does not reference that many borders have become readily traversable, if not invisible, through the legalization and internationalization of subsidized mail services by cooperative government efforts. And, while the politics of migration are much debated, the post is infrequently acknowledged as either a political or a legal site. I bring together these domains not to equate the migration of persons and families with the movement of objects but rather to clarify how reliant on border crossings we are. My argument is that neither law nor land is readily bordered, and that depending on borders (alien/citizen, federal/state) as justifications for legal rules deflects attention from two major shifts during the last two centuries: one imagining the globe as a “single postal territory” and the other turning migration into a crime. In pursuit of both, governments expanded their repertoires and capacities as providers of services – from forwarding mail to patrolling borders. This century’s questions are whether political will can be marshaled to undo the criminalization of migration and the stigmatization of migrants and to sustain states as central sources of social ordering generating redistributive exchanges respectful of individual liberty and aiming to enhance equality. My aim is to invite attention to the utilities of government and to the project of shifting normalcies so as to probe whether states’ coordination to facilitate movements of persons seeking to cross boundaries could become a taken-for-granted government service, akin to state-subsidized inter-jurisdictional, cooperative postal systems – which are now at risk of becoming historic relics of bygone eras when governments were central.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has compiled resources for advocates working with Unaccompanied Immigrant Children (“UAC”) and includes general resources for working with and representing the UAC population, immigration options for UACS, laws affecting UACs, overview of the immigration detention and deportation process for immigrant children, and legal know your rights for children.