Guest post by Cecilia Anguiano, rising 3L at Lewis & Clark Law School.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of California is one of the busiest courts in the entire country. The court’s shared border with Mexico means the majority of the criminal cases are for drug and human trafficking. In total, around two-thirds of cases before this court are criminal.
On Friday, the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino’s courtroom had only a few attorneys present, “probably because we are going into Memorial Day weekend,” she stated.
The first person for sentencing this morning was a 19 year old legal permanent resident who pled guilty to smuggling several people in a car. He explained that it was a lapse in judgment after drinking at a bar. He thought he could make fast money since he had a baby girl on the way.
Judge Sammartino used sentencing guidelines to advise her and, as she put it, “for equity and sufficiency purposes, as well as to avoid sentencing disparities.” The guidelines work as a point system in which the criminal history of the defendant as well as the severity of the crime point to a recommended sentence. Judge Sammartino noted the guidelines help her make sentencing decisions because she was not a career prosecutor before coming to the bench. The Guidelines used to be mandatory where they would limit the judge in considering factors specific to the case.
The 19 year old fell into a criminal category 1 and offense level 13 which recommended an 12-18 months sentence. Judge Sammartino used her discretion and considered the fact that he readily accepted responsibility, worked quickly with the prosecution through Fast-Track and didn’t have any previous criminal history which resulted in lowering his offense level.
Judge Sammartino sentenced him to 12 months and one day making him deportable. His one mistake will now cost him his life here in the United States and a strain on his relationship with his newborn that he has yet to see.
His story draws on the importance of LPRs pursuing their citizenship status. One mistake could mean derailment of every aspect of a person’s life.
World events have had an impact on one NBA professional basketball player.
ABC Newsreports that, after being detained in Romania and having his passport revoked by the Turkish government, Enes Kanter, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is back in the United States. Kanter had been on a world tour for his Light Foundation, doing charity events to provide meals and clothes, and had already made stops in a number of countries. But after a flight from the Philippines to Bucharest, Romania, Kanter was detained by airport officials and told his Turkish passport had been "canceled." Kanter announced the situation in a video on social media, saying the Turkish government revoked his passport because of his "political views." Kanter has been a harsh critic of current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling him a "dictator" and the "Hitler of our century."
According to sources, the NBA worked with the State Department to get Kanter to London late on Saturday, with Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford making calls on his behalf. Kanter is a citizen of Turkey, but he is a lawful permanent resident in the United States.
Sports Illustratedreports that the Turkish government has issued a warrant for Kanter's arrest.
Last week, Law & Order: SVU had its season finale and it had a "ripped from the headlines" story line about hate crimes against Muslims, undocumented immigrants, "sanctuary cities," and more. Here is a description: "Three masked men break into a Syrian family’s restaurant, steal the money, kill the father, rape both of his adult daughters, then kill one of those daughters. Along the way, the criminals spray-paint “Muslims must die” on the refrigerators." The episode can be watched online.
The episode had the NYPD detectives investigating a horrible rape/murder case with a family of Muslim victims. In the course of the special two hour episode, the story line takes us through the modern immigration debates immigration and the Big Apple's status as a "sanctuary city"; nonetheless, SVU detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) threatens an undocumented immigrant mother from El Salvador with removal unless she provides information. In the end, the viewer has to decide whether justice has been done.
This chapter explores legal and theoretical aspects of naturalization. The first section addresses the ultimate goal of naturalization—what function does it serve?—by presenting three goals: contract, political test, and nation-building. Each goal may lead to a different process of naturalization and raise different ethical questions. The literature does not systematically discuss which goals are legitimate, and which ones are illegitimate. The second section seeks to present three ways to assess the ethics of naturalization—drawing on conceptual and utilitarian grounds. Among the conceptual factors to be considered are the legitimacy of the goals of naturalization according to different conceptions of citizenship (liberalism, republicanism, cosmopolitanism, and communitarianism) and of nationhood (primordial, civic, and cultural). Among the utilitarian considerations are the efficiency of the naturalization criteria in achieving a legitimate goal. The third section moves on to examine three trends in naturalization policy in Western societies—legalization, devaluation, and liberalization (followed by a restrictive turn). It points out that naturalization has been internationalized in the direction of creating a right to citizenship; that citizenship is becoming a ‘commodity’ in the global economy market whose nature is increasingly influenced by economic factors; and that the process of liberalization in access to the status of citizenship is facing a restrictive turn—cultural considerations are becoming more central in naturalization decisions. The chapter concludes by offering new directions for the study of naturalization.
