Friday, October 9, 2015
CA Bill To Allow Individuals With Deferred Entry of Judgment for Minor Drug Crimes to Withdraw Guilty Pleas and Receive Protection from Possible Deportation
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law AB 1352, a piece of state legislation that could have meaningful benefits for noncitizens facing adverse immigration consequences as a result of minor drug crimes. As immigration scholars and lawyers know, the definition of a “conviction” under the Immigration and Nationality Act is extremely broad, and even includes a number of scenarios in which adjudication of guilt is withheld by a criminal court – such as many deferred entry of judgment programs. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(48)(A). According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which sponsored the bill, AB 1352 will allow a person who has successfully completed deferred entry of judgment and had his or her case dismissed, to withdraw his or her original guilty plea and enter a plea of not guilty, which will protect them from draconian federal consequences, including deportation for legal permanent residents.
Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed a twin bill, AB 1351, which would have created additional drug sentencing reforms.
The ILRC press release is below:
Gov. Brown Signs Key Drug Reform Bill Into Law, But Vetoes Another
SACRAMENTO—California Governor Jerry Brown signed yesterday into law a key piece of drug reform legislation known as AB 1352 to help protect communities of color, including immigrants, from unjust consequences of the criminal justice system. At the same time, the Governor vetoed another measure, AB 1351, which would have brought further reforms to sentencing for certain drug crimes and limited disproportionate consequences for immigrants.
The two laws, AB 1351 and 1352, were cosponsored by the San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center and authored by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton).
The following statement is from Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
“We’re pleased the Governor signed a key piece of legislation to reform sentencing for certain drug crimes, but his veto of another important measure means immigrant families will continue to suffer devastating consequences from drug possession crimes for which they are seeking treatment. For those families and California’s immigrant community – additional reforms are still necessary.
“Under the governor’s leadership, the state has led the nation on criminal justice and immigration reforms – but there is still more to be accomplished. We’re disappointed that the Governor failed to sign both bills at this time, but encouraged that California and other states will continue to pursue reforms that save lives, save money, and strengthen our communities.”
According to a recent report from Human Rights Watch, deportations of noncitizens, including green card holders (lawful permanent residents), whose most serious conviction was for a drug offense rose 22 percent from 2004 to 2012. That number spiked by 43 percent for non-citizens with convictions for simple drug possession in particular, regardless of plea deals or successful completion of rehabilitation programs.
There so far does not appear to be much in the pipeline in terms of plain vanilla immigration cases for the 2015 Term. Besides Torres v. Lynch, which is set for argument in November, there is one immigration cert petition pending (Thompson v. Lynch), raising the question "whether an alien who fails to correct an address erroneously recorded by the government on a Notice to Appear, and who is subsequently ordered removed in absentia, may reopen his removal order when he was never advised of his obligation under 8 C.F.R. § 1003.15(d)(1) to correct the government's error."
A couple of cases raise issues that touch on immigration. Evenwell v. Abott raises the question whether total population, including immigrants, rather than voting population when apportioning state legislative districts.
Here is a link to five videos that the Los Angeles Times claims demonstrates that Los Lobos deserves the Hall of Fame nomination.
Los Lobos ("The Wolves") have won multiple Grammy Awards. Their music is influenced by rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B, blues, soul, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños. They gained international stardom in 1987 when their cover version of Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba" topped the charts.
I am looking forward to seeing Los Lobos tonight at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis.
Immigrtaion Article of the Day: 'Vast Hordes...Crowding in Upon Us': The Executive Branch's Response to Mass Migration and the Legacy of Chae Chan Ping by Margaret H. Taylor and Kit Johnson
'Vast Hordes...Crowding in Upon Us': The Executive Branch's Response to Mass Migration and the Legacy of Chae Chan Ping by Margaret H. Taylor (Wake Forest University School of Law) and Kit Johnson (University of Oklahoma - College of Law), September 23, 2015, Oklahoma Law Review, Vol. 68, 2015
Abstract: In this essay, we consider how Chae Chan Ping v. United States influences the Executive Branch’s policy response to mass migration, even today. The fear of mass migration reflected in the opinion, and the Court’s articulation that our government must protect its citizenry from “vast hordes...crowding in upon us,” is a message that still resonates. When it comes to policy, the Chinese Exclusion case is more modern than one might expect. In fact, we see the fingerprints of Chae Chan Ping in the Obama Administration’s current practice regarding the detention and processing of family migrants from Central America, and in the government’s arguments defending this policy.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Urban Institute Report: Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Deported Immigrant Parents
Between 2003 and 2013, the US government deported 3.7 million immigrants to their home countries, over 90 percent of whom were unauthorized immigrants from Mexico or Central America. According to the most reliable estimates, parents of US-born children made up between one-fifth and one-quarter of this total. Prior research suggests that families and children experience significant emotional and financial hardship when a parent is deported.
