Thursday, August 17, 2017

Immigration Article of the Day: Essay: Federalism and the State Police Power – Why Immigration and Customs Enforcement Must Stay Away from State Courthouses by Georeg Bach


Essay: Federalism and the State Police Power – Why Immigration and Customs Enforcement Must Stay Away from State Courthouses by George Bach, Willamette Law Review, Spring 2018, Forthcoming



The Trump Administration’s rhetoric and increased immigration enforcement actions have raised the level of fear in immigrant communities. The increased enforcement has included having United States Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents appear at state and local courthouses to detain undocumented immigrants when they arrive for court. This presence has had an adverse effect on domestic violence victims who are immigrants, as they fear encountering immigrations officials at the courthouse. In El Paso, for example, agents detained a woman who was bringing a case of domestic violence against her abuser. There were claims that ICE was tipped off about the victim’s immigration status by the alleged abuser.

The direct effect of the presence of federal ICE agents at state and local courthouses is to undermine the ability of state and municipalities to enforce their domestic violence laws. This interferes with the states’ sovereignty and the exercise of the police power, critical in our federalism system. This interference runs afoul of the limits placed on federal action articulated in United States Supreme Court cases that have revived protection of the state police powers. United States v. Lopez and United States v. Morrison and, to a lesser extent other Tenth Amendment cases, have set forth a reinvigorated sense of the states’ role in our federalism. Accordingly, under the revived notion of state sovereignty and police power in our federalism structure, ICE should be kept away from the state and local courthouses.


August 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump to Speak in Arizona

Detroit’s revival supported by immigrant entrepreneurs


The Detroit News reports on a growing number of immigrant entrepreneurs who have chosen Detroit to launch their clothing, food or technology businesses. Many are drawn to the Motor City because of financial resources available for entrepreneurs through programs like ProsperUS Detroit and Motor City Match. Others have found affordable entrepreneurship classes through the Build Institute, TechTown and FoodLab.

Detroit’s diversity and economic opportunity are attracting immigrant businesses.


August 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Attorney General Sessions Delivers Remarks on Sanctuary Policies

Jeff_Sessions _official_portrait

With the Trump administration in serious disarray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday made a speech in Miami deriding "sanctuary policies" seeking to redirect the nation's attention from President Trump's statements about the events in Charlottesville.  He concluded as follows:

'Leaders in jurisdictions like Miami-Dade, Lansing, and Westchester County, New York, believe it too, which is why they have stood up for the people they serve by choosing the rule of law.

So to all “sanctuary” jurisdictions across the country, I say this: Miami-Dade is doing it, and so can you. Work with us to enforce a lawful immigration system that keeps us safe and serves our national interest.


The Department of Justice will not concede a single block or street corner in the United States to lawlessness or crime.


Nor will we tolerate the loss of innocent life because a handful of jurisdictions believe that they are above the law.


I know that Miami-Dade will be an example of the good that comes from following the law.


We have already seen that: the same Independence Day weekend when Chicago suffered more than 100 shootings and 15 homicides, Miami-Dade also had a historic number of shooting deaths – zero.


I hope more jurisdictions follow Miami-Dade’s leadership by choosing to follow the law, because we all want to do the same thing: protect our families and defend our country.


So thank you, Miami-Dade.'



August 17, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: China’s Great Migration How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation by Bradley M. Gardner


China’s Great Migration How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation by Bradley M. Gardner

China’s rise over the past several decades has lifted more than half of its population out of poverty and reshaped the global economy. What has caused this dramatic transformation? In China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation, author Bradley Gardner looks at one of the most important but least discussed forces pushing China’s economic development: the migration of more than 260 million people from their birthplaces to China’s most economically vibrant cities. By combining an analysis of China’s political economy with current scholarship on the role of migration in economic development, China’s Great Migration shows how the largest economic migration in the history of the world has led to a bottom-up transformation of China.