"Anchored by interviews with descendants of ancestors whose stories are featured throughout the event series and geographical imagery that showcases the history of how America was populated, “America: Promised Land” uncovers the great forces that set mankind in motion. During the course of the two nights, the series chronicles the massive immigration patterns of ethnic groups to the United States through the telling of historical events including the Dutch Fur Trade; the creation of the postage stamp by Irish immigrants; the California Gold Rush; Germans coming to the aid of the Union Army in vast numbers during the Civil War; The Great Migration of African-Americans to the North and West and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad which reduced America’s East to West travel time from six months to one week.
Additionally, the series sheds a realistic light on the struggles and hardships that some populations endured during their journey to America, such as the transport of enslaved people during the transatlantic slave trade and Italian communities in New York being targeted by criminal organizations. Through the exploration of immigrant’s strife, triumphs and contributions to society, “America: Promised Land” offers an authentic look at patterns of migration with an emphasis on the massive movements of people since the Industrial Revolution."
NextShark (an online magazine that describes itself as focusing on the Asian youth market) has reported that Phillip Clay, a 42-year old Korean-American who was adopted by an American family at age 10 and deported to Korea in 2012, recently committed suicide. The article notes that Adam Crapser, another Korean-American adoptee whose deportation earlier this year received a fair amount of media attention attended the funeral, which was held by Holt Children's Services, the adoption agency for Korean children placed with overseas families. Crapser had been adopted at age 3. Neither had completed the naturalization process, thus leaving them vulnerable to deportation despite their particularly nonexistent ties to their country of birth.
ICYMI, this weekend's New York Times Magazine contains an excellent and very timely feature article by journalist Marcela Valdes, entitled, "Is it Possible to Resist Deportation in Trump's America?" It traces the history and strategy of the Puente Human Rights Movement which developed new tactics for protecting communities from deportation under the State of Arizona's enforcement-by-attrition policies, including the aggressive steps taken by former Sheriff Joseph Arpaio against immigrants in Maricopa County. The article -- which contains quotes from Immprofers Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia and Stephen Legomsky -- reflects important insights on deportation policy under the current federal leadership as well as insights on how communities across the country might respond.
"Prosecutorial Discretion at ICE, My Latest FOIA Adventure" includes Prof. Wadhia's latest Freedom of Information Act request, seeking information and records related to prosecutorial discretion decisions under the Obama Administration, including a link to a data set involving over 40,000 encounters in which ICE considered exercising prosecutorial discretion.
"Donald Trump's Enforcement Plan and the Future of Discretion" discusses recent developments under the Trump Administration through the lens of prosecutorial discretion. As she notes, despite the continued operation of the DACA program, the federal government's current immigration policies seem to place any person who lacks authorization to be present in the US at risk of enforcement action. While some form of prosecutorial discretion is likely to remain necessary, Prof. Wadhia explains, "One concern is that instead of using priorities to guide enforcement, DHS will arbitrarily enforce the law against individuals and families who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or other low-hanging fruit."
Are legal immigrants opposed to undocumented immigration? Recently, a group of first-generation Chinese Americans has made national news by showing up at hearings and objecting vociferously to sanctuary city policies, which aim to protect people who are in the United States without documents. News articles covering this group suggest that there may be a broader conflict between legal and undocumented immigrants over liberal immigration laws.
