Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Searching Twitter

It's an exciting semester to be teaching immigration law. Immigration is in the news daily, and it's the subject of many presidential tweets.

This post is intended to help the less twitter-savvy among us to find the precise tweets that you're looking to use in class.

  • Open Twitter.
  • Type a search term into the twitter search function. This is at the very top of the webpage.

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  • You'll be taken to another page with search results. At this point click "show" next to "Search filters."

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  • Now click "Advanced search" under "Search filters."

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  • Now you can do an advanced search. In the example below, I'm looking for any tweets by @potus, @realDonaldTrump or @WhiteHouse that use the words diversity or lottery.

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Ah, now here's the perfect one to use in class this week:

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I hope this has been helpful. Happy tweet hunting!


January 23, 2018 in Current Affairs, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Humanitarian Volunteer Arrested for Providing Food, Water to Migrants

No more deaths

A volunteer with the Tucson-based humanitarian organization, No More Deaths, is being criminally prosecuted for providing food and water to migrants in the desert. Scott Daniel Warren is being charged with harboring immigrants, a charge that if successful could result in a 5 year prison sentence. This comes after reports of Customs and Border Patrol agents destroying food and water stations near the border.  For more on the story, see this Tucson Sentinel article.

This isn't the first time that humanitarian workers have risked criminal liability for their actions.  For more academic reading on the broader issue of the criminalization of private aid, see Kristina Campbell's article, Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime? The Politics of Immigration Enforcement and the Provision of Sanctuary, Syracuse Law Review (2012).

And for more reading from a Judeo-Christian perspective, see Matthew 25:  "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." 


January 23, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Video shows Border Patrol officers asking Greyhound passengers for IDs, taking woman into custody


Video shows Border Patrol officers asking Greyhound passengers for IDs, taking woman into custody

Samantha Schmidt of the

Samantha Schmidt of the Washington Post discusses the incident. 

The video of Friday’s exchange on the Greyhound bus has been viewed more than 2.3 million times. Amid the Trump administration’s efforts to embolden immigration authorities and ramp up immigration arrests, the video has stirred fear among activists in Florida and beyond. It has also prompted a wave of outrage among civil liberties advocates, who have questioned the legality of the inspection.



January 23, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: Contiguous Territories: the Expanded Use of Expedited Removal in the Trump Era by Geoffrey A. Hoffman


Contiguous Territories: the Expanded Use of Expedited Removal in the Trump Era by Geoffrey A. Hoffman


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains a little-known provision that permits the physical return of individuals who enter from “contiguous territories” (i.e., Mexico or Canada) pending their removal proceedings before a United States immigration judge. The statute, interestingly, only applies to those who enter from those countries and there is no requirement that the person actually be a citizen or national of either Mexico or Canada. Furthermore, the provision is embedded within the “expedited removal” section, INA § 235, 8 USC § 1225, but importantly the person subjected to the contiguous territories provision is not “deported” immediately but made to wait outside the U.S. during his judicial removal proceedings. There is thus a “legal fiction” created by the statutory scheme whereby a person is “in” the U.S. for purposes of jurisdiction over his or her INA § 240 removal proceedings, while technically and actually residing outside its territory. This article considers the serious legal problems implicated by this statutory provision and its implementation. Among the topics considered are possible legal challenges in federal court, among other issues, such as international legal authority, potential conflicts with other domestic U.S. statutory provisions and further options available to Mexico or others countries seeking redress.




January 23, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Immigration Article of the Day: "Refugees, Rights, and Responsibilities: Bridging the Integration Gap" by Megan J. Ballard


"Refugees, Rights, and Responsibilities: Bridging the Integration Gap" Free Download by Megan J. Ballard
University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2017


Closing U.S. borders to refugees will not likely enhance domestic security. The United Nations (“U.N.”) and some Western democracies suggest that a policy of integrating refugees may more effectively promote the security interests of both refugees and the countries in which they resettle. Refugee integration is a multifaceted process requiring accommodation on behalf of individual refugees and host societies. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) requires states admitting resettled refugees to facilitate their integration. Contrary to this mandate, the U.S. government has not strived to integrate the refugees it has agreed to resettle within its borders. Instead, federal policy emphasizes rapid and minimal economic self-sufficiency for refugees, which is consistent with other government policies that privatize social welfare for the poor. When compared to a theoretical model of refugee integration, this article concludes that U.S. resettlement efforts fall short of an integration process. To the contrary, the U.S. strategy of prioritizing immediate participation in the work force undermines the successful incorporation of many refugees into American society. This failure stands to impair the security interests of both refugees and host communities.