1 . Children Experienced a Number of Harms following a Parent’s Detention or Deportation
2. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Took Actions Intended to Red uce Harm to Children with Parents in Custody
3 . Children with Detained or Deported Parents Had Difficulty Accessing Conventional Health, Mental Health, Early Education, and S ocial Services
4 . Diverse State and L ocal Organizations Developed Promising Approaches to Better Meet Children’s Needs
President Obama’s November 2014 Immigration Accountability Executive Action included a proposal to extend work permits and temporary deportation stays to approximately 3.7 million parents with US-citizen or legal permanent resident children. In February 2015, a federal court issued an injunction against these elements of the executive action, and as of June 2015, when this report was written, the new policy had not yet gone into effect. Until appeals of this injunction are resolved unauthorized immigrant parents of US citizens and legal permanent residents remain subject to deportation , and the concerns artic ulated in this report remain relevant. Even without more deportations, nearly one million children have already had a parent deported, and these children remain at risk for adverse outcomes. The findings from this study suggest a number of ways to provid e services and reduce harm to children with detained and deported parents. First, health and human service agencies could improve their staff’s language capacity, cultural competence, and knowledge of issues associated with immigration status. Another approach involves building bridges between health and human services agencies and informal local organizations that immigrants trust . Coordination among the key agencies (ICE, social service agencies, and foreign country consulates) is critical, especially for the provision of child welfare services. Leadership is important, as high - level contacts yield stronger coordination and service delivery. Finally, small organizations implement many promising strategies to serve children with detained and deported parents. These organizations, however, often face limited resources and high staff turnover. Institutionalizing such strategies would provide a stronger safety net for these children and families in need.
Mapping the Patchwork of State ‘DREAM Acts’ and Postsecondary Education Policies for Unauthorized Immigrant Youth
Amid lengthy debates over U.S. immigration policy and what to do about the country’s unauthorized immigrants, one particularly sympathetic population has been the focus of significant discussion and policy attention: unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Since 2001, 17 states have enacted measures that would allow qualified unauthorized immigrant youth, often referred to as DREAMers, to pay resident tuition rates at their postsecondary institutions. These state “DREAM Acts” can differ significantly in their eligibility requirements for in-state tuition, as do state postsecondary education policies regarding the availability of financial aid and other supports.
In a new commentary, the Director of the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy explores the patchwork of differing state policies and stances towards the DREAMers.
The commentary is accompanied by a useful chart that provides information on postsecondary policies related to enrollment, in-state tuition, financial aid, and other supports for the top 15 states of residence for youth eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The chart illustrates how states are coming down on opposite sides of the in-state tuition debate, or adopting seemingly small eligibility distinctions that have big impacts—like disqualifying youth who earned a high school equivalency diploma. MPI also has a data tool with significant data on the DACA population at national and state levels, as well as for top counties.
We have heard much about Donald Trump's railing on an invasion of criminals from Mexico. In the Washington Post, Harold Meyerson reminds of us of our history as a nation of going after the dominant immigrant group of the day. He begins:
"Consider the paddy wagon. From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th, this was the common term for the vehicles in which police hauled convicts and arrestees to jails, courts and prisons. Consider, now, the origin of the term. The `paddies' were Irish immigrants, who were flocking to the United States in the 1840s and ’50s, fleeing the great famine that had descended on Ireland. And the Irish, some right-thinking Protestant Americans believed, were inherently a criminal bunch."