But those stories are simply anecdotes. New data from the 2016 National Asian American Post-Election Survey (NAAS) suggest that most Asian Americans want to support those who are here without papers. Read more....
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice), a national affiliation of five civil rights organizations, releases the following statement in response to yesterday's tragic attack in Portland:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) extends our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the two men fatally stabbed and another male victim seriously injured after confronting a man who verbally assaulted two female passengers with anti-Muslim insults on a public train in Portland, Oregon. The attacker is a known white supremacist.
The brave actions of the men are a testament to their immense courage to confront hate, racism, and xenophobia. We call upon the Trump administration to examine their rhetoric and to apologize for fomenting hate and discriminatory policies against Muslims apparent not only here but also in the sharp increase in Islamophobia and violence against Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities.
Last night's attack occurred on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar. Although authorities have not yet spoken to the female passengers, eyewitness accounts confirm one of the women was wearing a hijab. Advancing Justice supports the ongoing investigation by authorities in treating last night's tragedy as a hate incident.
In January, the Advancing Justice launched the Stand Against Hatred website to track hate incidents targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). More recently, the affiliation has partnered with the national Communities Against Hate initiative to ensure AAPIs are counted within hate crime reports.
Lawfare has this summary of the Fourth Circuit's ruling in the travel ban case. Here is the introduction:
"in a highly anticipated 10-3 decision in International Refugee Assistance Program v. Trump, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appealsaffirmed Maryland Judge Theodore Chuang’s nation-wide injunction of the provision of President Donald Trump’s revised executive order that suspended immigrant and refugee entry to the United States. In a lengthy and comprehensive opinion for the majority, Chief Judge Roger Gregory focuses on the central issue in the case: whether the Constitution “protects Plaintiffs’ right to challenge an Executive Order that in the text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” The court concludes that the president’s power “cannot go unchecked where, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation,” and affirmed “in substantial part” the district court’s suspension of Section 2(c) of Trump’s travel ban."
ICE ison the move. Here is a press release from last week of an immigration operation focused on "criminal aliens":
"A convicted rapist and a previously deported cocaine trafficker are among the 188 individuals arrested in the greater Los Angeles area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations officers during a five-day expanded enforcement operation that concluded Wednesday targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives.
Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division, 169, or almost 90 percent, had prior criminal convictions – see table below. The statistics cover all of ERO’s arrests in the greater Los Angeles-area from Saturday through Wednesday.
Receipt of Stolen Property
Illegal Re-entry; Illegal Entry
Cruelty to a Child
*Note: criminal aliens with multiple prior convictions are categorized based on their most serious conviction.
Among those arrested were:
A 29-year-old Salvadoran national convicted of rape in California who was taken into custody May 22 in Los Angeles. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases indicate the man was deported in 2014 after serving a nine-year prison term, but subsequently returned to the U.S. illegally. The man now faces criminal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry after deportation;
A previously deported 51-year-old Mexican national arrested May 22 in La Puente who served three years in the California Department of Corrections following his conviction for cocaine trafficking;
A 47-year-old Mexican national arrested in Los Angeles May 20 who has prior convictions for felony assault and another conviction for battery. DHS databases indicate this individual was released in 2014 by local authorities despite an ICE detainer; and a
A 26-year-old Salvadoran national with a final order of removal arrested May 21 in Azusa who is a registered sex offender based upon his 2014 conviction for having unlawful sex with a minor.
The just concluded operation targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including individuals who re-entered the country after being removed, and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.
“Operations like this are emblematic of the vital work ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers do every day seeking to locate, arrest, and ultimately deport at-large convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” said David Marin, field office director for ERO in Los Angeles. “By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone.”
At least eight of the individuals arrested during the just concluded enforcement action now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.
The arrestees (177 men and 11 women) included nationals from 11 countries.
The arrests occurred in six Southland counties and 64 communities.
COUNTY ARREST TOTALS
CITY ARREST TOTALS
E. Los Angeles
ICE deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.
