Tuesday, September 2, 2014
President Obama's Labor Day address included a reference to "immigration rights." Specifically, the president stated:
"Cynicism is a bad choice. Hope is the better choice. Hope is what gives us courage. Hope is what gave soldiers courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights, and immigration rights."
Time magazine reports that this is the first time the president has used "immigration rights" outside the context of "immigration-rights activists."
Out of the Shadows: The Working Conditions of Immigrant Women in Tucson A Report by the Bacon Immigration Law & Policy Program, James E.Rogers College of Law and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women September 2014
Over the past seven years, the Bacon Immigration Law & Policy Program has worked closely with low-wage immigrant women workers through a legal clinic, the Workers' Rights Clinic. This report is an attempt to document, in broad strokes, the recurring hardships facing immigrant women workers that the Workers' Rights Clinic witnesses. This report is based on one year of field research, between April 2012 and March 2013. Researchers collected ninety surveys from low-wage immigrant women workers and conducted twenty-nine interviews of workers, government officials, and community leaders. We offer it to inform city and state stakeholders - workers, advocates, employers, government officials, and the general public - about the conditions of this vulnerable population. As detailed in the report's final section, we also identify concrete steps the city and state could take to address the recurring abuses and exploitation we document.
From the Bookshelves: Still Waiting for Tomorrow The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises. Editors: Susan M. Akram, Tom Syring
Still Waiting for Tomorrow The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises. Editors: Susan M. Akram, Tom Syring
This book focuses on the common features of protracted refugee situations. It is a critical examination of the reasons underlying the extended nature of those crises, as well as potential solutions to them. The book addresses war and armed conflict, environmental change and natural disasters, statelessness and protection gaps, among other elements, as common origins of refugee crises. It analyzes the root causes of some of the longest-standing unresolved refugee situations in the world today (including, but not limited to, the cases of Palestinians, Sahrawis, and Tibetans), addressing the particular political and legal tensions undermining solutions to them. The book comprises contributions from some of the leading scholars and practitioners in the field of international refugee, human rights and humanitarian law, and international relations.
Jerry Yang and his partner David Filo decided to catalog their favorite websites on the fledgling World Wide Web in 1993 while they were pursuing doctoral degrees at Stanford University. Receiving positive feedback, the project grew and became Yahoo!—an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”—one of the earliest search engines, changing the way people navigated the Internet. The brand has continued to expand and profit amid growing competition. As a philanthropist, Yang has made a major donation to Stanford.
Immigration Article of the Day: Economic Migration Gone Wrong: Trafficking in Persons Through the Lens of Gender, Labor and Globalization by Dana Raigrodski
Economic Migration Gone Wrong: Trafficking in Persons Through the Lens of Gender, Labor and Globalization by Dana Raigrodski, University of Washington - School of Law July 29, 2014 Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, Vol. 25, Forthcoming University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-24
Abstract: Millions of people are trafficked all over the world and enslaved in forced labor in a broad range of industries. Yet, the global community’s efforts to mitigate trafficking have fallen short. This Article argues that the lack of success in fighting human trafficking is to a large extent the result of framing the existing discourse of human trafficking as a matter of criminal law and human rights of women and children, rather than addressing the economic and global market conditions within which human trafficking thrives. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional issue exacerbated by poverty and disparities in economic opportunities vis-a-vis unmet labor demands and strict migration laws in wealthier countries. It thrives on the vulnerability of certain individuals and populations to exploitation, and particularly those who may desire to migrate in hope of better economic opportunities. Human trafficking is also very much a manifestation of the feminization of both poverty and migration. The dominant gendered narrative, however, continues to marginalize both the impact on and the role of women, children and migrant workers in the global economy, and ignores the complex structural, social and economic aspects of women’s labor migration. The Article specifically highlights vulnerabilities to trafficking and exploitation brought upon by globalization, the feminization of labor migration, and the links between irregular migration and human trafficking. Migrant workers, particularly migrant women, are playing an increasingly critical role in sustaining the global economy. Poor women (of color) in developing countries comprise most of those emigrating for survival, and relatedly, the overwhelming majority among those who are exploited in the process and subject to trafficking. Nonetheless, the international community has been reluctant to fully investigate and act upon the linkage between trafficking and migrant labor. Even more importantly, the current discourse on trafficking fails to admit that human trafficking is the "underside of globalization." There is no commitment to reframe trafficking as a global migratory response to a global market that seeks out cheap, unregulated, and exploitable labor and the goods and services that such labor can produce. Instead, this Article argues, we need to develop an economic analysis of human trafficking–one which primarily looks at globalization, trade liberalization and labor migration as the core areas that need to be explored to advance the prevention of human trafficking.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Migrant by Maxine Trottier is a picture book for young children. It tells the story of a migrant family from the perspective of its youngest member. She feels like a bird, flying north for the spring and south every fall. She feels like a jackrabbit living in an abandoned burrow (the housing of previous migrants).