In this op/ed in the Los Angeles Times, Holly Cooper and Jayashri Srikantiah observe that, while Americans are shocked by the surge of refugees in Europe, we are ignoring the refugee tragedy in our own country. Thousands of asylum seekers who come to the United States must fight their cases in immigration court, too often from behind bars. More than 41,000 people applied for asylum in the last fiscal year in court, and many eligible individuals likely fail to apply. These refugees are invisible to us because of Department of Homeland Security detention policies.
I am pleased to report that the United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed my colleague Professor Karima Bennoune as its Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. In her role as Special Rapporteur, Professor Bennoune will make official visits to countries; observe and report on the promotion and protection of cultural rights at the local, national, regional and international levels; identify possible obstacles to the promotion and protection of cultural rights and make recommendations to the Council on possible actions; and present reports to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly.
Professor Bennoune's book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, won the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction. Released in August 2013, the book addresses resistance to fundamentalism in Muslim majority contexts. The field research for this book took Karima to many countries, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Mali, Niger and Russia. The TED talk based on the book, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism,” has received more than 1.3 million views.
Iglesias vowed not to perform at any of Trump's casinos in the future.
Trump's response? "Good, I don't like his voice or his performances anymore, anyhow!"
LexisNexis Legal Newsroom: Immigration Law reports that, after seven years of litigation, the city of Hazleton has been ordered to pay nearly $1.4 million to attorneys who were able to enjoin the city's controversial, tough immigration enforcement ordinance. U.S. Judge James Munley entered the ruling in the case earlier this week. He awarded about half of the $2.84 million that the attorneys sought for the case, which began in 2006 and reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
Hazleton must pay $1.38 million in fees and $47,594 in costs. The cost of a court battle was one reason why the American Civil Liberties Union and Latino Justice PRLDEF warned the financially troubled city not to enact the law.
Here is some background. In July, 2006, the city of Hazleton passed an immigration enforcement a series of immigration enforcement ordinances that would punish landlords and employers accused of renting to, or hiring, any “illegal alien.” Businesses that violated the laws would be fined or denied business permits.
The ordinances were never implemented as a result of litigation brought by civil rights groups. The federal lawsuit argued that, bin addition to other challenges, the ordinances unconstitutionally usurped the federal government’s exclusive power over immigration.
Hazleton officials blamed many of the town's ills, including crime and economic burdens, on undocumented immigrants. Supporters of the law stated that their goal was to drive "illegal aliens" out of town.
At a two-week trial in March, 2007, the plaintiffs presented evidence showing that Hazleton’s attempt to scapegoat immigrants. District Court Judge James M. Munley ruled the Hazleton ordinances unconstitutional and enjoined their enforcement. The town appealed that decision to the court of appeals, which affirmed the injunction. After a couple of trips to the Supreme Court, the court of appeals re-affirmed its decision.
Current Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the architect of the Hazleton immigration enforcement laws, as well as a number of other state and local immigration enforcement laws that later were invalidated. The Mayor of Hazleton at the time of the laws' passage, Lou Barletta, championed the laws and now is a member of the U.S. Congress. His congressional website highlights his role in passing the laws.
Olivia and Francisco Perez have a tragic story to share. Their daughter, Samantha, was raped by a family friend when she was 15 years old and became pregnant. Ashamed, scared, and traumatized, she kept her pregnancy a secret and delivered the baby at home, alone, without even her parent's knowing. She was arrested and charged with attempted murder and child abuse, and has already spent 3 years of her five year sentence in prison. Baby Perez was taken into state custody, even though Olivia and Francisco were more than able to care for her. They were told they were denied custody of their granddaughter because they are undocumented.
Yesterday was Samantha's 18th birthday, which she celebrated in prison. Baby Perez turned two last week; no one in her family has seen or heard anything about her wellbeing since she was born.
Immigration Article of the Day: Agape, Grace, and Immigration Law: An Evangelical Perspective by Jennifer Lee Koh
Abstract: Although evangelical Christians have become regular participants in public discourse on immigration, the relationship between evangelical Christians and immigration laws remains underexplored. This Essay fills that gap in the literature, and offers a framework for thinking about immigration that also engages with the core faith commitments of evangelical Christianity.