During targeted enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.
Since President Trump signed the Executive Orders (EOs) regarding immigration enforcement priorities, ICE has arrested more than 41,000 individuals nationwide who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally, a nearly 40 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Almost 75 percent of those arrested during this period in 2017 are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges. In the greater Los Angeles area, ICE officers made 2,273 administrative arrests during that timeframe, including 2,049 criminal aliens.
The Los Angeles Times reports on the operation here.
Note the following, which offer a glimpse of the race and class consequences of the operation:
1. Mexico, by far, had the most nationals arrested.
2. Most of the arrests were in many predominantly Latino cities. I did not, for example, see Beverly Hills or Newport Beach listed.
3. Drug offenses, domestic violence, and DUIs were the top three crimes (by far) committed by those arrested.
One of his most well-known accomplishments came in 1978, when Brzezinski helped President Carter reach an agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to secure the Camp David peace accords between the two countries.
In recent years, many conservatives have come to favor a highly restrictionist approach to immigration policy. But that position is in conflict with their own professed commitment to principles such as free markets, liberty, colorblindness, and enforcing constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. These values ultimately all support a strong presumption in favor of free migration.
On Lawfare, Peter Marguliesexpresses skepticism about the Fourth Circuit's reliance on the Establishment Clause to enjoin the travel ban in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump. I can't really tell what Margulies thinks of the ultimate outcome of the case. I do understand him to (1) be skeptical of the Establishment Clause rationale for invalidating the travel ban; and (2) worried about the court "cherry-pickingDonald Trump's campaign utterances and subsequent statements." On the second point, there sure were many, many anti-Muslim statements in Trump's utterances alone; to me, it is hard to say that any "cherry-picking" went on in the court's analysis.
UPDATE (May 27, 2017, 6:05 a.m. PST): Professor Margulies explains his Establishment Clause critique:
Why the Establishment Clause is a Bad Fit for Immigration Law
Invoking the Establishment Clause in immigration cases is an invitation with more peril than promise. I should state first that, as a participant in our political community, I was appalled by candidate Trump’s call for a Muslim ban. I viewed the original EO as deeply flawed on legal and policy grounds. From a policy standpoint, the second EO is still deeply flawed. Moreover, I share the concerns of those who worry that it could presage a longer-term retrenchment in the U.S. commitment to legal immigration and refugee protection. That said, I see little precedent in U.S. immigration law for granting judicially enforceable legal protections to noncitizens who have no ties to the United States. (Kerry v. Dindoesn’t go very far in this direction, since Kennedy and Alito merely “assumed” that the Due Process applied, and then denied the noncitizen and his citizen spouse the modest relief they requested: identifying a particular subsection in 8 U.S.C. 1182’s terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds.)
For me, the Establishment Clause is not a sound vehicle for such a marked change in the law, because the cumbersome Lemon test would find fault with many foreign policy measures. For example, Congress passed the Lautenberg Amendment, sought by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) – one of the plaintiffs in IRAP v. Trump – to protect Soviet Jews. (See Josh Blackman’s discussion here.) This legislation presumed persecution for Russian Jewish asylum-seekers. In other words, individuals in this group did not have to go through the full rigors of the asylum adjudication process. Other applicants for asylum might have viewed the Lautenberg Amendment as exactly the kind of help to religion that the Establishment Clause forbids.
I’d argue that the Lautenberg Amendment, which HIAS now proudly says was expanded to include other religious minorities, was a step in the right direction. In immigration, I believe it’s best to take a good first step and then bring others along. Stopping the first step helps no one. In this sense, the focus on the Establishment Clause in IRAP v. Trump is a cure worse than the disease.
Of course, one can argue that the Lautenberg Amendment was benign, while both the original and revised EOs will at least entail additional delay for meritorious refugee and visa applications. That certainly makes a difference in terms of policy. However, it doesn’t cut any ice under the Establishment Clause, which bars both help and hindrance to religion.