Community efforts can help fill the gap between the inadequate U.S. resettlement program and the UNHCR’s integration mandate. The Author has presented workshops on U.S. law to educate local refugees about their legal rights and responsibilities. These workshops — described in this article — reflect one way in which host communities can foster integration, even in the absence of a national integration policy. Such a local effort can promote mutual understanding and safety.


January 23, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Your Afternoon Spit-take

Courtesy of The Onion.

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January 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Breaking News! Senate leaders reach a deal to reopen government, with vote scheduled today

Breaking news!  U,.S. Senate leaders have reached an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown by passing a stopgap spending bill and committing to tackle the issue of immigration before the next deadline, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the decision.  The Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill soon, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan said House Republicans would support the temporary measure, which would extend government funding until Feb. 8.


January 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S.: 9 of 10 deportations are of noncitizens from Mexico, Guatemals, Honduras, and El Salvador


In a story focusing on the deportation of the Irish, NPR includes the following telling information about removals:

"Ninety Percent of Deportations Went to These Four Countries

In FY2017, nine out of ten deportations went to four countries in Latin America. The remaining removals were sent to 186 other nations. Excluding these four countries, deportations have risen 61.6 percent since FY2016.

  • FY2017

January 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

America Has a Foreign Tourism Problem


Justin Bachman for Bloomberg reports on a development that should not be a surprise in light of President Trump's emphasis on tough immigration enforcement.

As more international travelers decide to skip the United States, 10 business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association, have created a travel industry group aimed at reversing the growing unpopularity of the U.S. as a vacation destination.

Over the past few years, though, that gravy train has begun to dry up, a trend that accelerated as President Donald Trump began to make good on campaign promises to restrict immigration. As a result, businesses that make up the multibillion-dollar industry relying on that revenue have grown increasingly nervous.
Last week, business leaders unveiled the “Visit U.S. Coalition” to spur the Trump administration into enacting friendlier visa and border-security policies at a time when federal agencies are doing the opposite. 

January 22, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE Targeting of Immigrants' Rights Movement Leaders


(Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of New York's New Sanctuary Coalition)

Nick Pinto at the Intercept has written a powerful piece on ICE's deliberate targeting of immigrants' rights movement leaders for deportation and detention.  The article highlights the cases of Ravi Ragbir and Jean Montrevil, both of who are with the New Sanctuary Movement in New York City.  Ragbir remains detained in the US; Montrevil was deported earlier this month after being arrested at his home (From the article:  "Scott Mechkowski, ICE’s deputy Field Office director for New York, [when asked] why the agency had sent a team to apprehend Montrevil at home months before his scheduled check-in. “We war-gamed this over and over,” Mechkowski said, according to Bardavid. “This was the best time and place to take him.”)  The article discusses ICE surveillance of churches and the relationship between New York City and ICE enforcement actions.

More from the piece:

"The events in New York are taking place against a national backdrop of escalating actions against prominent immigrant rights figures. On December 20, ICE agents in Washington state began deportation proceedings against Maru Mora-Villalpando, founder of an organization that leads weekly rallies and vigils outside the gates of Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. In Colorado, ICE detained the husband of Ingrid Encalada Latorre, an undocumented Peruvian mother who has been taking sanctuary in Denver-area churches since 2016.

'It seems like they’re trying to create an atmosphere of uncertainty where nobody feels safe,” said Nathan Yaffe, a lawyer who works with the New Sanctuary Coalition to help people file asylum applications. “At the same time, they’re trying to exile our moral leaders in order to break the movement.'

'ICE thinks that by removing the leaders,' Yaffe added, 'they can destroy the movement.'”


January 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

WaPo: Immigrants Reluctant to Seek Health Services Due to Fear of Deportation

No surprises here:  Kelli Kennedy reports from Miami in the Washington Post about how the fear of deportation is leading many Latino community residents to avoid seeking health services for which they are legally eligible.  Even if potential health care applicants are lawful residents or US citizens, the fear that their undocumented family members might be at greater risk of deportation appears to be driving some of this trend.  This can't be good for anyone.


