Sunday, July 23, 2017
Saturday, July 22, 2017
From Yahoo News:
When attorney Cesar Vargas first met his teenage client Ivan Ruiz, a newly arrived undocumented immigrant from Honduras, he noticed Ruiz seemed to wear the weight of his traumatic childhood on his sleeve.
Ruiz, 15 at the time, rarely spoke, returning questions about his life in Honduras with long stares and heavy nods. It was only over the course of a year that Vargas would learn the extent of abuse Ruiz suffered while living with extended family members after his parents immigrated to the United States for a better life. Ruiz was barely fed, forced to work long hours and beaten ― even whipped with tire rubber ― as punishment.
The abuse became too much to bear. After trekking through Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, Ruiz crossed the border into the United States in spring 2016. His journey wasn’t over, though, and a year ago he was ordered to appear in immigration court.
With Vargas’ help, Ruiz recently won a life-changing victory: He was granted asylum. He now spends his days in summer school, soaking up new English words and the novelty of life with only low-stakes, teenage worries. He recently took two girls to the prom and is delicately balancing the affections of another. He is looking forward to the day when he can join a Manhattan-based soccer league, but the $180 joining fee is currently too steep.
His case is remarkable for two reasons. At 16, Ruiz is representative of a class of highly vulnerable undocumented minors living under a presidential administration that is pushing people like him out. Even more remarkable is the person who helped get Ruiz to this point ― his lawyer, who also happens to be New York state’s first openly undocumented attorney. Read more....
We have but another DREAM Act proposal. Earlier this week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the DREAM Act of 2017 in the U.S. Senate. The bill provides legal status, as well as a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth who entered the United States before the age of 18.
The Dream Act, if passed into law, will allow young immigrants who have called the United States home for most of their lives to begin to realize their full potential and know the sense of security that comes with living with documentation.
The Dream Act was first introduced in 2001 and has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but has yet to pass into law.
Reuters reports (and here and here) that federal immigration authorities agents are planning nationwide raids next week to arrest, among others, teenagers who entered the country without guardians and are suspected gang members
The raids are set to begin on Sunday and continue through Wednesday, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters. (I am looking for the memo.) The teenagers targeted will be 16- and 17-years-old. According to Reuters, "The raids represent a sharp departure from practices during the presidency of Barack Obama. Under Obama, minors could be targeted for deportation if they had been convicted of crimes, but were not arrested simply for suspected gang activity or membership."
Earlier this week, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement announced that ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a total of 123 criminal aliens and immigration violators in Central and South Texas during an eight-day enforcement action which ended Wednesday. During the July 10-19 operation, ERO officers made arrests in the following Central and South Texas cities: Austin (13), Waco (3), Harlingen (44), Laredo (27) and San Antonio (36). Of those arrested, 115 were men; eight were women. According to ICE, all the persons arrested had prior criminal convictions. The majority of those arrested, 93, had criminal histories that included convictions for the following crimes: aggravated assault, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, cocaine possession, fraud, driving under the influence (DUI), drug trafficking, felony marijuana possession, illegal entry, illegal re-entry after deportation, larceny, possessing a controlled substance, and weapons possession; 30 were arrested on immigration violations.
I heard this oldie but goodie on the radio recently: Depeche Mode's People are People. For those unfamiliar with this fabulous song, let me highlight the opening lines:
People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
The song would be a good accompaniment to refugee and asylum issues. Check out these lines:
It's obvious you hate me
Though I've done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done
The stanza pairs naturally with discussion of persecution directed by and against individuals without any prior relationship.
I also think the song would be a good accompaniment to issues of professionalism in the classroom. I recently taught an extremely challenging course with warring factions of students on the left and right who really did "get along so awfully." Perhaps this song is a good way to begin discussion about across-the-aisle conversations. I'm interested in hearing how other immprofs have handled the issue of conflict in the classroom - perhaps it could be a topic of discussion at our next conference!
Friday, July 21, 2017
The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) announced today that it is pulling their 15th Annual National Summit of State Legislators from Texas bill enacted by the State known as SB4. The group was scheduled to hold their annual conclave in Austin in November but in the aftermath of SB 4 it has decided to move their convention to Chicago instead. NHCSL thus becomes the first major national Latino organization to boycott the Lone Star State because of its strong opposition to the controversial law.