My central concern is with the institutional costs of expanding the Establishment Clause to cover immigration. I’m wary of courts parsing the intent of the Congress that enacted the Lautenberg Amendment. On that front, the Fourth Circuit did not inspire confidence in its decision on Thursday.
To parse language, one should at least provide an exact quote. However, in his lengthy opinion, Judge Gregory merely paraphrased relevant comments, such as Rudy Giuliani’s account that Trump asked him to “[p]ut a commission together… [and] show me the right way to do it legally” (emphasis added). Judge Gregory, at page 51 in his opinion, framed this as Trump instructing Giuliani “to find a way to ban Muslims in a legal way.” But that’s not an accurate paraphrase of Rudy’s account. Rudy didn’t mention any Muslim ban; indeed in his comments he spoke highly of Saudi Arabia. That’s an odd reference for someone pushing a ban on Muslim immigration.
Similarly, critics of the EOs have interpreted Trump’s signing ceremony comment, “[w]e all know what that means,” as referring to a Muslim ban. However, read in context, Trump’s reference to “that” concerned the threat of foreign terrorism. If a court devotes 100 pages to an Establishment Clause analysis of a speaker’s intent, the court should get the quotes right. If the Fourth Circuit couldn’t manage that simple task, perhaps using the Establishment Clause to stop the revised EO isn’t worth the candle.
Dorothea Lange's “Migrant Mother,” taken in Nipomo, Calif., in March 1936, captured the despair of that era through the eyes of a 32-year-old mother who had just sold her car tires for food. (Dorothea Lange)
The Associated Pressreminds us of the work of Dorothea Lange and ties it to the modern migration struggles. Lange was driving by a pea pickers’ camp on the California coast when she stumbled across a weary mother and her many children huddled in a lean-to.
It was 1936, during the throes of the Great Depression, and Lange took out her camera. The image she titled “Migrant Mother” became the late photographer’s most famous work, capturing the dirt and despair of that era.
The photograph, digitally scanned and enlarged, is a dominant feature of a new exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California called “Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing.” The exhibit of 100 of Lange’s photographs includes Dust Bowl migrants, Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II, the homeless and post-war urban decline.
"the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 6 months, from July 23, 2017, through January 22, 2018. The Secretary has determined that a limited, 6-month extension is warranted because, although Haiti has made significant progress in recovering from the January 2010 earthquake that prompted its initial designation, conditions in Haiti supporting its designation for TPS continue to be met at this time. The Secretary is committed to making TPS determinations that fully comply with the Immigration and Nationality Act and the intent of the program to provide a temporary form of immigration relief and protection to eligible individuals who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. ... TPS beneficiaries are reminded that, prior to January 22, 2018, the Secretary will re-evaluate the designation for Haiti and decide anew whether extension, redesignation, or termination is warranted. During this period, beneficiaries are encouraged to prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the Government of Haiti. DATES: Extension of Designation of Haiti for TPS: The 6-month extension of the TPS designation of Haiti is effective July 23, 2017, and will remain in effect through January 22, 2018. The 60-day re-registration period runs from May 24, 2017 through July 24, 2017."
The guide, created and written by law students under the supervision of Jayashri Srikantiah and Lisa Weissman-Ward, was produced on behalf of Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland, CA) and Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (East Palo Alto, CA).
The guides (available in English and Spanish) can be found here:
The new Trump administration's immigration executive orders have spawned a new era of lawyer activism.
For many lawyers, the Trump presidency has been a new world. While activists have filled the streets, lawyers have been fighting him in court, and gaining national recognition in the process. This has inspired many lawyers to be vocal about their beliefs and back up their words with action, joining protests across the country.
At the same time, however, this notoriety comes at a price. Many lawyers getting involved in anti-Trump actions are struggling to deal with the responsibility of fighting for their clients in a political world that is looking less and less certain, and they are talking about the toll of the work on their own mental health more openly.
Latino USAspeaks with a lawyer and a legal representative to shed light on this new world for lawyers.