Friday, October 31, 2014
The Three Senators
As has been widely reported, three Republican senators (John McCain (Arizona), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Marco Rubio (Florida) who have supported comprehensive immigration reform are now urging President Barack Obama to hold off on executive action on immigration:
"Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people."
Here is the letter.
Facing an aging and declining labor force, Germany has introduced a wide array of services at federal, state, and local government levels to improve the labor market integration of new arrivals—including employment counseling, vocational training, and language instruction. A major law passed in 2012 that has helped make the process of certifying skills in Germany more efficient also is paying dividends, the authors of a new report find.
In Investing in the Future: Labor Market Integration Policies for New Immigrants in Germany, researchers Carola Burkert and Anette Haas sketch a picture of a dynamic response to immigrant integration challenges, with policymakers increasingly focused on ensuring that the growing immigrant population has robust pathways into middle-skilled work. Nonetheless, Germany faces significant challenges. New immigrants to Germany enjoy considerable improvements in their access to the labor market during the first few years after arrival, surmounting initial difficulties finding work. However, they still struggle to work their way up into middle- or high-skilled jobs. Principal among the factors holding many back: insufficient language skills and a lack of recognized credentials, which are crucial in a country where skills and formal qualifications are central to finding stable, well-paying jobs.
After spending a year homeless in Paris, actor Djimon Hounsou was noticed by a stranger and fell into the world of fashion as a model. Starting in 1990, he played a few roles in television and film, but it was in 1997 that he came to international attention and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Cinque in Spielberg’s Amistad, a film based the true story of a mutiny aboard a slave ship of prisoners from Mende. Since then, Hounsou has appeared in other major films and was nominated twice for an Oscar for his roles in In America and Blood Diamond.
Migration Policy Institutue: Ebola Outbreak Rekindles Debate on Restricting Admissions to the United States on Health Grounds
It seems fair to say that Ebola has been in the news. The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, with three cases diagnosed in the United States, has generated tremendous public fear and anxiety in the United States and other countries. The Obama administration has restricted air travel from West Africa to five airports with enhanced screening, amid calls for a complete travel ban. This piece by released by the Migration Policy Institute examines the use of U.S. immigration controls to halt the spread of disease.
As discussed in the article, immigration restrictions have been used to protect the United States from disease and pandemics since the enactment of the 1891 Immigration Act. That law established for the first time that foreign nationals could be denied entry into the United States on health grounds; the list of health-related grounds has been periodically modified over the years. Currently, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), health-related grounds of exclusion and inadmissibility apply to those seeking entry to the United States: 1) with a communicable disease of public health significance; 2) without documentation of a required set of immunizations; 3) with a physical or mental disorder associated with dangerous behaviors; or 4) who are drug addicts.
The article questions whether a "close the border" approach to Ebola will work in modern times with international travel commonplace.
Immigration Article of the Day: Latino Immigrant Men and the Deportation Crisis: A Gendered Racial Removal Program by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo
Latino Immigrant Men and the Deportation Crisis: A Gendered Racial Removal Program by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza (University of California, Merced) and Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (University of Southern California - Department of Sociology), 2013 Latino Studies, 11(3): 271-292, 2013 Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper
Abstract: This article reviews how US deportations ballooned between 1997 and 2012, and underscores how these deportations disproportionately targeted Latino working class men. Building on Mae Ngai’s (2004) concept of racial removal, we describe this recent mass deportation as a gendered racial removal program. Drawing from secondary sources, surveys conducted in Mexico, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published statistics, and interviews with deportees conducted by the first author in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Jamaica, we argue that: (1) deportations have taken on a new course in the aftermath of 9/11 and in the wake of the global economic crisis – involving a shift towards interior enforcement; (2) deportation has become a gendered and racial removal project of the state; and (3) deportations will have lasting consequences with gendered and raced effects here in the United States. We begin by examining the mechanisms of the new deportation regime, showing how it functions, and then examine the legislation and administrative decisions that make it possible. Next, we show the concentration of deportations by nation and gender. Finally, we discuss the causes of this gendered racial removal program, which include the male joblessness crisis since the Great Recession, the War on Terror, and the continued criminalization of Black and Latino men by police authorities.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Lawdragon reports on the AB 540 & Undocumented Student Center, which opened this month at UC Davis. Through a partnership with the law school’s immigration clinic – the first of its kind in the University of California system – the center will provide free legal services to undocumented students and their families. The law school is simultaneously developing an initiative for its immigration clinic to provide such services to schools in the University of California system without law schools.