Interestingly, the end notes indicate that the story concerns German Mennonites, traveling between Mexico and Canada for work.
Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Bridges
Courtesy of https://depts.washington.edu/labpics2/repository/main.php?g2_itemId=4971
Harry Bridges. Born Alfred Renton Bridges July 28, 1901 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Died March 30, 1990 (aged 88) San Francisco, California, United States
Harry Bridges was an Australian-born American union leader, in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which he helped form and led for over 40 years. He was prosecuted by the U.S. government during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. His conviction by a federal jury for having lied about his Communist Party membership was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1953. On the West Coast, Bridges still excites passions both for and against the labor movement.
The History of Labor Day Labor Day: What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
Founder of Labor Day The father of labor day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
A Nationwide Holiday
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television. The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
Immigrants in the Labor Market
Sunday, August 31, 2014
On Huffington Post, Laura Murray-Tjan discusses the controversy surrounding the U.S. government's treatment of Central Americans migrants, with a special emphasis of the limited definition of "refugee" under U.S. law. "Even as political leaders debate whom to blame for the surge of child migrants at the border, most agree on one goal: deporting the children as quickly as possible. Yet few advocates of their speedy removal are willing to state on the record that the children's death is a strong possibility. . . . Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the highly conservative Center for Immigration Studies, has no problem acknowledging the risk of death. As he stated in a recent radio interview, the fact that one person loses his life after removal does not force the conclusion that others like him should be permitted to stay."
For most of the summer, there has been talk of President Obama's bold executive action on immigration that would break a congressional gridlock on immigration reform. It appears that the administration is rethinking the issue.
Carrie Budoff Brown on Politico.com reports that "White House officials are locked in an intense debate over whether President Barack Obama should announce a plan to defer deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants before Election Day — mindful that whichever choice they make could be tagged as the reason that Democrats lost the Senate. The problem: a lack of consensus, both inside and outside the West Wing, on the political ramifications. With the most endangered Senate Democrats faring better than expected heading into Labor Day, each option carries risks that could shake up the political environment — in essence, creating a September or October surprise."
The New York Times ran a similar story.
Pierre Omidyar founded the online auction site eBay. Born in Paris in 1967, he earned a degree in computer science from Tufts University and worked for Apple before launching eBay, whose immediate popularity surprised him. The site is now one of the Web’s largest e-commerce destinations. Later, he launched the Omidyar Foundation to invest in nonprofits. He has also donated more than $1 billion to causes such as human rights and disaster relief.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
ImmigrationProf has previously reported on migrants dying in the Mediterranan on the journey to Europe. The BBC has an interesting report about a philanthropist couple have launched what they say is the world's first privately funded vessel to help migrants in trouble at sea.
"Last summer, Regina Catrambone and her husband Chris were on board a yacht cruising around the Mediterranean - but the idyllic holiday scene was interrupted when they spotted something in the sea. "My husband and I were on the deck and we saw a winter jacket floating in the water, like a ghost," says Regina. They asked the captain how it ended up there. "His face became very dark and he said probably the person who was wearing it is not with us any more. That started to trigger our attention." They realised it had probably belonged to one of the thousands of migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe - 1,889 have died in these waters since the start of the year, 1,600 of them since the beginning of June.
"Since then the couple, who are in their 30s, have drawn deeply from their own pockets to fund a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix, based in Malta, where they live. It has dinghies and two state-of-the art drones which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa."