January 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

ICE and Super Bowl 52

Super_Bowl_LII_logo 9SR0JKOJ

It will be the Philadelphia Eagles versus the New England Patriots in the National Football League's Super Bowl 52.  And Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be there too.  According to the ICE website,

"As the teams prepare to battle for the right to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl LII champions, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be playing its best defense to protect the millions of fans who will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the biggest sporting event of the year.

ICE has been a constant presence at the Super Bowl for many years. The agency and National Football League may seem like an odd pairing, but the two have formed an effective partnership to combat many of the threats the league and host city face leading up to and during the big game."

Besides protecting the safety of the public in connection with Super Bowl 52, ICE will seek to halt the flow of counterfeit products:

"The illegal manufacturing and sale of counterfeit goods has been one of the primary concerns of ICE and its partners during the week leading up to the Super Bowl. The practice endangers public health, the economy and restricts the competitiveness of U.S. products in the global market."


January 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

U.S. Government Shutdown: Throwing Gasoline on the Fire?

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Mudslides in California coastal town take heavy toll on immigrants


In recent days, the national news has been dominated by reports of the devastation and deaths resulting from the mudslides in the coastal community of Montecito, near Santa Barbara, California, with homes of stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe, and many others.  Montecito also is home of many working class people, including immigrants, who suffered due to the disaster.  As reported by Julie Watson for the Associated Press,  

"Antonio and Victor Benitez [who had a gardening business] suffered broken bones and each lost a child. Antonio's wife was killed. Victor's wife was killed - her body was found Saturday - and his toddler son was injured. 

Nearly a third of those killed in the Jan. 9 mudslides were from immigrant families working in service jobs in the largely white and retired Pacific coast town of 9,000. Many of these families are from developing countries seizing the opportunities provided by the area's wealth to make a better life for their children."

Unfortunately, immigrants are often the silent victims of natural disasters, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the California wildfires last fall to the mnudslide in Montecito.


January 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Julia Preston: Lost in (Immigration) Court

Former New York Times immigration beat reporter, Julia Preston for the Marshall Project in "Lost in Court"  looks at the Trump administration's changes to the immigration court system.  The audio of a broadcast of this story on public radio stations will be available online Sunday, January 21 at 7 p.m. CT.


In an immigration detention center on the outskirts of Laredo, judges on temporary assignments were hearing cases in a courtroom hastily arranged inside its walls from March through December of 2017. Photographs are not allowed inside the building. The detention center is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and run by a private company, CoreCivic. Kirsten Luce for The Marshall ProjeCT 

The Section of Immigration Law of the Association of American Law Schools had a panel discussion on immigration adjudication at the 2018 annual meeting.



January 21, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Year of Living Dangerously: One Year of President Trump -- Top Five Most Memorable Moves by President Trump on Immigration Law and Enforcement. The Shutdown of the Federal Government.


Today marks Donald Trump's one year anniversary as President of the United States.  Although fingers are pointing in different directions, Congress has forever marked the anniversary with a shutdown of the federal government.  The latest congressional stalemate is in no small part due to the failure to reach agreement on providing relief to the thousands of young immigrants formerly protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Let us be clear -- the failure of Congress to enact a piece of immigration reform has led to the shutdown of the federal government! 

Even before the shutdown, this has been a ttumultuois immigration year under President Trump's leadership.  It is an understatement to say that President Trump has gone in a very different direction than President Obama did.  As Anil Kalhan has written."the new administration’s sweeping, high-profile immigration enforcement initiatives—along with its inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric—mark the ascendance of immigration restrictionism to the highest levels of the executive branch to an extent that is entirely without modern precedent."

Here is a review by Professor Jennifer M. Chacon of President Trump's early forays into immigration enforcement, including a series of Executive Orders.  

My Top 5 Trump Moves on Immigration Law and Enforcement areas follows.  As you read through the list, please think to yourself -- can I imagine President Obama doing any of this?


1.  "Sh------- Countries."  Few will forget the controversy over President Trump's incendiary remarks, confirmed by several members of Congress, in the White House about reducing immigration from Haiti, Africa, and other countries populated by people of color.  Can one imagine any American President in modern history (besides perhaps Richard Nixon) using this kind of language with members of Congress?