You are all cordially invited to the University of Oklahoma College of Law on Friday November 14. The Oklahoma Law Review will be hosting a symposium to discuss Chae Chan Ping, which turns 125 this year. If you RSVP, we'll even feed you. And I'm told there's free CLE on the horizon as well. I hope to see you there!
Today the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) released a new report — Locking Up Family Values, Again — which exposes the inhumane conditions and negligence inside family detention centers incarcerating mothers and children who fled violence in Central America seeking asylum in the United States. The report is being released on the heels of several hearings this week by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights examining immigration detention where representatives from both groups testified. The report details incidents of children’s weight loss and depression, mothers’ separation from their children and denial of even the most basic due process protections afforded asylum seekers. Mothers and children are forced to remain inside these detention facilities with no possibility of release on bond or enrollment in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s alternative to detention programs.
The Center for American Progress has provided this fact list about Colorado. By 2040, more than one-third of Coloradans will be Latino, up from one-fifth today. The Latino population—documented or not—already makes vast contributions to the state’s economy and electorate, but Colorado’s shifting demographics will give this key voting bloc even more influence in the coming decades.
Here are 10 facts you need to know about Latinos and immigration in Colorado.
- Colorado’s Latino population is substantial. In fact, 21 percent of Colorado’s 5.3 million residents are Latino. This is nearly 4 percent higher than the national average. Colorado is one of just nine states with a Latino population of more than 1 million people.
- Nearly 1 out of every 10 people in Colorado is foreign born. Even so, Colorado—at 9.7 percent foreign born—lags behind the national average of 12.9 percent.
- A generational shift is evident in Colorado. By 2040, 34 percent of Coloradans will be Latino. Latinos in Colorado are, on average, much younger—26 years old—than the white population—40 years old—and three-quarters of Latinos in Colorado are native born.
- Latinos in Colorado have personal ties to undocumented immigrants. Immigration is a deeply personal issue for Colorado’s Latino voters: A full 63 percent know someone who is an undocumented immigrant, while another 35 percent know people who have been deported or detained.
- As Latinos become an increasing share of the Colorado electorate, they will continue to reshape its politics. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) represents a good example of how shifting demographics have affected the politics of the state. When he first went to Congress in 2008, he was a hardliner on immigration, voting against the DREAM Act and other pro-immigrant policies. After redistricting in 2010, the demographics of Rep. Coffman’s district changed, adding a substantial number of Latino voters. Not surprisingly, Coffman evolved on immigration in 2012 and took a more positive position on the issue. In 2013, he even came out in favor of a pathway to citizenship for some unauthorized immigrants.
- Immigration politics played a decisive role in the 2010 election. In the last midterm election cycle, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) won 81 percent of the Latino vote against Republican opponent Ken Buck, who campaigned on a harsh anti-immigrant platform. Sen. Bennet’s win was part of the “Latino firewall” that kept the Senate in Democratic hands.
- Immigration could once again play a decisive role in the 2014 Senate election. The race between incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D) and Rep. Cory Gardner (R) is one of the most competitive this year. This race may come down to the Latino vote, and the latest polls have Rep. Gardner slightly ahead in the polls. However, with Latino voters comprising 14 percent of eligible voters, and with immigration a key and personal issue for Latino voters in Colorado, the politics of immigration reform could swing the race—and the balance of the Senate.
- Immigration reform may also be critical to one of the most competitive House races. Rep. Coffman’s race for re-election in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District against Democratic challenger and former Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff, one of the most competitive races in the nation, could come down to the Latino vote and the issue of immigration. The two men are vying for a seat in a district that is about 20 percent Latino. Rep. Coffman and Romanoff have engaged in English and Spanish debates in order to sway the Latino vote. Rep. Coffman, while supporting a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, has opposed pro-immigrant measures in the past, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
- Immigrants are integral to Colorado’s economy. If Colorado’s unauthorized population were able to gain legal status, the 10-year cumulative increase in gross state product would be $15.8 billion. When undocumented immigrants gain citizenship, they will pay an estimated $681 million in new tax revenue over 10 years, creating 2,300 jobs annually and further improving the economy and prosperity of all Colorado residents.
- Latinos add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Colorado’s economy. The 2012 purchasing power of Colorado’s Latinos totaled $21.8 billion, an increase of 454.5 percent since 1990.