“Texas’ SB4 is a ‘show me your papers law’ on steroids. As Latino state legislators, we cannot in good conscience invest in a great state that nonetheless has chosen to scapegoat immigrants and minorities while making communities there less safe and turning innocent Latinos into targets,” NHCSL President and Pennsylvania State Representative Ángel Cruz said. “Contrary to popular belief, SB4 does not just eliminate state and local sanctuary policies, it criminalizes the speech of public officials who support such common-sense practices and subjects them to removal from office if they even speak out against laws like SB 4. This should be unacceptable to anyone in 21st Century America; and it certainly is for NHCSL,” Cruz concluded.
Texas State Representative Roberto Alonzo, said that: “SB4 undermines the rule of law and wastes limited resources on unnecessary racial profiling instead of fighting crime. This law encourages abuse by some law enforcement officials who will now have cart blanche to harass anyone, including US citizens, just for who they are and not for any crime they have committed. The statute is so extreme that a witness could be cooperating with the police to solve a crime and be handed over to ICE. I fought this bill on the Texas House floor, I have not introduced a bill to repeal it, and am proud that my fellow Latino state legislators from across the country have joined us in standing up for what’s right.”
SB 4 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on May 7, 2017 and goes into effect on September 1st of this year. Among the most questionable provisions in the law, SB 4 forbids cities, towns, counties, and universities from becoming or remaining sanctuary cities or sanctuary colleges for undocumented immigrants. The law also allows the Attorney General of Texas to request that the Texas State Court remove from office any elected or appointed official even for endorsing a sanctuary policy or enforcing one already in place. SB4 even subjects local law enforcement – and even campus police departments – to fines of up to $25,000 for merely refusing to ask individuals about their immigration status or reporting it.
“Chicago is exactly the type of city that welcomes immigrants, respects the rule of law, and protects communities by working together with all residents, regardless of their immigration status, to keep their neighborhoods safe. We are thrilled to be holding our annual summit in the Windy City and look forward to productive week while we’re there. Chicago is a model for other cities to emulate when it comes to the critical collaboration that needs to be nurtured between law enforcement and the communities they serve and that is why we chose this forward-thinking city for our annual Summit of Hispanic State Legislators,” NHCSL Executive Director Kenneth Romero-Cruz said.
Among the state organizations that opposed SB 4 are: The Trust Coalition, the Texas Association of Business, the Association of Hispanic Evangelical Ministers, the police chiefs of Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin along with the Sheriff’s Departments of Bexar County (San Antonio) and El Paso County, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Workers Defense Project, the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA), the Texas Association of Business, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, the University Leadership Initiative, the Texas NAACP, among several others.
Immigration Article of the Day: Immigration Enforcement and Domination: An Indirect Argument for Much More Open Borders by Alex Sager
Immigration Enforcement and Domination: An Indirect Argument for Much More Open Borders by Alex Sager, Portland State, Immigration Enforcement and Domination: An Indirect Argument for Much More Open Borders. 2017. Political Research Quarterly, 70(1): 42-54.
Normative reflection on the ethics of migration has tended to remain at the level of abstract principle with limited attention to the practice of immigration administration and enforcement. This paper explores the implications of this practice for an ethics of immigration with particular attention to the problem of bureaucratic domination. I contend that migration administration and enforcement cannot overcome bureaucratic domination because of the inherent vulnerability of migrant populations and the transnational enforcement of border controls by multiple public and private actors. The implication is that even if restrictive immigration policies are permissible in principle, the attempt to enforce them leads to injustices that make them ethically unacceptable in practice.
Francisco Rodriguez by Rose Lincoln (Boston Globe)
Steve Coll for the New Yorker offers us a tale on why elections make a difference, especially for MIT janitor Francisco Rodriguez. Rodriguez is from El Salvador, where he worked at an engineering firm, but he fled for his life in 2006 after gang members murdered one of his colleagues. He reached Boston without documentation and applied for asylum but was denied. The Obama administration granted him stays of removal; President Trump wants to deport him.
Here is a little more about Francisco:
" For the past five years, he has worked as a custodian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he belongs to a labor union. He pays taxes and runs a carpet-cleaning business on the side. He is married, with two children, and his wife is pregnant with a third. Prior to his current [immigrant detention], he wrote, he had never been arrested for any crime."