Gardner draws from his experience as a researcher and journalist working in China to investigate why people chose to migrate and the social and political consequences of their decisions. In the aftermath of China's Cultural Revolution, the collapse of totalitarian government control allowed millions of people to skirt migration restrictions and move to China’s growing cities, where they offered a massive pool of labor that propelled industrial development, foreign investment, and urbanization. Struggling to respond to the demands of these migrants, the Chinese government loosened its grip on the economy, strengthening property rights and allowing migrants to employ themselves and each other, spurring the Chinese economic miracle.

More than simply a narrative of economic progress, China’s Great Migration tells the human story of China’s transformation, featuring interviews with the men and women whose way of life has been remade. In its pages, readers will learn about the rebirth of a country and millions of lives changed, hear what migration can tell us about the future of China, and discover what China’s development can teach the rest of the world about the role of market liberalization and economic migration in fighting poverty and creating prosperity.


August 17, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Complete List of U.S. Visas by Profession and Purpose of Travel

Learning About MS-13: Connecting Two Political Issues -- Law and Order and Immigrtaion

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ICE Settles Case Challenging Interference with Legal Representation at Dilley

From AIC

The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum. The case was filed after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) barred Caroline Perris, a full-time legal assistant with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP), from entering the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas.

ICE claimed that Ms. Perris inappropriately facilitated a mental health evaluation by telephone in March 2017. She had, in fact, facilitated an evaluation with a mental health professional to avert the imminent deportation of a DPBP client and her child back to the terrible danger from which they fled. The evaluation proved critical to establish their eligibility for protection under U.S. asylum law. In May 2017, ICE for the first time stated in writing a policy requiring pre-approval for telephonic mental health evaluations. The agency retroactively relied on this policy to justify revoking Caroline Perris’ access to STFRC.

Because the mothers and children held in Dilley have fled countries with some of the highest levels of femicide and gender-based violence in the world, a mental health evaluation is often a crucial piece of evidence to obtain protection in the United States. For many families, such an evaluation makes a life-or-death difference:  safety in the United States versus deportation to targeted violence in their home countries. A mental health evaluation can corroborate past persecution in the home country that currently affects an individual’s psychological well-being. Evaluations by mental health providers, which are typically conducted on a pro bono basis and telephonically at the STFRC, also assist attorneys in determining if clients are competent to consent to representation and can participate meaningfully in their cases without safeguards.

ICE’s policy placed DPBP legal staff in the untenable position of having to choose between potentially compromising the needs of their clients while awaiting ICE’s approval – for which there was no set timetable or standards­ – or putting themselves at risk of losing access to the facility by providing the legal services they considered to be in their clients’ best interests.

Ms. Perris was reinstated shortly after the lawsuit was filed. The settlement, which applies at both the Dilley and Karnes immigration detention facilities, sets forth a timetable for the approval process and limits the grounds on which ICE can deny a request for telephonic mental health evaluation. Specifically:

  • Between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.Monday-Friday, ICE must respond to a request for approval of a new health provider within four business hours. If ICE fails to do so, the request is deemed approved.
  • ICE may deny the request only if: the provider’s relevant professional license/credential is currently revoked or suspended; the provider has relevant criminal history that indicates a risk of harm or abuse to a detainee; the provider’s access to Dilley or Karnes is currently revoked for misconduct that indicates a risk of harm or abuse to the detainee. If ICE denies a request, it must provide sufficient information to permit the requester to independently verify the basis.
  • For previously approved providers, Dilley or Karnes Pro Bono Project staff must give two hours’ notice that a mental health evaluation will take place.
  • If there is disagreement with ICE’s assessment, the request can be elevated to the Assistant Field Office Director and/or Deputy Field Office Director.
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will retain authority for 30 months to adjudicate disputes concerning interpretation and enforcement of the settlement agreement and over the propriety of ICE’s denial of a request for a telephonic mental health evaluation.

The DPBP is a consortium of the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA). The plaintiffs were represented by the American Immigration Council, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.


August 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

University of Arkansas Immigration Clinic Faculty Position

The University of Arkansas-Fayetteville invites applications from both entry-level and lateral candidates for a tenure-track position to direct a well-established Immigration Law Clinic.  All applicants for the position should have significant practice experience in immigration or asylum law and some familiarity with supervising law students or new attorneys.  Any successful applicant will be expected to gain admission to the Arkansas bar.  