Colorado has already shown how pro-immigrant positions can be key to winning over Latino voters. With growing Latino influence in the state, how both parties talk about immigration reform will matter greatly to the state’s future political and social climate.
THE GREEN MONSTER: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency
THE GREEN MONSTER: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency” by POLITICO Magazine’s Garrett Graff paints a scary picture of the Border Patrol:
"The United States today spends more money each year on border and immigration enforcement than the combined budgets of the FBI, ATF, DEA, Secret Service and U.S. Marshals—plus the entire NYPD annual budget. Altogether, the country has invested more than $100 billion in border and immigration control since 9/11. . . . . [T]he Border Patrol has also become one of the nation’s deadliest law enforcement agencies over that same period, involved in more fatal shootings—at least 46—since 2004 than perhaps any other such agency."
In May 2013, Judge Sri Srinivasan was confirmed unanimously as President Obama’s first appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, making him the first South Asian–American to serve as a federal circuit court judge. Born in India, he earned his degrees from Stanford University and then served as a law clerk and a Bristow Fellow before joining the law firm O’Melveny & Myers in 1998, where he later became a partner and Chair of the firm’s appellate and Supreme Court practice. From 2011 until his appointment to the circuit court, Srinivasan served as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States.
On a pro bono basis, Srinivasan successfully represented the petitioner in the Supreme Court in Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, which unanimously ruled that a second misdemeanor drug conviction for possession of one tablet of Xanex did not constititute an "aggravated felony" for purposes of removal.
Immigration Article of the Day: International Aspects of Asylum Law in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by Emily MacKenzie
International Aspects of Asylum Law in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom by Emily MacKenzie Date: October 29, 2014
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (Supreme Court) recently decided two cases that demonstrate the challenges courts face when applying asylum law domestically within the general framework of international refugee law. The Supreme Court’s application of complicated principles to difficult facts will ensure that these cases provide important guidance on respective competences, the use of evidence, and the rule of law to international decision-making bodies in the field of international refugee law, as well as other domestic decision makers.
The first case, I.A. v. Secretary of State for the Home Department decided on January 29, 2014, concerned the weight to be given to an earlier grant of refugee status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to a person later applying for asylum in a state party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The U.K. is a party to this Convention, which is the key legal document that defines refugees, their rights, and the legal obligations of states toward them.
The second case, R (on the application of EM (Eritrea)) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, decided on February 19, 2014, concerned whether an asylum seeker is required to show that there are “systemic” deficiencies in asylum protection in order not to be returned to a country otherwise deemed safe.
This Insight discusses the points of law raised by each case before briefly pulling together some international themes that emerge from this latest case law from the Supreme Court in the area of asylum.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
In an interview with the Washington Post, University of California President Janet Napolitano stated that she supports executive action by President Obama to reform immigration policy if Congress fails to pass comprehensive immigration reform, citing what she views as the successful 2012 program to delay deportations of younger immigrants.
In that vein, President Napolitano presented “Anatomy of a Legal Decision” on Monday, Oct. 27, as the University of Georgia School of Law’s 112th Sibley Lecturer and commented on the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
"[I]n the absence of action by the House of Representatives on comprehensive immigration reform, something at least needed to be done to address the plight of the Dreamers. Our answer to that challenge – DACA—was the right thing to do, and the lawful thing to do. It was doable, and it was defensible.
In the two-plus years since DACA was launched – after what the New York Times has described as a superhuman bureaucratic effort – more than 675,000 young people, who were already in this country, have come out from the shadows. Legally, and in the light of day, they have applied for and received deferred status, work authorization, and other previously forbidden pieces of paper that had dogged their day-to-day existence.
They are people like Mario Lio, who was brought here from Peru at the age of 12. He received his education in civil engineering at UC Berkeley—Go Bears!—but given his immigration status, he was unable to pursue a professional career, let alone apply for a driver’s license or Social Security number. DACA changed all that.
"So many doors opened overnight," the 25-year-old told the Wall Street Journal. "I became a new person in some ways."
Mario Lio now works as a project engineer for the firm that built Levis Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Multiply his story by nearly 700,000 and you get an understanding how much of a difference DACA has made."
Born in Venezuela, Alcides Escobar is a professional baseball player and starting shortstop for the Kansas City Royals. Last night, in the Royals' blowout of the San Francisco Giants to force a Game 7 World Series game, Escobar was 2-5, with a run and RBI.