The Essay first describes biblical and socio-political factors leading to the development of two opposing positions on immigration that appear to have emerged amongst evangelical Christians. One position favors the noncitizen, while the other position emphasizes the enforcement of existing immigration laws, leading each side to endorse policy platforms that mirror the division over immigration that exists in society at large. The Essay then describes a fundamental spiritual belief held by evangelical (and other) Christians: the doctrine of God’s saving grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the primacy of agape love. The Essay argues that for evangelical Christians, grace and agape should tip the scales in favor of the immigrant, and offers several principles that might guide a grace-based approach to the immigration laws. Finally, it explores how prioritizing grace and agape could bear upon the treatment of so-called “criminal aliens” under the immigration laws.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Lyle Denniston reports on SCOTUSBlog that the U.S. government's efforts to deport Moones Mellouli from the United States appear to have come to an end. As previously discussed on the ImmigrationProf blog, the U.S. government did not quickly give up in its deportation efforts after the Supreme Court's decision setting aside the removal order based on a convictiom for possession of a sock (characterized as drug paraphernalia) in Mellouli v. Lynch. It now appears that the case has been settled and that Mellouli, who was removed from the country, can return to the United States.
A new Pew Research Center analysis has found that recent immigrants to the United States are the most highly educated in history. Educational attainment has risen over the past 50 years among U.S. adults overall. But data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 41 percent of immigrants arriving in the past five years have at least a bachelor’s degree, and that recent immigrants remain more likely to have earned a degree than people born here.
In this long essay, I review Department of Homeland Security immigration enforcement tools and what I feel is the unnecessary havoc that they wreak on immigrant communities. In the process, I describe the resistance to these policies by immigrants and their supporters who have attempted to disrupt the enforcement tools. Immigrants and their supporters are attempting to raise awareness of better strategies to resolve whatever problems are perceived to exist. I also argue that the disruptive tactics by immigrants and their supporters have actually helped to push the Obama administration into engaging in disruptive innovation of its own with respect to how to approach certain classes of removable immigrants.
Administrations and officials who engage in these enforcement approaches need to be held accountable to fair-minded, humanistic-thinking Americans. These actions have occurred on our watch, and we should not stand by idly. Thus, I also submit that we should devise methods of holding officials accountable, perhaps by creating a public oversight group along the lines of citizen oversight panels of police departments that would focus on the anti-humanitarian effects of immigration enforcement.
The article is at 73 KANSAS L. REV. 981 (2015)
Dream Chasers: Immigration and the American Backlash
by John Tirman, The MIT Press 2015, 230 pages
In eight tight chapters, John Tirman’s Dream Chasers sparks a fresh look at an issue that continues to dominate the airwaves and print media. Anyone struggling to come to grips with immigration reform will gain insight from this thoughtful book, which sheds light on the nuances about immigration that hide behind the headlines.
The title of the book plays on what John Tirman sees as the competing “dreams” of America: immigrant dreams of opportunity and freedom; and the vision of many Americans who demand immigrant linguistic, cultural, and other assimilation. As the contrasting dreams suggest, the book views the immigration debate as part of “an epic culture clash.” : “The rejectionists who are particularly vociferous about the cultural wounds they think illegal immigration visits upon the United States, are the same rejectionists on health-care reform, measures to deal with climate change, financial sector reform, economic stimulus, and so on.”
Ably capturing the national divide over immigration in the modern United States, Dream Chasers demonstrates that the issue goes well beyond law and race. Over the course of eight concise chapters, Tirman, executive director of MIT’s Center for International Studies, summarizes the economic, cultural, legal, and political considerations implicated in the modern debate over immigration.
The book opens by comparing the “Great Migration” (1910 to 1970) of African Americans from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West to today’s “Second Great Migration” of Mexican and Central American immigrants to the United States. A later chapter provides an overview of the history that has shaped outmigration from Mexico and Guatemala. Economic opportunity in the United States (combined with limited avenues for lawful immigration), poverty in their homelands, and violence (especially brutal and widespread for decades in Guatemala) have fueled migration from those countries. In addition, U.S. foreign policy, from political support for anti-communist leaders to the promotion of global capitalism (and the United Fruit Company), played an important role in creating the political, economic, and social circumstances contributing to the pressures for migration from Latin America.