In furtherance of the law school’s fundamental commitment to experiential learning, clinical professors and legal research and writing professors have full tenure rights and equal voting privileges on all faculty issues. All candidates should have demonstrated scholarly promise, strong classroom teaching skills, a distinguished academic record, and a commitment to service within the law school and broader university community. 

The University of Arkansas–Fayetteville, located in the northwest corner of the state, is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas. The University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and welcomes applications without regard to age, race, gender (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran status, military service, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Persons must have proof of legal authority to work in the United States on the first day of employment. All applicant information is subject to public disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Applicants with questions may contact Professor Annie Smith, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, at


August 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ABA: Expand Sensitive Locations and Allow Undocumented Lawyers to Practice

The American Bar Association House of Delegates, which determines association-wide policy, adopted policies over two days that urges Congress to add courthouses to the “sensitive locations” list for immigration enforcement and licensing groups to admit to the bar undocumented law school graduates under certain circumstances.

The action by the House — made up of 601 delegates from state, local and other bar associations and legal groups from across the country — met in New York on Aug. 14-15 at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting, which began Aug. 10.

Resolution 108, proposed by the ABA Law Student Division and embraced by the ABA Young Lawyers Division, recommends that state courts with authority to regulate admission to the bar admit undocumented law school graduates if they are “seeking legal status.” The resolution passed by voice vote with modest opposition.

Resolution 10C urges Congress to amend Section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to expand and codify Department of Homeland Security guidelines regarding immigration enforcement. It would specifically add courthouses to the government’s “sensitive locations” list.

Under current U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy, a handful of locations, such as schools, healthcare facilities, places of worship and religious ceremonies, and public demonstrations, are off-limits to agents. Proponents of the resolution cited examples across the country where individuals avoided courthouses because of fears that ICE had been notified of their pending presence and their undocumented status. They argued that without designating courthouses as “sensitive locations,” the effect would be to chill participation of undocumented victims and defendants from the justice process as well as to deter other witnesses from testifying.

In one case cited, a domestic violence victim refused to testify when she learned that ICE agents were present and looking for her, and the defendant walked free.

In Resolution 10B, the House reaffirmed the ABA’s opposition of a half century to mandatory minimum sentences because it limits a judge’s flexibility to consider circumstances and has a disparate impact on African Americans, whom proponents say are more likely to be charged with offenses with sentences in this category. Read more....


August 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Inspector General Throws Water on Trump's ICE and Border Patrol Hiring Plan

From CBS News:

President Trump's plan to add 5,000 more border patrol agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and 10,000 more immigration officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) isn't looking so simple. 

The Office of Personnel Management has given a two-year window to move forward with the hiring surge, but immigration and border experts -- including the Department of Homeland Security's own watchdog -- note the logistical challenges of hiring that many new employees, and question whether they're necessary in the first place. A late July DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report was the latest blow to the president's plan.

"Neither CBP nor ICE could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire," the report found.

Moreover, CBP and ICE don't know how many additional personnel they need, and it will be three or four years before those agencies will complete calculating those figures. Read more...


August 16, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Charlottesville Redux


Robert E. Lee Statue, Emancipation Park, Charlottesville, Photo courtesy City of Charlottesville



The events in Charlottesville last weekend have shaken the nation.  NPR's Code Switch takes a look at the protests, counter-protests, and what transpired before and after.  After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville spiraled into deadly violence, residents of the Virginia town do some soul-searching. 

President Trump continues to provoke controversy as he lays blame to the left as well as the right for the violence in Charlottesville.  Some observers, including a professor interviewed on Code Switch, links Trump's campaign comments about Mexicans as criminals as signaling to white nationalists that racist views are appropriate to share.  Others are especially blunt:  Trump's comments about Charlottesville yesterday "not only revealed, again, his remarkable blindness to the racial history and realities of this country, but also showed his willingness to stake out morally indefensible positions as the result of personal pique."


Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund responded to President Trump's comments on the protests as follows:

“Stunning. Terrifying. Unsettling. Pusillanimous. Irrational. Disturbing. But perhaps the most succinct way to describe Donald Trump's ludicrous press conference performance Tuesday lies in one of his own favorite epithets: SAD.