Rodriquez published a heartfelt letter in the Boston Globe that is worth reading. Despite mentioning that his wife is pregnant, his mother is sick with fear at his possible deportation, and his daughters are not sleeping, Rodriguez proclaims that
"I believe in this country. I believe in what people can do here. I believe in God and have faith. I have permission to work in this country legally. I have paid my taxes to the government. My only mistake in my life was coming to this country the way I did. But it saved my life."
From Center for American Progress:
Ending DACA would result in a loss of $460.3 billion from the national GDP over the next 10 years, and remove an estimated 685,000 workers from the nation's economy.
Specifically, per CAP's analysis, the 10 states demanding that the Trump administration end DACA (Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia) stand to lose more than $8 billion annually in state GDP if they get their wish.
Here's a state-by-state chart of the annual GDP loss from removing workers with DACA, which we calculated using data from our report estimating the GDP declines from removing unauthorized workers from the country, and a survey estimating the share of DACA recipients who are employed.
Earlier today, Attorneys general from 19 states plus DC signed a letter to President Trump asking him to protect and preserve DACA -- they understand that it's about the lives of the 787,580 beneficieries deferred action protects, as well as our nation as a whole: "The consequences of rescinding DACA would be severe, not just for the hundreds of thousands of young people who rely on the program -- and for their employers, schools, universities, and families -- but for the country's economy as a whole," says the letter.
From CAP's column:
By providing the opportunity for individuals to come forward, pass rigorous background checks, and obtain permission to live and work in the United States lawfully, DACA has helped its recipientsachieve milestones typically associated with the American dream, such as pursuing higher education, earning better wages to support their families, and buying homes. Nearly 8 in 10 voterssupport allowing DREAMers to remain permanently in the country, including almost three-quarters of Trump voters, and only 14 percent believe they should be forced to leave.
From the Washington Post:
President Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House's “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.
Those requests were made to the Department of Labor in recent days and posted online Thursday. The for-profit club, where Trump spent numerous weekends this spring, asked permission to hire 15 housekeepers, 20 cooks and 35 waiters.
In addition, Trump's golf club in nearby Jupiter, Fla. asked permission to hire six foreign workers as cooks. The applications to the Department of Labor are a first step in the process of applying for H-2B visas, which would allow the clubs to bring in foreigners for temporary work between October and next May. Read more.
David Miliband, self-described "ex-politician" (a former Labour cabinet minister), heads the New York-based International Rescue Committee. The IRC is a nonprofit organization that "responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future."
Miliband gave a TED talk in April about the global refugee crisis, which he describes as "manageable, not unsolvable." It's also, Miliband says, "a test of our character."
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Jane Stoever, Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at UC Irvine School of Law, writes in the Los Angeles Times about the harms of mandatory reporting laws for medical professionals who are required to report domestic violence and sexual assault cases to the police. In particular, she focuses on the chilling effect of these requirements on immigrant survivors of crime who may choose to forego medical care due to the fear of deportation arising from police contact.
Photo via mnmoualaw.com
Mai Neng Moua is an immigration attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As MPR reports, she was born in a Thai refugee camp where her parents fled from Communist Laos. At three, Moua and her family resettled in Minnesota.
Moua studied History, Political Science, and East Asian Studies at the University of St. Thomas and received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.
As an immigration lawyer, Moua handles naturalization, family and employed-based petitions, and, of course, asylum.
In the era of Trump, immigrants who come into contact with the criminal justice system are at risk of removal. And how is one most likely to come into contact with the police? For many, it is when driving a motor vehicle.
In the Obama years, many of the arrests that resulted in immigrants being placed in removal proceedings involved driving infractions. The same is the case under President Trump, with an even more aggressive immigration enforcement agenda. Liz Robbins of the New York Times outlines the risks of driving while undocumented:
"Under a Trump administration that has taken an aggressive stance on illegal immigration, the moving car has become an easy target. A broken headlight, a seatbelt not worn, a child not in a car seat may be minor traffic violations, but for unauthorized immigrants, they can have life-altering consequences.
Routine traffic stops have always carried the threat of deportation, but during the last years of the Obama administration, when serious crimes were prioritized, the stops that simply revealed unlawful status often resulted in deferment. No longer."