2.  The Muslim Bans.  The President issued three iterations of a ban on the admission of noncitizens from a number of predominantly Muslim nations.  The first two were enjoined before the Supreme Court in December lifted a stay allowing the third version to go into effect.  The Court will review the latest court of appeals ruling finding the ban unlawful.


3.  The End of DACA.  Last September, the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which had provided limited relief to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.  DACA's rescission provoked a spiral of reactions -- lawsuits, protests, and a battle in Congress that shut down the U.S. government.  A district court enjoined barring DACA's rescission and the case may well be headed to the Supreme Court.



Prototypes for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall.  Photos courtesy of Yelp.com

4.  The Wall.  Trump promised the nation a wall along the U.S./Mexico border.  The wall, its efficacy, whether Mexico will pay for it, the prototypes, etc. seem to be in the news almost as often as reruns of the film "Rocky" on cable television.  For example, for months we have heard that President Trump says that Mexico will pay for the wall, the Mexican government emphatically denies it, and on and on.  



5.  The Pardon of Joe Arpaio.  In August, President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio Particularly disliked among Latinos, Arpaio is nothing less than a lightening rod for criticism for his hyper-aggressive enforcement activities.  After a criminal contempt trial, a U.S. district court had found Arpaio to have intentionally refused to comply with court orders that he not engage in unlawful racial profiling of Latina/os in Arizona, U.S citizens as well as immigrants. In repeated violation of numerous court orders, Arpaio vigorously pursued his discriminatory law enforcement practices and went so far as to have an investigator tail the wife of the district court judge who ordered the injunction! Not surprisingly, the pardon was widely criticizedArpaio is now running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona.


January 20, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Supreme Court to Review Latest Travel Ban Case


As Amy Howe reports, the Supreme Court granted certiorari today in Trump v. Hawaii and will review the Ninth Circuit's finding that President Donald Trump’s "travel ban," which limited travel from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela and Chad. Here is the brief order.  The Ninth Circuit upheld a federal district court decision blocking the government from implementing the executive order.

Peter Margulies on Lawfare looks at how the Court might approach the travel ban case.


January 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

How One Clinic Client Confirmed That Immigration Law Is For Me - Guest Post by Law Student Jasmine Pope

Guest post by Jasmine Pope, 3L at University of Baltimore School of Law

This past semester, I embarked on an incredible journey as part of the Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) at the University of Baltimore School of Law. I set out to learn more about an area of law that interests me, to become a zealous advocate for my client, and to learn how to grow, not only as an individual, but also as a future lawyer.

When I was first assigned Bessy’s case, I was nervous, yet determined. I was excited that I was given the opportunity to try her asylum case. While I already had some prior experience working on immigration cases, I had never worked on an asylum case before. I wanted the opportunity to not only broaden my exposure to immigration issues, but to challenge myself as well. 

From the beginning, I was anxious to meet Bessy. I was nervous about whether she would like me and whether she would deem me competent and capable to represent her. Yet, at the same time, I was determined to do my best by this client -a woman I had yet to meet, whose story I had yet to fully understand. Bessy was the woman who would send me on the journey of my life.

From the moment I first read Bessy’s story, I was determined to bring her justice. Bessy, a transgender woman from El Salvador, had endured decades of abuse, simply because of the person she knew she was. From an incredibly young age, Bessy had known that she was a woman. The only thing Bessy had done was be herself. 

Once I met Bessy, all of my nervousness and anxiety faded away. She was kind, sweet, and composed. She seemed to immediately trust me, and knowing that I had her trust, allowed me to open myself up more to our representative-client relationship. Once I heard her story, rather than reading it on a piece of paper, one thing became incredibly clear to me - Bessy was resilience personified. I have never met a person, man or woman, who has experienced all that she has experienced and yet somehow managed to wake up every day and live her life. In the face of adversity, hate, discrimination, homophobia, and transphobia, Bessy remained strong and pushed forward.

 If I could envision the perfect asylum client, Bessy would be it. She was fully invested in her case, how the court process works, and all the possible outcomes. She believed in me every step of the way. Moreover, she was beyond deserving of asylum. She had suffered more than what any one person should ever had to endure, the system simply had to work in her favor.