Yesterday, Donald Trump publicly invited hate to take up residence in the White House. This follows by many months his introducing hate as a guest through appointing white nationalists to high-level posts in his administration.  

Equating opposition to the continued exaltation of historical traitors like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson with opposition to flawed, but heroic, founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson is simply insane. Ahistorical blather that also ignores the adoption of Lee and Jackson as icons of racism and exclusion ill befits any leader of this nation.

The implications of yesterday’s display are quite simply monstrous. First, can any person of good conscience continue to serve this president? Second, can any congressperson or senator of good conscience accede to this president's judgment in policy or appointment? Third, can any judge who adheres to the Constitution fail to strike down as intentional racial discrimination any policy initiated by this president?

The term is sometimes overused, but if we are not already in the terrain of constitutional crisis, we are perilously close.”

Anderson Cooper on CNN had some remarkably harsh comments for President Trump:



August 16, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day:   Sex-Based Citizenship Classifications and the 'New Rationality' by Martha F. Davis


Sex-Based Citizenship Classifications and the 'New Rationality' by Martha F. Davis 


In the 2001 case, Nguyen v. INS, the United States Supreme Court purported to exercise intermediate scrutiny while upholding a sex-based citizenship classification. Yet, as many commentators — including the dissenting Justices — have pointed out, the scrutiny exercised in that case bore few of the hallmarks of heightened review. Rather than hold the government to a tight fit between statutory ends and means, the majority accepted stereotypes and post hoc rationalizations to uphold distinctions between mothers and fathers for purposes of transmitting derivative citizenship to their out-of-wedlock, foreign-born children.

In the 2016 Term, in Lynch v. Morales-Santana, the Supreme Court again considers sex-based classifications in the context of U.S. citizenship law. At issue are the different physical presence requirements for mothers and fathers imposed as a prerequisite to sharing derivative citizenship. Again, those seeking relief from the statute’s discriminatory requirements will argue for intermediate scrutiny. Yet intermediate scrutiny is not the only standard for evaluating sex-based citizenship laws. “Rational basis with bite” has attracted increasing attention in recent years, being utilized in a series of decisions striking down classifications based on sexual orientation.

This article will examine sex-based citizenship challenges, including Nguyen and Morales-Santana, through the lens of this new rational basis review. Arguments of irrationality have been successful in expanding individual rights based on sexual orientation and disability, among others. Other high courts and international governing bodies around the world have rejected sex-based citizenship laws as irrational. Perhaps this new rationality standard should be seriously developed as an approach to challenging the sex-based classifications that remain embedded in U.S. citizenship law.


August 16, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Penn State Law Study on DACA Law Students/Grads

 We are conducting a research study that looks at the experiences of DACA beneficiaries who will be enrolling in a U.S. law school this fall, are currently attending a U.S. law school, or have graduated from one and live in the U.S. We expect the results of this research to be published by the Center for American Progress. We are seeking to understand the daily experience of DACAmented law students or legal professionals in the wake of the Trump administration. Participation is strictly voluntary and participants may withdraw from the project at any time for any reason. The identity of all participants will remain anonymous. Confidentiality will be strictly enforced at all times.
If you think you would like to participate or know anyone who would like to participate please email rum232[at]psu[dot]edu by September 15, 2017


August 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

National List-Serv for Dreamer/DACAmented/Undocumented Law Students, Graduates and Attorneys

Reminder that there is a national list serv for law students, graduates and attorneys who identify as DREAMers, DACAmented, or undocumented.  To join, please email

The list-serv is administered by Prof. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and myself, and was created with the goal of carving out a small, online community specifically for people who fall into the Dreamer/DACAmented/undocumented law student/graduate/attorney category -- but not necessarily for their educators, allies, and supporters.  (Thanks for your understanding!).