Immigration Article of the Day: Human Rights and Immigrants' Access to Care by Wendy E. Parmet and Simon Fischer
Human Rights and Immigrants' Access to Care by Wendy E. Parmet, Northeastern University - School of Law, and Simon Fischer, Northeastern University - School of Law 2014 Salud Pública de México, Vol. 55, No. 6, pp. 631 -637 (2013) Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 183-2014
Abstract: This article first examines the international framework for the right to health, and how it applies to non-citizens within a state. It then looks specifically at the case of the United States of America, which does not recognize a general right to health, but does have numerous particularized health programs, each with their own criteria and exclusions. The resulting hodgepodge is especially difficult for non-citizens, who face a number of exclusions based on their immigration status. This results in non-citizens being insured at low rates, and being put at greater risk for certain preventable or treatable diseases. Finally, the article looks at an example of using state rather than federal law in the United States to secure better health care for immigrant populations. Particular attention is paid to Finch v. Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, which established under Massachusetts law that legal immigrants could not be discriminated against in a state-funded broad-based health insurance program.
Friday, August 29, 2014
A civil rights lawyer. A fair and reasonable judge. A wonderful husband. An immigrant turned naturalized citizen. These are some of the words one can use to describe Judge Frank Schwelb of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals who passed away on August 13, 2014.
Judge Schwelb was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. As his obituary from the Washington Post reported, Judge Schwelb fled with his family to England on the eve of World War II. (His father was a human rights lawyer who represented anti-Nazi refugees and was arrested and later released. More about their family story and his father may be found here). The Schwelb family lived in England as refugees until they moved to the United States when Judge Schwelb was fifteen years old. Born Frantisek Arnost Schwel, he later changed his name to Frank Schwelb.
As his D.C. Court of Appeals bio explains, Judge Schwelb attended Yale University and then Harvard Law School. While in law school, he took two years off to serve in the Army and later became a naturalized citizen before finishing law schooli n 1958. He would then have a successful career working in a law firm, then the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division and worked on several important voting rights cases, desegregation cases, and the case involving the murder of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerne.
President Carter Jimmy Carter appointed him to the District of Columbia Superior Court in 197o and President Ronald Reagan later appointed him to the DC Court of Appeals in 1988. As a judge, he became known for using cultural referances in his opinions, citing among others, Shakespeare and John Keats. Although I did not clerk for Judge Schwelb, I have very fond memories of him. (I clerked for one of his colleagues, Judge Stephen H. Glickman, who was a big fan of Judge Schwelb). He was nice, witty and had a very nice and welcoming smile.
He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Taffy Wurzburg Schwelb.
He will very much be missed. Rest in peace, Judge Schwelb.
As Sahra Vang Nguyen of NBC News reported in this article, a group of Asian Americans recently performed a play that portrayed their struggles with being undocumented in the United States.
"The performance, 'Letters From UndocuAsians,' was written, produced and performed by members of RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast), the first pan-Asian, undocumented, youth-led group on the East Coast.'
RAISE has also put together a documentary short, "Why We Rise," which features the experiences of three young Asian Americans who are living in New York without authorized immigration status from the U.S.
One of RAISE's points in highlighting the experiences of undocumented Asian Americans is to challenge their perception as the "model minorities." “One of the biggest challenges of being an undocumented Asian American is the 'Model Minority Myth,'” said the play’s host, Rhustie Valdizno. “People always think that since we’re Asian, we are doing well.”
Although coming out of the "undocumented" closet is risky, the efforts of these performance artists should be lauded for working to better deepen our understanding of the difficulties faced by those among us who have had to live in the shadows of immigration law.
Professor Liz Keyes of the University of Baltimore brought to my attention this terrific BuzzFeed Quiz: Could You and Your Partner Pass A U.S. Immigration Marriage Interview?
I had my Immigration Law students take the quiz with their partners. It was very interesting to hear their reactions to the questions.
Having known my S.O. for more than 15 years, I was shocked by our collective score of 28 out of 46.
ImmigrationProf previously reported on a lawsuit against the Department of Justice brought by Immigration Court Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and current adjunct professor at UCLA School of Law. The lawsuit challenges a DOJ order recusing Judge Tabaddor, an immigrant from Iran, indefinitely from all cases involving Iranian nationals. The dispute apparently all started after Trabaddor sought a day of of leave to attend a meeting of Iranian American leaders at the White House.
For an op/ed on the DOJ order, see Download Daily Journal Article (Dean Johnson)