 And yet, this semester was not always a smooth ride. As I began to research Bessy’s asylum claim and familiarized myself more with her story and the law, I was terrified of what could happen. The more confident I became in my knowledge of Bessy and asylum law, the more terrified I became that no matter how hard I worked and how deserving I believed my client to be, the system could work against us. I struggled with the idea that I could give my all, put everything I had into trying to win her case, and somehow come up short in Immigration Court. This thought was frightening to me. However, I am forever grateful for my amazing clinic partners, class mates, supervisors, family and friends. At no point during my clinic experience did I ever feel like I was completely on my own to work through my emotions or to work through a legal issue. 

One of the most amazing things about the Immigrant Rights Clinic is the ability to reach out to anyone in the clinic and know that they will not only understand my frustrations and doubts, but also be able to comfort me, offer me advice, and help me work through things. Emotionally, I would not have survived this semester without the understanding and support of my classmates and supervisors. 

Then, on November 6, 2017, months of hard work came into fruition. The stars in the sky aligned and the universe sent good vibes Bessy’s way. Bessy was granted asylum!

WE WON! There have been very few times in my life where I have been at a loss of words, and that day was one of those times. My emotions ranged from shock, excitement, pride, relief, and gratefulness. But looking at Bessy once she realized the gravity of the judge’s decision truly humbled me.


Jasmine Pope Photo


That moment, of watching the nervousness leave my client’s body, and of seeing a grateful and content smile adorn her face, are images forever engrained in my mind. Nothing could ever come close to that feeling. Nothing. It made me realize that being a zealous advocate for your client should not be for one’s own self, but for the benefit of your client. Ultimately, they are the most important piece of the equation. It is their life, their emotions, their wants, that matter most. 

Perhaps the most important thing that this clinic has taught me is how to always keep my client’s best interest in mind. The concept of client-centered lawyering is one I wish to take with me moving forward. Additionally, I am still of the belief that the law, while at times can be the almost impossible burden for our clients to overcome, can work for us if we let it. As lawyers, it is our job to work with the law, and if we find that the law does not work or is a hindrance to justice, we must work to change it.


January 19, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Discriminatory Immigration Policy, Past and Present


President Trump's comments about immigration, including his statement about immigration from "s------- countries," make it clear that he thinks about immigration in racial terms.  For analysis, see this opinion piece in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.    Download Discriminatory immigration policy past and present


January 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Review District Court Injunction in DACA Rescission Case


The Roberts Court (April 2017 – present). Front row (left to right): Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts (Chief Justice), Clarence Thomas, and Stephen Breyer. Back row (left to right): Elena Kagan, Samuel A. Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil Gorsuch.

Amy Howe on SCOTUSBlog reports that the Trump administration is seeking the immediate review of the district court's injunction barring the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Yesterday, the government filed a petition for certiorari before judgment. It urged the justices to take on the case immediately, telling them that the district court’s “unprecedented order requires the government to sanction indefinitely an ongoing violation of federal law being committed by nearly 700,000 aliens—and, indeed, to confer on them affirmative benefits (including work authorization) pursuant to the DACA policy.” Unless the court steps in, the government continued, the district court’s order could remain in effect for months while it appeals to the 9th Circuit; if the 9th Circuit were to leave the order in place, the government emphasized, “it could continue for more than a year given the Court’s calendar.”

The "government also told the justices that the district court’s ruling is simply wrong."  Howe summarizes the arguments, namely that the decision to end DACA  "falls within the agency’s discretion and is thus not reviewable by courts."   "Somewhat surprisingly, the government did not ask the justices to put the district court’s ruling on hold while its appeals play out."

Howe explains that direct and immediate review of a district court in the Supreme Court (and bypassing the court of appeals) is incredibly rare:

"As the attorney general acknowledged, it is indeed rare for a losing party to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in before the court of appeals has had a chance to rule. The Supreme Court’s rules indicate that certiorari before judgment `will be granted only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court.' As Kevin Russell has observed, the court has granted review before judgment `in only a handful of cases over the last seventy-five years.' Most of those cases, Russell wrote, fall into one of at least three categories: The justices granted review to allow the court to hear a case at the same time as another one that it had already agreed to review through normal channels; the federal government petitioned for review; or the cases involved `international relations and presidential authority, particularly in the context of the president’s war powers.' The DACA case obviously meets the second criterion; we’ll know soon whether the justices will agree that the case is so important that it warrants immediate review." (emphasis added).

Here are my thoughts, printed in the Sacramento Bee, on Supreme Court review of the case.  Stay tuned!


January 19, 2018 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)