August 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Two Undocumented American Law Students Who Argued Before the Ninth Circuit



On the fifth anniversary of DACA, Think Progress investigative reporter Yvette Cabrera (Twitter: @YCabreraOC) has profiled the journeys of two recent law school graduates of Western State College of Law, Alfonso Maldonado Silva and Cristel Martinez Medina. Both overcame considerable obstacles to getting to law school, including their undocumented status and trials with the immigration system, but sought to become advocates for other noncitizens affected by the immigration laws.  During their third year, they were partners in the Western State Immigration Clinic's Ninth Circuit Project, through which they represented a noncitizen before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Both just sat for the July 2017 California Bar.


August 15, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Bookshelves: We Are Syrians, editors Adam Braver and Abby DeVeuve


In their new book We Are Syrians, editors Adam Braver and Abby DeVeuve have collected the stories of three Syrian dissidents: SAR scholars Naila Al-Atrash, a theatre director; Radwan Ziadeh, an intellectual; and Sana Mustafa, a student organizer. When the Assad government wanted to silence them, they refused to stop making their voices heard. They organized, they protested, they made art. Scholars at Risk is proud to have helped with the formation of We Are Syrians, a project that grew out of a Roger Williams University Student Advocacy Seminar, and to have provided support to the scholars profiled. All author proceeds are donated to Scholars at Risk’s Emergency Fund.

For more information on We Are Syrians and how to order your copy, visit the Scholars at Risk website.


August 15, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Should Immigrants Move to Hawaii? Where You Live Impacts Ability To Obtain Representation in Immigration Court

Nnteresting news from TRAC!  Newly obtained case-by-case court records show that depending upon the community in which the immigrant resides, the odds of obtaining representation in Immigration Court deportation proceedings vary widely. If you happen to live in Honolulu, Hawaii, the odds are over 90 percent that you will be able to find an attorney to represent you. The odds are also high if you live in Manteca, California or in Pontiac. Michigan.  However these odds drop to less than 30 percent if you reside in Roma-Los Saenz or Huntsville, Texas, or in Coral Springs-Margate, Florida, or even in Atlanta-Decatur, Georgia.


August 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Haitian Immigrants in the United States


This Migration Information Source "Spotlight" on Haitian Immigrants in the United States reports that the number of Haitians in the United States has tripled since 1990, reaching 676,000 in 2015. Most Haitians entered the United States before 2010, the year of a devastating earthquake from which Haiti is still working to recover. This Spotlight article offers the latest data on Haitian immigrants, including the number holding Temporary Protected Status, top states and cities of residence, demographic information, and more.




August 15, 2017 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

John Oliver Tackles Border Patrol Hiring

John Oliver recently tackled President Trump's goal of increasing the number of Border Patrol officers in a short period of time.

The segment contains much of the same information as a 2014 article from Politico called The Green Monster. I've been using that reading for two years now to discuss the problems that can occur with surge hiring. It updates that piece and offers some great visuals.

For example, at 14:05-14:25 there's an image of the area where Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was shot. I, like many of you I'm sure, followed the Rodriguez case. But I hadn't fully appreciated just how far away the 16-year-old was from Border Patrol until I saw that clip. If you're using that case in class, those 30 seconds of tape would be incredibly helpful to discussion.

I also thought that the discussion of boredom as a challenge for Border Patrol agents was very real and something for which students might not have an appreciation. (Check out 6:16-6:32). This phenomenon is one that I've found Border Patrol agents to be very upfront about. A lot of their time is spent waiting at fixed points, serving as a deterrent to unauthorized traffic. That can be hours at a time. And some agents will be sure to spend it in zones where cell reception (and therefore Netflix) is available. Others are able to handle the challenge of boredom and remain focused and alert.

Of course the boredom of the job is punctuated by moments of terror. Agents often work alone. And staffing and terrain may mean that backup is an hour or more out. So terror can spike when a single agent encounters a group of 20 unauthorized men, not immediately knowing if the men are drug smugglers or asylum seekers. (This is not a point made by John Oliver but one I think needs to be added.)

I recommend watching the entire segment. But I'm not sure it can be used as a whole in class. There are far too many sex jokes for my taste. That said, it's provocative and engaging. It would certainly grab students' attention. Though be prepared for conservatives to call it out as one-sided.


August 15, 2017 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)