Immigration Article of the Day: Riding the Wave: Uplifting Labor Organizations Through Immigration Reform by Jayesh Rathod
Riding the Wave: Uplifting Labor Organizations Through Immigration Reform by Jayesh Rathod, American University - Washington College of Law October 17, 2014 4 UC Irvine L. Rev. 625, 2014
Abstract: In recent years, labor unions in the United States have embraced the immigrants’ rights movement, cognizant that the very future of organized labor depends on its ability to attract immigrant workers and integrate them into union ranks. At the same time, the immigrants’ rights movement has been lauded for its successful organizing models, often drawing upon the vitality and ingenuity of immigrant-based worker centers, which themselves have emerged as alternatives to traditional labor unions. And while the labor and immigrants’ rights movements have engaged in some fruitful collaborations, their mutual support has failed to radically reshape the trajectory of either cause. In this Article, I argue that the ongoing legislative debates around immigration reform provide a unique opportunity to reimagine and revitalize traditional organized labor and to strengthen newer, immigrant-centered worker organizations. In my view, this can be accomplished by positioning unions and worker organizations as key actors in immigration processes (for both temporary and permanent immigration) and in any likely legalization initiative. Their specific roles might include sponsoring or indirectly supporting certain visa applications, facilitating the portability of employment-related visas from one employer to another, offering training opportunities to meet immigration requirements, assisting with legalization applications, leading immigrant integration initiatives, and more. Apart from the instrumental objective of attracting immigrants to the ranks of unions and worker organizations, this set of proposals will position these institutions as sites where the virtues of leadership, democratic participation, and civic engagement can be forged in new Americans. Indeed, these virtues coincide with the founding values of most U.S. labor unions; to the extent some unions have strayed from these values, the proposals provide an external imperative to reorient and rebrand unions as core civil society institutions. Moreover, immigrant worker centers have already become known for their focus on leadership development, democratic decision making, and civic education, and are therefore uniquely positioned to play this role. This convergence of utilitarian and transcendent objectives, in the current sociopolitical moment, justifies a special position for unions and worker organizations in the U.S. immigration system.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Vera Institute of Justice is looking to fill two positions in its New York office. Both are with the institute's Center on Immigration and Justice .
The Senior Program Associate will work on the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), which informs detained immigrants about their rights, and the immigration court and detention processes.
The Program Analyst will work with both the LOP and the National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP), which provides government-funded legal representation to detained immigrants who are determined to be not mentally competent to represent themselves in their immigration proceedings.
The deadline to apply is November 7, 2014.
The University of Minnesota is accepting applications for a 2-year teaching fellowship with its Center for New Americans. The center emcompasses three interrelated clinics: The Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, The Detainee Rights Clinic, and the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic.
It's a great opportunity for someone looking to break into clinical law teaching.
From the Bookshelves: American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court by Garrett Epps
In this provocative and insightful book, constitutional scholar and journalist Garrett Epps reviews the key decisions of the 2013–2014 Supreme Court term through the words of the nation's nine most powerful legal authorities. Epps succinctly outlines one opinion or dissent from each justice during the recent term, using it to illuminate the political and ideological views that prevail on the court. The result is a highly readable summary of the term's most controversial cases as well as a probing investigation of the issues and personalities that shape the court's decisions. Accompanied by a concise overview of Supreme Court procedure and brief case summaries, American Justice 2014 is an engaging and instructive read for seasoned court-watchers as well as legal novices eager for an introduction to the least-understood branch of government. This revealing portrait of a year in legal action dramatizes the ways that the Court has come to reflect and encourage the polarization that increasingly defines American politics.
Garrett Epps is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and The American Prospect. His most recent book, American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution, was named a finalist for the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award. Epps is Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore.
Rumors Abound About Obama Administration's Executive Action on Immigration: The Latest Headline -- "Immigration officer union sounds alarm over DHS order for millions of blank work permits, green cards"
Fox News is reporting that a union that represents federal immigration officers is raising alarm after the U.S. government ordered supplies to create work permits and green cards, touching off speculation that the Obama administration may be preparing executive action on immigration. The Associated Press reported last week that a federal contract proposal from the Homeland Security Department would allow the government to buy enough supplies to make as many as 34 million work permits and residency cards over the next five years. Kenneth Palinkas, the president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said in a press release Monday that he believes the move indicates the administration is planning to enact “massive unilateral amnesty” after the midterm elections.