President Trump, the Wall, and Immigration Policy: "Trump appears resigned to trying to remake the immigration system through a combination of executive power and rhetoric."
Ashley Parker, David Nakamura, and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post consider President Trump's efforts to fulfill his campaign promise of building "the wall" along the U.S./Mexico border. Along the way, the article looks at the President's general approach to immigration policy. Congressional action is challenging to say the least. President Trump is realizing that "changing the immigration system is unlikely to be achieved in a far-reaching bill. Any broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws would need the legislative buy-in of both parties, and there is widespread resistance to building a wall that many consider an ineffective boondoggle. "
With respect to the wall, it appears that the White House intends to fight hard for border wall funding in upcoming budget negotiations with Congress. Still, the article concludes, "Trump appears resigned to trying to remake the immigration system through a combination of executive power and rhetoric."
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Professor Peter Margulies: Refugee Executive Order Update: The Supreme Court Hands Each Side a Partial Victory
Professor Peter Margulies: Refugee Executive Order Update: The Supreme Court Hands Each Side a Partial Victory
The Supreme Court issued an order (and here) today regarding President Trump’s revised Refugee Executive Order (EO) that provided comfort to both the Administration and Hawaii, which has challenged the EO. The Court left in place the portion of Hawaii U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s injunction barring application of the EO to foreign nationals abroad with U.S. relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and cousins. However, pending review of Judge Watson’s injunction by the Ninth Circuit, the Court ruled that the EO would apply to refugees who had received assurances from nonprofit agencies regarding resettlement in the U.S., unless those refugees also had relatives in the U.S. like those listed above. Refugees and others without qualifying relatives (approximately 40% of the total) will remain abroad unless and until the Court issues a new order modifying its remedy.
The Supreme Court’s order, like its original stay, seeks to balance the equities in a manner consistent with Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion in Nken v. Holder. The Court has issued its relief pending oral argument this October on the lawfulness of the EO. Pending a decision on the merits, Nken counsels that the court issuing the stay should not grant relief that in effect decides the lawsuit. An interim order that gives one side all of what it seeks on the merits in effect makes the underlying appeal an “idle ceremony,” as Chief Justice observed in Nken, quoting an earlier decision by the Court. The Court’s order today avoids that pitfall.
Upholding the district court’s holding that refugee agency assurances counted as a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity under the Court’s June stay would have largely decided the travel ban case well before the Court had a chance to hear its merits in October. All noncitizens who already have received refugee status have also received agency assurances. Leaving the district court’s ruling in place would have barred application of the EO to any individuals in this group, giving Hawaii much of the relief it sought on the merits. In contrast, the government’s position that neither grandmothers et al. nor refugee agency assurances counted as a “bona fide relationship” would have given the government virtually all that it sought.
The Court’s order today rejected this “all or nothing” scenario. Instead, the Court charted a middle course on refugees, barring application of the EO to some refugees—those with a U.S. grandparent, uncle, nephew, etc.—but permitting implementation of the EO for approximately 40% of the total refugee cohort. That relief gave each side some of what it sought, but stopped well short of total victory for either party.
Wisely, the Court left the door open to revisit its order once the Ninth Circuit rules on the government’s appeal of Judge Watson’s injunction. Judge Watson was right to count refugee agency assurances as constituting a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity. That view best describes the key functional role that resettlement agencies have performed over time in the refugee system. The complex refugee resettlement process includes many disparate strands, public and private—undue stress on an important strand such as resettlement agencies’ undertakings can rend the entire fabric. Fidelity to the comprehensive framework of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires respect for venerable refugee agencies’ earnest commitments. (See my earlier post here, which benefited mightily from conversations with former Homeland Security Principal Deputy General Counsel David A. Martin.)
My hope is that the Ninth Circuit will uphold the district court on exempting refugee assurances from the EO, and the Supreme Court will then permit Judge Watson’s entire order to go into effect. If that scenario holds, the Court’s order today will have given the Court more time to deliberate on the equities, which is appropriate given the stakes involved.
Robert Barnes in the Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court today entered an order in connection with its review of President Trump’s travel ban, saying the government may enforce tightened restrictions on refugees for now but also must allow into the country more travelers from six mostly Muslim countries who have family members already here.