Dream Chasers also looks at Arizona’s toxic political climate surrounding immigration, with the state starting a national trend with its extreme immigration enforcement law known as SB 1070. Tirman views the battle over ethnic studies in the Tucson public schools as a “culture clash …, at root, about the enormous flow of immigrants across the US-Mexico border.” Put simply, the ethnic studies controversy is a minor skirmish in the war over Latino immigration.
Tirman then reviews immigration enforcement through the examination of the U.S. government’s immigration raid of a textile factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts, “a struggling … city of immigrants.” (p. 68). In the raid, federal authorities arrested hundreds of workers—the majority who were women from Guatemala—and created a humanitarian crisis when many of their children who were U.S.-born citizens, returned from school or day care to find homes without a parent. Activists, lawyers, a Catholic Church (Our Lady of Guadalupe), and state and local governments responded to the aftermath of the raid, which was followed with the detention of those arrested out of state where many had no access to lawyers.
After describing the excesses of contemporary immigration enforcement, Dream Chasers considers the possibilities for reform. Chapter 4 offers fresh analysis of the coming of age of the DREAMers, college students brought to this country by their parents, and their creation of a cohesive, independent, and powerful political movement. They became the “poster children ... high school valedictorians, star athletes, and soldiers” for immigration reform, pushing for passage of the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act. They “make visible the hidden, make appeals for justice, plead that the raids and deportations stop, advocate for plausible solutions.” They have become nothing less than the nation’s immigration conscience. The DREAMers’ political movement helped bring about a major reform measure implemented by President Obama, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012 (as well as its proposed expansion in 2014).
In analyzing the contemporary politics of immigration reform, Tirman observes that “reform has focused resolutely on the racial characteristics of those seeking entry.” Most reform proposals call for increased immigration enforcement (despite record numbers of removals), expanded legal immigration, and a path to legalization (and perhaps citizenship) for undocumented immigrants. The last component of most comprehensive reform proposals—the much-maligned “amnesty”—is the most contested.
Tirman also examines legal terminology (including “alien” and “illegal alien”), and the English language as “cultural weapons” in the immigration debate. He critically analyzes Samuel P. Huntington’s 2004 book Who Are We?, which identifies Hispanic immigration as a cultural threat to the United States and avoids the expressly race-based claims recently voiced by, among others, Ann Coulter and Donald Trump.
The concluding chapter is refreshingly optimistic, mentioning hopeful signs for immigration reform. Immigrants today are a part of popular culture in the United States, featured in music, books, and television shows. Public opinion at times appears to be open to possible reforms sympathetic to immigrants. In fact, some major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City have embraced pro-immigrant policies. However, as the United States has seen in recent months, major events, such as the controversy last summer over the release of an undocumented immigrant by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office who later allegedly killed a woman, the public at various historical moments supports vigorous immigration enforcement measures.
Lawyers might want to see more discussion of the law, justice, and fairness in Dream Chasers, all which are important to the debates over immigration reform. Although I might quibble some with parts of the analysis, such as the parallel drawn between Spanish use among Latinos and Ebonics among African Amercans, Tirman generally thoughtfully analyzes in a sober, balanced fashion the contemporary debates over immigration reform.
Review by Kevin R. Johnson
Last year, thousands of Central American migrants — many of them children — were detained at the border last year. A large number of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have tried to reach the United States in the past two years.
Fewer Central Americans have been stopped along the southern border with Mexico in the last fiscal year. Some American officials have said this shows the success of tighter border controls and better public information campaigns in the region. In reality, the problem seems to have simply been pushed farther south: Many of the young migrants are now stopped entering Mexico.
The Mexican government detained close to 92,000 Central American migrants from October 2014 to April 2015. During the same period, the United States held 70,448 people from places other than Mexico.
The immigration law group on Flickr contains photos for your classroom, blogs, or scholarly presentations. There are photos of the Southern border, the Northern border, immigration court, the statue of liberty, a holding cell, and more.
At the moment, the group has three contributors: me, my husband, and the federal government, the latter of whom, thanks to the lack of copyright protection for government works, only takes public domain pics. It would be great to expand the collection.
If you have taken a photograph that you think would be useful to others - please consider adding it to the group. Or just e-mail it to me, and I'll add it for you.
BuzzFeed already loves the group. If you read their piece on the interpreter crisis yesterday, you'll see three of the group's photos featured prominently.
I look forward to working with you to make this a robust resource.