The order in effect means that the administration must continue to accept those with grandparents, aunts and uncles and other relatives in the United States. The Trump administration had set a stricter interpretation of who could be admitted under an order in June.
The court said that it would not, for now, disturb the district court’s decision that expanded the definition of close family ties. But it granted the government’s request to put on hold a part of the decision that would have made it easier for more refugees to enter the country.
Here is the order in its entirety:
Yale Law School Coat of Arms
Asian Americans have been the fastest-growing minority group in the legal profession for the past three decades, but they have made only limited progress in reaching the top ranks of the profession, according to a new report released by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Yale Law School (and here). The report, titled A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law, is the first-ever comprehensive study of Asian Americans in the legal profession.
According to the study, there are over 50,000 Asian American lawyers today, compared to 10,000 in 1990. Asian Americans comprise almost 5 percent of lawyers in America and roughly 7 percent of law school enrollment. Asian Americans are the largest minority group in big law firms, but they have the highest attrition rates and the lowest ratio of partners to associates.
Asian Americans comprise 3 percent of federal judges and 2 percent of state judges, compared to nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population. Only three out of 94 U.S. Attorneys in 2016 were Asian American, and only four out of 2,437 elected district attorneys nationwide in 2014 were Asian American.
The two-year study — authored by California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin H. Liu , recent Yale law graduates Eric Chung ’16, Xiaonan April Hu ’16 and Christine Kwon ’16, and Yale law postgraduate associate Samuel Dong — included a dozen focus groups and a national survey of over 600 Asian American lawyers.
We've still got a solid month of summer left to enjoy. Why not plan a road trip? I'll tell you what's on my bucket list - the Haskell Free Library & Opera House in Derby Line, Vermont (and Stanstead, Quebec).
The building is located smack dab on the U.S.-Canada border and serves patrons in both countries. The location was intentional. The building's founders wanted to create "a shared cultural centre and learning space."
As one news outlet describes it:
the entrance to the library is on the U.S. side, while the books are on the Canadian side, and the reading room is "international,” with parts lying in Canada and parts lying in the U.S. There is even a black strip running down the library's main room, demarcating the boundary. Similarly, the opera house is also divided, with the stage lying in Quebec and the theatre seats situated in Vermont.
Because of the U.S.-side entrance, the building is considered American. But Canadian patrons need not go through CBP to enter so long as they park on the Canadian side of the building and walk in.
Check out this list of upcoming shows to plan your trip around:
- Guys and Dolls runs through July 23
- The Slocan Ramblers arrive July 28
- The Durham County Poets play July 29
- Lindi Ortego performs August 15
- The Alex Syndman Trio appears August 19
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
From the Bookshelves: The Politics of New Immigrant Destinations: Transatlantic Perspectives Edited by Stefanie Chambers, Diana Evans, Anthony M. Messina, and Abigail Fisher Williamson
Edited by Stefanie Chambers, Diana Evans, Anthony M. Messina, and Abigail Fisher Williamson
Migration to new destinations in Europe and the United States has expanded dramatically over the past few decades. Within these destinations, there is a corresponding greater variety of ethnic, cultural, and/or religious diversity. This timely volume, The Politics of New Immigrant Destinations, considers the challenges posed by this proliferation of diversity for governments, majority populations, and immigrants.
The contributors assess the effectiveness of the policy and political responses that have been spawned by increasing diversity in four types of new immigrant destinations: "intermediate" destination countries—Ireland and Italy; culturally distinct regions experiencing new migration such as Catalonia in Spain or the American South; new destinations within traditional destination countries like the state of Utah and rural towns in England; and "early migration cycle" countries including Latvia and Poland.
The Politics of New Immigrant Destinations examines how these new destinations for immigrants compare to traditional destinations, with respect to their policy responses and success at integrating immigrants, offering perspectives from both immigrants and natives.
Contributors include: Dace Akule, Amado Alarcón, Rhys Andrews, Francesca Campomori, Tiziana Caponio, Scott Decker, Erica Dobbs, Melissa M. Goldsmith, Aleksandra Grzymała-Kazłowska, Claudio A. Holzner, Magdalena Lesińska, Paul Lewis, Helen B. Marrow, Laura Morales, Katia Pilati, Marie Provine, Monica Varsanyi, and the editors.